Trump seemed to relish in telling the world how he alone caught and killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
At a special Sunday morning press conference in Washington D.C., Trump described the way U.S. Special Operations Forces attacked Baghdadi’s compound and killed him in such graphic and explicit detail that some intelligence professionals worried he may have revealed, again, too much about sources and methods.
But Trump knows great television when he sees it, and he was enthusiastic about the images he was watching from the White House situation room Saturday night. “It was absolutely perfect, as though you were watching a movie,” he said.
That may have the makings of a trailer for the inevitable movie that will be made of this operation, but there are some things that are off and off-putting.
First, the graphic descriptions trivializes the background work that the professionals put into it, making it more like Halo night than a military mission.
Second, as noted, his overkill, so to speak, and his inclination to put out pictures and details may reveal too much to those watching and who may reverse-engineer the operation.
Lastly, it’s just wrong to glorify this kind of operation. America should not dance on the graves of its adversaries. The Special Operations Forces certainly don’t want that kind of exposure, and this kind of spectacle is more in line with something a narcissistic dictator would pull off, puffing out his paunch to prove to the world he’s a badass when in reality it’s telling us he’s an insecure bully, clinging to power by sheer fear of being called out. He made it clear that while Obama may have been in charge when they got Osama bin Laden, he was going to out-do him, not because Baghdadi represented a threat to the world but because he just had to score a point in his feverish quest to put down Barack Obama.
Oh, and telling the Russians that the operation was underway before notifying Congress tells the world who he really reports to.