The killing of Osama bin Laden is a divisive issue in America. It shouldn’t be. The leader of Al Qaeda and the architect of the 9/11 attacks was targeted and killed by the best of the best of the military. Whether Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal or any subset thereof, joyousness should have been the prevailing feeling. Instead, it became a dividing issue. Weaklings started asking, “How can we be excited over a death?” And further questions followed. How could we justify crossing Pakistani borders? Should we see the death photos? And, most importantly, who gets the credit? While Obama told us to not “spike the football,” the Commander-in-Chief has become more skilled at proverbial endzone theatrics than Terrell Owens. And now real heroes are calling him out on it.
Sure, people are going to disagree with me. People will say it’s macabre that we are squabbling over who gets the credit for the kill. Others will take issue with the violation of Pakistani airspace or the siege on a compound with civilians. That’s fine, people are entitled to their opinions. Me? I have no issue with the siege, only the aftermath. And I’m not alone.
The Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, a group of former special forces officers and C.I.A. officers, has released a 22-minute video detailing numerous aspects of Obama’s handling of the operation, it’s aftermath and accuses him of not only leaking the information on the attack on the bin Laden compound, but capitalizing on that leak for political gains while endangering active soldiers and future operations.
These are bold accusations, no doubt. However, they are by no means new accusations. Shortly after the raid where Navy SEALs killed bin Laden, it was announced that a movie would be made about the operation that would- surprise, surprise- be released right before the election. While I enjoy a good blockbuster as much as the next guy, Judicial Watch discovered that the White House was, “Working closely with producers of a movie about the successful killing of Osama bin Laden and pushed them to incorporate the administration’s talking points.”
Far from a conspiracy theory, the fears were substantiated as Representative Peter King from New York investigated these allegations. The leaks amounted to more than “spiking the football,” but rather a hand-off of classified materials. King stated,
“After reviewing these emails, I am even more concerned about the possible exposure of classified information to these filmmakers, who as far as I know, do not possess security clearances. The email messages indicate that the filmmakers were allowed an unprecedented visit to a classified facility so secret that its name is redacted in the released email. If this facility is so secret that the name cannot even be seen by the public, then why in the world would the Obama Administration allow filmmakers to tour it? The emails also tell of these filmmakers being allowed to tour the CIA’s vaults, which is absolutely shocking to those of us who know the sensitive nature of materials kept there.
Also troubling is the fact that the Democratic lobbying firm Glover Park Group was so intimately involved in brokering these filmmakers’ access to clandestine officers and potentially special operators only weeks after the mission and when details were otherwise still very closely guarded, and one of Glover Park’s primary contacts within the Administration, CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, left shortly thereafter to join President Obama’s reelection campaign in Chicago.
This is a very serious issue. We simply cannot forget what then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates said a week after the raid: ‘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.’”
Instead of merely shaking their heads, a group of soldiers and C.I.A officers has taken to the web to voice their outrage at this political stunt. In a lengthy and well-articulated web video, interviewees discuss the ramifications of the intelligence leaks. Former Navy SEAL Benjamin Smith stated, “As a citizen, it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy. It will get Americans killed.” Frankly, some things shouldn’t have to be said…
Smith went on to say, “Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden. America did. We have become a political weapon. We are not.”
Fellow former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor noted,
“If you disclose how we got there, how we took down the building, what we did, how many people were there, that is going to hinder future operations, and certainly hurt the success of those future operations.”
I’m no SEAL, but it seems like unassailable logic.
The group claims no political affiliation and directly targets the leaks and the aftermath of the operation. However, the White House has responded and has accused the group of “Swift Boating”, a reference to the veterans groups that came out against John Kerry’s service record in the 2004 election. Obama Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said, “The Republicans are resorting to ‘Swift Boat’ tactics because when it comes to foreign policy and national security, Mitt Romney has offered nothing but reckless rhetoric.”
I’m not certain creating a discussion about foreign policy will work to Obama’s advantage. While his domestic policies have a more immediate effect on voters, his foreign policy has been consistently labeled as “weak” at best.
The OPSEC group seems to be a single-issue group with no declared political affiliation. Personally, I would have found the Obama Campaign’s rebuttal far more compelling if the response was more of a denial rather than a counter-accusation.
Hilariously enough, the senior fellow for the leftist group Media Matters, Eric Boehlert tweeted, “#kindalame former Navy SEALs don’t have guts to admit they’re running a GOP, anti-Obama campaign; http://nyti.ms/N2nYYj ”
Of all the arguments Boehlert could have gone with, he went with the “gutless” accusation against Navy SEALs? Oh, boy…
“We’re clearly not gutless. We’re in the public right now, completely out there… Everything’s out there. It’s interesting how the left is trying to frame this as a partisan issue. I don’t care what party people are from within our group. This issue is about national security leaks.”
He also succinctly put Boehlert’s comment in context by saying, “I wonder how many of this guy’s close friends he’s buried.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
The organization has already raised $1 million to dedicate to advertising in swing states. To donate to OPSEC or to get involved, please visit: http://www.opsecteam.org/