The Obama Administration’s Guerrilla War

Erick Erickson,

In the modern era, it is difficult to come up with an administration that has spent as much energy trying to sabotage its successor in office. Obama administration officials have worked tirelessly to embed themselves into media outlets as supposedly objective voices.

After President Donald Trump oversaw the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and as missiles fell from the night sky into Iraq from Iran, those voices took to the airwaves to push the Obama line against Trump. In the American media, with help from former Obama staffers, Trump was the bad guy and Iran was the good guy. Iran deescalated tensions. Trump made things worse.

On CNN, Jim Sciutto of the Obama administration sat as an objective news anchor. CNN also now has Valerie Jarrett’s daughter, Laura, in an anchor chair, too. They tossed a co-anchor for their early morning news show to make room for the daughter of one of Barack Obama’s most ardent defenders. But we are supposed to pretend there is no bias.

They have been joined by a bevy of other Obama surrogates who now pretend to be objective analysts. Watching James Clapper, also of the Obama administration, pretend to be an unbiased national security analyst for CNN makes me long for the days of “Baghdad Bob,” Saddam Hussein’s spokesman who claimed the Americans had been defeated as American tanks rolled into Baghdad.

Newsweek reported last week that, “James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, has urged Americans to be skeptical of President Donald Trump’s justification for the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.” Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that CIA Director Gina Haspel, whose nomination Clapper supported, “had advised Mr. Trump that the threat the Iranian general presented was greater than the threat of Iran’s response if he was killed, according to current and former American officials. Indeed, Haspel had predicted the most likely response would be a missile strike from Iran to bases where American troops were deployed, the very situation that appeared to be playing out on Tuesday afternoon.”

Who do we believe? The CIA director or the people ideologically dedicated to protecting Obama’s precious Iran deal? When watching the Obama team — whether they are anchoring CNN coverage or mouthing off on MSNBC — it is striking just how invested they are in denying reality.

After Iran launched its functionally impotent attack against American positions in Iraq, Trump rightly pointed out the Obama administration helped Iran launch those missiles. The pushback from media fact checkers and Obama surrogates was fast and furious — and also more dedicated to protecting Obama than the truth.

The truth is that the United States did not give Iran money from American taxpayers. We gave them billions of dollars worth of their own money. After the Iranian revolutionaries overthrew the Shah, global powers froze Iran’s bank accounts. But Obama decided, I suspect, that Israel and Saudi Arabia were getting too big for their britches. Instead of aiming for peace in the Middle East, he decided he would prop up Iran.

In 2015, in defense of the deal, Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry told CNBC some of Iran’s money would go to terrorist groups. “I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists … You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented,” Kerry said. Soleimani and the Iranians used the money Obama sent them to fund terrorists, militias, missiles and improvised explosive devices used to kill American soldiers.

Obama officials now guard what news you can and cannot hear. They anchor news desks and serve as purportedly objective analysts. When the Obama loyalist as news anchor asks the Obama loyalist as news analyst what happened, we can be sure they will blame Trump and protect Obama’s legacy. A media that continues to lecture Trump voters about truth increasingly does not know what truth is.