An ISIS terrorist is dead. Kudos to Donald Trump, the intelligence community, the United States military and the countries and others who assisted us in this effort. This was a decidedly dangerous individual whose continued existence was a major threat to the world.
His demise should definitely be applauded.
And then there was the announcement and the typical self-congratulatory proclamations where things went awry.
The statement began simply enough, with Trump making his typical dead-pan delivery as he focused on what was on the teleprompter. It didn’t take long before he predictably drifted off the prepared text and began a rambling account of the terrorist leader’s last moments.
He also went into explicit detail as to the operations and methods used to track and ultimately find ISIS leader Abu-Bakar al-Baghdadi, describing how he was “whimpering and crying” and begging for his life before detonating an explosive device he wore when his capture was inevitable.
Trump continued to ramble on, praising a reporter who gave him favorable coverage and complimenting his own intelligence, while at the same time making certain he thanked Russia and other foreign countries for their assistance, while giving a passing nod to the Kurds whose participation in this effort may never be known.
Trump expressed surprise and admiration for these efforts and the efforts of the Delta Force soldiers who led the operation. Many of these things could have been obvious if he bothered to read his intelligence briefings.
In his announcement and the rambling Q & A that followed, Trump continued to reveal information about methods that are usually classified. True, he has the right to declassify anything he sees fit, and he’s had no problem doing so in the past, as he did in an Oval Office meeting with Russian officials. Yet by revealing methods and practices, Trump put future operations at risk.
In his vivid description of the terrorist’s final moments, Trump created a rallying cry for the recruitment of future ISIS fighters. His insulting and degrading commentary will no doubt be used to gain more followers and foment further hatred of Americans both here and abroad. To view Trump's complete statement, click on the image above.
During World War II, there was a concerted effort to keep American tactics secret, lest some hostile power gain access to them. It was summarized in the phrase “Loose lips sink ships” and other equally ominous warnings, to keep silent about our efforts.
What Trump did in his announcement today was completely abandon this practice by revealing specific details of the raid and taking a self-congratulatory victory lap that will surely infuriate America’s enemies.
What should have been a great victory over terrorism may turn out to be another motivation for a 9/11-style attack on American soil.