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Father Of SEAL Killed In Yemen To Trump: 'Don’t Hide Behind My Son’s Death'…

stringer bell
stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/william-owens-seal-killed-yemen-raid-donald-trump
The father of a U.S. commando killed during the first counter-terrorism operation of President Donald Trump's term in office said Friday that Trump shouldn't "hide behind" his son's death to avoid an investigation into the mission.

"Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation," William Owens, the father of Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, said in an interview with the Miami Herald. "The government owes my son an investigation."

William "Ryan" Owens died Jan. 28 of wounds sustained during a raid on an al-Qaida base in Yemen. Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in February to join Owens' family and meet his remains.

"I told them I don’t want to meet the President," William Owens said, as quoted by the Miami Herald. "I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him."

He questioned the decision to launch the raid.

"Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why?" Owens said. "All of a sudden we had to make this grand display?"

According to the Miami Herald, Trump met with other family members in a separate room of the facility at Dover Air Force Base.

Owens, who said he didn't vote for Trump, said he would "like some answers."

"I don’t want anybody to think I have an agenda, because I don’t," he said. "I just want the truth."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said earlier in February that anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens."

"I think anybody who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology," he said.


"Is that your message to Senator John McCain?" NBC News' Kristen Welker pressed. "He's called it a failure."

"That's my message to anybody who says that," Spicer replied. "I don't know how much more clearer I can be."
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Comments

  • marc123
    marc123 Members Posts: 16,999 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Ghostdenithegawd
    Ghostdenithegawd Up from da 36 chambers HarlemMembers Posts: 16,231 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Truth about what 🤬 didn't give a 🤬 about your kid didn't care about the mission would of only been something NHE would of mentioned if it was successful you son died for no reason because the president and his cabinet are fuckbois
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Who I am is Complex, What i am, simply put. I'm a Threat walking out the lions denGuests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them
  • The_Jackal
    The_Jackal Members Posts: 3,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Who I am is Complex, What i am, simply put. I'm a Threat walking out the lions denGuests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out
  • The_Jackal
    The_Jackal Members Posts: 3,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out

    More people were mad and still am (including me) at the 5 billion he sent to Syria to train and fiance "Moderate Rebels" who ended up switching over to Isis.

    Another thing you have to remember and alot of people don't know is that he drawdown of troops from the ME in 2011 was actually put in place by Bush.

    And lasr but not least very idea of America First is putting the interest of America before the rest of the world. As far as a war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan there is no material gain (though influence in and of itself especially against Russia aggression is valuable.)


  • Cabana_Da_Don
    Cabana_Da_Don Members Posts: 7,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out

    More people were mad and still am (including me) at the 5 billion he sent to Syria to train and fiance "Moderate Rebels" who ended up switching over to Isis.

    Another thing you have to remember and alot of people don't know is that he drawdown of troops from the ME in 2011 was actually put in place by Bush.

    And lasr but not least very idea of America First is putting the interest of America before the rest of the world. As far as a war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan there is no material gain (though influence in and of itself especially against Russia aggression is valuable.)


    I need reference and proof this happened.
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Who I am is Complex, What i am, simply put. I'm a Threat walking out the lions denGuests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out

    More people were mad and still am (including me) at the 5 billion he sent to Syria to train and fiance "Moderate Rebels" who ended up switching over to Isis.

    Another thing you have to remember and alot of people don't know is that he drawdown of troops from the ME in 2011 was actually put in place by Bush.

    And lasr but not least very idea of America First is putting the interest of America before the rest of the world. As far as a war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan there is no material gain (though influence in and of itself especially against Russia aggression is valuable.)


    I gotta correct you on Afghanistan.

    there are trillions of dollars of rare earth there.


    the other places are not about material or financial gain....it's about militaristic superiority.

    Afghanistan
    Iraq
    Syria
    Pakistan an eventually turkey....


    what's in the middle?
  • The_Jackal
    The_Jackal Members Posts: 3,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out

    More people were mad and still am (including me) at the 5 billion he sent to Syria to train and fiance "Moderate Rebels" who ended up switching over to Isis.

    Another thing you have to remember and alot of people don't know is that he drawdown of troops from the ME in 2011 was actually put in place by Bush.

    And lasr but not least very idea of America First is putting the interest of America before the rest of the world. As far as a war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan there is no material gain (though influence in and of itself especially against Russia aggression is valuable.)


    I need reference and proof this happened.

    www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com

    Officials said the provision of equipment to the groups would be limited at first, but could grow depending on a rebel group’s performance. Failure on the battlefield or the loss of weapons that could fall into the hands of extremists could result in a cutoff of military equipment, officials said. The American military has confirmed that some rebel groups surrendered their weapons when confronted by extremists, and it has acknowledged that accounting for American-supplied arms across the battlefield proved almost impossible in the past.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33997408

    The goal was to train about 15,000 rebels in Jordan and other countries so they could return to Syria and fight. However, US defence officials admitted last month that only four or five of the recruits in the programme had actually returned to the battle.
    Speaking recently at the White House, Obama looked frustrated as he described "failures" in the US train-and-equip programme.


    But besides the fact that he clearly did support the policy at the time, it’s ridiculous for another reason: years before Congress approved the $500m program to arm the Syrian rebels, the CIA had been running its own separate Syrian rebel-arming program since at least 2012. It was reported prominently by the New York Times at the time and approved by the president.

    In fact, just before Congress voted, Senator Tom Udall told Secretary of State John Kerry, who was testifying in front of the foreign relations committee, “Everybody’s well aware there’s been a covert operation, operating in the region to train forces, moderate forces, to go into Syria and to be out there, that we’ve been doing this the last two years.” In true Orwellian fashion, Kerry responded at the time: “I hate to do this. But I can’t confirm or deny whatever that’s been written about and I can’t really go into any kind of possible program.”


    This has been going on for years and needs to stop. I'm on mobile so some of my sources 🤬 up but when I get on my laptop I'll show you more and it's not something that is hidden away. There are declassified reports from the CIA that speaks on this in length.
  • Mr.LV
    Mr.LV Members Posts: 14,089 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Compare Obama Benghazi to Trump Yemen raid,Trump has been skating by.
  • The_Jackal
    The_Jackal Members Posts: 3,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out

    More people were mad and still am (including me) at the 5 billion he sent to Syria to train and fiance "Moderate Rebels" who ended up switching over to Isis.

    Another thing you have to remember and alot of people don't know is that he drawdown of troops from the ME in 2011 was actually put in place by Bush.

    And lasr but not least very idea of America First is putting the interest of America before the rest of the world. As far as a war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan there is no material gain (though influence in and of itself especially against Russia aggression is valuable.)


    I gotta correct you on Afghanistan.

    there are trillions of dollars of rare earth there.


    the other places are not about material or financial gain....it's about militaristic superiority.

    Afghanistan
    Iraq
    Syria
    Pakistan an eventually turkey....


    what's in the middle?

    You understand thathe you can't just TAKE those resources though regardless the pounder Trump has been doing. He can't simply seize gas fields that belong to a sovereign country or any other materials on front of the international community and the community at home. He already has to many eyes on him and Democrats ( and I'm sure some republicans) are just waiting for any reason to press that impeach button.

    As far as it being about military superiority I don't exactly get what you are trying to convey. We don't need to go to war in Afghanistan to prove we have a stronger military.
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Who I am is Complex, What i am, simply put. I'm a Threat walking out the lions denGuests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out

    More people were mad and still am (including me) at the 5 billion he sent to Syria to train and fiance "Moderate Rebels" who ended up switching over to Isis.

    Another thing you have to remember and alot of people don't know is that he drawdown of troops from the ME in 2011 was actually put in place by Bush.

    And lasr but not least very idea of America First is putting the interest of America before the rest of the world. As far as a war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan there is no material gain (though influence in and of itself especially against Russia aggression is valuable.)


    I gotta correct you on Afghanistan.

    there are trillions of dollars of rare earth there.


    the other places are not about material or financial gain....it's about militaristic superiority.

    Afghanistan
    Iraq
    Syria
    Pakistan an eventually turkey....


    what's in the middle?

    You understand thathe you can't just TAKE those resources though regardless the pounder Trump has been doing. He can't simply seize gas fields that belong to a sovereign country or any other materials on front of the international community and the community at home. He already has to many eyes on him and Democrats ( and I'm sure some republicans) are just waiting for any reason to press that impeach button.

    As far as it being about military superiority I don't exactly get what you are trying to convey. We don't need to go to war in Afghanistan to prove we have a stronger military.

    no...in the middle is Iran.

    we are encircling iran...but Afghanistan ready has "contractors" on the ground.

    this was during bush
  • The_Jackal
    The_Jackal Members Posts: 3,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    but them dudes wanted trumo because Obama was scaling back troops and making 🤬 dangerous for them

    From what I seen most people wanted Trump to actually continue scaling back which is the whole point of his "America First" Isolationist policy.
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    I don't exactly know how the Navy does nor could I speak on how the SF community does (umberella term for all Special Forces and Special Operation units) but I know at least for my Army infantry unit generally a mission is rated as pass or fail.

    You're not doing a disservice to his life by speaking the truth. If the objectives haven't been met and you suffer a casualty then unfortunately that mission was a fail. It's up to whoever your leader is to face reality of that failure and assess why exactly things didn't go by the numbers.

    wait wait wait...

    I talked to a guy who was sniping in Afghanistan... that's what he said....

    but

    I thought people were mad at obama for pulling troops out

    More people were mad and still am (including me) at the 5 billion he sent to Syria to train and fiance "Moderate Rebels" who ended up switching over to Isis.

    Another thing you have to remember and alot of people don't know is that he drawdown of troops from the ME in 2011 was actually put in place by Bush.

    And lasr but not least very idea of America First is putting the interest of America before the rest of the world. As far as a war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan there is no material gain (though influence in and of itself especially against Russia aggression is valuable.)


    I gotta correct you on Afghanistan.

    there are trillions of dollars of rare earth there.


    the other places are not about material or financial gain....it's about militaristic superiority.

    Afghanistan
    Iraq
    Syria
    Pakistan an eventually turkey....


    what's in the middle?

    You understand thathe you can't just TAKE those resources though regardless the pounder Trump has been doing. He can't simply seize gas fields that belong to a sovereign country or any other materials on front of the international community and the community at home. He already has to many eyes on him and Democrats ( and I'm sure some republicans) are just waiting for any reason to press that impeach button.

    As far as it being about military superiority I don't exactly get what you are trying to convey. We don't need to go to war in Afghanistan to prove we have a stronger military.

    no...in the middle is Iran.

    we are encircling iran...but Afghanistan ready has "contractors" on the ground.

    this was during bush

    We been encircled Iran. Iran been encircled since 1981 Iran-Iraq war so I don't get exactly what you are getting at. If anything US especially in Obama era has been far more lenient and relaxed towards Iran.

    Afghanistan still has contractors as well as US troops still on the ground. That's nothing new
  • VulcanRaven
    VulcanRaven I don't knowMembers Posts: 18,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Copper wrote: »
    anybody questioning the success of the raid was doing "a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens

    The logic that you cant question a mission bc somebody died is the hight of hypocrisy

    That is the main reason why people are questioning it.
  • marc123
    marc123 Members Posts: 16,999 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    rapmusic wrote: »
    Trump will just say fake news and keep it moving

    Trump is an idiot, a narcissist, a con man, a game show host and a overall 🤬 boy 🤬 bag. But I gotta call a 🤬 a 🤬 , this 🤬 is some g 🤬 . This 🤬 literally doesn't give a 🤬 bout anyone or anything. Tho he is thin skinned af. Nothing sticks to him. He will jus shrug it off, call it fake news n keep it moving. smh.

    Nothin lasts forever tho.
  • 1CK1S
    1CK1S Members Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The entire mission was a failure from the start

    1. They didn’t do their homework about what they were getting into
    2. Civilians including an 8 yr old child were killed
    3. One of yhe US members apart of said raid was KIA
    4. They can say whatever they want in terms of getting valuable Intel and Information, but from just about every news outlet it's said that tell got little to no Intel at all.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Regulator
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Mr.LV
    Mr.LV Members Posts: 14,089 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accountability rarely sticks on Trump
  • Lurkristocrat
    Lurkristocrat Members Posts: 8,378 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I keep typing out a long post and then deleting it cause of the violent threats i want to make.

    Ok
  • stringer bell
    stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/spicer-yemen-raid-three-reviews
    White House: Yemen Raid Will Undergo 3 Reviews But 'Achieved Its Objectives'

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that a counter-terrorism operation that resulted in the first combat casualty of President Donald Trump's term will undergo three reviews, but that the administration is "very comfortable with how the mission was executed."

    "There will be three reviews done by the Department of Defense because of the nature of this," Spicer told reporters during his daily press briefing.

    "It is standard operating procedure for the Department of Defense to undergo what they call a 15-6 review," he said, apparently referring to Army Regulation 15-6. "That review, in this case, is three-pronged because there was a fatality and the loss of life, there's that; because there were civilians involved, that's another; and then third is because there is hardware, a helicopter that was damaged."

    Spicer said that the White House is "very comfortable with how the mission was executed." He also said that the raid "was successful in helping prevent a future attack or attacks on this nation."

    "As I mentioned before, I think you can't ever say that when there's most importantly loss of life, and people injured, that it's 100 percent successful," he said. "But I think when you look at what the stated goal of that mission was, it was an information and intelligence-gathering mission. It achieved its objectives."

    William "Ryan" Owens died Jan. 28 of wounds sustained during the raid on an al-Qaida base in Yemen. Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in February to join Owens' family and meet his remains.

    During that process, known as "dignified transfer," Owens' father said he did not want to meet the President.

    "I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him," William Owens said on Friday in an interview with the Miami Herald.

    He questioned the decision to launch the raid and said Trump shouldn't "hide behind" his son's death to avoid an investigation.

    "Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration?" he said. "The government owes my son an investigation."
  • stringer bell
    stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/yemen-seal-raid-yielded-no-significant-intelligence-say-officials-n726451?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma
    Yemen SEAL Raid Has Yielded No Significant Intelligence: Officials

    Last month's deadly commando raid in Yemen, which cost the lives of a U.S. Navy SEAL and a number of children, has so far yielded no significant intelligence, U.S. officials told NBC News.

    Although Pentagon officials have said the raid produced "actionable intelligence," senior officials who spoke to NBC News said they were unaware of any, even as the father of the dead SEAL questioned the premise of the raid in an interview with the Miami Herald published Sunday.

    "Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn't even barely a week into [President Trump's] administration?" Bill Owens, whose youngest son Ryan was killed during the raid, said. "For two years prior ... everything was missiles and drones (in Yemen)....Now all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?"

    A senior Congressional official briefed on the matter said the Trump administration has yet to explain what prompted the rare use of American ground troops in Yemen, but he said he was not aware of any new threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda affiliate that was targeted.

    The official, and others briefed on the matter who spoke to NBC News, echoed the remarks of Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., that the raid was designed to 🤬 or capture one or more militants — something the military did not initially acknowledge.

    Instead, Pentagon officials called it a "site exploitation mission" designed to gather intelligence. Defense officials later did not dispute McCain's characterization, saying they were hoping to 🤬 or capture certain militants, though they declined to name them. NBC News and other media outlets have reported that Sheikh Abdel-Raouf al-Dhahab was among the dead. The Pentagon calls him an al Qaeda leader; the Yemeni government disagrees.

    Plans for the raid were begun during the Obama administration, but Obama officials declined to sign off on what officials described as a significant escalation in Yemen. Just five days in, Trump greenlighted the mission.


    "Certainly the Obama administration, particularly by the end of its eight-year run, was very cautious in moving forward with any kind of military activity," retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former NATO commander and current NBC News security analyst, said. "A new administration I think naturally is going to be spring-loaded to move out and demonstrate something."

    The White House has repeatedly called the Yemen mission a success. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Feb. 8 that anyone "who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and [does] a disservice to the life of Chief Owens."

    "We gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil," said Spicer.

    A Defense Department official also pushed back Monday afternoon, saying the raid has yielded "a significant amount" of intelligence.

    But the only example the military has provided turned out to be an old bomb-making video that was of no current value.


    On Monday, Spicer addressed the remarks of Bill Owens, whose son died.

    "I can tell him that on behalf of the president, his son died a hero and the information that he was able to help obtain through that raid, as I said before, is going to save American lives," he said. "The mission was successful in helping prevent a future attack or attacks on this nation."

    Multiple senior officials told NBC News they have not seen evidence to support that claim.

    In addition to the death of Ryan Owens, six other U.S. service members were wounded. And at least 25 civilians were killed, including nine children under the age of 13, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. One of them was the 8-year-old daughter of U.S.-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

    A Pentagon official told NBC News today the Pentagon does not dispute these numbers.

    A $70 million U.S. aircraft also was destroyed. The Pentagon already has at least three investigations into the raid underway.

    "When we look at evidently very little actual intelligence out, the loss of a high-performance aircraft and above all the loss of a highly trained special forces member of SEAL Team 6, I think we need to understand why this mission, why now, what happened, and what the actual output was," Stavridis said.
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