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The commander-in-chief just made a surprise visit to visit the troops in Iraq.
While he was there he took photos with the troops, signed autographs – the whole nine yards.
All of that was fine and dandy, except for one major, glaring mistake on the part of Trump and his handlers.
Trump accidentally revealed that a U.S. Navy SEAL team was deployed to Iraq when he took a selfie while posing with Lieutenant Commander Kyu Lee, a member of SEAL team Five.
A video of the photo was posted to Trump’s Twitter account. If America’s enemies aren’t glued into Trump’s Twitter account, that would be a surprise.
No one is suggesting that Trump shouldn’t have taken photos – but they should have been screened by the president’s staff to ensure any covert missions in the area wouldn’t be compromised. That’s all we’re saying. They just shouldn’t have been made available until the mission was completed. It’s currently on-going.
Now, that said, the actual specifics of this exact scenario aren’t known, but Newsweek spoke to current and former Defense Department officials and they all said that information such as this is almost always classified and a violation of operational security. It’s a no-brainer, really.
Here is Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence specialist:
“Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments. The real names, faces, and identities, of personnel involved in special operations or activities, are usually a closely held secret in a combat zone,” Nance said. “Revealing them casually, through an unusual media exposure even if it’s the commander in chief, would prove a propaganda boom if any of this personnel are detained by a hostile government or captured by a terrorist group. There would be no denying who you are and what you do.”
Right now the Pentagon and Naval Special Warfare Command are refusing to comment on the topic.
Trump has since left Iraq after the visit and is currently stopping in Germany to visit U.S. troops there in the area.