White House Defends Yemen Raid Following Criticism from Fallen Commando's Father
01 March, 2017, 00:21 | Author: Michele Stevens
While lamenting the loss of Ryan Owens, Spicer responded to criticism by the SEAL's father, who called for a deeper investigation into his son's death.
"This was a mission that started before I got here", Trump said. John McCain (R. -Ariz.) that the raid was created to kill or capture one or more militants - something the military did not initially acknowledge.
At the request of Bill Owens and his family, no media or any bystanders were allowed to attend the ceremony.
In addition to the death of Ryan Owens, six other USA service members were wounded.
Sanders said that as a parent, she can't imagine the loss Owens' parents are facing.
"I'm sorry, I don't want to see him, " Owens recalled telling the chaplain. "And I know that 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".
Owens' father, Bill, told the Miami Herald that he still has questions about what happened and hopes an inquiry will produce answers.
Mr Owens has declined to meet with the president, claiming: 'My conscience wouldn't let me talk to him'. "I can tell him that on behalf of the president, his son died a hero".
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Owens, a military veteran, went on to call out Trump for both the mission and his subsequent handling of it - namely, for not investigating the raid.
It's not clear what such an inquiry would entail.
Davis said that it's possible that the probe will evaluate the decision-making process behind the raid, but that he could not confirm that.
Efforts by The Washington Post to reach Bill Owens on Sunday were unsuccessful. This comes after weeks of the White House doubling down on the mission and praising its success.
Earlier this month administration spokesman Sean Spicer said anyone who undermines the raid "owes an apology and [does] a disservice to the life of Chief Owens". The Pentagon said approximately 14 militants died during the raid, which was aimed at capturing information about potential al-Qaida terrorist attacks on the United States and allies.
Although the White House has said the specific plan for the raid had been pushed from Obama to Trump because of the mission's specific timing - namely, a night with no moon - Obama administration officials have debated this account.
Plans for the Yemen raid began past year while Obama was in office, but were tabled, because it was decided it would be better to launch the operation on a moonless night - which wouldn't occur until after Trump took office in January.
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