Media: Obama was right about ISIS, but we’re mad at him anyway




The media is very upset with President Obama today for telling “60 Minutes” something last night that the media admits is in fact true.

But, but, but… Obama!

You see, when asked about ISIS, the President said that the intelligence community underestimated the threat the terrorist organization posed to Iraq and Syria.

In response, not only did Fox News produce one of its usual propaganda pieces translated from the original Republican, but the Daily Beast did one too.

The thing is, both Fox and the Daily Beast admit that Obama was right, but then they blast him anyway.

First, here’s Fox:

the flag of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or simply the Islamic State (IS). Via Shutterstock.

the flag of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or simply the Islamic State (IS). Via Shutterstock.

In the interview, Obama was asked how the Islamic State was able to gain so much territory. “Our head of the intelligence community Jim Clapper has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” the president said.Clapper previously had admitted that U.S. analysts both underestimated the Islamic State, or ISIS, and “overestimated” the ability of the Iraqi army to fight them….

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaking on CNN, also said he’s “puzzled” by some of the president’s statements.

Oh, so the President was right. But John McCain is still puzzled by the truth. Yeah — when isn’t he?

Then we hear from Eli Lake at the Daily Beast, who’s written things I’ve actually liked in the past:

Obama specifically blamed James Clapper, the current director of national intelligence: “Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” he said.

Reached by The Daily Beast after Obama’s interview aired, one former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.

Clapper did tell The Washington Post’s David Ignatius this month that he underestimated the will of the ISIS fighters in Iraq and overestimated the ability of Iraq’s security forces in northern Iraq to counter ISIS. (He also said his analysts warned about the “prowess and capability” of the group.)

Still, other senior intelligence officials have been warning about ISIS for months.

So again, Obama was right.

Note that Lake goes on to say that some other intelligence officials, who were subordinate to Clapper, have been warning about ISIS for months. Yeah, and their boss believed otherwise. So, what is Lake suggesting exactly? That the President is supposed to ignore the advice of the head of the entire intelligence community because some staffer disagrees with him? (“Sorry James, but we’re invading Syria anyway cuz Joe the janitor is pissed.”)

It’s all well and good, and fair even, for the media and Fox News to ask why nothing was done about ISIS earlier. But to suggest that the “smoking gun” here is the President’s statement to “60 Minutes,” when both Fox and the Daily Beast then admit that the President’s comments were in fact accurate, is bizarre.

The issue here isn’t what President Obama told “60 Minutes,” as both outlets admit that the President spoke truthfully. The issue is why we’re only hearing about ISIS now. And so far I’ve seen no smoking memo warning the President of an imminent ISIS attack. So far, we’ve only heard the truth.

But hey, why let that get in the way of a good scandal.

(If only Obama had listened to level-headed John McCain.)


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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