First Clapper and then Kerry.
Kerry confirmed new testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who told Congress last week that al Qaedas affiliates in Syria “have aspirations for attacks on the homeland.”
“Kerry confirmed that,” said Graham, “The first thing [Kerry] said [to the lawmakers] is, ‘The al Qaeda threat is real. It is getting out of hand.’”
The JayVee line used by Obama evolved as a CYA measure to deal with the collapse of his narrative that Al Qaeda was on the path to defeat freeing him up to release the last Gitmo terrorists and jettison the last War on Terror measures.
Al Qaeda JayVee was supposed to be a metaphor that would fundamentally distinguish between the “core” Al Qaeda and its affiliates.
This distinction was always debatable. Al Qaeda in Iraq had proven to be nastier and deadlier than Bin Laden’s people before Obama was even in the Senate.
The Jay Vees in Iraq and Syria are trying to take over heavily armed countries. That’s not something the Taliban have a shot at doing. Let alone Al Qaeda.
Obama’s fallback distinction was the claim that the affiliates were no threat to the United States. That’s a claim that Rand Paul has also tried to make when he ridiculed the idea that Al Qaeda in Mali might be a threat during his drone rant in the Senate.
That distinction too doesn’t hold up. If they didn’t share Al Qaeda’s global worldview, they wouldn’t be Al Qaeda and even the most parochial Islamist groups tend to think globally to some extent even if it’s only seeing themselves as part of a regional and global wave and coordinating to some degree with international groups.
Bin Laden attacked the United States to destabilize Saudi Arabia and rally support for a local war. He was a “JayVee” by Obama’s silly tag. Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s current leader, came out of an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood splinter group that wanted to do the same thing to Egypt.
The idea that Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has killed quite a few American soldiers and may have been present in Benghazi, has no ambitions on the homeland came apart when the Iraqis caught them with nerve gas plotting attacks on Europe and the US. That news hasn’t been widely reported for the same reason that stories inconvenient to Obama Inc. get buried.
Now Clapper and Kerry are dissenting from the JayVee line because not only doesn’t it hold up now, it never held up.