By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media
It’s amazing how CNN’s talking heads can devote so much time to the “scandal” of Donald J. Trump’s sons participating in interviews of cabinet picks, but can’t connect the dots between the bloody tragedy in Aleppo and President Barack Obama’s pro-terrorist policy in the Middle East.
During the day on Wednesday, we saw CNN repeatedly air gruesome film footage of the massacre of civilians in Aleppo by the Russians and their Iranian and Syrian puppets. Not once did any CNN talking head bother to point out that Obama’s policy of intervention, through support of terrorist groups in Syria who are losing the war, may have had a role in the unfolding massacre.
In a scandal that makes the alleged Russian hacking of Democratic emails appear minor by comparison, a Democratic member of the U.S. House has taken to the House floor to say that Obama’s CIA has been aiding the Islamic terrorist groups ISIS and al-Qaeda for the purpose of overthrowing the Syrian regime.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced legislation to curb the Obama administration’s pro-terrorist policy, calling it the Stop Arming Terrorists bill (H.R. 6405).
A member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and continues her service as a major in the Army National Guard.
In a December 8 press release, Gabbard said, “Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”
By U.S. government she means the Obama administration.
Specifically, she named the CIA, saying, “The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”
Gabbard made similar remarks on the House floor.
Since Gabbard is a Democrat, these seem to be extraordinary allegations that cannot be dismissed as partisan sniping from Obama’s political enemies. Can it be that Obama is arming terrorists at a time when the U.S. is supposed to be fighting them? This seems like insanity, even treason.
You may recall that Obama once threatened the Syrian regime not to cross a “red line” in its offensive military operations. The “red line” today is covered with the blood of people in Aleppo because Obama never enforced it. All he did was support terrorist and other groups opposed to the regime. They are losing the war.
Is it actually true that Obama has been arming terrorists through the CIA? It’s interesting to point out that Gabbard quoted news accounts from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
But these papers did not make this into even a minor scandal. The media have now moved on to the CIA’s allegations against Trump and the Russians. It’s a convenient change of subject that is designed to shield Obama’s legacy from the evidence of how he contributed to the conflict, and did nothing to stop a massacre, once his side began to lose.
On Jake Tapper’s CNN show on December 8, the issue got some attention, as Tapper seemed caught off-guard and was unfamiliar with what Obama’s CIA has been doing in the region. This is the exchange with Gabbard that took place:
Tapper: You say [loopholes] have allowed American taxpayer dollars to fund terror groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria. Are you—are you suggesting that the U.S. government is funding these terrorist groups?
Gabbard: I’m not only suggesting it. This is—this is the reality that we’re living in.
Tapper: Not directly, though.
Gabbard: Most Americans—you know, if you were—I were to go and provide money, weapons, or support or whatever to a group like Al Qaeda or ISIS, you would immediately be thrown in jail. However, the U.S. government has been providing money, weapons, intel assistance and other types of support through the CIA, directly to these groups that are working with and are affiliated with Al Qaeda and ISIS.
Tapper: So, you’re saying the CIA is giving money to groups in Syria, and those groups are working with Al-Nusra and ISIS.
Gabbard: There are—there have been numerous reports from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets who have declared that these rebel groups have formed these battlefield alliances with Al Qaeda…essentially [it] is Al Qaeda groups [that] are in charge of every single rebel group on the ground fighting in Syria to overthrow the Syrian government.
Tapper: And the U.S. government says they vet the groups that they give money to very, very closely. And that you’re wrong, there are not alliances between groups that the American taxpayers fund and these other groups. Obviously, they all are fighting Assad.
Gabbard: I beg to differ. Evidence has shown time and time again that that is not the case, that we are both directly and indirectly supporting these groups who are allied with or partnered with Al Qaeda and ISIS, in working to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad. And we’ve also been providing that support through countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to do that.
Obama’s alleged support for terrorism does not get the kind of attention that the media, led by The Washington Post and New York Times, lavish on anonymous charges from unnamed intelligence officials regarding Russia supposedly helping Trump during the 2016 campaign.
Obama’s CIA director John Brennan has said in the past that he will not sanction the waterboarding of terrorists to get information about their plans. “I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,” Brennan said. By institution, he means the CIA.
No wonder he won’t use controversial interrogation tactics on terrorists to prevent terrorist attacks. According to Gabbard, his CIA is arming the same terrorists for the specific purpose of carrying out terrorist attacks.
Perhaps the President-elect talked about this subject with Gabbard when she visited him at Trump Tower. Perhaps Trump wants to know what the CIA has been doing.
It appears that Rep. Gabbard is an independent and dissident voice in the Democratic Party who is willing to blow the whistle on a Democratic President whose pro-terrorist policies are resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands.
Let’s face it: the media don’t care about Obama arming terrorists because he’s Obama and has to be allowed to get away with policies that would result in another president of another political party being impeached.
CNN would rather talk about Donald J. Trump, Jr. sitting in a meeting to discuss cabinet picks.
Never mind that the Obama policy, designed to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, was an embarrassing failure, and that thousands of innocent civilians are paying the price in blood.
Our media will move on so that Obama’s benevolent legacy can be preserved.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.