Jay Carney Can't Decide if Al Qaeda is Alive or Dead

Posted: Aug 05, 2013 3:11 PM
Jay Carney Can't Decide if Al Qaeda is Alive or Dead
During a press briefing Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney repeatedly contradicted himself when asked about the threat al Qaeda poses to the United States and Americans overseas. Questions about specific al Qaeda threats came from reporters in light of the Obama administration's decision to close 19 U.S. Embassies around the world for an additional week.

During the 2012 presidential election, President Obama claimed al Qaeda had been decimated and that the terror group was "on the run." Today, Carney argued that the core of al Qaeda had been substantially decreased in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region while affiliate groups in the Arabian Peninsula had increased in strength. On the campaign trail, Obama made no distinction between al Qaeda's core and affiliate groups. In fact, Obama discussed the "core" and al Qaeda affiliates as one unit.

"Al Qaeda in the Af/Pak region is on the run" Carney said one minute after saying, "Nobody should be under illusion there is no threat [from al Qaeda]."

When asked about specific threats to Americans traveling overseas, Carney said he could not give details about where threats were coming from and who was at risk.

"I'm not going to get into specific intelligence matters," Carney said. "We face an ongoing threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates."

Carney repeatedly tried to argue that al Qaeda was on the run while at the same time admitting the terrorist group is a threat to the United States. The bottom line? Al Qaeda is either a threat or it isn't. The Obama administration can't have it both ways.