Counterterrorism analysts said Monday that the U.S. government’s global response to a threat emanating from Yemen, home to al Qaida’s most active affiliate, was at odds with how dismissive President Barack Obama was in a speech in May, when he said that “not every collection of thugs that labels themselves as al Qaida will pose a credible threat to the United States.”
That was only one of a series of public statements by Obama and his Cabinet members that played down the capabilities of al Qaida-linked groups. For at least the past two years, the administration has sought to reassure Americans that al Qaida is “on the run,” while counterterrorism experts were warning about the semiautonomous affiliates that have wreaked havoc in North Africa, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
“The actions the administration is taking now are deeply inconsistent with the portrait of al Qaida strength the administration has been painting,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a counterterrorism specialist at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington research institute.
Welcome to the Big Brother News service. Do you wonder if Obama even remembers what he said in May or cares? Do you think the Ministry of Truth remembers or cares.
Being deeply narcissistic means you just do what you have to, and say what you have to, for the moment to get what you want. Consistency or truth or even conviction are complete strangers to this need.
And there is no more narcissistic than Obama.
On the campaign trail last fall, Obama touted the killing of Osama bin Laden during a covert U.S. raid in 2011 as a sign that, while the U.S. would have to maintain vigilance, “the truth, though, is that al Qaida is much weaker than it was when I came into office.” In his State of the Union address last February, the president called al Qaida “a shadow of its former self” and said the threat posed by its affiliates wouldn’t require large-scale U.S. military deployment.
In July 2011, Obama’s then newly appointed defense secretary, Leon Panetta, said he was “convinced in this capacity that we’re within reach of strategically defeating al Qaida.”
Buried inside a lengthy unclassified report released last week by the Pentagon is a description of something called the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program, through which the administration started to pay terrorists to walk off the battlefield.
All Taliban and al-Qaida fighters have to do is sign (a thumb print will suffice for illiterates) an “intent to reintegrate” form vowing to “cease violence (and) live within the laws of Afghanistan,” according to the report, titled “Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan.”
In exchange, they’ll receive monthly payments and even get to keep their weapons if they request them for “personal protection.”
Who vouches for the sincerity of these supposedly reformed terrorists? Local tribal leaders and Islamic clerics, most of whom sympathize with the Taliban and al-Qaida. They sit on a so-called High Peace Council with area warlords, an oxymoronic situation to the hilt.
The administration boasts that “to date, 6,277 fighters have been removed peacefully from the battlefield and enrolled in the program.” But it won’t provide data on how many “reintegrees” have rejoined the jihad against U.S. troops and America. (IBD)
Most I would guess. But that’s a question no one wants the answer to.
So far, Obama’s Taliban amnesty program has cost U.S. taxpayers a whopping $72 million. Total five-year funding for the reintegration program, which includes “community recovery projects,” is $175 million.
Again, the Pentagon has provided no data on the number of enrollees who have returned to the battlefield, so we have no metric to judge the effectiveness of its jihad rehab.
The amount of money the Obama administration is paying the bad guys to stay off the battlefield in its run-up to its announced 2014 retreat is obscene.
This is how Obama plans to declare victory in Afghanistan — through bribery. (IBD)