The retired Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden during a night raid in Islamabad, Pakistan, has some harsh words about President Donald Trump’s military parade plan.
This week, The Washington Post reported that Trump requested the Pentagon start planning a military parade to take place later this year along the inaugural route between Capitol Hill and the White House —which happens to pass the Trump International Hotel). The Pentagon and the White House both confirmed that the parade was in the planning stages.
But on Thursday morning, Robert O’Neill — who killed bin Laden and identifies as a conservative — tweeted his displeasure with Trump’s demand.
“A military parade is third world bullshit,” O’Neill wrote. “We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.”
Trump repeatedly has expressed interest in holding a display of America’s military might and reportedly upped his calls for a parade after witnessing the Bastille Day celebrations on a trip to France last summer.
Lawmakers from both parties, ex-administration officials and members of the media have criticized the idea, calling it a waste of money and warning it would evoke similar demonstrations in North Korea and Russia.
O’Neill’s rebuke stands out mostly because he’s a retired Navy SEAL and because other conservatives, like O’Neill, don’t think the parade is a good idea.
A military parade is third world bullshit. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.
— Robert J. O’Neill (@mchooyah) February 8, 2018
Another prominent veteran, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton on Wednesday issued a blistering response to Trump’s plan for a military parade with a full display of heavy military equipment, calling it the “worse example” of Trump’s “authoritarian tendencies.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Trump’s military parade plan “cheesy and weak.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said, “America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off,” adding, “I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud.”
It’s unclear if there will actually be a parade any time soon. But former members of the military — and the president’s own party — don’t seem to think it’s a good idea. In fact, most Americans are accusing Trump of trying to use the military as a prop to hype his image.