The father of William “Ryan” Owens, the Navy SEAL that was killed in the failed military raid in Yemen that President Donald Trump authorized in his first few weeks in the White House, demanded an investigation into the raid that resulted in the death of his son. Now, it seems that the White House is willing to allow the investigation to move forward.
As CBS reports, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated, “I haven’t had the chance to speak with [the President] directly about that, but I would imagine that he would be supportive of that.”
She continued, “I think every American owes his son a great deal of gratitude. We are forever in his son’s debt. I know that he paid the ultimate sacrifice when he went on that mission. And I know that the mission has a lot of different critics, but it did yield a substantial amount of very important intel and resources that helped save American lives and other lives.”
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Owens’ father was critical of many things, including 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.
The raid was previously organized while former President Barack Obama was in office. However, the operation was put on hold until military leaders felt was the optimal time. Since the raid was executed, reports have shown that the President did not have sufficient intel prior to approving it.