A former acting CIA director said Tuesday that the Obama administration's concern about the environment prompted it to spare the key source of money for ISIS: oil facilities.
Michael Morell, in a taping for the Charlie Rose Show, was asked about the attacks on oil transfers by the administration after the Paris attacks. He said that there was a "judgement" before that it would be worse to damage the environment with oil spills, and that keeping the infrastructure would be best to help areas recover after ISIS is destroyed.
Morell was was the deputy CIA director and served as acting director twice in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013.
The Republican National Committee pulled this segment out of the interview:
CHARLIE ROSE: How do we attack that, rather than retaking territory, attack the funding that they have, attack the ability to sell the oil? We've seen attacks on that oil transfer taking place now after Paris that didn't take place before Paris which is your original question.
FORMER CIA DIRECTOR MICHAEL MORELL: Right. This is one of the collateral damage questions, right? So prior to Paris, there seemed to be a judgment and I don't sit in the room anymore 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 and 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.
ROSE: So we hit oil and trucks.
MORELL: So now we're hitting oil and trucks right. And maybe you get to the point where you say we have to also hit oil wells. So those are the kind of tough decisions you have to make.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.