Neglected information and opinion relative to Israel, the Middle East and the immediate world.
Obama’s deliberate multifaceted maneuvers to destroy the United States of America
Redacted from an article by Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan
The Washington Times, December 21, 2017
… On repeated occasions during the Obama era, high-level sources and some lawmakers lamented to The Washington Times, the president’s inner circle ignored classified briefings and twisted intelligence to fit political goals.
Long before Donald Trump appeared on the White House campaign scene, many pointed to an incident during the 2012 election cycle as the most dramatic evidence of how that approach affected the handling of national security threats.
‘Understating the threat’
On the campaign trail in 2012, Mr. Obama declared that al Qaeda was “on the run,” despite a flow of intelligence showing that the terrorist group was metastasizing — a circumstance that led to the rise of the Islamic State.
Many Americans believed the president was justifiably touting a major success of his first term with the U.S. Special Forces killing of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in 2011. But the gulf between Mr. Obama’s campaign pronouncements and classified briefings provided to Congress touched off a heated debate in intelligence circles over whether the president was twisting the facts for political gain.
“Candidate Obama was understating the threat,” then-House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told The Times in an interview after the 2012 election. “To say the core [was] decimated and therefore we [had] al Qaeda on the run was not consistent with the overall intelligence assessment at the time.”
With regard to the Obama White House, Mr. Rogers told The Times, the circumstances were different but no less disturbing. “Over the course of their time in office, the Obama administration’s world got smaller and smaller,” said the Michigan Republican, who retired from Congress in 2015. “They listened to fewer and fewer different opinions. When you do that, that is how you miss things.”
‘Heart was never in it’
Chaos and instability in the Middle East factored into one Obama-era intelligence leak that officials now say badly undermined national security.
The CIA’s covert “Train and Equip” program was crafted to aid forces seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad after the 2011 Arab Spring protests exploded into a civil war in Syria.
One former senior intelligence official said the program was badly undermined because the White House was constantly leaking details of efforts to build a Free Syrian Army with cash, weapons and intelligence.
“Obama’s heart was never in it, and the administration wanted nothing to do with it,” Mr. Pollack told The Times. “He mostly did it to avoid domestic political blowback. We could have done so much more, but the way it was run, it killed itself.”
Mr. Pollack, who once worked in the Clinton White House, said the program’s recruitment vetting was ridiculous. “The [Obama] administration more or less insisted, ‘We will only accept applicants … who had never met a jihadist.’ The vetting standards were absurd and excluded almost everyone who had any contact with the opposition in Syria,” Mr. Pollack said.
In the long run, the policy’s failure provided a clear window for Iran and Russia to expand their military presence and political influence into the power vacuum created by Syria’s war.
And then there was”unmasking.”
Controversy has swirled for the past year around the Obama administration’s use of a process that allowed high-level White House officials to learn the redacted identities of Americans swept up in classified surveillance against suspected foreign operatives during the months surrounding the presidential election.
For decades, national security officials at the highest level have used their security clearances to engage in the process known as “unmasking” while reading raw intercepts from around the world for better understanding of relationships that might impact America’s safety.
But Republicans believe the process — and the safeguards against abuse — went terribly awry in the final months of the bitter campaign between Mr. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton and through the transition period between Mr. Trump’s unexpected victory and inauguration.
Remarks by former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, as well as Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former top White House strategist Steve Bannon, were all captured in surveillance of a Trump Tower meeting in December 2016. Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, has since acknowledged she asked that the identities of the Americans in the surveillance be revealed, citing what she said were legitimate concerns about the purpose of the group’s meeting with foreigners.
Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the House intelligence committee, has gone further, suggesting that Obama administration officials strategically leaked the names to smear Mr. Trump and fuel a narrative that the Trump campaign was secretly working with foreign forces.
Suspicion that the Obama White House intentionally leaked the unmasked names has been fueled by what intelligence sources say was the administration track record of other sensitive leaks — which stretched back to the Abdullah al-Shami case in Afghanistan.
Fearful of a similar reaction, the Obama administration decided the best course of action would be to leak information about the al-Shami case to stir up public awareness of the conundrum facing the president, the former intelligence officials said.
“Look,” said the source, “I actually appreciate that Obama didn’t like the idea of killing another American without due process. But was leaking this stuff really the right way to handle this?
The al Qaeda operative was finallyconvicted in September in U.S. federal court in New York on terrorism charges under his birth name, Muhanad Mahmoud al-Farekh. The 31-year-old is slated to be sentenced next month.
Obama protected Hezbollah drug ring to avoid ‘rocking the boat’ on Iran deal
(The history of collusion with our enemies by Barack Hussein Obama is endless. There is no doubt he will go down as the most deliberately destructive President we have ever had – as a matter of fact – the only one) jsk.
To subscribe to Israel Commentary: Send your email address to:
http://israel-commentary.org for complete web page of prior articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary