The father of William “Ryan” Owens, the Navy SEAL killed during a mission that President Trump approved after being in the White House for just a week, blames the President for his son’s death and is demanding an investigation into the failed raid.
According to The Miami Herald, William Owens that he refused to meet with Trump when the remains of his son were returned to Dover Air Force Base.
Owens remembered explaining to the chaplain,
“I’m sorry, I don’t want to see him. I told them I don’t want to meet the president.”
He continued, “I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him.”
Owens was also critical of the President’s motivation for signing off to execute a mission less than a week into his administration, especially after signing his executive order which effectively barred individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States just a day before the Yemen raid. Owens believes this action may have compromised the operation.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to do something to antagonize an ally when you’re going to conduct a mission in that country. Did we alienate some of the people working with them, translators or support people. Maybe they decided to release information to jeopardize the mission… I don’t want anybody to think I have an agenda, because I don’t. I just want the truth.”
“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?”
The Trump administration has repeatedly failed to call the raid what it was — a disaster. However, military officials have countered the administration’s claims and have told The New York Times that “everything went wrong” during the mission. Officials in the Trump administration also went so far as to claim that questioning the raid, especially in the form of an investigation, would somehow tarnish the legacy of Owens’ son. This is a statement that his father wholly disagrees with.