Obama Blames Intelligence Community, Says They Underestimated ISIS

by Duane Lester | September 29, 2014 10:18 pm

His spokesman can spin it however he wants, but President Obama blamed the intelligence community, saying “…they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria..”

What a leader:[1]

United States President Barack Obama acknowledged that the U.S. intelligence community underestimated threats that might emerge from the catastrophic Syrian civil war during part of an interview with 60 Minutes that will be broadcast on Sunday.

The president also acknowledged that the U.S. had put too much faith in the Iraqi military before realizing that it was unfit to combat Islamic State militants that overran Iraqi troops in much of northern and western Iraq in mid-June.

Now that is written by Mashable, and it’s very friendly to President Obama. See how they wrote that Obama “acknowledged” someone else failed.

That’s called blaming someone else. And it tends to irritate those getting blamed, especially when it’s not true:[2]

The president’s apparent unwillingness to take responsibility for his administration’s failure to foresee the threat was met with disbelief by both policy experts and senior Republicans, who have long warned of the risks of ceding strategic space to the jihadists in Syria.

“This was the ‘dog ate my homework speech’,” Senator John McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate who has long called for Mr Obama to arm moderate rebel forces in Syria, told Fox News, adding that Mr Obama should follow other presidents and admit his mistake.

“Every president in history had made a mistake, acknowledged it and then moved on. President Reagan with Iran contra, President Clinton in Bosnia, President George W Bush after the debacle in Iraq, when he started the surge – but it doesn’t seem to be in this president’s DNA,” he said.

Mr Obama’s foreign policy approval ratings are at a historic low, with almost 60 per cent of American disapproving of his handling of foreign policy – a number that has not improved since the president began implementing his strategy to “degrade and destroy” Isil.

Frederic Hof, the former State Department special adviser on Syria now with the Rafik Hariri Center in Washington, who argued for greater support for the rebels but later resigned in the face of White House opposition to the policy, said the intelligence community was not to blame.

“I very much doubt that the intelligence community was asleep at the switch while Isil was gaining strength in Syria,” he told The Telegraph, “None of this was exactly hidden from view.

“No doubt President Obama and his advisors were perplexed when it came to policy options, and no doubt the scope and speed of the Isil thrust into Iraq were surprising. But I doubt that the US intelligence community is to blame for any policy shortfalls.”

Perplexed? How about clueless?

That’s a better description, I think.

Endnotes:
  1. What a leader:: http://mashable.com/2014/09/28/obama-says-u-s-underestimated-isis-in-tv-interview/
  2. especially when it’s not true:: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/11129473/Fury-as-Obama-blames-intelligence-agencies-for-Isil-surprise.html

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