Anybody recognize the name, “William McRaven?” Few probably do, and yet, he’s a retired four-star admiral and former Navy SEAL who thinks Trump and his war against the media is the “greatest threat to democracy” he’s ever seen.
McRaven was the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command back when Osama bin Laden was captured and killed. As commander, he organized and oversaw the operation that ended in bin Laden’s death back in 2011. He specifically says:
We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”
So we have the orchestrator of the raid that killed the man who was ultimately responsible for the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor is saying that these attacks on the media are more of a threat to our democracy than the man who actually, physically attacked us.
That’s incredibly telling, especially because Trump and his administration keep pretending that the media does nothing but lie with impunity. The truth is that the administration lies with impunity, and they make up even more lies when they’re caught lying. Osama bin Laden hated us. He was the leader of Al Qaeda at the time of the Sept. 11th attacks. He rejoiced at the destruction of American lives.
And the guy that oversaw the operation that killed him thinks that Trump’s media attacks are more dangerous than bin Laden himself?
He’s right. A free press helps maintain accountability over the government. Trump’s government doesn’t want accountability. There’s even a strong chance that they’re actively working to discredit the media by leaking “problems,” and then issuing official statements denying those problems exist. The free press makes them look bad, and, well, they just can’t have that.
When someone who was directly responsible for the capture and destruction of a real and direct threat to the U.S. says that person is less dangerous than the current White House administration, you know there’s something seriously wrong. We’re in trouble if we can’t get Trump and Bannon out of the White House pronto.
Featured image via Thos Robinson via Getty Images for USO of Metropolitan New York