The Los Angeles Times reports this morning a front organization made up of former Navy Seals and CIA employees that has launched a “Swift Boat” style attack on President Obama. From the story Group attacking Obama for security leaks includes past talkers:
In politics, the story line rarely changes: Do as I say, not as I do. Thus several former U.S. intelligence and special operations personnel who have accused President Obama of leaking and “politicizing” national security information have themselves talked publicly about sensitive security matters.
They are members of a new nonprofit group called Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund. Known as OPSEC, military shorthand for operational security, the group says it has raised about $1 million for TV ads and a short film called “Dishonorable Disclosures,” which criticizes the Obama administration for alleged national security leaks.
Obama for America press secretary Ben Labolt said of the group and its ad; “The Republicans are resorting to Swift Boat tactics because when it comes to foreign policy and national security, Mitt Romney has offered nothing but reckless rhetoric. His two major foreign policy speeches never even mentioned Al Qaeda once, and he hasn’t outlined a plan for America’s relations with a single region of the world. In 2008, the President said he’d end the war in Iraq in a responsible way and refocus on taking out Al Qaeda’s leaders, and few would question that he’s kept his word.”
An Obama campaign official has pointed out that; “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.”
The video features an edited version of the President’s address on the death of bin Laden. Unsurprisingly, the three lines below, that were mysteriously edited out, were times the President praised the military special operators and intelligence professionals.
“Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice. We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.”
Leaders Of OPSEC Claim The Group Is Nonpartisan. “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. […] The OPSEC group says it is not political and aims to save American lives.” [Reuters, 8/14/12]
OPSEC President Scott Taylor Denied That The Organization Had A Political Agenda. “In an interview, Taylor denied OPSEC had any political slant. He described the group as a ‘watchdog organization’ but added that the current administration ‘has certainly leaked more than others.’” [Reuters, 8/14/12]
But Scott Taylor is a failed partisan Republican candidate. “The president of Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc, Scott Taylor, is a former Navy SEAL who in 2010 ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in Virginia.” [Reuters, 8/14/12]
OPSEC Spokesperson Chad Kolton Was A Spokesperson For The Bush Administration, the RNC and House Speaker John Boehner. Chad Kolton, is a former press secretary at the White House Office of Management and Budget and former director of public affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. During President Bush’s first election, he served as deputy communications director for the RNC’s Victory 2000. Kolton began his career on Capitol Hill as deputy press secretary for the House Republican Conference under its then-Chair, U.S. Representative John Boehner (R-OH), the current speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Think Progress reported today: “This is a question worth asking Fred Rustmann, a former CIA undercover case officer and OPSEC spokesman who appears in the video. Rustmann, who was once a supervisor for covert operative Valerie Plame, was dispatched by the Bush administration to defend the leak that jeopardized her undercover identity.”
There should be no doubt that the objective of this deceptive group and its deceptive ad campaign is to diminish the legitimate accomplishments of the Obama administration in the area of national security. Their hope is to deflect criticism of Mitt Romney’s lack of foreign policy and national security experience through a campaign of lies. Their tactics won’t work, because this time their false and misleading ads will be countered aggressively.
Simply put; This Boat Won’t Float.