NIE - Less safe because of Iraq.
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.
Both the NYTimes and WaPo compare this NIE which has been out since April with administration statements made over the last month. (NYTimes)
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.
The NIE, whose contents were first reported by the New York Times, joins public statements by senior intelligence officials in describing a different kind of conflict than the one outlined over the past month by President Bush in a series of speeches marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Sadly, I think that's the real story in this. Pretty much everyone who hasn't drunk the administration's koolaid (Black Cherry, by the way) has already come to the conclusion that this NIE's underlying premise is true.
So, the real question is, why has the White House been telling a different story for these past months when they had in their hands the top, conclusive, official finding of all the US's intelligence agencies disputing what they were saying?
(We know why, but I think they should have to explain. This isn't some piffling Bin Laden determined to strike US PDB, this is a major document that undermines Bush's entire strategy in the war on terror and his current justification for the war in Iraq.)
Don't miss the press conference Monday.
Also, If this NIE was produced in April, why is the story coming now? Is this another "NYTimes held the story at administration request?" Was there interaction? What's the sequence and timing?