The State Department insists that President Obama didn’t drop the ball on the Islamic State. The Hill reports:
The Obama administration didn’t overlook the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki insisted Monday.
“Absolutely not,” Psaki told MSNBC, saying the administration had “long been tracking this.” . . .
But Psaki said there was a difference “between being aware of a threat and seeing the level the threat poses.” She suggested the president was saying that the U.S. misjudged Iraq’s ability to respond to ISIS, rather than the danger posed by the group.
“I think anyone can look back at the past eight months and see that [ISIS] has not only gained strength — they did what no one, I think, in the world expected they would do,” she continued. “That was, in part, because of everybody overestimating the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces.”
This is double talk and entirely false. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who did a lot of the warning about jihadists in Iraq and Syria, isn’t buying this: “We predicted this and watched it,” McCain told CNN. “It was like watching a train wreck and warning every step of the way that this was happening.”
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) tells me, “In January and February 2014, Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, then-Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other senior U.S. intelligence officials, were publicly warning that the Islamic State (ISIS) ‘probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014.’ ” And he reminds Psaki: “Senior State Department officials issued publicly warnings about ISIS’s dangerous growth in November 2013 and again in February 2014. The only surprise is how anyone paying attention could claim to be surprised.”
Perhaps we should have a hearing and let Hillary Clinton testify. I’m sure she will recall the alarm with which she greeted reports about the Islamic State and the arguments she made for the president to act. Or will she go along with this charade?