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Classified Administration Assessment on Al Qaeda Revealed -- and It's So Controversial U.S. Intel Officials Reportedly Refused to Agree

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“It was basically: ‘Over my dead body.’”

While the Obama administration downplays Al Qaeda's threat to America and contends that the global war on terror is over, a growing number of U.S. intelligence officials are pushing back and warning that the threat has never been worse, according to a report published Wednesday by The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast's national security writer Eli Lake revealed Wednesday that a 2012 draft National Intelligence Estimate by the Obama Administration reached the conclusion that Al Qaeda "was no longer a threat to America." The classified assessment, which has never before been publicly disclosed, was the impetus behind the administration's continuing shift in policy to end the war on terror and reduce Al Qaeda's threat to a disenfranchised, unorganized collective.

Militants on the tape - some masked - were seen chanting and waving their automatic weapons. (Screenshot: YouTube) Al Qaeda militants on the tape - some masked - were seen chanting and waving their automatic weapons. (Screenshot: YouTube)

It wasn't just policy changes the administration was seeking.

Slowly, the Obama administration would have to push out senior leaders in the military and intelligence community that disagreed with him.

From left, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, CIA Director David Petraeus, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats. Credit: AP From left, then Defense Intelligence Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, CIA Director David Petraeus, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats. Credit: AP

On of those senior U.S. intelligence officials was Defense Intelligence Agency Director Gen. Michael Flynn, who prior to heading DIA worked as the top U.S. intelligence officer in Afghanistan.

According to Lake, he fought hard against the 2012 National Intelligence Assessment's conclusions about Al Qaeda and in doing so won a partial victory at the DIA. But the victory would be short lived.

Flynn is retiring short of his tenure this summer. It was an unplanned retirement, according to numerous sources who spoke with TheBlaze.

“Flynn and others at the time made it clear they would not go along with that kind of assessment,” one U.S. intelligence officer who worked on the Al Qaeda file told The Daily Beast. “It was basically: ‘Over my dead body.’”

Intelligence officials interviewed by The Daily Beast said Al Qaeda's threat is rising while the White House is preparing to wrap up the war on terror.

One senior U.S. Official told Lake that the White House is wrong about Al Qaeda being on the run: "If they are on the run, they are on the run to the United States.”

Read more of Lake's article here.

Follow Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) on Twitter.

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