Did Obama Arm Islamic State Killers?

Exclusive: A new study shows that U.S. government weapons ended up in the hands of Islamic State jihadists, but no one in Washington seems interested in how they got there or what President Obama knew, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare

Did Barack Obama arm ISIS? The question strikes many people as absurd, if not offensive. How can anyone suggest something so awful about a nice guy like the former president? But a stunning report by an investigative group known as Conflict Armament Research (CAR) leaves us little choice but to conclude that he did.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

CAR, based in London and funded by Switzerland and the European Union, spent three years tracing the origin of some 40,000 pieces of captured ISIS arms and ammunition. Its findings, made public last week, are that much of it originated in former Warsaw Pact nations in Eastern Europe, where it was purchased by United States and Saudi Arabia and then diverted, in violation of various rules and treaties, to Islamist rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The rebels, in turn, somehow caused or allowed the equipment to be passed on to Islamic State, which is also known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL, or just the abbreviation IS.

This is damning stuff since it makes it clear that rather than fighting ISIS, the U.S. government was feeding it.

But CAR turns vague when it comes to the all-important question of precisely how the second leg of the transfer worked. Did the rebels turn the weapons over voluntarily, involuntarily, or did they somehow drop them when ISIS was in close proximity and forget to pick them up? All CAR will say is that “background information … indicates that IS [Islamic State] forces acquired the materiel through varied means, including battlefield capture and the amalgamation of disparate Syrian opposition groups.” It adds that it “cannot rule out direct supply to IS forces from the territories of Jordan and Turkey, especially given the presence of various opposition groups, with shifting allegiances, in cross-border supply locations.” But that’s it.

If so, this suggests an astonishing level of incompetence on the part of Washington. The Syrian rebel forces are an amazingly fractious lot as they merge, split, attack one another and then team up all over again. So how could the White House have imagined that it could keep weapons tossed into this mix from falling into the wrong hands? Considering how each new gun adds to the chaos, how could it possibly keep track? The answer is that it couldn’t, which is why ISIS wound up reaping the benefits.

But here’s the rub. The report implies a level of incompetence that is not just staggering, but too staggering. How could such a massive transfer occur without field operatives not having a clue as to what was going on? Was every last one of them deaf, dumb, and blind?

Not likely. What seems much more plausible is that once the CIA established “plausible deniability” for itself, all it cared about was that the arms made their way to the most effective fighting force, which in Syria happened to be Islamic State.

This is what had happened in Afghanistan three decades earlier when the lion’s share of anti-Soviet aid, some $600 million in all, went to a brutal warlord named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar was a raging bigot, a sectarian, and an anti-western xenophobe, qualities that presumably did not endear him to his CIA handlers. But as Steve Coll notes in Ghost Wars, his bestselling 2004 account of the CIA’s love affair with Islamic holy war, he “was the most efficient at killing Soviets” and that was the only thing that mattered. As one CIA officer put it, “analytically, the best fighters – the best-organized fighters – were the fundamentalists” that Hekmatyar led. Consequently, he ended up with the most money.

After all, if you’re funding a neo-medieval uprising, it makes sense to steer the money to the darkest reactionaries of them all. Something similar occurred in March 2015 when Syrian rebels launched an assault on government positions in the northern province of Idlib. The rebel coalition was under the control of Jabhat al-Nusra, as the local branch of Al Qaeda was known at the time, and what Al-Nusra needed most of all were high-tech TOW missiles with which to counter government tanks and trucks.

Arming Al Qaeda

So the Obama administration arranged for Nusra to get them. To be sure, it didn’t provide them directly. To ensure deniability, rather, it allowed Raytheon to sell some 15,000 TOWs to Saudi Arabia in late 2013 and then looked the other way when the Saudis transferred large numbers of them to pro-Nusra forces in Idlib. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Climbing into bed with Al-Qaeda.”] Al-Nusra had the toughest fighters in the area, and the offensive was sure to send the Assad regime reeling. So even though its people were compatriots with those who destroyed the World Trade Center, Obama’s White House couldn’t say no.

President Barack Obama in his weekly address on Sept. 13, 2014, vowing to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (White House Photo)

“Nusra have always demonstrated superior planning and battle management,” Yezid Sayigh, a senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, said a few weeks later. If the rebel coalition was successful as a whole, it “was entirely due to their willingness to work with Nusra, who have been the backbone in all of this.”

Scruples, assuming they existed in the first place, fell by the wayside. A senior White House official told The Washington Post that the Obama administration was “not blind to the fact that it is to some extent inevitable” that U.S. weapons would wind up in terrorist hands, but what could you do? It was all part of the game of realpolitik. A senior Washington official crowed that “the trend lines for Assad are bad and getting worse” while The New York Times happily noted that “[t]he Syrian Army has suffered a string of defeats from re-energized insurgents.” So, for the master planners in Washington, it was worth it.

Then there is ISIS, which is even more beyond the pale as most Americans are concerned thanks to its extravagant displays of barbarism and cruelty – its killing of Yazidis and enslavement of Yazidi women and girls, its mass beheadings, its fiery execution of Jordanian fighter pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, and so on.

Yet U.S. government attitudes were more ambivalent than most Americans realized. Indeed, the U.S. government was strictly neutral as long as ISIS confined itself to attacking Assad. As a senior defense official told the Wall Street Journal in early 2015: “Certainly, ISIS has been able to expand in Syria, but that’s not our main objective. I wouldn’t call Syria a safe haven for ISIL, but it is a place where it’s easier for them to organize, plan, and seek shelter than it is in Iraq.”

In other words, Syria was a safe haven because, the Journal explained, the U.S. was reluctant to interfere in any way that might “tip the balance of power toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting Islamic State and other rebels.” So the idea was to allow ISIS to have its fun as long as it didn’t bother anyone else. For the same reason, the U.S. refrained from bombing the group when, shortly after the Idlib offensive, its fighters closed in on the central Syrian city of Palmyra, 80 miles or so to the east.  This was despite the fact that the fighters would have made perfect targets while “traversing miles of open desert roads.”

As The New York Times explained: “Any airstrikes against Islamic State militants in and around Palmyra would probably benefit the force of President Bashar al-Assad. So far, United States-led airstrikes in Syria have largely focussed on areas far outside government control, to avoid the perception of aiding a leader whose ouster President Obama has called for.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How US-Backed War on Syria Helped ISIS.”]

Looting Palmyra

A Russian orchestra performing at Palmyra’s Roman theater on May 5, 2016, after Syrian troops, backed by Russian air power, reclaimed the ancient city from the Islamic State. (Image from RT’s live-streaming of the event.)

The United States thus allowed ISIS to capture one of the most archeologically important cities in the world, killing dozens of government soldiers and decapitating 83-year-old Khalid al-Asaad, the city’s retired chief of antiquities. (After looting and destroying many of the ancient treasures, ISIS militants were later driven from Palmyra by a Russian-backed offensive by troops loyal to President Assad.)


Obama’s bottom line was: ISIS is very, very bad when it attacks the U.S.-backed regime in Iraq, but less so when it wreaks havoc just over the border in Syria. In September 2016, John Kerry clarified what the administration was up to in a tape-recorded conversation at the U.N. that was later made public. Referring to Russia’s decision to intervene in Syria against ISIS, also known by the Arabic acronym Daesh, the then-Secretary of State told a small knot of pro-rebel sympathizers:


“The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger.  Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus and so forth, and that’s why Russia came in, because they didn’t want a Daesh government and they supported Assad. And we know this was growing. We were watching. We saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, however, we could probably manage, that Assad might then negotiate. Instead of negotiating, he got … Putin in to support him. So it’s truly complicated.”  (Quote starts at 26:10.)


We were watching.” Kerry said. So, by giving ISIS free rein, the administration hoped to use it as a lever with which to dislodge Assad. As in Afghanistan, the United States thought it could use jihad to advance its own imperial interests. Yet the little people – Syrian soldiers, three thousand office workers in lower Manhattan, Yazidis, the Islamic State’s beheading of Western hostages, etc. – made things “truly complicated.”


Putting this all together, a few things seem clear. One is that the Obama administration was happy to see its Saudi allies use U.S.-made weapons to arm Al Qaeda. Another is that it was not displeased to see ISIS battle Assad’s government as well. If so, how unhappy could it have been if its allies then passed along weapons to the Islamic State so it could battle Assad all the more? The administration was desperate to knock out Assad, and it needed someone to do the job before Vladimir Putin stepped in and bombed ISIS instead.

It was a modern version of Henry II’s lament, “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” The imperative was to get rid of Assad; Obama and his team had no interest in the messy details.


None of which proves that Obama armed ISIS. But unless one believes that the CIA is so monumentally inept that it could screw up a two-car funeral, it’s the only explanation that makes sense. Obama is still a congenial fellow. But he’s a classic liberal who had no desire to interfere with the imperatives of empire and whose idea of realism was therefore to leave foreign policy in the hands of neocons or liberal interventionists like Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.

If America were any kind of healthy democracy, Congress would not rest until it got to the bottom of what should be the scandal of the decade: Did the U.S. government wittingly or unwittingly arm the brutal killers of ISIS and Al Qaeda? However, since that storyline doesn’t fit with the prevailing mainstream narrative of Washington standing up for international human rights and opposing global terrorism, the troublesome question will likely neither be asked nor answered.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace). 


71 comments for “Did Obama Arm Islamic State Killers?

  1. Sukhvir
    December 25, 2017 at 13:46

    No matter who is in power in Washington, republican or democrats. The United States and Israel are main creator sand supporter of terrorism in the world, form time to time they are supported by Britain and now they are partnering with Saudis. The free press of the world has to expose this.

  2. Joe L.
    December 24, 2017 at 23:37

    The US cannot pass a “Stop Funding and Arming Terrorists Bill” as proposed by Tulsi Gabbard – that speaks volumes not just about Obama but American politicians and the US Government in general.

  3. Jamila Malluf
    December 24, 2017 at 19:36

    Listen to Rand Paul, Hilary Clinton and President Obama
    Clearly state the USA supports, funds and trains ISIS,
    The Taliban, Al Qaeda and all other Rebel Groups





  4. December 24, 2017 at 12:24

    War is not a game of chess in which each and every part is visible to both players and each part is limited in its actions. Chess is a game of skill. War is a game of guess. War can be likened to an iceberg, of which only the smallest part is visible.

    To criticize the players under those circumstances is completely unfair. Winning is accidental. So is losing.

  5. Anonymot
    December 23, 2017 at 18:11

    I appreciate the insightful, clear article, but I would like to point out one objection. The level of political incompetence is bottomless. The interests of the American public are tied to, but not an objective of the mindset we call Deep State. There is no evil individual somewhere out of sight pulling the strings. What there is is a collective way of thinking on the part of our decision-makers be they politicians, bureaucratic executives or part of the MIC and their private, rich comrades. As David Talbot points out in his brilliant book, THE DEVIL’S CHESSBOARD, the CIA is the “steel fist” of that mindset, but in truth, they merely transpose the mindset into action. The genesis of this Teutonic thinking came from the pro-Hitlerian powers in America in the Thirties, people like Henry Ford, the Dulles brothers and Prescott Bush. It was from this antiSemitic bush that all of the following bushes were grafted.

    Yet I’ve not seen any elegant tracing from these powerful people that explains how the Deep State mindset came to be powered by Israel’s interests and converted into our wars of the last quarter century. When Allen Dulles became Director in 1953 the CIA had already gotten us into the Korean disaster. When he resigned one week after the Kennedy assasination(!) he had already overthrown the Guatemalan government and the Iranian government, brought on the Bay Of Pigs abomination and the U2 spy plane mess. By the time GHW Bush became the CIA Director their translation of the mindset had seen an incredible string of failed wars, Vietnam being the worst.

    By 1991, General Clark had already seen the plans for the Middle East exposed, https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84924572&x-yt-ts=1422411861&v=f7NsXFnzJGw.

    It would seem that the Deep State minds are primarily concerned with the New American Century as it applies to conquest of the world more than domestic matters. So it was easy to seduce Bill and Hillary with the office of President, its glamour, power, and financial riches. The seduction may have taken place before or after his election. Then sonny Bush had his turn and the full vent of the mindset was converted to the string of failed wars. (Afghanistan is successful in that the production of heroin was immediately restored after our intervention. That was its purpose.) But Bush and the CIA’s handling of the mindset translation into action was so demonstrably a global horror-piece of incompetence, that the mindset chose to rope in the Democrats for a change.

    Two peace spouting, easily controllable, stars-in-their-eyes suckers were put up with the same goals that seduced Bill. Both were “minority” victims. Presentable, affable, well-educated folks. Whoever lost the nomination of the Democrats would be the follow-on President. So Obama merely followed orders for 8 years on international matters. Then in stepped 2 unexpected renegades in 2015, Sanders and Trump.

    Sanders was easily cut off at the knees via the DNC that the CIA now controlled. What they had not foreseen, a hallmark of their endless capacity for incompetence, was the possibility that Hillary didn’t play the sax and had only a 2-string fiddle – and she lied as obviously as Trump.

    Post-election, however, the short hairs of Trump were easily located and he is being more pliable in the Mindset’s direction. He’s not yet the spineless pawn that Obama was, but he’ll get there. If in doubt, ask Bibi.

  6. December 23, 2017 at 13:19

    I would like to know why this article was also published here —> http://www.jewworldorder.org/did-obama-arm-islamic-state-killers/

    • Zachary Smith
      December 23, 2017 at 15:33

      You were very helpful in providing a link to the crap site. Could it be that the neo-nazis are Google-Challenged?

  7. Jamie
    December 23, 2017 at 13:16

    We knew years ago Obama armed ISIS, where has this author been?


    The reason neoliberals hate Flynn is that he dared question Dear Leader Obama’s insane decision to arm the terrorists ISIS and Al Nusra in Syria:

    ” Michael Flynn had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition.”


  8. Tim
    December 23, 2017 at 12:47

    I shared this article with a friend, and they sent me a link to the same article on a site called jewworldorder.
    Hopefully this comment will bring it to the attention of the author, in case his article is being used without permission in a way that would harm his reputation.

  9. MEexpert
    December 23, 2017 at 10:59

    Daniel Lazare always beats around the bush. He is still unwilling to put the blame where it belongs, i,e, on Washington D.C. Obama, the peace prize winner, is as congenial as Saddam was. This information is not new. It was obvious three years ago that the US/CIA/MOSSAD were arming ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other rebel groups aided by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The US had ample opportunities of bombing the oil convoys going from Syria to Turkey but did nothing. A bunch of rebels cannot roll over American trained forces so easily as they did in Iraq, no matter how incompetent they were. The brand new, shinning Toyota Humvees were ample proof as to where they came from. I posted about it then on many sites. It frustrates me to see these authors write about these situations quoting various investigations and studies while the information has been around all the time for every one to see. Does anyone remember the food drop meant for Yazidis ending up in ISIS’ hands? Also the arm shipment that was to be dropped to Iraqi forces was dropped right in the middle of ISIS stronghold. Oops! So much for our advanced technology.

  10. Skip Edwards
    December 23, 2017 at 10:01

    Unless I missed it, what about the looting of Libya’s vast armories of weapons when H Clinton backed the overthrow of Kadafi? “We came, we saw, he died; cackle, cackle, cackle!

  11. godenich
    December 23, 2017 at 08:23

    There also remains the question that will not go away, of where the funding came from in the first place to purchase any such weapons. Speaking of government accountability in our republic, be it Democratic or Republican, a possible issue of odious taxpayer debt may not be discounted[1]:

    “A likely reason for the lack of oversight, despite the well-known nature of the department’s grave accounting problems, is the fact that weapons manufacturers and government contractors are the largest beneficiaries of DOD budgeting errors and waste. Given those weapon manufacturers alone spent nearly $30 million on donations to political campaigns last year, Congress and much of the federal government are likely unwilling to bite the hand that feeds – even if it means ignoring massive and systemic fraud.”

    “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.” ~ Article I, Section 9, Clause 7, U.S. Constitution[2]

    [1] Cooking Books: DOD, HUD Defrauded Taxpayers Of $21 Trillion From 1998 To 2015 | Mintpress | 2017
    [2] The Pentagon Black Budget: $21 Trillion Dollars Gone Missing | Center for Global Research | 2017

  12. Stefan
    December 22, 2017 at 21:08

    Excellent piece Daniel

  13. December 22, 2017 at 20:30

    More info at link below.
    Published: December 22, 2017


    It’s worth noting, moreover, that the Syrian militant groups are no ordinary bands of ragtag jihadist outfits. They have been trained and armed to the teeth by their patrons in the security agencies of Washington, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in the training camps located at Syria’s border regions with Turkey and Jordan…. (emphasis added)

    [read much more at link below]


  14. Fran Macadam
    December 22, 2017 at 18:49

    Gen. Michael Flynn went on RT and explained it to the interviewers. I think that has to be one reason the Deep State daggers came out for him.

  15. Pablo Diablo
    December 22, 2017 at 13:42

    Gotta keep The War Machine well fed. Especially after those dastardly Russians interfered in “our” elections. Haven’t they learned by now that “regime change” is way more effective at spending Trillions of dollars, killing Millions of people, and creating 96 Million refugees. Oh yeah, and committing one Trillion dollars to developing new Nuclear Weapons.

  16. Antiwar7
    December 22, 2017 at 10:46

    “Obama is still a congenial fellow.” Like Ted Bundy. Except a much worse killer.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 23, 2017 at 12:28

      The second one is great! And unfortunately, quite an accurate description.

  17. Hide BehindhBehindhere have been wake up calls but they were ignored.
    December 22, 2017 at 01:02

    I have been following US instigated atrocies for over 40 years now, well actually more if one counts my participation in one, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and I never felt more alone in my disgust of those who instigate crimes against humanity, US, than I do today.
    For a short span of years, mid 60’s to mid 70’s, there were many anti war and crooked military Great Generatoon were so f’n busy grubbing the good timFederal police, and fighters for Civil Rights, Blacks and females, and the plain truth of matter the leadership from those years became a part of system and all took the easy money and prestige granted to them by the system and they became great part of problem.
    But then the so called Great Generation were so busy pigging out during the lush times and increasing their wealth increasing programs they forgot what FASCISM really was, so sat on ass not wanting to rock the boat.
    Today they demonstrate for more freebies and direction their crotches can be used, Occupy Wall Street by yippy college kids mad because there were not enough 6 and 7 figure a year jobs in their futures.
    Telling of mass murders done by hands of little Jonny and Joany soldiers is ignored and be very damn careful if one criticizes them I. Public.
    The ravenous super nationalist and Christian Zionist are ready to launch their own Jihad on US streets.
    StI’ll like an old dog they say cannot learn new tricks, I am redoing programming courses for day the completely control internet.
    Then I am sure there will be millions of I’ll at heart as lonely as I am today.

  18. Noizpots
    December 22, 2017 at 00:43

    Several years ago it was, astoundingly, reported that Israel was giving support to Al Nusra. “I rest my case”.

  19. December 21, 2017 at 22:10

    Article of interest at link below.
    US War on ISIS Is the Biggest Lie Since the 2003 Iraq Invasion: Here’s the Proof

    By Darius Shahtahmasebi
    December 20, 2017

    • Zachary Smith
      December 22, 2017 at 00:39

      Good catch – I’d forgotten that story.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 23, 2017 at 12:26

      I just read a long article which projects the US rescue of the ISIS fighters as a piece in a larger puzzle.

      Brace for Impact: Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US are About to Invade Syria

      My impression of what he wrote is that the US is presently assembling and re-equipping the surviving terrorists in Syria into a new striking force against Assad. This force would obviously include Trump’s new buddies – ISIS. Mr. Orlov envisions a coordinated attack from all directions, including from Israel in the South to completely overwhelm Assad’s limited forces.

      I’ll admit some of the suggestions seem to be over-the-top, but so much outrageous stuff has happened of late that making a sober judgment is difficult.

      Consider the Administration suddenly deciding to arm Ukraine. If the Trumpies have gone Full Neocon, there is no telling what will happen.

      Here is the Orlov article. Read it with caution, but what if he’s correct with even half of what he is predicting?


  20. December 21, 2017 at 20:30

    Given our sordid history of training, arming and running media interference for the many “death squad democracies” we have supported over many decades in Latin America, none of this should come as any surprise to anyone. Death squads we supported and protected in Colombia were using chain saws to cut people up while alive in order to terrorize the remainder of a village which was forced to watch. In El Salvador victims of state terror were often decapitated and their heads thrown through the windows of family or friends as a message of sorts. Somehow this barbaric behavior has never seemed a worthwhile concern to U.S. officials or MSM. Perhaps because its simply the standard operating procedure of illegal amoral U.S. Counter-insurgency doctrine. The locations change, but the nature of brutal U.S. supported terrorism does not.

    • Gregory Herr
      December 23, 2017 at 00:10

      People like Abrams and Negroponte personify the line of continuity.

  21. gusto
    December 21, 2017 at 19:58

    Why are Americans so stupid? The whole frickin world knows where these guys got their weapons and training. Airdrop Obama into Syria, Clinton into Libya and the bushes into Iraq. Let the locals tear them into pieces. Cut off the Israeli terrorists aswell and let them murders fend for themselves.

  22. exiled off mainstreet
    December 21, 2017 at 19:58

    The Obama regime’s role in arming jihadi thugs they considered useful was a crime against civilization and as such was not only criminal but stupid and barbaric and eliminated any legitimacy Obama ever possessed.

  23. December 21, 2017 at 19:26

    More Info on the treachery being enacted with our tax dollars. See link below.
    May 13, 2017
    The War Gangs and War Criminals of NATO to Meet in Brussels

  24. Observer
    December 21, 2017 at 18:47

    What about all the arms Daesh got from the Irak Army? There were 30.000 irakies soldier at Mosul to face 1000 Daeh soldiers. Irakies ran away leaving all the (US) arms to Daesh. A nice way to circunvent the approval of the US Congress.

    Is it real the journalist who appears in the photo ready to be executed by Daesh? It was in all the Media, all over the world. A nice introduction to Daesh brutality, a good way to keep away international Media.

  25. j. D. D.
    December 21, 2017 at 18:32

    “Obama is still a congenial fellow, ” as in congenial mass-murderer, and war-criminal.

  26. December 21, 2017 at 18:19

    Tulsi Gabbard introduced bill HR 258 in Jan of 2017 to prohibit the US government from funding terrorists which she claimed the US had been doing for years.

    In 2015 it was widely reported and believed that The US was arming the rebels and the weapons were ending up in the hands of al Qaeda and ISIS.

    Now we know for sure. So what?

  27. Zachary Smith
    December 21, 2017 at 18:18

    Obama’s bottom line was: ISIS is very, very bad when it attacks the U.S.-backed regime in Iraq, but less so when it wreaks havoc just over the border in Syria.

    This may be true, but the author provided no evidence for the claim, and my own searches can’t justify it either. Until I can see evidence Obama wasn’t giving ISIS a free ride in Iraq, I’m going with the notion Israel directed him to keep Iraq destroyed, and ISIS was the perfect tool for doing just that.

    I’ve remarked in the past how the US under Obama made sure Iraq had no air force. How the US under Obama allowed the Iraqi armed forces to be subverted with boatloads of money from “somebody” so when ISIS turned up, those forces collapsed from lack of both Officers and supplies. An ISIS-occupied Iraq would have guaranteed there would be no land supply line from Iran to Syria and Lebanon. Precisely what Israel would have demanded.

    Trump is surely an ass beyond compare, but upon closer examination so was Obama. He was just more “refined” about it.

    If America were any kind of healthy democracy, Congress would not rest until it got to the bottom of what should be the scandal of the decade: Did the U.S. government wittingly or unwittingly arm the brutal killers of ISIS and Al Qaeda?

    But the US is NOT any kind of healthy democracy, and Congress will NOT do any kind of investigation at all about how the US aided and abetted ISIS at every juncture until shamed into pretending to be against the Head Choppers by the efficient Russians.

    That’s because the US Congress (both branches) is owned and operated by the holy shithole – AKA Israel.

    EDIT: I don’t want my grousing to give the wrong impression – this was mostly an excellent summation of the way Obama was with ISIS. :)

  28. Mark T
    December 21, 2017 at 18:09

    I’m still convinced that Ambassador Stevens was involved in the illegal transfer of weapons to ISIL factions, which was precisely why Secretary Clinton made the choice to let him die while sitting on her hands and blaming a video for the attack. The secrets were just to devastating to risk exposing.

    Europe’s problems with Muslim immigration and integration will ultimately track back to US and NATO actions Syria, Libya and beyond. It is hard to imagine how and why Democrats have rallied behind their leaders when this is the legacy that will haunt for generations to come.

    • Gregory Herr
      December 22, 2017 at 23:48

      I’ve wondered for a long time whether he was “hung out to dry”…and I’ve wondered to what extent he was “on board” with what was going on.

  29. turk 151
    December 21, 2017 at 18:02

    Yes, definitely, next question.

    The real question is whether he is someone’s employee or was he just “persuaded” to see the light after he walked into office.

  30. mike k
    December 21, 2017 at 17:47

    “Obama is still a congenial fellow.” I suppose he gives that appearance;
    that is what fooled so many people. He is and was a mass murderer. He is one of the most evil and despicable persons on this planet. This is what is so hard for people to realize – they have some sort of cartoon definition of evil, which has to be glaringly obvious to be real. In our modern culture to look good is more important than to be good. The ability of people living in the heart of the most evil empire – the USA – to not see the pervasive evil all around them, is what testifies to the power of propaganda and the self-consoling desire to not be made uncomfortable by the ugly truth.

  31. Joe Tedesky
    December 21, 2017 at 17:23

    This is another fine example of how one lie only leads to another lie, and with our U.S. Government being too cute by half it’s all that more frustrating to deal with, because of what will come next. That will be of course, that absolutely nothing will come of this finding. This London based investigation headed up by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group will certainly have a hard time cutting through all of the deniable plausibility road blocks which the CIA put in place, and with that this investigation will just be one of many investigations which finds the U.S. guilty of war crimes, but has nowhere else to go with it to allow justice to prevail. This finding by CAR will be treated just like the torture report, and the WMD debacle in Iraq. Lastly, I’m sure Obama is not worried in the least bit.

    • Gregory Herr
      December 22, 2017 at 23:35

      It’s funny sometimes what draws attention or outrage…deceitful debacles or actual war crimes.

  32. Hide BehindhBehindhere have been wake up calls but they were ignored.
    December 21, 2017 at 17:16

    The most recent expose of how US was arming Syrian opposition groups was done by a female Journalist from Brkey allowed alkans.
    An expose that cost her job, exposed how Diplomatic protected Aircraft from several nations delivered such weapons.
    Turkey, Iraq q, and Jordan allowed convoys of such ams, Turks got ISIS oil cheap, and convoys returned not empty but packing arms, including anti armor missles.
    When Libya fell US State (Hillary’s dept.) Had UAE nations remove arms and ship to Jordan and hense into Syria.
    Get real, it is through US State Dept that most of these chaos created combats are initiated, the Brookings and many “Think Tanks” research the scenarios in Partnership with VIA and military intel, whose thinkers are dual paid, US INTEL and University “Fellows” in Partnership with Private Corporate Security firms, over 1.5 million employees, that have direct connections to arms, agricultural, pharmaceutical and energy including nucleat Corporates.
    He’ll even Al Gore received funds as Professor at three Univercities as Do many such as Condi Rice and a ton of Bush Clinton era ex Fed employees.
    Then again , none of this war B’S could go unnoticed by all the NATO, who work at profits with Their own SPEC OPS as part of program, and the sales of billions of small arms ammunition, Balkan Nations and Poland greatest supplier of AK etc weapons and bullets to both Syrian and rebel groups.
    This program is ongoing I Africa by US who sell weapons to Angola, Kenya, Nigeria who then resell at profit to many small rebel groups.
    All done for such as in Nigeria where US Spec Ops got ambushed.
    All without US public knowing and once again aided and abetted by Euro/NATO/ Israel Intel and military.
    Which also meN’s secrets kept from herded Euro populations as well.
    US major economic industry is one of death and destruction, war making so corporates and political figures can make $’s.

    • mike k
      December 21, 2017 at 17:51

      Our good ole USA at work making the world safe for the super-rich.

  33. bfearn
    December 21, 2017 at 17:13

    This is nothing new. America has hired and/or suppored the worst of the worst since the very beginning. Torturers from Japan, weapons makers from Germany and assasins when necessary.
    America has overthrow more democracies and killed more innocent civilians than any other country since World War 2 . You cannot create this amount of death and destruction by being one of the good guys.
    Don’t expect things to get better with The Donald.

    • mike k
      December 21, 2017 at 17:52

      Expect the very worst from Donald and his ghouls.

      • Patrick Lucius
        December 22, 2017 at 13:38

        I disagree. I expected the worst with HRC, expect better, and getting it, with Trump.

  34. December 21, 2017 at 17:07

    Does the mask of Jihad John fit the face of any progeny of a Kenyan goat herder, or his fast and furious same-sex partner in crime?

  35. Qanni Katifa
    December 21, 2017 at 17:05

    This all started before Obama. He continued the operation. It started during the Bush era, John McCain was involved along with a Mossad agent, Simon Elliot. Pictures were obtained which were of course called disinfo, today Trump would call it “fake news”. Now it seems it was the truth.
    I recognize that Tel Aviv is the capital on the US!

  36. December 21, 2017 at 16:56

    Not only do “our leaders” support, train and finance terrorists, and use taxpayers money, they even get an “award.” How sick is that!
    November 30, 2017
    The War Criminals of the World Stage Receive an “Award”

    • mike k
      December 21, 2017 at 17:54

      Self adulation and posturing is standard Mafia behavior.

  37. Drew Hunkins
    December 21, 2017 at 16:44

    Any semi-intelligent observer who has been reading the independent press and following the honest commentators and intellectuals pretty much knew for the past few years that the Zio-militarist establishment in Washington was essentially supporting and arming the anti-Assad “rebels” who were in all actuality Takfiri/Daesh/alQeada/alNusra/ISIS sociopaths. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure that out, heck,even Larry Holmes could figure it out.

    It’s the exact playbook the Washington militarist empire builders have used for decades and decades: either outright attack or attack via proxy forces or orchestrate internal politco-economic destabilization campaigns with quislings and “NGOs” while encircling and harassing all states that 1.) run their economies to the benefit of their people and not Wall Street and the Fortune 500, and/or 2.) provide vociferous diplomatic and other aid to the oppressed Palestinians, and/or 3.) are in the sights of the paranoid and hegemonic Tel Aviv sociopaths, and/or 4.) have an independent leader who does not genuflect to Washington at every opportunity.

    • mike k
      December 21, 2017 at 17:56

      We not only support the terrorists, we are the number one terrorist force in the world. MLK had that right.

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 21, 2017 at 18:27

        Precisely mike k.

      • jo6pac
        December 21, 2017 at 18:34

        Yep, sadly very true.

  38. jgjg
    December 21, 2017 at 16:43

    It’s even worse than that.

    Videos on YouTube showing Saudi bombings in Yemen show sparklers, unmistakable radiation signatures typical of Chernobyl or Fukushima radiation shots, indicating use of neutron bombs. Someone evidently gave the Saudi’s tactical nukes without announcing it, and sad to say it’s not surprising. And they’re bombing Yemenis with it. Not since Hiroshima have we seen this. It’s not been explored who could have done this. But probably Crooked Hillary and the Clinton Foundation would be the first venues to examine. Either the US or Israel.

    What would possibly be a worse war crime than giving nukes to a hostile, feudal, repressive barbaric state like Saudi Arabia? We decry North Korea’s bombs but not a word about the Saudis. It’s a horror story of unimaginable future consequences.

    Look into this and see if it can be confirmed. I hope I’m wrong but I’m willing to bet I’m right.

    • jgjg
      December 21, 2017 at 17:02

      To verify, watch https://youtu.be/0XnEmSsGaj4, especially at 0:26, 1:11 and 1:55-1:58.

    • Patrick Lucius
      December 22, 2017 at 13:35

      This does not sound very credible…

  39. JM
    December 21, 2017 at 16:42

    Trump also thinks ISIS and related groups are very very bad and is willing to kill and maim many ten’s of thousands of civilians to ‘wipe them out’. Trump has Yemen blood on his hands as well. So what’s new?

  40. December 21, 2017 at 16:17

    There is evidence that “our leaders” are up to their dirty, treasonous necks in financing, training and supporting terrorists. We need to put them all on trial. See evidence at link below.
    October 2, 2016
    “The Evidence of the Planning of Wars against Countries by Powerful War Criminals…”

  41. Abe
    December 21, 2017 at 16:11

    “The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, has served as one of several prominent forums documenting and disseminating US foreign policy. It would host in part the architects of the so-called ‘surge’ during the nearly decade-spanning US occupation of Iraq, as well as battle plans for waging a covert war against Iran now well under way.

    “Part of this covert war against Iran involved the arming and backing of listed terrorist groups, and in particular, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) which has killed US servicemen, American civilians, as well as countless innocent Iranians over the decades. Among those signing their name to this plan found within Brookings’ ‘Which Path to Persia?’ report, was Kenneth Pollack. Now, in efforts to overthrow the government of Syria, also a stated and integral part of undermining, isolating, and destroying Iran, Pollack has revealed another element of the plan – to create a full-scale proxy military force outside of Syria, then subsequently invading and occupying Syria with it.

    “In the report titled, ‘Building a Better Syrian Opposition Army: How and Why,’ Pollack cites the so-called ‘Islamic State’ or ‘ISIS’ as the ultimate impetus for expanded US intervention. However, upon looking at Pollack’s proposal, it merely looks as if the US is using ISIS as a pretext to more overtly intervene in order to overthrow the government of Syria – not in fact neutralize ISIS. […]

    “In fact, Pollack’s ‘proposal’ appears more like an after-action report. ISIS is the ‘better Syrian opposition army’ the West has sought all along. That is probably why attempts by the US to ‘fight’ ISIS appear half-hearted and why those the US is supposedly ‘saving’ from ISIS see Western intervention as more of a threat than ISIS itself believing it is designed simply to prolong ISIS’ existence in the face of growing and increasingly more formidable indigenous opposition.

    “Any provisions to build Pollack’s ‘army’ will undoubtedly end up only bolstering ISIS and its affiliates – just as military aid policymakers like Pollack at Brookings advocated for the arming of ‘moderates’ resulted in the creation of ISIS in the first place. While the US desperately attempts to disown responsibility for ISIS’ creation and perpetuation through an unconvincing propaganda campaign, false flag terror strikes against the “homeland,” and a series of increasingly ludicrous, orchestrated strawman victories in Iraq and Syria – Damascus, Baghdad, and Tehran are leading the real fight against ISIS.

    “The US apparently plans on protecting ISIS for as long as possible under the guise of being the sole force ‘fighting it,’ while ISIS consolidates and moves on Western designated targets. In the process of ‘fighting’ ISIS, the US is managing to destroy Syrian infrastructure and defenses. The US, however, has failed in attempts to exclude Syrian, Iraqi, and Iranian forces from countering the ISIS threat and now the region is witnessing a race between ISIS’ inevitable destruction and America’s attempts to topple Damascus before ISIS vanishes from its geopolitical toolbox.”

    ISIS is America’s Dream Rebel Army
    By Tony Cartalucci

    • Abe
      December 21, 2017 at 16:55

      Kenneth Pollack was one of the prominent ‘liberal hawks’ cheerleading for the Iraq war. Now he’s a major cheerleadier for war with Syria and Iran.

      Pollack’s book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (2002), was influential in selling lies about “Iraqi WMD”. His later book, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (2005), recycled many of the same lies, this time directed at Iran.

      Pollack began his career as an Iran-Iraq military analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. From 1999 to 2001, he was director for Persian Gulf Affairs for president Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. He also was a director for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

      Pollack served as director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution. He co-authored the Brookings Institution document, Which Path to Persia: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran (2009) with leading pro-Israel war hawks Martin Indyk and Michael O’Hanlon.


      Indyk, a former AIPAC staffer, cofounded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 1985 with the wife of AIPAC Chairman Lawrence Weinberg and former president of the Jewish Federation, Barbi Weinberg. Despite his well known affiliation with the Israel Lobby and his Australian nationality, Bill Clinton appointed Indyk as the first foreign-born US Ambassador to Israel in 1995. The issuance of his US nationality had been expedited for his previous appointment by Clinton in 1993 as Middle East adviser on the National Security Council.

      O’Hanlon, a frequent op-ed writer for major news outlets like the Washington Post, has pushed for U.S. intervention in Syria. In April 2007, O’Hanlon and Fred Kagan urged the United States to invade and occupy Iran. Back in March 2003, shortly after the United States invaded Iraq, O’Hanlon contributed his name to an open letter published by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative advocacy outfit closely associated with American Enterprise Institute that played a major role generating public support for the invasion of Iraq and pushing an expansive “war on terror.” Among those contributing their names to the document were hardline neocons like Max Boot, Eliot Cohen, Joshua Muravchik, and William Kristol, as well as liberal interventionists like O’Hanlon and Ivo Daalder, also a scholar based at the Brookings Institution.

      Since 2004, the annual Saban Forum hosted by Brookings Institution has included Israeli government officials. Israeli-American billionaire media mogul Haim Saban told the New York Times in 2004 that “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel”.

      In a March 2006 update on activities of the Israel Lobby, American political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt noted that Saban is an “ardent Zionist”.

      Mearsheimer and Walt observed that “Saban Center publications never question US support for Israel and rarely, if ever, offer significant criticism of key Israeli policies.”

      In their landmark book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (2007), Mearsheimer and note that the Saban Center at Brookings is “part of the pro-Israel chorus” (pg 156).

      Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East/Israel issues, gave his first on-the-record appearance at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution on 3 December 2017.

      Haim Saban, a Democratic mega donor who was a key supporter of Hillary Clinton, praised Kushner for attempting to derail a vote at the United Nations Security Council about Israeli settlements during the Obama administration.

      Addressing the audience at Brookings, Kushner said, “It’s really an honor to be able to talk about this topic with so many people who I respect so much” and acknowledged that “We’ve solicited a lot of ideas from a lot of places.”

      Trump and Kushner’s understanding of “regional dynamics” in the Middle East conspicuously mirrors “a lot of ideas” from pro-Israel war hawks at the Brookings Institution.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 21, 2017 at 17:50

        Thanks Abe, Cartalucci is one of the best at pulling back the curtain on these deceitful creatures of ours, and with that I appreciate your posting his articles, as you do. Do a computer search for ‘ McCain Godfather of Terrorism’, and then read what Cartalucci wrote about McCain from back in 2012, before Benghazi happened. Better yet, read the link:


        No one that I know of got it quite the way Cartalucci did, and that’s why I’m trumpeting his investigative skills. So again thanks Abe for bringing Cartalucci to this comment board. I would also love if consortiumnews were to post Cartalucci’s articles, but then consortiumnews is doing just fine, but still…. Joe

        • Dave P.
          December 21, 2017 at 23:16

          Here is the link to another article by Cartalucci on NEO this week on what is the West’s plan now in ME. There is not much hope for peace in the World Joe, no matter how much we may wish for it at this Christmas time.


          • Joe Tedesky
            December 21, 2017 at 23:59

            Thanks Dave, I read that Cartalucci piece yesterday, but because you referenced it I read it again.

            It is abundantly clear that the U.S. by hook or crook is not going to let go of this demonization of Iran rant. It is also abundantly clear that Trump is being advised by a group of certain someone’s who don’t give a darn one bit about U.S. self interest in as much as they are promoting the wishes of the Saudi/Israeli interest. And why not, when the U.S. has the best politicians that money can buy?

            Dave I agree there will always be war, but among the few of us who we are resigned to campaign for peace it is imperative that we give enough voice to help drown out at least some of the sounds of all the loudly beating war drums. Maybe if all we can do is give pause to the actions of a maniac who decides to finally push a button and end it all, is just a pause, well then at least we had enough time left to plant a tree and kiss this green earth of ours goodbye. So before that, why not complain about all of these wars?

            Okay Dave. Joe

          • Abe
            December 22, 2017 at 02:17

            There is zero hope for peace if we always merely wish that “someone” would do “something” to prevent the next war.

            The few become the many when we work for peace by actively sharing the facts, resources and information uncovered by investigative journalists and honest critical analysts at Consortium News and other independent news sources.

            We can begin today by actively connecting and sharing within our communities via personal conversations, social media posts, email, video, or any other communication channel.

            The internet and the many technology tools available today can be used to promote peace and social justice.

            You can help re-awaken people from their somnolence and educate them with the solid facts provided by the contributors here at CN. Piss people off if that’s necessary to help them become aware.

            Educate yourself, get connected and get active. There is no better moment than now.

      • Rob Roy
        December 21, 2017 at 20:51

        Thank you, Abe, for all your added information. I have expected the war with Iran for many years and read that awful “What Path to Persia” report laying out the management of this long-sought disaster. The major sins of the world lie with the US and Israel, and god help anyone in their way. It’s a mystery to me why Americans are fine with war criminals ruling their country.

    • Gregory Herr
      December 22, 2017 at 22:50

      “…in efforts to overthrow the government of Syria, also a stated and integral part of undermining, isolating, and destroying Iran, Pollack has revealed another element of the plan – to create a full-scale proxy military force outside of Syria, then subsequently invading and occupying Syria with it.”

      This really says a lot.

  42. Abe
    December 21, 2017 at 16:03

    “In 2014, in an e-mail between US Counselor to the President John Podesta and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it would be admitted that two of America’s closest regional allies – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – were providing financial and logistical support to ISIS.

    “The e-mail, leaked to the public through Wikileaks, stated:

    “‘…we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.’

    “Despite admissions from the United States military and high-level politicians that ISIS was literally a creation of its own intentional foreign policy and perpetuated through state-sponsorship by America’s closest regional allies, both the administrations of President Barack Obama and President Trump would continue signing weapon deals, maintaining diplomatic ties, and strengthening military and economic cooperation with these state-sponsors of terror.”

    The Truth About Radical Islam
    By Tony Cartalucci

  43. December 21, 2017 at 15:51

    Quite a few explicit articles have been published now that show exactly how the USA has been arming ISIS since Obama started it over 6 years ago.
    Not only did Obama create / fund / arm / train ISIS for years but Trump continues to do so. In fact, Trump’s CIA has been evacuating ISIS fighters from Syria for many months, now that Russia has destroyed the USA’s allies ISIS and al-Nusra in Syria, using the CIA’s own helicopters:



    This video explains precisely how Obama and his terrorist /torture deep state created ISIS:


    • December 22, 2017 at 13:35

      They are sending then to fight in Yemen. 1-800-Renta-Jihadist.

    • Ethan Allen
      December 22, 2017 at 22:05

      WTF does a photo depicting the criminal kidnapping, and alluding to the tragic murder of James Foley, have to do with the dubious topical premise of Daniel Lazare’s “Did Obama Arm Islamic State Killers?”
      As Usual,

    • Gregory Herr
      December 22, 2017 at 22:33

      I think Mr. Lazare should be more straightforwardly explicit as well.

    • eric
      December 23, 2017 at 17:56

      We armed the KLA and Al Qaida in Yugoslavia even furnished the U.S. air force , Did the same thing again in Libya and again the US furnished the air force for the Al Qaida ,in Libya ., In Syria we again assisted Al Qaida , Al Nusra and the rebels . How can we say we are fighting terrorists when they are our terrorists , Armed by the United States and paid by the United States . Now we learn most of ISIS weapons also were furnished by us . If we want more peace we have to force our government to balance the budget . I urge congress to vote no on increasing the debt . Trump said about 20 trillion was about the tipping point . We have a good economy . With the new tax cuts the governments says they will bring in even more money . Lets force Trump to spend no more than what we take in . Even if we have to cut down the size and the expense of running this government by putting limitations on what they spend . I am afraid Trump might run the debt up another 7 trillion for the kids

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