I'm fairly certain that there's an SAS member somewhere in my extended whanau. Never met him, but I hope he's avoided the blitz of publicity that Colonel Willie Apiata and colleague have been through in the last couple of days. The last thing I'd want is a black ops family member plastered all over the national press.
Yes, they look hardcore. There's a certain mindset, a certain outlook that men get when their job involves killing others face to face. That infinite stare. It's not like the Yanks who push a button and wreck havoc thousands of kilometres away, or wear clean-shaven bravado and sunglasses as they throw puppies over cliffs. These guys are professionals.
Just as recent artist impressions of how Osama Bin Laden might look these days could help to identify this elusive nemesis, so contemporary shots of high profile armed forces members might make them a target. What better way to drive a wedge between coalition forces than remove one country's top men. Little wonder the SAS hierarchy are shuffling things around a bit.
I'm all for the publication of the coffins of the war dead returning home and similar stuff, but posting pictures of active servicemen is a trickier matter. Some things are best kept in the dark.