Forget flag pins and pledges, there is nothing more disrespectful to the military than sending men and women in uniform into harms way with no justifiable reason. And lo and behold, the Trump administration is off to a pretty egregious start.
During Trump’s very first military raid as president, the administration botched every conceivable aspect of the operation. The intel was shaky at best, the operation was already considered too risky and denied during Obama’s time in office, the planning was pathetic, and the execution got a Navy SEAL and a 9-year-old American girl killed – among, humanitarian groups say, a number of other civilians.
In the army they might refer to that as FUBAR – f*cked up beyond all repair.
Officials within the armed forces were justifiably furious at how the whole thing went down, many pointing fingers directly at Trump and his inept team:
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.
But unable to accept responsibility for their actions (or in Trump’s case – who was reportedly hiding in the White House residency and avoiding the Situation Room as it was unfolding – inaction), the White House has tried to spin the operation into a complete success. Without a hint of shame, Press Secretary Sean Spicer described the mission as such: “I think when you look at the totality of what was gained to prevent the future loss of life … it is a successful operation by all standards.”
What was gained? Funny you should ask because the military is having a hard time figuring that out.
On Friday, after repeated questions about the botched mission, the US military posted a video they claimed was one of the prizes of the “successful mission.”
The video, titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” was first released in 2007 and had been online for years, as it turns out. In the less than two-minute long video, which was widely circulated after it was pushed out on Friday morning, there are several clips showing a man in a white robe and black mask explaining how to make a bomb using chemicals.
That sounds promising… except in a matter of hours people started noticing that all of the information – including the video itself – was extremely old and essentially useless in combating the ever-evolving terror cells.
If it seemed familiar that’s because it was. It quickly emerged that the video titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” was first released a decade ago.
Still the Trump team insists the operation was valuable. They’re just having a tough time proving it with anything tangible. I guess the families of the victims will just have to take their word for it.
Featured image via Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images