Election-Year Intel Reveals Obama’s ‘Decimated’ Al-Qaida Was Actually Retrenching, Expanding

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In May, President Barack Obama said al-Qaida was so thoroughly vanquished that the time had come for the United States to rethink its model for counterterrorism. But a new  Washington Times report shows a stark contrast between what Obama has been telling Americans about al-Qaida and what his intelligence team has been telling him.

The deceit extends at least as far back as the late-2012 election season. While Obama was telling voters that al-Qaida was decimated and on the run, his staff was telling him that al-Qaida offshoots in the field had been quickly changing tactics to accommodate American counterterrorism efforts. In fact, offshoots of the organization have been extending al-Qaida’s reach into Africa even as “core” al-Qaida — the central leadership group formerly headed by Osama bin Laden — retrenched under bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

House Intelligence Committee member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) told The Times he believes, just as U.S. intelligence officials believe, that the President’s focus only on al-Qaida’s “core” neglects the bigger picture.

Like the intelligence community last year, Mr. Ruppersberger draws a distinction between al Qaeda central in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the offshoots gaining strength in Africa.

“It is important to define what we mean when we are talking about al Qaeda,” Mr. Ruppersberger told The Times. “Core al Qaeda is the original organization, headed then by Osama bin Laden and now by [Ayman] al-Zawahri, that orchestrated 9/11 and has a safe haven in the FATA in Pakistan.

“That group has been weakened, but is adaptive and resilient,” he said. “Thus, its strength level fluctuates.”

More sources spoke on condition of anonymity, telling the newspaper Obama began correcting his characterization of al-Qaida as a weakened terror group only after he’d won re-election.

“Intelligence that the president wove into a May 23 speech at the National Defense University was, in fact, well-known among analysts at America’s major spy agencies nearly a year earlier,” according to the anonymous sources.

In particular, the murderous Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, had indicated to the U.S. intelligence community that the reach of al-Qaida in the post-bin Laden era had already begun to manifest in ways that demonstrated a heavier reliance on satellite operations with guerrilla-like, quasi-autonomous power structures than on the older, top-heavy hierarchy. Those satellites could take their cues from the top of the al-Qaida food chain — but not necessarily their marching orders.

That, according to The Times, is exactly how the Benghazi attack played out, with al-Zawahiri releasing a video through the Internet calling for attacks on Americans in Libya in retaliation for a U.S. drone strike against a high-level al-Qaida member in Pakistan.

“Despite being briefed on it privately, Mr. Obama and his surrogates resisted portraying the attack as having been carried out, or even inspired by, al Qaeda,” the story observes. “To the contrary, Mr. Obama — then in the throes of daily campaigning for re-election — appeared only to ramp up his narrative that the al Qaeda threat was diminished.

“On the day after the Benghazi attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, Mr. Obama told an audience in Las Vegas that ‘al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead’ — a talking point the president hammered again the next day in Golden, Colo., and in back-to-back speeches Sept. 17 in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.”

If the Obama Administration’s bizarre real-time narrative of Benghazi tragedy, coupled with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s patronizing spin on events after the fact, has always left you wondering what the President was trying to conceal, the answer is starting to come into focus.

Obama was trying to distort the truth about al-Qaida — and its definitive role in murdering members of the U.S. diplomatic mission (including our ambassador to Libya) — until the final vote had been counted in the 2012 Presidential race.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Ron r

    Give it a rest. The election is long over. You wait this long and say intel says this or that?? What a crock. Keep on mitchen.

    • Beverly Golato

      Whether it’s late or not it’s part of a growing list against Obama and his administration. When all is said and done I hope the powers that be use it to bring Obama and his administration to face their crimes against this country. It is time for Hillary to finally face her past crimes also.

      • Ron r

        It’s late because its a lie. So maybe Bush, Cheny, and Rumsfield will also be brought to justice before or along with Obama.

        • Beverly Golato

          Whatever Ron r. You stupid supporters will be the first to fall. A traitor always takes out their weakest link first.

          • Ron r

            Oh , so I don’t agree with you so I’m stupid and you’re smart. Somehow I knew that was coming. Well, thanks anyway for what star redoubt as a civil debate .

          • peter

            No indication of a debate here. Relax you guys. Neither of you are traitors or stupid. If you were you wouldn’t be reading personal liberty. OK?

          • Bill

            Calm down, Ronr, you just posted the same post twice

          • Ron r

            Take a nap Bill you’re stalking.

          • Bill

            And proud of it

          • Ron r

            So I’m stupid and a traitor because I do not agree with you. Somehow I knew it would come to this. Thanks for what started as a civil debate.

        • rswallick

          i thought bush was the worst president ever, that is until obama. both our doing the bidding of the the global banks and marching our country to one world rule and you folks are arguing over who is the worst. get over it, we have been played for fools. left vs right, what a bunch of crock as we give our freedoms away.

        • vicki

          Funny how “give it a rest” only applies to those who object to how obama does things but not to those who object and continue to blame the previous administration.

          • Ron r

            Funny how some forget that the election is over and the majority made their choice.

  • Warrior

    Open borders and amnesty = “jihad” coming to a neighborhood near you. What’s that? Australia is cutting back on “immigration”? Hmmm, wonder how the Philipinos feel about that?

    • wavesofgrain

      The Australian PM is a big Liberal. Maybe she sees what is happening in the US…destroyed cultures, mayhem and welfare!

  • wavesofgrain

    How about that! Looks like Al-Q is alive and well….
    Explosion rocks Libya’s Foreign Ministry building in Benghazi on 9/11 attack anniversary

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/11/explosion-rocks-libyas-foreign-ministry-site-bengh/

  • dan

    …good training by the CIA : improvise , adapt and overcome…
    same as the School of the Americas

  • http://batman-news.com 1940voter

    Yeah and the msm with the left’s silence covered his sorry butt. This is what you get when you elect afraud to the WH.

    • vicki

      This is what you get when the media that is most often viewed/read by Americans chooses what to print and what not to print. The founders knew well of this danger which is why the first amendment explicitly protects speech and “the press” from government laws. All those “alternative” media that are actually providing the truth would have been silenced years ago had the government had its way.

  • guest

    We the people continue to operate with Obama’s media presentations. All the time, Obama knows and has been presented with information, the reality of events and threats, which he ignores or changes the content changed of this information for his personal use. Our nation cannot continue to remain free with leadership that is not honest and truthful. What else are the American people being misled on by Obama and his media and administration? We too are living the lie by being “fed” the lie!

    • Bill

      Good comment guest,
      Obama’s speech’s are like a circus side show. Just think how fast the speech writers had to act to change his speech after Putin put a monkey wrench in Obama’s desire to go to war. You could almost predict his back peddle before he said it.
      All of main stream news is a joke nowadays, you would be better off getting your news from Saturday Night Live

      • ireAmerica

        Bill:

        Wait a minute… Saturday Night Live ISN’T news? Next you’ll be telling us the same about the Daily Show!

        Q – What do you call a Liberal with an investment portfolio?
        A – “Warmonger”, but it’s usually to save dead children.

        • Bill

          Ire,
          I like your sense of humor

  • Dave

    Haters will continue to hate… Ben hates Obama and the fact Obama has killed more of the Al Qeada leadership (including OBL), violated sovereign airspace to do it than anyone…
    But of course, conservatives can protect this nation better… like Reagan (over 200 Marines blown to bits in Lebanon and he cut and ran) or their glorious leader George W Bush, 3000 people dead on 9/11, over 100 Embassy workers dead.
    The fact is, the conservative RECORD of protecting this nation stinks…. And Ben’s propaganda does not change the record.
    Sorry Ben and other conservative apologists…

    • Carlos

      Dave, After reading your comments, I understand why we have this looney tune as our preident,

    • Bill

      Dave,
      Typical liberal rhetoric. There you go again just making stuff up.
      Obama is about as good as Reagan’s toenail

  • Alan

    The community organizer has left the country completely disorganized and ruined. After all the lies he has told, anyone who would believe one word out of his mouth must be insane.

  • Jayjay

    Barry may prove to be the greatest magician since Harry Houdini, but his slight of mouth and hand deceptions will end in our demise

  • Libertarian Soldier

    While there’s something to this article, the real focus should be that obama personally rebuilt al qaida.

    When he said he had al qaida on the run, he wanted us to think that when he was funding and arming ansar al sharia (al qaida), in Libya to depose (capture and butt rape, with a bayonet, killing him) Qaddafi. Your tax payer dollars in action, folks!

    Given the fact that obama was telling us we have them ‘on the run’, the fact that al qaida flew occupied, fully fueled, commercial jets into densely populated, iconic American structures, on our own soil, on a symbolic date, in 2001, isn’t getting in bed with them treasonous? Is there a more blatant form of treason and treachery than this, outside of personally leading them into battle?

    What of stealing back the arms in Benghazi to ship to the muslim brotherhood (al qaida’s arch rival), to accomplish our latest mission, the overthrow of Assad, in Syria like we did in Egypt and Libya?

    By the way, That’s the why as far as the cover-up in Benghazi. No military witnesses! No military security! No life saving military intervention! Ansar al sharia had a punishment for treasonous treachery that played out with the lives of our Ambassador Stevens, his body guard and the two contractors (former Seals) in Benghazi.

    That was in retaliation for betraying ansar al sharia (al qaida) to the muslim brotherhood, if you’re looking for the why cover it up in Benghazi.

    Doesn’t it explain why obama and clinton ii stifled the investigation, why we know who did it and they haven’t been arrested? Wouldn’t you love to interrogate these guys? It’s not going to happen. Expect drone strikes. obama doesn’t want them telling why.

    Yeah, a year ago, they were on the run! They were running right at us because we got in bed with them but got caught cheating on them with obama’s “good terrorists”, the muslim brotherhood!