Former Navy SEAL who oversaw Osama bin Laden raid says he voted for Biden 'because Black Lives Matter and climate change is real'


Oct. 20 2020, Updated 10:18 a.m. ET

William McRaven, the former NAVY Seal who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, has revealed in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that he voted for former Vice President Joe Biden. Describing himself as "pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense, and a national-anthem-standing conservative" McRaven has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.

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Revealing that he had voted for Biden, McRaven added, "I also believe that black lives matter, that the Dreamers deserve a path to citizenship, that diversity and inclusion are essential to our national success, that education is the great equalizer, that climate change is real and that the First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy."

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"Most important, I believe that America must lead in the world with courage, conviction, and a sense of honor and humility."

McRaven said that the world has "seen us tear up our treaties, leave our allies on the battlefield and cozy up to despots and dictators. They have seen our incompetence in handling the pandemic and the wildfires. They have seen us struggle with social injustice. They no longer think we can lead, because they have seen an ineptness and a disdain for civility that is beyond anything in their memory."

McRaven said that the United States needs a leader who "understands the importance of American leadership, at home and abroad."

"If we remain indifferent to our role in the world, if we retreat from our obligation to our citizens and our allies and if we fail to choose the right leader, then we will pay the highest price for our neglect and shortsightedness. I voted for Joe Biden."

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Lasy year, McRaven wrote a New York Times opinion column titled "Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President."

"For everyone who ever served in uniform, or in the intelligence community, for those diplomats who voice the nation's principles, for the first responders, for the tellers of truth and the millions of American citizens who were raised believing in American values — you would have seen your reflection in the faces of those we honored last week." 

But he went on to add that "beneath the outward sense of hope and duty, there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear." 

McRaven said that many of those working for the military and intelligence had witnessed "the assaults on our institutions."

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"They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own," McRaven wrote. "They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. 

He even went on to allege that at a military ceremony he attended at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, a retired four-star general had told him that President Trump was "destroying the Republic."

"As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, 'I don't like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!' Those words echoed with me throughout the week.

McRaven accused President Trump of neglecting the United State's duty to be "the protectors of the less fortunate." He specifically highlighted President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria. 

McRaven summarized the mess in his column, writing:

"If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can't have faith in our nation's principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military." 

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"And if they don't join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?" 

During an interview about the column on CNN, McRaven continued his attack, saying: 

"If you want to destroy an organization, any organization, you destroy it from within, you destroy it from without and then what you do is you convince everybody that you're doing the right thing."  

"So when you take a look at what the President has done, he's undermined the intelligence community, the law enforcement community, the Department of Justice, the State Department. He has called the press the enemy of the American people and I will tell you, I've fought a lot of America's enemies. The press is not the enemy of the American people." 

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He also accused the President of "undermining us from without." 

"He's obviously left our allies the Kurds on the battlefield. We feel like we've betrayed them. He's undermined our NATO allies, he's taken us out of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear agreement) and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal) and really the international community has lost faith in America. And then throughout the course of all of this, he's convinced us he's doing it for all the right reasons, and I think that is really what is troubling." 

McRaven ended his op-ed with a call for new leadership.

"If this president doesn't demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office -- Republican, Democrat or independent -- the sooner, the better," he wrote. "The fate of our Republic depends upon it." 


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