The Trump Administration’s decision to continue hyping a failed Yemeni raid, despite all evidence to the contrary, as having netted a trove of intelligence continues to blow up in their face tonight, as Pentagon officials once again affirmed that the information gathered was minimal, and things they already knew about. Some equipment was recovered giving them some insight into tactics, but so far none of the laptops and cellphones seized has any useful information on it.
This is in keeping with what other US officials said just two days prior, that no “actionable” intelligence was gathered in the raid, but is in direct contradiction to claims by President Trump last night at the Congressional address, and Vice President Mike Pence today, that “significant” intelligence was obtained.
The first major foreign military operation on his term, President Trump has invested a lot of effort into portraying the operation as an unquestioned success. Repeated concessions from the military that there were myriad problems, and things didn’t go nearly as well as intended, have all been dismissed, with Trump continuing on with the success claims.
That we never really get good information on what the source of intelligence is for future raids means it’s likely impossible to ever conclusively prove no actionable intelligence came from Yemen, though the fact that the Pentagon keeps saying this is the case certainly lends credence to the idea that the operation, on top of all of its other failures, didn’t accomplish anything intelligence-wise.