Jim Kouri
Gen. Dempsey takes sides in SEALs v. Obama battle over leaks
By Jim Kouri
August 25, 2012

President Barack Obama's selection for the U.S. military's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff surprised former military officers and pro-military conservatives when he decided to take sides in the heated political battle between the Obama administration and former members of the U.S. Navy SEALs, Delta Force and the Central Intelligence agency on board his flight returning from Iraq and Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey complained about former military personnel using "the uniform for partisan politics" and that such boldness may "erode the trust the American people have in their [own] military."

While Gen. Dempsey answered a reporter's question regarding a group of Navy SEALs, who created a political action committee to combat the alleged leaks allegedly emanating from the Obama administration, Dempsey did not indicate what steps he's personally taken to prevent future leaks that special operations officers and enlisted men claim are emanating from the upper-echelon of the Obama White House.

The chairman told reporters that he and his fellow commanders are "the stewards of the profession of arms, and must ensure service members don't cross an important line."

"One of the things that marks us as a profession in a democracy is it's most important we remain apolitical. That's how we maintain our trust with the American people. The American people don't want us to become another special interest group. In fact, I think that confuses them," said the four-star general.

Dempsey said he believes partisan groups made up of former service members cloud the issue as well. "If someone uses the uniform for partisan politics, I'm disappointed in that," he said. "I think it erodes that bond of trust we have with the American people."

Sadly, none of the reporters asked Gen. Dempsey why he never spoke up during the Bush years when former generals and high-ranking officers were trotted out by the news media to condemn President George W. Bush's war policies and activities.

"This administration has even politicized the Pentagon, which is now more interested in projecting a politically-correct image — such as allowing openly gay and lesbian military personnel, and adhering to the political-correct nonsense regarding radical Islamists," said political strategist Michael T. Baker.

"Has anyone seen a New York Times headline that says former generals slam Obama? But the Times did have generals blasting Bush," Baker said.

One of the PACs to which Dempsey refers — Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, Inc. — represents former U.S. intelligence, military and law enforcement special operatives is in the midst of a media blitz, including radio and television commercials, that blast President Barack Obama for his and his administration boasting and taking credit for the Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

In addition, OPSEC is alleging that high-level leaks suspected of emanating from the Obama White House have placed the lives of soldiers, intelligence agents and law enforcement officers assigned overseas in jeopardy.

What many intelligence, military and law enforcement officials believe is an out-and-out scandal and one of the most important issues facing this nation — the intentional leaking of classified intelligence for political purposes — received short shrift by members of the news media.

For example, officials from the organization Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, Inc., who say they are nonpartisan and independent of any political party or candidate said that their group is registered as a social group and not a political action committee nor are they affiliated with an political parties or groups.

"You, sir, are trying to take the credit for what the American People have achieved in killing Bin Laden. Your use of the SEALs accomplishment as a campaign slogan is nothing less than despicable. I, as a former Navy SEAL do not accept your taking credit for Osama Bin Laden's death. The American military accomplished that feat," said former U.S. Navy SEAL team member Benjamin Smith in an email.

Fred Rustmann, a former undercover officer with the Central Intelligence Agency reiterated that the focus on leaks was "not a partisan concern." He accuses the Obama administration of leaking secrets "to help this guy get re-elected, at the expense of peoples' lives.... We want to see that they don't do this again."

"The sheer amount of leaked classified information about the operations and methods used by the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden is shocking and "abhorrent," retired CIA officer Frederick Rustman told Newsmax.TV.

In addition, Ryan Zinke, a former commander of Navy SEAL Team Six, started a super PAC, Special Operations for America, which is dedicated to supporting Mitt Romney and hitting President Obama on leaks and on politicizing Bin Laden's death. According to Mr. Zinke, these two super PACs are just the first salvo in what will be a sustained assault on the president by high-level ex-soldiers.

Zinke stated that the series of White House leaks and a campaign commercial showing the draft-dodger Bill Clinton questioning whether GOP candidate Mitt Romney would have given the order for SEAL Team Six to conduct a raid at Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan was what made him decide to take action.

© Jim Kouri


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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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