Dear Donald –
Your speech last night has been getting decent reviews, with most outlets praising your “tone” – a clear sign to me that the bar is incredibly low for you right now. Truthfulness or policy prescriptions don’t matter as much as whether or not you seemed batshit crazy up there. Case in point, one analysis showed 51 falsehoods in your 61 minute speech, and yet the reviews aren’t talking about that.
All that aside, there’s one moment in particular I’d like to talk about. During your speech, you made a point to recognize the widow of Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed during the botched raid in Yemen you ordered last month. It was a poignant moment, no doubt. But there are some major issues underlying it that many outlets are glossing over.
First, the raid itself. As I’ve noted before, you ordered the raid over dinner with General Mattis, Steve, and Jared without being fully briefed about the operation. Multiple civilians were killed, including an American girl, and Ryan was also killed. And for all that, we got intelligence that was already easily available online. In short, it was a debacle. It’s amazing that it hasn’t snowballed more than it has.
Despite that fact, you continue to tout it as a major success, as you did last night, saying that the intelligence gathered makes Americans safer. But you still refuse to take responsibility for Ruan’s death. In an interview with Fox News that aired yesterday, you tried to pin responsibility on the generals, saying that they wanted to do it and “they lost Ryan.” No. Incorrect. You’re the one in charge. You’re the one making the decisions and you have the green light. Ryan’s blood is on your hands. Without your sloppy management and laissez fairer attitude about military oversight, he would still be alive today, as would the 15 civilians killed.
You never saw combat. You got three deferments from the draft, using daddy’s connections to get out of serving your country when everyone had to go. Ryan signed up and volunteered when he didn’t have to. He was a true hero who understood service and sacrifice. For you to treat his life so callously should be an affront to us all.
Instead, we have a draft dodger using the widow of an American hero he ordered to his death as a prop in his speech designed to further his xenophobic rhetoric and justify sending more men and women to their deaths.
And the news talks about “tone.”