Lying Is Not Acceptable

The idea that we are all Americans working together for the good of our country has somehow been lost in recent years. We have lost our identity as a nation and are sacrificing the lives of our military as a result. Regardless of how you felt (or feel) about the war in Iraq (or realize that one of the main reasons we went into that war was to salvage the UN peace deal that had been worked out with Saddam Hussein), leaving the war the way we did caused problems. What has come to light in the past few days is the fact that the Obama Administration has been lying to Americans about the progress made against ISIS since we left Iraq after the war.

Yesterday Fox News posted a story about the findings of a House Republican task force regarding what Americans have been told about ISIS.

The article reports:

Intelligence reports produced by U.S. Central Command that tracked the Islamic State’s 2014-15 rise in Iraq and Syria were skewed to present a rosier picture of the situation on the ground, according to a bombshell report released Thursday by a House Republican task force. 

The task force investigated a Defense Department whistleblower’s allegations that higher-ups manipulated analysts’ findings to make the campaign against ISIS appear more successful to the American public. 

The report concluded that intelligence reports from Central Command were, in fact, “inconsistent with the judgments of many senior, career analysts.”

Further, the report found, “these products also consistently described U.S. actions in a more positive light than other assessments from the [intelligence community] and were typically more optimistic than actual events warranted.” 

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who was involved in the House report, said Thursday the data was clearly “manipulated.”

“They wanted to tell a story that ISIS was the JV, that we had Al Qaeda on the run,” he told Fox News. “This is incredibly dangerous. We haven’t seen this kind of manipulation of intelligence … in an awfully long time.” 

Those of us with family members in the military need to remember this when we vote in November. For whatever reason, the Democrats record on military issues–defense spending, military benefits, VA hospitals, etc.–is horrendous. If you want the American military to remain strong, you have no alternative but to vote Republican.

Even When The Obama Administration Helps, It Doesn’t Help Much

On Wednesday, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the battle for Ramadi, Iraq. For whatever reason, American has chosen to provide only minimal air support to help defend the city.

The article reports:

U.S. air strikes had been instrumental in helping to keep ISIS at bay. Without such support, the defenders of Ramadi have said they cannot hold out.

Unfortunately, during the recent rounds of fighting, U.S. air support reportedly was minimal. Local officials say they were told that U.S. aircraft are occupied on other fronts. It’s difficult to imagine what front is more critical right now than Ramadi, the site of some of the most intense fighting by U.S. troops during our war against al Qaeda in Iraq.

U.S. Central Command confirms the paucity of U.S. bombing. A spokeman said that the U.S. made two attacks on ISIS in the Ramadi area during the period from Friday through Monday. On Tuesday, it carried out one additional strike.

We have noted before that the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS fails remotely to approach the intensity of our efforts during the early days of the Afghanistan war or during the Kosovo campaign. Even so, our failure to average even one raid per day while ISIS came close to overrunning the defenders of Ramadi is shocking.

I fear that the Obama Administration, when looked at in historical perspective, will be seen as generally being on the wrong side of history. Somehow America under President Obama has forsaken the defending of freedom and either directly supported the forces of tyranny or simply stood back as they advanced. This is not who we are.

Fired For Being Good At His Job

This story is based on two sources–one at Breitbart.com on Monday and one at The Weekly Standard on Tuesday. Both sources report that General James Mattis, the current commander of U.S. Central Command, is being moved out of his job before that would normally happen. What was his crime?

The Weekly Standard reports:

…Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way — not because he went all “mad dog,” which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, “And then what?”

Inquiry along these lines apparently was not welcomed — at least in the CENTCOM view. The White House view, apparently, is that Mattis was too hawkish, which is not something I believe, having seen him in the field over the years. I’d call him a tough-minded realist, someone who’d rather have tea with you than shoot you, but is happy to end the conversation either way.

This is not a White House that embraces the idea of secondary consequences of their actions. If the White House had looked at secondary consequences, it is possible that the Arab Spring might not have turned into the Arab Winter.

The article at Breitbart reports:

Mattis also expressed concern over the consequences of certain aspects of the U.S. approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It seems this line of reasoning didn’t sit well with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

The Obama Administration does not seem to take kindly to people who ask probing questions.

The article at the Weekly Standard concludes:

We should all be worried. The combination of President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense—to be his hatchet man to slash the defense budget without regard to geopolitical realities—and the early retirement of a general renowned for his powerful blend of strategic sense and candor, bodes ill for the security of the United States. With a yes man as secretary of defense and a signal to the uniformed military that the frank and forceful presentation of the military’s view throughout the strategy-making and implementation process is not welcome runs counter to the principles of sound civil-military relations.   

Of course, a president has every right to choose the generals he wants, but it is also the case that he usually gets the generals he deserves. By pushing Mattis overboard, the administration is sending a message that it doesn’t want smart, independently minded generals who speak candidly to their civilian leaders. The message that generals and admirals may receive that they should go along to get along, which is a bad message for the health of U.S. civil-military relations.

By removing Mattis, the President has taken a wise voice out of defense discussions. Because we currently live in a very dangerous world, that is not a good thing.

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