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.
President Obama's former campaign manager, Jim Messina, said today that it was Hillary Clinton's "turn" to be the next president of the United States:
"We want Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States," Messina told an MSNBC host. "It's her turn and her time. I think she would be the right leader for this country moving forward. We're going to do whatever it takes to make sure she's the president of the United States."
Whether or not Jeff Bell comes from behind to win the New Jersey Senate race, he deserves credit for having run a classy, ideas-focused race. That's epitomized by his "closing argument," reproduced below. If a majority of New Jersey voters actually read this email, I do think Bell would win. The media complain a lot about the low quality of campaigns these days—but when an underdog candidate runs a high-quality campaign, they don’t bother covering it. It would be good if some of them acknowledged Bell's attempt to elevate the political discourse.
Speaking to the overflow crowd at a campaign rally at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, President Obama urged the crowd to make sure "cousin Pookie" voted in November's election.
A new poll from Public Opinion Strategies, commissioned by Independent Women’s Voice, finds that people who care about the issue of Obamacare really don’t like Obamacare. On the flip side, people who like Obamacare really don’t care about it very much. That’s a bad combination for pro-Obamacare candidates.
Despite Hillary Clinton’s disappointing book sales, and a gaffe-prone publicity tour, she remains the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination. If anything, the last few weeks have only confirmed her advantage. Despite these disappointments and mis-steps, there is no substantial anti-Clinton movement building in the party. All we hear are crickets.
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: