New movie Dishonorable Disclosure sends message to Obama: You didn’t build that

A group of former U.S. intelligence and Special Forces operatives is set to launch a media campaign, including TV ads that scold President Barack Obama for taking credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden and argues that high-level leaks are endangering American lives.

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 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 can be seen here called Dishonorable Disclosure movie includes criticism of Obama and his administration.  Some memorable quotes in the film are the following:

“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.”

In the film, Scott Taylor, a U.S. Navy SEAL, and a member of Operation Iraqi Freedom, combined the fear of intelligence leaks with the raid of the Osama bin Laden compound thusly:

“I believe that a ten-year-old would be able to understand that if you disclose how we got (to the Osama bin Laden compound), how we took down the building, what we did, how many people were there, that it’s going to hinder future operations and certainly hurt the success of those future operations for the DOD (Department of Defense), for the military, intelligence communities, and everyone as a whole.”

The Obama administration argues that the individuals in this film have no authority to speak on these issues:

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.  Leading Democrat lawmakers have also expressed shock at the level of leaking that has occurred, but they have not directed accusations at the Obama administration.

They have pointed to media reports about clandestine drone attacks, informants planted in al Qaeda affiliates and alleged cyber-warfare against Iran that Republicans say were calculated to promote Obama’s image as a strong leader in an election year.

The White House has denied leaking classified information.

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.  Calling itself “OPSEC” for short – which in spy jargon means “operational security” – the anti-leak group incorporated last June in Delaware, a state that has the most secretive corporate registration rules in the U.S.

Several group representatives say their main motivation for setting up OPSEC was dismay at recent detailed media leaks about sensitive operations.

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.”

OPSEC spokesmen said the group has about $1 million at its disposal and hopes to raise more after the August 15th release of its mini-documentary, entitled “Dishonorable Disclosures,” which aims, in spy-movie style, to document a recent spate of leaks regarding sensitive intelligence and military operations.

Fred Rustmann, a former undercover case officer for the CIA who is a spokesman for the group, insisted its focus on leaks was “not a partisan concern.” But he said the current administration had been leaking secrets “to help this guy get re-elected, at the expense of peoples’ lives…. We want to see that they don’t do this again.”

Chad Kolton, a former spokesman for the office of Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration who now represents OPSEC, also said the group’s message and make-up are nonpolitical.

“You’ll see throughout the film that concern about protecting the lives of intelligence and Special Forces officers takes precedence over partisanship,” he said.{1}

Look, Mr. President, if a successful operation was conducted during your administration, you didn’t get there on your own.  We citizens, military personnel, and intelligence communities are always struck by politicians who think that when a successful operation is conducted, well, it must be because they’re just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there in the military and in intelligence agencies who played a greater role in this operation than you did.  We’re tired of politicians thinking that a successful operation was conducted based on one politician thinking that the operation’s success was based on the fact that that politician worked harder than everybody else.  We want to tell you something, Mr. President, there were a whole bunch of hardworking people involved in this operation. (Applause.)

If a successful operation was conducted during your administration, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a multitude of great military minds somewhere in your administration, and in the previous administration, that worked over the space of ten years to bring this operation to fruition.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American military operation that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody risked their life to attain intelligence and information.  If you’ve presided over a successful military operation, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  This successful operation didn’t get invented on its own.  It didn’t even start during your administration.  The military, the U.S. intelligence community, and even the previous administration created this operation, and they didn’t do so for you to create a political talking point.

The point is, is that when operations such as these succeed, they succeed because of number of individuals showing great initiative, but also because they did it together.  There are some things, like the initial information gathering missions, the intensive multiplatform surveillance operations, identification of al-Qaeda couriers, receiving information in interrogations (some coercive) and corroborating them, using informants and other information gathering techniques to gain information on the compound, wire-tapping, conducting exercises and learning from operatives on the scene and correcting mistakes based on that information, and selecting the ideal military personnel to conduct such a military offensive{2}, and you don’t do that on our own Mr. President.  I mean, imagine if this civilian president had attempted to take a hands on approach in this operation.  (He can’t even throw a baseball like a fully equipped adult male.)  That would be a hard way to conduct a military operation. . So we say to ourselves, ever since the killing of Osama bin Laden, you know what, there are some things that other people do better.  That’s how we conducted this operation.  That’s how we killed Osama bin Laden.  That’s how our fellow Americans got together to conduct this brilliant operation. That’s how we conduct all operations.  The president, regardless of party, is a member of the civilian population, and we couldn’t do it without his rubber stamp approval, but the military, the members of the intelligence agencies, and the civilian population rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason we’re speaking out against this President — because we still believe in America.  You’re not on your own, Mr. President, we’re in this together.  Give credit where credit is due, and quit putting the country in peril for the purpose of winning one election.  We know that you’ll fundamentally disagree with this opinion, but in a country of 315 million people, that is over two hundred years old, no one man, or administration, is so important that we should be willing to put the country at peril to secure his or her re-election.

{1} bin/2012/08/14/id/448585?s=al&promo_code=FC15-1



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