Spicer: Anyone who says the Yemen raid wasn't a success is doing a disservice to the SEAL who was killed during it

I just don’t understand how he can make this argument in these terms when his boss has spent years telling anyone who’ll listen that the Iraq war was a disaster. If it dishonors the fallen to say that a mission that produced a good outcome in certain ways and a very bad one in others wasn’t a success, hasn’t Trump dishonored the thousands of American troops who died in Mesopotamia? And how did Spicer not see that counterargument coming? It’s impossible to imagine Kellyanne Conway, for instance, walking into a trap that obvious.

What’s got him excited is McCain claiming after a classified briefing that the mission was in fact a failure.

Sen. John McCain, chair of the Armed Services Committee, called the recent US raid in Yemen a “failure” following a classified briefing Tuesday morning on the operation, which ended in the death of a Navy SEAL and an unconfirmed number of civilians.

McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill that the military’s decision, as has been publicly reported, to continue the mission despite “significant opposition” and the enemy being tipped off “was one of the aspects of this that made it — turned it into a failure.”

“I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success,” McCain said in a statement this afternoon — opening him up to “What about Iraq?” attacks too. Funny thing, though: A week ago, Spicer agreed with McCain’s logic.


The Yemen raid may well have produced usable intelligence, which is excellent news, but it also clearly failed to achieve its primary goal, which was taking out Al Qaeda chieftain and master recruiter Qassim al-Rimi. Al-Rimi took to taunting Trump and the U.S. in audio released after the raid which American intelligence regards as authentic. It should go without saying, though, that it’s no disservice to a fallen soldier’s memory to say that his mission didn’t achieve its ultimate goal when he fought honorably and valiantly in the effort. Which, by all accounts, Chief Ryan Owens did.

Exit question: Some lefties are wondering on Twitter if it also does a disservice to the Americans who fought and died trying to defend the U.S. consulate in Benghazi to say that security there constituted a catastrophic failure by the Obama administration, as many Republicans have insisted since 2012. Does it?