Group to attack Obama on bin Laden bragging, intelligence leaks

A new outside political group of former American intelligence and special forces members is planning an ad campaign slamming President Obama for taking credit for the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden — and blasting him for alleged intelligence leaks from the White House.

According to a report from Reuters, the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund plans to spend around $1 million on a swing-state ad blitz targeting President Obama.

In a short film set to be released Wednesday, members of the group look to undermine Obama's foreign policy credentials.


"Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did. The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not," Ben Smith, identified as a Navy SEAL, says in the film, viewed in advance by the wire service.

"As a citizen, it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy," Smith continues. "It will get Americans killed."

The film goes on to criticize the president over recent intelligence disclosures about secret drone strikes and cyberattacks on Iran's nuclear program. Those leaks have come under major fire from congressional Republicans, and the group said commercials hitting that theme will air in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada.

Many of those key battleground states have sizable numbers of veterans or military families.

"You'll see throughout the film that concern about protecting the lives of intelligence and special forces officers takes precedence over partisanship," Chad Kolton, an OPSEC representative and a former spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration, told Reuters.

The Obama campaign dismissed the ad campaign, telling the wire service that nobody in the group "is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues."

The group's ad blitz is likely to draw comparisons with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an outside group that ran ads attacking Sen. John KerryJohn KerryUS can lead on climate action by supporting developing countries Queen Elizabeth resting 'for a few days' after hospital stay Twenty-four countries say global net-zero goal will fuel inequality MORE (D-Mass.) in his 2004 presidential campaign over his depiction of his service in Vietnam. 

But attacking Obama over the bin Laden raid has proven a tricky proposition for Republicans. Mitt Romney's attempts at criticizing the president for taking too much credit around the first anniversary of the terrorist leader's killing drove the story to the front pages, but Obama saw a boost in his poll numbers on foreign policy.