A Navy SEAL team's clandestine nighttime raid on Osama bin Laden's compound provided one of the defining moments of President Obama's tenure.
But in a strange piece of political asymmetry, a group of former Special Forces and intelligences operatives is set to unveil advertisements attacking Obama -- the second campaign assault issued by former elite military operatives over the past month.
Reuters reports that an organization called Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc is set to assail Obama for exploiting the bin Laden raid for political advantage and for a recent cascade of press reports containing top secret information.
Mitt Romney and other Republicans have accused the White House of leaking information -- including details on unmanned drones and on computer viruses unleashed on Iran -- to burnish Obama's national security accomplishments. The Obama administration has strenuously denied the charges, and the Department of Justice has dispatched two federal prosecutors to investigate the leaks.
A 22-minute film set to be released by the OPSEC organization takes up those claims.
"As a citizen, it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy," a man in the film identified as Ben Smith, an ex-Navy SEAL, says. "It will get Americans killed."
Smith also admonishes Obama over the bin Laden raid, saying that "you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did."
The ex-military organization releasing the film is organized as a 501(c)(4) "social welfare" group, meaning it cannot have a majority of its activities be political. In exchange, such organizations are able to keep their donors secret.
Goups with the same designation, like Americans for Prosperity and Crossroads GPS, have toed the line with advertisements that have clear political undertones, and the Obama campaign has urged the Federal Elections Commission to take a closer look.
The Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund's mission is reminiscent of a political action committee, Special Operations for America, that was launched recently by Montana state senator and former Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke. Zinke, a Republican, also faulted Obama for taking credit for the bin Laden raid, saying the president was "jeopardizing the safety of our troops, their families and our national security for political gain."
An anonymous Obama campaign official who spoke to Reuters dismissed the film, saying the group lacked the ability "to speak with any authority on these issues and on what impact these leaks might have."
"It's clear they've resorted to making things up for purely political reasons," the unnamed official said.