The U.S. raid in Yemen last month that cost the life of a Navy SEAL and several children reportedly yielded no significant intelligence, NBC News reported just a day after the dead SEAL’s father called for a full investigation of the action.
Quoting senior U.S. officials, NBC reported the raid had been designed to kill or capture at least one militant, something the military never has acknowledged. Instead, Pentagon officials said the mission was designed to gather intelligence.
The raid was initially planned by the Obama administration, but President Donald Trump gave the go-ahead just five days into his administration.
The White House called the raid a success and Pentagon officials said it produced “actionable intelligence.”
"We gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said earlier this month. Spicer Monday said Chief Special Warfare Officer Ryan Owens did not die in vain.
“He was able to obtain through that raid, as I said before, [information that] is going to save American lives,” Spicer said. “The mission was successful in helping prevent future attack or attacks on this nation.”
The only evidence of intelligence the military has released was an old bomb-making video. NBC quoted “multiple senior officials” as saying they had seen no evidence to support Spicer’s claim.
“I want an investigation,” Owens father, William Owens, told the Miami Herald. “The government owes my son an investigation.
"Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn't even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?"
Owens refused to meet with Trump when his son’s remains were returned to Dover Air Force Base because “my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the raid in an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
"The mission has a lot of different critics, but it did yield a substantial amount of very important intel and resources that helped save American lives and other lives," Sanders said.
Fourteen militants were killed in the raid along with at least 25 civilians, nine of them children, including the 8-year-old daughter of U.S.-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone attack, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported. Six other service members were injured and a $70 million U.S. aircraft was destroyed.
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