Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Atlantic Fail

What does seem clear is that the White House went public with details only hours after the attack had happened. The Seals were no doubt pumped up by the success of the mission. And it's clear that the president's top staff were very pumped up too. They went forward with details that hadn't been reconciled, in some cases proved untrue and in a couple key cases really should have been seen as a bit too good to be true. In retrospect, as I'm sure the White House is finding, it would have been better to wait to get all the details confirmed and ironed out before doing these briefings -- something that was likely hard to do considering the probably literally unprecedented press and public demand for details.

Still, c'mon. There's a rather clear difference between going forward with unconfirmed or even pumped up accounts of events of an indisputably dangerous and successful mission and hyping up what was essentially a non-event into propaganda morality tale.