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Fox News Gets Busted for Falsely Claiming that Obama Released the ‘New Bin Laden’

PunditFact busted Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro with a big old “false” for claiming that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was “released by Obama in 2009.”

On June 14, failed Republican candidate for New York Attorney General in 2006 and now legal analyst and host of Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine, Jeanine Pirro blamed Barack Obama for the “New Bin Laden Terrorizing Iraq”, saying he was released by Obama in 2009. Pirro warned her audience in pure Republican fear-mongering style, “Yes indeed, you need to be worried.”

Since this is Fox News, you know where this is going. That’s right: This claim is false.

The “New Bin Laden” was actually released under Bush in 2004 according to the Defense Department. But even if he had been released under Obama, the U.S.-Iraq agreement behind the release took place during the Bush administration.

Pirro’s claim:

As Iraq is being overrun by ISIS – a brutal radical group deemed even by Al Qaeda to be too militant – Fox News host Jeanine Pirro blamed Barack Obama’s feckless foreign policy during the opening segment of Justice with Judge Jeanine Saturday.

The head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was released by Obama in 2009. As he was leaving Camp Bucca in Iraq, al-Baghdadi warned his American captors: “I’ll see you in New York.”

Judge Jeanine warned America: “Yes indeed, you need to be worried.” The question is, are we listening?

And the facts per PolitiFact’s PunditFact:

Pirro said that Obama released the current head of ISIS from government custody in 2009. The Defense Department said that the man now known as Baghdadi was released in 2004. The evidence that Baghdadi was still in custody in 2009 appears to be the recollection of an Army colonel who said Baghdadi’s “face is very familiar.”

Even if the colonel is right, Baghdadi was not set free; he was handed over to the Iraqis who released him some time later. But more important, the legal contract between the United States and Iraq that guaranteed that the United States would give up custody of virtually every detainee was signed during the Bush administration. It would have required an extraordinary effort to have held on to Baghdadi and there is no evidence that he was on anyone’s radar screen, assuming that he was in custody at all in 2009.

The U.S.-Iraq agreement drove the release of thousands of detainees in 2009, but Obama had nothing to do with that.

We rate the claim False.

So, the people who backed the administration who lied us into invading Iraq and then later, when they failed to get Bin Laden, told us he wasn’t that important, are blaming the President who did get Osama Bin Laden for a release that the DOD (who know more about this than Judge Jeanine) claims took place under Bush.

What you’re seeing here is the result of many years of steadfast commitment to denial, topped off with several recent failed attempts to successfully launch their latest Benghazi conspiracy theory. So now the right is at that point in their program where they blindly point fingers at Obama and scream like children who ate too much sugar.

The truth of the matter is that Bush’s foreign policy was a complete fail. Instead of admitting it and dealing with it, Republicans have spent years trying to toss the blame ball at Obama. Even as they try to blame the current situation in Iraq on Obama, they are denying that Obama said from the beginning that we should not invade Iraq. Our invasion created power vacuums and chaos from which there was no easy and best out. Blaming this President for the fallout of the bad decisions of their president seems to be The Only Republican Position. Gone are the days of honest policy debates and differences in ideology — the modern GOP refuses to acknowledge reality.

Obama didn’t release the “New Bin Laden”. That was Bush. Again. So, if you’re keeping track, that’s two Bin Laden fails for Bush and two Bin Laden wins for Obama.

Republicans will do anything to avoid admitting another foreign policy success for this President — even blaming him for their own president’s actions.

*Note: Splinter group ISIS is also called ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)

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