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Operation: Genoa was a presumed military operation carried out in Pakistan, in which the U.S. Marine Corps allegedly used illegal sarin gas on civilians. The operation was the subject of most of Season 2.
The operation was conducted in Pakistan in 2009. The mission was to raid a village in order to rescue two captured U.S. soldiers who were about to be sold to al-Qaeda and publicly beheaded for propaganda purposes.
In August 2011, Jerry Dantana eagerly focusing his journalistic efforts on drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration received a lot of resistance from the News Night team. After a roundtable discussion during News Night, he spoke with one of the panelists, U.S. Air Force Captain Cyrus West, who said he had the type of story that "makes careers and ends presidencies."
About a year later, News Night aired a special report regarding Operation: Genoa on a Sunday, including the illegal use of chemical weapons by American forces. President of the News Division Charlie Skinner stated before Rebecca Halliday that "by 10:05... [they] knew none of it was true."
The story falls apart when simple investigation reveals that an interview had been edited to make it appear that a witness was admitting the use of chemical weapons. Another witness, a Marine was found to have suffered traumatic brain injury during combat, suggesting his unreliability as a witness. Another Marine also seemed to support the first Marine's recollection, but was found merely to be supporting a fellow Marine. A crtitical piece of evidence is a helicopter manifest. But this is found to have been deliberately fabricated as part of a plan to discredit Charlie Skinner.
Near the end of "Red Team III", Will informs Rebecca that Genoa was in fact a real and successful operation, but there hadn't been any sarin involved as the witnesses had claimed. Sweeney had been right about the unit using protective gear against chemicals, but it was because they feared the insurgents were sitting on chemical weapons.
- The operation may have been based on the real-life Operation Tailwind, a covert operation during the Vietnam War. Decades after it was done, CNN and Time Magazine reported that the U.S. military had used sarin during the operation and had committed other war crimes. They were ultimately forced to retract.
- The name "Genoa" is derived from a type of sail on a boat as well as itself being named for Genoa, Italy.
- Lieutenant General Stanislaus Stomtonovich
- Captain Cyrus West (U.S. Air Force)
- Gunnery Sergeant Eric Sweeney
- Lance Corporal Herman Valenzuela