Special Ops group takes on Obama claims regarding Bin Laden
This won't be as big as the Swift Boat effort, simply because the killing of Osama bin Laden is not as central to Obama's campaign as was Kerry's military service to his.
But if what Reuters is reporting is true, it is going to make for some uncomfortable moments for the Obama camapaign.
Leaders of the group, the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc, say it is nonpartisan and unconnected to any political party or presidential campaign. It is registered as a so-called social welfare group, which means its primary purpose is to further the common good and its political activities should be secondary.
In the past, military exploits have been turned against presidential candidates by outside groups, most famously the Swift Boat ads in 2004 that questioned Democratic nominee John Kerry's Vietnam War service.
The OPSEC group says it is not political and aims to save American lives. Its first public salvo is a 22-minute film that includes criticism of Obama and his administration. The film, to be released on Wednesday, was seen in advance by Reuters.
"Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did. The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not," Ben Smith, identified as a Navy SEAL, says in the film.
"As a citizen, it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy," Smith continues. "It will get Americans killed."
An Obama campaign official said: "No one in this group is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues and on what impact these leaks might have, and it's clear they've resorted to making things up for purely political reasons."
Obama has highlighted his foreign policy record on the campaign trail, emphasizing how he presided over the killing of bin Laden, as well as how he ended the war in Iraq and set a timeline for winding down the war in Afghanistan.
However, Obama has come under sharp attack from Republican lawmakers who have accused his administration of being behind high-level leaks of classified information.
Just how vulnerable is Obama with regards to his bragging about Bin Laden? Despite some pushback from the GOP, the narrative still holds; Obama made a courageous decision and bin Laden is dead. But bragging about it is an entirely different matter. Polls show the public is split on whether the president is politicizing bin Laden's death. So a media campaign by credible intelligence and military members might resonate with the public and neutralize the bin Laden issue.
Expect this film and subsequent efforts from the group to get a lot of play in the media.