It’s time for retired Admiral William H. McRaven to topple another tyrant, in a special operation that will not be nearly as dangerous, nor as bloody, as the one he engaged in eight years ago. In that operation, nicknamed “Operation Neptune Spear,” McRaven organized and oversaw the execution of the U.S. Special Ops raid that ended the reign of terror of Osama Bin Laden.
This time, the dictator, also born into a wealthy family, is not hiding in a sprawling cement compound in Pakistan, but in an historic White House in the center of Washington, D.C. This time, by using ballots not bullets, “the fate of the Republic depends on” the success of this mission, as McRaven recently wrote in an Op Ed in the New York Times entitled “Our Republic is Under Attack From the President.”
Not only is the Admiral, a decorated 37-year military Veteran who has dedicated his lifetime to serving his country, the right person to lead this urgent mission, but he brings the clear-eyed strength of character, uncompromising integrity and willingness to sacrifice all for a worthy cause which the nation so desperately needs now, after Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to tear up the Constitution, and undermine American National Security Interests.
In a mere matter of weeks, Trump’s catastrophic decision to pull US Troops out of Syria, betrayed our Kurdish allies who lost 11,000 lives fighting ISIS for us, allowed the Turks to wage their long sought campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds, freed hundreds of ISIS terrorists, witnessed demoralized US troops abandon and bomb our own military outposts, and enabled Vladimir Putin to redraw the map of the Middle East, installing the Russians into a permanent position of occupation in Northern Syria. And none of those foreign policy atrocities includes the now well-documented illegal shakedown of the Ukrainian government, under siege by the Russians on that country’s eastern front, for dirt on a political opponent, in exchange for Ukraine’s desperately needed military assistance from the US, already authorized by Congress.
The need to oust Trump from the Oval Office is as clear to Admiral McRaven, as it was to his colleague and fellow war veteran, former Ukrainian Ambassador William Taylor, whose scathing testimony before Congress this week, made it clear—under oath—that Trump himself was responsible for the illegal attempted shakedown of the Ukrainians. With 13,000 Ukrainians having already been killed in the 5-year war with the Russians, Taylor wrote in his opening statement, “more Ukrainians would undoubtedly die without U.S. assistance.” Trump was not only playing politics and abusing his power, he was playing with human lives, as he carelessly did when he sacrificed the Kurds to the fever dreams of a Turkish tyrant, who carved up the new Syria with Putin, the ultimate beneficiary of all of Trump’s anti-American actions.
The best way for Admiral McRaven to save the nation now and for the long term is to become the Democratic Nominee for President. There’s still time—about one month–for him to do it through the Democratic Presidential Primaries, by winning some delegates to have his name placed in nomination at the convention in the summer of 2020 in Milwaukee, if no single candidate has secured a majority of the 1885 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot.
In California, for example, where our Presidential Primary is being held on March 3, 2020, “Super Tuesday,” along with 9 other states, McRaven still has until November 26—four weeks away– to file notice of his candidacy for President with the Secretary of State’s office. Under California election law, McRaven (or anyone) would have to meet only one of several criteria to qualify as a candidate on the primary ballot.
The simplest criterion for McRaven to meet in the shortest period of time is the one which requires the candidate to establish a Presidential webpage or website, after setting up an authorized Presidential Campaign Committee with the Federal Elections Commission. Once those requirements are met, , a “written request submitted on behalf of the candidate by a party qualified to participate in the Primary Election, to the Secretary of State, requesting that the candidate be placed on the ballot,” is all that’s needed. In other words, if McRaven wants to run for President, and sets up an official campaign committee and a website to prove it, any qualified, registered Democratic Primary voter in the State of California can request that the his name be placed on the ballot. I volunteer to do it.
Additionally, the Admiral would have until November 26 to provide the Secretary of State with his Federal Income Tax returns for the past five years, a new requirement in the State this year. Since California alone has 495 Democratic delegates and it’s not a winner take all state, McRaven would have a good shot of picking up some support, particularly when current Statewide polls show Warren, Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg and Harris splitting the vote into lots of pieces. A McCraven candidacy would electrify the electorate looking for a candidate who could clobber Trump and the GOP nationwide.
McRaven’s presence anyplace on the Democratic National ticket in 2020 would, by his very stature, stand in stark contrast to Trump, or any Republican who heads the ticket, since all of them have enabled Trump to abandon our allies and sell-out US National Security Interests. The Admiral’s Texas roots—where he grew up, went to college and served as University of Texas Chancellor after his military service—would also aid the Democrats in turning Texas blue. Coupled with a running mate like Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams or Kamala Harris, a McRaven-led ticket could help the Democrats not only take back the White House, but take control of the U.S. Senate as well.
There is still a small window of opportunity to actually make this happen, especially if someone like Mike Bloomberg is willing, for the good of the nation, to help fund the McRaven for President effort. The only remaining question is whether the Admiral wants to embark on one more Special Operation to save the nation.
After all, as McRaven wrote: “The fate of our Republic depends on it.”