Daily Beast: Many Intel Officials Disagree With Obama That al Qaeda’s On the Run

The Daily Beast may be a liberal outlet, but sometimes they report important news that doesn’t favor the Obama administration.

A case in point: a Wednesday article by Eli Lake which reported that many U.S. intelligence officials oppose President Obama’s push to scale back the war on terror.

Running for reelection, President Obama and Vice President Biden famously claimed in 2012 that al Qaeda was on the run, and that assurance may have helped them secure another four years in office. However, according to Lake’s article, some senior U.S. intelligence officials disagree with that assessment.

Lake wrote about conversations he had with these officials:
 

In interviews with many of them, a common theme is sounded: The threat from al Qaeda is rising, but the White House is looking to ratchet down the war against these Islamic extremists. As a result, intelligence gathered on these threats remain shrouded from the public and, in many cases, from senior government officials.

[...]

One senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast the frustration was that there is pressure from the White House to downplay the threat from some al Qaeda affiliates. "It comes from the top, it’s the message that al Qaeda is all these small franchise groups and they are not coordinated and threatening," this official said. "It’s the whole idea of getting us out to place resources against something that they don’t think is a problem. It’s not their war, it’s not our conflict."

 

Lake also wrote that al Qaeda has spread since Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn and others refused to endorse the Obama administration’s assertion that al Qaeda no longer posed a direct threat to America:
 

Since that internal clash—and since Obama said in his 2012 State of the Union that “al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America”—the terror group has thrived throughout the Islamic world. In the last year alone, al Qaeda has established safe havens in Libya, Syria  and Iraq.
 

Regarding Benghazi, Lake admitted what many in the liberal media would be scared to admit – that intelligence officials were peeved when the Obama administration emphasized the YouTube video over the terrorist threat in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. According to the article:
 

U.S. intelligence officers in Libya on the night of the attacks cabled back that it was a coordinated terrorist attack, only to see Obama administration officials cling to out-of-date talking points that described it as a demonstration gone awry. The Daily Beast has learned that one reason why CIA officers were so quick to conclude the attack was an act of terrorism was because some of the fighters who participated in the attack were being watched by CIA officers at the time on the ground in Libya, according to U.S. intelligence officials and congressional investigators.
 

It was good to see The Daily Beast cover this story, but it would be even better to see it discussed on the three major broadcast networks.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.