Posted by Curt on 8 December, 2016 at 6:53 pm. 1 comment.


Ed Morrissey:

hy did Barack Obama fail to stop the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq? It was “not on my intelligence radar screen,” he told Fareed Zakaria in an interview aired last night on CNN:

ISIS’ march across Iraq and Syria — a campaign that’s forced President Barack Obama to return small numbers of US troops to the region, even after touting an end to the decade-long ground offensives there — came as a surprise to US intelligence, the President told CNN in a new special report.

The terror organization’s rise in a tumultuous Middle East has provided Obama some of the toughest decisions of his presidency, choices that CNN’s Fareed Zakaria explores in “The Legacy of Barack Obama” airing Wednesday.

“The ability of ISIL to not just mass inside of Syria, but then to initiate major land offensives that took Mosul, for example, that was not on my intelligence radar screen,” Obama told Zakaria, using the administration’s term for the Islamic State terror group.

Obama has made this claim before. In fact, he’s been making it ever since the ISIS sweep into Mosul exposed his estimation of the terror army as “jayvees” exposed his lack of engagement in Iraq after abandoning it in 2011. Obama made that comment in January 2014, just before then-Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn briefed Congress on the potential for ISIS to start holding territory in western Iraq. His prepared testimony for a February 11, 2014 appearance included explicit warnings about ISIS’ ability to seize and hold territory — especially because they had already seized Ramadi as well as Fallujah:


When Obama claimed seven months later that US intelligence agencies did not have this on their radar, Eli Lake reported on the jaws dropping in those organizations:

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.

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