Press TV has conducted an interview with Gordon Duff, a senior editor of Veteran's Today, in Ohio about the CIA announcing that there are 20,000 to 31,500 militants in Iraq and where this number comes from.
© AFP Photo
Militant of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) posing with the trademark Islamists flag after they allegedly seized an Iraqi army checkpoint in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Comment: The video interview can be seen here.

Press TV:Can you tell us what you think about the new revelations of the ISIL militants, their advancements and what the US plans on doing about the ISIL insurgency?

Duff: The idea that people are taking anything the CIA seriously is questionable. They've never told the truth before, why would they want to do it now?

There are self-serving reasons for making up a number like this.

From a military standpoint where there are 30,000 troops within this region, a region that could easily be cut off; a region that could receive no supplies; no reinforcements, that's a virtual prison camp...

There is a lot of criticism of what people believe the US military can and can't do. On a limited basis were there a 30,000-man army there the US air force could probably destroy it in about 2 weeks.

From a military standpoint the idea of there being a multi-divisional sized force of entirely new recruits who have never trained or operated together supposedly without a military command structure. It would be so easy to beat these people it would be farcical.

There is something wrong about all of this: how they are being supplied? Where are they coming from? The CIA hasn't said who they are - are they all from Iraq? Are they coming in through Turkey? Are they from Somalia?

The CIA is just simply making this up and there are other reasons behind it. This is a political game here. The US is taking a strong position politically in really controlling Iraq.
Here in the US, we have divided Iraq from Kurdistan in a defacto manner. And now we plan on bombing in Syria and we say we're going to be supplying Syrian rebels who are fighting the Syrian army, who is supposedly fighting ISIS.

What the president has said and what these plans are and what the CIA says - none of it makes any sense at all.

They are making it all up.
Press TV: So are you saying it is a ploy to secure more government funding for their operations against ISIL? And do you think the CIA is depending on local sources inside the countries for these figures or do you think they have manpower on the ground to try to make these estimates?

Duff: I think you don't need any figures at all when you simply can make it up. When I say make it up I mean somebody just sat at a table and made it up. There is no intelligence here they just gave a number.

They didn't say there were 12,000 Iraqis that joined last month or that 15,000 men came through Turkey or travelled through Israel or Jordan or that the makeup is so many of this or that, or how they're supplied - That's intelligence.

Turning out a number? Someone just wrote a number on a paper; they had a press release. They simply made it up, they do it all the time and they've been doing it for decades.

No one asked a question about this and there are lots of questions. Nobody asked anything.