Administration fails intelligence test

CIA looks bumbling, while official fumbles to soft-sell Muslim Brotherhood

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Oprah Winfrey defends President Obama by saying, "I feel that everybody has a learning curve."

Now is a particularly bad time for on-the-job training in the White House.

Certainly we don't blame the administration for being fooled by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's bait-and-switch this week in which he seemed to be ready to resign and merely delegated more power to his vice president. Lying is a way of life in some quarters.

But it does appear as if the White House has been caught flat-footed throughout much of the Egyptian crisis. CIA Director Leon Panetta, his agency says, was relying largely on press reports in telling Congress Mubarak would likely step down.

"I got the same information you did," he told Congress. Isn't his job to get more information than the rest of us?

"A costly mistake by the CIA chief caused more embarrassment to the U.S. foreign policy establishment," wrote the International Business Times . "Obviously, the CIA looked ridiculous ..."

More ominous is the administration's soft-pedaling of the Muslim Brotherhood's widely known fanaticism and anti-Western mission. It exists, across continents, to wipe out all other religions and create a worldwide Islamic caliphate; Israel and the United States are merely its most obvious targets.

Yet, Mr. Obama's director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, told Congress Thursday that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam."

The claim was so utterly absurd and naive that his office later issued a clarification saying, "in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak's rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation -- he is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization."

Well, thank goodness for that -- since the organization's name does say "Muslim"! And anytime an outfit's name includes the term "brotherhood," it's not exactly inclusive of others.

But the department's clarification is hardly comforting -- intimating that the "brotherhood" is less of a concern because it has so far operated under a secular political system -- as if it had any choice under Mubarak's dictatorial rule.

Islamic radicals were muted under Saddam Hussein as well, but are still trying to fill the vacuum of his departure.

Either the Obama administration doesn't have a handle on what's going on, or it has been completely inept at communicating it.

As learning curves go, that's pretty steep.

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usapatriot
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usapatriot 02/12/11 - 02:55 am
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Obama is a foolish amateur,

Obama is a foolish amateur, an over educated community aggitator who did nothing to improve the community he aggitated. No country in the world respects the USA with him as President. "Stern" words from him or the State Dept mean nothing to any country any longer.

The world is ready to drop the dollar as the standard currency.

He thinks he can tell Egypt what to do because of our $1.5 billion annual aid to them.

We're indebted to China to the tune of about $860 billion. Who holds that club? How can you talk about trade and human rights to a country you are hopelessly in debt to? Except to say, yes sir.

His campaign was full of how he would engage in diplomacy. He could talk the world's problems away.

N Korea has fired several test missiles in its quest to perfect a nuke, sunk a S Korean Navy ship and killed S Koreans in an artillery barrage.

Iran continues to build centrifuges. US estimates of a nuke there ranges from 1-5 years. But who's counting.

Here's what the BBC thinks of Obama.
"Jan 10, 2011 ... The US seems to be holding off in the hope that even if Iran continues to develop its nuclear expertise, it will not try to build a bomb. ..."
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-1

He's relegated Israel's PM to a in & out the back door visitor at the White House.

"...he ended up spending four months studying Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s report that within a year, the war in Afghanistan would be un-salvageable. There’s this “analysis paralysis” that sets in, as he becomes convinced that the situation will become clearer with one more briefing, one more meeting, one more collection of data, and one more conversation…"

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/258663/obamas-foreign-policy...

Egypt was on the radar last summer, at least outside the govt.

"May, 2010. Marina Ottaway of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace observes, "Egypt is heading towards a train wreck, in terms of a series of elections that can't be taken seriously, and there has been silence out of Washington. It's a situation where U.S. silence has become untenable."

It's amazing once he got Presidential vs Senator intelligence briefs how he changed his tune. He had no choice but to face reality.

Guantonomo is still open
Rendition is still going on
He authorized a troop surge in Afgan
He wants more of the Patriot Act

The muslim world is laughing at this guy. That means they are laughing at my country. That makes it personal. Come on 2012.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 02/12/11 - 03:13 am
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Not to defend the

Not to defend the intelligence community, but, really, the previous administration was better, how? And how does the intelligence community's scorecard compare with your own, ACES?

Since a previous commenter saw fit to post two links, I'll counter with one good one:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/02/11-0

Lobosolo
5
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Lobosolo 02/12/11 - 07:26 am
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Really, Ryan, answer Mr.

Really, Ryan, answer Mr. Lester's question... And answer the question as to what difference does it make who is the president when there is a crisis across the globe such as this... what Egypt or any other country does is the provenance of THAT COUNTRY, not the corporate-endowed politicians in Washington who shill for their masters' interests so arrogantly in the name of the United States ... The Augusta Chronicle fails the intelligence test daily, hysterically - AND, hilariously, y'all don't even know it... Love you using the International Business Times as your source of validation, btw... So predictable... Just to let you know, AGAIN... your audience is dwindling because you still fail to serve the community as a whole. Your daily screechings in the editorials, your refusal to publish columns with opposing points of view, and the lip service you pay to readers in your choice of letters you print all add up to a big slap in the face to the majority of the populace... What are you reactionaries so afraid of that you would so shamelessly insult the intelligence of your market? Do you really think that when you start charging for this drivel on-line, that the merry little bunch who parrot your views on these threads will be enough to keep you viable???

Sideshow Bob
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Sideshow Bob 02/12/11 - 08:41 am
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So it's all Bush's fault.

So it's all Bush's fault. It figures.

How long will it take for the left to realize that a past President's failures don't justify the present President's failures.

southernguy08
415
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southernguy08 02/12/11 - 08:51 am
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SIDESHOW, the left will NEVER

Unpublished

SIDESHOW, the left will NEVER admit that, especially with this president, who can't make a statement without a teleprompter rolling.

justthefacts
18073
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justthefacts 02/12/11 - 08:59 am
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Jon, good link. I had read it

Jon, good link. I had read it in the NYT as few days ago. But, I don't see what it has to do as far as dissing the ACES commentary. What in the ACES oped wasn't true. The quotes by Clapper? The fact that President Obama found out about the resignation while watching TV? I would hope the opinion expressed in your link is correct. But, it is just another opinion. The situation bears watching. Right?

Sideshow Bob
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Sideshow Bob 02/12/11 - 09:07 am
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justthefacts......it's an

justthefacts......it's an example of what I was talking about........divert attention to someone else's failures, even if those failures are not relevant, so that your guy doesn't look as bad.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 02/12/11 - 09:13 am
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0

"Win one for the Gippet."

"Win one for the Gippet."

justthefacts
18073
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justthefacts 02/12/11 - 09:17 am
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That's one's lost on me. I

That's one's lost on me. I guess I need more coffee. Time zone changes are heck.

comet2u
28
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comet2u 02/12/11 - 09:31 am
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One question: where are the

One question: where are the WMD that Bush used as the rationale to invade Iraq? That's right there were none. I do stand the decision to go into Afghanistan as that was the root of 9/11. But as all things have been in the Middleeast for the last 60 + yrs it has been a mine field. To blame the current state of Egypt on Obama is a myopic world view as the current events where set in motion the day Sadat was assassinated, the day we went into Iraq, all fueled by one of the worst economies forced on an already impoverished nation. To think otherwise is a aversion of historical facts. I am sure the folks over at Gordon would tell you they have been closely following the state of affairs for yrs prior to 2 Januaries ago.

seenitB4
73219
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seenitB4 02/12/11 - 09:43 am
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Everyone deserves a learning

Everyone deserves a learning curve ...pleeeeze Oprah......this isn't a tv talk show we're talking about. Keep your $$$ in Chicago Oprah.
We need some tough independent leaders for the next election.....I hope they step up to the plate....

justthefacts
18073
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justthefacts 02/12/11 - 09:48 am
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comet2, who is blaming

comet2, who is blaming President Obama for the situation in Egypt?

chascush
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chascush 02/12/11 - 09:48 am
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comet2u, ‘One question: where

comet2u, ‘One question: where are the WMD that Bush used as the rationale to invade Iraq?
OK, I’ll concede Bush screw up but how does that explain away the stupidity of the community organizer. Everything, and more, said here is true and the ONLY DEFENSE YOU LIBS HAVE ‘IS BUSH WAS JUST AS BAD’. Bush made lots of mistakes, I can name a bunch, but even he was not in the class with the idiot socialist/progressive community organizer.

rmwhitley
5107
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rmwhitley 02/12/11 - 09:51 am
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The previous administration

Unpublished

The previous administration did not have America on the verge of being taken over by radical Muslims or the Chinese.

chascush
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chascush 02/12/11 - 09:53 am
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USpat, ‘Obama is a foolish

USpat, ‘Obama is a foolish amateur, an over educated community aggitator who did nothing to improve the community he agitated.’
Very good point. The libs need too look at where he was a community organizer and see just how good a job he did there. Fact is he WAS NOT EVEN A GOOD COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. He left Chicago in worst shape than when he started.

55 F-100
1
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55 F-100 02/12/11 - 09:56 am
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Prezbhojangles is simply too

Prezbhojangles is simply too incompetent to be in the oval office. He surrounded himself with incompetent "czars" who play "yes" men to his arrogance. He must be evicted in 2012 and it will take at least a decade to undo his foolishness but the first step will be to repeal his health deform act. Prezbhojangles will be remembered as the worst "ruler" of all time.

dani
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dani 02/12/11 - 10:23 am
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usapatriot. More frightening

usapatriot. More frightening is the thought that the muslim world is laughing WITH this guy.

Riverman1
70956
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Riverman1 02/12/11 - 10:47 am
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Oprah said, "I feel that

Oprah said, "I feel that everybody has a learning curve."

She has a point there. Honestly, Obama is starting to understand world events and economics a little as time goes on. Prodded by the elections probably, he has moved more to the right. He now favors economic policies right out of the Republican playbook with lower corporate taxes and so on. John Bohener should stop by once a week and tutor him with that week's lesson. Obama can be our spokesman if he continues to move our ship of state to starboard and isn't allowed to pull the mainsheet.

faithson
4601
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faithson 02/12/11 - 10:54 am
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Sounds like we have the AC

Sounds like we have the AC editorial board taking its talking points from the likes of Glen Beck and his ilk.. Real original thought here... Bash Obama, Bash Obama and it you missed it: BASH OBAMA. makes for good copy in these parts, just don't know how it helps.

dani
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dani 02/12/11 - 10:59 am
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It's a beautiful day in

It's a beautiful day in Augusta and I am out of here. Have a good one everybody.

corgimom
19641
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corgimom 02/12/11 - 11:01 am
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I am so glad that my life

I am so glad that my life doesn't include doom and gloom prophecies of America being taken over by Muslims/China/Korea/Mexicans/India/and whatever else the gloom-and-doomers say.

Remember when it was Russia, Communism and nuclear war?

Riverman1
70956
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Riverman1 02/12/11 - 11:03 am
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I'm sure some people said

I'm sure some people said that in 1940, too.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 02/12/11 - 11:06 am
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Id like to say its both of

Id like to say its both of their faults, but that's too easy. I blame the citizens of this country for thinking that repubs and dems are different at all. Both are flooded with CORPORATISM, not communism, socialism, but show signs of fascism at times. I feel we will need to follow Egypt's example to fix this, but the division of us as a people will never let us unite in the way Egypt did.

seenitB4
73219
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seenitB4 02/12/11 - 11:14 am
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corgi....Sometimes it pays to

corgi....Sometimes it pays to see gloom & doom coming our way....like riverman said, in 1940 the USA saw it coming & thankfully we aren't speaking German.

Sideshow Bob
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Sideshow Bob 02/12/11 - 12:45 pm
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Rather
56
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Rather 02/12/11 - 01:08 pm
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I believe in revenge. The

I believe in revenge. The WMD's were just an excuse. The real reason for Iraq was revenge for 9/11 ... to kill muslems. Can you imagine what a bunch of wimps we would have looked like if we had done nothing?

Riverman1
70956
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Riverman1 02/12/11 - 01:26 pm
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Rather said, "I believe in

Rather said, "I believe in revenge. The WMD's were just an excuse. The real reason for Iraq was revenge for 9/11 ... to kill muslems. Can you imagine what a bunch of wimps we would have looked like if we had done nothing?"

Well, I believe in redistributing the wealth. There's no reason for some to have more than others. The Health Care Law is just an excuse and a way to take from the capitalists and give to the others. Can you imagine what a bunch of wimps we would have looked like if we hadn't done anything to take from those who work too hard and invest too much?

Cadence
219
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Cadence 02/12/11 - 01:55 pm
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I have read much hard

I have read much hard empirical non-FoxNews generated evidence that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction, and I saw with my own eyes the citizens dead in the streets clutching their dead children after their fearless leader had them gassed. Saddam refused to allow the UN to come in and inspect for a long time. Why? What was he doing during this time? Playing Gin Rummy with the guys?

But imagine this scenario. I tell JoeBob that I am coming to his house to search for red ink pens and if I find any at all he is going to prison. I will be there next Thursday around 3pm. So, do you think I will find any red pens by the time I get there? Only if JoeBob is an idiot who craves prison food. No JB is actually very clever and canny, he has a lot of money and a lot of red pen hoarding friends and he will make sure his home is clear of them.

My one issue is that we created Saddam, arming him and supporting him so that he would win the war against Iran for us. Then when the monster we created began to run amok in the middle east, we had to take him down. I love my country so much and have always been proud to be an American, but we really need to watch how we manipulate situations. Too often they come back and bite us on the bottom.

chascush
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chascush 02/12/11 - 03:09 pm
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Cadence, ‘I love my country

Cadence, ‘I love my country so much and have always been proud to be an American, but we really need to watch how we manipulate situations. Too often they come back and bite us on the bottom.’
I agree. But the idiot we have in the WH now has no clue how too deal with foreign nations or even our nation for that matter.
Hussein had long unsuccessful career as a community organizer.

usapatriot
0
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usapatriot 02/12/11 - 06:11 pm
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For those of you who keep

For those of you who keep insisting Bush lied about WMD, please inform us who "cooked" the books?

Seems your liberal heroes like Kerry, Clinton, Schumer, Reid & Pelosi all thought so too AND VOTED FOR AUTHORIZING BUSH TO INVADE IRAQ.

Now, I know you can't get over the fact that Bush was President. All I ask is that you quit with the disingenuous "Bush Lied" line.

Unless, of course, you add in all your liberal, two faced, shameless senators and representatives that voted in favor of invading Iraq. It's amusing listening to them. They can't come out and say they were "fooled" into voting for it. They know it's not popular to be for it.

What they do is rely on fools in the American populace to carry the "Bush Lied" banter.

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