White House Accidently Reveals Delta Force Operators' Face, Apologizes Later

The Incident occurred during Biden's visit to Israel

In an unprecedented security breach, the White House was forced to issue a public apology after posting a photo of President Joe Biden's meeting with U.S. special forces in Israel. The incident has raised concerns about the compromised identities of these elite soldiers, given their pivotal role in covert operations.

This lapse in security comes at a critical time as Israel and Hamas find themselves locked in a deadly conflict. President Biden was in Israel on a mission to oversee the return of hostages, including American citizens, who are being held by Hamas.

Delta Force Operators

What is the U.S. Delta Force?

The U.S. Delta Force, officially known as the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment–Delta (1st SFOD-D), is a top-tier special missions unit within the U.S. armed forces. Renowned for its exceptional versatility, it specializes in counterterrorism operations, which encompass capturing or eliminating high-value targets and dismantling terrorist cells.

Furthermore, the unit undertakes a wide range of missions, such as direct action, hostage rescue, special reconnaissance, and sabotage, earning it a host of cover names, including Combat Applications Group (CAG), Army Compartmented Elements (ACE), Task Force Green, and simply "the Unit."

What Exactly Happened?

The incident unfolded when the official White House Instagram page published a photograph of President Biden meeting with members of the U.S. Delta Force during his visit to Israel. The photograph was made public for at least an hour, accumulating thousands of likes and comments. This public exposure seemingly violated established Department of Defense rules, which aim to safeguard the anonymity of special operators. This practice is integral to prevent identification by potential adversaries, particularly in case of capture. Pictures of Delta Force members, in particular, rarely feature their faces.

The caption accompanying the Instagram post read, "In Israel, President Biden met with first responders to thank them for their bravery and the work they're doing in response to the Hamas terrorist attacks." The photo depicted a group of men donning camouflage uniforms with American flags on their arms.

The Gravity of Situation

The incident underscores the sensitivity of President Biden's visit to Israel, where he aims to assist in the safe return of hostages, including American citizens held by Hamas. The Biden administration had deployed special operators to Israel the week prior to support their Israeli counterparts in various aspects of the hostage crisis. This support includes intelligence sharing and the deployment of experts from across the United States government.

Currently, more than 150 hostages are believed to be held by Hamas, with a "small handful" of them being U.S. citizens. The U.S. Delta Force is actively involved in efforts to locate and rescue them. However, the White House clarified that there are no plans or intentions to deploy U.S. troops on the ground to participate in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Upon realizing the security breach, the White House swiftly removed the photograph and issued a statement of regret. A White House spokesperson conveyed, "As soon as this was brought to our attention, we immediately deleted the photo. We regret the error and any issues this may have caused."

The inadvertent exposure of the Delta Force's identities raises concerns about the security and secrecy surrounding elite units tasked with sensitive and high-stakes operations.