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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

‘Swift Boat II’ Boomerangs on Republicans

Looks like the GOP has dredged up a new ‘swift boat’-style attack ad to belittle President Obama’s leadership in the raid that did what the Republicans failed to do under nearly 8 years of their ‘leadership’ — find and kill bin Laden. As Juliet Lapidos explains in “Return of the Swift Boat” at the New York Times ‘Taking Note’ Editor’s Blog:

…A new group with ties to the G.O.P and the Tea Party called Special Operations Opsec Education Fund has released a 22-minute video rebuking the president for “politically capitalizing” on national security operations, like the raid that killed Bin Laden.
Anyone who watched the late-night address in which Mr. Obama announced bin Laden’s death will remember that he praised the “tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals” and the “years of painstaking work by our intelligence community.” The Opsec video includes a clip of that address, but omits the “heroic work” and “painstaking work” lines so that it seems as though Mr. Obama gave himself undue credit. Cue Dave Lamorte, a retired C.I.A. officer, who says: “The administration didn’t capture, or kill or eliminate bin Laden or anybody else. There’s a whole lot of folks in the intelligence and the military community who have been working on this for a very long time.” Then Ben Smith, a former Navy SEAL, chimes in with his best Don LaFontaine impression: “Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden. America did.”

But the military leader who was actually involved with with the raid strongly disagrees with Lamorte. As Scott Shane notes in his New York Times Report,

In a CNN interview last month, Adm. William H. McRaven of the Navy, who oversaw the raid as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, said, “The president and his national security team — I’m not a political guy, but I will tell you as, as an interested observer in this — they were magnificent in how they handled it start to finish.”

As Lapidos eloquently sums up the new swift boat attack ad:

It’s a dishonest hatchet job that’ll make you long for a shower, especially since the “stars” of the video present themselves as concerned citizens with no partisan motivations. “We have become a political weapon. We are not. Our job is to be silent professionals. We do not seek recognition; we do not seek popularity,” says Mr. Smith, evidently unaware that appearing in a long attack ad doesn’t gel with his claims.

Better make that two showers.

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