ISIS

It's Hard to Keep Up With ISIS When the President Plays Hooky From Intelligence Briefings

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President Obama
White House

"Either the president doesn't read the intelligence he's getting or he's bullshitting," a former Pentagon official said of President Obama after the gormless chief executive tried to pass the buck to the intelligence community for underestimating ISIS. But the president likely isn't full of shit—he's playing hooky from his intelligence briefings. According to the latest report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute, President Obama has an overall 42.09 percent attendance rate at his Presidential Daily Briefs. This year (marking the rise of a certain troubling organization/new shithole country) the rate has been 37.5 percent.

President Obama's low attendance at his briefings raised eyebrows in the past. In the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen raised "where in the world is Barry" questions about the president's absence in 2012. By contrast, noted Thiessen, President George W. Bush "held his intelligence meeting six days a week, no exceptions."

The White House responded that the president reads his briefs on his tablet whether or not he attends the meetings, so that he stays up to speed on the big issues. The intelligence community doesn't seem convinced, though, as indicated by the "bulllshitting" comment. Maybe skimming a document isn't the equivalent of listening to experts emphasize the highlights.

Of course, being informed about what's going on is different than using the information effectively. The second President Bush reportedly had a month's notice that Osama Bin Laden planned to hijack airplanes, but that didn't prevent 9/11. Good information and good judgment don't necessarily go hand in hand, and this president, like the last, has plenty of lousy decisionmaking to share across the policy spectrum.

Being informed doesn't necessarily imply a specific response, either. Knowing about ISIS does not inevitably lead to a decision to wage all out war in the Middle East, as the hawkish likes of John McCain imply

But if it's true that the briefings contained warnings about ISIS that just got missed because the president didn't make it to class or do his homework, throwing the bearers of ignored news under the bus is an exercise in lousy judgment.

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  1. Man, Obama is going to be pissed when he hears about these briefing thingies on the evening news.

    1. Obama’s presidency would be so much less problematic for him if he’d just stop watching the evening news.

  2. Why did they have Obama appear in that furniture ad?

    1. He kinda looks like one of those life-size, bronze lawn statues–you know the ones I’m talkin’ about?

      http://www.google.com/imgres?i…..66&ndsp=13

      Somebody could make a fortune selling those of Barack Obama. You could have a bronze Obama sitting, right there, on your garden bench next to you!

      I’d turn his head into a bird bath so he’d always be full of shit. …just like in real life!

      1. Makes me think more of one of these:

        http://farm1.staticflickr.com/…..e326_z.jpg

  3. something something creases in pants

  4. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,”

    Can’t it be both?

    1. Obviously. It’s just considered racist to point out how lazy Presidential Vacation is. And I’ve never heard anything but bullshit from him.

      1. I find the more racist implication of this article to be that the President doesn’t/cannot read.

        1. He can read. He’s just not intelligent enough to understand.

          That’s not a factor of his skin color or genetics…it’s a factor of his upbringing and work ethic.

          1. And the pot he smokes…
            (runs from room)

      2. I’m partial to President Daytona myself.

  5. He’s too busy meeting with the I.R.S. and other high level bureaucrats in order to figure out how to punish his REAL enemies (Americans who disagree with his policies).

    1. Really too lazy for that even, just has Jarrett send them e-mails.

      1. At which point, its employees’ one competence is expressed in the act of losing them.

  6. Why would the most intelligent president ever need to go to intelligence briefings?

    1. This. And when else does he get time to watch Game of Thrones and Sportscenter?

    2. It’s been said he knows more than any of his advisers, so why would his intelligence advisers be any different?

      “I’ll just check out that briefing on my iPad later. The green is waiting for my 9-iron.”

  7. throwing the bearers of ignored news under the bus is an exercise in lousy judgment.

    This entire administration has been an exercise in poor judgement.

  8. But the president likely isn’t full of shit

    Uh, yes, he is. AND he’s not going to the briefings.

  9. The White House responded that the president reads his briefs on his tablet whether or not he attends the meetings, so that he stays up to speed on the big issues.

    They put those out on Twitter and Facebook? Huh, who knew?

    1. Maybe skimming a document isn’t the equivalent of listening to experts emphasize the highlights.

      Or asking clarifying questions, or…

      Say what you will about Obama, he’s not an international foreign intelligence kind of guy. He’s more like a community organizer. He knows the lyrics to the $15 Now! song in his head, but he’s not really a guy that gets running a war on a foreign country.

      He just ORDERS the things, he doesn… deal with them afterward!

  10. Whatever the Managing Editor of Reason says must be absolutely true, BECAUSE he can’t be wrong.

    1. Oh, look… It’s the lying piece of shit that said he wasn’t going to post here any longer.

      1. SugarFree

        Glad you enjoyed reading my comment. Have a nice day.

        1. You’re the one who keeps coming back for our attention and then whines when we give it to him.

          Sorry your life is so empty. Feel free to end it whenever it gets to be too much.

  11. Truth is ,before 9-11 no one was thinking about an attack here.There had been several over seas during the Clinton years.9-11 took advantage of unsecured cockpits and passengers being told for years never resist.These ere easy to correct.Some upgrades in screening were called for.Instead we got the TSA,Home land Security(I cringe at the name) and unending wars on people that,while horrible,are not a threat to national security.The war hawks even compared this to the cold war and WWII.None of this was possible before the attack

    1. Another point,it’s easy to see the signs in the large volumes of data now because they know what to look for.Now they have so much more chaff the chances of stopping a attack from a small organised group is even harder.

    2. before 9-11 no one was thinking about an attack here

      I seem to remember WTC was attacked in ’93 and nothing changed that I could see.

      1. I seem to remember lots of discussions about suitcase bombs and biological attacks in the late 90s. This stuff was totally on the radar. On 9/11 everybody knew immediately who had perpetrated the attack. The revisionism that nobody was even thinking about this stuff pre-9/11 is fascinating.

        1. Don’t forget the Tom Clancy book, where a disgruntled Japanese airline pilot crashes a jetliner into the Capital. There were also lots of talk about suicide bombers out of the muslim world since the marine barracks got truck bombed during the Reagan Era. Sadly, Bin Laden correctly calculated that the attacks would result an overreaction that would be more damaging to the economy than the attacks themselves, and we have played right into his hands.

        2. Suitcase bombs and biological WMDs were definitely on people’s minds. See, for example, 12 Monkeys.

  12. You guys are getting it all backwards.

    He doesn’t go to intelligence briefings to find out what’s going on with ISIS; the CIA goes to intelligence briefings so Obama can tell them what’s going on with ISIS.

    Actually, Obama’s gonna be right pissed when he finds out they’ve been holding briefings without him. How’s the CIA supposed to know what’s going on in Iraq and Syria, when Big Slim Daddy hasn’t told them what his plans are yet?

    1. Actually, Obama’s gonna be right pissed when he finds out they’ve been holding briefings without him.

      How is he going to find that out? By reading the newspapers?

      1. Dude, he just KNOWS. He’s a lightworker. All the knowledge he needs in order to tell us what to do he was imbued with at immaculate conception.

  13. Pretty lame for a guy who has a hit list. Must not take his patriotic serial-killing very seriously. Tho, who can blame him? The whole fucking middle east is an endless Whack-a-Whacko-Arab game. I can’t stand Islam. The whole thing is riddled with shrieking echoes of the middle ages and it hasn’t changed a bit no matter how hard Dubai tries.

  14. By contrast, noted Thiessen, President George W. Bush “held his intelligence meeting six days a week, no exceptions.”

    So why did he ignore the PDB that “bin Laden was determined to attack US” one month before 9/11?

    1. Because he was a fucking establishment retard before Bin Ladin turned him into a veritable Doc Johnson for millions of Republican women (and men who lie about getting off on ass stuffing).

    2. I bet you’re the kind of guy who would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.

    3. Yeah, ’cause every stupid thing Obama does somehow leads to a comparison to Bush?

      Bush is Shrike’s hero, everybody. And everything Obama does can only be properly understood in relation to Shrike’s hero.

      1. Bush will forever remain firmly lodged onto the clits of millions of Republican women just like his buddies Jesus and John Wayne, Shultz. This is just a fact of political sexuality.

        No amount of over-greased squeaking from Palin’s Buttplug will alter this one way or another.

        1. So you think Shrike’s Bush obsession started out as a fantasy?

          1. Absolutely. But that’s OK. I have nothing against people enjoying their ass play.

    4. Did he? “Al Qaeda intends to attack US” is not quite as actionable as “Al Qaeda intends to hijack planes and crash them into buildings”. What exactly can you say to that except “Ok everyone, go do your jobs.”

      1. Right. What more could you say besides, “ok, let me know if anything develops.”

      2. not quite as actionable as “Al Qaeda intends to hijack planes and crash them into buildings”.

        The info that might have led to actionable intel was in the system, just stovepiped by design and by internal rivalries.

    5. I often wonder what would have happened if the FBI had arrested all 19 hijackers the morning of 9/11.

      Usually, I find myself imagining liberals holding rallies demanding the release of these unfortunate victims of Bush’s racism.

      Making snarky comments like ‘Ooooh, they had BOX CUTTERS! I’m sooooo scared!’

  15. OT:

    The dollar’s strongest year since 2008 is a source of growing concern among some Federal Reserve policy makers, who say further gains have the potential to curb economic growth and keep inflation too low.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…..mpact.html

    But this can’t be true! The Peanuts told everyone the USD was in the crapper and gold would hit new highs until inflation crashed it!

    1. What you’ve just said… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul…

      1. Of, STFU. You know the goldbug fantasy is for the USD to become worthless toilet paper so that gold skyrockets.

        The Fed has been one of the few institutions in DC to work properly this century. Inflation nor deflation with stimulus for the 2008 train wreck.

        1. You have entered into the rather unenvious world of a Dunphy Ramble.

        2. The Fed has been one of the few institutions in DC to work properly this century.

          Working properly includes enriching cronies, overlooking fraud, destroying the savings of Americans, condemning retirees to a pinched life of financial repression, and presiding over a 30% reduction (give or take) in long-term growth.

          Good work, Fed!

      2. He’s just trollin’.

    2. Do you seriously sit around all day looking for reasons to think that overspending doesn’t eventually lead to inflation?

      Do you seriously believe that every time the dollar strengthens, for any reason, it somehow means that overspending doesn’t eventually lead to inflation?

      You should get a hobby or a girlfriend or somethin’.

      1. I certainly agree about us overspending. I am for Obama’s deficit reduction plans (including Simpson Bowles).

        Congress is the problem.

        1. What problem are you talking about, Shrike?

          I was talking about the problem of thinking that any particular move in the dollar somehow means that overspending doesn’t lead to inflation.

          What does that have to do with whether Congress or Obama is to blame?

          1. Who thinks that low inflation leads to overspending?

            Lower deficits have led to growth as capital leaves US Treasury purchases.

            Spending as a % of GDP has been steadily falling since 2008-09. And spending in real dollars has been nearly flat.

            So the evidence says that low inflation is tied to spending curbs and a stronger dollar.

            Like it or not US economic policy has been superb since 2009.

            1. Like it or not US economic policy has been superb since 2009.

              It’s made a lot of well-placed F.A.’s very rich and I fuck one of them.

            2. “Who thinks that low inflation leads to overspending?”

              How does this relate to anything I’ve said?

              “So the evidence says that low inflation is tied to spending curbs and a stronger dollar.”

              I have no idea what you’re trying to imply with this, but if the dollar is rising right now, but talking about a stronger dollar in terms of low inflation is just stating the obvious.

              Do you imagine this is all because of Obama’s ingenious sequester?

              Regardless, what do you think is driving strength in the dollar right now?

              I’ll give you a hint: despite all the trouble we’re seeing in the Middle East, with announcements that would normally send the price of oil soaring, the price of oil has continued to decline. Why is that?

              It’s because of China slowing down, isn’t it? The slowdown in China has been driving all sorts of things lately. The market thinks China’s slowdown is going to have such a big impact on things like the price of oil, that disruptions in supply won’t be enough to offset the lack of demand in China.

              It’s also no surprise that when there is turmoil in the rest of the world, that the rest of the world piles into dollar denominated assets. That’s because of the total size of our economy–it would take a lot to blow us down completely…

              We’re the prettiest horse in the glue factory. …but we are still in line at the glue factory, Shrike. Never forget about that.

            3. Like it or not US economic policy has been superb since 2009.

              “Ignore that nearly $6.5 trillion in publicly held debt accumulated!”
              -Dipshit Dave Weigel

            4. Lower deficits

              They are still higher than any year before Obama took office, so lower than what, exactly?

            5. “Like it or not US economic policy has been superb since 2009.”

              So why is Obama demanding increased min. wage and equal pay for women claiming wages have been stagnant?

              If the economy is superb doesn’t it mean all are doing well?

    3. Your post is so bizarre, dear, that a day in Palin’s ass would probably do you some good.

    4. You should have just stopped at BOOOOOOOSSSH!

    5. We were also crackpots when we said that the Fed wouldn’t stop QE

    6. We were also crackpots when we said that the Fed wouldn’t stop QE

    7. In addition to that, interest rates have effectively been at zero for what, the longest period in history? If our economy is BOOOOOMINK! right now, what would the fed lower interest rates to if we slipped into a recession, say, if Janet Yellen DID pull back on QE?

      1. We’ll find out when the current Fed-induced bubble pops.

      2. It’s also weird that Shrike is now, effectively, endorsing the sequester.

        Because in Shrike’s mind, Obama is all about cutting spending now.

        1. A JournoList dispshit is a JournoList disphit, whether he works at Reason, Slate, or Bloomberg News.

    8. Maybe you are not aware that other countries can print money, too.

      This whole decade has been a race to see who can devalue their currency faster.

      Japan under Abenomics, printed a ton of money for this exact reason.

      It could also be in anticipation of tapering.

      1. But the main reason is probably due to fracking. We import far less oil. Thus our dollar strengthens.

        Obama didn’t invent fracking. He didn’t open federal lands to fracking. And his party is against petro-energy in general.

  16. ‘Obama is the hardest working President since Washington’ from Huffington or the NYT in 3…2…

  17. Maybe he just needs to read the newspaper more often.

  18. “….throwing the bearers of ignored news under the bus is an exercise in lousy judgment.”

    The guy’s whole life has been an exercise in lousy judgement. Worst president ever.

  19. Now I question whether it was really him that voted “present” in the Senate all those times.

  20. the gormless chief executive

    Obama is not completely gormless, but his gorm is certainly much less impressive than he believes it to be.

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