This president, you see, does not need briefers. He can forgo his daily intelligence meeting because he is, in [Tommy] Vietor’s words, “among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet.”
Truly sophisticated consumers of intelligence don’t see it as a sign of weakness to “be briefed” by the experts. Most of us, if we subscribed to a daily report on, say, astrophysics, would probably need some help interpreting it. But when it comes to intelligence, Obama is apparently so brilliant he can absorb the most complicated topics by himself in his study. He does not need to sit down for up to an hour a day with top intelligence officials, or hold more than 100 “deep dives” in which he invites CIA analysts into the Oval Office and gives them direct access to the commander in chief to discuss their areas of expertise. Such meetings are crutches this president does not need. Written briefings, questions and comments are enough. Obama has more important things to do — such as attend Las Vegas fundraisers.
No doubt the intelligence community has adapted to its diminished access to the commander in chief and is finding a way to get the president the intelligence he needs. Members of the community have endured a lot these past 3 1/2 years — accusations of torture from the Oval Office; more than 100 criminal investigations from the Obama Justice Department that resulted in zero — zero — criminal charges being filed; a president who is quick to claim credit for killing Osama bin Laden while denying credit to the CIA interrogators who made the mission possible. They’ll survive not being invited more frequently into the Oval Office.
Read the whole thing.
Maybe if he’d opened his briefing book, instead of making a tee time or checking to see if he has a voicemail from Beyonce, four Americans might still be alive.