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HomeNewsPoliticsIntelligence Community Pushes Back On Obama For Throwing Them Under The Bus

Intelligence Community Pushes Back On Obama For Throwing Them Under The Bus

obama on isis 'we don't have a strategy'
obama on isis 'we don't have a strategy'

President Obama speaks about the economy, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine Aug. 28, 2014. (Photo: AP)

The threat from ISIS and rise of Islamic radicalism was made perfectly clear to President Obama by members of the intelligence and defense communities, multiple sources and reports say. A recent report from the West Point counterterrorism center said the Obama administration consistently ignored actionable intelligence suggesting ISIS, otherwise known as the Islamic State, was rising over a four-year period that directly paralleled the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Now, a senior Pentagon official said that President Obama was given “detailed and specific intelligence” regarding the rise of the Islamic State during his daily briefing at least a year before the group began seizing vast amounts of territory in Iraq and Syria over the summer. The dueling reports paint a very dim pictures about the president’s ability to carry out his duties as commander-in-chief, and raise numerous questions surrounding his actions over the past few years.

Much of the criticism surrounds the PDB, or President’s Daily Brief, which provides the president with the most actionable and concrete intelligence compiled by various U.S. intel agencies. Catherine Herridge at Fox News reported that the official claimed President Obama does not interact with those who are tasked with briefing the president and, instead, opts to have the PDB delivered to his tablet. Past presidents are engaged and routinely ask for follow-up information or clarification on the contents of the PDB.

Not President Obama. Intelligence sources say the president is completely disengaged from the task, and there is a very real, growing concern within the intel community that the president continues to blame intelligence failures for what they say is a lack of urgency and decisiveness.

President Obama has come under heavy fire for his public comments dismissing the ISIS group as a “JV” team. Yet, the official told Herridge that the intelligence was already “exquisite” by the time the president was drawing an imaginary “red line” in Syria, and “granular” when Obama made his “JV” comment.

The claims made by Herridge’s source puts the West Point report into perspective. The report’s author, Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, painted a picture of a president more concerned with political calculus than national security.

“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014,” the report states. “It has been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years.”

Obama was criticized last week for stating “we don’t have a strategy yet” on ISIS, but the latest information raises some serious questions regarding the president’s lack of strategy or clarity in Syria and Iraq. If the intelligence was actionable at the time U.S. intel sources claim, then Obama was proposing U.S. airstrikes against the Assad regime that would have been helping ISIS in Syria.

The dueling reports underscore what has become an adversarial relationship between the president, the Pentagon and various other intel agencies. White House Press Secretaries Josh Earnest, and to a greater extent his predecessor Jay Carney, have repeatedly indicated that foreign crises under the administration’s tenure were a result of intelligence failures, rather than greater failures of Obama’s foreign policy.

In fact, criticisms over the president’s handling of the PDB first came to light following the 2012 terror attack on the Benghazi consulate in Libya. Then-press secretary Jay Carney assured the press corps that the president took his daily briefings seriously, despite decisions made based upon intelligence by the British to evacuate their own ambassador prior to the attack.

Meanwhile, a video surfaced Tuesday reportedly depicting the beheading of another American journalist, Steven Sotloff. Last week, the administration confirmed American journalist James Foley was in fact the man beheaded in a video entitled, “A Message to America.” In the latest video titled “A second message to America,” what appears to be the same executioner is heard threatening President Obama and daring him to act in Iraq and Syria.

“I’m back, Obama,” he said “and I’m back because of your arrogant policy towards the Islamic State.”

Following the beheading of James Foley, the White House was quick to once again throw the intel community under the bus by releasing sensitive information intended to show they had made an effort to rescue the journalist. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said “we have done everything that we can possibly do to try to bring home our hostages.”

But the Pentagon official confirmed a report from the Sunday Times of London that claimed Obama delayed making that decision for 30 days, stating the White House was hesitant and repeatedly said they were waiting for “the intelligence to build up more.”

However, during that time, U.S. intel was surveilling a large, heavily armed compound, which they strongly believed to be housing Foley and other captives. He said the compound was located near the ISIS stronghold of Raqaa, Syria. By the time the president pulled the trigger and gave the go-ahead, it was already too late.


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Latest comments

  • Ok, now you people in the United States, my country, you know what a really bad leader is. This country cannot take two more years of this sorry treasonous excuse for a President. It’s time for the reform, by force if necessary of the lying liberal communist atheist press that is constantly covering for this damn traitor Obama. We the people, and especially Christians, could not have a worse President at a worse time in this nations history. The threats against national security will only get worse with this treasonous President and the treasonous administration that works for Obama.

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