While President Barack Obama and his administration behaved as if the Islamist victories in Iraq were totally unexpected, many intelligence and counterterrorism experts in the military and law enforcement communities claimed on Thursday that Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and others were all aware of the strength and power of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq.
When Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, was invaded by ISIS, a number of Iraqi army regiments were unable to stop the jihadists' invasion. What frightened many observers was the fact that ISIS had gained the momentum to march towards Baghdad.
As Obama spokespeople fumbled around searching for excuses and rationales for the administration being caught flatfooted, perusal of past congressional testimony reveals U.S. intelligence officials and career State Department diplomats had admitted that the U.S. began its surveillance of members of the al-Qaida in Iraq group at least since 2012.
At that time, ISIS popped up on the U.S. intelligence operatives' "radar screen" when members left Iraq to travel into Syria and quickly grew with thousands of foreign fighters from Great Britain, the United States and other nations joining the ranks of ISIS.
According to former military intelligence operative and law enforcement commander Joshua Gold, Congressional hearing transcripts reveal Obama and his minions were not only aware of ISIS's threat to the weak, corrupt Iraqi government, they knew that they planned on using the part of Syria they controlled as a means to create a mini-caliphate.
"ISIS began their invasion by increasing the number of suicide bombings in Iraqi cities. And Obama was informed that Iraq's cops, soldiers and intelligence operatives were ill-suited to stop the Sunni Islamist onslaught," said Gold, now a director of security at a U.S. hospital.
In testimony before Congress on Wednesday, the State Department's Brett McGurk conceded that the Obama administration knew that the attack on Mosul was coming at least three days in advance of the ISIS onslaught:
In the days prior to the June 10 takeover of Mosul, the State Department sent an "immediate and urgent" message to the Iraqi acting minister of defense and Maliki's chief of staff about ISIS's advances, and the need to reinforce Mosul with nearby Kurdish peshmerga forces. The warning was downplayed, said McGurk. One day before ISIS (also known as ISIL) ransacked Mosul, "the government of Iraq expressed confidence that Mosul was not under a serious threat," said McGurk. "Throughout the day, however, Mosul's western-most neighborhoods began to fall to ISIL. Its fighters began attacking checkpoints and killing resisters, seeking to establish psychological dominance over Iraqi security units in the city," he added.
"It never ceases to amaze me how America's Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, is busy raising funds for the Democratic Party, hobnobbing with the rich and famous in Hollywood, playing golf and taking extravagant trips but he appears to either be out-of-touch or completely uncaring about the nation's security and well-being. And he gets away with it!" said political strategist and former criminal defense attorney Mike Barker.