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Former Intel Expert on Obama's Missed Briefings

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Susan in Virginia, a location she doesn't wish known.  Great to have you on Open Line Friday.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH:  You bet.

CALLER:  Well, I used to work in the intelligence business, and I understand what goes into the President's Daily Briefing and why briefers really need to be there, except in exceptional circumstances.

RUSH:  Let me set this up.

CALLER:  Okay.

RUSH:  You're obviously reacting to news items from previous days.  What she's calling about -- and by the way, I'm gonna have to take a break here Susan.  Can you hang on through the break?

CALLER:  Sure.

RUSH:  Good.  What she's calling about here is we learned that Obama has not had an actual intelligence briefing since September the 5th, and that he does not attend half of them overall.  He hasn't had a live brief since September the 5th.  The White House's answer to this is saying (summarized), "Well, he doesn't need to be briefed because he reads the Daily Brief every day, and he is brilliant." The White House said this yesterday. "Barack Obama is the most sophisticated consumer of intelligence this nation has."

So what we're getting here is, Obama doesn't have time. He's too busy. There are other priorities -- i.e. reelection, the campaign, Jay-Z fundraisers, Anna Wintour fundraisers, Sarah Jessica Parker fund-raisers.  (Sarah, eat something, will you?)  Them and all these other celebrities. George Clooney.  No, she looks like she needs to eat.  It's bones.  It's bones. I keep thinking that the knee is gonna pop through the skin.  I have compassion here.  Anyway, what's happening is that Obama is just not taking the time. 

He doesn't care.  He's got other priorities: Reelection, campaign swings, fundraising.  So the White House has concocted this line: "Well, he doesn't have attend the briefing! He reads them all, and there's no greater consumer of intel than Barack Obama.  He doesn't have to go to these briefings."  Bush did it every day, first thing.  So did Jimmy Carter, actually. That's what Zbigniew Brzezinski did. At 7:15-7:30 every morning, the first meeting Carter had was Zbig. 

That's because Zbig was coming in with orders from David Rockefeller.  Well, it's what  was going on.  Anyway, so what we have here now is Susan, who says that she worked at intel, and she's gonna make the point... I don't know what she's gonna say, but she's gonna make the point that you can't get all the intel simply by reading, particularly during moments of crisis.  She will explain, I'm pretty confident, when we get back.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  And now back we go to Susan in Virginia.  Now that I've explained to people what you're calling about, launch.  It's all yours.

CALLER:  Okay.  The President's Daily Brief is crafted specifically for the president.  It's the highest-level intelligence of the most burning issues of that particular day.  So, sure, he could read it on his own.  However, it does not normally contain a lot of detail.  It's sort of almost like a tweet.  It's very brief and to the point.

RUSH:  How do you ask questions of a piece of paper?

CALLER:  Good question.

RUSH:  You don't.

CALLER:  You can't.  But any other president other than Obama, apparently, would want the CIA's top analyst there so that they can ask for more information.  I'm just guessing that if warnings about the attacks in Egypt and Libya were in the PDB, the President's Daily Brief --

RUSH:  Yeah, I've seen two things about that.  I've seen one story that said that we didn't get anything, and the other that says we did know four days early.

CALLER:  Right.  If we had any warning of it, even if were a bit vague, it would have been in the PDB because it was a direct threat against US interests overseas.  So what that bit would have said in the PDB is probably something along the lines of, "There's a high risk of violence against US installations overseas, particularly in the Middle East, on and around September 11th."  Now, any other president would have said, "Well, how do we know this?"  And the briefers would have said, "Well, we got it from Egyptian intelligence," or "We got it from a human source" or whatever the source was.

RUSH:  Why are these details not in the brief?

CALLER:  Because the president's usually pretty busy, and most high-level consumers of intelligence are just going to skim through it and ask for details on the most pressing items.

RUSH:  I see.  So it's designed for the details to be provided in person?

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  This is an outline -- or, like you said, a tweet.

CALLER:  It's like a tweet, although (garbled).

RUSH:  So, now, the average person, Susan, when hearing you describe this would then ask, "Well, why doesn't Obama want to be personally briefed?"  What's the answer to that?

CALLER:  Well, from what I read and have heard, he doesn't need to.  He already knows it all. He's smarter than everybody else, so why bother with briefs?

RUSH:  Right.  So it's not that he doesn't care.  It's that he already knows it. 

CALLER:  Right.

RUSH:  In his mind, there's nothing anybody can tell him.

CALLER:  Exactly.

RUSH:  'Cause he already knows it.

CALLER:  Exactly.  Now, from what I've heard -- I was never on a PDB briefing team, but -- it's the top level people.  They go in; if there are no questions, then, you know, they head back to the CIA for the day to continue their work.

RUSH:  Right.

CALLER:  If there are questions, the analyst who wrote that piece is notified immediately, and they scramble to try to provide more details that perhaps the briefers didn't know.  They get tasked with that. It's time sensitive. The president is your top consumer, and I just imagine what the morale must be like among the analysts at the CIA hearing that this man, this president, doesn't even bother to be briefed.

RUSH:  I was gonna ask you that. I was gonna ask you about that.  Okay, he misses half of them and says, "Well, I don't need to listen to you. I'm the most sophisticated consumer of intelligence on the planet!"  What the hell does that mean, anyway?  What is a "sophisticated consumer of intelligence"?

CALLER:  Barack Obama. (giggles)

RUSH:  Yeah.  It's a good point, though.  The briefer's probably over there saying, "What are we doing this for?"

CALLER:  Yes.  What is the point?  41 and 43, both Presidents Bush, were briefed six days a week if not seven -- if there was something going on -- no matter where they were around the world.  George Bush, George H. W. Bush, was the director of the CIA.

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  And he didn't think it was below him to have to sit and listen to briefers.  He wanted that.  He needed it.

RUSH:  See, this is another thing. I can't imagine being president and not going to these briefings. To me, this is among the stuff I will want to know first thing every morning.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm.  Absolutely.

RUSH:  And also, I assume, by the way, I've always trusted that my leaders are up to speed on this stuff 'cause it's not things that we, the general public, can ever know. So I've always trusted and always had faith that the president and the intelligence team are always doing their best to get the best intelligence, and the president's informed and knows what's going on. 

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  There has always been that implied trust.

CALLER:  Well, even in cases... I was at The Agency for a time during Clinton, and he wasn't quite as interested in intelligence, you could say, as either of the Bushes were. But you still had the feeling that you needed to deliver this intelligence to him.  He would pay attention to it.  You might not agree with how he reacted to it, but he wasn't going to just completely dismiss the knowledge, the body of knowledge coming out of the CIA.

RUSH:  Right. We know he did.  "By the way, Mr. President, the Sudanese are willing to turn over Osama Bin Laden if, blah, blah, blah."

CALLER: That's true.

RUSH: Of course that might have been a State Department function, but regardless. Apparently arrogance and cockiness go hand in hand with the type of people who think they know it all and don't need to have any details explained to 'em.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm.  Absolutely.  I'm practically shaking, I'm so angry.

RUSH:  Well, I can imagine.  You're not in the field anymore?

CALLER:  No, I'm not.

RUSH:  Not even in the private sector?  Do you consult?

CALLER:  Yes, I do.

RUSH:  Yeah, I see.  Okay.

CALLER:  Yeah.  Yep.

RUSH:  Well, I'm glad that you called.  I appreciate your taking the time, Susan.

CALLER: I'm glad I could be of some help.

RUSH:  Immeasurable help.  Immeasurable.  It's always great to have authority. These are things we assume.  Honest to God, I have to tell you: I was not surprised when I found out Obama only gets to half of 'em.  My opinion of... See, I know liberals like every square inch of my glorious naked body and nothing -- I'm telling you, nothing -- surprises me as I learn it about Obama. Nothing.

END TRANSCRIPT

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