Admiral William H. McRaven has handed in his resignation from the Advisory Council of Innovation to the Defence Secretary.

It was the US Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, that set up this council in 1996. The motive was to pull the best talent in Silicon Valley’s innovation industries. The Council brings together those with expertise in the intricacies of the Internet and high rank military officials.

Admiral McRaven entered into a head-on conflict with President Trump when Trump withdrew the former CIA Director’s, John Brennan’s, Secret Defence Security Clearance. To express his solidarity with Brennan, McRaven published an article requesting that he too be deprived of his security clearance. The Washington Post published this text [1] on the same day that former senior Intelligence officials also published a text supporting Brennan [2].

After an anonymous article was published in the New York Times [3], this time attributed to a high ranking official in the White House, McRaven was invited to hand in his resignation from the Council that he was sitting on.

Admiral McRaven achieved fame as the leader of Operation, Neptune’s Spear. It is asserted that he assassinated Osama Bin Laden in his dwellings in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This operation had been set up by President Barack Obama and was robustly challenged by Pakistan on two grounds. First, because it was executed in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and second, because Osama Bin Laden was not living in Abbottabada, but had died in Afghanistan in 2001. Admiral McRaven had then led the Special Forces (US SoCom). In this regard, he had been heard by the Congress and proudly revealed his practice of political assassinations in 78 countries in the world. President Obama had tasked McRaven with establishing a network with Allied Special Forces in order to be able to assassinate anyone, wherever they might be in the world, in less than 48 hours [4].

John O. Brennan enjoyed a long career at the CIA and worked his way up to the top of the organization (2013-17). He added much muscle to the Agency’s Drone Assassination Programme, working closely with Admiral McRaven to achieve this. In contrast, he clashed with General Michael T. Flynn, Head of Military Intelligence. Once Flynn became the top adviser of National Security of President Trump, he immediately had Brennan removed and tried to reorganize the CIA around its missions of gathering human intelligence, steering it away from liquidating its enemies. Wasting no time, Brennan led the political fight against Flynn and Trump, accusing them of being Russian agents. His secret-defence accreditation was revoked on 15 August 2018.

Anoosha Boralessa

[1«Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President», by William H. McRaven, Washington Post (United States) , Voltaire Network, 16 August 2018.

[2Statement from former senior intelligence officials”, Voltaire Network, 16 August 2018.

[3I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”, New York Times (United States) , Voltaire Network, 5 September 2018.

[4The Globalization of Special Forces”, by Manlio Dinucci, Translation Roger Lagassé, Il Manifesto (Italy) , Voltaire Network, 19 May 2014.