The White House admitted to accidentally doxxing American Special Forces in Israel by posting a photo of their faces on Instagram this week, which put their safety at risk. The incident occurred after President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, as the White House posted a photo of Biden meeting with special operators onto its Instagram account, which has 7.6 million followers.
The White House failed to blur or otherwise obscure the faces of the Special Forces — which could reveal their identities to adversaries and put their missions, their lives, and their families’ lives at risk. There were other markings visible that could also identify them, such as tattoos.
The caption of the photo read, “In Israel, President Biden met with first responders to thank them for their bravery and the work they’re doing in response to the Hamas terrorist attacks”:
After retired Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Samuel Shoemate brought the blunder to the public’s attention — and after hundreds of thousands had already seen the photo — the White House took it down and apologized.
“As soon as this was brought to our attention, we immediately deleted the photo. We regret the error and any issues this may have caused,” the White House said, according to Fox News’s Bill Melugin:
The White House did not reveal who was responsible for the error. The Pentagon, when asked about it, referred questions to the White House.
“I’d have to refer you to the White House on that. I just don’t have any information to provide,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
The usage of the photo to score political points for Biden goes against his promise to never use troops for political purposes. As reported by Breitbart News, Biden had promised during his first visit to the Pentagon as president, “I will never dishonor you. I will never disrespect you. I will never politicize the work you do.”
Yet this is not the first time Biden has used troops as political props. In September 2022, Biden delivered a highly partisan speech attacking Republicans as extremists with two Marine sentries positioned directly behind him, drawing criticism from Republican officials, conservative pundits, Marine veterans, military spouses, and even corporate news journalists.