Moulitsas: Owning Trump’s failures

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Less than a week into his administration, popular-vote loser Donald Trump greenlighted a raid by Navy SEALs into Yakla, Yemen. The goal was to gather intelligence on the region’s al Qaeda affiliate while also targeting the group’s leader.

Planning for the raid began in 2016, though the administration didn’t act on it before President Obama left office.

But any concerns Obama and his advisers may have had were clearly irrelevant to today’s reckless, feckless, simpleton president.

{mosads}Trump aides sent the plan back to the White House, and the president signed off on the  mission over dinner just a few days later.

Perhaps that’s why U.S. military officials told -Reuters that the attack went forward “without sufficient intelligence, ground support, or adequate backup preparations.” 

As a result, the SEAL assault team found itself on a reinforced base guarded by land mines and a larger-than-expected defense garrison, surrounded by civilian women and children. 

Worst of all, it appeared early in the attack that Islamist extremists had been tipped off about the assault.

In the ensuing firefight, Chief Petty Officer William Owens was killed, three other Americans were wounded and a military aircraft was destroyed. Despite initial Pentagon denials, around 25 civilians were killed, including nine children aged 3 months to 13 years, according to the London-based he Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

A pregnant woman was also killed. While the Pentagon claimed 14 al Qaeda members were killed in the battle, the group’s leader — reportedly the real target of the raid — wasn’t among them. He either escaped during the battle or was never there to begin with.

Meanwhile, Trump couldn’t even bother visiting the White House Situation Room during the raid. 

But it makes sense that a president who couldn’t even handle an afternoon conversation with the prime minister of Australia — the call came “at the end of a long day”—wouldn’t monitor a raid that occurred after work hours. Stamina isn’t one of Trump’s strong suits.

Perhaps he could’ve taken a break from writing crazy tweets to take a pre-raid power nap? If you’re going to put American lives at risk, you should show some respect and be present in the Situation Room. But Trump didn’t care. He couldn’t be bothered.

“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why?” asked Ryan Owens, the father of the slain SEAL, as he refused to meet with the president who blithely sent his son to his death. “For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?’’

Imagine Hillary Clinton were president. Imagine people had died because of a thoughtless, ignorant, Trump-style decision. Imagine that she cared so little for the people involved that she didn’t even bother leaving her bedroom to see the results.

In that world, we’d already be on our third announcement of investigative committees, and the demands for a special prosecutor would be incessant. And those calls would be justified. 

“Yemenghazi!” would be a rallying cry for the political right. But Republicans are more interested in protecting Trump than in accountability. 

As a result, they own every single one of his failures, including the death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens.


Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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