As the Islamic State rose to become the terrorist mass that it is today, President Barack Obama ignored warnings and reportedly skipped about half of his presidential daily briefings. He downplayed the threat, calling ISIS “jayvee.”
Those briefings that the president reportedly skipped included “specific” intelligence about ISIS and its capabilities even before the 2012 election.
At that time, Obama was publicly campaigning on having “decimated” “core al Qaeda” and sent it “on the run.”
So was Obama reading his briefings or not? It’s an important question that aims directly at how the president is performing his duties. Obama tossed the intelligence community and his own Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, under the bus on 60 Minutes when he blamed them for “underestimating” ISIS. That comment has sparked a sort of cold war between the president and his intelligence agencies, as the nation grapples with the Islamic State’s rise and threat, and what to do about it.
But if you are concerned about this, former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean thinks that you’re a kook.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked Dean about the skipped briefings on his show this morning. “Howard Dean, you get 42% of the briefings face-to-face, 42% in the second term, missed the rest. Is that a big deal? Are there sometimes you’d rather read something than have people talk?”
Dean wasn’t subtle in dismissing the question: “This rises to the level of Obama was born in Kenya and is a right wing Muslim. I saw Crossroads did this, he has no credibility whatsoever. The presidents, leaders, governors do things differently, I just think this is ridiculous. I can’t even believe we are talking about this. This is silly.”