Letters from the Lunar Outpost

It is well to think well; it is divine to act well.
- Horace Mann, American Educator (1796-1859)

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Imagine if you will a nation where intelligence failure means the president failed to read it.

Imagine this, from our Obama-lovin’ friends at The Daily Beast:

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.

source: The Daily Beast

Granted, it’s an unnamed source, but coming from The Daily Beast, at least you know the writer’s motivation was not to damage the president. Senator John McCain also spoke of reaction in the intelligence community after Obama’s interview:

“His intelligence comments — the intelligence people are pushing back hard. We predicted this and watched it, it was like watching a train wreck, and warning every step of the way that this was happening.” McCain argued that not only did the intelligence community understand the threat that ISIL posed, but that the current situation the U.S. faces is “a direct result of [Obama’s] failure to leave a residual force behind” in Iraq.

source: Politico

I’m starting to see a clearer picture now of what might really be going on:

Obama reading the intelligence briefing.

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Remember back in 2011 when Obama green lighted the raid on Bin Laden’s compound? In the speech in the speech that followed, Obama used the words “me”, “my”, and “I” fourteen times through a 24-paragraph speech.

It was only in two paragraphs near the end that Obama threw a bone to the intelligence professionals and the men who put their lives on the line in conducting the raid.

As always, it’s all about “he”, “his” and “him” with Obama.

Which is why, with the Islamic State running rampant in huge swaths of Iraq and Syria, it’s shocking to see Obama suddenly so willing to give away all the credit:

“Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.”

They underestimated it.

And yet here was the president on January 7, 2014, mocking the threat the Islamic State posed just four days after they had captured and raised their flag over Fallujah:

“If a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

Oh no, that wasn’t you, Mr. President. “It was Jim Clapper and the intelligence community – THEY underestimated it.”

Speaking of presidents acting on the intelligence given to them, funny how some people have changed their tune . . .

Accountability all depends

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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
by
Doris Kearns Goodwin