Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | intelligence | briefings | missed | president

Ex-Va. Gov. Gilmore: Obama 'Delinquent' in Intelligence Duties

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:03 PM

Two veteran public servants with defense and national security credentials excoriated President Barack Obama on Newsmax TV Wednesday for reportedly skipping most of his daily intelligence briefings — even as he publicly blamed his spy chief for underestimating the terrorists of the Islamic State.

"I find that impossible to believe," former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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A past U.S. Army counter-intelligence agent, past chairman of a congressional advisory panel on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and current president of the conservative Free Congress Foundation, Gilmore called the president's habitual absences "very delinquent."

Jed Babbin, a deputy undersecretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush, went further in a wide-ranging discussion of the president's national security responsibilities and his handling of the volatile Middle East.

"It seems to me entirely reckless and entirely irresponsible for a president of the United States to miss essentially 60 percent of his daily intelligence briefings," said Babbin. "The guy is just simply not doing the job and until he is replaced, I don't think you're going to find the dedication in the intelligence community because loyalty has to go … both ways."

Obama, In a "60 Minutes" interview that aired on Sunday, blamed his director of central intelligence, James Clapper, for the administration's early failure to perceive the threat posed by the militant fighters of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Several critics have pushed back, saying that direct warnings to the White House and intelligence briefings on ISIS began several months before the terror group's bloody rise to power in Syria and Iraq became cause for international alarm, and prompted a campaign of U.S. airstrikes.

Gilmore and Babbin both said that the U.S. intelligence community is well staffed, and that it's on the president to avail himself of those resources.

"The president can't shirk his responsibility," said Gilmore. "He is the president of the United States. He is responsible for the conduct of everyone including his intelligence community, and he can't deflect that. So if he thinks there's a problem it's really up to him as president to fix that."

Gilmore also stuck up for Clapper, who he worked with on security issues, as one of the "competent, dedicated" people in intelligence.

On Afghanistan, Gilmore and Babbin agreed that U.S. troops will be in that country for years.

How much stability those troops can provide is an open question, said Babbin, even with Kabul's newly elected national government signing a joint security treaty and extending the U.S. military presence there beyond 2014.

"Outside of Kabul, it's going to be very hard to provide any sort of stability," said Babbin. "But we're going to be there for a very long time, perhaps into the next generation or more."

Gilmore said that by leaving a substantial troop force in place, "we're sending a message to our friends that we're going to stand by them. We're sending a message to the Taliban that they're not going to be permitted to simply take the country back over again."

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Two veteran public servants with defense and national security credentials excoriated President Barack Obama on Newsmax TV Wednesday for reportedly skipping most of his daily intelligence briefings - even as he publicly blamed his spy chief for underestimating the...
intelligence, briefings, missed, president
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2014-03-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:03 PM
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