29 Sep 2014

Which One Could It Be?

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Daily Beast:

On “60 Minutes,” the president faulted his spies for failing to predict the rise of ISIS. There’s one problem with that statement: The intelligence analysts did warn about the group.

Nearly eight months ago, some of President Obama’s senior intelligence officials were already warning that ISIS was on the move. In the beginning of 2014, ISIS fighters had defeated Iraqi forces in Fallujah, leading much of the U.S. intelligence community to assess they would try to take more of Iraq.

But in an interview that aired Sunday evening, the president told 60 Minutes that the rise of the group now proclaiming itself a caliphate in territory between Syria and Iraq caught the U.S. intelligence community off guard. Obama specifically blamed James Clapper, the current director of national intelligence: “Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” he said.

Reached by The Daily Beast after Obama’s interview aired, one former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.

2 Feedbacks on "Which One Could It Be?"


Of course he was warned. He just chose to ignore it because confronting Islam is not something he wants to do. Not much different than the financial community ignoring all the warnings about the rather obvious real estate bubble. Just not in their interest to deal with it. In both cases that willful ignorance made matters much worse. But, hey, just shift the blame to others. After all, how could we have known the magnitude of what was going to happen (because of our stupidity).


Consider the asymmetry here. President Bush read the balance of intelligence reports about WMDs in Iraq, and acted accordingly. Result? Bush lied! President Obama reads all the reports concerning ISIS, chooses not to act on them, and even claims there weren’t such reports. Result? Oh gee, how could he be expected to know? And in any case, we certainly didn’t want to risk inciting Muslims by our actions, did we?


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