HT: American Power
Esquire's amazing article on "The Falling Man."
Also their stunning pice of two days ago, "What We Saw: 9/11 Remembered," which is nuggets of relevant articles the magazine has published over the last 10 years about the attacks and their aftermath. This struck me:
One of the lead insurgents flicked on a flashlight. Picking up the path, he switched the light off and continued toward the kill zone. Man by man, each fighter emerged as a green silhouette in the soldiers' keyholes, each to be marked and panned by the vivid line of an infrared laser sight.
The scouts counted twenty-six men walk by their post. Sergeant Reese could not pass this information. The insurgents were too close.
Lieutenant Smith watched. Closer they came, closer, and closer still, until the first man was perhaps six feet away from the nearest American prone on the ground, who switched the selector lever on his rifle from safe to semiautomatic, readying it to fire. The lever made a tiny metal-on-metal noise, a click.
The lead insurgent stopped.
He lowered his head. The American was directly in front of him, a private first class, Troy Pacini-Harvey, a wiry nineteen-year-old with quick dark eyes and a small black carbine, pointed up. Pacini-Harvey's laser had been darting from the slot between the man's eyes to the center of the man's forehead. Now it stopped there. Other lasers, from other soldiers, were locked on each man visible in the column behind. The point man seemed undecided, unaware of the green dot above his brow. He had heard something, but what?
"Fire," Lieutenant Smith said. "Fire, fire, fire, fire."
—The Long Walk: With Viper Company in Korangal Valley, Afghanistan, by C. J. Chivers, August 2009