For years now the Obama administration has been regaling us with stories of our great success in “degrading and destroying” the Islamic State terror group — but according to CIA Director John Brennan, nothing could be further from the truth.
Five days after the Orlando terrorist atrocity, Mr. Brennan testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the most blunt way, describing a failure of the Obama administration that can only be described as monumental. Even as the president was out touting our supposed continuing success against ISIS or ISIL, other names for the Islamic State, Mr. Brennan contradicted him on every point, and in every way.
This is especially remarkable for an administration that has been clearly mired in Group Think illustrated in part by the fact that rarely, if ever, has a cabinet official personally and directly contradicted not just the narrative of the White House, but the words of the president himself.
“Our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach,” said Mr. Brennan, who then went on to warn of more attacks on the scale of Paris and Orlando.
The Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.,” on which I regularly appear, brought together a montage of President Obama’s comments about ISIS, juxtaposing them against Mr. Brennan’s remarks to the Senate Intel Committee. The public contradiction is a lesson in manipulative spin versus objective truth:
Mr. Obama: We see this continues to be a difficult fight, but we are making significant progress.
Mr. Brennan: Despite all our progress on ISIL on the battlefields and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach
Mr. Obama: ISIL’s ranks are shrinking as well. Their morale is sinking.
Mr. Brennan: The numbers of ISIL’s fighters now exceeds what al Qaeda had at its height.
Mr. Obama: As ISIL continues to lose territory, it also continues to lose the money that it is … its life blood.
Mr. Brennan: Yet, ISIL is adapting to the Coalition’s efforts and it continues to generate at least tens of millions of dollars of revenue per month.
Mr. Obama: Beyond Syria and Iraq, ISIL is losing ground in Libya.
Mr. Brennan: The branch in Libya is probably the most developed and the most dangerous.
The collapse of Libya, as we know, is the direct responsibility of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Mr. Obama allowing ISIS a safe-haven within which to organize and grow.
“Libya is the most dangerous branch of ISIL outside of Iraq,” Mr. Brennan said. “I am concerned about Libya as another area that could serve as a basis for ISIL to carry out attacks on Europe and other locations.”
So desperate is the Obama administration and its sycophants to distract the American people from Mr. Obama’s shocking failure, we are now being subjected to this year’s version of “It Was a YouTube Video” spin. The Orlando atrocity, we are told, was a “hate crime” made possible, the left argues, by years of Christians bullying gays, and, they bleat, American’s bizarre fixation on their constitutional right to own firearms.
The president himself, in remarks after the worst terrorist attack on Americans since Sept. 11, 2001, blamed Americans and scolded the American people about … homophobia.
Yes, we know Islamists hate the gays, but they hate everyone. They’re insane terrorists.
John Podhoretz in his column at the New York Post notes, “So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that ‘we need the strength and courage to change’ our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.”
“That’s just disgusting,” Mr. Podhoretz wrote. “There’s no other word for it.”
One day after the massacre, Mr. Obama spoke with the press after meeting with his national security team. After an Islamist who pledged loyalty to ISIS before and during the attack murdered 49 Americans and injured 53 others, Mr. Obama decided to blame the victim:
“The fact that we make it so challenging for law enforcement even to get alerted that somebody who they are watching has purchased a gun. And if they do get alerted, sometimes it’s hard for them to stop them from getting a gun is crazy. We need, I think, to do some soul searching.”
Imagine the enemy’s response to this. Here they have at least inspired, if not managed, carnage on American soil, and the U.S. president is blaming his own culture and citizens for the massacre.
The president, his team and the legacy media (but I repeat myself) are fixated on convincing the American people that ISIS isn’t an issue, and they had nothing to do with Orlando. They do this because to admit the truth confirms the existential failure of the Obama administration and liberal theory in general.
For the left, the Fort Hood terror attack was “workplace violence.” Benghazi was the result of American Islamophobia, manifested as a YouTube video. Orlando? A “hate crime” made possible by the Constitution itself and American heartlessness.
Last week wasn’t the first time Mr. Brennan made a statement that put the lie to Mr. Obama’s assurances about our foreign policy. “The Middle East right now I think is racked by more instability and violence and inter-state conflict than we’ve seen certainly in the past 50 years. And the amount of bloodshed and humanitarian suffering is I think unprecedented,” he said in February to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Unprecedented” chaos and human suffering, on a scale not seen in half a century. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton want you think it’s all your fault. We’ll find out in November if we’ve surrendered to these dangerous and bureaucratic bullies.
• Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.