When it comes to destroying ISIS, how serious is the Obama Administration? So serious that the White House avoids destroying the source of ISIS funding because of environmental concerns. Yes, environmental concerns.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell joined Charlie Rose to discuss ISIS and the Obama Administration’s aversion to destroying ISIS held oil wells.

Granted, these are the same people that believe the climate change is the world’s greatest threat, but I digress.

The Hill reported:

“We didn’t go after oil wells, actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls, because we didn’t want to do environmental damage, and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure,” Michael Morell said Tuesday on PBS’s “Charlie Rose.”

Morell cautioned that he does not “sit in the room anymore” where strategic decisions are made, but said prior to the Paris terrorist attack earlier this month, “There seemed to have been a judgment that, look, we don’t want to destroy these oil tankers because that’s infrastructure that’s going to be necessary to support the people when ISIS isn’t there anymore, and it’s going to create environmental damage.”

Since the attack on Paris, the U.S. has tried to cut off the terrorist organization’s revenue stream by bombing oil trucks.

“So now we’re hitting oil trucks,” Morell said. “And maybe you get to the point where you say, we also have to hit oil wells.

“So those are the kind of tough decisions you have to make,” he added.

ISIS has accumulated millions of dollars to fund its military operations by producing and exporting oil in the parts of Iraq and Syria under its control.

Contrast that to reports from over a year ago explaining how ISIS funds itself by smuggling oil to other hostile actors:

“With the important exception of some state-sponsored terrorist organizations, ISIL is probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted,” Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said on Thursday in a speech to a Washington,D.C., think tank. At a subsequent briefing at the White House, Cohen declined to provide an estimate of the group’s net worth today.

From mid-June until President Barack Obama unleashed airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against it, the Islamist organization scored $1 million per day from smuggled oil, Cohen said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He declined to say how much the airstrikes, which began on Sept. 23, have sliced into the group’s oil revenue.

The oil operation, which has drawn the most scrutiny, relies on long-standing smuggling networks operating in oil-rich parts of Iraq now under IS control. IS extracts the petroleum and sells it to smugglers, some of whom use “relatively sizeable tankers” to get it onto the black market.

At the official world market price of about $100 per barrel, IS at its peak would have been generating approximately 10,000 barrels. But Cohen said IS was selling “at substantially discounted prices,” the quantity was likely much greater.

Cohen said IS sold oil to middlemen, including some from Turkey. It also sold to Kurds in Iraq, who resold it to Turkey. Even Syrian strongman Bashar Assad, whom IS aims to overthrow, arranged to buy oil from the group, he said.

Never mind that President Bush’s Administration saw great success with the decision to destroy al Qaeda’s global network by directly attacking their funding sources, assets, and financial mobility.

The Obama administration seems to have decided protecting the desert trumps destroying radical Islam and protecting western civilization.

These are not serious people.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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