Without Obama in the Oval Office and pulling the strings of government, we are beginning to see how far he was willing to accommodate terrorists for the sake of politics. Just days ago, we learned that Obama allowed the terrorist organization, Hezbollah to conduct drug running and money laundering to appease Iran to get them to sign a nuclear accord that’s not worth the paper it’s written on. Today, we find out that the CIA spent years tracking down an Al Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the deaths of seven CIA agents. They had him spotted and were ready to make the kill, but permission from Obama never came.
One of Obama’s biggest failings was he refused to what was right if he thought it could damage his legacy. In this particular case, the Al Qaeda terrorist, Abdullah al-Shami, it turned out, was an American citizen. Normally, we could all agree that American citizens involved in terrorism deserve their day in court, but the reality is he would never appear in a US court and would be allowed to remain free to plot more terrorist attacks. Obama and his co-conspirators were afraid that the public relations part of such a killing would outweigh the benefit of killing a front line terrorist. Bad choice.
Does anyone believe that President Trump would take that same route? Would Mad Dog Mattis? The truth is President Trump has changed the strategy from the Obama administration. Instead of micromanaging the military, he gives one simple order like, “Wipe out ISIS.” Then he stands back and lets the experts in the military handle the details. He has changed the rules of engagement that now let’s our soldiers defend themselves against all threats, rather than tying their hands and placing them in harm’s way.
The Obama administration would leak information to the press in order to gauge how the voters felt about different decisions. Unfortunately, that also warns the terrorist that he is being watched and could be marked for death. That kind of kills the old cloak and dagger routine.
By the end of Mr. Obama’s second term, according to sources who spoke anonymously with The Washington Times, the practices of leaking, ignoring and twisting intelligence for political gain were ingrained in how the administration conducted national security policy.
Those criticisms have resurfaced in the debate over whether overall intelligence fumbling by the Obama White House in its final months may have amplified the damage wrought by suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year.
On repeated occasions during the Obama era, high-level sources and some lawmakers lamented to The Washington Times, the president’s inner circle ignored classified briefings and twisted intelligence to fit political goals. Long before Donald Trump appeared on the White House campaign scene, many pointed to an incident during the 2012 election cycle as the most dramatic evidence of how that approach affected the handling of national security threats.
CIA agents were shocked and dismayed when the details of the Abdullah al-Shami showed up in the New York Times and the Associated Press. al-Shami read the reports and quickly disappeared ruining any chance of nailing him. Only the CIA and the White House were aware of the operation.
Governing by news leaks was a failed policy. I’m glad that’s all behind us now.