Following the insulting trend of tagging every objection or concern raised about Obama administration policy and conduct as exclusively the province of Repubicans and conservatives to an outrageous extreme, Rebecca Kaplan at CBS News opened her Monday story about whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) might plan terrorist acts in the U.S. as follows: “Republicans are sounding the warning that the next 9/11-like terror plot could emerge from the regions of Iraq and Syria that are currently dominated by an extremist group bearing down on Baghdad.” Really, Rebecca? No one else is worried about that? Wanna bet?
Kaplan also seemed to believe that it would calm readers’ nerves if they learned that it will be “at least a year before ISIS might pose more of a serious threat to the U.S.” If that was meant to make me feel better, it didn’t work. Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Will ISIS plan a 9/11-style terror plot against the U.S.?
Republicans are sounding the warning that the next 9/11-like terror plot could emerge from the regions of Iraq and Syria that are currently dominated by an extremist group bearing down on Baghdad.
As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – which has already captured the cities of Tikrit and Mosul and is threatening to take the capital city as well – grows in strength and numbers, will it pose an immediate threat to the United States homeland as well?
Experts say the group’s increasing power and reach is concerning, though it’s not entirely clear when they might be able to threaten the U.S.
“You’ve got motivation mixed with opportunity, ideology and foreign fighters and all of that looks like a very extreme version of Afghanistan in the ’90s, plus what was happening in Iraq after the Iraq war,” said CBS News National Security Analyst Juan Zarate. “This is a cauldron of future terrorist threats to the west.”
The bigger danger, Zarate said, is that the U.S. does not yet know exactly what the group will look like once it evolves. While ISIS might not launch an attack on U.S. soil tomorrow, he said, “I think the grave threat here is that you have the seeds of a new terrorist movement emerging very aggressively.”
… There have been some indications this might be the group’s intent. Army Col. Kenneth King, who was the commanding officer of a U.S. detention camp in Iraq, told the Daily Beast recently that when current ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was released in 2009, he said, “I’ll see you guys in New York.”
But Michael Morell, the former acting CIA director and a CBS News analyst on intelligence, national security and counterterrorism issues, predicted it’s at least a year before ISIS might pose more of a serious threat to the U.S. The current major threats to the homeland still come from al Qaeda groups in Pakistan and Yemen, he said.
But, Morell added, if it looks like the U.S. influence in Iraq is increasing once again, the threat from ISIS could also rise.
So we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, eh Michael? I guess Mr. Morell, who still has much to answer for in connection with Benghazi, wants to make sure he can say, “See, I was right” if the U.S. is attacked again, no matter what the surrounding circumstances are. One can tell that his time spent as acting CIA Director was entirely during the Obama administration.
More to the point, Kaplan’s writeup framed Morell’s statement as allegedly comforting compared to those made in earlier paragraphs. We’re supposed to feel better because “it’s a least a year” before we really need to worry about ISIS. I don’t, Rebecca, and I’d love to hear why anyone else should — whether or not they’re a member of that rogue species known as “Republicans.”
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.