The Atlantic

An Admiral Speaks Out

An op-ed criticizing the president from the man responsible for the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden represents a startling intervention by a studiously nonpolitical figure.
Source: Gary Cameron / Reuters

This week, retired Admiral William H. McRaven published an unsparing open letter to President Donald Trump in The Washington Post requesting that in the wake of the president’s decision to strip former CIA Director John Brennan of a security clearance, the president grant him the same honor. It is a startling intervention by a luminary of military leadership—the man responsible for the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden—who has not previously publicly criticized this president, nor any other, for that matter.

To understand the meaning of McRaven’s intervention, one must recognize the ongoing challenge faced by former national-security officials and military officers regarding appropriate responses to this president. National security is supposed to exist apart

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