A groan and shout from Baghdadi that only Trump seems to have heard
WASHINGTON: It was a vivid scene worthy of the end of a Hollywood thriller, the image of a ruthless terrorist intellectual author finally brought to justice moans, cries and screams until his death. But it may not be more true than a movie script.
In the days since the president of the United States Donald Trump He gave the world a graphic account of the last minutes of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, there has been no evidence to confirm it.
The defense secretary, the president of the joint chiefs of staff and the regional commander who oversaw the operation that killed the terrorist group leader, all say they have no idea what the president was talking about.
Four other defense department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had not seen post-action reports, status reports or other communications that support Trump's claim.
Nor did they have any indication that Trump spoke with any of the Delta Force commands or ground commanders in the hours between Saturday night's raid and his televised announcement Sunday morning.
An American official dismissed the president's version of events as a simple exaltation.
Another senior official said: I don't know how I would know. Sounds like something he invented. ” The surveillance drone video that Trump saw in the situation room had no audio.
The White House has not provided corroboration or explanation of the president's account. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, ruled out trying to separate the details of the death of the leader of the Islamic State. Is it not possible to simply celebrate that a terrorist, murderer and rapist has been killed? He asked.
Pressing on where Trump got the details, he said, we will not go into any of the operational details of how the president receives the information. When asked if her account was true, she did not respond. That Trump seems to have invented the scene of a weeping terrorist can be shocking on one level, however, it is not so surprising for a president that over the years he has become accustomed to inventing people that do not exist and events that did not occur.
Trump's flexibility with the facts has become such an established feature of his presidency that polls show that most Americans, including many of his own supporters, do not take it in his word. What can be more revealing about the episode is the little attention the disparity of details receives.
In the past, presidential words were examined with forensic accuracy, and any variation of the established record could cause political damage. In the era of false statements and lies are swept away by the following story, which causes Pinocchio to verify the facts and scold them while the Republicans dismiss them with Trump's simple tiredness. “Trump is not simply a serial liar; He is trying to assassinate the very idea of truth, which is worse, said Peter Wehner, former strategic advisor to President George W. Bush.
Mark K Updegrove, a presidential historian, said those commanders in chief and President Barack Obama would not have been so lazy with the truth about that moment.
Events like the murder of Osama bin Laden , he said, were treated in moderation. In the days of reality shows, humility is not enough, Updegrove said. Trump, the veteran of reality shows, has to continue adding to the inherent drama of the moment, not only to boast that the despot is brought to justice but that it happens in the most humiliating way.
The desire to portray al-Baghdadi in humiliating terms may come from a real disgust with a terrorist responsible for the death of so many during his five years of terror. Trump said no one should consider al-Baghdadi as a hero, which is a point that certainly all American officials and anti-terrorism experts would agree with.
Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of national security under Obama, said the mocking descriptions of al-Baghdadi's president and gloating could be more harmful to us. Because it is clearly a lie, it generates conspiracy theories or undermines the success of the mission, he said.