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UPDATE: Team Obama went for the obvious response to a new media campaign by former Special Ops and intelligence staffers on Wednesday, calling the campaign a return to "Swift Boat tactics."
The upcoming ad blitz by the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund scolds the president of taking credit for the death of Osama Bin Laden, while also accusing the White House of leaking sensitive information in order to boost the president's image.
The Obama campaign responded with the following statement to Reuters from campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt:
"The Republicans are resorting to 'Swift Boat' tactics because when it comes to foreign policy and national security, Mitt Romney has offered nothing but reckless rhetoric," adding that Romney's "two major foreign policy speeches never even mentioned al Qaeda once, and he hasn't outlined a plan for America's relations with a single region of the world."
The campaign's response picks up on the fact that the GOP have leveled similar accusations against the president in recent months. Obama's campaign is likely eager to tie the Special Ops group to the Romney campaign in order to undermine its claim to be a "social welfare," rather than political organization.
Wednesday, August 15: Reuters has the scoop on a new independent media campaign that is already drawing comparisons to the Swift Boat ads of 2004: A group of former U.S. intelligence and special forces operatives plans to unveil a campaign Wednesday that scolds President Obama for taking credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The group, Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, was established as a social welfare 501(c)(4) group, rather than as a political group, which means that it doesn't have to disclose donations to the public. The social welfare classification, as Reuters explains, means that "its primary purpose is to further the common good and its political activities should be secondary." The group's president is former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor, who failed to win the Republican nomination for a Virginia congressional seat in 2010.
The centerpiece of the attack campaign is a 22-minute documentary to be released Wednesday. Reuters got a sneak peek at the film, which features Ben Smith, described in the film as a former Navy SEAL. He says: "Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did. The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not."
The film echoes many Republicans in accusing the White House of high-level leaks that they say were designed to make the president look good as the November elections approach. Smith says, "As a citizen, it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy," adding, "It will get Americans killed."
The group plans on airing TV ads in a handful of battleground states, including Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Nevada.