In the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and the dramatic rescue of an American hostage and her Danish colleague from pirates in Somalia, President Obama’s critics are hard-pressed to knock his strong track record of fighting terrorism. So what are they to do? How about charging the President with seal abuse? Specifically, Navy SEAL commandos.
The Washington Times provided op-ed space yesterday to J.D. Gordon, a retired Navy Commander, who charged the president with using SEAL Team 6 as his PR firm. “Mr. Obama has been quick to present their success as his success,” wrote Gordon. The commander-in-chief has discussed the exploits of Seal TEAM 6 “to such an extent that their mystique is largely diminished and their identities closer to being disclosed,” wrote Gordon, who was Pentagon spokesman for the Defense Dept. during the George W. Bush administration.
The Wall Street Journal echoed the Times today with a piece by former Navy Seal officer Leif Babin headlined “Obama Exploits the Navy SEALS.” Babin charges the Obama White House with revealing methods and details of the successful SEAL for political points. “It is infuriating to see political gain put above the safety and security of our brave warriors and our long-term strategic goals,” huffed Babin.
Both are propaganda pieces that want readers to believe the SEALS are a top-secret organization, which is bunk. There are books galore about the daring-do of the SEALS, such as “SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper,” “Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors,” SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden,” and “Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal.” Walt Disney Co., in the days following the bin Laden killing, wanted to trademark the SEAL Team 6 name for a raft of consumer products including snow globes and Christmas stockings.
It’s not as if Obama invited the SEAL Team 6 unit for a White House photo-op. He mentioned no names. It’s just that editorial decision-makers at the Times and Journal are so stridently anti-Obama they can’t stomach the notion that the president planned and authorized the audacious strikes by the SEALS. He deserves praise, not political cheap shots.