Come with me now, gentle readers, to those thrilling days of yesteryear, as we review, through a few of my earlier articles, the fastidious attention paid by our last three Democrat presidents to national security, and particularly, to vital intelligence information. We do this because those that refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We begin with former President Jimmy Carter in Barack Obama: Allies and Enemies, from August of 2014:
Jimmy Carter’s embrace of the Soviet Union and his weakness in the face of Islamism put us on a dangerous path. His degradation of our intelligence capabilities arguably started to unravel the garment of our national security that led inexorably to 9-11. With the fall of the Soviet Union, Bill Clinton was unleashed to seriously degrade our military and to all but destroy our nation’s human intelligence gathering abilities. The Clinton’s disdain for our military remains the stuff of legend. Picking up Mr. Carter’s thread of weakness and appeasement, Mr. Clinton gave missile secrets to the Chinese and declined multiple opportunities to have Osama Bin Laden handed to us on a platter, virtually ensuring that 9-11 would happen.
We continue with former President Bill Clinton–“former” is a lovely word, isn’t it?–and an article titled America: The Failure Of Resilience, Part 2, from October of 2014:
During the Clinton Administration, ironically on September 11, 1994, a suicidal man crashed a stolen light plane on the White House lawn. A horrific joke immediately made the rounds of Washington: the pilot was the CIA director trying to get a personal meeting with President Clinton, who actually refused to meet with him, the man he appointed to head the CIA.
The CIA Director at the time was James Woolsey who had no relationship with Clinton. He met him, with others present, on two occasions, but never had a one-on-one meeting with him. Bill Clinton simply didn’t want to be bothered with intelligence information. Our next stop on the non-intelligence train is Barack Obama: Moving Lips from December of 2016:
It’s well known that Mr. Obama ignores 60% or more of his daily intelligence briefings. This is the President’s opportunity to be briefed by top intelligence officials and to ask questions only they can answer, yet he foregoes that opportunity, claiming instead he reads summaries. Zakaria was oblivious.
One might also be forgiven for thinking Mr. Obama’s reason for missing his morning intelligence briefings has far more to do with his utter lack of a work ethic than a brilliant intellect not requiring the input of professionals. As I noted in 2014, Mr. Obama’s official schedule reveals that on the days when he bothers to come to work, he virtually never drops by the office earlier than 0930. But a president has to have priorities. What’s more important? American national security, or an extra hour or two of sleep?
It’s also well known that Mr. Obama has forced his subordinates to cook the intelligence books so he doesn’t hear any inconvenient facts, anything that would contradict the progressive narrative that ISIS is on the run and Mr. Obama is a fearsome anti-terror warrior.
Let’s double back for one final stop before today’s update in August, 2014, with Barack Obama: Allies And Enemies, where we see how former President Obama applied his knowledge of vital intelligence information in defense of America, particularly, in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Readers will, I’m sure, recall how Mr. Obama claimed manly anti-terror warrior status for the Navy SEAL’s execution of that mission. What’s not widely known is the mission very nearly did not step off at all:
Unfortunately, as I reported in a May 9, 2012 story, Mr. Obama dithered for nearly a year before giving the go order, and even then, took an additional day to make up his mind. This delay alone cost another day due to bad weather. Mr. Obama eventually gave the order to proceed with the mission, but there is evidence to indicate that it was most unwilling. This is hardly a portrait of a resolute and manly terror warrior. With the mission ready to launch, despite delays of nearly a year, Mr. Obama was still actually considering cancelling it, and dithered for another day, refusing to make a decision any competent president would have recognized as absolutely imperative.
Come with me now, gentle readers, to the present. Donald Trump is president, and according to the Left, the world is in dire danger by his presidency. Legal Insurrection reports on a recent interview of CIA Director Mike Pompeo:
HUGH HEWITT: Now to the second part of my conversation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and his answer to how he works daily with the president.
MIKE POMPEO: I’m with the president nearly every day. We have 35 or 40 minutes on his schedule. That almost always runs long, which is great. Great questions. He is a serious consumer of the product that the intelligence community delivers and I appreciate that, because I think it informs how he thinks about the world. I know that my predecessor handled it differently, wasn’t there very often. President Obama consumed his intelligence in a different way. President Trump is incredibly demanding of the intelligence community, asks us incredibly difficult questions, and then counts on myself and other leaders in the IC [intelligence community] to deliver those answers for him.
HEWITT: Some of his critics like to allege he is uninterested in facts on the ground. What do you think of that?
POMPEO: I cannot imagine a statement that is any more false than the one that would attribute president Trump not being interested in intelligence and facts when it comes to national security. He’s an avid consumer of the products we provide, thinks about them and comes back and asks great questions, and then, perhaps most importantly, relies upon that information.
Considering the actions of our past Democrat presidents, one might think Mr. Trump’s interest in intelligence anomalous, even strange. If so, America and the world can use more of that kind of strangeness. I’m sure, in the meantime, Democrats are trying to come up with a way to work Russia into this. Perhaps Mr. Trump is interested in intelligence to cover up his collusion? I’m sure the WaPo and NYT are on the case.
Perhaps this sort of thing is why Donald Trump was elected?