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

truther May 2, 2012 5

Toby Harnden
Daily Mail

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.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign toolTaking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden’s death as a campaign tool

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

‘I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,’ Mr Obama said. ‘If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.

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.’

Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year agoTarget: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago

Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compoundMission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’

Campaigning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mr Romney responded to a shouted question by a reporter by saying: ‘Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.’

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the sameRival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.

Mr Kyle added: ‘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. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it’s going to get him some pretty good mileage.’

A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier – as would George W. Bush.’

Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who spent 13 years on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: ‘Bush should get partial credit for putting the system in place.

‘Obama inherited a very robust package with regards to special ops and the intelligence community. But Obama deserves credit because he got bin Laden – you can’t take that away from him.

‘My friends that work in Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that have been on video teleconferences with Obama on these kill or capture situations say that Obama has no issue whatsoever with making decisions and typically it’s kill. He’s hitting the kill button every time. I have a lot of respect for him for that.’

But he said that many SEALs were dismayed about the amount of publicity the Obama administration had generated about SEAL Team Six, the very existence of which is highly classified.

‘The majority of the SEALs I know are really proud of the operation but it does become “OK, enough is enough – we’re ready to get back to work and step out of the limelight.” They don’t want to be continuously paraded around a global audience like a show dog.

‘Obama has a very good relationship with the Special Operations community at large, especially the SEALs, and it’s nice to see. We had the same relationship with George W. Bush when he was president.’

It was ‘stretching a little much’ for Mr Obama to suggest only he would have made the decision. ‘I personally I don’t think Romney would have any problem making tough decisions. He got a very accomplished record of making decision as a business professional.

‘He may not have charisma but he clearly has leadership skills. I don’t think he’d have any problem taking that decision.’

Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘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.’

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  1. Heh May 3, 2012 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Joe, you’re an idiot. Osama has been dead since around 2002

  2. Mary Jean Townsend May 3, 2012 at 2:39 am - Reply

    The Navy tortures me from their helicopters here in Atlantic Beach, Florida using an electromagnetic laser. Bush and Obama torture me. along with them, and with this laser, they can kill me instantly in my home by targeting my heart. For ten years, I am muscle cramped, bones hammered, joints stabbed, every part of my body inside and out and Obama won’t stop the Mayport Naval Station Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School aviators from attacking me. There are many Navy helo squadons here and at Jax NAS that have the laser. I have written many an admiral, including the one standing behind Obama in the picture above, Michael G. Mullen, and he wouldn’t stop torturing me night and day either. I have written letters to these leaders and they ignore my demands for them to stop. Get bragger out and Mitt Romney in. Also, Google USA.Gov and type in M67854-04-C-5074. That is the weapon mounted on Navy helicopters that is torturing America citizens. Why are other Al Qaeda prisoners being tried in Guantanomo this week, but bin Ladin was not given a trial in the War Court? Why wasn’t he cuffed and flown out instead of shooting him through the eyeball, brain and out the back of the head. We are not savages here in America and this is not the way the Navy should be acting; flying over the skies of this great nation and shooting torture beams at Americans inside their homes. World Order is looking more like Uncivilized World Disorder with these directed energy weapons taking over; like the LIPC or Laser Induced Plasma Channel which inflicts pain, Taser like motor effects and instantly kills, all from great distances like 1.242 kilometers in the sky. Obama and Bush are closet sadists. Neither of them want what they are doing to me to get out to the public. They like watching a 65 year old woman suffer as they cramp my entire leg and foot in the night; shoot the beam at my heart; violently sodomize and rape me with the laser, contort and twist my toes and fingers, stab me as I run on the beach, walk on the sidewalk, and with precise accuracy, stab into my ear canals, set of teeth, and anywhere Obama and Bush feel like torturing me; and as I am choked and made to cough by this electromagnetic laser, I continue to try and find the good admiral who will stop this. I have not found him, yet. They are sick disturbed men who get off ordering the torture and death of others. That is the only way they can get sexually aroused; knowing they have the power to control the life or death of someone. Lose Obama so Mitt Romney can move in and direct this country away from the Bush/Obama crazed ideologies of shoot to torture and kill and instead, reopen the halls of justice so Americans like me can see these two autocratic nuts fall to the ground and rot to death.

  3. FreewheelinFrank May 3, 2012 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana! Partisan politics!
    This figures that Mr Zinke would cash in on the attacks on the President…

    The people (Seals included) who are critisizing Obama for taking some credit for the raid on Bin Laden’s compound for political reasons, are themselves people who try and discredit him for political reasons. They don’t want to admit that during Obamas first year in office the C.I.A.’s classified drone program; there were more missile strikes inside Pakistan during Obama’s first year in office than in George W. Bush’s eight. That’s probably due to the fact the Republicans think they have a patent on being Hawks and the Dems are always considered the doves. Not this time baby! The following article has nothing to do with politics but state the facts as it happened! Read it and weap all you Republican weenies!
    Four months after Obama entered the White House, Leon Panetta, the director of the C.I.A., briefed the President on the agency’s latest programs and initiatives for tracking bin Laden. Obama was unimpressed. In June, 2009, he drafted a memo instructing Panetta to create a “detailed operation plan” for finding the Al Qaeda leader and to “ensure that we have expended every effort.” Most notably, the President intensified the C.I.A.’s classified drone program; there were more missile strikes inside Pakistan during Obama’s first year in office than in George W. Bush’s eight. The terrorists swiftly registered the impact: that July, CBS reported that a recent Al Qaeda communiqué had referred to “brave commanders” who had been “snatched away” and to “so many hidden homes [which] have been levelled.” The document blamed the “very grave” situation on spies who had “spread throughout the land like locusts.” Nevertheless, bin Laden’s trail remained cold.

    In August, 2010, Panetta returned to the White House with better news. C.I.A. analysts believed that they had pinpointed bin Laden’s courier, a man in his early thirties named Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Kuwaiti drove a white S.U.V. whose spare-tire cover was emblazoned with an image of a white rhino. The C.I.A. began tracking the vehicle. One day, a satellite captured images of the S.U.V. pulling into a large concrete compound in Abbottabad. Agents, determining that Kuwaiti was living there, used aerial surveillance to keep watch on the compound, which consisted of a three-story main house, a guesthouse, and a few outbuildings. They observed that residents of the compound burned their trash, instead of putting it out for collection, and concluded that the compound lacked a phone or an Internet connection. Kuwaiti and his brother came and went, but another man, living on the third floor, never left. When this third individual did venture outside, he stayed behind the compound’s walls. Some analysts speculated that the third man was bin Laden, and the agency dubbed him the Pacer.
    Read the rest of the story here:

  4. A Straight Talker May 3, 2012 at 12:53 am - Reply

    President Barack Obama had received 98% of African American voters for his first election. And now he tries to receive another 98% from Latino’s voters for his second term in Nov. 2012. When i saw Jimmy C. at the correctspondence dinner in white house, I would tell that Barack Obama wanted Latinos’ voters come closer to him. Consequently, a real American candidate(White) will NOT have a chance to be elected as a President in the U.S.

  5. Joe Buckstrap May 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Funny how we didn’t hear the Seals whining when Dumbya declared his mission accomplished. Obama does have a legitimate right to take credit and draw the distinctions on this very issue between himself and Mitt. Mitt didn’t even want to invest in the hunt for bin Laden. The Dumbya dictatorship stated it wasn’t concerned about the terrorist, but they sure knew how to whip up the scare tactics as every election cycle approached. You Repugnants are miserable because Obama took bin Laden out. You hypocrites! You really needed bin Laden to keep scaring the electorate with your bullshit. Now you are groping for some other witch and all you assholes can come up with is Obama is bad because he took our terrorist out. Fuck you!

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