"As I've said before, this aspect of our strategy was moving too slowly but the fall of Ramadi has galvanized the Iraqi government. So with the additonal steps I ordered last month we're speeding up training of ISIL forces including volunteers from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province."The statements start at the 4:37 minute mark on a video put together by Info Wars and posted at YouTube on January 4, 2017.
The video doesn't specify the date of Obama's remarks but because Ramadi fell to Islamic State in May 2015 I'll tentatively assume they were made in the early summer of 2015.
Is is possible Mr Obama misspoke? From a leaked audio tape of Sec.State John Kerry speaking to Syrian 'opposition' groups on the sidelines of a UN meeting in September 2016, Mr Obama meant exactly what he said. He ordered that IS be given training -- and from Mr Kerry's remarks, material support as well in the form of weapons, and possibly also money.
It does not seem that Mr Obama was the only American to believe Islamic State was a useful U.S. 'asset' in the Middle East. An American website called The Conservative Treehouse played armchair detective and found that U.S. Senator John McCain and two other American politicians had assisted Islamic State.
In the same report Treehouse examined the remarks by Mr Kerry on the audio tape, which had been leaked to The New York Times and CNN in the Fall of 2016.
(The Times did not publish a copy of the tape whereas CNN did, then yanked the recording at some point, perhaps after Treehouse discovered it a few days ago or gave it another listen at that time.)
See: Absolutely stunning: Leaked audio of Secretary Kerry reveals President Obama intentionally allowed rise of ISIS; January 1, 2017, The Conservative Treehouse.
It sounds to me, from his own words at the Pentagon and Kerry's, that Mr Obama did more than "intentionally allow" the rise of Islamic State. He actively aided it.
(I think Info Wars is wrong when it leaps to the conclusion in the above video that Kerry's remarks prove Obama and Hillary Clinton "founded" Islamic State.)
But I am less interested in Mr Kerry's remarks, or even Mr Obama's than I am in trying to figure out how I missed Mr Obama's news-making statement at the Pentagon. Granted I don't follow the daily press briefings at the Pentagon, if that was the venue for his remarks. But this was not a leaked speech or briefing; you can see that from the sign behind his podium. It's the same as the sign posted in the Pentagon press room. Mr Obama's speech or briefing was not meant to be off the record.
And yet for some reason his remark about helping Islamic State didn't make headlines -- or if it did, where I was during that week? It would've taken a least a week's worth of daily news cycles before the furor about such a remark would've died down. Yet I don't recall news of any such statement from Obama. Again, this might be me. But do you recall a news report about his statement?
It's possible that Info Wars picked up the video clip from a TV report at time on Obama's statement but I don't follow IW; I ended up there last night in an attempt to untangle the provenance of the Kerry leaked audio tape.
In any case there is so much news related to the 'war on terror' that Obama's statement could have flown under the radar. Or it could have been ignored by the press.