Still desperately trying to present the disastrous weekend raid into Yemen as having netted a treasure trove of valuable intelligence, the Pentagon released, and then sheepishly retracted, a video which they presented as a “detailed, do-it-yourself lesson” on terror attacks.
The release was supposed to vindicate the raid, but media outlets noted within minutes of the Pentagon statement that the video itself had been publicly available since at least 2007, and that the only difference was the Pentagon had gone to the trouble to subtitle it.
The Pentagon withdrew the video shortly thereafter, saying they did not want to give the impression they were trying to deceive people by presenting a decade-old video as new. They didn’t want to give that impression, at least, once it became apparent to everyone that’s what was happening.
Centcom appeared more contrite, insisting they had no idea the video was as old as it was and would never have tried to push it as a major intelligence find. Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis, however, was a lot more defensive, insisting it “does not matter” that the video was old, because it’s still illustrative of the sort of thing al-Qaeda is about.
The weekend raid, the first of the Trump Administration, killed an estimated 57 people, overwhelmingly civilians, and destroyed most of a village. The raid was presented by the Pentagon initially as targeting “al-Qaeda headquarters,” though officials have since admitted it simply was an attack on the home of a suspected al-Qaeda collaborator, and one carried out with a paucity of intelligence.