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Bush Intelligence and Intelligence

Sixteen intelligence agencies issued a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Bush claims supports him and his Iraq War. But anyone with intelligence who reads about the NIE can see that his strategy in the “war on terror” has produced more terrorists.

President Bush dropped the ball in Afghanistan by removing troops and sending them to Iraq. He calls Iraq the central front against terrorism. This is not what the NIE says:

The estimate says al-Qaida has reconstituted itself as a center of global Islamic terrorism in bases deep inside Pakistan's largely lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border.

Bush says we are occupying Iraq in order to suppress world wide terrorism. Again, the NIE does not agree with him. It states that the War has increased terrorism in the world:

The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

In a related message, Bush repeats monotonously that we are fighting jihadists there - Iraq - so we would not have to fight them here. I always felt this is a ridiculous statement. Now the intelligence agencies agree:

In addition, we assess that its association with AQI [al Qaeda in Iraq] helps al-Qa’ida to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks.

These Iraqi jihadists are helping to build a bigger and stronger extremist community with which to mount "Homeland attacks."

Why are we in Iraq? Why aren't we in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Intelligence tells us that is where a regrouped al Qaeda is. Isn't al Qaeda our enemy? Don't we want to capture Osama bin Laden "dead or alive"?

Should we fight the terrorists according to what 16 intelligence agencies say or according to what the Bush intelligence-of-the-gut says?

Posted by Paul Siegel at July 18, 2007 4:58 PM
Comments
Comment #226760

I don’t get your all’s recent infatuation with attacking Pakistan Paul. Would it really be a wise decision to attack a country who has a nuke?

And I’m all for us leaving Iraq tomorrow, but doesn’t the NIE statement:

Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight

mean that we should ensure that the jihadists fail if we do not want them to be inspired to carry on the fight?
Will our withdrawal be seen as a US failure and strengthen the jihadists or will our withdrawal be seen as a jihadist failure and cause them to be less inspired to carry on the fight?

Posted by: kctim at July 18, 2007 5:26 PM
Comment #226799

It appears the White House may have forced the altering of the NIE report before it was to be made public, after receiving the proposed draft.

Tony Snow was hit by differences between the initial report reviewed by Bush, and the quickly altered version put out to the public. Apparently, some in the Intelligence Community were sharing contents in anticipation of just this kind of thing happening. Appears our Intelligence folks are finally learning how to work around the Bushies’ tactics, to insure facts and reality get through despite the White House.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #226814

Paul, there’s a lot (a whole lot) that could be said against Bush’s conduct of both the war in Afghanistan and the one in Iraq, but I think you’re barking up the wrong trees here.

Even if the senior Al Qaida leadership is based deep in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas (which is likely true), that is simply not the front line of the battle. Al Qaida itself says that the front line is Iraq, and that’s where they send their fighters. What you’re saying is akin to saying that invading Normandy on D-Day was a mistake because the Nazi leadership was actually in Berlin. It makes no sense at all. You fight the enemy where you know he is, not only where you suspect he might be.

Now, it would be nice to go after Al Qaida in Pakistan, and hopefully circumstance might permit that eventually. But until then, they have to be fought where they and those inspired by their cause actually ARE.

Also, I really don’t care about (and thank god that Bush doesn’t either—at least he gets one thing right) this lame argument that standing up to jihad “creates more terrorists.” That has to be one of the lamest and most cowardly claims of all time.

I have no doubt that Roosevelt was indirectly responsible for “creating” Kamikaze pilots because he had the audacity to wage war against Imperial Japan and threaten their homeland. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if more people from the Confederate States were inspired to fight against the Union because Abe Lincoln invaded Virginia. So what?

The goal needs to be to kill these evil SOBS faster than they can be “inspired” to wage jihad. Once we’re doing that effectively, lets just see how many of them see attacking and killing civilians in Iraq or anywhere else as an inspired and sensible choice.

What will create more of them than anything else is giving them victory, tucking tale and running and letting them believe that they are stronger and more dedicated to their cause than we are to ours.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 18, 2007 11:17 PM
Comment #226819

Paul Siegel- I don’t make jokes. I just watch the Government and report the facts. “will Rogers”

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 18, 2007 11:48 PM
Comment #226822

The main point of your post is fallacious. You can’t avoid conflict for fear of creating more enemies. That’s the serious probelm in fear based decision making.

Look at the logic, not the emotion. (And please don’t misinterpret that I believe Bush’s handling of the war to be in any way logical)

We are currently up to our eyeballs in $##% in Iraq, but the action is happening THERE. Fact: There has been not 1 major or minor terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11 besides the college campus incident where the press buried the muslim ties and that his arm and the box sent to NBC referred to the Axe of Ismael. Despite all that, ALL the action, and casualties, are in Iraq.

You don’t honestly believe that the left would say “Bravo, Mr. Bush, you finally got it right, it’s Pakistan we should be invading in… you finally listened to the NIE.” Give me a break, that’s a bunch of BS.

Democrats can’t get the surrender bill passed, despite some heavy duty theatrics, and you’re telling us Bush should get out of Iraq and hit Pakistan? We are in Afghanistan BTW. Just in far smaller numbers than Iraq, but regardless, there are enough soldiers there to enforce martial law in whatever state from which you hail.

I don’t have writing priveleges on watchblog, but if you really want a scandal, check out the article in USA today. THAT is a scandal. Someone should start a post on that.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at July 19, 2007 12:43 AM
Comment #226832

I would imagine that the war against Japan created more Japaneses soldiers. And the war against Germany created more German soldiers. And clearly as we were defeating N. Korea they created many more soldiers from the Chinese army!

When you are forced to go to war with someone, you don’t stand around and worry that it will cause them to work even harder to defeat you . You go to war to kill, break, destroy, defeat. And if they toss more at you, you destroy what they toss at you.

I think when you claim we are only occupying Iraq for one reason, you are not quite being upfront. Thee is a lot more than terrorism going on in Iraq and we didn’t go in there because of terrorism.

You fight the terrorist that fight you, not the imaginary, defeatist, wimpy terrorists you wish you had!

Posted by: Stephenl at July 19, 2007 5:05 AM
Comment #226837

I’m betting the general public also has little knowledge of how big a continued presence the US will have in Iraq…otherwise why have a 21-building embassy being built on 104 acres in Baghdad…it’s 6 times larger than the UN complex in NYC…

Bad things are being done in our name…it’s time we reclaim the high ground and participate in our democratic republic and get rid of the idiots who are besmerching our name.

Posted by: Rachel at July 19, 2007 7:58 AM
Comment #226839

Quite right, Rachel. The time is overripe to remove the incumbents who have and are:

- sustaining this massive and growing $9 trillion national debt
- passing trade deals which cost us more than 3/4 trillion dollars a year in trade deficits
- maintaining an elective war option on unproven premises as appropriate
- protecting and defending this government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy special interests to the detriment of the nation’s future and people
- refusing to seal our borders against the unwanted so we can create a legal and accountable immigration system that benefits America and her people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 19, 2007 8:33 AM
Comment #226842
refusing to seal our borders against the unwanted so we can create a legal and accountable immigration system that benefits America and her people

You would expect that the US, who invaded Iraq and “forgot” to seal Iraq’s borders from neighboring countries and al-Qaeda could possibly seal their own home border? Believe me, if keeping illegal immigrants out would be a boon to big businesses that supply the Bush camp with $$$, it would’ve been done long ago…instead, the issue (along with others) is tossed out with regularity (after 6 years in office, not before) in the attempt to distract people from the boondoggle and death the US has provided for its citizens and Iraq’s citizens…

Posted by: Rachel at July 19, 2007 9:02 AM
Comment #226882

I think when our government uses the word “Homeland” (capitalized) they are referring to domestic security. Like in: “Homeland Security”. I think the quote implies that they are recruiting operatives and preparing for an attack on US soil.
That said, I think Bush/Cheney/neo-cons have uncorked a genie that will be extremely difficult to put back into the bottle.
Steve

Posted by: Steve at July 19, 2007 1:58 PM
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