- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A former U.S. special operations forces member is lashing out at the Obama White House, accusing the administration of instilling a culture of conformity within the U.S. military, which has led to a generation of apologists and a dearth of leadership among the services’ top brass.

Former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie recounted his firsthand experience with this new breed of military leadership during an interview Tuesday on Tim Constantine’s “Capitol Hill Show.” (To hear the full interview, click HERE.)

Mr. Higbie, a member of SEAL Team 10, recalled the time when he and his eight-man team were brought up on charges of prisoner abuse after their 2009 capture of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Ahmed Hashim Abd al-Isawi in Fallujah.

Al-Isawi, dubbed “The Butcher of Fallujah,” was reportedly the head of al Qaeda fighters in the Iraqi city and reported directly to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the then-chieftain of al Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Isawi played a prominent role in the 2014 film “American Sniper,” which chronicled the life of former SEAL Chris Kyle.

Shortly after al-Isawi’s capture, Mr. Higbie’s team were accused of abusing the al Qaeda member before handing him over to U.S. officials. He claimed the charges were “part of a politically-charged movement to get out of Iraq,” spearheaded by the Obama administration.

“That is where we went wrong,” he added.

The entire episode was was infused “with this feeling … that [al-Isawi] was more important” than the SEAL team members who captured him, Mr. Higbie said Tuesday.

The “politically correct aura” within his unit’s leadership led to three members of the team requesting an official court-martial on the abuse charges, forgoing the non-judicial procedures initially proposed by the unit’s commanders, Mr. Higbie said.

In the end, the three team members were found not guilty.

“The fact is we did nothing wrong,” Mr. Higbie said Tuesday.

• Carlo Muñoz can be reached at cmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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