Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven endorsed Democrat Joe Biden in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal published today. McRaven, who was the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014––and was behind the successful raid of Osama bin Laden––said he has already voted for Biden in Texas.
“Truth be told, I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense, and a national-anthem-standing conservative,” McRaven wrote. “But, I also believe that black lives matter, that the Dreamers deserve a path to citizenship, that diversity and inclusion are essential to our national success, that education is the great equalizer, that climate change is real, and that the First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy. Most important, I believe that America must lead in the world with courage, conviction and a sense of honor and humility.”
“If we remain indifferent to our role in the world, if we retreat from our obligation to our citizens and our allies and if we fail to choose the right leader, then we will pay the highest price for our neglect and shortsightedness,” he concluded. “I voted for Joe Biden.”
McRaven has been critical of President Donald Trump in the past. As recently as June, he had harsh words for the president after police used smoke canisters and pepper balls to clear peaceful protesters so the president could have a photo-op in front of St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C.
“In the military, there are three criteria for every decision we make,” McRaven said at the time. “It has to be moral, legal, and ethical. [To be] Ethical you have to follow the rules, legally you have to follow the law, and to be moral you have to follow what you know to be right, and either way, this was just not right. You’re not going to use, whether it’s the military or the National Guard, to clear peaceful American citizens for the President of the United States to take a photo op. There is nothing morally right about that.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that police used tear gas to disperse protesters. This was incorrect, and the article has been updated to reflect previous statements from the National Park Service.