President Obama addressed an anxious nation last night in an instantly-forgettable, perfunctory speech that was largely devoid of news and announced no meaningful changes to US policies or military strategy. In an effort to reassure Americans that he’s confronting the terrorist threat aggressively (his public approval rating on handling terrorism and ISIS is weak) Obama said, “for seven years, I’ve confronted this evolving threat each morning in my intelligence briefing.” The public learned several years ago that this president skips his in-person briefings far more frequently than his predecessor, though his staff insists that he reads through the written version of the file on a daily basis. More important than how he ingests this information is what ends up in front of the president. We’ve been following serious, credible claims leveled by dozens of current and former US intelligence professionals who allege that their work product was regularly altered and manipulated to downplay the growing threat and alarming advance of ISIS. The former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has stated that the current investigation into these accusations should start at the White House, which he says has subordinated accurate information to political narratives. Other American spies have alleged that the Obama administration also deliberately kept a lid on intel gathered during the Bin Laden raid that contradicted the White House’s messaging about Al Qaeda. Yesterday afternoon, prior to the president’s Oval Office remarks, a former NSA analyst and Naval War College professor with deep ties to the US intelligence community tweeted something provocative:
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