US ‘pipe dream’ on how to defeat ISIS
A former director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has criticized Washington’s actions against terrorist Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi who was released by the US in 2004.
In an interview with German magazine Spiegel Mike Flynn condemned the United States’ policy on fighting terrorism.
He said killing the ISIS leader wouldn’t change anything and that al-Baghdadi “could be dead today” because we “haven't seen him lately.”
Al-Baghdadi is a founder of ISIS, and was previously a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq [Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)].
The US included him on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. In 2011 the US State Department offered a $10 million reward to anyone providing information leading to his capture.
Criminal Defense Attorney and former CIA officer Jack Rice told RT that it is very embarrassing for the US that al-Baghdadi was detained in 2004 and released as a "low-level operator".
"If we sit down and we think about the reality of what we are facing right now. That is exactly what happened: he was kept in Southern Iraq and they just assumed that he was a low-level operator and released him,” he told RT.
The US “was holding people by the tens of thousands. What we [US] did have here was a low-level operator who then developed and turned himself into something fundamentally different,” Rice added.
Speaking about cooperation between countries in order to capture the ISIS leader, he said there is a lot of effort being made to try to get hold of him now.
“We start seeing more cooperation from everybody from the agency, my former employer, the CIA to the French DGSE [Directorate-General for External Security]; we’re looking at Mossad, we’re looking at the Turkish intelligence service and others too; and maybe even Russians if they are willing to cooperate,” he said.
Rice said that nobody can be really sure the ISIS leader is still alive.
“We have seen this in the past – we found out that somebody had been dead for two weeks, two months, six months or even more, because you simply can’t verify on the ground,” he told RT.
According to the former CIA officer, there is a philosophical belief “that if we take out ISIL, then all of a sudden it is all going to be good.”
“But that simply is a pipe dream. I mean there is the reality here that there was a vacuum that was created in Iraq long before there was a vacuum created in Libya,” Rice added. He said that “the idea of lopping off the head of one individual is somehow going to magically make this organization disappear – it is ridiculous.”
“The idea frankly – of not addressing this politically as well as militarily - does more than simply kick this can down the road – just a little bit further,” he concluded.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.