State Department a little confused about our war against radical Islam

State Department Press Secretary John Kirby was a little more obtuse than he usually is yesterday when questioned about our progress against radical Islam. In fact, he was downright contradictory.

Washington Free Beacon:

State Department Press Secretary John Kirby offered a contradictory assessment of U.S. progress against radical Islam on Friday, calling the ideology a “loser” that was nonetheless “metastasizing” across the world.

“I believe that terrorist networks around the world—while they continue to metastasize and fester and remain a lethal threat—are themselves under threat,” Kirby said.

Kirby cited U.S. progress in killing members of core al Qaeda, although similar terrorist groups, like Islamic State (IS) and Boko Haram, have proliferated in recent years.

“This is an ideology that is a loser, and it’s going to lose,” Kirby said. “But as I said earlier, we recognize it’s going to take time and effort and resources and will probably result in more bloodshed before it does.”

Kirby said that the anti-IS coalition carrying out airstrikes in Iraq and Syria was a “significant” example of the pressure that the U.S. is placing on terrorist groups.

“We have more than 60 countries involved in these coalition efforts against this one group in two countries. That’s not insignificant. In fact it’s very significant,” Kirby said.

Kirby’s choice of example may be ill-chosen, as recent reports allege that senior U.S. officials have been manipulating intelligence reports “to adhere to the administration’s public line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS and al Nusra, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria.”

Got that? We're winning but radical Islamist groups are growing.That kind of a compartmentalized mind - a mind that can hold two contradictory thoughts at once - appears to be common in this administration's departments and agencies. In fact, it seems to be the rule at CENTCOM, where our intelligence analysts say one thing while the political appointees who oversee them say another about our progress against Islamic State.

Members of the House and Senate told The Daily Beast Thursday they had launched investigations to examine claims the news outlet reported the night before alleging that high-ranking officials had wrongfully manipulated intelligence on the Islamic State.

“We’re investigating … Our committee is looking at it, we have jurisdiction and oversight,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, told The Daily Beast.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry told the news outlet that his committee was also “looking into” the “troubling” allegations.

“Accurate intelligence and unbiased analysis can often be a life or death matter and must remain free from political pressure,” he said.

Other members of Congress expressed concern to The Daily Beast Thursday, saying they too wanted answers.

The common thread that connects the State Department contradictions with the cooked intelligence at CENTCOM is an adherence to a narrative about how great a job we are doing against al-Qaeda, Islamic State, and other terrorist groups thanks to the brilliant leadership of President Obama.

It's a load of crap, of course. But maintaining the narrative at all costs is key. Ergo, Bush is to blame for the rise of ISIS and he never went after "core" al-Qaeda (whatever that means) like Obama. Other terrorist groups like al-Shabab and Boko Harum are never discussed. We're winning everywhere, but ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninnsula, al-Nusra, and a half dozen other terrorist groups are growing in number and lethality. Pay no attention to those ISIS fighters slowly taking over Libya. Never mind about al-Nusra fighting US backed rebels in Syria - and winning. And please don't mention the Taliban in Afghanistan moving in to provinces we recently left.

Ordinarily, we would say that the administration's policy is a failure. But there is no coherent policy to criticize - only a series of unconnected, half hearted actions that give the appearance of the US "doing something" about radical Islam but in fact, are meant to hide our colossal failure to deal with it.

The president and his team are playing out the clock on his administration, hoping nothing catastrophic happens before Obama leaves office that will expose their cynicism and incompetence for the American people to see. Cooking the intel and issuing contradictory statements about what we're doing to combat terrorism are but symptoms of the larger problem that afflicts the administration from the president on down.

A lack of will to do what is necessary to protect us.

 

State Department Press Secretary John Kirby was a little more obtuse than he usually is yesterday when questioned about our progress against radical Islam. In fact, he was downright contradictory.

Washington Free Beacon:

State Department Press Secretary John Kirby offered a contradictory assessment of U.S. progress against radical Islam on Friday, calling the ideology a “loser” that was nonetheless “metastasizing” across the world.

“I believe that terrorist networks around the world—while they continue to metastasize and fester and remain a lethal threat—are themselves under threat,” Kirby said.

Kirby cited U.S. progress in killing members of core al Qaeda, although similar terrorist groups, like Islamic State (IS) and Boko Haram, have proliferated in recent years.

“This is an ideology that is a loser, and it’s going to lose,” Kirby said. “But as I said earlier, we recognize it’s going to take time and effort and resources and will probably result in more bloodshed before it does.”

Kirby said that the anti-IS coalition carrying out airstrikes in Iraq and Syria was a “significant” example of the pressure that the U.S. is placing on terrorist groups.

“We have more than 60 countries involved in these coalition efforts against this one group in two countries. That’s not insignificant. In fact it’s very significant,” Kirby said.

Kirby’s choice of example may be ill-chosen, as recent reports allege that senior U.S. officials have been manipulating intelligence reports “to adhere to the administration’s public line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS and al Nusra, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria.”

Got that? We're winning but radical Islamist groups are growing.That kind of a compartmentalized mind - a mind that can hold two contradictory thoughts at once - appears to be common in this administration's departments and agencies. In fact, it seems to be the rule at CENTCOM, where our intelligence analysts say one thing while the political appointees who oversee them say another about our progress against Islamic State.

Members of the House and Senate told The Daily Beast Thursday they had launched investigations to examine claims the news outlet reported the night before alleging that high-ranking officials had wrongfully manipulated intelligence on the Islamic State.

“We’re investigating … Our committee is looking at it, we have jurisdiction and oversight,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, told The Daily Beast.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry told the news outlet that his committee was also “looking into” the “troubling” allegations.

“Accurate intelligence and unbiased analysis can often be a life or death matter and must remain free from political pressure,” he said.

Other members of Congress expressed concern to The Daily Beast Thursday, saying they too wanted answers.

The common thread that connects the State Department contradictions with the cooked intelligence at CENTCOM is an adherence to a narrative about how great a job we are doing against al-Qaeda, Islamic State, and other terrorist groups thanks to the brilliant leadership of President Obama.

It's a load of crap, of course. But maintaining the narrative at all costs is key. Ergo, Bush is to blame for the rise of ISIS and he never went after "core" al-Qaeda (whatever that means) like Obama. Other terrorist groups like al-Shabab and Boko Harum are never discussed. We're winning everywhere, but ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninnsula, al-Nusra, and a half dozen other terrorist groups are growing in number and lethality. Pay no attention to those ISIS fighters slowly taking over Libya. Never mind about al-Nusra fighting US backed rebels in Syria - and winning. And please don't mention the Taliban in Afghanistan moving in to provinces we recently left.

Ordinarily, we would say that the administration's policy is a failure. But there is no coherent policy to criticize - only a series of unconnected, half hearted actions that give the appearance of the US "doing something" about radical Islam but in fact, are meant to hide our colossal failure to deal with it.

The president and his team are playing out the clock on his administration, hoping nothing catastrophic happens before Obama leaves office that will expose their cynicism and incompetence for the American people to see. Cooking the intel and issuing contradictory statements about what we're doing to combat terrorism are but symptoms of the larger problem that afflicts the administration from the president on down.

A lack of will to do what is necessary to protect us.