The U.S. government captured more than one million documents during the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Top administration officials initially described it as “a treasure trove” of intelligence on al Qaeda and its affiliates. But more than three years later, the senior DIA official who ran the project, Colonel Derek Harvey, says the intelligence community has fully analyzed less than 10 percent of the collection. Top DIA officials were told directly to stop providing analyses based on the bin Laden documents. The administration had decided to end the war on terror, and no amount of new intelligence about threats from al Qaeda was going to change their minds. So they chose ignorance.
The quote above is a part of an in-depth look into Obama's failures. Read it here. Read about Derek Harvey below.
Colonel Derek Harvey retired from active duty in 2006. He served as a civilian advisor to General David Petraeus. St. Louis Today described Harvey as "regarded by many as the single most-informed American on military developments in Iraq." In 2008, Harvey warned President George W. Bush that a dangerous Sunni insurgency should be expected:
By several accounts, a startled Bush asked Harvey how he could know that the Sunnis were planning a “popular insurrection,” when dozens of more-senior officials had given assurances that no such thing would happen. Harvey, who speaks Arabic, responded that he had spent time with sheiks, tribal leaders and Sunni people listening to their anger and plans to retake power after what they saw as Saddam’s mismanagement of the war, while advisers painting a rosy picture hadn’t done that.
Harvey was passed over for promotion, which led to his retirement.
“Harvey is hands down the very best intelligence analyst that the United States government has on Iraq,” says former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane. “He has been right from late ’03 all the way … up to the present...
[Newt] Gingrich says both Gen. John Abizaid and Gen. George Casey, when they led U.S. forces in Iraq, told him that Harvey “was the most knowledgeable person on Iraq that we had.”
“He retired as a colonel … and yet he goes back again and again to Iraq to continue to determine plans for victory,” Gingrich said, calling Harvey’s efforts “simply stunning.”
In speaking of Derek Harvey, Major General (Ret) Barbara Fast said, “..the best strategic intelligence officer in the U.S. military.” She went on to say that he led “…the most effective “Red Cell” effort that has ever been conducted in a major theater of war.” Read more.
On September 9, 2014, Stephen Hayes wrote:
A couple things went wrong: For one, the Obama administration seems to have tailored the limited amount of documents it made public to reinforce a particular narrative crucial to its political interests — that al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which came to be known as “core al-Qaeda,” had largely been defeated....Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook
The second issue is some bureaucratic infighting: The CIA allegedly jealously held onto the documents, churning out hundreds of reports soon after the intelligence was captured but refusing to let other intelligence agencies have a look. The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency and intelligence analysts at the U.S. military’s Central Command (“CENTCOM”) were desperate to delve into the documents, but it took months to get access to the raw intelligence. Read more.