Debunking the Republican claim that Obama skips a lot of his daily intelligence briefings

Republican right-wingers have long been devoted to spreading the notion that the shiftless black guy in the White House hardly ever works very hard. (Typical of his kind, right?)

They’ve peddled the falsehood that he takes more vacations than his GOP predecessors and that he’s too often involved in recreation rather than minding the store.

The latest variation on this theme is the bogus claim that he often ignores input from the government’s intelligence officials.

Dana Milbank said the other day that it’s all part of the Republican strategy of “throwing the kitchen sink” at Obama.

“But the problem with throwing the kitchen sink,” Milbank added,  “is you might break a pipe — and then you’ve got a real mess.”

He cited the myth about intelligence reports as an EXAMPLE:

[T]he Republican National Committee and prominent Republicans such as Dick Cheney and John McCain threw another faulty bit of plumbing at Obama: that the president “does not attend his daily intelligence meeting” more than half the time, in contrast to George W. Bush, who “almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting.” This claim was the work of former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, who writes a weekly online column for The Washington Post.

In reality, Obama didn’t “attend” these meetings, because there were no meetings to attend: The oral briefings had been mostly replaced by daily exchanges in which Obama reads the materials and poses written questions and comments to intelligence officials. This is how it was done in the Clinton administration, before Bush decided he would prefer to read less. Bush’s results — Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and the failure to find Osama bin Laden — suggest this was not an obvious improvement.




  1. Luke Fredrickson

    Why would W need intelligence briefings? He sent our kids to fight and die based on instructions from the Almighty himself!

    “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, “George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan. And I did, and then God would tell me, “George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq .” And I did.”


  2. Briefings or not the Libyan fiasco was another intelligence failure.

  3. ” the bogus claim that he often ignores input from the government’s intelligence officials.”

    No spin Pat. Just the truth. The claim, substantiated by WH logs, is that The One has not had face-to-face PDB’s over 50% of the time. That’s it. Bush almost never missed them, in person. Clinton, you say, does like Obama does.

    Your spin isn’t necessary. Whether he reads them or not, it is clear he is not effective in protecting our interests or our citizens anywhere in the world. Not in Cairo, not in the most secure base in Afghanistan, and not in Benghazi.

    “in-person briefings afford presidents and their intelligence officers the ability to challenge assumptions, drill deeper into threat assessment, and ascertain what additional information a commander-in-chief may need to make sagacious intelligence decisions.” But with the tough campaign schedule, who has time for that, right?

    Carney said “for Mr. Obama; the iPad works just fine. His record of evaluating and acting on intelligence, I think, speaks for itself.” No doubt the survivors of U.S. Ambassador Stevens and his team appreciate how good he is at reading his iPad. Carney is right. It does speak for itself.

    I have to also include Los Angeles to the above foreign locations where we are not protected. Where, instead of standing up for the First Amendment rights of the Egyptian-born Coptic Christian who made that flattering video of Islam, tried to get him arrested for a VOP.

    Why Obama didn’t take that opportunity to teach the Xenophobic Islamists what freedom of speech and freedom of religion are all about is anyone’s guess. Two options off the top of my head are, 1) he knows they’re too stupid to understand and accept other cultures or 2) he doesn’t believe them himself. Got any other options?

  4. This may not be reflected in the WH logs, but it doesn’t matter. In his own words, here’s one thing Obama does when in the Oval Office. http://bit.ly/RiEzIB

    (When [actor Damien] Lewis sat next to the president at a state dinner last spring, he said Mr. Obama told him, “While Michelle and the two girls go play tennis on Saturday afternoons, I go in the Oval Office, pretend I’m going to work, and then I switch on ‘Homeland.’ ”)

    Don’t know about you, but this doesn’t make me feel any better about our President. He has been pretending to be President. Probably getting his foreign policy briefings from the TV.

  5. He must since he can’t tell the difference.
    “That huge image, visible in the Time Warner Cable Arena during speeches by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and retired Admiral John B. Nathman, also depicted a synchronized formation of jet aircraft that convention-goers assumed were American fighter planes.

    But the F-5 fighter planes in the photo are part of the air force of Turkey, a nation whose government is now jailing journalists and establishing Islam as a state religion.

    Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, did not respond when the The Daily Caller asked why the convention planners displayed Turkish-flown aircraft alongside Russian warships while seeking support from the American military community.”

    The Democratic party has some great thinkers, no stinkers.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/17/fighter-jets-in-democratic-conventions-military-montage-were-turkish-not-american/#ixzz26lx0wUJK

  6. “Republican right-wingers have long been devoted to spreading the notion that the shiftless black guy in the White House hardly ever works very hard. (Typical of his kind, right?)”

    Fiery rhetoric, my man! What “Republican right-winger” have you heard utter such crap?

    Do you lay awake at night thinking up crap like that? Or, do you really believe you heard it somewhere? If you heard it, tell us where and from whom?

    Are you really so anxious to spread such nonsense?

    Obama’s Hawaiian cost us nearly $4 million. Family trips had already cost us more than $10 million dollars for vacations in in Vail, Colo., Martha’s Vineyard, and Spain.

    He doesn’t seem to have a problem saying that Americans know he works hard and needs some time off now and then (16 vacations in less that 4 years). But, how many Americans have had to cut back on their own vacation in order to subsidize his?

    Yeah, I know! You’re gonna compare GWB’s vacation days to Obama’s and tell me that GWB took three times as many. But, my man, don’t forget GWB went to Texas and his already paid for accommodations, not to Europe and Martha’s Vineyard where the tax payers had to pick up his very expensive tab.

    If you didn’t rely on leftist lies and exaggerations you might make a pretty good “right winger.”

  7. Luke Fredrickson – Those words are ALLEGED to have been said by GWB. They have not been reported by anyone except BBC which has been known to lack some journalistic credibility over the past few years.

    Make sure your sources are reliable before citing them.

  8. Expodoc and Ross, a quick look at the Internet showed how many terrorist attacks took place during the Bush II administration. It’s a long list. What’s happened on Obama’s watch is a short list.

    Sept. 11, New York City, Arlington, Va., and Shanksville, Pa.: hijackers crashed 2 commercial jets into twin towers of World Trade Center; 2 more hijacked jets were crashed into the Pentagon and a field in rural Pa. Total dead and missing numbered 2,9921: 2,749 in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon, 40 in Pa., and 19 hijackers. Islamic al-Qaeda terrorist group blamed. (See September 11, 2001: Timeline of Terrorism.)

    June 14, Karachi, Pakistan: bomb explodes outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12. Linked to al-Qaeda.

    2003 1
    May 12, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: suicide bombers kill 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners. Al-Qaeda suspected.

    May 29–31, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: terrorists attack the offices of a Saudi oil company in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, take foreign oil workers hostage in a nearby residential compound, leaving 22 people dead including one American.
    June 11–19, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: terrorists kidnap and execute Paul Johnson Jr., an American, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 2 other Americans and BBC cameraman killed by gun attacks.
    Dec. 6, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: terrorists storm the U.S. consulate, killing 5 consulate employees. 4 terrorists were killed by Saudi security.

    Nov. 9, Amman, Jordan: suicide bombers hit 3 American hotels, Radisson, Grand Hyatt, and Days Inn, in Amman, Jordan, killing 57. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.

    Jan. 12, Athens, Greece: the U.S. embassy is fired on by an anti-tank missile causing damage but no injuries.
    Dec. 11, Algeria: more than 60 people are killed, including 11 United Nations staff members, when Al Qaeda terrorists detonate two car bombs near Algeria’s Constitutional Council and the United Nations offices.
    May 26, Iraq: a suicide bomber on a motorcycle kills six U.S. soldiers and wounds 18 others in Tarmiya.
    June 24, Iraq: a suicide bomber kills at least 20 people, including three U.S. Marines, at a meeting between sheiks and Americans in Karmah, a town west of Baghdad.
    June 12, Afghanistan: four American servicemen are killed when a roadside bomb explodes near a U.S. military vehicle in Farah Province.
    July 13, Afghanistan: nine U.S.soldiers and at least 15 NATO troops die when Taliban militants boldly attack an American base in Kunar Province, which borders Pakistan. It’s the most deadly against U.S. troops in three years.
    Aug. 18 and 19, Afghanistan: as many as 15 suicide bombers backed by about 30 militants attack a U.S. military base, Camp Salerno, in Bamiyan. Fighting between U.S. troops and members of the Taliban rages overnight. No U.S. troops are killed.
    Sept. 16, Yemen: a car bomb and a rocket strike the U.S. embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including 4 civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are arrested for the attack.
    Nov. 26, India: in a series of attacks on several of Mumbai’s landmarks and commercial hubs that are popular with Americans and other foreign tourists, including at least two five-star hotels, a hospital, a train station, and a cinema. About 300 people are wounded and nearly 190 people die, including at least 5 Americans.

    Read more: Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. or Against Americans — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001454.html#ixzz26peCB176

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