Obama’s former acting CIA director warns ISIS in Iraq is a threat to U.S.

posted at 11:21 am on June 16, 2014 by Noah Rothman

It seems that what Vox.com called Barack Obama’s “problem from hell” shows no signs of letting up on the president. After taking the weekend to ruminate on the suboptimal options available to him for dealing with the rapidly escalating crisis in Iraq and acting on none of them, the president awoke on Monday to his former acting CIA Director Mike Morell telling CBS’s This Morning hosts that the ISIS insurgency in Iraq poses an immediate threat to American national security.

Morell began by quashing any hope that the administration could quietly outsource Iraqi security to Iran. After CBS host Charlie Rose noted that the head of Iran’s Quds forces was organizing defensive operations on Baghdad and how the U.S. might work with Iran to stem the growing threat to Iranian security, Morell said that the U.S. should do no such thing.

“I do not believe that it is in the interests of the United States to work with Iran,” Morell said. He then gave voice to the obscenely 20th Century notion that there is an ongoing struggle between Iran and a variety of Middle East powers for regional hegemony, and the U.S. would only aid in Tehran’s quest to secure hegemonic status by working with them to secure Iraq.

After spreading blame for the current crisis around to everyone from the Bush administration to the al-Maliki regime, Morell ominously conceded that the time for finger pointing is ending.

When asked what ISIS’s goals are, Morell was blunt:

“One is to set up that caliphate and, it’s not just in Iraq and in Syria,” he warned. The former CIA chief noted that The Levant, or greater Syria, includes territories in modern day Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.

“Their second goal then is to use that as a safe haven to attack the United States,” Morell added.

This grave assertion was met with a prolonged pause from the CBS hosts. The use of those terms to describe the situation in Iraq from a former American spy chief is not a minor development. In that moment, Morell limited Obama’s freedom of action.

Having defined a pressing national security threat in Iraq, Obama now faces the political nightmare of his two terms. The president must decide whether to legitimize the Iraq War and ratify the Bush doctrine of preemptive war. If he does nothing, he preserves the political goal of extricating the U.S. from Iraqi affairs. If that inaction costs American lives down the road, however, his presidency will be regarded as a failed endeavor.

Maybe the White House should look on the bright side. At least he didn’t caution Americans that Iraq’s “smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”


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At least he didn’t caution Americans that Iraq’s “smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

I bet the mushroom cloud would look like this.

Flange on June 16, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I think Barry should contact Zeus and have him get control of ISIS.

Sven on June 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Don’t worry, by the time this little problem become imminent President Chris Christie will handle it with a few well placed rants. Maybe he’ll even blame Obama; blaming previous Presidents always works.

Fenris on June 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

So, we might support Iran against ISIS?

Hey, why don’t we get them to fight each other an not us. Divide and Distract. Stay out of the Shia vs Sunni war.

Then use “wetwork” operation is there a threat to us.

Oil Can on June 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Great time to shut down A 10′s and the Tomahawk cruise missle. Carter did less damage than this

warren on June 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

So Mike Morrell is now a racist teabagger? Who knew?

Ward Cleaver on June 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Tal Afar falls yesterday. Explain again why my son spent 30 months of his service there? ISIS massacres surrendered troops who didn’t put up any resistance despite outnumbering ISIS. Go back? No way.

I’ll yield to the PC crowd and say Islam isn’t the problem. If so tell me why Islam and that entire region of the planet allows this murder cult to exist. You can’t? Go figure.

Limerick on June 16, 2014 at 11:28 AM

It’s the typical Obama response: drag your feet until events overtake you, leap at the least work intensive option then available, declare your victory condition as whatever ends up happening, catch up on SportsCenter backlog.

JeremiahJohnson on June 16, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Obama’s former acting CIA director warns ISIS in Iraq is a threat to U.S.

Thank you, President 0bama!

-crr6

UltimateBob on June 16, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Can’t we at least wait until next week when Bark reads this in the newspaper before passing judgement on the man, he’s not even aware of the problem yet.

Jeebus, you bigots make me sad to be Amerikkkan.

Bishop on June 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

If that inaction costs American lives down the road, however, his presidency will be regarded as a failed endeavor.

News flash, Noah…Barky’s presidency is already regarded as a failed endeavor. You need to quit hanging around VOX.Com, Mediaite, and the rest of those liberal cesspools…

bimmcorp on June 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

How low the US has been dumped by obama.

Asking Iran to help is like asking the devil to save god.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Dear GOP,

Obama gave northern Iraq to Al Qaeda last Friday. Yes, Al Qaeda.

Do you think the female voters (50% of the population) might be interested in that?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Anyone with a Brain

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Asking Iran to help is like asking the devil to save god.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Still one of the few voices of reason despite your ancient creaking joints.

Limerick on June 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Yep, nothing but flowers and balloon-animals out there.

Is the Obama presidency failing?

No.

Took out Osama Bin Laden.

Got us out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Saved US auto manufacturing.

Provided inspiration to millions if not billions around the world with galvanizing speeches.

etc

nonpartisan on November 18, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Bishop on June 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Well DUH

gophergirl on June 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I saw a CNN report today talking about a possible Caliphate in the Middle East?

What is with that whole Whack job network???

Sure they were showing the latest promo video for the “Religion of Peace” (execution of soldiers) but that’s just an isolated thingy.

They would never want to spread that throughout the region.

Come on CNN. We are super dooper safe and the President even said so.

PappyD61 on June 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM

At this point the best option is giving the Kurds their own state, make a deal giving us a Air/Combat Arms base their and play whack a mole for the next decade. But hey maybe all those illegals can get a Obama phone after Barky declares them citizens with full rights(voting).And then the worthless GOPe leadership can tell us this isn’t the hill to die opon.

warren on June 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Mike Morell has come out of hiding…? Isn’t he the mastermind of the Benghazi coverup?

d1carter on June 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Barry is all for a Islamic Caliphate. He started with Egypt. That did not work out for his Sunni Muslim Brotherhood buddies so on to helping ISIS in Syria…

albill on June 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Governor Romney nods.

As Does Bush 43.

I think Barry should contact Zeus and have him get control of ISIS.

Sven on June 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I think Barry should contact Amon Ra and have him get control of ISIS.

FIFY

formwiz on June 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM

If we do not do something very powerful and very soon then Iran will have total control of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon… Today there are 2000 Iranian troops in Iraq, a month from now there will be 100,000…

mnjg on June 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Funny how ISIS in Iraq is a threat to our national security… but thousands of illegals streaming across the border are not.

Shaking my toes… not head. SMT.

TheRightMan on June 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

When asked what ISIS’s goals are, Morell was blunt:

“One is to set up that caliphate and, it’s not just in Iraq and in Syria,” he warned. The former CIA chief noted that The Levant, or greater Syria, includes territories in modern day Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.

“Their second goal then is to use that as a safe haven to attack the United States,” Morell added.

It’s almost as if Islam is at war with Western Civilization.

And yes, NSA, that is sarcasm. The only problem being, there’s a fifth column here at home. And it occupies the White House.

rbj on June 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM

ISIS in Iraq

Everyone is a useful idiot, it looks like.

Just call it Al Qaeda. Let the other side worry about splitting hairs.

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Funny how the Intell and Military leadership wait til after they retire and get their pensions to come out tell us about all these problems. Just once I’d like these guys to think about the people at the sharp end of the stick who are gonna be paying the price when this blows up in our faces.

warren on June 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Obama gave northern Iraq to Al Qaeda last Friday. Yes, Al Qaeda.

Do you think the female voters (50% of the population) might be interested in that?

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Most lefties only say they care, they don’t really.

Fenris on June 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Damn it, I’ve seem to have misplaced my shocked face again! This is becoming quite a habit lately.

Fore! Nice shot mom jeans, what’s that a quadruple bogey!

D-fusit on June 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM

It seems that what Vox.com called Barack Obama’s “problem from hell” shows no signs of letting up on the president.

“Problem from hell”? More like a bunch of his friends!

Rix on June 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM

“moderate gulf states”? what is this idiot talking about? They’re all just Muzzies. The only difference is that some are lazier than others about jihad warfare. The fact that this imbecile was in the CIA shows what bad shape we’re in. “Allies like Saudi Arabia”? So now Saudi Arabia is a “moderate gulf state”? this clown is all over the map. Dumbasses like him are the reason we’re in this mess.

‘Maliki created resentment among the Sunnis?’ Really? So this “resentment” had nothing to do with Islam itself then? There was no “resentment” prior to Maliki?

I’m surprised that bimbo anchor used the word ‘caliphate’ though. Does she know what it means? Does Morell understand its significance? Does he understand that there isn’t a Muslim alive that doesn’t have the same goal?

Yeesh.

WhatSlushfund on June 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Meanwhile King Barack deliberates on matters more consequential to him——-driver or 3-wood.

NixTyranny on June 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

If we do not do something very powerful and very soon then Iran will have total control of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon… Today there are 2000 Iranian troops in Iraq, a month from now there will be 100,000…

mnjg on June 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Powerful? With what?

If you think Barry and the UN are going to pull a rabbit out of their shorts you are fooling themselves. They can’t even decide how to find their shorts.

Limerick on June 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

This is who should be in charge. Hmm, or not. She may now be working for the other side:

WitchDoctor on June 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

And… link failed. bleah.

WitchDoctor on June 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Can’t we at least wait until next week when Bark reads this in the newspaper before passing judgement on the man, he’s not even aware of the problem yet.

Jeebus, you bigots make me sad to be Amerikkkan.

Bishop on June 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

What kind of moron would suggest that the president gets his news from the newspapers.

Bigbullets on June 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Interesting that obama had time to intervene in a union strike in Philadelphia but is still pondering what action to take in Iraq.

HumpBot Salvation on June 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Bigbullets on June 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM

You’ve obviously never spent any time in Wisconsin.

Bishop on June 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Thousands of Americans remain in Iraq and are waiting to be rescued.

Obama has said he won’t send troops to rescue them.

Our side, including HA, doesn’t seem to be interested in them. No pleas, no nothing.

Please pray for our fellow Americans still in Iraq.

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM

You could almost hear the collective “holy crap” from Charlie and Norah as they began to comprehend the utter failure of the progressive movement and their complete indifference toward foreign affairs.

Spending all of your political capital – and America’s wealth – on insuring free birth control at the expense of our standing in the world has consequences that don’t necessarily compute to a horny coed.

BKeyser on June 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Obama’s former acting CIA director warns ISIS in Iraq is a threat to U.S.

Really? Is there anyone anywhere with a single functioning brain cell that doesn’t know this?

Oldnuke on June 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Libruls are geniuses.

John the Libertarian on June 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

So Mike Morell is telling us we should jump wild back into Iraq, and prevent the Sunni Jihadists and Iranians from taking over the area…or else those Sunni Jihadists will somehow conquer the entire Middle East (including parts of Israel), and magically create a military industrial complex of their own (because they are such sophisticated people), and yes folks crush the USA in a set piece battle!

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Of course the Sunni Jihadists have goals of world wide conquests, which is why they are nuts because it is not happening. They have a massive Turkish military to the north they will have to contain, they are going to have to deal with the Kurds (probably militarily), they are going to have to defeat Iran, Assad, and Hezbollah, before they can even think of getting at Israel, and if they do they will then lose.

Basically all the people who see this as a major national security threat to the U.S. are living in some bizarro world.

For example…Senator Graham is now actually comparing this threat to the Nazis and therefore we need to make a military deal with Iran because they are the Soviets in his world so we can stop the Nazis…The Nazis had a military machine, with tanks, an air force, and millions of German soldiers. This is not that…

William Eaton on June 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Tens of millions of third world invaders are what’s a threat to America, killing around 4,000 Americans a year with their drunk driving and other killings, not 800 ISIS or 8,000 IXYZ in Iraqistan.

VorDaj on June 16, 2014 at 12:01 PM

IF Morell believes ISIS is more of a threat than climate change then we are in real trouble.

jmtham156 on June 16, 2014 at 12:02 PM

ISIS in Iraq

Everyone is a useful idiot, it looks like.

Just call it Al Qaeda. Let the other side worry about splitting hairs.

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Except Al Qaeda is a useful idiots weasel word as well. It’s Islam and Muslims.

BL@KBIRD on June 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

The only interaction I want to see from our country at this point is to ‘nuke the site from orbit’, figuratively if needs be, by carpetbombing the living shit out of everything that remotely looks bipedal over there.

Not remotely interested in asking US military people to risk even another fingernail over there.

Simply lay the the are to waste – utterly.

Midas on June 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

are = area

Midas on June 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I liked Morell better when he stuck to playing guitar with RATM. He’s a downer when he starts talking national security.

Midas on June 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

If that inaction costs American lives down the road, however, his presidency will be regarded as an even more extra super mega failed endeavor than it already is.

“I mean, until this, what’s not to like?”

Akzed on June 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

5 years ago, who could have imagined a US President giving Iraq to Al Qaeda?

Today, nobody cares.

They’re coming for you, New Yorkers.

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

The buzz for Barry is preaching global warming to a bunch of college graduates!
And of course his freaking golf game!
Loser president.

woodhull on June 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM

I liked Morell better when he stuck to playing guitar with RATM. Midas on June 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

I liked Noah Rothman better when he was at a blog I never heard of.

Maybe the White House should look on the bright side. At least he didn’t caution Americans that Iraq’s “smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Noah, do you see a problem with this sentence?

Akzed on June 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Tens of millions of third world invaders are what’s a threat to America, killing around 4,000 Americans a year with their drunk driving and other killings, not 800 ISIS or 8,000 IXYZ in Iraqistan.

VorDaj on June 16, 2014 at 12:01 PM

That’s only one threat, albeit a large one. We are also involved in a very real war that our government refuses to acknowledge on multiple fronts. There is also the threat from Russia and China challenging our national interests. They have no doubts about their path either. We are actually beset from all sides by lots of threats. Our present government is not capable of dealing with any, much less all of them. Unfortunately our military although capable of dealing with them don’t have the leadership (IMHO) of being an effective deterrent. Thanks, in large part to Obama. Our allies are shying away from us because of his crappy policies and lack of leadership. We are pretty much alone on the world stage these days. Much worse than the Carter years and he’s got three years to go.

Oldnuke on June 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM

If America were smart it would watch the Islamic championship jihad from the side lines and when it is over, severely burn the winners fingers. But too many important Americans have very real monetary ties and partnerships with the trusted folks sitting on oil. Can’t do much that is sensible when you are compromised like that. So.

BL@KBIRD on June 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Didn’t they make a movie about this guy “The Island of DR. Morell’? In that flick they changed animals into humans. Maybe that would work with al qaeda.

jmtham156 on June 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM

By what convoluted chain of reasoning is partnering with a state that refers to the US as the Great Satan, and prays for and works diligently toward our destruction, a good idea?
The US will be lucky to remain a third world country by the time the reign of the current cabal of cowards, political hacks, nitwits, islamic caliphate sympathizers, and American apologists expires.
The Carter administration looks genuinely competent when compared to the current herd of administration lackies.
The current situation in Iraq hangs squarely on Obamas shoulders, and the ramifications of the Iraqi regime falling to ISIS will extend globally. While this mess could have been prevented with a residual American force remaining in Iraq, at this point, the only American troops that should be sent to Iraq would be those drafted from Obamas foreign policy “professionals”, up to and including John “I was in Vietnam” Kerry.

bobthm3 on June 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM

William Eaton on June 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Chicken Little, Graham, Morell and Victor Davis Hanson! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

VorDaj on June 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Sterling Archer hardest hit.

The Schaef on June 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM

um

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Smart power.

Ricard on June 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM

It is way past time to unleash A Speech, followed by wave upon wave of hashtags.

MTF on June 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM

ISIS…. anyone watch Archer?

Anyway, This is how I believe WW3 will start. Russia, Iran, North Korea, China , Cuba and Venezuela, along with the Drug Cartels in Mexico will eventually begin to realize that they all have the same goal in mind….to remove America as the stumbling block to all of their plans. Russia will wait until the winter to begin in earnest its takeover of most of the Eastern European countries (by simply shutting off the gas supplies and rolling over whatever aint frozen solid) . China along with North Korea will sail over and destroy Japan by shear naval force. With those regions in chaos that opens Russia and Iran the opportunity to send even more Naval vessels to port in Cuba, eventually shutting off Americas ability to import oil and a lot of other products that are received in our Gulf ports. All the while the drug cartels will continue to smuggle Jihadist into America for the sneak attack that will cripple our way of life. I would say that maybe the English could assist (as they so valiantly held off the Nazi attacks in WW2, well at least endured and continued to fight back) but to be honest with its ever increasing numbers of Muslim believers I’m not sure they would be in a position to fight internal and external forces. When this happens, there will be no ‘sleeping giants’ to awake and defend us.
I hope that I am wrong, that there is some flaw in my thinking that makes all of the above just ramblings of a mad man…. But until/unless that flaw is pointed out I’ll continue to cling to my God, guns and gold.

Von Kleist on June 16, 2014 at 12:44 PM

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

What kind of moron would suggest that the president gets his news from the newspapers.

Bigbullets on June 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I hope you were being sarcastic

By the way, it was usually his press secretary saying he found out on the news. But Barack himself, in interviews, has said “I found out the same way you did, in the morning papers.” He uses it to make us think he didn’t order the criminal activity. It was going on entirely behind his back.

PastorJon on June 16, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Sorry I missed your post ….
The Schaef on June 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM ….

Von Kleist on June 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Didn’t they make a movie about this guy “The Island of DR. Morell’? In that flick they changed animals into humans. Maybe that would work with al qaeda.

jmtham156 on June 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM

No, but he grows a mighty fine mushroom.

RickB on June 16, 2014 at 1:07 PM

This grave assertion was met with a prolonged pause from the CBS hosts. The use of those terms to describe the situation in Iraq from a former American spy chief is not a minor development. In that moment, Morell limited Obama’s freedom of action.

Don’t underestimate Obama’s ability to ignore obvious threats. After all, this is the guy still trying to work out a deal with Iran. We’ve gone from refusing to have diplomatic relations with Iran to begging them for help in Iraq.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 16, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Am I the only one around here that can’t take ISIS seriously? Every time I hear or read the name all I can think of is Sterling Archer whispering “danger zone” to Lana.

tommytom02 on June 16, 2014 at 1:18 PM

News flash, Noah…Barky’s presidency is already regarded as a failed endeavor.

bimmcorp on June 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Beat me to it! I am reading another account of the holocaust. It is surreal to see this happening again. But this time, America’s hands are dirty. Our leaders have been losers.

jazzuscounty on June 16, 2014 at 1:42 PM

After Nero how many years did it take Rome to fall? I need to make plans.

steveracer on June 16, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I watched a new program on NatGeo last night called Combat Rescue about the choppers, and medics who go to fire bases to pick up our wounded and bring them to a hospital at Bagram. They also look for insurgents who have killed and maimed our troops. One guy they looked for for 6 months ended up in the reintegration program set up by the Afghans to bring those who renounce the Taliban ways and want to become upstanding citizens again. This one bad guy went through that program after sitting in a room with our soldiers with a smile on his face and they had to sit there and know that they couldn’t touch him. He ended up rejoining his old ways and ended up no longer being a problem. It’s ROE’s like this that contribute to our guys being maimed and killed. Why are we fighting a war like this?

Kissmygrits on June 16, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Emperor Zero and the girls within his inner circle cannot run from this statement.

FireBlogger on June 16, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Obama in the White House is a REAL Threat to the existence United States.

Nat George on June 16, 2014 at 2:22 PM

I hope you were being sarcastic

By the way, it was usually his press secretary saying he found out on the news. But Barack himself, in interviews, has said “I found out the same way you did, in the morning papers.” He uses it to make us think he didn’t order the criminal activity. It was going on entirely behind his back.

PastorJon on June 16, 2014 at 12:46 PM

That’s absurd. No president would ever say that.

Must have been a Sat Night Live sketch purporting to be the real president.

Bigbullets on June 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM