“actionable intelligence”

feb 11 i caught US president barack obama on CNN explaining his admin’s draft resolution to the US congress for authority to use force against ISIL.

OBAMA: If we had actionable intelligence about a gathering of ISIL leaders, and our partners didn’t have the capacity to get them, I would be prepared to order our Special Forces to take action, because I will not allow these terrorists to have a safe haven. [emphasis mine]

actionable intelligence!  it rang a bell.  i was sure i heard president aquino use the very same words to justify the mamasapano ops.  googled it and, yes, the very same words, when he addressed the nation for the first time 29 january re mamasapano.

“[N]ang nalaman ng ating kapulisan ang tutok na lokasyon nina Marwan at Usman, nagdesisyon silang kumilos upang ipatupad ang mga warrant sa mga ito. Actionable intelligence po ang nakalap ng ating mga awtoridad: Hindi lamang rehiyon, o probinsiya, o munisipyo ang natukoy nila, kundi ang mismong mga bahay na pinagtataguan ng dalawa. Kung hindi aaksiyunan ang kaalamang ito, maaaring makatakas sina Marwan at Usman, at kakailanganin na namang simulan ang mahabang proseso ng paghahanap sa kanila.

and just last wednesday feb 11, the very same day obama talked “actionable intelligence” vis a vis ISIL, palace spokesman edwin lacierda invoked the same to explain why presidential bff purisima remained in the loop despite his suspension from office by the ombudsman last december 2014:

He (Purisima) had the actionable intelligence. That was the role that he had,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing.

“actionable intelligence” was first used by presidential candidate obama in august 2007  amid debate in Washington over al qaeda and taliban resurgence in  northwest pakistan that president pervez musharraf was unable to control.

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said. 

upon the killing of osama bin laden by US operatives in may 2o11, a senior administration official said in a press briefing:

I would also just add to that that President Obama, over a period of several years now, has repeatedly made it clear that if we had actionable intelligence about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, we would act. So President Obama has been very clear in delivering that message publicly over a period of years. And that’s what led President Obama to order this operation. When he determined that the intelligence was actionable and the intelligence case was sufficient, he gave us high confidence that bin Laden indeed was at the compound.

it would seem — given obama’s words to the effect that the US is prepared to take action should a “partner” prove incapable of acting on actionable intelligence — that president aquino really had no choice but to allow the mamasapano ops when he did, with purisima in the lead, since it was purisima with whom the americans were sharing the actionable info.  if the prez and purisima had waited too long, at naka-eskapo ang mga terorista, nagalit tiyak ang amerika, and who knows  how that would have affected our foreign and political and security affairs.

naka-eskapo nga si usman, pero patay naman daw si marwan, and the americans may be seeing the glass as half-full, but which brings us back to the finger.  i suppose that by now congress is privy to napenas’ story about why and how it was turned over to the americans almost immediately, it would seem, defying all protocol.  i suppose, too, that our senators and congresspeeps will not be sharing the transcript of those executive sessions with us ordinary citizens, which would mean that these allegedly honourable ones would be complicit in the cover-up.

a cover-up na nakaka-offend because it’s like they’re saying that we can’t handle the truth about america and our lopsided “special relations.”  as if we haven’t known all along.

they think we’re all idiots.  no actionable intelligence for us.


  1. manuel buencamino

    ” if the prez and purisima had waited too long, at naka-eskapo ang mga terorista, nagalit tiyak ang amerika, and who knows how that would have affected our foreign and political and security affairs.”


    Our government had a compelleing reason to go after Marwan regardless of what the US and any other government felt because he was responsible for bombings that cost a lot of Filipino lives.

    Actionable intelligence is not a new term nor is it used exclusively by the military or intel community

    Here from dictionary.com is a definition:

    actionable intelligence : (noun) information with a practical and relevant application, esp. about users of goods and services for purposes of business planning and strategy

    Usage Note: business

  2. Note intense vetting a highly sensitive mil op went thru before Obama approval. Versus #Mamasapano – PNoy + 3 cops. — Rep. Tonchi Tinio
    “The anatomy of a failed hostage rescue deep into Islamic State territory”



  3. BOO CHANCO: I can’t help wondering if those SAF44 would still be alive today if we asked the Americans to use the drones not just to monitor the ground situation but to bomb the house where Marwan was sleeping. Those drones have proven to be so precise and lethal in fighting the Taliban in the Pakistan mountains and the ISIS in Iraq. Of course, if they used drones to kill Marwan or the person they believe to be Marwan, we would never know if they got the real Marwan. There would have been no finger to chop for DNA testing. So we sent in the best of our SAF not only to get Marwan but more importantly, his finger. Are the lives of the SAF44 worth that one finger?