Navy SEALs Against Obama

Real Heroes Don't Brag

Obama Exploits the Navy SEALs

Leif Babin
Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204740904577193024150056072.html

Adm. William H. McRaven, America’s top special-operations commander, wrote in his 1996 book “Spec Ops” that there are six key principles of success in special operations. Of paramount importance—especially given the risk and sensitivity of the missions and the small units involved—is what the military calls “operational security,” or maintaining secrecy. If the enemy learns details and can anticipate the manner and timing of an attack, the likelihood of success is significantly reduced and the risk to our forces is significantly increased.

This is why much of what our special-operators do is highly classified, and why military personnel cannot legally divulge it to the public. Yet virtually every detail of the bin Laden raid has appeared in news outlets across the globe—from the name of the highly classified unit to how the U.S. gathered intelligence, how many raiders were involved, how they entered the grounds, what aircraft they used, and how they moved through the compound. Such details were highly contained within the military and not shared even through classified channels. Yet now they are available to anyone with the click of a mouse.

It’s difficult for military leaders to enforce strict standards of operational security on their personnel while the most senior political leadership is flooding the airwaves with secrets. The release of classified information has also opened a Pandora’s box of former and retired SEALs, special operators, and military personnel who have chosen to violate their non-disclosure agreements and discuss intricate details of how such operations are planned and executed.

We’ve already begun seeing specific examples of strategic harm from the post-bin Laden leaks. In June, Pakistan arrested several individuals who allegedly provided information to the CIA in advance of the raid. One of those charged with treason was a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi. This Sunday, Mr. Panetta confirmed to “60 Minutes” that Dr. Afridi had provided “very helpful” intelligence to the CIA. That may have condemned Dr. Afridi to death or life imprisonment.

Such disclosures are catastrophic to U.S. intelligence networks, which often take years to develop. Recklessness not only puts lives at risk but could set U.S. intelligence-collection efforts back decades. Our ability to carry out future operations is significantly degraded—something not lost on Pakistan.

A week after the bin Laden raid, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed dismay about Washington’s loose lips, telling a town hall meeting of U.S. Marines at Camp Lejeune: “Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday—the next day.”

Michael Mukasey: Obama and the bin Laden Bragging Rights

Michael Mukasey
The Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303916904577374552546308474.html

Consider the events surrounding the operation. A recently disclosed memorandum from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta shows that the president’s celebrated derring-do in authorizing the operation included a responsibility-escape clause: “The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out.”

Which is to say, if the mission went wrong, the fault would be Adm. McRaven’s, not the president’s. Moreover, the president does not seem to have addressed at all the possibility of seizing material with intelligence value—which may explain his disclosure immediately following the event not only that bin Laden was killed, but also that a valuable trove of intelligence had been seized, including even the location of al Qaeda safe-houses. That disclosure infuriated the intelligence community because it squandered the opportunity to exploit the intelligence that was the subject of the boast.

Abraham Lincoln, on the night after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender ended the Civil War, delivered from the window of the White House a speech that mentioned his own achievements not at all, but instead looked forward to the difficulties of reconstruction and called for black suffrage—a call that would doom him because the audience outside the White House included a man who muttered that Lincoln had just delivered his last speech. It was John Wilkes Booth.

The man from whom President Obama has sought incessantly to distance himself, George W. Bush, also had occasion during his presidency to announce to the nation a triumph of intelligence: the capture of Saddam Hussein. He called that success “a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq.” He attributed it to “the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers. . . . Their work continues, and so do the risks.”

He did mention himself at the end: “Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them.”

Will The Navy SEALs Swift Boat Obama?

Michael Hastings
BuzzFeed
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/will-resentful-navy-seals-swift-boat-obama

What was supposed to be an easy win—a victory lap on the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death, trumping up the president’s most militant moment—appeared to be slipping away.

The frustration—or, even anger—within the SEAL community is real, and has been brewing for months, particularly among a politically conservative core of operators. It started immediately after the raid, with questions among the Special Forces and intelligence community of whether the president should have waited to announce the kill to exploit the intelligence cache at Osama’s compound. It simmered after a Chinook helicopter was shot down, killing 30 Americans, 22 of them Navy SEALs from Team Six.

Was it a coincidence, SEALs asked themselves, catastrophe hit Team Six so soon after being named as the team responsible for the killing?

The White House narrative on the Geronimo mission would soon come under scrutiny as well, after Chuck Pfarrer, a former member of Seal Team Six, published a book length account questioning the official version of the story. The controversial book was viciously attacked—a JSOC spokesperson called it a “fabrication”—and it was widely dismissed by the press.

What the pushback revealed, however, was an extreme sensitivity in the White House as to who would have the privilege to tell the Bin Laden story, best expressed in a compelling, if well stage-managed, story in the New Yorker. The piece recounted the Abbottabad raid based on interviews with senior administration and military officials, while imbuing the story with the drama of a SEAL’s eye view. Yet the author conceded he had not actually interviewed the men who did the shooting.

SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

Toby Harnden
Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137636/SEALs-slam-Obama-using-ammunition-bid-credit-bin-Laden-killing-election-campaign.html

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’

McCain on Bin Laden raid: ‘The thing about heroes, they don’t brag’

Justin Sink
The Hill
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/224625-mccain-on-bin-laden-raid-the-thing-about-heroes-they-dont-brag

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) continued to hammer the Obama re-election team over its use of the death of Osama bin Laden in a campaign commercial, echoing Mitt Romney’s statement that any president – including Jimmy Carter – would have made the same call.

“I say any president, Jimmy Carter, anybody, any president would have, obviously, under those circumstances, done the same thing.  And to now take credit for something that any president would do is indicative of take over campaign we’re under — we’re — we’re seeing…So all I can say is that this is going to be a very rough campaign,” McCain told Fox News in an interview set to air Monday night. “And I’ve had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes.  And, you know the thing about heroes, they don’t brag.”

Flashback: Barack Obama Says White House Will Not “Spike The Football” By Releasing Obama Bin Laden Death Photos

Jill Seward
NESN
http://www.nesn.com/2011/05/barack-obama-says-he-will-not-spike-the-football-by-releasing-photos-of-osama-bin-laden-after-his-de.html

Obama said on 60 Minutes. “That’s not who we are. We don’t trot this stuff out as trophies.

“The fact of the matter is this was somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received, and I think Americans and people around the world are glad that he is gone. But we don’t need to spike the football.

Navy SEALs Are Hammering Obama For Taking Credit For Their Work

Brett LoGiurato
Business Insider
http://www.businessinsider.com/navy-seals-hammer-obama-on-osama-bin-laden-ad-2012-5

For someone not currently engulfed in politics on the other side, let’s go to Clint Bruce, who “gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer,” according to the Mail:

“We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate. It’s a waste of time to speculate about who would and wouldn’t have made that decision. It was a symphony of opportunity and intelligence that allowed this administration to give the green light. We want to acknowledge that they made that decision.

“Politicians should let the public know where they stand on national security but not in the play-by-play, detailed way that has been done recently. The intricacies of national security should not become part of stump speeches.”

The debate continues to rage over Obama’s campaign ad, in which Bill Clinton voices over the narrative that Obama made the tough decision that led to the death of the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

SEALs: Obama Taking Credit for bin Laden ‘Cheap Shot’

Martin Gould
NewsMax
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/SEALs-slam-Obama-binLade/2012/04/30/id/437580

Current and former US Navy SEALs have joined the attacks on President Barack Obama for attempting to take credit for killing Osama bin Laden and using them and Special Forces members as ‘ammunition’ for his campaign.

SEALs bashed the president to Britain’s MailOnline after Obama released a campaign ad called “One Chance,” to coincide with this week’s first anniversary of the raid that killed the al-Qaida figurehead.

The ad features former President Bill Clinton praising Obama’s decision to order bin Laden killed, and suggests that his Republican rival Mitt Romney might not have made the same call. It has already been criticized by all sides, with even Arianna Huffington, founder of the liberal Huffington Post, calling it “despicable.”

Chris Kyle, the former SEAL credited with a record 160 confirmed killings, called it “a cheap shot.”

“He’s trying to say that Romney wouldn’t have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican,” Kyle told the Mail’s Toby Harnden. “Obama is taking more credit than he is due.”

Kyle’s comments echoed those of Romney himself. Campaigning in New Hampshire on Monday he said, “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” adding that he “of course” would have done the same.