Retired Navy Adm. William H. McRaven. (Flickr/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Sean K. Harp)
Retired U.S. Navy Adm. William McRaven, a Navy SEAL who oversaw the raid that took out Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, gave a bleak assessment of President Donald Trump and alleged the commander-in-chief was gutting the country of the "nation's principles."
In his fiercest condemnation against the president yet, McRaven recounted in a New York Times opinion column a military ceremony he recently attended at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he reflected upon the thousands of U.S. service members who marched on the parade field before him.
"For everyone who ever served in uniform, or in the intelligence community, for those diplomats who voice the nation's principles, for the first responders, for the tellers of truth and the millions of American citizens who were raised believing in American values — you would have seen your reflection in the faces of those we honored last week," McRaven wrote.
But "beneath the outward sense of hope and duty," McRaven writes that "there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear."
(Flickr/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Sean K. Harp)
Just over eight years ago, SEAL Team 6 raided al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing bin Laden and propelling the elite squad to global attention.
Bin Laden had been in hiding for nearly 10 years, since the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. US intelligence had been on the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader, finally identifying the compound where he and his family were living in August 2010.
At the time Team 6, officially known as Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DEVGRU, was under the operational leadership of Adm. Bill McRaven, who was the head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) until he assumed leadership of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in August 2011.
During an interview to promote his latest book, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, PBS reporter Judy Woodruff asked McRaven what his greatest fear was in the raid on bin Laden's compound.
(Flickr/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp)
Retired U.S. Navy Adm. William McRaven, a former Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, warned that President Donald Trump "needs to be very careful" about a presidential pardon for several military veterans accused of war crimes.
"I think the president needs to be very careful at this point," McRaven said in a Fox News interview on Tuesday. "Obviously the president can pardon [whomever] he thinks is appropriate to pardon."
"But the way it works in the military, you have to be careful as a senior commander about unduly influencing the process before the investigation has been adjudicated," McRaven added.
Every Labor Day weekend for the past five years, Will Thomas has put in time and energy shooting baskets. Lots of baskets. From Friday afternoon to Monday evening, he sinks shot after shot, year after year.