If you summoned your cast-iron stomach and watched President Obama’s Oval Office address last night, you likely raised (or rolled) your eyes many times during his brief recitation (recitation seems the most appropriate description of his delivery).
Authentic, heartfelt leadership was completely absent, and there were many half-truths (e.g., we’re striking ISIS — but he failed to mention the 45-minute warning we’re giving them, which surely weakens this tactic) and verbal acrobatics (e.g., rather than calling it “radical Islam” — “shooters who had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam”).
But one claim, in particular, stands out as a bold-faced lie. As the president tried to assure that American people how seriously he takes the threat of terrorism, he cited the intelligence briefings he’s attended “each and every morning” during his seven years as president. Unfortunately for the president — and our nation — the records paint a completely different picture.
As Breitbart reports:
President Barack Obama tried to reassure the American people from the Oval Office on Sunday evening that he takes the threat of terrorism seriously: “For seven years, I’ve confronted this evolving threat each [and every] morning in my intelligence briefing.” However, as the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) has shown, Obama skips more than half of his daily intelligence briefings.The data comes from the White House itself, which has admitted Obama’s absence but has said he reads the material on his iPad. What, the president is too busy elsewhere to show up to the briefings but reads the material on his iPad? From the golf course or perhaps one of his Hollywood fundraising events?
In 2012, just before the Benghazi attacks, the GAI released a study covering Obama’s Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) attendance from January 2009 through mid-June 2012. It found that “During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times–or 43.8 percent of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent–falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting.”
I guess Obama can blame Bush for setting the bar high on actually showing up for these briefings.
In 2014, the GAI released another study, showing Obama’s pattern of absenteeism had continued. As Breitbart News’ Wynton Hall reported:
A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.
The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.
Some PDB’s contained information about Islamic State.
When asked about the data, then-National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said it did not matter that Obama skipped briefings. The Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen reported: “Vietor did not dispute the numbers, but said the fact that the president, during a time of war, does not attend his daily intelligence meeting on a daily basis is ‘not particularly interesting or useful.’”
You just have to ask, what could POSSIBLY be more important than the president attending his daily intelligence briefings??? Anyone?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]