While you may think it’s funny that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Trump Special Counsel Kellyanne Conway feel either free or compelled to provide us with Alternate Sets of Facts to “explain” President Trump’s actions, it’s no joke.  In fact, it’s just making shit up.  And it is an astounding phenomenon that fake facts are being cooked up in the White House Press room and spread over the land on all the media outlets around the country.   Have Press Secretaries lied to us before?  Of course they have.  But ever since JFK I have never seen or heard of a White House that actually admitted that making up “facts” is okay. 

“The Yemen Operation Was A Success” announced Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  But in fact, it was the most disastrous U.S. operation in Yemen thus far and ranks up there in our whole post Iraq involvement in the Middle East as a singular failure.   Not only was William Owens, a U.S. Seal killed, three other U.S. Seals were wounded and although initially the Trump Administration denied that there were no civilian casualties, at least 24 were killed including women and children.    There is no remotely realistic way in which to term this disaster a “success” without creating an entirely new Alternate Set Of Facts to explain it.  But, this is exactly what the Trump Administration has done.  Spicer actually blamed the Obama Administration for the operation’s failure because as he stated to all, the Obama Administration “approved” the operation.

This, as it turns out not long after the words rolled out of his mouth, is simply a lie.  And the “intelligence” that was recovered during the disastrous raid?  Just saw a report (unverified at this point) that it was ten years old.  This intelligence was the last shred of “success” Spicer held out for the “success" of the operation.

According to Pentagon officials, the Pentagon did develop a new proposal (plan) for ramping up operational activities in Yemen that involved ground forces for the first time.   President Obama, who had the final say about whether to go ahead, demurred thinking that it would be up to the new Administration to approve of the action.  It was recommend that this new operation be undertaken only on a moonless night (cover of darkness) which would not occur until after Trump was sworn in as President.  Apparently, the Trump Administration decided to go ahead with the raid at a dinner attended by Trump, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.   But this is not how these kinds of actions are normally vetted and approved, requiring input from various heads of the intelligence agencies, heads of our military, in other words, a full vetting and not during some after dinner conversation.  It is noteworthy that Trump has had “problems” with our intelligence agencies and maybe didn’t want them in attendance to show them who’s the boss.   Or that he can do without their input.   Or that he's just totally reckless and incompetent.

But the news about the disastrous raid has virtually disappeared from the media. 
So the question that comes to mind is:  Does the Trump Administration get a free pass on this disastrous military action because they are still in training, i.e. still working under “on the job training” criteria?  And I am serious.  I’d like to know the reason why the press has not followed up on this mess.  You know as well as I do that if this had happened under the Obama Administration, there would already be a storm of criticism and a dozen demands for new Congressional investigations out the wazoo.

But apparently, as was the case throughout the Presidential Campaign, the normal rules simply don’t apply to Trump and the Trump Administration.   We’ve seen this from the press who – until about two weeks before the election – saw fit to sit idly by while Trump surrogates spun lie after lie with absolutely not a word of pushback.  Well, now that Trump has seen fit to punish the media for the unkind criticisms they’ve lobbed at President Trump and his band of merry revolutionaries, they have ramped up the fact-checking.  But not nearly enough and the reporting on the failed Yemen raid is illustration No. 1.   It is now just a week since the disastrous raid and the term “failed Yemen mission” has virtually disappeared from the news media.  Frankly after years of investigations and millions of dollars spent on “investigating” Benghazi to no avail, it would seem that this failed military operation would receive at least a modicum of attention beyond three days of breaking Headline News.

But the ultimately crucial question is one that (Are you ready?) former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld asked:  “Are we creating terrorists faster than we are killing them?” 

I am no Rumsfeld fan but this is not an unimportant consideration in any Middle East military operation.  But Trump, who famously proclaimed that he “would bomb the shit out of ISIS” as what one assumes is his policy viz the Middle East and religious terrorists (Islamic Jihadists, as he terms them) yet if the Yemen operation is his foray into “bombing the shit out of them” it doesn’t bode well.   It was a disaster.  Unless, of course, your objective is to take out more women and children than terrorists, kill U.S. servicemen, wound three others and get zilch from all this mayhem except more ammunition for ISIS and Al Qaida.   

Already I've seen news articles defending this atrocity since "not all such missions go well."  Yeah.  But not all missions are so haphazardly and gratuitously undertaken.  One might think that this failure would give the Trump Administration pause.  But frankly I doubt that it will since they seem to believe in the truth of their own lies.



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