SEALS For the Truth?

Josh Marshall is exactly correct--the origination of this story in the British tabloid media is no accident.

So far, we have one unnamed and serving SEAL who doesn't like the fact that President Obama is paying tribute to our professional military. We have one Republican politician from Montana who used to be a SEAL. And, we have Chris Kyle, who claims to have knocked Jesse Ventura on his ass but is now being sued for his claims because Ventura says it never happened. We have Brandon Webb, who sure likes to sell watches and copies of his book (nothing wrong with that). And we have Clint Bruce, a former SEAL who runs his own self-described version of the CIA in Texas. Then we have a lot of anonymous SEALs who are unhappy with what the President is doing.

These are all honorable people who have served their country. But, as with the Bush Presidency, we have civilian control of the military. It was wrong when unnamed, anonymous, and former generals criticized his conduct during the Iraq War, and it was wrong for Democrats to exploit these statements in order to score political points against the President. If you don't like what President Obama is saying or doing, by all means, express your opinion. But don't hide behind a Swift Boat-style smearing of the President and run it in the British funny papers and claim it means something, because it doesn't.

When you get a bunch of right-leaning guys who want to slam the President in one article, don't pass that off as some sort of benediction on what every Navy SEAL has to say. Don't try to sell the country on the idea that a major community within our military isn't loyal to the President in order to bolster the election prospects of Mitt Romney. That's wrong.

Just so we're not mistaking what is really going on--there are a number of people who are mad that President Obama is popular with the troops. They are mad that he has given successful orders to kill pirates and terrorists. They want to convince everyone to vote for the guy who never served in the military who just so happens to have five sons names Ben, Craig, Josh, Matt, and Tagg who somehow found a way to go through ten years of war and not feel the need to join up with the SEALs or the Rangers or the guys who put on the Anchor, Globe, and Eagle and go fight for America.

Now, if Ben, Craig, Josh, Matt, and Tagg were all SEALs who said that they were mad as heck that the President was taking credit for exercising civilian control of the military to kill pirates and terrorists, well, I would grant you that point just to be civil.

What we don't have are the SEALs that agree with the President, and who are glad to have him as a Commander in Chief, one who gives the order to shoot pirates and terrorists. I don't see anything from those guys, if they do, in fact exist. We don't have anyone who says that they believe in returning the country to the gold standard and voting for Ron Paul, either. Where are those guys? I'm sure that there is at least one Ron Paul supporter amongst the SEALs. Where is his opinion on provoking a response from the Islamic world by continually invading their countries? Where is the SEAL who advocates for Ron Paul's version of international detachment and isolationism? And where is the Navy SEAL who thinks Call of Duty is bitchen and wicked and won't play World of Warcraft because he's tired of the poseurs?

That's why I'm leery of these kinds of stories. They confirm the "worst fears" of those who oppose the President, you see. They confirm the notion that the military opposes the President, and this benefits the Republicans.

These would be the same Republicans who believe in starting wars of choice, abandoning our troops after they get hurt, and who want to balance the budget on the backs of veterans by slashing their benefits, reducing their access to Tri-Care, and denying them treatment for severe and debilitating injuries.

Funny how you don't hear any Navy SEALs talking about how Republicans turn on veterans and cut their benefits every time a war ends.