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    Posted June 22, 2014 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    Intelligence Failure or Eyes Shut?


    Back  in the late 1960s my family was living in Aurora, Illinois where my Dad  was pastoring. One day we had been invited to one of the member's home  for supper. We were all ready to go except my brother, Lynn.

    Dad  told Lynn to go to his bedroom and put on his shoes. Lynn came back  shoeless and said he couldn't find his shoes. This went on two more  times before in frustration, Dad marched Lynn to the bedroom, opened the  closet door and pointed at the shoes in plain sight.

    Lynn  protested and said he could not see the shoes. Dad told him the shoes  were right in front of him. Lynn still protested. Getting angry, Dad  turned to Lynn to find my brother standing there with his eyes shut  tight. Dad didn't know whether to laugh or punish Lynn for being  stubborn.

    I was reminded of this story after reading the Wall Street Journal report that President Barack Obama approved the set up in Iraq of an  intelligence gathering mission a few months ago. A fusion intelligence  center was set up in the capitol of Baghdad for the sole purpose of  keeping an eye on Sunni militants and the Islamic State in Iraq and  Syria (ISIS).

    Yet,  we have been told by the President, leaders of the US Senate and House  of Representatives intelligence committees, the military and the  intelligence community that the successful romp of ISIS came as a  complete surprise. We've been told that Iraqi soldiers shedding their  uniforms and fleeing is a surprise.

    But what was the mission of this "secret" intelligence gathering operation in Iraq?

    According to the Journal, the center was to:

    1. Provide intelligence to the government of Iraq

    2. Conduct surveillence flights over the country and spotlight ISIS positions

    3. Provide the Iraqis with photo images of ISIS camps in the desert

    4. Assess the capabilities of Iraqi security forces

    Information,  however, was shared sparingly with the Iraqi government as the US  thought it was unreliable. The Special Forces team sent in April to  evaluate the Iraqi military found many shortcomings, undisciplined  troops and Sunni officers forced out of service.

    So  why such surprise that ISIS with its Sunni support has been able to  take over a third of the oil-rich, but religiously and ethnically  fractured nation in less than two weeks?

    We are left to conclude one of two things:

    1. This was a massive intelligence failure assessing the danger the divides in Iraq portended

    2. The President and the intelligence community looked directly at the impending crisis with eyes shut tightly

    I am not sure which is the correct conclusion.

    From  the Cornfield, what I do know is that the US must either play the cards  with which it has been dealt or fold, walk away from the table.

    I  also know that bluffing may have got the US to the table, but is not  enough to claim the jackpot in this high stakes game of international  poker.

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