The Worst-Ever Attempt at Swiftboating

The “swift boat” attacks in the 2004 presidential election were effective, in part, because they played on real public anxiety: “We’re fighting two wars, is now a good time to change leaders?” For a critical number of Americans, the answer was no, and John Kerry couldn’t overcome the sense that we shouldn't change horses in midstream (to use a cliché).

Dishonorable Disclosures” is a 22-minute video from a group of former special operations and C.I.A. officers that attempts to do the same to President Obama. The group, called Special Operations Education Fund (OPSEC), bills itself as a nonpartisan group—it calls on supporters to “stop the politicians, President Obama and others”— whose main goal is to inform the public. More specifically, it's registered as a 501(c)4, or "dark money" group, which doesn't have to reveal its donors to the public. 

Its message is straightforward: The Obama administration is leaking sensitive national security information for the sake of political gain. In particular, the ad accuses Obama of bragging about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, and using its success as a weapon against his political opponents.

Of course, it’s hard to take this seriously as “educational” when key members of the group have ties to the Republican Party. Scott Taylor, the president of OPSEC, ran as a Republican in Virginia’s second congressional district (he lost the primary). The spokesperson, Chad Kolton, worked in the Bush administration, at the Republican National Committee, and in the office of John Boehner. OPSEC also shares an address with two GOP consulting firms—the Trailblazer Group and TelOpinion. I’d be surprised if that were a coincidence.

The video itself throws doubt on the group’s intentions. It’s saturated with anti-Obama content, and goes so far as to doctor a quote—from his address announcing the death of bin Laden—to portray the president as ungrateful to the troops. In that announcement, Obama thanked the “tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals." OPSEC removes the line from its excerpt.

Of the GOP attacks to emerge over the last six months, this one makes the least sense. Obama has a commanding lead on national security; according to Gallup, 58 percent of Americans approve of how Obama has handled terrorism. The numbers on foreign affairs are lower—48 percent—but still solid. Moreover, even if there were doubts about Obama’s performance, the GOP doesn’t have a presidential ticket that could capitalize on them; neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan has anything close to meaningful foreign policy experience. Romney, in particular, has developed a reputation for saying outlandish things about our position in the world, i.e., “Russia is our number one geopolitical foe.” The less Romney talks about national security, the better.

My guess is that this is part of a kitchen-sink strategy—throw as much as you can at the opponent and see what sticks. But after one failed war and another unnecessary one, Americans are deeply skeptical of anything conservatives have to say about defense. If anything, this attack might help Obama, by reminding the public of just what happened the last time you let a Republican sit as commander-in-chief.

Comments

Bin Laden was taken out on Obama's watch, and it galls conservatives that they cannot attack the POTUS for being weak against foreign terrorist threats.

Had this accomplishment been made when Bush was still President, Rove, Sununu, and other right wing blowhards would be singing his praises and hailing him as a genius for his military leadership and clandestine operation decision-making.

Regardless of your political side, you cannot ignore the facts of disclosure. Tell me you think it is ok to disclose the secrets as they have been. Tell me it is ok to put lives in danger for the sake of pumping your chest. Seriously, they could have taken a better approach to the publicizing of the intel. Like waiting for the smoke to clear.

I don't have affiliations to any party and wish the extremists would just back down some and stop saying it's "their fault". Both parties are wrong almost every day about something. All that this does is drive this country to hatred instead of trying to keep it together.

Yes, the video may have political gain in it, but regardless of who is ion office, if Bush did this, I would hope we would have beat him down. If Clinton were in, him too. I don't care which 'side' is in or not...just try to get along for the country, and not for your own agenda. Timing is everything!

Jack Nicholson said it best in; Invasion from Mars: "Can't we all just....get along?"

1. Same address? Like ACORN and the SEIU?
2. Jack Nicholson said it best in; Invasion from Mars: "Can't we all just....get along?"
That was a second generation quote the original was Rodney King, during the LA Riots.

As a Veteran with some exposure to Special Operations in my 16 years, This Video is CORRECT. Disclosure of OpSEC information compromises all future operations.

The President placed immediate threats upon the special operations cadre, and their families. It is INCOMPETENCE, and glory gathering for Political gain.

The world will be a better place when the TRAITOR leaves office.

Things are intentionally "leaked" all the time to throw certain parties off track. You didn't learn much during your "exposure" to Special Ops, did you?

"Attacking a sitting president as weak is not the best idea" Where was this outrage with Dems said the same, and much, much worse about Bush? Then you add, "especially when he ordered the attack that killed Osama bin Laden." Substitute "Sadam Hussein" Your short memory, or your stupidity is showing.

Saddam Hussein was not responsible for 3000 American deaths in a terrorism strike. Neither did he possess those deadly WMDs which was one of Bush's pretexts for involving us in a senseless war which resulted in more, needless, American deaths, not to mention the lack of respect it engendered in many parts of the world. If I were you, I'd be a little bit more circumspect before throwing the word, stupidity, around.

Bush also let Mullah Omar get away and he let Afghanistan spiral out of control as he shifted his resources to Iraq.

Isn't it ironic how a left wing, jobless, blogger,hack will preach on his speculation of the political affiliation/motivation of the very people who provided his right to do so rather than comment on the very real and accurate content of their message.
Since other posts want to reference Jack Nicholson, I find it appropriate to add "you sleep under the very blanket of protection I provide and then question the manner in which I provide it". Circa... Early 90's... A few good men
Here is the reality... Labman: Your president had no choice but to agree to the execution of that operation because there were far too many members of our intelligence community/military that were urging him to act after having ascertained the target's location nearly a month prior to his "courageous" order. Any other action would be political suicide if the American people learned of it. Also, in your ignorance, you fail to recall to important things... 1) It was president Bush that instituted the operation and subsequent years of work that produced the end result that your president claims credit for and 2) On President Bush's watch our service members captured Saddam Hussein... I repeat, OUR SERVICE MEMBERS captured the single most wanted man on the planet. In his subsequent address, President Bush deflects every shred of credit to the men and women of our military. Bin Laden was a secondary target that was elevated AFTER husein was taken. The only real involvement your president had was the self agrandization parade after the fact.
To Paul Randall: Thank you for informing us that it was president Bush that "let Mullah Omar go". That has been an ongoing investigation that until now has been unable to establish the fact that Bush was on the ground in the middle east, tasked with Omar watch that day. I'm certain that with the testimony of a cowardly, non service member of your caliber, we can charge him with deriliction of duty.
Isn't it also ironic how those of us who have and continue to serve our country all seem to agree about this President's audacity and hypocricy while those who cowardly hide behind our shield will recklessly cast aspersions? Kinda like the band member questioning the quarterback isn't it? You don't here us quarterbacks telling you what songs to play do you?
How bout you carry my gear, get in the fight or mow my lawn... I don't care which but at least be productive. You three are examples of what has gone horribly wrong with MY COUNTRY!

We've yet to see President Obama swaggering around describing himself as a "war President." Or posing in full flight gear in front of a huge banner declaring !!!MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! on an aircraft carrier only a couple miles from OUR shores. Mission accomplished? Almost ten years later, Americans are still dying for no reason other than the placating of G.W. Bush's infantile ego. (BTW, change it to CHEERLEADER questioning the Q-Back, and your analogy fits Georgie Boy perfectly!)

The key to your entire rant is the last two words. MY COUNTRY.....as in YOUR very own. Talk about grandiose. Almost as grand as Bush on the aircraft carrier claiming victory in a flight suit.

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