The weekend raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named after Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker killed in Syria in 2015 while being held captive by the sadistic ISIS leader. During his Sunday morning announcement from the White House, President Trump twice invoked Mueller’s name in addition to the names of other Americans murdered under the Islamic State’s ongoing reign of terror. According to reports from some of his escaped victims, Baghdadi took Mueller as his secret bride in 2013. “We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi,” her parents said in an August 2015 interview.
Mueller was raped repeatedly by the ISIS caliph, then killed in February 2015 during a coalition strike on the compound where she was confined.
After the U.S. confirmed Mueller’s death, President Obama issued a statement. “ISIL is a hateful and abhorrent terrorist group whose actions stand in stark contrast to the spirit of people like Kayla. No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla’s captivity and death.”
Obama, however, did not bring those terrorists to justice; nearly five years later, it was Donald Trump who made good on that promise.
Mueller’s parents thanked the president for finally taking out their daughter’s tormentor.
“I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been,” Marsha Mueller, Kayla’s mother, told the Arizona Republic on Sunday. The former president, who famously referred to the al-Qaeda offshoot as a “JV team” in 2014 shortly before ISIS declared a caliphate, fumbled his response to its growing threat in the final years of his presidency. Obama admitted during the G7 meeting in June 2015 that his administration did not have a “complete strategy” to fight ISIS and that the details, including cooperation with our allies, were “not worked out.”
But in 2016, rather than successfully hunting down terrorists including Mueller’s captors, Obama and his top national security officials hunted down Trump campaign aides. Baghdadi’s death should be a reminder—an infuriating one at that—of how the Obama administration, particularly the CIA and FBI, squandered vital resources in service to a politically motivated investigation into Trump and his presidential campaign rather than focusing their efforts on the legitimate threats facing the country.
Trump alluded to that malfeasance in his press conference on Sunday. “When we use our intelligence correctly, what we can do is incredible,” Trump said while commending intelligence operatives who helped locate the ISIS madman. “When we waste our time with intelligence that hurts our country because we had poor leadership at the top, that’s not good.”
Trump, of course, was referring to former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former FBI Director James Comey, the “Praetorian Guard” that laid the trap for Team Trump in 2016. As ISIS continued its murderous rampage in the Middle East and parts of Europe that year—including the Bastille Day truck attack in France that killed 86 people and wounded hundreds more—the most powerful intelligence professionals in the United States were surveilling Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
The Situation in the Situation Room
High-level secret briefings in the White House Situation Room were not centered on potential attacks on the country but on Trump campaign volunteers allegedly in cahoots with the Kremlin to post mean memes on Facebook or release Hillary Clinton’s nonexistent emails in an attempt to “interfere in our election.” Rather than fulfilling Barack Obama’s pledge to Kayla Mueller’s family, the Obama Administration’s hierarchy, including the president, worked overtime to sabotage the Trump campaign, plant damaging stories in the news media, and plot to undermine his presidency in the event Trump won.
In the months leading up to Election Day, according to a lengthy article published in the Washington Post a few years ago, Obama’s national security chiefs met in the White House on a regular basis ostensibly to counteract Russia’s “election meddling.” The briefings, according to the Post, were so secret that the video feed from the Situation Room was cut off.
“In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy,” Post reporters and election collusion propagandists Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, and Adam Entous reported with much hyperbole in June 2017. Material sourced by Brennan was considered so sensitive that only a few people could handle the documents directly.
“To guard against leaks, subsequent meetings in the Situation Room followed the same protocols as planning sessions for the Osama bin Laden raid,” the Post reported.
Most notable are the people who attended those briefings: Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco and Vice President Joe Biden. In other words, most of Barack Obama’s inner circle.
The objective of the meetings, according to the Post, was to gin up enough proof to support Brennan’s narrative—which he quickly cobbled together using sketchy evidence after the election—that Putin was scheming to make sure Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
“Despite the intelligence the CIA had produced, other agencies were slower to endorse a conclusion that Putin was personally directing the operation and wanted to help Trump,” the Post revealed. Brennan later told Congress that his team collected intelligence about “U.S. persons” associated with the Trump campaign and passed that information to the FBI; Comey, the story goes, then opened a counterintelligence probe into four Trump campaign aides in July 2016.
At the same time, Peter Strzok, the deputy assistant director for the FBI’s counterintelligence division which is supposed to protect Americans from a variety of foreign-based threats, kept himself busy by texting his girlfriend on an hourly basis about how they could get Trump. Tens of thousands of texts between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page between late 2015 and mid-2017 show that the pair was concerned not with how to prevent terrorists from attacking America but how to prevent Donald Trump from being president. The only mention of the name “Mueller” is Special Counsel Robert Mueller, not the young American woman kidnapped and tortured by one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.
And when the nation’s top intelligence professionals had a chance to meet with the incoming president, they did not brief him on the dangers facing the new administration. (He was looking at them.) Instead, they handed the president-elect a laughable intelligence community “assessment” that claimed Putin tried to hack the election to help Trump win. Comey then warned Trump that the Russians might have a recording of Trump peeing on Muscovite prostitutes in 2013, an outlandish accusation contained in the now-discredited Steele dossier.
For more than a year, the leaders entrusted to protect the country and administer justice on behalf of Americans victimized by terrorists instead used their awesome reach and influence against a domestic political rival. They illegally leaked classified information; spied on American citizens solely based on their political activity; deceived a secret court; circulated political dirt disguised as official intelligence; withheld information from Congress; ambushed Trump advisors; and repeatedly misled the American people about an imaginary threat posed by “Russian collusion.”
That treachery did not stop after the top brass left government. Obama holdovers working within the intelligence community, such as Inspector General Michael Atkinson, continue to try to undermine the president. The House Intelligence Committee, led by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who lied to the country for three years about Russian collusion, now is pursuing impeachment rather than authentic terrorist threats.
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said over the weekend that Schiff’s committee is abdicating its national security role in lieu of its impeachment crusade. “Unfortunately the intelligence committee that I serve on hasn’t been spending a whole lot of time on these issues, we’ve been caught up in Adam Schiff’s secret impeachment inquiry,” Ratcliffe told Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. He said the committee’s last briefing on terrorism was held “well over a month ago.”
Comey, Clapper, and Brennan make outrageous accusations about Trump all with the imprimatur of their former offices. And as the partisan, insidious Robert Mueller investigation wore on for two years, every other national concern, including the war on terror, remained subordinate to that probe.
This is why the multiple inquiries underway at the Justice Department into the activities of Obama’s team in 2016 and early 2017 are so vital. The very people who have warned for nearly three years that Donald Trump poses a risk to national security are the people who actually have jeopardized our safety. Baghdadi’s delayed demise is just the latest example.