Wednesday, September 03, 2014

None So Deaf As Those Who Will Not Hear

Tuesday night I heard on the news that President Obama was briefed in June 2013 about the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq, yet he decided to do nothing.

One of my later posts in June 2013 is at least contemporaneous proof that the Pentagon was warning about the problem and wanted to help Iraq.

This was a year before the June 2014 Mosul (and other points in the north) ISIL blitzkrieg and 7 months before the Anbar province offensives that gave al Qaeda Fallujah and Ramadi.

So here we are.

The Left used to say what would happen if you held a war and nobody came?

I don't know about that nonsensical concept. But we do know what would happen if a war is held and we ignore it.

Obama denied. People died.

UPDATE: Depressingly related story about the information we retrieved when we killed Osama bin Laden:

The bin Laden documents were primary source material, providing unmediated access to the thinking of al Qaeda leaders expressed in their own words.

A comprehensive and systematic examination of those documents could give U.S. intelligence officials—and eventually the American public—a better understanding of al Qaeda’s leadership, its affiliates, its recruitment efforts, its methods of communication; a better understanding, that is, of the enemy America has fought for over a decade now, at a cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives.

Incredibly, such a comprehensive study—a thorough “document exploitation,” in the parlance of the intelligence community—never took place. The Weekly Standard has spoken to more than two dozen individuals with knowledge of the U.S. government’s handling of the bin Laden documents. And on that, there is widespread agreement.

“They haven’t done anything close to a full exploitation,” says Derek Harvey, a former senior intelligence analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency and ex-director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

“A full exploitation? No,” he says. “Not even close. Maybe 10 percent.”

How is it possible that we did not exploit this information? We spent a good chunk of the last decade bitching about connecting dots. And here we have dots galore with instructions on how to connect them--and we do close to nothing?