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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

They won't be dissed, Mr President

by digby

After all President Obama has done to rehab the reputations of the intelligence services and make them feel secure, this is how they treat him:

By late last year, classified American intelligence reports painted an increasingly ominous picture of a growing threat from Sunni extremists in Syria, according to senior intelligence and military officials. Just as worrisome, they said, were reports of deteriorating readiness and morale among troops next door in Iraq.

But the reports, they said, generated little attention in a White House consumed with multiple brush fires and reluctant to be drawn back into Iraq. “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.”

He obviously made the foolish mistake of telling a truth so obvious that he didn't realize it could possibly offend the honor of the Deep State officials. This nonsense explains why Obama has recently been sounding like a cheap Vin Diesel impersonator.

Here's the thing: people are trying to make this the equivalent of Bush blowing off the intelligence that said BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO ATTACK INSIDE THE UNITED STATES, even telling the fellow who delivered it, "fine, you've covered your ass..." The difference is that ISIS has not attacked the United States and neither is it likely to any time soon. It attacked cities in Iraq. Surely anyone should be able to see the difference.

The article goes on to show just how confused the intelligence was along with all the geo-political complications. Ask yourself: would anyone in the United States have endorsed Obama going back to Iraq or invading Syria or even responding to any of this with a sense of emergency a year ago? Please. Even if they were monitoring every communication (which I assume they are ... ahem) the US really couldn't do a damn thing about it to prevent it. They had to succeed to some extent to get the kind of attention that would show Republicans that they finally have the foreign policy hook they've needed since the Iraq debacle. Without that, they weren't going to be on board and getting Democrats on board isn't much easier. And then came the execution videos, which kicked it into high gear.

I still believe that Obama was reluctant to get into this.(And yes, I know that makes me a naive Obamabot, blah, blah,blah.) Say what you will about him but he has not been one to get all excited about war plans. (He's more of a covert, clandestine kind of guy.) But, as with all presidents regardless of their party, once the war machine gears start moving there's only so much you can do. And then the playbook clearly requires that you start flagwaving and saying a bunch of jingoistic nonsense. It doesn't strike me as particularly natural for Obama so I suspect he said what he said about the intelligence underestimating the threat of ISIS simply because the crap he was spewing was so foreign to him.

Seriously, he's got many flaws as I've endlessly documented on this blog. But being a jigoistic fool isn't usually one of them. It just goes to show you that no good deed goes unpunished: he let the CIA off the hook for a lot of nefarious BS. And yet all he had to do was say they made one mistake and they are running to press to stab him in the back. A lot of good it did him.