Fox News: Obama 'Briefed on ISIS More Than a Year Ago'

September 2nd, 2014 5:45 PM

This morning, Catherine Herridge at Fox News, in the first two minutes of a video seen here, reported that "detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of ISIS was included in the PDB, or the President’s Daily Brief, for at least a year." Fox is being careful, as some of what is being reported would indicate that the time involved is "far more than a year" — possibly even "three years."

This would mean that Obama, if he actually reads the briefs he claims to devour in lieu of actually attending national security meetings as his Oval Office predecessors have, should have been fully aware of ISIS's danger at least several months before he called them the "jayvee team" in a New Yorker Magazine interview. If previous patterns hold, the fact that Fox is reporting the story will mean that the Obama-aligned establishment press will, as they have for several hours already, ignore it. The relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine):

Transcript (bolds are mine):


Martha McCallum: ... new details this morning on what the President learned about ISIS and how long ago he has known about the threat that this group clearly poses. A former Pentagon official is now quoted today as saying that the president has been getting daily briefings on this group for at least a year.

Welcome everybody. Brand-new hour of America's Newsroom starts now. I'm Martha McCallum.

Bill Hemmer: And I'm Bill Hemmer. Fox News also learning that dozens of ISIS targets were identified, possibly as many as a hundred, but the White House never gave in order to fire despite evidence being so good that our source (was) describing it as "exquisite."

Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge broke this story. Catherine, good morning to you. What more have you learned? Start to fill in the pieces here on this.

Catherine Herridge: Well, Bill, good morning. The former Pentagon official describe the intelligence to Fox News contained in the President's daily brief as specific and detailed, adding there was only one conclusion that could be reached from the data by policymakers: that the situation was bad.

As to suggestions of the administrative may have been blindsided by the rise of ISIS, and that poor intelligence may have been to blame, the former pentagon official said some of the intelligence was so good a couple hundred targets had been identified one the president drew a red line on chemical weapons use in Syria back in 2012.

Now over the weekend, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee told Fox News that the threat was understood long before the murder of journalist James Foley.

(House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, from Fox News on Sunday) : ... very, very late in the game, and it presents very few options. So three years ago we had very good options in Syria on how to stop there pooling in the East and going into Iraq. Two years ago, we had better options, not great options. Today, our options are far more limited, far more dangerous, and will call for far more engagement.

Herridge: Fox News has asked a spokesman for the National Security Council for a response, and we'll post that as soon as it becomes available.

The interview then turned to the James Foley situation. At the very end, Hemmer circled back:

Hemmer: Many have argued that ISIS blindsided the administration. No one saw it coming. Does this report reinforce that or contradict that?

Herridge: What I can tell you is that I am hearing consistently from people within the military intelligence community who say that the threat was understood, and that the data was identified several years ago, because ISIS took a systematic approach to its buildup in Iraq. It was not something that happened suddenly, which seemed to be the suggestion by the administration.

I would like nothing better than to be proven wrong, and that this deeply troubling story makes this evening's newscasts on the Big Three networks. The smart money has to be on the side of those who believe they won't.

Cross-posted at