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October 02, 2014

Former CIA Director/Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: I Warned Obama That Leaving Iraq Early Would Result in Chaos and ISIS

Well he wasn't that specific about ISIS, but did warn that Iraq could/would become a new haven for terrorists intent on attacking America.

He has a new memoir coming out called Worthy Fights: My Effort to Inoculate Hillary Clinton Against the Contagion Obama's Incompetency.

Okay that's not the subtitle, but the Free Beacon does note that Panetta is a staunch Hillarista and this book may be an attempt to distance Team Clinton from Team Midas Touch.

"The White House was so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw rather than lock in arrangements that would preserve our influence and interests," Panetta wrote.

...

My fear, as I voiced to the President and others, was that if the country split apart or slid back into the violence that we’d seen in the years immediately following the U.S. invasion, it could become a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S. Iraq's stability was not only in Iraq’s interest but also in ours. I privately and publicly advocated for a residual force that could provide training and security for Iraq's military.

To my frustration, the White House coordinated the negotiations but never really led them. Officials there seemed content to endorse an agreement if State and Defense could reach one, but without the President’s active advocacy, al-Maliki was allowed to slip away.

Ed Morrissey comments:

Panetta's memoir sets this record straight once and for all. Obama might have tolerated a SOFA if it was handed to him on a silver platter ([making his 2012 debate declaration that he would not countenance a SOFA with Iraq a lie], but wasn’t going to lift a finger to get it ([making his ISIS Crisis spin that he really fought for a SOFA a lie as well.])

The worst president in American history.

Update: Bush won't "second-guess" Obama, but will say that he should have left a residual force behind.



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posted by Ace at 02:17 PM

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