During his address to Congress last night, Donald Trump honored the widow of slain U.S. Navy SEAL William Ryan Owens, who was killed during a raid in Yemen last month. It was a moving moment, as the widow, Carryn Owens, received one of the longest standing ovations in the history of the congressional chamber.
While he honored Mr. and Ms. Owens and their sacrifices during his speech, Donald Trump continues to refuse to accept any responsibility for ordering the raid that claimed Mr. Owens’s life. As reported here and elsewhere, the raid – one of the first military actions ordered by Trump – had tragic consequences: in addition to the death of Mr. Owens, a number of women and children were also killed, with upwards of 30 civilians losing their lives.
Mr. Owens’s father has, in recent days, asked for an investigation into the decision-making that led to the raid. When asked about such decision-making, Trump point blank refused to accept any responsibility. He first attempted to somehow blame the Obama administration, then squarely pinned the blamed on Trump’s own generals. Reports the Military Times, when asked by Fox News about the genesis of the raid, Trump said, “This was something [the generals] wanted to do. They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected, the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.”
Donald Trump seemingly cannot accept any responsibility for the consequences of his actions. As commander in chief, the “commands” that he issues will inevitably have life and death consequences. He needs to own these decisions. The buck stops with him.