8:18 AM, Mar 6, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn report in the Wall Street Journal on the latest developments in uncovering how the Obama administration actively played down the threat of al Qaeda during President Obama's reelection campaign.
In spring 2012, a year after the raid that killed bin Laden and six months before the 2012 presidential election, the Obama administration launched a concerted campaign to persuade the American people that the long war with al Qaeda was ending. In a speech commemorating the anniversary of the raid, John Brennan , Mr. Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and later his CIA director, predicted the imminent demise of al Qaeda. The next day, on May 1, 2012, Mr. Obama made a bold claim: “The goal that I set—to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild—is now within our reach.”
The White House provided 17 handpicked documents to the Combatting Terror Center at the West Point military academy, where a team of analysts reached the conclusion the Obama administration wanted. Bin Laden, they found, had been isolated and relatively powerless, a sad and lonely man sitting atop a crumbling terror network.
It was a reassuring portrayal. It was also wrong. And those responsible for winning the war—as opposed to an election—couldn’t afford to engage in such dangerous self-delusion.
“The leadership down at Central Command wanted to know what were we learning from these documents,” says Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the transcript of an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier for a coming Fox News Reporting special. “We were still facing a growing al Qaeda threat. And it was not just Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq. But we saw it growing in Yemen. We clearly saw it growing still in East Africa.” The threat “wasn’t going away,” he adds, “and we wanted to know: What can we learn from these documents?”
But as Hayes and Joscelyn detail, there was a concerted effort to suppress the truth:
After a pitched bureaucratic battle, a small team of analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency and Centcom was given time-limited, read-only access to the documents. The DIA team began producing analyses reflecting what they were seeing in the documents.
At precisely the time Mr. Obama was campaigning on the imminent death of al Qaeda, those with access to the bin Laden documents were seeing, in bin Laden’s own words, that the opposite was true. Says Lt. Gen. Flynn: “By that time, they probably had grown by about—I’d say close to doubling by that time. And we knew that.”
This wasn’t what the Obama White House wanted to hear. So the administration cut off DIA access to the documents and instructed DIA officials to stop producing analyses based on them.
Whole thing here.
11:25 AM, Sep 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Just before the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the reelection campaign for Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced its campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was resigning. Benton was leaving the campaign, Politico reports, "citing potential distractions over renewed attention to a scandal from the Iowa 2012 caucuses."
7:49 AM, Aug 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said on CNBC this morning that he "would love to see" Mitt Romney run for president again, but that he doesn't think it's likely:
"I would love to see Mitt run again. I hope he does. He's pretty emphatic in saying he won't," said Ryan.
4:27 PM, Aug 12, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New York congressman Tim Bishop has a new ad out today—well, it depends on your definition of "new." The Democrat's ad features 10 seconds of testimonials from constituents whose jobs were saved, they say, by Bishop. The ad closes with Bishop giving his own pitch. Watch it below:
One in five black men under age 30 voted for Romney; youngest 'millennials' lean even more conservative.
8:20 AM, Aug 12, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
In the midst of rioting in St. Louis over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, the New York Times decided to stoke the embers of racial animus even further with an incendiary op-ed titled, "Can the G.O.P. Ever Attract Black Voters?"
3:10 PM, Jul 7, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
It seems these days, everything's coming up Romney. There's talk the two-time presidential candidate and the 2012 Republican nominee ought to run for the job again in 2016. Writing in Politico magazine, Emil Henry makes "the case for Mitt Romney" and draws comparisons to Richard Nixon's political resuscitation after eight years as vice president, a failed presidential run in 1960, and a failure to win the California governor's race two years later:
12:01 PM, Jul 1, 2014 • By FRED BAUER
In late June, the Pew Research Center released "Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology." Breaking the nation's voting public into seven types (plus one type that does not regularly vote), Pew aims to give a more granular perspective on the nation's body politic. Pew's political map can be a helpful tool for Republicans and conservatives looking to chart a path to a sustainable governing coalition.
9:08 AM, May 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Paradise for the most dedicated supporters of President Obama would look like an eternal campaign. It would, in fact, be an eternal campaign. The speeches about hope and change would never end and there would be no messy governing to attend to. One could promise passionately, to make the Department of Veterans Affairs the envy of the world and say things like:
8:04 AM, May 5, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Governor Rick Perry of Texas criticized President Barack Obama's Washington-centric approach to solving problems in a Sunday appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. Perry was asked by host David Gregory about the recent botched execution of a convicted murderer in neighboring Oklahoma and the announcement from Obama that his administration would be "analyzing" the use of capital punishment in various states. Perry said he was confident about how Texas administered executions, and then offered a critique of Obama.
5:33 PM, Apr 21, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Elizabeth Warren, the freshman Democratic senator from Massachusetts, did not say whether or not she thought her fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton, would make a good president. ABC News's David Muir asked Warren the question in an interview airing Monday night on ABC.
"Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?" Muir asked.
"I think Hillary Clinton is terrific," Warren said. "We've gotta stay focused on these issues right now."
5:01 PM, Apr 3, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Nebraska senator Deb Fischer will travel next door to Iowa in support of a fellow female Republican running in a tough primary for U.S. Senate. According to a press release from ShePAC, a conservative women's group, Fischer will go to Des Moines later this month to campaign for Joni Ernst, who is running for the seat currently held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. Ernst is locked in a primary battle with four other Republican candidates, including leading candidate Mark Jacobs.
6:38 PM, Mar 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts who defeated Republican Scott Brown in 2012, has sent out a fundraising email to encourage supporters to donate to New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Brown announced Friday he is forming an exploratory committee to run against Shaheen for her U.S. Senate seat. Warren's email urges people to "beat Scott Brown again."
Read the email below:
8:47 AM, Mar 12, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Texas governor Rick Perry told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel that "America is a great place for second chances" when asked about running for president in 2016. Perry, appearing on Kimmel's show Tuesday night while on location in Austin, teased the idea of running again after his failed 2012 bid.
"Are you going to run for president again?" Kimmel asked, adding, "Obviously, maybe this isn't the place you want to announce it."
"It's probably not the place I want to announce," said Perry. "This is not the crowd I want to make the announcement to."
Remains open to 2016 presidential run.7:00 AM, Mar 5, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Rick Perry is in a good mood, and it’s not just because it’s his 64th birthday. Tuesday is primary day in Texas, and for the first time in what seems like forever, his name’s not on the ballot. The office he’s made his own—with paintings of the Texas landscapes and framed photos of recent war heroes from Texas—for the last 13 years will belong to someone else next January. But Perry doesn’t sound wistful in the twilight of his term.
6:01 PM, Feb 19, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Matt Doheny, a House candidate in upstate New York, lost his two previous bids for the seat. His more recent defeat, in 2012, came after photos and video surfaced of Doheny, then engaged, kissing one woman and canoodling with her and another woman outside a Washington, D.C., restaurant. Doheny had been attending a GOP-sponsored candidate workshop in Washington.