Tags: Afghanistan | Al-Qaida | America's Forum | Barack Obama | Emerging Threats | Exclusive Interviews | War on Terrorism

Hoekstra: Obama's Policies Helped Make New Havens for al-Qaida

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 02:48 PM

By Courtney Coren

While President Barack Obama says al-Qaida is under control on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, former House Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra says Obama's policies have helped create "safe havens" for al-Qaida in other parts of the region.

Hoekstra said Obama was right in his comments in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday that al-Qaida is no longer able to use the Afghan-Pakistan region to "prepare and train for attacks against the United States . . . but there are safe havens now for al-Qaida in northern Africa, in the Sahel, which is just under that area in Africa."

Story continues below video.

"These are new areas where the threat is growing, the threat is significant, and they're there because of this president's policy," the Michigan Republican told John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"What he did in Libya, what he's done in Egypt and other parts of the world, he's created actually more safe havens than what there were when he came into office for groups like al-Qaida," Hoekstra said.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration also said Tuesday that the United States would leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after this year.

The White House accidentally disclosed the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul in an email sent to reporters who traveled with Obama to Afghanistan. Scott Wilson, The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, then included the name in a pool report he wrote, which was sent to more than 6,000 news organizations before he caught it.

Hoekstra said disclosing the name of the top spy in Afghanistan is not "a simple mistake" but a "colossal blunder."

"We're in the middle of a war, or we're in the middle of, as the president describes it, 'winding down,'" Hoekstra said. "There are elections in Afghanistan in two weeks. The president goes there, has a disastrous trip — outs the CIA chief, insults the president of Afghanistan, and comes back and says, 'Everything's fine.'"

The White House announced Tuesday that it will conduct an internal investigation into how the disclosure occurred.

Hoekstra called the announcement, "the typical response from the White House, which says we're going to investigate internally."

Hoekstra said he is particularly disappointed by the news media's "lack of curiosity."

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