What is wrong with the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper? Is he simply out of it or does he rely on really poorly written briefings?
The Director of National Intelligence claimed the Muslim Brotherhood is largely secular - an "umbrella group" as he answered a question before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday. The organization is called the MUSLIM Brotherhood, not the secular brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood strives for Islamic rule with Sharia law in force.
There were repeated warnings of a ripple effect of the events in northern Africa by the intelligence community to the Obama administration. Some say the warnings fell on deaf ears in the administration. Clapper has been criticized as out of touch before, too. Remember back to the arrests of the group of twelve terrorists in London late last year? Clapper said he was unaware of the events during an interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News. The White House had to later admit that Clapper had not been briefed on the arrests.
Why was he not briefed?
And, then, Leon Panetta joined in the confusion. CIA Director Leon Panetta helped touch off an avalanche of erroneous expectations Thursday when he testified that there was a "strong likelihood" that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would step down by the end of the day.
Within minutes, senior aides to Panetta sought to tamp down the impact, saying he was merely referring to media reports. But by then, the comments had ricocheted around the Internet, underscoring U.S. confusion about events unfolding in Egypt, as well as the perils of publicly weighing in on such developments while serving as director of CIA.
The CIA Director relies on press accounts? Why didn't these two high ranking officials realize that the world was listening at this very fragile time in Egypt? And, if they fully understood that, why did they make such statements with the air of conviction?
What exactly is going in within our intelligence community?
Clapper's office had to scramble to get out there and do some damage control for his latest gaffe:
Jamie Smith, director of the office of public affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence later said in a statement to ABC News: “To clarify Director Clapper’s point - in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation – he is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.”
Does anyone know what is going on in the intelligence community? Do they really only have the same information as everyone else? Aren't billions of taxpayer dollars paid to run the intelligence community but we have the Director of CIA relying on press reports?
It is as though we are all down Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole.