The story below was published about a month after the death of CPO Ryan Owens, a decorated member of SEAL Team 6. Ryan's father, Bill has been pushing the Pentagon and the White House for answers about the death of his son.
Much has come to light since then and I urge you to join Bill Owens' search for truth.
-The Yemen mission was presented to Trump over dinner, not in the Oval Office or Situation Room, as would be customary. He may have decided to send Americans into harm's way over his second helping of ice cream.
-The mission was endorsed by soon-to-be-indicted General Michael Flynn, who thought it would be a good way for Trump to get a leg up on his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
-Contrary to the testimony of General Joseph Votel before the Senate Armed Services Committee, no useful intelligence was secured during the chaotic 45 minutes following the death of CPO Owens, who was killed in the first five minutes of the assault.
-As the SEALs closed on their target, aerial images showed defensive movement at the compound, but the mission was given the go ahead. SOMEBODY knowingly sent those troops into an ambush.
-The air strikes called in by the besieged SEALs destroyed any usable intel, killed at least 23 civilians, including 10 women and children and left no high value targets to bring back for interrogation.
-General Votel took responsibility for the failed mission and for Owens' death, but somebody tipped off AQAP - al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who were ready and waiting for the SEALs. They didn't have a chance.
From February 28, 2017:
No matter how meticulously a military mission is planned, things can always go wrong. Sometimes a mission goes exactly as planned and still doesn't achieve its objectives.
Sometimes a mission incurs significant casualties but is able to achieve the desired results, although that was not the case in Yemen in the early morning hours of January 29, 2017.
The raid to take out bin Laden in 2011 was successful, but we lost a helicopter and ruffled some feathers in Pakistan.
We lost a $70 Million airplane, dozens of civilians were injured or killed, many of them children and four American servicemen were injured.
Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens was a little over a month shy of his 37th birthday when he lost his life in that failed raid. Ryan was a decorated Navy SEAL, including two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart.
Owens left behind a wife and three children.
CPO Ryan Owens was a Navy SEAL and he knew the risks going in, but were he and his team given every possible advantage or were the cards stacked against them?
Their mission was supposed to be a secret, but they encountered immediate gunfire, indicating that their cover had been blown. Who had leaked details of the mission to al Qaeda and why?
The day before the mission President Donnie signed the so-called travel ban-aka the Muslim ban in that part of the world-Yemen being one of the seven countries excluded from entry to the U.S.. Did he piss off some the friendlies helping us with the logistics of the raid?
Was Donnie available to abort the mission once the breach had been discovered? We know that he was not in the Situation Room.
The main question, though is why Donnie had to sign off on a ground incursion into a country about which he knows nothing only five days into his presidency. Who was he trying impress, Ivanka?
Our previous assaults against al Qaeda personnel had been from the air, with unmanned drones, because intelligence out of Yemen had been sporadic and unreliable.
What gave Donnie the confidence to send men he'd never met into harm's way? Would he be willing to risk the safety of anyone in his family in such a feckless way?
Donnie had gotten limited security briefings at that point and had no real background upon which to base his decision. The only intelligence input he got was from Michael Flynn, who is currently in a hot tub at Vladimir Putin's dacha at Cape Idokopas.
I've said some harsh things about this president, but that's only because he goes out of his way each and every day to prove to the world that he's a putz.
His first response was to declare the mission a success. Then he blamed it on President Obama. Then he blamed it on the generals, saying, "They lost Ryan."
Ryan Owens sacrificed his life for his country. He was sent to his death by an insecure man in need of constant reassurance and adulation. Not the best quality for a Commander in Chief.
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