October 16, 2012
Military Families are Outing ObamaBy Karin McQuillan
American military and State Department families that have lost their sons in the war against Islamic jihadis are outing President Obama for playing politics with the lives (and deaths) of their sons. Speaking out in some of the most painful interviews ever shown on television, they directly blame the president for the loss of their sons' lives. Their accusations speak directly to Obama's competence in defending our national security.
Iran is on the brink of possessing nuclear weapons. Egypt's elected President Mubarak, the keystone to stability in the Middle East for the last 30 years, was pressured by President Obama to step down in favor of the terror group the Muslim Brotherhood. The Benghazi embassy was denied Marine protection, even on 9/11, with the subsequent tragedy and White House cover-up. We haven't lost an ambassador since Jimmy Carter's incompetence. Obama's Middle East policy has been a disaster, with one exception -- the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEAL Team 6.
The president ran the special ops raid on Osama bin Laden's compound with one eye on national security and the other on political opportunism. Intelligence was compromised because there was political advantage to Obama to do so. Within a day, the White House divulged details of the attack, including that it was carried out by SEAL Team Six.
Three months later, 22 men from SEAL Team 6 were dead, victims of Obama's policies and politics. This story has been buried, until this 9/11.
Aaron's mother, Karen Vaughn, has a simple message: "How dare they -- they put a target on my son's back and even on my back! A little over 90 days later, my son was dead."
Sean Hannity ran a searing interview with Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of a fallen Navy SEAL Team Six serviceman, Aaron Vaughn. It deserves repeated viewing. Aaron signed up to serve after 9/11 and was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 after the Osama raid, along with 21 other SEALS -- the single greatest disaster in the Afghanistan war and Navy Special Forces history.
Robert Gates, the defense secretary at the time, was appalled at President Obama and Vice President Biden boasting about the raid in detail: "We all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart the next day."
Karen Vaughn says that her son told her the SEALs were angry that their secrecy was compromised by the White House. Aaron felt that it put not only his life, but also the lives of 300 American military families in danger. She adds, "I can tell you that the community was stunned by the [White House] announcement. It was unprecedented and extremely dangerous."
As the mother speaks, Aaron's father, Billy Vaughn's face is so full of grief and anger, I can hardly look at him. He looks like he might explode if not for intense self-control. Billy's face was more searing than his wife's words. I don't think I will ever forget it. Then it is his turn to speak.
In an interview the Vaughns gave this 9/11, Billy said: "We expect better out, out of the, the high-ups in our government. We, as American citizens, look to our government. We elect them; we look to them to take care of the best interests of the American citizen, and especially the warrior. And I believe what the administration did then -- I believe it was criminal."
A little-told side to President Obama's running of the war in Afghanistan is the fact that the rules of engagement there are deadly to American soldiers. Under President Obama, average yearly deaths in Afghanistan have doubled. The Obama administration is denying our troops air support and threatening them with prosecution for firing in self-defense. Returning military are protesting, but their voices are not reported in the mainstream media (read here, here, here).
There was another heart-wrenching interview the evening before the Ryan-Biden debate that did make it onto prime-time news -- on CNN, no less. Anderson Cooper interviewed Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, father of three, an Air Force veteran and computer specialist who was murdered in the terrorist attack in Benghazi this 9/11.
The Obama administration denied the embassy the military security they repeatedly requested. The embassy was forced to rely on hired locals instead of Marines. According to State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, at the congressional hearings held October 11 on the Benghazi cover-up, "in deference to sensitivity to Libyan practice the guards at Benghazi were unarmed."
Obama lied to the American public in order to promote his major political talking point -- that al-Qaeda was defeated because of bin Laden's death. The administration's false claims of success were put above the safety of our embassy personnel. That is what Pat Smith was referring to when she said to Obama to his face, "You screwed up, you didn't do a good job, I lost my son."
A third story is also receiving coverage -- in the U.K.'s Daily Mail, that is, and on Fox News and Sean Hannity's radio web page. The father of fallen Marine Joseph Logan is speaking out about the condolence form letter he received from President Obama, delivered by a UPS truck driver almost five months after his son's remains were brought home from Afghanistan.
The father, Tom Logan, experienced Obama's late, impersonal form letter as profoundly disrespectful: "It opened up a wound, a hole in our heart, that you can't fix."
Tom Logan sent the form letter back to the Oval Office with a personal, hand-written message written across the bottom:
The families of the 21 Navy SEALs killed three months after the Osama raid also received form condolence letters, each with a huge Barack Obama signature that looked as if it was signed by an automatic pen.
Obama did have the time to send a personal letter to rapper Heavy D's family when he passed away, to be read before a crowd of 1,500 at Heavy D's star-studded funeral.
It is not as if writing condolence letters would be a big burden on Obama's busy schedule. The Department of Defense reports 1,650 combat deaths in total in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war in 2001. That's a rough average of 150 deaths a year. Obama has played a hundred rounds of golf with White House staffers but can't write a single condolence letter every other day.
The contrast with President Bush is remarkable. Bush (who played golf 24 times and then stopped playing in deference to the troops) sent personal letters to the families of "every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that ... escaped public notice." President Bush also met privately with "more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans ... outside the presence of the news media."
These military and State Department families who have lost their sons since 2008 have lost respect for Obama as commander in chief. They are angry that their sons' lives are cheap to Obama, and their deaths not treated as worthy of his personal attention. As Pat Smith says so eloquently: "You screwed up, you didn't do a good job, I lost my son." Or Billy Smith: "These rules of engagement are criminal for our warriors." Tom Logan: "I understand Marines die. You have tied their hands and feet! I am thankful that I did not serve under a Commander in Chief such as you."
All Americans can say the same: in playing politics with national security, Obama is not looking out for our lives.
The author was a Peace Corps volunteer who served in Senegal, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist, and a mystery author whose novels are set in Kenya. She currently writes for American Thinker.
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