Saturday, September 19, 2015

Iraq: A blunder and an intelligence scandal

From the indispensable John Schindler:

We've heard tales of 'cherry-picked intelligence' before—it hasn't ended well

It’s happening again. A White House fumbling with the violent mess of Iraq finds itself surrounded by mounting accusations that it’s played dirty games with intelligence. A Pentagon facing charges that its analysts have skewed assessments on Iraq to tell top policymakers what they want to hear, rather than what is really happening in that troubled country.

This is a telling bit of information:

Reports that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, talks to Major General Grove almost daily raise troubling questions.

Clapper is a very busy man charged with running America’s vast seventeen-agency Intelligence Community. That he makes time practically every day to talk to the CENTCOM intelligence director is, to be charitable, highly unusual. To any longtime spy, this smacks of political interference from the White House and President Obama.

The Pentagon’s inspector general now has to untangle this mess.

I headed a multiagency intelligence task force focused on Iraq back in 2002-2003, and the interference from the Bush White House then did not reach the level of daily calls to CENTCOM spies. What’s been going on in Tampa recently has the appearance of being even worse.

As is this:

Stories of White House interference with CENTCOM headquarters, commonly heard in the military, paint a disturbing picture, with Susan Rice’s bloated and confused National Security Council waging war against the Islamic State in a micro-managerial style reminiscent of President Johnson’s failed efforts against North Vietnam a half-century ago.

Susan Rice just goes from strength to strenth: Rwanda, Benghazi, and now the floundering effort to stem the advance of ISIS.

From 2013:

Susan Rice and Benghazi

From this we learn three critical facts: 1. Susan Rice is a diplomat who had no qualms about considering domestic politics when making diplomatic decisions. 2. She is an Obama loyalist who was an early passenger of the Hope and Change Express. 3. Her loyalty to Obama made her quite willing to kneecap her old patrons the Clintons.

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