Politics: Some S.E.A.L.S. Bark at Bam


A Seal on a Box

In their undoing of Osama Bin Laden (OBL), Navy S.E.A.L.S. have secured their place in the Pantheon of American heroes. Though we knew them as nearly super-human before, now their chiseled stature has acquired added luster as the avengers of America’s 9/11 attacker.

Their arrival as serious cult heroes in our fame obsessed society is evidenced by street vendors selling “S.E.A.L. Team Six” paraphernalia that both celebrates their achievement and allows the presumed wearer of the baseball caps and tee shirts to be a hanger-on in a very elite club. Hollywood has followed with movies and documentaries that relive the moment or mythologize the S.E.A.L mystique.

We Americans love to idolize our warriors and more than a few have ridden our happy feelings into public office or at least into the public eye with varying degrees of success. Perhaps it should not come as much of a surprise that some of these modern day gladiators are taking to the electronic hustings to educate us on their special view of national security, the OBL operation and mostly, the presidential election.

They and their “Special Operations” teammates have created several “swift boat” type organizations which use their exalted perch to attack the President as commander-in-chief over “intelligence leaks” and credit for killing OBL. One of these groups is proudly led by a “birther” which should give you some idea of their intellectual acumen and overall credibility.

Their acknowledged bravery and courage in the field is supposed to automatically translate into heightened wisdom and moral indignation that allows them to become spokespersons for us all, as when they say, “Mr. President, you didn’t kill Bin Laden, America did.”

No, we didn’t. OBL was killed by United States military forces acting under the direction and authority of the President of the United States. The President gave ample  credit to those who made it happen and frankly, it’s a cheap political lie to make it sound as if he has or wants to usurp the importance of their accomplishment.

It also plays to the right’s false accusation that Obama is weak and needs to associate himself with the warrior ethos. If they haven’t noticed, America is tired of war, especially ones where our allies regularly ambush our troops, even at dinner, and usually with weapons  we gave them. The kind of courage we need is the kind that will get us out of the war in Afghanistan ASAP.

If Obama and his team leaked information after the fact about operational aspects they should suffer the consequences but tea-bagging Republican S.E.A.L.S. and their pasty white-collar intel analyst  lackeys are reaching to make a presidential issue out of pretty thin gruel. Their timing proves they are really after the President.

The S.E.A.L.S. are barking out of tune and are even in the wrong ring of the circus. They are diminishing their accomplishments as they fail to morph battlefield bravery into political pronouncements. They come across as venal and thin-skinned.

It’s sad, but fame, even of the S.E.A.L. type, is a seductive, fleeting (and fickle) mistress.



  • Larry Osborne says:

    Short memories, especially about history. When the Iranian hostage rescue attempt went terribly awry in the desert, it was Commander-in-Chief Jimmy Carter who took the public’s blame, and President Jimmy Carter who suffered the political consequences.

    President Harry Truman didn’t fly the Enola Gay or Bock’s Car, but history continues to put the full weight of that command decision and its various consequences upon him.

  • Mike says:

    That is a good point about President Truman. And, I agree that it diminishes all S.E.A.L.S. by obscuring their bravery with partisanship.

  • Mick Mayers says:

    Very well said. As I keep saying and I guess there are those out there who do fell similarly, this “hate” speech and dirty politics from both camps is out of control and will be our nation’s undoing. I read an interesting OpEd piece yesterday comparing it to the Fall of Rome: keep the populace amped up bickering and fighting over the crap we feed them, and in the meanwhile, it keeps the heat off those who really ARE screwing up our nation.

  • Dennis says:

    Very good essay. SEALS may be able to clear a building and double-tap every adversary with 99.9999% accuracy, but they are out of their league when they attempt a political attack.

    One needs only to look at the other party to see some real pros at political hackery. Stephanie Cutter and Bill Burton come to mind. Wow, Stephanie Cutter, could her last name be any better suited for what she does? I imagine her sitting in her college political science class fantasizing about the day she can kneecap anybody who disagrees with her political views. And she did just that when she called Mitt Romney a felon on a Sunday political talk show. Really Stephanie? A felon? Maybe you should make a citizen’s arrest.

    Then there is Burton who runs a PAC who tied the Republican Candidate to the death of woman because he was the CEO of Bain. Seems Burton beleives Romney was responsible for this woman losing her health insurance thus she could not get medical care and died. This attack line may not be the best to roll out as the former CBO chief says Obamacare provides a strong incentive for employers to drop work based health insurance plans. Using Burton’s logic, in the future, Obamacare may be responsible for thousands of avoidable deaths because employers would rather pay the cheaper tax and drop health insurance plans for their employees.

    These attacks appear to indicate the Chicago cabal has officially adopted the “Spaghetti Political Model” for their campaign. Throw everything against Romney and see what sticks.

  • Bill Hand says:

    The Democrats and Republicans are spewing out so much BS , that I think most Americans are getting fed up with hearing it. I know who I am voting for and none of the BS is going to change my mind. My hunch is that is the case for most people. Let’s get this friggen election over with and work with who ever wins…….I got a big picture of that happening. It seems like this country is more divided now that I can ever remember and I don’t think the results of this election is going to change anything!

  • Gareth Hilton says:

    Eric…I am not surprised that you again speak of things that you have no no real knowledge of. You have never served in uniform other than a fire department. The issue is that your President and his administration has leaked secure information which puts the lives and mission of our service members at risk and they do so for political gain. You should focus on the erosion of our freedoms by this administration and their desire to hide from the public what they are actually doing.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      You must have skipped over the part where I said, “If Obama and his team leaked information after the fact about operational aspects they should suffer the consequences…” And nice try with the “never served in uniform” argument. What makes America great is that all citizens are invited to have a view about the military and the rest of our government. You, with your “only the military can have an opinion about the military” belong in a place where that is the case:
      North Korea. You can sob at the sight of your dear leader and starve the rest of the time.

      “Your president”, you say. How tacky. Or, perhaps you are already in Pyongyang. If you are, stay warm and put a couple notches in that belt–you’ll be needing them.

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