There are a lot of questions that should be asked about Donald Trump’s disastrous raid in Yemen that got a Navy SEAL and dozens of civilians killed, other SEALs injured, and caused the destruction of a military aircraft. But the three Fox Trump Friends interviewing him today each gave him a complete pass, even as Trump lied in their faces.
Trump’s raid is beginning to look a lot like it should be called Yemen-ghazi. The father of the slain SEAL refused to meet with Trump and, instead, gave an extensive interview to the Miami Herald, which raised very damning questions about the operation. Last night, NBC News reported that, contrary to White House claims, the raid has so far yielded no valuable intelligence.
But Fox & Friends cohost Steve Doocy might as well have just asked for a Trump press release on the subject because he was clearly not interested in either the facts or any other perspective but Trump’s. Transcript below via The Washington Post, with my emphases added:
TRUMP: I felt badly when a young man dies and John McCain said that was a failed mission. According to General Mattis, it was a very successful mission. They get a lot of information, a lot of—a lot of different things that they really wanted to get.
DOOCY: Mr. President, you mentioned John McCain mentioning that the young man who died, the Navy SEAL...
DOOCY: -- who died in that mission...
DOOCY: -- his father has said that he didn’t want to talk to you. Your reaction to that?
TRUMP: Well, this was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something that was, you know, just—they wanted to do. And they came to see me and they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected. My generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I would—I believe. And they lost Ryan. And I was at the airport when the casket came in, the body came in.
DOOCY: In Dover.
TRUMP: And it was a very sad, with the family. And it’s a great family, incredible wife and children. I met most of the family.
And I can understand people saying that. I’d feel—you know, I’d feel what’s worse?
There’s nothing worse.
TRUMP: There’s nothing worse.
But again, this was something that they were looking at for a long time doing. And according to General Mattis, it was a very successful mission. They got tremendous amounts of information.
Besides Trump’s blatant cowardice of blaming his own military calamity on others, it probably will not shock you to know he was not telling the truth.
As for the “tremendous amounts of information,” Trump claimed was retrieved, NBC News reported, “[T]he only example the military has provided turned out to be an old bomb-making video that was of no current value.”
Trump’s attempt to suggest that he was just carrying out a mission Obama set in motion (despite trying to abrogate everything else Obama did) doesn’t hold up, either: The Miami Herald noted that Colin Kahl, a national security adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, tweeted, “Obama made no decisions on this before leaving office, believing it represented escalation of U.S. involvement in Yemen.”
Furthermore, Trump’s behavior shows a reckless lack of conscientiousness and concern. From the Miami Herald (with my emphases added):
According to a timeline provided by the White House, then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn briefed the president about the operation Jan. 25 over a dinner that included Vice President Mike Pence, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and top security aides. It was not held in the Situation Room, as had been a practice under previous administrations.
At the time of the firefight, Trump was not in the Situation Room, where he would have been directly involved in monitoring developments. Spicer said he kept in touch with his national security staffers, who were directly plugged in. White House officials also pointed out that, in general, counter-terrorism operations are routine and presidents are not in the Situation Room for every mission
And then there’s this important question the Miami Herald says “nags at” Owens:
One aspect of the chain of events that nags at him is the fact that the president signed the order suspending the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, on Jan. 27 — the day before the mission.
Owens wonders whether that affected friendly forces in Yemen who were assisting with the raid.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to do something to antagonize an ally when you’re going to conduct a mission in that country,” he said. “Did we alienate some of the people working with them, translators or support people. Maybe they decided to release information to jeopardize the mission.”
But instead of pressing Trump on any of those points, cohost Brian Kilmeade changed the subject to “asking,” if Trump believes President Obama is behind the Trump Resistance protests going on around the country.
Watch Doocy, Kilmeade and Earhardt help promote fake Trump news below, from the February 28, 2017 Fox & Friends.
There was nothing urgent about this raid.The whole thing has the hallmark of someone who wanted an operation to start off his term in a blaze of anti-terror glory but couldn’t be bothered to do anything to make sure it went well.
As I recall it, JFK was roped into the Bay of Pigs fiasco by McNamara and also that McNamara (several decades later) actually apologised for having misrepresented the evidence in order to get the desired go-ahead. The previous POTUS had doubts. That said, I don’t for a minute give McNamara any kudus for growing a conscience as he aged. That man did an awful lot of damage both as a member of the USA government and Head of the World Bank.
Any way, the same sort of “get-the-new-boss-to-do-what-the-last-one-refused-to-do” may well have occurred regarding that raid in Yemen. I therefore agree with David that “any military operation this early in needs a bit of latitude”, but also that an investigation is in order. If only to “identify and forceably retire” the fools who pushed for the action.
The military had VERY FEW Arabic language translators in the early days of Dubya’s blunder and most of the ones they did have happened to be gay. As I recall, the Pentagon heads (even those not overly happy with gays serving in the military at all) were fairly supportive of keeping the translators (the only concern was the translators not violate the dictates of DADT) but that wasn’t enough for Dubya and his Sec’y of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. They used the false flag about having gays in Iraq even though the vast majority served stateside, analyzing the data and reports sent from the front.
As to giving Chump any slack, no, David. Just no.
The Branch Davidian deal only became a matter for then-President Clinton after the FBI was FORCED to become involved after the initial raid on the compound by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Four agents were killed by Koresh’s people and, under the law, the FBI becomes involved when FEDERAL officials are killed. Even then, the FBI was in charge of the operation, NEGOTIATING with Koresh for 7 weeks. The FBI then took their case to their ostensible boss, AG Janet Reno who then took the case to Clinton (who wanted to continue seeking a negotiated route but Reno noted it was costing $1 million a week to keep up the siege and there wasn’t any sign of Koresh’s impending surrender). Plus, Clinton took a LOT of heat for several years following the mission’s failure (in fact, the FINAL report on the subject was released the day AFTER the 2000 Presidential election!) even though his only real involvement was to give the final okay to end the siege. But he didn’t try to blame the failure on the previous administration; even though ATF first started investigating in the summer of 1992, there’s no evidence that the ATF contacted Bush about the investigation.
And as to Kennedy, bear in mind that Kennedy DID have military service under his belt AND he’d served in Congress for more than a dozen years before he was sworn in as President. PLUS, Kennedy was actually briefed in NOVEMBER of 1960 on what the CIA had been planning by Eisenhower’s CIA director, Allen Dulles (Kennedy’s election rival, VP Richard Nixon, had convinced Dulles NOT to brief Kennedy before the election). A week after being inaugurated, Kennedy was briefed FULLY by ALL the departments that had involvement with the operation and he finally gave approval in early April—nearly 10 days before the operation actually went down. Maybe if Chump had bothered attending any of the dozens of military and intelligence briefings he was offered during the transition period (instead of begging entertainers to show up for his “inauguration”), then he might deserve a little slack, but this failure is ENTIRELY on him.
No, David, this little blame game of Chump’s comes just weeks after he took CREDIT for the “success” of the mission. This sounds a hell of a lot more like the way Dubya’s nutty supporters were blaming Clinton for 9/11.
I do not and will not advocate violence, but this man needs to be removed from office before he reduces us all to nuclear slag.