This is no joke. This is not a dry run. These aren’t tweets or television bloopers.
Donald Trump, as President of the United States, is getting people needlessly killed. In a report released at 4:56 a.m. Thursday from Reuters, two lines are deeply troubling and cannot be ignored about Trump’s first military raid — which happened this past weekend in Yemen. They state:
“U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.
“As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced Al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.”
Now we have learned that at least 15 women and children were killed in the raid that also took the life of U.S. Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens.
This is not okay, but it is completely and totally predictable. Of course Donald Trump rushed into this operation “without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup operations.” He has no idea what he’s doing. He has no government or military experience. He’s never served in government a day in his life. He has openly admitted to not reading his daily briefings. Everything we know about Donald Trump has told us that he would lead us into something “without sufficient intelligence,” except now he’s not blathering on about the investigators he sent to Hawaii to find Obama’s birth certificate. Now he is leading military operations.
In addition to the civilian casualties and the loss of a Navy SEAL, the commandos were also forced to destroy a $70 million helicopter that they had to abandon as well.
Early reports on the troubling raid have also repeatedly stated that the Obama administration knew full well about the target, but did not execute the raid for “operational reasons.” What that generally means is that the Obama administration surveyed this situation and did not feel that they had the intelligence needed to run the operation. Trump, it appears, threw a middle finger in the air, and ran with the operation in spite of this. One of the three military officials who spoke to Reuters confirmed this very thing. They said, “The decision was made … to leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected.”
A military official said that there was “minimal, at best” on-the-ground surveillance prior to the raid.
That explains why three different military officials told Reuters that the SEAL team quickly found itself in a nearly indefensible position without the “ground support or adequate backup preparations.”
Now here’s what I know. Had this been Hillary Clinton, who military officials said sent a SEAL team into an operation “without sufficient intelligence,” conservatives would want her head on a stick. They would launch an investigation. The new meme of the moment would switch from Benghazi to Yemen and all Fox News would talk about would be how Hillary Clinton got a precious Navy SEAL killed.
Well, that’s what Donald Trump just did. This isn’t my liberal opinion — this is what military officials told Reuters. I’m not interested in gotcha politics. We’re talking about lives here.
An 8-year-old girl, who happened to be an American citizen, was shot in the neck and killed in this raid. Did they know she was there? We don’t know. What we do know is that this raid was a damn mess and that it appears to typify the very lessons we’ve learned about this man.
Is our nation safer when our President announces a ban on people from predominantly Muslim countries? Is our nation safer when our President insults the Prime Minister of Australia and hangs up on him? Is our nation safer when civilians in Yemen are killed and a Navy SEAL loses his life in a hastily planned operation?
I think you know the answers. This joke has already gone too far. Now, it’s costing lives.