Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bush's Iraq War "has made the overall terrorism problem worse"

Not only did Bush ignore the terror threat prior to 9/11, as Bill Clinton pointed out to FOX News, the American intelligence community is now saying that Bush has made the terror situation worse because of the war in Iraq.

The Washington Post weighs in on the NIE report with an article headlined "Spy Agencies Say War in Iraq Spread Terrorism Globally." The Post article points out that the NIE was completed in April. Yet, last month, as part of his political offensive, Bush was spinning a different story:

"Together with our coalition partners," Bush said in an address earlier this month to the Military Officers Association of America, "we've removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they're carried out. We're on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront, and we'll accept nothing less than complete victory."

But the battlefronts intelligence analysts depict (sic) are far more impenetrable and difficult, if not impossible, to combat with the standard tools of warfare.

Bush has been on a full-scale campaign to link Iraq to the war on terror. Looks like he's got a point, but not the way he wants people to think. Bush's Iraq War has made the terror situation much worse:

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks. The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

Bush wants to campaign on terror this year. Let him. By going to Iraq, Bush has been the biggest recruiter for terrorists. He's made the world less safe:

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,” it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.

The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

Anything Bush says about terror means nothing. His own government says he's made it worse. Now, we need to hold Bush and the GOP accountable for this record.

Wash Post:

The conclusion of U.S. intelligence analysts that the Iraq war has increased the threat from terrorism is only "a fraction of judgments" in a newly disclosed National Intelligence Estimate, Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte said yesterday.

The NIE, completed in April, reflects the consensus view of 16 government intelligence services, including the CIA. The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the classified document concludes that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has fueled Islamic extremism and contributed to the spread of terrorist cells.

If the White House isn't lying, again, then let them declassify the National Intelligence Estimate and prove it. I'd love to know what else the NIE allegedly says that could make up for the established fact that the entire US intelligence community has concluded that George Bush has increased the threat of terrorism and made America less safe.

- John Aravosis, AmericaBlog

And then there is this lingering question: Has Bush read the NIE? In July 2003, a White House official acknowledged that Bush and Condoleezza Rice did not read the full National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq before going to war. Jon Schwarz wonders whether White House reporters will ask Tony Snow if Bush read the most recent NIE.

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