In a snub to Bernie Sanders’ supporters who are enraged at the fact that leaked emails showed how then DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) advised their man’s opponent Hillary Clinton on how to best win the nomination, the Congresswoman’s Miami-area district voters rebuffed her primary challenger who enjoyed the financial and campaign support of Bernie Sanders. With 81 percent of the vote counted, Wasserman Schultz had 57 percent to her challenger Tim Canova’s 42 percent, according to the AP.
Hillary Clinton won the same district by just under 40 points in the Florida presidential primary. Besides Clinton’s endorsement, Wasserman Schultz received the support of President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
It should be noted that besides fighting Sanders for the nomination, Wasserman Schultz had a lot to do with quashing the Senator’s efforts to turn the DNC platform into an all out attack on the Israeli “occupation.” Sanders picked James Zogby, a long-time pro-Palestinian activist, and Cornel West, a racial justice activist, to be his representatives on the Democratic party’s platform committee. The 15-member platform committee included six Clinton-picked members, five for Sanders, and four for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman. If not for the latter’s strong influence on the proceedings and her commitment to Israel, there could have been a platform agenda item condemning Israel.
The six-term congresswoman Wasserman Schultz was forced to leave her DNC post as a gesture to Sanders’ voters, and her own primary campaign this summer had been a fight for those same progressive voters in her district. Sanders did a lot, save for an actual personal appearance (Canova admitted he was disappointed), against the Florida Congresswoman, and his support for Canova boosted his national profile and helped him raise more than $3.5 million with small donations averaging $22 each. Wasserman Schultz only raised $3.4 million.
Wasserman Schultz faces a Republican challenger in November, but no one doubts her chances of winning Florida’s 23rd district.
Turkish rage at the US has been mounting since the failed July 15 coup, which President Erdogan blamed on his former ally Fethullah Gulen, a self-exiled cleric living in Pennsylvania. It has gotten so bad, President Obama sent his VP to smooth things over, and the Turks were not making the task easy for Joe Biden. The Turks began by sending Ankara’s deputy mayor to greet Biden—the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Turkey since the coup—at the airport. And while the VP was still visiting, the pro-Erdogan Daily Sabah stated: “Biden wasted a trip, Turkey wasted time.”
But Joe Biden, no stranger to hardball politics, took all of that in stride and stayed on message. For one thing, as Anadolu reported Wednesday, Biden hinted that Obama may be prepared to throw Gulen under the bus. “I can understand Mr. President how some of your countrymen would feel that the world didn’t respond rapidly enough to the existential crisis your country is facing,” the VP said at a joint press conference in Ankara Wednesday. “That’s why I want to personally be here. And I was asked by the president to personally be here to represent him, to tell you and all of your colleagues and your countryman how very, very sorry I am, the president and the American people are for the suffering and loss you have endured.”
Biden then said the US is “committed to doing everything we can to help bring justice for all those responsible for this coup attempt. Even as [we] speak, our American experts are on the ground here in Ankara, meeting with your people, closely coordinating with our Turkish counterparts to evaluate and gather material with regard to Turkish requests to extradite Gulen in accordance our bilateral extradition treaty.”
“We have more lawyers working on this case than any other extradition in recent history,” Biden reassured his host. According to Anadolu, during his earlier meeting with Speaker of Parliament Ismail Kahraman, Biden said he and Obama “wish Gulen were in another country, not in the US.”
Erdogan lectured Biden on how Gulen is operating a global terrorist network from his little home in Pennsylvania, and repeated his demand thata the US immediately detain Gulen, so he won’t give media interviews. Biden reportedly put his face in his hands at this point, and tried to explain the US Constitution to his Turkish host.
“The Constitution and our laws require for someone to be extradited that a court of the United States has to conclude there’s probable cause to extradite,” Biden said. “How long it will take will depend on what evidence is presented. Thus far, until yesterday, there has been no evidence presented about the coup.”
“God willing, there will be enough data and evidence to meet the criteria that you all believe exists,” Biden added later.
Last summer, Jerrold Nadler was New York City’s only Jewish Democratic House Member who supported President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, a point which was not lost on his opponent in last June’s primaries. Oliver Rosenberg, a Yeshiva University graduate and an orthodox Jew, argued that the Iran vote showed Nadler as being out of touch with his voters. Nadler, 69, won his primary election in a landslide, with Obama’s endorsement. But neither his crucial vote on the deal nor his firm hold on his own district have earned Nadler the respect of the Democratic National Committee staffers, the same folks who conspired with ousted DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz against candidate Bernie Sanders.
It all had to do with Congressman Nadler’s girth. In 2002 and 2003, Nadler underwent laparoscopic duodenal switch surgery, which helped him lose more than 100 pounds. But over the years all the weight came back, as often happens, unfortunately, with extreme diets and other dramatic measures. Now the NY Post has discovered among the thousands of DNC emails released by WikiLeaks last month an exchange that referred to Nadler in terms that might change his vote should another Iran deal come around.
It began with a mid-May request from Nadler’s office to attend an Obama fundraiser on June 8 at the home of Kenneth Lerer, the former chairman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, Managing Director of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Chairman of Betaworks and BuzzFeed. Lerer lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which means he might be a constituent of Nadler’s, whose district stretches from the Upper West Side down through Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, SoHo, Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, the Financial District and Battery Park City, and over to Brooklyn, where it includes parts of Borough Park, Kensington, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend.
“Do you really want Nadler there?” then DNC national finance director Jordan Kaplan asked the White House in the exposed email.
Presidential aide Bobby Schmuck wrote back that President Obama wanted Nadler to attend the fundraiser, but without a guest. He emailed: “No +1.”
At which point DNC staffer Zachary Allen mocked Nadler’s weight problem. Here’s the May 18 email exchange, courtesy of Wikileaks via the NY Post:
Allen: Homeboy is NOT little.
Kaplan: I thought he got his tummy tucked.
Allen: He did, but like [Gov. Chris] Christie it all came back.
One day later, Zach emailed Kaplan about Nadler: “He was petitioning on my corner the other day and I thanked him for supporting the Iran deal and he bear hugged me. I kinda love him.”
Gotta’ love those bears.
And another day later (sifting through Wikileaks emails is like eating peanuts, you just can’t stop) Zach emailed Jordan Kaplan—who has since stepped down, mired in the Wasserman Schultz scandal: “Are we back to the point where I can say I love you? Because I’d like to.”
And Kaplan emailed back: “I love you too. No homo. Phew.”
So now when they ask you if you think the DNC (and the White House) is being run by children, you can answer with certainty, well, maybe not children, but teenagers, for sure. But no homo. Phew.
As the Trump campaign is surrounding itself with strong, anti-Hillary voices from well established conservative media — Stephen Bannon and Roger Ailes, to name but two, WNYC’s All Things Considered host Richard Hake last week said that “the Clinton campaign has been looking for a surrogate to play Trump so she can practice and they are bringing in the well-known criminal and constitutional law attorney Alan Dershowitz.”
Hake was interviewing former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, who said that of the two components required to win a presidential debate, knowledge and the ability to react quickly and sharply, Hillary possessed the former to a degree close to her own husband’s and to President Obama. But how should she react to an offensive criticism from her attacker in real-time?
“With Roger Ailes and Stephen Bannon advising Trump, Hillary’s team has to guess at what off-the-wall questions, attacks, about her or Bill are coming her way, and how to response with one phrase, one over-arching ribbon,” Green said.
Green, who used to be a student of Dershowitz’s at Harvard, said “Alan Dershowitz is quick-talking, New Yorkish, loud, of course a liberal, and he can mimic Trump pretty well.”
Green said the Democratic candidate should have one overall debate manager, one surrogate, and a team of ten advisers who would micro-analyze her answers during the practice bouts, and remind her to remain poised and, most important and “cheesy,” as Green put it, smile a lot.
“If you’re ideologically neutral and you see Trump yelling and angry, and self-centered, he never smiles, he never laughs, he’s too self-referential,” Green said, and then you turn to Hillary, and “Hillary is the tough mother you want, and if she smiles periodically and is always poised, she conveys empathy. Remember, Kennedy beat Nixon not on points but on appearance.”
So far, Dershowitz denied the story about his playing Trump, writing “Not that I’ve heard,” in response to a Jewish Insider email asking if he’ll do Trump in Clinton’s debate prep.
The first presidential debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at Hofstra University in New York.
Speaking to a large rally in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Saturday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accused President Obama of lying to the American people about the ransom the US paid the Iranians for returning three American hostages.
After lamenting the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran that gave the latter possession of its frozen assets to the tune of $150 billion, Trump continued, “Not to mention the $400 million in cash, which turned out to be a ransom payment after all, just like I said.”
“In other word, our president lied to us. He lied to us,” Trump concluded.
The cash payment to the Iranian government is the subject of the latest war between the Republicans and the Obama administration, with the Republicans saying the payment was ransom for the release of the three American prisoners from Iranian captivity.
President Obama and the State Dept. have been adamant about denying the ransom accusation, with the president claiming it was money the US owed Iran from well before the hostage incident, and had been announced as part of the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. The $400 million payment was part of the $1.7 billion settlement of a US arms deal with the Shah in the 1970s.
On Thursday the State Department insisted they withheld the payment as “leverage” because it made sense to condition paying the debt on the old deal on letting the Americans go, but that didn’t make it a ransom.
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday gave a foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Ohio, outlining his plan to fight terrorism. Addressing the large crowd (as usual), Trump opened, “Today we begin a conversation about how to Make America Safe Again. In the 20th Century, the United States defeated Fascism, Nazism, and Communism. Now, a different threat challenges our world: Radical Islamic Terrorism.”
The candidate cited a very long list of terrorist attacks against individual Western targets (Paris, Brussels, Orlando), as well as a more generalized but no less forceful depiction of attacks on Muslims: “Overseas, ISIS has carried out one unthinkable atrocity after another. … We cannot let this evil continue.”
Trump promised, “We will defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism, just as we have defeated every threat we have faced in every age before.” He then threw a jab at both president Obama and Democratic presidential Candidate Clinton, saying, “Anyone who cannot name our enemy, is not fit to lead this country.”
This led to a Trump analysis of how President Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton are to blame for the current alarming state of events. He blamed them for policies that led to the creation of ISIS, saying, “It all began in 2009 with what has become known as President Obama’s global ‘Apology Tour.’”
Remarkably, Trump omitted eight whole years in which the US was attacked by a different group of Islamic radicals, and the fact that then President GW Bush retaliated by invading a country that had nothing to do with that attack, inflicting chaos on Iraq and taking out the one fierce regional enemy of Iran, Saddam Hussein. According to Trump, none of those eight bloody years of a Bush war had anything to do with the creation of ISIS (which took place in 2004) — it all began with “a series of speeches,” in which “President Obama described America as ‘arrogant,’ ‘dismissive,’ ‘derisive,’ and a ‘colonial power.'”
“Perhaps no speech was more misguided than President Obama’s speech to the Muslim World delivered in Cairo, Egypt, in 2009,” Trump said Monday night. Of course, the Obama Al Azhar University speech did launch a bizarre foreign policy that punished America’s friends and rewarded its enemies. Even if one were not pro-Israel, one would have to wonder what drove that disastrous foreign policy. But the Obama speech did not instigate the catastrophic failure of US policy in the Middle East, it only picked up Obama’s predecessor’s very bad situation and made it worse.
Trump believes that “the failure to establish a new Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq, and the election-driven timetable for withdrawal, surrendered our gains in that country and led directly to the rise of ISIS.” But in eight miserable years, having spent trillions of borrowed dollars our grandchildren and their grandchildren after them will continue to pay for, there were no US gains in Iraq — which is why when Obama honored the Bush agreement with the Iraqi government and withdrew some of the US forces, the whole thing came tumbling down.
Trump blames Hillary Clinton for destabilizing Libya, a claim supported by many, including President Obama and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He also added a jab at the Clintons, saying, “Yet, as she threw the Middle East into violent turmoil, things turned out well for her. The Clintons made almost $60 million in gross income while she was Secretary of State.” It’s factually true, but the implied moral outrage is hard to accept with a straight face, seeing as it came from a man who prided himself on turning homeowners’ misery into a hefty profit for himself during the housing crisis of 2008.
After much more of the candidate’s unique view on US foreign policy and the causes for rise of terrorism, Trump finally cut to the chase.
“If I become President, the era of nation-building will be ended,” he said. “Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam. … As President, I will call for an international conference focused on this goal. We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President [Al] Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”
Trump added to the list of his envisioned coalition partners the NATO countries, explaining that although he “had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism; since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats.”
He also wants Russia to participate, clearly despite its dubious new alliance with both Iran and Turkey that threatens the very presence of US troops in that part of the region.
On this point, the Trump vision looks an awful lot like the current Administration’s policy on fighting ISIS: “My Administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expanded intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting. We cannot allow the Internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes, by our enemy – we must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do so immediately.”
So far so good, but then Trump suggested “we must use ideological warfare as well. Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam.”
Trump then depicted his opponent as contributing to the repression of Muslim gays and women, promising his “Administration will speak out against the oppression of women, gays and people of different faith. Our Administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices.”
At which point one must ask if the candidate is relying on expert advise on the Middle East. Because while he is absolutely right in condemning the cruelty and repression that have been the reality in Muslim countries from Pakistan to Morocco, his idea of promoting an American foreign policy of “speaking out against the horrible practice of honor killings” and against the myriad other acts of unimaginable violence against women, his ideas that to defeat Islamic terrorism, the US must “speak out forcefully against a hateful ideology that provides the breeding ground for violence and terrorism to grow” is shockingly sophomoric. Surely Trump knows that these attempts are a recipe for a far worse disaster than the one brought on by the Obama Al Azhar speech.
At this point, Trump turned to an area with which he is more familiar, the need for a new immigration policy. “A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people,” the candidate declared, adding that “the time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.”
“In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law,” Trump said, explaining that “those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas.”
Easier said than done, of course, because it’s naturally difficult to discern what lurks inside the mind of any person, immigrants included. Trump’s solution is, to “temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.”
“As soon as I take office, I will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.” It should be interesting to gauge the response of, say, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, to the news that no more cash-laden Arab oil sheiks would be allowed to visit Vegas under a Trump Administration.
“Finally, we will need to restore common sense to our security procedures,” Trump declared, listing several notorious murders committed by Muslims on US soil, noting that in each case there had been warning signs that were overlooked by the authorities.
“These warning signs were ignored because political correctness has replaced common sense in our society,” Trump stated flatly, adding, “That is why one of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam. … The goal of the commission will be to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.”
“This commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners,” Trump said, essentially suggesting legitimizing the police profiling that has been so vilified in the media and by many politicians. He also promised to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open (although Obama has just released fifteen of its inmates). He wants additional staff to Intelligence agencies and will keep drone strikes against terrorist leaders as part of his options. He also wants military trials for foreign enemy combatants.
In conclusion, there was absolutely no new policy idea in the Trump speech on foreign policy Monday night, but there was an implied, if mostly unspoken promise, to encourage all levels of law enforcement to be less restrained in pursuing their targets. In fact, across the board, what Trump was offering Monday night were not so much new ideas as the promise of taking existing ideas to a new level of dedication in their execution. It could mean a wider loss of individual civil rights, and serious economic hardship for US industries that cater to any aspect of immigration, and it could also end up with the alienation of both European and Mid-Eastern countries who would not take kindly to Trump’s promised level of fierceness, and would retaliate.
It should be noted in that context, that after having spoken bluntly about extreme security measures that could harm specific ethnic and religious groups, Trump attempted to soften his own tone with a final paragraph that promised: “As your President … I will fight to ensure that every American is treated equally, protected equally, and honored equally. We will reject bigotry and oppression in all its forms, and seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people. — Only this way, will we make America Great Again and Safe Again – For Everyone.”
Like him or hate him, Donald Trump remains the champion of cognitive dissonance.
A key feature of “Trump truth” is Donald Trump’s unvarnished, attention-grabbing imprecision when he frames contentious statements.
In the latest iteration, Trump said something even Obama’s biggest enemies in conservative media would not have said, at least not in those exact terms. Emphasis added:
After lamenting the “mistake” the US made by going to war in Iraq — a conflict he repeatedly says that he opposed, despite evidence to the contrary — Trump then criticized Obama’s attempts to “clean up.”
“Normally you want to clean up; he made a bigger mess out of it. He made such a mess. And then you had Hillary with Libya, so sad,” Trump said.
“In fact, in many respects, you know they honor president Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS, OK? He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.”
He then said that the “co-founder” of ISIS was Clinton.
Critics of Obama’s policies have long argued that those policies (pulling out of Iraq, arming rebel groups in Syria with little vetting) allowed ISIS to form and flourish. But critics who think of themselves as serious and responsible haven’t called Obama the founder of ISIS.
The responsible critics also haven’t made any headway in gaining public traction for their concerns. The leftosphere – including the MSM – has succeeded in obfuscating the whole question by burying it in a specious comparison of “Obama’s blame” with “Bush’s blame.”
This debate tactic ignores the defining fact about ISIS’s rise, which is that its main impetus was not the breakdown of security in Iraq, but the chaos from the Arab Spring, especially (although not only) in Syria. Everything was different, and uniquely Obama’s problem, after the first half of 2011. Bush’s arrangements from 2008 or before were not the governing factor in anything at that point.
But responsible critics were never able to get their points made above the general noise level. Trump, by making an outrageously-worded statement, has brought the issue front and center. Now everyone is talking about Trump saying “Obama founded ISIS.”
And Trump’s not walking it back this time. Talking on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program on Thursday, 11 August, Trump doubled down (tripled down?) on the proposition:
Trump was asked by host Hugh Hewitt about the comments Trump made Wednesday night in Florida, and Hewitt said he understood Trump to mean “that he (Obama) created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said. “I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”
Hewitt pushed back again, saying that Obama is “not sympathetic” to ISIS and “hates” and is “trying to kill them.”
“I don’t care,” Trump said, according to a show transcript. “He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?”
Now, there isn’t anything Trump has said in these passages that I would put in the words he uses. I don’t think the advisor whose hand I detect here would put it in those words either. The advisor is retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of Defense Intelligence who in 2015 said that the Obama administration willfully ignored the predicted consequences of arming the groups that ultimately became ISIS.
The administration was warned as early as 2012, Flynn pointed out last year, but made a “willful” decision to ignore the warnings. (See here for a very good extended treatment, one with echoes of intelligence insider-dom that resonate as valid with me.)
The point here is not that that’s different from saying that Obama literally founded ISIS. I assume y’all folks are smart enough to get that.
The point is that Trump has succeeded, where no one else could have, in making this a major topic of public conversation this week. Everywhere you look, the words “Obama founded ISIS” are being blasted in the headlines. Madison Avenue should function so effectively.
The MSM are doggedly railing against Trump for saying it. And most of the right is distancing itself – as with Hugh Hewitt – from the wrongly-couched assertion. (LU contributor and colleague Jeff Dunetz also points out that the MSM coverage of this Trump-truth incident has been “psychotically literal,” which in an important sense is true. But I think the MSM do their cause more harm than good by trying to frame Trump as the crazy one. We really are watching the childhood rhyme come to life this year: Trump is rubber, the MSM’s glue.)
Preparing the way for a damning report from Congress on cooked intel
The initial allegation about that was made public 11 months ago. A large group of 50 analysts working at CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa filed a complaint that they were being pressured to make assessments rosier than the facts warranted. They said their work was being edited to present a falsely positive picture of how things were going in the fight against ISIS.
There was at least one major data point at the time that suggested complicity at the highest levels of the Obama administration in this alleged intel-cooking. The director of intelligence (J2) at CENTCOM, Army Maj. Gen. Steven Grove, reportedly spoke nearly every day with James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.
As the Guardian’s “former intelligence” source says, that is indeed “highly, highly unusual.” Normally, the CENTCOM J2 doesn’t speak directly with the director of national intelligence. The J2 has a circuit of daily contacts with the intelligence community, but they don’t include the DNI – who functions at a nosebleed level far above the CENTCOM J2’s paygrade. Any work-related discussion with the DNI is inherently about national policy, and there are three layers of command and/or policy authority that would ordinarily sequester the CENTCOM J2 from the DNI: his own boss, the CENTCOM commander; the Joint Staff at the Pentagon (which has its own J2 and intelligence staff); and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Only the latter is the equivalent in decision-making seniority to the DNI.
If General Grove was talking every day to James Clapper, something very unusual was going on. (General Lloyd Austin, the CENTCOM commander at the time, quite probably knew about these discussions. As widely as they seem to have been known in the J2 directorate, it would have been impossible for Austin to be unaware of them. Presumably they had his approval, spoken or otherwise.)
CENTCOM employees further alleged that Grove and his civilian deputy, Gregory Ryckman, destroyed electronic records to hide their doctoring of analysts’ reports.
Now a House task force, after an investigation that included dozens of interviews with these analysts (at which CENTCOM always had a command representative present), has concluded that “structural and management” conditions at CENTCOM yielded intelligence products that were “significantly more optimistic than that of other parts of the Intelligence Community (IC) and typically more optimistic than actual events warranted.”
Based on its own investigation, the Joint Task Force has substantiated that structural and management changes made at the CENTCOM Intelligence Directorate starting in mid-2014 resulted in the production and dissemination of intelligence products that were inconsistent with the judgments of many senior, career analysts at CENTCOM. These products were consistently more optimistic regarding the conduct of U.S. military action than that of the senior analysts. Based on specific case studies evaluated by the Joint Task Force, during the time period evaluated by the Joint Task Force, CENTCOM produced intelligence that was also significantly more optimistic than that of other parts of the Intelligence Community (IC) and typically more optimistic than actual events warranted. Additionally, many CENTCOM press releases, public statements, and congressional testimonies were also significantly more positive than actual events.
The timeline of bad news versus cover-up
The sequence of events is, thus, that in 2012, the Obama administration was warned about what would happen if it continued to arm and encourage the groups that became ISIS (and Al-Nusra, which remained directly affiliated with Al-Qaeda). (The administration was even warned very precisely about where ISIS would make its headquarters and capital in eastern Syria. See the links above on General Flynn’s public comments in 2015.)
What was predicted did happen: ISIS began its career of exceptionally bloody and grotesque territorial conquest, pushing out from a redoubt in eastern Syria. The acquisition of territory accelerated rapidly in the spring and summer of 2014.
And in mid-2014, the CENTCOM intelligence directorate made “structural and management changes…[that] resulted in the production and dissemination of intelligence products that were” all of the following:
“…inconsistent with the judgments of many senior, career analysts at CENTCOM.”
“…consistently more optimistic regarding the conduct of U.S. military action than that of the senior analysts.”
“…significantly more optimistic than that of other parts of the Intelligence Community (IC) and typically more optimistic than actual events warranted.”
“Additionally,” after these structural and management changes, “many CENTCOM press releases, public statements, and congressional testimonies were also significantly more positive than actual events.”
This amounts to spinning intel to make the counter-ISIS effort look more effective than it was. Interestingly enough, that implication fits with this presentation by Fox of the ways in which Obama has painted the counter-ISIS picture more rosily (to the point of outright falsehood) than his senior officials. He has been directly contradicted by his senior officials on a number of occasions.
The “Trump truth” may not fit the exact words Trump uses to say something. But it seems to take over the media’s own precincts and make a hash of their narrative, paving the way for a truth to come out that the American public would not otherwise have seen.
It’s at work again with the “Obama founded ISIS” theme. It sure looks like somebody tried to cover up Obama’s complicity — advertent or otherwise — in fostering the development and growth of ISIS. Without Trump’s “Obama founded ISIS” statement, that set of facts would have been buried in the noise.