Obama Lies on ISIS Quickly Exposed
September 30, 2014 • 9:07AM

Speaking on CBS News' "60 Minutes" broadcast Sunday evening, Obama lied, claiming that the administration had been caught unaware of the growing threat of ISIS, and had somehow "underestimated" their strength until, well, just now.

As the exchange built, host Steve Kroft began by saying, "Two years ago, in the White House, in this building, you talked about al-Qaeda being decimated. You talked about al-Qaeda being back on its heels. Two years later, you've got al-Qaeda affiliates and al-Qaeda offshoots controlling huge chunks of both Iraq and Syria. And you have militias, Islamic radical militias in control of Libya."

When Obama then tried to quote his UN speech and other nonsense, Kroft set him back, again pressing, "But I understand all the caveats about these regional groups. But this is — this is an army of 40,000 people, according to some of the military estimates I heard the other day, very well-trained, very motivated.... [Obama tries to interrupt] How did this get — how did they end up where they are, in control of so much territory? Was that a complete surprise to you?"

At this point, Obama blurted out, "Well, I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," to which Kroft quickly set the record straight, saying, "I mean, he didn't say that — just say that, 'We underestimated ISIL.' [Clapper] said we overestimated the ability and the will of our allies, the Iraqi army, to fight," to which Obama responded with relief, "That's true. That's absolutely true," thinking that his lie had been confirmed.

Monday, as the "press corps of the willing" repeated Obama's lies more or less unquestioned, Eli Lake, writing in the Daily Beast, tore them apart. Lake quoted a former senior Pentagon official, "who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq," who said he was "flabbergasted" at Nero's statements. "Either the President doesn't read the intelligence he's getting or he's bullshitting," he told Lake.

Further making his point, Lake then quoted former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who had testified before Congress in February. Flynn, who some say was forced out of his job in early August, had told Congress that "ISIS probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014," additionally noting that ISIS had taken the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, and demonstrated an "ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria."

On Aug. 7, the same timeframe as CIA Director Brennan was condemning those who proclaimed "al-Qaeda's grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate," calling this notion "absurd," General Flynn was giving an "exit" interview, in which he claimed al-Qaeda's "core ideology and belief system is spreading, not shrinking."

Obama Administration Invented Khorasan Group

The Obama Administration is relying on fakery and invented evidence as the legal basis for its war on ISIS. The inventions are used to argue that the administration doesn't require any additional legal authority, either from the Congress or from the UN Security Council (where a motion to go to war in Syria would be vetoed, anyway). Key to this construct was the so-called Khorasan group, the first target of the waves of air strikes that hit Syria on the night of Sept. 22-23. Glenn Greenwald and co-author Murtaza Hussain, in an article posted on The Intercept website Sunday, convincingly argue that the Khorasan group is largely an invention of the Obama Administration so that it could claim the mantle of "self-defense" part of the justification for the air strikes in Syria. Greenwald and Hussain provide an extensive review of the media coverage, showing how the major news outlets basically repeated the line that was given to them by the Pentagon and the White House, that this was an "imminent" threat (even though the administration is known to have an elastic definition of what "imminent" means), that it was a greater threat than ISIS and that it was about to execute a plot for a major terrorist attack, all without evidence to back up what they were saying.

It seems that nobody had ever heard of the Khorosan group until a few days before the Sept. 22-23 attacks on Syria. The first report on the Khorasan group emerged on Sept. 13, nine days before the first air strikes on Syria, authored by AP intelligence reporter Ken Dilanian. Dilanian, it turns out, according to a Sept. 4 story by The Intercept's Ken Silverstein, has had a long, cozy relationship with the CIA press office, to the point of sending them draft articles about the CIA's killer drone program that portrayed the agency in a positive light. Dilanian's emails to the agency turned up in hundreds of pages of emails between the CIA press office and numerous reporters during 2012 released to Silverstein under FOIA. Most of the emails date from about March 2012 until August, more than two years before the bombing of Syria began, but both Dilanian and the Associated Press, his current employer, told Silverstein that AP policy forbids the circulation of draft stories outside the newsroom before publication. Dilanian did admit that his earlier sharing of drafts with the CIA was probably not a good idea.

As Greenwald documents, the Khorosan group story began to fall apart soon after the cruise missile strikes hit in the area of Aleppo, Syria, where it was supposedly based. McClatchy News reported on Sept. 26 that European counter-terrorism officials said that they had never been briefed by their American counterparts about the threat. The Washington Post's Loveday Morris, based in Beirut, reported that jihadi sources she queried in Syria had never heard of the Khorosan group. Aki Peritz, a CIA counterterrorism official until 2009, told Time magazine: "I'd certainly never heard of this group while working at the agency," while Obama's former Syria ambassador Robert Ford said: "We used the term [Khorasan] inside the government, we don't know where it came from. All I know is that they don't call themselves that."

Just before the Greenwald's article was finalized, former terrorism federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote in National Review: "You haven't heard of the Khorosan group because there isn't one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan ... had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the President on it."

"What happened here is all-too-familiar," Greenwald writes. "The Obama administration needed propagandistic and legal rationale for bombing yet another predominantly Muslim country. While emotions over the ISIS beheading videos were high, they were not enough to sustain a lengthy new war."