The Trump regime continues to claim the disastrous raid in Yemen was a success, but Pentagon and congressional officials who spoke to NBC News tell a very different story.
Ostensibly, the goal of the raid was to capture intelligence, but unnamed officials say they found no significant intelligence. And there's more to the story.
The officials who spoke to NBC also confirmed that the true goal of the mission was to capture or kill a local leader.
A senior Congressional official briefed on the matter said the Trump administration has yet to explain what prompted the rare use of American ground troops in Yemen, but he said he was not aware of any new threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda affiliate that was targeted.
The official, and others briefed on the matter who spoke to NBC News, echoed the remarks of Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., that the raid was designed to kill or capture one or more militants — something the military did not initially acknowledge.
The raid did not result in the death or capture of local al Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi because he wasn't there, but the raid did result in the death of a 8-year-old American girl, the daughter of Nawar al-Awlaki, and an unknown number of other children and civilians.
Even if you buy the Trump regime's claim that the raid's only goal was to gather intelligence and not to capture or kill someone, it was a failure either way.
Trump, for his part, is now blaming the military for the raid's failure and the death of a Navy SEAL.
“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” he said. “They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan."
The buck stops with somebody else.
They aren't his generals, by the way. That's not how it works. Also, Trump was hate-tweeting the New York Times during the raid.