ACLU Sues Trump Administration for Files on Botched SEAL Raid in Yemen

by Alex Emmons, from the Intercept

Donald Trump’s administration is trying to close the book on its first major military operation – a botched Navy SEAL raid in Yemen that turned into a village-wide massacre, killing as many as 25 people, including 10 children. But the ACLU, which made a Freedom of Information Act request in March, has just filed a lawsuit to force the government to open its files.

When the residents of al Ghayil village in central Yemen heard gunfire the night of January 29th, they returned fire, thinking that they were under attack by a local party in Yemen’s civil war. U.S. forces then strafed the village with helicopter gunfire, killing villagers, damaging a dozen buildings, and wiping out the village’s livestock.

The raid, which Trump reportedly authorized over dinner, also resulted in the death of a Navy Seal, William “Ryan” Owens, and the destruction of a $70 million Osprey helicopter. The raid did not kill its intended target — a senior al Qaeda leader — and villagers denied that Al Qaeda had a presence in the village.

President Trump has insisted the raid was “highly successful,”…

The White House took it a step further and tried to shame the raid’s critics into silence. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that “anyone who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and [does] a disservice to the life of Chief Owens.” The next day, Trump tweeted that criticism from Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., “emboldens the enemy.”…

[read more here]

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