Report: Obama ignored intel on the rise of ISIS in 2011 because it clashed with re-election narrative

There is nothing suprising in this CNN report that quotes the former head of the Defeinse Intelligence Agency, General Michael Flynn, that the administration ignored reports on the rise of ISIS in 2011-12 because it didn't fit the campaign narrative that terrorism was on the wane. This was self evident as early as the aftermath of the Benghazi attack. Anything that ran counter to the narrative that "Bin Laden is dead, GM is alive, and al-Qaeda is on the run" was either ignored or downplayed.

But when a major player from that time makes the accusation that the administration was playing politics with our national security - and that we are still suffering from their cynical political ploy today - it should be a major story.

"I think that they did not meet a narrative the White House needed. And I'll be very candid with you, they just didn't," retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead."

Flynn, who has been critical of both Obama and former President George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq War and involvement in the Middle East, said that Obama was served poorly by a small circle of advisers who were worried about his re-election prospects at the time.

The story they needed to tell, he said, was that pulling troops from Iraq would not leave the region vulnerable to rise of a radical Islamic group like ISIS.

"I think the narrative was that al Qaeda was on the run, and (Osama) bin Laden was dead ... they're dead and these guys are, we've beaten them," Flynn said, but the problem was that despite how many terrorist leaders they killed they "continue to just multiply."

Obama has been criticized by opponents for referring to ISIS as the "JV squad" and apparently underestimating the group's threat. The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating complaints that that top intelligence officials manipulated reports to make the threat of ISIS look minimal.

Flynn also warned that an attack like the one conducted in Paris was likely at some point in the U.S.

"I really do believe it's a matter of time I believe, there's going to be where our luck is going to run out and they're are gonna be able to achieve something along the lines of what we saw in Paris," Flynn said.

The revelation gives an entirely new public context to the Benghazi scandal. The notion that crazy conservatives were going after Hillary Clinton to bring her down in advance of the 2016 elections loses a lot of punch when placed against the revelation that the administration sought to save the re-election narrative that terrorism wasn't a big problem.

But few in the national press will make the connection. Benghazi is old news - the issue has been adjudicated by the media and Hillary and Obama have been absolved - end of story. It would be too messy, too inconvenient to re-open a press inquiry into the attack.

So General Flynn's rather shocking mea culpa will disappear down the rabbit hole, along with all other contrary information that runs against the established narrative. And Islamic State will continue its steady rise in power and influence because America had a president more concerned with protecting his political fortunes than protecting the country.

There is nothing suprising in this CNN report that quotes the former head of the Defeinse Intelligence Agency, General Michael Flynn, that the administration ignored reports on the rise of ISIS in 2011-12 because it didn't fit the campaign narrative that terrorism was on the wane. This was self evident as early as the aftermath of the Benghazi attack. Anything that ran counter to the narrative that "Bin Laden is dead, GM is alive, and al-Qaeda is on the run" was either ignored or downplayed.

But when a major player from that time makes the accusation that the administration was playing politics with our national security - and that we are still suffering from their cynical political ploy today - it should be a major story.

"I think that they did not meet a narrative the White House needed. And I'll be very candid with you, they just didn't," retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead."

Flynn, who has been critical of both Obama and former President George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq War and involvement in the Middle East, said that Obama was served poorly by a small circle of advisers who were worried about his re-election prospects at the time.

The story they needed to tell, he said, was that pulling troops from Iraq would not leave the region vulnerable to rise of a radical Islamic group like ISIS.

"I think the narrative was that al Qaeda was on the run, and (Osama) bin Laden was dead ... they're dead and these guys are, we've beaten them," Flynn said, but the problem was that despite how many terrorist leaders they killed they "continue to just multiply."

Obama has been criticized by opponents for referring to ISIS as the "JV squad" and apparently underestimating the group's threat. The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating complaints that that top intelligence officials manipulated reports to make the threat of ISIS look minimal.

Flynn also warned that an attack like the one conducted in Paris was likely at some point in the U.S.

"I really do believe it's a matter of time I believe, there's going to be where our luck is going to run out and they're are gonna be able to achieve something along the lines of what we saw in Paris," Flynn said.

The revelation gives an entirely new public context to the Benghazi scandal. The notion that crazy conservatives were going after Hillary Clinton to bring her down in advance of the 2016 elections loses a lot of punch when placed against the revelation that the administration sought to save the re-election narrative that terrorism wasn't a big problem.

But few in the national press will make the connection. Benghazi is old news - the issue has been adjudicated by the media and Hillary and Obama have been absolved - end of story. It would be too messy, too inconvenient to re-open a press inquiry into the attack.

So General Flynn's rather shocking mea culpa will disappear down the rabbit hole, along with all other contrary information that runs against the established narrative. And Islamic State will continue its steady rise in power and influence because America had a president more concerned with protecting his political fortunes than protecting the country.