Reuters Reporter Dismantles Obama Administration Spin On ISIL

• September 30, 2014 4:35 pm


Reuters correspondent Arshad Mohammed caught State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki in a trap with a pointed line of questioning regarding the Obama administration's knowledge of and response to the rise of ISIL.

"Is the basic point you’re trying to make that you–that the administration fully grasped the threat posed by ISIL and took aggressive and effective action to confront that threat from the beginning of the year?" Mohammed asked. "Is that what you’re trying to argue?"

"Yes," Psaki said.

"If that’s the case, if your actions were so effective and so aggressive, how is it that since the beginning of the year they’ve been able to seize very large swaths of territory, by some estimates a third of Iraq and Syria?" Mohammed followed up.

Psaki repeated the administration line that U.S. "overestimated" the Iraqi army's ability to fight ISIL.

"I mean, the U.S. government trained the Iraqi forces for the better part of a decade," Mohammed said. "Was that not a failure to not understand that this armed force that the U.S. government had trained at enormous taxpayer cost was not in fact capable of defending its own territory? And wasn’t that something you missed then?"

Psaki refused to answer whether or not it was a "failure" but instead asserted that there were "lessons learned" over the past year as ISIL gained power in Iraq.