Smearing Trump over deadly Yemen raid is unfair and shameful

Smearing Trump over deadly Yemen raid is unfair

By Post Editorial Board

February 2, 2017 | 8:07pm

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Donald Trump AP

Smearing President Trump over a raid on al Qaeda that left a US Navy SEAL dead: Let’s pray the fake news doesn’t get any lower than this.

A front-page New York Times headline Thursday claimed a “chain of miscues” in Saturday’s attack in Yemen is “Raising Questions Over Planning and Trump’s Approval of Raid.” Reuters cited unnamed “officials” who hit Trump for OK’ing the raid “without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.”

No: That “chain of miscues” was little more than a case of the enemy fighting back. And the planning went on for months — on President Barack Obama’s watch.

As Trump spokesman Sean Spicer noted Thursday, it was Nov. 8 when US Central Command sent the plan to the Pentagon, which approved it Dec. 19. And on Jan. 6, “interagency deputies” in the Obama White House gave the go-ahead.

But the raid was set for the next moonless night — after Inauguration Day. And Trump signed off only after new Defense Secretary James Mattis had OK’d it.

Press accounts described the raid as “disastrous” — when, in fact, it killed a dozen-plus Qaedas, including three senior leaders, and recovered a trove of intel.

Yes, Navy SEAL William Owens died. So, it seems, did several civilians, including women and children. And a crashed US aircraft had to be destroyed.

The loss of innocent lives is always regrettable — but some women were firing weapons.

And the raid was a necessary part of the War on Terror — as even Obama knew. And wars entail deaths, sometimes even of innocents. Especially one where the enemy intentionally targets innocents — and keeps civilians close as human shields.

To blame Trump for its casualties (while ignoring its successes) is beyond shameful.

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