The Former Deputy Assistant to President Obama has just come out against the Trump administration’s recent claims on Yemen, saying that President Obama was never briefed on “this particular raid.” Trump alone was responsible for it.
As you may have heard by now, President Trump’s first military operation as commander in chief has left about 30 people dead, including at least 15 women and children. At least one of the dead was an 8-year-old girl.
The US Central Command is still trying to determine if the civilian death toll is higher than that. They said their current assessment “seeks to determine if there were any still-undetected civilian casualties in the ferocious firefight.”
U.S. officials say that the al Qaeda base was located as a target before President Obama left office, but that the former president wanted to hold off approving the raid until he learned more information. President Trump decided to go through with it. Now, in addition, to the civilian deaths, a Navy Seal is also dead.
Trump’s administration tried to underscore these claims by saying that the raid was all but approved and that President Obama’s defense secretary even signed off on it.
However, new information shows that President Trump himself is solely responsible for all the decision-making in the botched raid, especially in the final hours. An operation like this has so many moving parts, it’s just not how operations like these work. President Obama couldn’t have made a determination to go into Yemen so quickly. He was waiting for Trump to make that decision.
“The decision was made … to leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected,” that official said.
Still – Trump’s White House is trying to say that the raid was a done deal before he even became president – trying to pass off the blame for the casualties.
Here are the fact-filled tweets President Obama’s Former Deputy Assistant pushed back with, claiming the Trump White House isn’t being truthful:
While unnecessary civilian deaths aren’t unheard of in U.S. military operations, officials told Reuters that Trump approved the covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient background intelligence. When the Navy Seals went on to the al Qaeda base unprepared, they found it defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected group of heavily armed Islamist militants.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the raid was a glowing success, despite the few mishaps:
“Knowing that we killed an estimated 14 AQAP members and that we gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil – is something that I think most service members understand, that that’s why they joined the service.”
President Trump made an unannounced visit to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday to pay his respect to the fallen US service member killed, Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens – the first person in the military to die under his administration.