A group of retired special forces and CIA officers, calling itself the Special Forces OPSEC Education Fund, is targeting President Obama for the spate of national security leaks that, they say, has compromised U.S. intelligence sources and methods, placed active duty special forces members and CIA officers lives at risk, and reduced the effectiveness of followup operations and intelligence exploitation. They have produced a hard-hitting 22-minute video (which can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Xfti7qtT0) which makes that case, featuring former members of the Navy Seals, Army Special Forces, and retired CIA officers speaking out against Obama's use of national security operations (and, unfortunately, notorious spoon-bender retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely), including the raid to kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011, for political benefit.
They say that politics should never come before national security, and that their goal is to stop politicians from using national security and their access to secrets for political purposes, which they accuse Obama of doing. Though it is registered as a 501(c)4 organization, which doesn't have to reveal its donors, rather than a political action committee, the group nonetheless plans to run one-minute TV spots in several battleground states.
They particularly go after Obama for taking personal credit for killing Osama bin Laden, and in the process exposing his narcissism. When it was pointed out to him that their video edits out Obama praising the special forces troops who carried it out, Scott Taylor, the group's president, said that was overshadowed by personnal credit that Obama took. "So does the year-anniversary commercials, so does the high-level access to Hollywood producers, giving them [information on a] want-to-know basis rather than need-to-know basis, which is what's supposed to happen with classified material. Again, this group is very serious, were very motivated, were the subject matter experts," he said on CNN on Aug. 17. "It affects us the most and we were worried about future operations being hindered and our brothers and sisters being put in harms way unnecessarily because of politicians."
So far, the Obama campaign's response to the video and the group's campaign has been to characterize them as a bunch of know-nothings who are reprising the GOP's Swift Boating of Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 election campaign. The group certainly has ties to the Republican Party. Taylor ran a failed campaign for the Republican nomination for Congress in Virginia in 2010. But significantly, the video quotes only one political figure expressing concern about the potential dangers of the leaks: Sen. Diane Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a Democrat. The other difference is that while the Swift Boat campaign about Kerry's conduct in Vietnam turned out to be mostly lies, even the man whom the Obama campaign cited in comments to Reuters as one of its biggest boosters on the bin Laden raid, Adm. William McRaven, said in the same paragraph that the leaks put lives at risk.