Patterico's Pontifications

9/29/2014

President Obama Lays Blame

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:29 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In an interview with 60 Minutes last night, President Obama threw the intelligence community under the bus when discussing the swift and seemingly sudden rise of ISIS:

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

His accusation did not sit well with a former intelligence officer:

“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting.” Or both.

Sen. John McCain also pushed back today:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told USA TODAY on Monday that intelligence agencies in fact forecast the rise of ISIS, and described Obama’s comments as “the dog ate my homework kind of routine.”

McCain blamed the expansion of the Islamic State on the U.S. failure to keep a residual force in Iraq after the end of combat operations.

“When the president decided we were not going to leave a sustaining force in Iraq … those of us who knew the area well knew the situation was going to deteriorate,” McCain said.

And jumping in to defend his boss, Josh Earnest sought to clarify that the president was not blaming intelligence officials:

Intelligence analysis is “a difficult business, and, ultimately, at the end, becomes a prediction,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

At the White House, Earnest said that the president retains confidence in Clapper and the intelligence community.

“Ultimately, the president is commander-in-chief,” Earnest said. “And he’s the one who takes responsibility for ensuring that we have the kinds of policies in place that are required to protect our interests around the globe.”

–Dana

Added: Video of Josh Earnest attempting to deflect and spin the pressing questions from reporter Jon Karl who refuses to be put off (start at 26:00):

91 Responses to “President Obama Lays Blame”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  2. “And he’s the one who takes responsibility

    They like to say that, but in reality they never actually transforms in to any activity or consequence. They think just saying it is enough. At this point, etc…

    Gazzer (f10cf8)

  3. and all through the night
    they them those they them those they
    them those no not I ME MINE

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Josh Earnest in… “The Tears Of A Clown”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  5. Gazzer, it is enough for a Progressive to just think a thought for it to miraculously spring into existence, change the world, and allow him to go on to bigger challenges – no actual work required.
    Pixies and Unicorns, all the way down.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  6. They’re smarter than us that way.

    Gazzer (f10cf8)

  7. Maybe if he attended those briefings?

    Margaret McCarthy (b5205a)

  8. “Ultimately, the president is commander-in-chief”

    that’s almost tilted-head puppy dog cute

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  9. Video of reporter Jon Karl grilling Josh Earnest. Start in at 26:00.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  10. ==Maybe if he attended those briefings?==

    I read somewhere today that the president is known not to want to ever be present at verbal briefings. He prefers briefs in writing so he can have plausible deniability that he never saw “that one” or it that it never crossed his desk. Plus, that way he can rely on Valerie’s excellent judgement and he won’t ever have to be bothered, or need to be prepared personally, to ask any questions of the briefers. What a guy.

    elissa (a7e26e)

  11. He took a laptop with all the security briefings on it when he went golfing, but it crashed.

    And you know how the feds are with computers, that laptop had the only copy.

    malclave (1db6c5)

  12. Obama may have stumbled across a grain of truth. But you don’t wash that laundry in the light of day for a while host of reasons, strategic and political. Our intelligence community has been pretty awful since roughly the day the Berlin Wall fell. But these guys do know things, things about President Obama, that he would not like to have in the open. And the “he doesn’t take briefings and doesn’t read the data” is only the beginning.

    Bugg (f0dbc7)

  13. 10 update.
    Heh. Well the left is hyperventilating and saying it’s a big lie. So, I’m pretty sure it’s the truth. Or else, O’s stupid and is a really really bad analyzer of data. Do they prefer *that* explanation?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/09/29/thiessen-spreads-another-anti-obama-lie/

    elissa (a7e26e)

  14. food stamp’s incompetent and not really all that into being president

    he can’t even blame other people for his incompetence with any degree of competence

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  15. All he had to do was read headlines for the last year. Isn’t that how he says he learns of everything?

    Narcissistic layabout.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. Obama did take responsibility for getting bin Laden, so he’s got that going for him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. I am betting we are going to see videos of ISIS fighters wearing black T-shirts with “JV” stenciled on the front just to rub it in the face of President Smug.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  18. food stamp doesn’t really have any kind of encore to that bin laden thing planned I don’t think

    he’s kind of a one hit wonder like those people what sang that song about how they wanted to be cowboys

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  19. Earnest is not very good. His SOP is quite transparent.

    JD (285732)

  20. Earnest has a game show host quality that represents this administration very well i think

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  21. He brings this to mind.
    Groucho Marx said, ‘Sincerity is the key to success. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.’

    Gazzer (f10cf8)

  22. Daley, I believe you mean KOBE BRYANT jerseys .

    Gus (7cc192)

  23. In which Marie Harf out- Marie- Harfs herself.

    Flash forward to today, and the administration’s communications officials have been thrust in the unfortunate position of having to defend the president’s artless buck passing. In service to that thankless mission, State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf was forced to tell CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that no one, not even ISIS, could have possibly predicted the rise of ISIS.
    “The president said, for a long time we’ve known about the serious threat from ISIL, but everyone — us, the Iraqis, even ISIL itself probably — was surprised by how quickly earlier this summer they were really able to take territory in Iraq,” Harf said.

    You see, (according to Harf) even the Islamic State was shocked by their own capabilities. Theirs was a wondrous journey of self-actualization in the form of a campaign of crucifixions and beheadings.

    “They moved more quickly than anyone could have imagined,” she added, forgetting apparently that many did imagine ISIS’s blitz across Iraq in specific detail.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/29/states-marie-harf-isis-couldnt-even-have-predicted-how-powerful-isis-would-become/

    elissa (f0352a)

  24. Anybody here have any rough idea what a person with Harf’s or Psaki’s job title makes per year in real American taxpayer dollars?

    elissa (f0352a)

  25. Isn’t their job to fu#$ing PROTECT US and to OVER ESTIMATE threats and ELIMINATE them?
    OBAMA is the biggest fu34 up of all time. OBAMA IS A PUSSY. Is that okay to say??

    Gus (7cc192)

  26. Elissa, these 2 dizzy clowns cost us approximately half a million per year.

    Gus (7cc192)

  27. “Daley, I believe you mean KOBE BRYANT jerseys .”

    Gus – Did I get it wrong? I thought he called them the JV, although he now denies he was talking about ISIS.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  28. Daley, the clown prince actually said that they could wear KOBE BRYANT jerseys, but that would not make them better than JV. Obama has the kind of mouth that would be smashed to smithereens, if he had the balls to say his shyte in real time. Obama actually said that ISIS was JV and that wearing KOBE BRYANT jerseys, didn’t make them Lakers. WOW!! Obama wearing Mom Jeans, doesn’t mean he has BALLS,

    Gus (7cc192)

  29. Anybody here have any rough idea what a person with Harf’s or Psaki’s job title makes per year in real American taxpayer dollars?
    elissa (f0352a) — 9/29/2014 @ 10:18 pm

    If more than a half-cent each, TOO DAMN MUCH,
    the answer is!

    Yoda (d89de1)

  30. To Obama’s and Feinstein’s ilk, and to the red diaper babies that surround them (Hello, Mr. Axelrod), the American intelligence and counter-intelligence services are Satan. And they get their share of fellow travelers and useful idiots (Hello, Mr. Rand Paul) from the other side of the aisle.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. .

    “Ultimately, the president is commander-in-chief,” Earnest said. “And he’s the one who takes responsibility passes the buck for ensuring that we have the kinds of policies in place that are required to protect our interests around the globe.”

    There seems to have been some garbling in the original communique. I fixt it fer ya. No thanks required…
    .

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  32. the sign on BamBam’s desk reads “The Buck Passes Here”

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  33. Anybody here have any rough idea what a person with Harf’s or Psaki’s job title makes per year in real American taxpayer dollars?

    if you have to ask, we can’t afford them… 😎

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  34. At the White House, Earnest said that the president retains confidence in Clapper and the intelligence community.

    Crazy, isn’t it?

    Npbody ever gets fired in the Obama Administration

    (except for political reasons, and then, they are well taken care of, and maybe not even really fired.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  35. Nevertheless, the “intelligence community” senses some form of criticism, and they leaking their defense, and blaming teh White House.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/world/middleeast/obama-fault-is-shared-in-misjudging-of-isis-threat.html

    “Some of us were pushing the reporting, but the White House just didn’t pay attention to it,” said a senior American intelligence official. “They were preoccupied with other crises,” the official added. “This just wasn’t a big priority.”

    The White House denies that, but the threat certainly has its attention now as American warplanes pound the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State in hopes of reversing its lightning-swift seizing of territory in Iraq and Syria…

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  36. All of this is being leaked so that the policy that:

    Nobody ever gets fired in the Obama Administration

    (except for political reasons, and then, they are well taken care of, and maybe not even really fired)

    continues along….

    The New York Daily News had an editorial today about this that tends to blame Obama, and makes Clapper out to be fine.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-obama-lousy-alibi-article-1.1957241

    Asked in a “60 Minutes” interview whether the group’s advance had taken him by surprise, Obama pinned his long passivity toward ISIS on his director of national intelligence.

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

    With that sentence, the President suggested to the American people that he would have confronted ISIS militarily long ago if only the U.S. intelligence community had provided a clearer picture of these particular barbarians. Unbecomingly, he’s shifting blame by rewriting history.

    In fact, anti-terror officials, including Clapper, warned the commander in chief about ISIS and the broader jihadist threat through the many months he remained idle…

    What they didn’t say was that the Iraqi army wouldn’t stand up, but would collapse like the French Third Republic (until saved by U.S. intervention and a couple hundred good men the U.S. sent to analyze things and help organize things, and some U.S. bombing.)

    Nor did Clapper predict that ISIS planned an offensive in Iraq in June. Not the kind of thing that happened.

    The Daily News even seems to think that Clapper is taking some blame on himself that he doesn’t deserve.

    This is the same Clapper who told everybody in teh white House that the attack in benghazi wa snot premeditated.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/some-administration-officials-were-concerned-about-initial-white-house-push-blaming-benghazi-attack-on-mob-video/

    Sep 27, 2012 6:13pm

    …But sources told ABC News that intelligence officials on the ground immediately suspected the attack was not tied to the movie at all. The attackers knew Ambassador Stevens had been trying to flee — to a so-called safe house half a mile away. That building was hit with insurgent mortars — suggesting the terrorists knew what they were doing….

    ….In a closed-door briefing with top officials, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the mortar attack on the safe house as suggesting that the terrorist attack was one of opportunity, not pre-meditation, since the mortars were not used to attack the consulate earlier in the day.

    (like as if the terrorists did not know taht the U.S. thought the location and existence of the CIA compound was secret and unknown, and like as if they didn’t know that the Ambassador was there, and teh details of the whole security plan including the fire-trap safe room.

    http://patterico.com/2014/09/05/u-s-security-team-in-benghazi-told-stand-down-you-need-to-wait/

    119. “Clapper, of course, was supposed to have “the best available intelligence.””

    Sammy – It’s too bad he was not talking to anybody who actually knew what was going on.
    daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/12/2014 @ 11:26 am

    So this is the guy the New York Daily news wants to defend against Obama’s statement, which might be taken as criticism.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  37. “So this is the guy the New York Daily news wants to defend against Obama’s statement, which might be taken as criticism.”

    Sammy – He seemed to have more intelligence about ISIS than Benghazi and even testified in front of Congress about threats from ISIS at the beginning of 2014. Somehow Obama missed all that.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  38. Sammy – He seemed to have more intelligence about ISIS than Benghazi and even testified in front of Congress about threats from ISIS at the beginning of 2014. Somehow Obama missed all that.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/30/2014 @ 10:13 am

    Was there a newspaper strike?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. No, Colonel Haiku, there was a President’s Daily Briefing strike, on the President’s part.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  40. Sammy reminds me of Marie Harf.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. I should have reversed that, Marie Harf reminds me of Sammy.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  42. “So this is the guy the New York Daily News wants to defend against Obama’s statement, which might be taken as criticism.”

    38. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/30/2014 @ 10:13

    Sammy – He seemed to have more intelligence about ISIS than Benghazi and even testified in front of Congress about threats from ISIS at the beginning of 2014. Somehow Obama missed all that.

    I think this is PR. He was almost certainly speaking long term – i.e. ISIS is a long term danger, to other places than Iraq, and this was almost certainly buried in all his otehr testimony.

    What did Clapper say, accoridng to the Daily News:

    “Syria has become a huge magnet for extremists. . .and we’re seeing now the appearance of training complexes in Syria to train people to go back to their countries and, of course, conduct more terrorist acts. So this is a huge concern to all of us.”

    Is he speaking about Iraq? Is he speaking about ISIS grabbing extremely important territory in Iraq? Dies he even dream of the possibility of them capturing Mosul? No! He’s talking about the possibility of ISIS becoming important internationally as a terrorist organization that can act abroad, like AQAP.

    The New York Daily News quotes something else that he said, about Iraq:

    “Iraq’s trajectory in 2014 will depend heavily on how Baghdad confronts the rising challenge from” ISIS, then known as Al Qaeda in Iraq.

    If Clapper was calling it Al Qaeda in Iraq, a name it dropped on October 13, 2006, he was not treating the organization in Syria and Iraq as the same.

    Wikipedia says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant

    In April 2013, the group changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

    If Clapper’s testimony, in which he did not use the name ISIS (or ISIL, as he or others in the U.S. government decided to call it) was delivered in January, he was really out of touch. This was not prescient at all, as the Daily News claims.

    “Iraq’s trajectory in 2014 will depend heavily on how Baghdad confronts the rising challenge from [Outdated name for ISIS]”

    …is a platitude!

    And in particular omits the link between ISIS in Syria and ISIS in Iraq.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  43. It was the Islamic State of Iraq from October 13, 2006 to April 8, 2013, when Baghdadi claimed it had merged with al Nusra Front (established January 23, 2012 in Syria – note nine months or so after the Syrian civil war broke out) and renamed it the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, something which led to the break-up with Original al Qaeda ® ™

    Baghdadi had done this without consulting anyone, including the leader of the group he was merging with. Ayman al-Zawahiri rejected the merger, and ordered Baghdadi to confine himself to Iraq, and Baghdadi rejected the rejection (and in the beginning of July, 2014 he declared himself to be the Islamic equivalent of capo di tutti capi.)

    The New York Daily News notes Obama cited this trademark violation and thought they were a swecond rate outfit:

    Interviewing Obama shortly before the hearing, David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker magazine, “pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria.”

    Dismissively, Obama responded: “ The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

    Who was the person who came up with the analogy of a junior varsity team putting on Laker’s uniforms?

    Clapper maybe?? I mean who?

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant#ISI

    Baghdadi had begun working in Syria in August, 2011. He was actually almost cleared out from Iraq, and the Obama Administration was claiming or thinking they had achieved a victory.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  44. Hoagie (4dfb34) — 9/30/2014 @ 10:33 am

    President’s Daily Briefing strike, on the President’s part.

    Who called them something a j.v. team putting on Laker’s uniforms? To how many groups was this applied?

    Obama probably read his daily briefings. That was the problem!

    He didn’t ask any questions. He certainly didn’t cross-examine anyone.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  45. narciso @39.

    I bet you they didn’t really (warn the president)

    Anymore than they warned of an attack in Benghazi.

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/cbs-theres-a-paper-trail-of-intel-officials-who-warned-obama-of-isil-threat/

    A paper trail. Yeah, I beleive that. But that’s all it is.

    Theer was maybe a warning about ISIS getting stronger, but almost certainly no warning about what they might accomplish – very soon.

    They didn’t say how strong!

    The blame does not lie with Obama (except for his lack of curiosity and misplaced confidence in the intelligence community)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  46. Almost certainly no warning ?! Apparently you read none of the congressional testimony, quotes from intelligence officials, etc. Because what happened was what they predicted would happen.

    JD (722404)

  47. Can you quote or find such testimony?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. Can I find quote from Bibi’s speech? WTF?!

    JD (722404)

  49. obama is accountable for very very little of what his inept fascist Iran-loving jew-hating administration does

    this is just how it is

    it’s a thing

    but he’s gotten a Nobel Peace Prize and several nice blowjobs from Steve Kroft so he must be doing something right

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  50. 48. JD (722404) — 9/30/2014 @ 11:52 am

    48.Almost certainly no warning ?! Apparently you read none of the congressional testimony, quotes from intelligence officials, etc. Because what happened was what they predicted would happen

    Really> What did they predict?

    This is the “threat assessment” as of February 11, 2014, after the capture of Fallujah and Ramadi by ISIS.

    http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Flynn_02-11-14.pdf (not searchable)

    What do you mean they predicted this?

    There is something about the military situation in Iraq on pages 20 and 21.

    Their biggest worry is that the Iraqi government is perceived as having targeted Sunni civilians.

    It mentions that “control of different portions of the cities [of Ramadi and Fallujah] and their surrounding areas will likely change.”

    A lot more than that changed in June, 2014.

    They worry also about Shia militias, but think they won’t do much in Iraq but might in Syria.

    It also says (in one paragraph on page 9 and 10 of 34) that Al Qaeda in Iraq (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) “probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq ansd Syria” – a safe prediction.

    Does it say “a lot” of territory? Strategically important territory that endangers all of Iraq? Does it say they will?

    Theer are two qualifiers: “probably” and “attempt”

    And then some skepticism about its ability to hold territory.

    And a statemnt that it depends on other groups.

    Then it notes AQI/ISIL did a bonbing in Beirut, Lebanon. So if ISIL does something different, they are thinking about Lebanon.

    And there’s a statement that it controls numerous Syrian cities.

    Anything there about ISIl capturing huge amounts of territory?

    Predicted this?

    Some prepared testimony is being quoted out of context.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  51. 51. TESTIMONY ABOUT IRAQ THAT PREDICTED THIS.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  52. Sammy – watch the Jonathon Karl exchange, and look up the multiple sources he refers to, ie Congressional testimony, briefings, etc.

    JD (722404)

  53. Sammah must be Earnest’s briefer.

    JD (722404)

  54. “I should have reversed that, Marie Harf reminds me of Sammy.”

    Dayyyum, I love it when I’m right!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  55. Even ISIS could not have predicted how quickly ISIL could take over territory.

    JD (722404)

  56. Has anybody ever seen ISIS in the same room as ISIL?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  57. Just because Obama skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings this year and has not proved he read the daily briefs, it is not his fault he did not absorb the information presented to him on a silver platter by the intelligence community who clearly did not predict with 100% accuracy the exact boundaries of the ginormous swaths of territory the JV would take over in Syria and Iraq.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  58. Didn’t we see this movie in 2012?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. Good thing this has nothing to do with Islam.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  60. 62. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/30/2014 @ 1:03 pm

    Didn’t we see this movie in 2012?

    Yes. Again, Obama and his political appointees and aides are misled by bad intelligence briefings, and again he doesn’t do anything about it, and again, “intelligence” officials shift potential blame and leak defenses of their work to the newspapers, and again, Republicans don’t notice who is really at fault, and want to blame the poliottical level and vouch for all career people…

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  61. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/30/2014 @ 1:02 pm

    intelligence community who clearly did not predict with 100% accuracy the exact boundaries of the ginormous swaths of territory the JV would take over in Syria and Iraq.

    They didn’t predict anything at all, except that AQI/ISIL (as they called it) would….

    probably

    attempt

    to take (small) amounts of territory (near Ramadi and Fallujah) (in Anbar province) in Iraq, and (similiar small amounts) in Syria.

    …but might not be able to hold what they took.

    And they haven’t taken so much in Syria, as they did in Iraq..

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  62. it’s quite clear, these were the same ringleaders, we had pushed back in 2007-2009,

    http://therightscoop.com/nbc-news-contradicts-obama-shows-what-we-really-knew-and-when-we-knew-it-about-isis/

    narciso (ee1f88)

  63. 55. JD (722404) — 9/30/2014 @ 12:38 pm

    Sammy – watch the Jonathon Karl exchange, and look up the multiple sources he refers to, ie Congressional testimony, briefings, etc.

    This?

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/29/press-briefing-press-secretary-josh-earnest-9292014

    Q And lastly, on the CBS interview, did the President intend to blame the intelligence community for not warning him about ISIL? Because that’s the interpretation some are taking.

    MR. EARNEST: He did not. That is not what the President’s intent what. What the President was trying to make clear — and this is something I’d point out that the President has said on previous occasions in response to questions from probably somebody who’s sitting in this room right now about how difficult it is to predict the will of security forces that are based in another country to fight. And that’s difficult business, and ultimately, at the end, becomes a prediction. And as I mentioned in response to Josh’s question, ultimately, the President is the Commander-in-Chief, and he’s the one who takes responsibility for ensuring that we have the kinds of policies in place that are required to protect our interests around the globe. And the President relies heavily on the professionals in the intelligence community to offer him the advice that’s necessary to fulfill that function, and the President continues to have the highest degree of confidence in our intelligence community to continue to provide that advice.

    The audio is not working here right now at the machine I am using.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  64. @65

    Bush was apparently briefed that bin Laden wanted to attack inside the U.S., and was supposed to divine from that the entire 9/11 plot.

    Obama, it seems, was given a lot more specific information, and I’ve been hearing for years about how brilliant he is. Shouldn’t he have anticipated the entire ISIS timetable?

    malclave (1db6c5)

  65. Workplace violence? OK Muslim sh*theel had “some sort of infatuation with beheadings,”

    Happens every day…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  66. “to take (small) amounts of territory (near Ramadi and Fallujah) (in Anbar province) in Iraq, and (similiar small amounts) in Syria.”

    Marie/Sammy – Now you are adding your own spin not present in the public record. ISIS captured Fallujah in January 2014, before Obama had his “JV” interview with David Remmick of the New Yorker:

    The New Yorker article, written by David Remnick, appeared in the Jan. 27, 2014, issue. It was clearly based on a series of interviews with the president, over a period of months, but the interview in question took place in the Oval Office on Jan. 7, according to the previously unreleased transcript obtained by The Fact Checker.

    The date is important because just four days before, newspapers reported that the Islamic State had captured and raised its flag over Fallujah, where Marines in 2004 had fought one of the bloodiest battles of the U.S. invasion.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/09/03/spinning-obamas-reference-to-isis-as-a-jv-team/

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  67. So today on Patterico it appears that commenters have our choice of debating Marie/Sammy on their equally silly and fantastic interpretations of what Obama knew and when/if he knew it concerning ISIS —aaaand,
    on the other thread which deals with the 2016 election, engaging a comment string that once again devolved into the tired, repetitive, and largely futile 2008 2012 election rehash discussion concerning the unsuitability of candidates to the R base” whatever “the base” actually is.
    Slim pickens.

    elissa (c58b10)

  68. There’s also some discussion of music, elissa.

    Steve57 (b50fab)

  69. 71. So today on Patterico it appears that commenters have our choice of debating Marie/Sammy on their equally silly and fantastic interpretations of what Obama knew and when/if he knew it concerning ISIS…

    elissa (c58b10) — 9/30/2014 @ 3:21 pm

    You’d Obama would have picked up in the ISIS threat the same way he learns about everything else.

    All you had to do was watch TV.

    Who ISIS was, what they wanted to do, and what they were capable of doing wasn’t exactly a secret. It hadn’t been for years.

    Steve57 (b50fab)

  70. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/18/congressman-the-cia-thinks-obamas-strategy-of-arming-syrian-moderates-is-doomed-to-failure/

    Obama pretty much conceded this in his 60 Minutes interview. In fact volunteered it.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-obama-60-minutes/

    President Obama: I’m not going to speculate on failure at the moment. We’re just getting started. Let’s see how they do. I think that right now, we’ve got a campaign plan that has a strong chance for success in Iraq. I think Syria is a more challenging situation.

    Syria is more challenging, because the U.S. has few viable allies on the ground there. The regime of Bashir Assad is fighting ISIS but the U.S. wants Assad deposed for committing horrific crimes against his own people and other opposition groups like the al-Nusra Front and a terrorist cell called Khorasan, which was plotting attacks against Europe and the U.S., and are both affiliated with al Qaeda. The coalition is hoping to train 5,000 moderate Syrian fighters in Saudi Arabia.

    Nobody in the media picked up on that.

    He knows what the briefings say.

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  71. “Nobody in the media picked up on that.”

    OMG!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  72. they are on the case, after 16 years:

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/09/us_adds_harakat-ul-m.php

    this is the outfit that the tomahawks struck in Afghanistan, so many years ago,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  73. If you kept reading Sammy’s comments after the first one, you only have yourselves to blame.

    nk (dbc370)

  74. “to take (small) amounts of territory (near Ramadi and Fallujah) (in Anbar province) in Iraq, and (similiar small amounts) in Syria.”

    70. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/30/2014 @ 2:53 pm

    Marie/Sammy – Now you are adding your own spin not present in the public record.

    I know. But (small) and (near Ramadi and Fallujah) is the way to interpret the February 11, 2014 “Annual Threat Assessment” prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency and delivered as a prepared statement by Michael T Flynn, its director.

    The New York Daily News editorial today cites that as an example of intelligence the President either never got or shrugged off:

    In February, Defense Intelligence Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn told a Senate committee that ISIS “will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014.”

    Flynn noted that, after the U.S. left Iraq at the end of 2011, ISIS “has exploited the permissive security environment to increase its operations and presence in many locations and also has expanded into Syria and Lebanon.”

    Flynn also warned that ISIS was one of several Sunni terrorist groups that have attempted to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

    That’s all true, he did say that, but that is not predicting what actually happened. Later on, the statement explains (or seems to) what it mean by “territory in…Iraq” and you may notice they’re far more concerned about the possibility of ISIS getting into Lebanon than into enormous portions of Iraq.

    And the last thing, about weapons of mass destruction, is a big wrong guess, since they aren’t anywhere close to anything like that – but Iran is, as Netanyahu noted at the United Nations, and in Syria, it was the Khorasan Group that was researching new technological solutions to the problem of bomb detection. ISIS wasn’t doing anything of the sort.

    EVERYTHING IS WRONG HERE.

    Now as for what I said about “(small) amounts of territory (near Ramadi and Fallujah)” I was referring to this on page 21:

    http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Flynn_02-11-14.pdf

    Recent violence in Ramadi and Fallujah [this is how he refers to their occupation, or maybe not yet a solid occupation, by – somebody – he is not saying ISIS] in eastern Anbar province sparked from Sunni perceptions that the Iraqi government aggressively targeted Sunni civilians. The situation in both cities is fluid and control of different portions of the cities and surrounding areas will likely change. Unilateral Iraqi military action to contain the violence, if conducted by predominently Shia units, would only deepen the [he means political] divide and could convince sunnis to reject future participation in government.

    It couldn’t have been more wrong if it hasd been written by the Director of Qatar’s intelligence agency himself.

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  75. Daleyrocks:

    ISIS captured Fallujah in January 2014, before Obama had his “JV” interview with David Remmick of the New Yorker:

    Reading this over, the dia is not satisfied that ISIS will retain control of Fallujah or even has it now, and I think the quote “control of different portions of the cities and surrounding areas will likely change” means, not as I was thinking, that ISIS may gain a little bit of more territory near Ramadi and Fallujah, but that it may lose what it just got, if it was ISIS in fact that got it. Director Flynn here is certainly not conceding that the Iraqi government will not recover the cities, nor that it is an al Qaeda offshoot that has it.

    How much less is he predicting even the possibility of vast territorial gains by ISIS in Iraq!

    Daleyrocks:

    The New Yorker article, written by David Remnick, appeared in the Jan. 27, 2014, issue. It was clearly based on a series of interviews with the president, over a period of months, but the interview in question took place in the Oval Office on Jan. 7, according to the previously unreleased transcript obtained by The Fact Checker.

    The date is important because just four days before, newspapers reported that the Islamic State had captured and raised its flag over Fallujah, where Marines in 2004 had fought one of the bloodiest battles of the U.S. invasion.

    The DIA is not conceding that an al Qaeda has control of Fallujah at all “the situation…is fluid” nor that people linked to al Qaeda are dominant, or at all there, and certainly not that they will make further gains.

    That it was a JV team that was active was precisely what his intelligence briefers were telling him.

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  76. “Nobody in the media picked up on that.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/30/2014 @ 3:50 pm

    OMG!

    I didn’t see any headline or story that went:

    Obama: Syrian strategy may not work.

    Did you?

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  77. None that said “may not work,” Sammy.

    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/special-report-bret-baier/2014/09/22/hume-isis-strategy-was-designed-fail-slowly

    Hume: ISIS strategy was designed to ‘fail slowly’

    http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/09/21/retired-head-marine-corps-obama%E2%80%99s-isis-strategy-doesn%E2%80%99t-have-%E2%80%98-snowball%E2%80%99s-chance-hell

    Retired Head Of Marine Corps: Obama’s ISIS Strategy Doesn’t Have ‘A Snowball’s Chance In Hell Of Succeeding’

    “May not work” is waaay too optimistic. That leaves open the possibility that it could work. I’ve seen tons of headlines that acknowledge there is no way, no how, Obama’s plan could possibly work under any circumstances. Just do the math.

    The coalition is hoping to train 5,000 moderate Syrian fighters in Saudi Arabia.

    Oooh! ISIS must be quaking in their sandals at the prospect of us training a measly 5,000 moderates. That potentially means they’ll be confronted with a force less than 20% their size. I say potentially because some of the “moderates” we trained in Libya are already fighting for ISIS.

    But don’t let reality intrude on your NYT-fueled fantasy life, Sammy. Just keep telling yourself that nobody in the media picked up on the fact that Chicago Jesus’ plan may fail.

    Steve57 (b50fab)

  78. “The DIA is not conceding that an al Qaeda has control of Fallujah at all “the situation…is fluid” nor that people linked to al Qaeda are dominant, or at all there, and certainly not that they will make further gains.”

    Marie/Sammy – The DIA is not predicting that ISIS will take “small” amounts of territory in Iraq. That is exclusively your interpretation.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  79. Mr Finkelman, I want to make sure you realize that despite the fact that Marie Harf has an important sounding title at the state department, when people here address you as Marie/Sammy it is not a compliment.

    elissa (57dbec)

  80. As far as I can tell, the only people defending Obama on his Sunday night statement are Josh Earnest, Marie Harf and Sammy.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  81. 83. elissa (57dbec) — 9/30/2014 @ 8:51 pm

    Mr Finkelman, I want to make sure you realize that despite the fact that Marie Harf has an important sounding title at the state department, when people here address you as Marie/Sammy it is not a compliment.

    I know. I haven’t got time to respond to everything.

    What I am saying is quite different from what the Administration is saying.

    They say:

    They WEREN’T warned AND that the intelligence agencies were competent.

    I say:

    They WEREN’T warned AND that the intelligence agencies were NOT competent.

    Everybody else, in what can only be the result of concerted spin campaign by the intelligence professionals, because the sources they cite actually contradict this claim, says:

    They WERE warned, AND the intelligence agencies were competent, but Obama didn’t want to listen or something.

    The reason Obama tolerates this thing is because he accepts excuses very readily.

    i.e. It’s all just bad luck. There’s no reason to think anybody else could do a better job.

    He does it ALSO with the Secret Service, and nobody can say that the Secret Service is competent.

    Yet Obama is just as happy with Julia Pierson as he is James Clapper and the CIA.

    The fact there is no shakeup doesn’t mean that they are competent.

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  82. 85. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/30/2014 @ 9:29 pm

    As far as I can tell, the only people defending Obama on his Sunday night statement are Josh Earnest, Marie Harf and Sammy.

    everybody else says the intelligence agencies were competent and honest.

    They were NOT!

    The Administration says they did a bad job, but it’s not anybody’s fault. Everybody else says they did a good job, but Obama ignored them. It happens not to be true.

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  83. December 14, 2011:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/14/remarks-president-and-first-lady-end-war-iraq

    ….THE PRESIDENT: …Indeed, everything that American troops have done in Iraq -– all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering -– all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home…

    …. Just last month, some of you — members of the Falcon Brigade —

    AUDIENCE: Hooah!

    THE PRESIDENT: — turned over the Anbar Operations Center to the Iraqis in the type of ceremony that has become commonplace over these last several months. In an area that was once the heart of the insurgency, a combination of fighting and training, politics and partnership brought the promise of peace. And here’s what the local Iraqi deputy governor said: “This is all because of the U.S. forces’ hard work and sacrifice.”

    …THE PRESIDENT: Policymakers and historians will continue to analyze the strategic lessons of Iraq — that’s important to do. Our commanders will incorporate the hard-won lessons into future military campaigns — that’s important to do. But the most important lesson that we can take from you is not about military strategy –- it’s a lesson about our national character.

    For all of the challenges that our nation faces, you remind us that there’s nothing we Americans can’t do when we stick together…..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  84. …Because of you — because you sacrificed so much for a people that you had never met, Iraqis have a chance to forge their own destiny. That’s part of what makes us special as Americans. Unlike the old empires, we don’t make these sacrifices for territory or for resources. We do it because it’s right. There can be no fuller expression of America’s support for self-determination than our leaving Iraq to its people. That says something about who we are.

    Because of you, in Afghanistan we’ve broken the momentum of the Taliban. Because of you, we’ve begun a transition to the Afghans that will allow us to bring our troops home from there. And around the globe, as we draw down in Iraq, we have gone after al Qaeda so that terrorists who threaten America will have no safe haven, and Osama bin Laden will never again walk the face of this Earth. ..

    …AUDIENCE: Hooah! (Applause.)

    THE PRESIDENT: So here’s what I want you to know, and here’s what I want all our men and women in uniform to know: Because of you, we are ending these wars in a way that will make America stronger and the world more secure. Because of you.

    That success was never guaranteed. And let us never forget the source of American leadership: our commitment to the values that are written into our founding documents, and a unique willingness among nations to pay a great price for the progress of human freedom and dignity. This is who we are. That’s what we do as Americans, together.

    The war in Iraq will soon belong to history. Your service belongs to the ages….

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  85. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/389270/so-called-khorasan-gro up-actually-wolf-unit-al-qaedas-syrian-franchise-report-andrew-c`

    Again, there is no “Khorasan Group” terrorist organization. It is just a small group of high-level al-Qaeda operatives who were sent to Syria where they were fighting and plotting as members of al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al-Nusra.

    At lesast they bombed al Nusra.

    I think the cause of this separation is actually terrorist moles in the CIA. This is not coming from the political level. It’s too stupid for that.

    Sammy Finkelman (31cdef)

  86. NNew York Times article on what to call ISIS/ISIL/Whatchammacallit

    In New Front Against Islamic State, Dictionary Becomes a Weapon

    France, which has joined the United States-led airstrikes against the group in Iraq and is fighting a propaganda battle against the group at home, has been leading the rebranding….

    …Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced last month that the government would avoid the term Islamic State or its alternatives, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and instead refer to the militant group as Daesh, the acronym many Arabic speakers use, which sounds like a word meaning to crush.

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon tried the “Un-Islamic Nonstate,”

    Sammy Finkelman (31cdef)


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