- Peace Garden: Finessing the reports

Finessing the reports

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Combative Bush Releases Parts of Terror Study.

Portions of a National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism that the White House released under pressure on Tuesday said that Muslim jihadists were “increasing in both number and geographic dispersion” and that current trends could lead to increasing attacks around the globe.
The report, a comprehensive assessment of terrorism produced in April by American intelligence agencies, said the invasion and occupation of Iraq had become a “cause célèbre” for jihadists. It identified the jihad in Iraq as one of four underlying factors fueling the spread of the Islamic radicalism, along with entrenched grievances, the slow pace of reform and pervasive anti-American sentiment.
Critique of the war? A slap on the wrist? Sure but the rest lends credence to W's calls for staying the course - keep on fighting.
The intelligence estimate said American-led counterterrorism efforts in the past five years had “seriously damaged the leadership of Al Qaeda and disrupted its operations.” But it said that Al Qaeda continued to pose the greatest threat to American interests among terrorism organizations, and that the global jihadist movement overall was “spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.” [Text and news analysis, Page A16.]
In recent months, without disclosing the existence of the intelligence estimate on terrorism, some senior American intelligence officials have given glimpses into its conclusions. During a speech in San Antonio in April, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was then Mr. Negroponte’s deputy, said that new jihadist networks and cells were increasingly likely to emerge.
“If this trend continues, threats to the U.S. at home and abroad will become more diverse and that could lead to increasing attacks worldwide,” General Hayden said, using the exact language of the intelligence assessment made public on Tuesday. General Hayden is now director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Interesting that W also
...attributed the disclosure of some of the assessment findings to what he said were government officials leaking classified information to “create confusion in the minds of the American people” weeks before an important Congressional election.
What if W and friends created it as an argument for staying the course - right before the election?

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