The retired four-star admiral William McRaven that lead the Joint Special Operations Command at the time Osama bin Laden was apprehended and killed thinks Donald Trump might be the “greatest threat to democracy” in his entire career. As commander, McRaven was the mastermind of the 2011 operation that led to Laden’s death.
The former Navy SEAL made the remark Tuesday at the University of Texas’ Belo Media Center in Austin, Texas. He added that every American should “challenge” Trump-induced sentiment that the media has turned into the enemy of the people.
This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime,
the former commander concluded.
In other words, the organizer of the military operation that led to the capture and death of the man that orchestrated the worst terrorist attack on the U.S. territory since Pearl Harbor says Trump’s attacks on the media are of a greater concern for our democracy than the very man that psychically attacked us.
McRaven’s comment comes as a reaction to one of the president’s tweets in which Trump called the ‘dishonest media’ the enemy of the American people. The president has often said that the mainstream media was spreading falsehoods about him and his aides.
On the other hand, the president overlooks the fact that his administration has a propensity for spreading lies, and sometimes they cover their lies with other lies when they are caught.
It is worth noting that bin Laden truly hated America. He hated America so bad that he planned out the 9/11 attacks and rejoiced when American civilians lost their lives. And the man that orchestrated the raid that resulted in his capture and death now thinks that the U.S. president’s swipes at the media are more dangerous than the terrorist mastermind himself.
In a democracy, a free press is crucial to hold those who govern us accountable. And now the Trump White House is upset that the media makes them look bad in the eyes of Americans and the world.
The media in fact was indirectly behind Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation. The New York Times published an explosive piece containing info from nine unnamed law enforcement official who said they had firsthand info the retired general had contacts with the Russian envoy to the U.S. after the election.
And McRaven is no stranger to journalism. As an UT journalism graduate, he published stories about his experience as a Navy SEAL trainee, as the head of the Joint Special Operations Command in 2011, and as commanding officer in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He once said that in order to be a great leader you must be an effective communicator in everything you do first. He explained that true leaders communicate their intent every time they can and if they fail to do so, they have to pay the consequences.
McRaven’s address was the first in a string of lectures whose purpose is to promote a new leadership and communication program at the UT’s Moody College of Communication.
Image Source: Flickr