Benghazi was bigger than Watergate (and apparently, 9/11 as well) but “Seal Team 6-Gate” is bigger even than Benghazi! (and Benghazi was totally the worst scandal ever, right? Well, not so much…).
It was only a matter of time. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld attacked Iraq, a country innocent of the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11, resulting in untold thousands of deaths (in other words, nobody was paying any attention to dead Iraqis); what is known is that over 4,000 Americans died in Bush’s illegal Iraq War. No Republican politician has suggested that Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld, are responsible for those deaths or should be charged as war criminals.
But let’s get to SEAL Team 6-Gate: World Net Daily columnist Larry Klayman, who spun the crazy theory that the fertilizer explosion in Texas was a terrorist plot to kill George W. Bush, said on Radio America, that “SEAL Team Six carried out the daring raid in Pakistan in early May 2011. Three months later, three members of the unit were among 38 killed in a Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Twenty-five of the dead were special operations forces.”
Klayman is speaking of a Chinook transport helicopter downed by the Taliban on August 6, 2011. The New York Times said of the attack that same day, “The helicopter, on a night-raid mission in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province, to the west of Kabul, was most likely brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade, one coalition official said.”
According to Klayman, “This is a major scandal. This is as big if not bigger than Benghazi because it concerns all of the military,” he said. “The mid-level military brass are not serving the interests of the brave fighting men that serve behind them. But the problem is that the tone and substance of these policies come from Barack Obama himself.”
Klayman says that “The families of three fallen Navy SEAL Team Six members say President Obama and Vice President Biden are culpable for the deaths of their sons for publicly identifying the unit that killed Osama bin Laden and pursuing policies that coddle Muslims and put our own troops at a tactical disadvantage.”
Yes, we are talking about 3 dead men compared to the over 4,000 dead in the Iraq War, just as, with Benghazi, we are talking about 4 dead men compared to the 3,000 dead in the WTC attacks on September 11, 2001. If you look at the total number of casualties. We might mention as well that far from “coddling Muslims,” Bush presented his Iraq War as a “crusade” and one of his generals, Lt. General William G. Boykin, characterized the Iraq War as a war against Satan. Boykin’s calculus leaves no doubt who Muslims serve.
I can only say the Republicans, besides being terrible bigots, seem to have no sense of scale, or are very bad with math, or are just criminally stupid.
Why is Biden to blame? Repeating a story that ran on Snopes back in January 2012, Klayman claims,
“Shortly after that successful raid on bin Laden, the president - through the vice president for political purposes - released the name of SEAL Team Six. That’s classified information, and even (then) Defense Secretary Robert Gates was critical of that. So that was like putting a target on the backs of the sons of my clients.”
Klayman is speaking of a speech given by Joe Biden on May 3, 2011 at the Atlantic Council’s 50th anniversary, where supposedly Biden “outed” Seal Team 6 as the killers of Bin Laden.
Yet, if you listen to the speech, Biden does not identify the unit, saying simply “SEALS.” Watch for yourself, in a video provided by some folks who, like Klayman, blame Biden (though they did not apparently actually watch the video):
Here are the relevant bits from Biden’s speech:
Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees. Admiral James Stavridis is a, is the real deal. He can tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.
Folks, I’d be remiss also if I didn’t say an extra word about the incredible events, extraordinary events of this past Sunday. As Vice President of the United States, as an American, I was in absolute awe of the capacity and dedication of the entire team, both the intelligence community, the CIA, the SEALs. It just was extraordinary.
That same evening, Leon Panetta also said that SEALS had killed Bin Laden.
But neither man identified the unit involved.
As Time Magazine reported on May 13, Back at Lejeune on Thursday [May 12], [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates surrendered on the operational details — including the unit involved.”
The media, as Time admits, was complicit in outting the SEALS, admitting, “Unfortunately, the media glare — here at Time, as well as around the globe — has been unrelenting.” Former SEALS contributed by offering interviews and writing books. That doesn’t include the three members of SEAL Team 6 who have offered details of Bin Laden’s death. And you won’t find Klayman mentioning that FOX News outed a Navy Seal by name.
But you won’t know any of this if you rely on Larry Klayman.
Having swept all the facts under the rug and safely out of sight, Klayman builds his tale of treason:
Klayman, who revealed the helicopter may have been infiltrated by the Taliban before the crash because the Afghans on board were last-minute changes from the names on the original flight manifest.
Klayman said Vice President Joe Biden deserves special blame for these deaths.
“Biden did something, which was more than irresponsible. He served on foreign relations committees, intelligence committees. He knew, or should have known, what he was doing. He should be held accountable. Frankly, he should even be held criminally accountable for doing that,” Klayman said.
In addition to the identification of the the team, Klayman said the Obama administration is culpable for these deaths due to a policy of coddling Muslims and putting tremendous restrictions on U.S. forces.
It must be noted, because again, Klayman will not mention it, that the downed helicopter had just engaged in a two-hour battle with the Taliban in a Taliban redoubt. The place was literally crawling with Taliban, the Times saying of the region,
Officers at a forward operating base near the valley described Tangi as one of the most troubled areas in Logar and Wardak Provinces. “There’s a lot happening in Tangi,” said Capt. Kirstin Massey, 31, the assistant intelligence officer for Fourth Brigade Combat Team in an interview last week. “It’s a stronghold for the Taliban.”
The Taliban, it hardly need be said, needed no special reason to target the Chinook. It wasn’t as though they tracked down SEAL Team 6 and assassinated its members. Rather, a helicopter carrying members of SEAL Team 6 was shot down as a result of an attack launched by Coalition forces, including SEAL Team 6, against the Taliban.
From the Times:
Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoy, the police chief of Wardak, said the attack occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday after an assault on a Taliban compound in the village of Jaw-e-Mekh Zareen in the Tangi Valley. The fighting lasted at least two hours, the general said.
A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, confirmed that insurgents had been gathering at the compound, adding that eight of them had been killed in the fighting.
But forget all those pesky facts. Here’s the real kicker:
“This president has set a tone that Muslim outreach … is more important than protecting the lives of our servicemen, and that’s crept into the military brass to the point where they can’t engage in preemptive fire. They can’t engage in return fire until they’re fired upon once. They’re sent into battle without adequate equipment,” he said.
These men are dead, in other words, because Obama is a “Muslim lover.”
As Hamlet would say, ‘There’s the rub!” The obstruction in the realization of American Exceptionalism is that President Obama loves Muslims more than he loves Americans.
We’ve been hearing this charge since 2008. But it stays alive because it plays well with so-called patriots, the lunatic fringe Klayman caters to.
The adequate equipment charge is one more properly leveled at George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. The progressive Center for American Progress noted in 2006 that,
Three years after the invasion of Iraq, strains are beginning to appear in the U.S. Army’s equipment arsenal, reducing its capacity to supply its troops with the best warfighting tools available. While the Army has managed to sustain a high level of readiness in Iraq despite equipment strains, readiness for non-deployed units and units outside of Iraq has already been reduced.
These are the sorts of things one ought to consider before invading another country, because these are the sorts of things that happen in every war. Once upon a time, as every general before the Industrial Age discovered, it was horses that broke down. These days, it is mechanical equipment. But then, the Bush administration was never known for doing much in the way of thinking. The New York Times provides an interesting incident from the days shortly after the capture of Baghdad, one that involves Joe Biden, as a matter of fact:
Forty democratic senators were gathered for a lunch in March just off the Senate floor. I was there as a guest speaker. Joe Biden was telling a story, a story about the president. ”I was in the Oval Office a few months after we swept into Baghdad,” he began, ”and I was telling the president of my many concerns” — concerns about growing problems winning the peace, the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and problems securing the oil fields. Bush, Biden recalled, just looked at him, unflappably sure that the United States was on the right course and that all was well. ”’Mr. President,’ I finally said, ‘How can you be so sure when you know you don’t know the facts?”’
Biden said that Bush stood up and put his hand on the senator’s shoulder. ”My instincts,” he said. ”My instincts.”
Biden paused and shook his head, recalling it all as the room grew quiet. ”I said, ‘Mr. President, your instincts aren’t good enough!”’
And Biden was right: instincts and hunches and Messianic ideas do not substitute for facts and it is ironic that Biden is now the same victim of wishful Republican thinking previously directed at the Iraqis with such terrible consequences.
This is one of those cases, where, like 9/11, Bush and the Republicans avoid all blame for what happened, and it is attached instead to the person of Barack Obama. Obama did not invade Iraq. He did not invade Afghanistan. He inherited those wars. And he ended them.
And he killed Osama Bin Laden, the man responsible for 3,000 deaths on 9/11, a man George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, had done their best to ignore for the better part of a decade.
Republicans will never forgive President Obama for being black. They will never forgive him for not being a religious zealot and a “Soldier for Christ.” They will never forgive him for being the president George W. Bush should have been, and Joe Biden for being the human being that Darth “I’ll Shoot You in the Face” Cheney could never be.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.