Chris Wallace Grills CIA Director John Brennan on ISIS & Iran … “Didn’t You Give the American People and the President Give the American People a False Sense of Confidence Back in 2012 about Our Fight Against Islamic Terrorists at a Time”
Chris Wallace asks, Director, can we really say ISIS is losing?
Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace interviewed CIA Director John Brennan and asked some very direct questions when it came to the treats from both Iran and ISIS. Wallace asked why the Obama administration refuses to call or enemy for what they are, “Islamic extremists” and why President Obama and John Brennan have rejected identifying them for what they are. Brennan replied that ISIS was simply “a corruption of the Islamic faith.” REALLY? Director Brennen might want to read the Koran. It is not a corruption of the Islam, it is an interpretation that many agree with.
Brennan said the vast majority of Muslims reject ISIS’ actions. Wallace then directly confronted Brennan over why he and the president won’t openly talk about “Islamic extremism.” He asked why the administration is “ignoring” confronting them like that.
Brennan simply insisted that “it is a corruption of the Islamic faith.”
Sadly, the CIA director sounded more like a shill for Barack Obama than truly understanding and caring about the safety and protection of the United States. There were far too many references to touting Barack Obama and John Kerry during this interview as compared to folks like formal CIA director General David Petraeus and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who are persona non grata with the Obama administration.
WALLACE: Do you really think that the U.S. and Iran share interests?
BRENNAN: I think what’s Daesh, ISIL has been doing in the region is something that is counter to U.S. interests as well as counter to Iranian interests. And the Iranians are now engaged with their Iraqi partners to try to push back these forces of terrorism inside of Iraq.
So, Iran does have an interest in preventing further Daesh, ISIL terrorist attacks. At the same time, I think they need to be responsible as far as what they’re doing inside Iraq and not further inflaming that situation.
WALLACE: But your immediate predecessor in this job, General David Petraeus, said this week Iran is not an ally. It’s part of the problem, not part of the solution. And Benjamin Netanyahu, when he spoke to Congress, said the enemy of your enemy is not your friend, he is your enemy. [...]
WALLACE: General Lloyd Austin, the head of the U.S. Central Command, told Congress recently that ISIS is losing. But ISIS is still dug into Iraq and Syria. They now have affiliates across North Africa. They were possibly responsible for these terrible attacks this week in Tunisia and Yemen.
Director, can we really say ISIS is losing?
BRENNAN: Clearly, ISIS momentum inside of Iraq and Syria has been blunted and it has been stopped. So, they are not on the march as they were several months ago. And so, our working with the Iraqis and the Iraqis now trying to push back against it, it is having some great, I think, progress.
At the same time, this phenomenon of Daesh throughout the entire region is something that we need to work with our partners. We see what’s happening in other countries, in these franchises that are blowing up in Libya and other areas. They — they’ve claimed responsibility for attacks in Tunisia and Yemen.
This is something that clearly is not just restricted to Iraq and Syria. So, we cannot relent. We have to continue working with our partners in the region.
WALLACE: Here is what you said in 2012.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENNAN: If the decade before 9/11 was the time of al Qaeda’s rise and the decade after 9/11 was the time of its decline, then I believe this decade will be the one that sees its demise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Director Brennan, weren’t you just flat wrong about that?
BRENNAN: No. And when we look at al Qaeda and we look at what has happened to al Qaeda and particularly the core of al Qaeda that was in the area of Afghanistan and Pakistan, they have taken some really big hits.
WALLACE: But — but, respectfully, sir, when you were saying this is the decade of al Qaeda’s demise, I don’t think most people thought you meant, well, yes, but there will be an offshoot called ISIS which spreads across the Middle East.
BRENNAN: This phenomenon that Daesh represents right now is a new one. It is one that has grown up in the past two years.
WALLACE: But it’s an offshoot of al Qaeda.
BRENNAN: We’ve done a lot against al Qaeda. We’ve been able to push them back. We’ve been able to prevent their attacks.
But there are these offshoots, as you say. This is a phenomenon that we’re going to have to deal with. And I do think over the next decade, this is going to be a long, hard fight.
WALLACE: I guess what I’m asking is didn’t you give the American people — and the president give the American people a false sense of confidence back in 2012 about our fight against Islamic terrorists at a time, perhaps not so coincidentally, when the president was running for reelection?
BRENNAN: What we said was al Qaeda was on the run. We said that al Qaeda was really bloodied and it was not the same organization that it was in 9/11, as well as in the years after that.
There was no sense that I think either I or the president or others gave to the American people that terrorism was going away. But we’ve made great progress against a lot of these groups that had plans in place to carry out attacks.
WALLACE: You talked recently of the ideology — your word — that fuels ISIS.
What is that ideology?
BRENNAN: It is a very twisted, perverted interpretation of a religion that they purport to represent, but in no way do they represent. It’s an ideology of violence. That’s what it is. It is not a religious ideology.
WALLACE: Well, Islam is certainly a part of it, isn’t it?
BRENNAN: They purport to be Muslims. But as I said, the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world roundly denounce and condemn what they’re doing. And that’s why we should not give them any type of religious legitimacy.
WALLACE: This gets to your refusal and the president’s refusal to talk about Islamic extremism. (MORE)