On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to the concerns of the father of the Navy SEAL who died in Trump’s disastrous raid in Yemen by blaming him for his own death — but he claimed it was worth it because we recovered valuable intelligence that will save American lives and prevent terrorist attacks.
“I can tell him on behalf of the President, his son died a hero and the information that he was able to help obtain through that raid…is going to save American lives; it’s going to protect our country more,” Spicer said, adding that Ryan Owens was responsible for his own death:
“It’s something that as a SEAL and as somebody who deployed 12 times, he knew that this was part of the job and he knew what he was doing.”
It is almost certain that Owens knew that there was risk involved in his job, but he also relies on the Commander-in-Chief to know what he11-year-old boy is doing. The raid killed 30 civilians (and half as many militants), including about 10 women and children — according to witnesses, an was the first to be struck by a bullet — and completely failed to kill al Qaeda leader Qassim Al-Rimi, who took to mocking The Donald in propaganda videos after the embarrassment that was the Yemen raid. Our forces ultimately recovered a few videos that have been available on YouTube for a decade. Trump’s first military operation was such a massive disaster that Yemen revoked the United States’ permission to conduct ground-based anti-terrorism operations within the country’s borders.
“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into [President Trump’s] administration?” Bill Owens, the father of the slain SEAL, said of the raid. “For two years prior … everything was missiles and drones (in Yemen)….Now all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?”
Why such a grand display? Because this is what “success” looks like in Trump’s America, of course!
Despite Spicer and Trump’s numerous claims that the mission was hugely successful, senior military officials tell NBC that they are unaware of any “actionable intelligence” that was recovered during the raid:
“We gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil,” said Spicer.
A Defense Department official also pushed back Monday afternoon, saying the raid has yielded “a significant amount” of intelligence.
But the only example the military has provided turned out to be an old bomb-making video that was of no current value.
On Monday, Spicer addressed the remarks of Bill Owens, whose son died.
“I can tell him that on behalf of the president, his son died a hero and the information that he was able to help obtain through that raid, as I said before, is going to save American lives,” he said. “The mission was successful in helping prevent a future attack or attacks on this nation.”
Multiple senior officials told NBC News they have not seen evidence to support that claim.
It’s one thing to authorize a mission with insufficient intelligence or support. It’s another to lie to the family of someone your negligence killed and call it a “success.”
Ryan Owens was a hero — but his country failed him. His President failed him. And someone must answer for it.
Featured image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer