Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner (HT Meredith Jessup at the Blaze) reports that Karen Vaughn, mother of Aaron Vaughn, a member of Navy SEAL Team 6 and one of 30 American servicemen, including 21 other SEAL Team 6 members, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan three months after the May 1, 2011 execution of Osama bin Laden, says in a video released yesterday by Veterans for a Strong America that the Obama administration “put a target on my son’s back and even on my back” by revealing the SEAL Team unit’s identity after the Bin Laden raid.
Actually, as seen here in a September 10 Fox News story, Mrs. Vaughn has been saying this for almost a month, which makes me wonder where Maureen Dowd at the New York Times has been. But first, the specifics from the Vaughns (bolds are mine throughout this post):
(via Fox News; separate video is at link)
Identifying the Special Operations Force behind the Usama bin Laden raid amounted to placing a target on the back of the team members as well as their families, according to the parents of Aaron Vaughn, a member of SEAL Team Six who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.
The Vaughns spoke with Fox News as part of an ongoing report on the war in Afghanistan for an upcoming episode of the “Fox Files.” While the Vaughns do not believe their son was part of the bin Laden mission, they said the entire team shared the victory, and eventually the shock, of being named.
“Aaron called me and said, ‘Mom, you need to wipe your social media clean of any reference to me or any of my buddies. Just disconnect completely,’” Karen Vaughn said her son warned after Vice President Biden publicly identified the SEALs on May 3, 2011 — two days after the raid. “He [Aaron] actually said to me, ‘Mom, there’s chatter, and all of our lives could be in danger, including yours’ … then I realized all of those families, you know, you’re talking about a community of around three hundred families who were all of a sudden made targets by this administration.”
… Aaron’s father Billy Vaughn said it was a betrayal to identify these selfless young men who put their country before everything else.
“We expect better out, out of the, the high-up’s in our government. We, as American citizens, look to our government. We elect them, we look to them to take care of the best interests of the American citizen, and especially the warrior. And I believe what the administration did, then I believe it was criminal.”
… Asked whether they could accept that the administration identified the SEALS because they were so grateful, Billy Vaughn flatly rejected the suggestion. “No matter how proud they were of it, it was very unprofessional. The fact, they could have, the administration could have said special operators.”
Fox News asked the White House National Security spokesman and the vice president’s office for a response, but none was immediately available.
(in the Veterans for a Strong America video)
… Defense Secretary Robert Gates: We all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out Bin Laden. That all fell apart the next day.
Vice President Joe Biden: … Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.
Mrs. Vaughn: How dare they? They put a target on my son’s back, and even my back.
… Narrator: National security leaks threaten American Lives. We need leaders who understand that.
As seen in a Google News search on “Karen Vaughn Aaron Navy” (not in quotes), Ms. Vaughn has been totally ignored by the establishment press.
As to Maureen Dowd, in 2005, in response to another aggrieved military mom, she wrote the following:
There’s an angry mother of a dead soldier camping outside his Crawford ranch, demanding to see a president who prefers his sympathy to be carefully choreographed.
… Cindy Sheehan, a 48-year-old Californian with a knack for P.R., says she will camp out in the dusty heat near the ranch until she gets to tell Mr. Bush face to face that he must pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Her son, Casey, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed in a Sadr City ambush last year.
The president met with her family two months after Casey’s death. Capturing W.’s awkwardness in traversing the line between somber and joking, and his love of generic labels, Ms. Sheehan said that W. had referred to her as “Mom” throughout the meeting, and given her the sense that he did not know who her son was.
The Bush team tried to discredit “Mom” by pointing reporters to an old article in which she sounded kinder to W. If only her husband were an undercover C.I.A. operative, the Bushies could out him. But even if they send out a squad of Swift Boat Moms for Truth, there will be a countering Falluja Moms for Truth.
It’s amazing that the White House does not have the elementary shrewdness to have Mr. Bush simply walk down the driveway and hear the woman out, or invite her in for a cup of tea. But W., who has spent nearly 20 percent of his presidency at his ranch, is burrowed into his five-week vacation and two-hour daily workouts. He may be in great shape, but Iraq sure isn’t.
… It’s hard to think of another president who lived in such meta-insulation. His rigidly controlled environment allows no chance encounters with anyone who disagrees.
… It’s getting harder for the president to hide from the human consequences of his actions …
… his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.
So, MoDo — Doesn’t Mrs. Vaughn have “absolute moral authority” over Barack Obama, a president living in “meta-insulation” which dwarfs that of Bush 43, who has “burrowed” into over 100 rounds of golf, endless campaign fundraisers, and celebrity schmoozing, and whose administration is so consumed by the need for self-promotion that it would rather leak details of a secret operation and even allow a preelection movie about it to be produced and released regardless of “the human consequences” of its actions?
If so, the least you should do is acknowledge that authority. If Mrs. Vaughn has somehow not earned “absolute moral authority,” do tell us why.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.