**I have updated this post and put it back on top (7:30pm). Scroll for updates.**
It started with a leak from certain "U.S. officials" to the media that an intelligence report had come to the conclusion that the Iraq war actually increased the threat of terrorism to the United States.
Naturally, the Democrats took this opportunity to bash the Bush administration:
Rep. Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic effort to take control of the House, said, "Unfortunately this report is just confirmation that the Bush administration's stay-the-course approach to the Iraq war has not just made the war more difficult and more deadly for our troops, but has also made the war on terror more dangerous for every American.So far the politicians and the press only have what was leaked. The entire intel report has not been declassified, yet the reporting and bashing continues as if the entire document had been thoroughly examined:
So Nancy Pelosi, bent on impeachment, holds a secret meeting.
At a news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Bush said political opponents had disclosed only select parts of the National Intelligence Estimate, a U.S. global report on terrorism, and he decided to make the document public so "you read it for yourself."
"Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes," Bush said.
*UPDATE* Here is the declassified portion of the NIE in pdf (via LGF)
Some of the probable key phrases which were selectively leaked and used by the Democrats to bash the President:
The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deepSome key phrases which provide more context:
resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world...
Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical
ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt
terrorist methods to attack US interests...
United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership ofKeep in mind that this intel report was completed in April, and that this is only part of it. Probably a small part.
al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations...
We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global
strategy, and is becoming more diffuse...
The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and
al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into
smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the
mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements.
However, if the content of the declassified document reflects the content of the whole, the only criticism that can be made is a lofty one. That being the Iraq strategy, as far as reducing terrorism, lacked foresight, and that our methods (if not already) need to adapt to counter what has been revealed by this intelligence. Though this wasn't too surprising of a revelation, even in April.
Hugh Hewitt covers this as well:
Nothing in it supports the Pelosi-Dean-Reid-Murtha Democrats' demand to cut-and-run from Iraq. Just the opposite in fact: "If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives."Hugh places a lot of courage in that word probably. To be fair so do I. But I don't have the same courage in the administration of that reform nor in its execution. I do agree that cutting and running would embolden the insurgency and Iran to the point that the Iraqi government would largely collapse and prove ineffective against instability and the breeding of terrorism.
If this report remains to be accurate, coalition forces must improve their success at picking off terrorist leaders and fortifying the Iraqi democracy. And we will need an army of hackers.