Old Eggnog at room temperature: Newsweek’s ‘Declassified’ posts a boring piece about Obama getting pre-Christmas intelligence, Conservatives hallucinate ‘Obama knew!’

Yet another perfect example of why Conservatives are so pathetic and laughably untrustworthy. When they get over-wrought, as they are now with respect to the Northwest 253 terrorist attempt, they’ll see virtually anything as proof that the Moon is clearly made of explosive cheese and zeroing in your neighborhood, courtesy of a rickety Al Qaeda tractor beam. How did the President not see it–why can’t he admit it now? And, incidentally, what’s with all that time you’ve been spending at Radio Shack, hmmm?

declassifiedNewsweek’s ‘Declassified’ blog posted a gawdawful boring piece about a pre-holiday intelligence briefing Obama got on terrorist threats. Firstly, most of you would probably say “Yeah, I imagine he gets those all the time.” Obviously, you would be right. If he wasn’t getting those types of briefings, that would be the ‘news’.

Second, I have no idea why anyone’s talking about it. I’ve had to scour the post over and over to try to figure out why it spontaneously generated so much yelling. I can’t find anything in it. And by that, I mean it’s absolutely, perfectly squeaky clean as to references to the attempted bombing. There’s no mention in it, or potentially to Obama’s hearing a molecule of a hint, of Abdulmutallab. Or to PETN bombs. Or to Yemen.

But it still went off, successfully, like an underwear bomb over on the right where the intelligences of adult Americans were mortally de-briefed.

I originally thought I’d post the piece here myself, but it’s so dry and uninteresting I just won’t. Feel free to read it yourself by clicking the link and then bailing out in Paragraph Three when you wonder why anyone bothered to write and post it in the first place. Here it is in my strange abbreviated form:

Exclusive: Obama Got Pre-Christmas Intelligence Briefing About Terror Threats to ‘Homeland’
Mark Hosenball

Paragraph One

The briefing was titled “Key Homeland Threats”. I wonder how many of these are titled “Key Homeland Threats”. All of them?

Paragraph Two

No Yemen anywhere in the briefing. But maybe the President asked about Yemen, coulda happened, who knows. Somebody else mighta brought it up.

Paragraphs Three and Four

umar farouk abdulmutallabYeah there was a sort of warning of something coming out of Pakistan, but it turned out to be “garbled.” Mighta just been nonsense. Oh, and–no, again, nothing about Yemen.

Paragraph Five

Yeah, like everybody else now knows, there were isolated bits of information out there about Abdulmutallab (and maybe some secret stuff) that we should have put together and used that to put him on a no-fly list. We’re looking at this.

And now, for emphases, most of Paragraph Six:

Asked about what kind of intelligence reporting was circulated to senior officials about possible holiday-period attacks before the underpants incident, a U.S. intelligence official, who also asked for anonymity, explained: “As everybody knows, terrorists often speak in coded language, especially when they think their communications might be intercepted. There was no clear discussion of an attack, on Christmas or any other time, in the Middle East or anywhere else. But as veiled as the message was, it was spotted, processed, analyzed, and presented to senior policymakers as a warning sign—however vague—of a holiday attack. While this was handled properly, there were, to put it mildly, virtually no details at all. That happens…”

Well, that’s self explanatory. There was no intelligence, absolutely zero, nothing, about this particular attack. Unfortunately, sometimes, “That happens.”

Paragraph Seven

And while Obama expanded support to the Yemeni government, a move that could be tantamount to starting a covert war there, the political attacks on him with reference to Yemen will probably continue.

The result of this non-story posted by a Newsweek blog I may have come across before? This stuff:

Obama: Yeah, looks like AQ to me
posted at 10:40 am on January 2, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama used his weekly address to acknowledge what everyone already knows — that the botched terrorist attack on Northwest 253 on Christmas Day was an al-Qaeda operation…

Meanwhile, Newsweek reports that Obama’s pre-Christmas Homeland Security briefing never mentioned Yemen as a potential threat:

Paragraphs One and Two

None at all? Hadn’t the administration just assisted Yemen in bombing a meeting in AQ that killed as many as 30 terrorist leaders? Wouldn’t Obama have at least asked about Yemen as a potential threat?

it's yemenAnd doesn’t this sound very, very familiar?

This is actually the last line of the Newsweek post he highlights in order to be astounded by it: “However, the official declined to disclose any other information about the substance of the briefing, including what kind of specific warnings, if any, the President was given about possibly holiday attacks and whether Yemen came up during oral discussions.”

Ed Morrissey’s thinking is crystal clear: if an official declines to detail what sort of discussion went on in a Presidential intelligence briefing, that means Obama neither asked about nor discussed Yemen.


Could this actually be the greatest and potentially the deadliest of Obama’s screw ups so far?
Posted by Erick Erickson

Obama is already deadly. Why? When he acknowledged that a suicide bombing in Afghanistan killed CIA operatives, he dangerously exposed the fact the CIA operates in Afghanistan. The Newsweek post, Paragraph Seven, was then used to generate a plea to God from Erick:

UPDATED: Take the information above and couple it with this. The White House is subtly blaming the intelligence community for the failure to deduce the Delta/Northwest attack.


“Presidential aides are concerned that Obama will somehow be unfairly accused of dropping the ball on the fight against terrorist (sic) in Yemen”

Because the President is worried about being blamed, the White House is trying to blame the CIA while at the same time undermining the CIA through a rush to publicize the Afghan attack.

Either this White House is willfully trying to sabotage the intelligence community or they are rank amateurs. I pray to God in Heaven it is the latter.

Again, the Newsweek post is about an intelligence briefing that contained no information about the impending holiday attack. But, to Erickson, it’s about how Obama is blaming the CIA for missing impending signs of the underwear bombing.

And The Astute Bloggers:

ass-toot briefing reaction

..to wit…

Newsweek, of all sources, reports the US had intelligence indicating that al-Qaeda was planning an attack around the holidays:

Paragraphs Four and Five

So they knew an attack was likely, did nothing, and got the country from it was to originate wrong. But, according to an unnamed US intelligence official, “this was handled properly.”