Sunday, August 24, 2014

Does Obama Know What "Classified" Means?

Classified information is material that a government body claims is sensitive information that requires protection of confidentiality, integrity, or availability.
For some reason our President seems to think there are two uses for classified information - covert government/military operations and political gain.

Following the raid by SEAL Team 6 that sent Osama Bin Laden to meet his 72 virgins, the Obama administration leaked classified information about the raid to a filmmaker who intended to release the film in October of 2012. The intent was to boost President Obama's image and popularity for the upcoming election. 

From Judicial Watch: 'According to the documents, the filmmakers were granted access to a Navy SEAL captain who was the "planner, operator and commander of SEAL Team Six," which killed bin Laden. In one memo one of the filmmakers says he had a "good meeting with Brennan and McDonough" and says "they were forward leaning, sharing their point of view on command and control."

John Brennan is the president's chief counter terrorism adviser, and Denis McDonough is deputy national security adviser.'

Fast forward to the recent execution of James Foley at the hands of an ISIS terrorist. President Obama made some brief remarks about the incident then was whisked off to the golf course for a round with his buddies. The next he was criticized by people and news outlets across the nation, up to and including MSNBC. When the criticisms began, the Obama administration released classified details of a failed rescue attempt of Foley in their own attempt to distract the public from Obama's fun filled golf game in the wake of Foley's murder. (In contrast, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, upon learning that the ISIS assassin had a British accent, cancelled the rest of his vacation and returned to work.)

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said the decision to release information about the failed mission came from the White House. It was pretty clear he wanted nothing to do with it. Many retired military leaders and Special Ops members have criticized the release of the information. Said one former SEAL - "You never advertise your missions - especially when you fail." All voiced concern that other Americans being held by ISIS are in more danger now that ISIS knows we will risk a rescue mission to recover them.

In an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, retired General Jack Keane said: "I think it’s a matter of principle Megan. We really shouldn’t talk about these operations and certainly an operation like this. There’s no reason to disclose it. 

At a deference to Mr. Foley’s family I probably would have told that family what we attempted to do at least and give them some comfort that somebody did try to rescue him. But even going back to the Bin Laden raid, which was obviously successful, the amount of information that was released after that infuriated the Secretary of Defense. 

I know if our Special Operatives were here, they don’t want these things talked about; they don’t want them out in the media. What will happen now because we disclosed the event is journalists will pursue sources to get more information about the details of that event and that is what the Special Operatives don’t want out there."

The President releasing classified information to boost his approval ratings or to help him get re-elected is shameful. What kind of man puts our military special forces in danger just for political gain?

Finally - I heard a news commentator last night say "The United States does not pay ransom for hostages." All I could think of was "No - but we trade terrorist leaders for US Army deserters at a 5 for 1 ratio. Trade one get four free."

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