Almost eight years ago, presidential candidate John Kerry accepted the Democratic nomination with the infamous line: “I’m John Kerry, and I’m reporting for duty.” His military service, in a war three decades old, became the centerpiece of his campaign.
Within weeks, the Republicans had turned what was seen as one of Kerry’s strongest assets against him.
Swift Boats Veterans for Truth—which included over 200 Vietnam veterans, most who hadn’t even served with Kerry—succeeded in raising doubts about the heroic narrative Kerry was selling.
What seemingly started as a scratch turned into a sucking chest wound for his campaign.
Yesterday, the Obama campaign got clawed.
What was supposed to be an easy win—a victory lap on the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death, trumping up the president’s most militant moment—appeared to be slipping away.
The frustration—or, even anger—within the SEAL community is real, and has been brewing for months, particularly among a politically conservative core of operators. It started immediately after the raid, with questions among the Special Forces and intelligence community of whether the president should have waited to announce the kill to exploit the intelligence cache at Osama’s compound.
It simmered after a Chinook helicopter was shot down, killing 30 Americans, 22 of them Navy SEALs from Team Six.