Special ops group scolds White House: Stop the leaks and the bragging

As we enter into presidential debate season and start hearing more discussions about foreign policy, we’re bound to be regaled — ahem, yet again — with the oh-so-epic tale of how President Obama made the decision to take out Osama bin Laden (i.e., “ask Osama bin Laden if I engage in appeasement“). But the White House’s version of events, together with all of the security leaks dripping out of the White House in recent months, haven’t done much to win the military and intelligence community over to President Obama’s favor. A group of former U.S. intelligence and Special Forces operatives called OPSEC is launching a media campaign to highlight the dangers of these high-level leaks in posing real threats to American lives, starting with a 22-minute film they released on their website today. Dang:

The OPSEC group says it is not political and aims to save American lives. Its first public salvo is a 22-minute film that includes criticism of Obama and his administration. …

“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.”

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.” …

Following the film’s release, OPSEC’s spokesmen said, the group expects to produce TV spots on the anti-leak theme that will air in a number of states, including Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada – key battleground states.

No one in this group is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues? Err, really? You don’t suppose Navy SEALs, CIA officers, and military commanders aren’t perhaps in the best position to speak about the dangers of high-level security leaks and the importance of safeguarding both our gathered intelligence and our individuals?

The White House has insisted that nobody from their ranks was involved in dishing out sensitive information to the media, but even so, they’ve failed to really get to the bottom of the matter. Publicity like this could definitely do something to put a damper on their credibility come foreign-policy discussion-time this fall. Ouch.