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February 18, 2016

Obama’s Dangerous Cooked Intelligence

More evidence that politicization went high up the chain.

The official Obama administration story on the Islamic State has always been to downplay the threat the terrorist group poses to the U.S. and its allies. When the Islamic State first appeared on the scene, Barack Obama called them the JV team. After the so-called JV team summarily rolled back virtually all of America’s military gains in Iraq, Obama again warned against overestimating their impact.

Then came Paris, a number of other smaller attacks in Europe and the Middle East, and even jihad here on our soil, which the federal government still categorizes as unrelated attacks by “lone wolves.” Obama continues to maintain that he has contained the Islamic State.

Surprise! The facts don’t fit this political narrative. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ISIL continues to grow in strength, with worldwide numbers exceeding those of al-Qaida.

Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan have both publicly stated that the Islamic State has manufactured and used chemical weapons on the battlefield. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that ISIL used mustard gas against Kurdish troops last year. (And Donald Trump says there were no WMDs in Iraq.) How long before these and other weapons of mass destruction find their way to American shores?

Not long if the Obama administration doesn’t start facing the hard truth about the failure of its anti-ISIL strategy.

Last August, we reported that intelligence analysts were facing pressure to provide more optimistic reports of U.S. activities against the Islamic State. Analysts reported that they received pressure from senior Pentagon officials to alter their reports to provide more flattering results of the U.S. bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria.

Now a whole new set of allegations have been made by analysts at the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the military wing in charge of America’s activities in the Middle East. These allegations, which were filed with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, claim that senior officials at CENTCOM’s intelligence group may have been aware of “potential problems with the integrity of information on [ISIL],” according to the Daily Beast.

Clapper, while being forthright in his testimony before the Senate, may also be culpable in these shenanigans. As the head of America’s intelligence community, he must be able to assure the commander in chief that the intelligence that comes into the Oval Office is honest and can be used to make informed decisions to protect the country.

On the other hand, it may also be the case that Obama himself, or key members of his team, through force of will if not by direct action, have made it clear that they want to portray a specific picture to the American people about our fight against radical Islamic terrorism.

This commander in chief has never made the war against radical Muslims a priority — in fact, he has often gone out of his way to downplay and disavow it, almost always embarrassingly so. His worldview is clearly shared by the senior members of his team, and that worldview has almost certainly trickled down into the intelligence community. The direct result of this is that America is now less safe than it was when Obama took office. The dangerous irony is that the Obama administration espouses precisely the opposite.

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