Joint Chiefs Chairman, Special Ops Officers Condemn ‘Shameful’ Anti-Obama Groups

Gen. Martin Dempsey (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty)

The country’s top military officer condemned members of swift boat groups that have cropped up this election season attacking President Obama on national security grounds. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey would not comment on the substance of the groups’ attacks but told reporters on a plane back to the U.S. from Afghanistan that they’re “not useful”:

And one of the things that marks us as a profession in a democracy, in our form of democracy, that’s most important is that we remain apolitical.

“That’s how we maintain our bond and trust with the American people,” the general said.

A group of former intelligence and special operations officers called “OPSEC” released a video last week accusing Obama of jeopardizing sensitive information in taking credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. The lead spokesperson for that group, as Foreign Policy reported yesterday, “has a long record of questioning the president’s birthplace and religion, and calling him names like ‘Commander-in-Chief Hussein Mao-bama,’ trumpeting conspiracy theories, and insulting Muslims.”

Another group attacking Obama called “Special Operations Speaks” or SOS, pledges to remove the president from office because of “what they see as unforgivably security leaks by President Obama and his team.” The leader of that group — which actually featured the current special operations commander calling Obama a “fantastic” commander-in-chief — admitted that he does not believe Obama was born in the United States.

But Dempsey isn’t the only one criticizing the groups. The AP reports today that other special ops officers “say the activist veterans are breaking a sacred military creed: respect for the commander in chief”:

This is an unprofessional, shameful action on the part of the operators that appear in the video, period,” U.S. Army Special Forces Maj. Fernando Lujan wrote on his Facebook page, to a chorus of approval from colleagues.

A Green Beret who returned last year from Afghanistan, Lujan says that attaching the title of special operator with any political campaign is “in violation of everything we’ve been taught, and the opposite of what we should be doing, which is being quiet professionals.” […]

“They have a good point. I wish there was better OPSEC (operational security), and fewer leaks,” said retired Navy SEAL Capt. Rick Woolard, who commanded several SEAL units. “But I would prefer that SEALs and other special operators would sit down and shut the hell up.”

Obama said he doesn’t pay much attention to the attacks. “I don’t take these folks too seriously,” the president said. “One of their members is a birther who denies I was born here, despite evidence to the contrary. You’ve got another who was a tea party candidate in a recent election. This kind of stuff springs up before election time.”