Sharyl Attkisson: Obama Will Not Read Intelligence on U.S.-Recognized Terrorist Groups

November 19th, 2015 10:48 AM

Several times in the past, we've heard President Barack Obama, and occasionally his press secretary, tell America that the nation's commander-in-chief learned about certain events the same way many of the rest of us did: by seeing them on TV or reading newspaper accounts. A Republican or conservative president hauling out this excuse even once would face endless outrage and ridicule, respectively, from the news and entertainment divisions of the establishment press's networks.

Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who is now an independent investiagative journalist, has revealed one reason why Obama's level of claimed ignorance has been so high. It's because he won't look at information he doesn't like, or which doesn't conform to his preconceived notions — even in very serious matters relating to national security. It seems highly unlikely that Attkisson is the only reporter in the nation who has learned this.

Attkisson, on Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg Show (HT Breitbart), reported that she has been told that Obama refuses to read information about recognized terorrist groups he apparently believes they shouldn't be seen as such:

Transcript, beginning at the 0:26 mark (bolds are mine):

SHARYL ATTKISSON: ... I have talked to people who have worked in the Obama administration who firmly believe he has made up his mind, uh — I would say closed his mind, they say — to their intelligence that they’ve tried to bring him about various groups that he does not consider terrorists, even if they are on the U.S. list of designated terrorists.

He has his own ideas, and there are those who’ve known him a long time who say this dates back to law school. He does not necessarily — you may think this is a good trait you may think this is a bad trait — he does not necessarily listen to the people with whom he disagrees. He seems to dig in. That would be, I would suppose he would say because he thinks he’s right. He is facing formidable opposition on this particular point.

STEVE MALZBERG: So when he stands there and says, as he always does — no matter what the issue, you may notice this, I'm sure as a, as a reporter you may notice this, like I do — no matter what the issue, no matter what the topic, no matter what the press conference, if it's a controversial thing where he's getting pushback on this from anywhere, he'll say, "I'm not the only one who believes this. Everybody believes this." That's a weakness, I think.

But you're telling me that you've talked to people in his inner circle, or in the administration, that are telling you that even though there are groups that might be on our terror list, that are classified as terrorist groups, Obama, in his mind, doesn't consider them to be terrorists. Because what, because they have a gripe?

ATTIKSSON: I don’t know the reason for it. I’ve only been told by those who have allegedly attempted to present him, or have been in the circle that has attempted to present him, with certain intelligence that they said he doesn’t want it. He said he doesn’t want it or he won’t read it, in some instances.

It's one thing to listen to your advisers and overrule them. It's quite another to refuse to listen to them or read their work product because you know that they disagree with you or are presenting information you'd rather not know.

Attkisson is being charitable to a fault to entertain the possiblity that Obama's posture might conceivably be "a good trait." The only reason that could possibly be the case is that you've deliberately surrounded yourself with people you either don't trust or who are complete ignoramuses — and such a situation would also damningly reflect on the guy in charge, because, after all, he's the one who chose an inner circle of lackeys.

It's not unreasonable to believe that there are plenty of reporters on the intelligence beat who know that what Attkisson is saying is true — and won't dare corroborate it because it might jeopardize their precious "access."

Cross-posted at