Spiking the Ball

Bob Beauprez
Posted: May 05, 2012 12:01 AM

Barack Obama's bragging about taking out Osama bin Laden has blown up in his face.  The recently released campaign video that includes a lengthy adulation of the President by Bill Clinton for choosing "the harder and more honorable path" – and suggesting Mitt Romney wouldn't have made the call - has drawn heavy criticism even from die-hard liberals.  

Arianna Huffington told CBS the "campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do."

Dan Turner, editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times called it "a low blow."

But, the harshest criticism has come from current and former Navy SEALs.  It was SEAL Team Six that pulled off the mission in Pakistan one year ago. 

Defying the normal silent deference regarding the Commander-in-Chief, the Daily Mail published a lengthy feature on Monday, April 30 quoting numerous former as well as current SEALs who are not at all happy with the President's "spiking the ball" for campaign benefits. 

Following are some excerpts:

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.’

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….

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….

Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who spent 13 years on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan 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.