In Honour Of Admiral McRaven …


Adm. William McRaven

Admiral William Harry McRaven is a distinguished former U.S. Naval Officer.  McRaven retired from the U.S. Navy on August 28, 2014, after more than 37 years of service, and went on to become the Chancellor of the University of Texas System.  During his naval career, he has been the commander of Joint Special Operations Command, as well as of Special Operations Command Europe.  In addition, he was designated as the first director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre.  His awards and decorations are far too numerous to list here but include a bronze star and a meritorious service medal.

In 2011, McRaven spent months obtaining data, then organizing and overseeing the special ops raid, Operation Neptune Spear, that ended in the killing of 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden.  I have not found a single black mark on his record, and from all indications he served his country admirably for 37 years.

Now, however, Admiral McRaven has become the latest target of the Fool on the Hill, Donald Trump.  Why?  Well, back in August, Admiral McRaven had the temerity to express support for former CIA Director John O. Brennan, whose security clearance had recently been revoked by the Trump Administration.  On August 16th, he penned the following Open Letter to Donald Trump that was published in The Washington Post:

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

I’m not sure why Trump waited three full months before firing back … perhaps he had forgotten, or perhaps his advisors quashed prior attempts to throw mud at McRaven, but in a November 18th interview with Chris Wallace of Fox ‘News’, he was reminded.  Here’s what Trump had to say about an honourable, much decorated hero …

Chris Wallace: Bill McRaven, Retired Admiral, Navy Seal, 37 years, former head of U.S. Special Operations —

Trump: Hillary Clinton fan.

Chris Wallace: Special Operations —

Trump: Excuse me, Hillary Clinton fan.

Chris Wallace: Who led the operations, commanded the operations that took down Saddam Hussein and that killed Osama bin Laden says that your sentiment is the greatest threat to democracy in his lifetime.

Trump: OK, he’s a Hilary Clinton, uh, backer and an Obama-backer and frankly —

Chris Wallace: He was a Navy Seal 37 years —

Trump: Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama Bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice? You know, living – think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there. And we give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year and they don’t tell him, they don’t tell him —

Chris Wallace: You’re not even going to give them credit —

Trump: For years —

Chris Wallace: for taking down Bin Laden?

Trump: They took him down but – look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.

Trump claims to love the military, but … must we assume that he only loves those members of our military who are staunchly “pro-Trump”?  That’s how it seems.  I don’t imagine the military has much great love for Trump, either, as he is a draft-dodger and has promised much in the way of donations to veterans’ organizations that never materialized.

Most people, whether republican or democrat, veteran or not, were appalled by Trump’s remarks.

  • “This is disgusting!” tweeted Frances Townsend, who worked as a counterterrorism adviser for President George W. Bush. She said McRaven is “among the finest officers I have had the privilege to work with.”
  • Leon Panetta, who was CIA director when bin Laden was killed in the 2011 operation and later served as secretary of defense under President Barack Obama, said Trump owed an apology to McRaven “and all of the special operation forces and intelligence professionals who planned and executed one of the most important counter-terrorism missions in our nation’s history.”
  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Trump’s comment is “really a slam at the intelligence community” and “reflects, I think, his complete ignorance” about what was involved in hunting down bin Laden.
  • “I don’t know if Adm. William McRaven shares my political views or not,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said on Twitter. “But I do know that few Americans have sacrificed or risked more than he has to protect America & the freedoms we enjoy.”

Predictably, however, the Republican National Committee backed Trump’s unconscionable remarks:

“Worth noting after recent comments: Retired Adm. William McRaven was reportedly on Hillary Clinton’s short list for Vice President in 2016. He’s been critical of President @realDonaldTrump— even dating back to the 2016 campaign. He’s hardly a non-political figure.”

Being critical of Donald Trump is hardly grounds for condemnation, given that more than half of this nation are critical of Trump on a quite consistent basis, and at least 60% would just as soon see him floating on an ice floe somewhere in the Arctic Sea.  And while McRaven’s name reportedly was on a list of 39 potential candidates for Hillary’s running mate, the Admiral did not endorse any candidate in the 2016 election.  Even if he had, it doesn’t give Trump or the GOP any right to criticize a man who has had a far more noble career, more worthy life than Trump, or likely anybody else in the GOP.

Once again, Donald Trump shows the world his lack of compassion, his ignorance, and his arrogance.

25 thoughts on “In Honour Of Admiral McRaven …

  1. Dear Jill,

    The president has no respect for the military except for the fact that it makes him look strong. This is something all authoritarian leaders love to show off. This explains his request for a military parade, but he has wrongly dished military heroes like Senator John McCain, the Kahn gold star family, the widow Myeshia Johnson of a war hero Sgt La David Johnson’s, where he had Gen Kelly publicly share a fake news story about a family friend of the Johnson couple, Fl US Rep.Wilson; and now he is attacking the reputation of the war hero, Retired Adm. William McRaven And this is by the likes of President Trump who received five deferments from service in Vietnam: four for academic reasons and one for bone spurs – buildups of calcium – in his heels; who failed to visit the cemeteries even on Veteran’s Day and how he is too cowardly to visit our troops abroad. Yet he is the one who claims that he would have run toward a mass shooter with an AK 147.

    The above list doesn’t include using the military as a political stunt as he ordered thousands of active military men and women to the US Southern border to meet the caravan of refugees that was many miles away before the midterm Nov. 6, 2018 elections. This action was designed to cater to the anti-immigration/ racist faction of his base.

    His placement of his lackey Robert Wilkes as head of the VA has been a disaster.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am fairly certain that he has lost any respect by the military in light of the episodes you have mentioned. I thought that if he got his military parade, it would be justice if, as the soldiers marched past him, instead of saluting they flipped him off. He thinks that his title earns him respect … he is so wrong … respect is earned by actions, by respecting others, not simply by playing dirty pool to gain a title. He seems to think he owns the military … and the entire nation … I cannot wait for the day that he learns the truth.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So what does a draft dodging, adulterous, media leach and nebulous property developer know about anything to do with security and military operations……. Sweet nothing!
    Lock the liability up! Lock him up! He’s a danger to the USA

    Liked by 2 people

      • From the instance he opened the other orifice and made that stupid, arrogant, flatulent comment about John McCain’s war time imprisonment he was on my Vile Person list.
        Does he know anything about the Anti-Aircraft capabilities of the North Vietnamese in the late 1960s? Does he know anything about air-warfare evasion tactics? Could he have put together an escape plan through a 100 miles hostile territory?
        The f*** he could!
        On that line alone he was not fit to run for president.
        Lock the b*****d up!

        Liked by 2 people

        • He knows none of that, and in fact knows only what his advisors tell him, for he does not read. I suppose he can read simple words and sentences, but he prefers not to. He appears to think that war is a game, that there are winners and losers, not realizing that in any war, everybody is a loser. He is a fool and would not be worthy of all the attention, all the angst, had he not by a freak of the U.S. Constitution, been placed into the Oval Office. I second your “Lock the bastard up”, but I don’t expect it will happen. Sigh. On to cheerier topics … um … well, uh … let’s see … ummmm … it got above freezing here today!!! I hear you guys are having cold weather this week too. ⛄

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yes, let us have no more time wasted on talking about the creature (I am currently refusing to look at any pictures of him, read anything he says, or listen to anything he may spout…a non-person in my world)…..
            Anyway, here in Wrexham we are having a classic UK November….Damp, cold, overcast, still and dark by 4pm (I’m loving it…..sorry!😬….at least I admit I’m weird )

            Liked by 2 people

            • Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to call you weird, although being weird is almost a criteria for being my friend! But, I don’t share your love of the cold, and I particularly HATE the fact that it is dark so early. I need sunlight in my life … and I don’t like having to wear a coat! It got up to 46 (7.78 C) here today for the first time in a couple of weeks and I was chuffed to be able to go about in just jeans and a shirt, albeit a long-sleeved shirt. Enjoy your cold, dark day, my friend! Hugs to your darling wife!

              Liked by 2 people

  3. The Oxford Dictionary’s 2018 Word of the Year is “toxic”. Trumpoxicity is mine! The toxic trash that spews from this man’s mouth is inexcusable and indefensible. Admiral McRaven is a man of integrity, something that Trump sorely lacks. Back in 1965 a new book by Fletcher Knebel, titled Night of Camp David, was reviewed by The New York Times as “too plausible for comfort”. Fast forward to 2018 and that review was quite prescient. I remember reading this book when it was published, having enjoyed Knebel’s previous book Seven Days in May. I ordered the re-released paperback from Random House online and just received it on Monday, I plan to start rereading it tonight. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Trumpoxicity … I like it! It surely fits. The books you mention were new to me, so I checked them out on Amazon. Not available for Kindle, but I may order Seven Days in May in hardback. Thanks for the info about them. And enjoy Night of Camp David! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, a litany of men of integrity and military and/ or public service have felt the need to speak out against a US President for a series of actions or statements beneath the dignity of the office. They know it will come with undesired notoriety as the man in the White House cannot accept criticism of any sort. Yet, the consistency of people of valor who have done this dwarfs the small-minded and thin-skinned President.

    As I write this, he is having one more feud with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who had the temerity to offer respect to the judges Trump criticizes. For some reason, this boorish behavior from the President is acceptable to his cult. They ignore the long list of folks who said this man’s behavior and lack of respect is not right.

    Men like McRaven should be heeded. Their opinions matter. Honor and honesty have a place in governance, but are so lacking in the White House. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed so … and the more who do speak out against him, the better, for even though he may rant and call him foolish names he makes up, it only serves to highlight who is the better man, and in any such contest, it sure ain’t Trump! I just finished a post about John Roberts’ statement for my a.m. post … I was proud of him. Such a juvenile delinquent we have in the White House, yes? And yet, his approval rating is inching upward. WHY???

      Liked by 2 people

    • I believe that he so admires the dictators, for they are the personification of what he wishes he could be … and perhaps will if he keeps bullying and blustering his way through. But you’re right … he has no respect for good people, for bravery or courage, for he admires cruelty, strong-arm tactics and brutality, hence his continued praise of Mohammed bin Salman who ordered the brutal murder of our own permanent resident and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. And his affiliation and admiration for the likes of Erdogan and Kim, both of whom have brutally murdered their own citizens. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

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