Donald Trump Didn’t Honor Ryan Owens. He Used Him.

This is really hard to write, because in no way do we wish to minimize the death of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, who was killed in Yemen on Jan. 29 in a raid President Donald Trump has said was highly successful.

Except it wasn’t.

Flash forward to Trump’s address last night to a joint session of Congress, when Carryn Owens, whose husband was the first American combat death during the Trump administration, received a long, richly deserved ovation.



Problem #1: That whole supposed Secretary of Defense James Mattis quote – “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence” – is entirely disputable since no military raid can be called a success that winds up with a) the death of a Navy SEAL, b) the death of multiple children, and c) the escape of the primary target.

Problem #2: It’s entirely possible that the Yemen raid has generated zero amounts of vital intelligence.

Consequently, it was stunning that Obamanaut Van Jones would wax eloquent on CNN about that moment in Trump’s address.




He became President of the United Staes?

More like President of the Benighted States.

We totally understand Carryn Owens’s desire for her husband’s sacrifice to be recognized by the country he so nobly served. And we honor that.

But we don’t understand how General Mattis can let himself be puppeteered by Donald Trump that way.

And we don’t understand how Van Jones can be suckered by Donald Trump that way.

But we do understand this:

Ryan Owens’s death was the result of a tragically ill-considered raid ordered by Donald Trump.

And there’s no finessing that.

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