The Cable

McRaven to OPSEC: Zip it.

Adm. William McRaven, the head of Special Operations Command and the architect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, wrote a memo to the special operations community making clear that using the "special operations" moniker for political purposes is not OK.

McRaven sent an unclassified memo, not released to the public but obtained by The Cable, that began with an admonishment of special operators who write books about secret operations, such as the forthcoming book No Easy Day¸ which was written by a Navy SEAL who claims to have been part of the May 1, 2011 raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad compound. Fox News reported Thursday that the author is 36-year-old Matt Bissonnette, whom defense officials say never cleared the book with anyone in the Pentagon.

But the second half of McRaven's memo referred to the multiple groups of former special operators who have formed political groups to criticize President Barack Obama for what they see as taking undue credit for the bin Laden raid and accusing him of leaking its details to the press. Those groups are made up of former military men who had no connection to the actual raid, who often have Republican political leanings and longtime animus against Obama, and some of whom say the president was not born in the United States.

"I am also concerned about the growing trend of using the special operations ‘brand,' our seal, symbols and unit names, as part of any political or special interest campaign," McRaven wrote in an implicit but clear reference to groups like the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund and Special Operations Speaks (SOS).

"Let me be completely clear on this issue: USSOCOM does not endorse any political viewpoint, opinion or special interest," McRaven wrote. "I encourage, strongly encourage active participation in our political process by both active duty SOF personnel, where it is appropriate under the ethics rules and retired members of the SOF community. However, when a group brands itself as Special Operations for the purpose of pushing a specific agenda, then they have misrepresented the entire nature of SOF and life in the military."

"Our promise to the American people is that we, the military, are non-partisan, apolitical and will serve the President of the United States regardless of his political party. By attaching a Special Operation's moniker or a unit or service name to a political agenda, those individuals have now violated the most basic of our military principles," McRaven wrote.

His remarks are stronger but along the same lines as those by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who said the groups' efforts were counter to the ethos of the military.

"It's not useful. It's not useful to me," Dempsey said Wednesday. "And one of the things that marks us as a profession in a democracy, in our form of democracy, that's most important is that we remain apolitical. That's how we maintain our bond and trust with the American people."

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The Cable

Crocker arrested for DUI and hit and run

Recently departed U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker was arrested earlier this month for driving under the influence and hit and run in his hometown of Spokane, WA.

Washington state troopers placed Crocker under arrest the evening of Aug. 14 after he allegedly fled the scene of an accident and registered a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, Washington's KXLY reported today. Crocker was reported to have swiped a semi-tractor trailer with his 2009 Ford Mustang while trying to make a right turn across two lanes of traffic from the leftmost lane. An eyewitness took down his vehicle information and gave it to the police. There were no injuries.

Crocker was placed under arrest and taken to the local precinct, where he blew a 0.16 blood-alcohol level in his first sobriety test. He registered a 0.152 BAC on his second test. The trooper on the scene said that Crocker was noticeably intoxicated but cooperative. He could not have been unaware of the accident, the troopers said.

He posted $1,000 bail for each charge and pleaded not guilty to both charges the next day. Crocker's next court hearing is Sept. 12 and he has been ordered not to consume alcohol or drugs unless prescribed and he will have to submit to alcohol testing beginning tomorrow.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One of America's most distinguished diplomats. Crocker stepped down as America's envoy in Kabul last month due to health problems. He had come out of retirement in 2011 to take the Afghanistan job at the personal request of President Barack Obama following a four-decade career in the Foreign Service, during which he served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon.

He was dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service from 2010 to 2011. President George W. Bush once called him "America's Lawrence of Arabia." His replacement, former Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham, was confirmed by the Senate Aug. 3 and is in Kabul now.

In June, the White House withdrew Obama's nominee to be ambassador to the Netherlands Timothy Broas following his arrest for drunk driving and resisting arrest.

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