So, on the 60 Minutes program Sunday Obama answered a question whether the rise of ISIS was a "complete surprise" by saying "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." Notice the word "they" not "we" and certainly not "I" which is Obama's favorite word.
It's not the first time Obama has tried to blame the intelligence community for the fact that his Administration failed to address the rise of ISIS before it was too late. But reports from multiple sources, including public testimony of Administration officials document the threat posed by ISIS going back nearly a year. (1,2,3) Reports also indicate that these same warnings were repeatedly contained in Obama's daily intelligence briefing. Was he not reading these key briefings or listening to his intelligence chiefs?
Eli Lake at the Daily Beast records:
One former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.I think the problem is more serious than that. He obviously is getting these reports but he simply refuses to take them seriously as it interferes with his belief that he's somehow ended the wars and decimated Al Queda. He must be actively blocking any information that contradicts that belief.
General Flynn, one of those who gave specific warnings about ISIS that now seem prophetic in their accuracy was forced out of his job months after making his warning.
Responding to criticism of Obama's remarks, White House Press Spokesman Josh Earnest said "Ultimately, the president is commander-in-chief. And he's the one who takes responsibility for ensuring that we have the kinds of policies in place that are required to protect our interests around the globe."
Obviously those policies to "protect our interests around the globe" aren't working and there's no one to blame but Obama!