This Doesn’t Mean What It Says

September 25, 2006

A classified intelligence report concludes that the Iraq war has worsened the terrorist threat to the United States, U.S. officials told CNN Sunday.

Some intelligence officials have said as much in the past, but the newly revealed document is the first formal report on global trends in terrorism by the National Intelligence Estimate, which is put out by the National Intelligence Council.


All you need to know is: this doesn’t mean what it says. That’s what Republicans are going to tell you, anyway. They’ll engage in wordy arguments to make it seem like the opposite is true; they’ll likely call into question the competence, fairness and patriotism of the report writers and those who draw attention to it. But the bottom line is: it just doesn’t mean what you think it means. If you deviate from this, the terrorists will win.

In other news, up is the new down and black has recently been discovered to be white.


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  1. Is this a pre-emptive blog before the administration response?

    I also think you overlooked the words CLASSIFIED and LEAKED in the news report. I would be equally concerned about the leaking of classified information, but then this OK as long as it supports your point of view. I guess that’s the way the NY Times justifies their ongoing printing of classified material and operations. In any war since the founding of this country, the leaking of classified information that aids, supports or guides the strategy of the enemy is called treason. But then that is such a harsh word for such a “just” a cause.

    Justified or not, we are in Iraq – now what? Take off your Democrat or Republican hat for a minute and spend more time focusing on where we go from here. Bush will be out of office soon, so the pursuit is meaningless other than for pure partisan politics. Slick Willie is in a fuss about questions (Fox News Interview) that he could have taken out Bin Laden 7 or 8 times before 9/11 and did nothing. What’s the point? Focus on the actions that need to be taken from here on out and the long term impact of those actions. Immediate pull out would send a clear message to terrorists that we can’t stomach a fight and give up with persistent resistance and pictures of bloodshed via the media. An Al Qaeda “victory” in Iraq would do more for terrorist recruitment than staying. No matter what country you touch in the Middle East, you will incite backlash and renewed terrorism. Although with initial high resistance, would establishing a long term Democracy in a Middle East country quell extremism? Leave the Middle East alone and you will need to recon with an ever growing Islamic Fascist state that will still be bent on converting or destroying the Jews and western infidels except with more economic and military power including nuclear weapons.

    How would you handle the Middle East starting today and for the next 50 years? Apply your IQ and spend some time thinking through the scenarios and “what ifs” of this question. But I guess 20/20 hindsight and armchair quarter backing is easier than calling the plays live and in real time. Whether a Democrat or Republican in next in the White House, he (or she) will face this difficult question.

  2. Does the report mean what it seems on its face to mean, or doesn’t it? Has the invasion of Iraq made us safer from international terrorism or has it worsened our position? The Bush administration has made the case over and over again that Iraq is their centerpiece – somehow – of their response to the 9/11 terrorist attack. I’m not the one making that statement, they are. Don’t you think it fair and apropriate to note that intelligence experts are saying that the war has actually put us at greater risk than before? Don’t you think it’s a salient fact to note that international terrorism has gone up markedly since the invasion, not down? I fail to see how it’s unfair or irrelevant to point those things out.

    I refuse to let our incompetent leadership duck behind the old “let’s move forward together and put the mistakes of the past behind us” bit – especially when nobody has admitted any mistakes yet. No, the way forward comes when we admit that we fucked up. Only then will we be able to honestly craft a strategy that gives us the bset chance of positive outcomes in the middle-east. Building a plan on lies, denial and wishful thinking will avail us nothing. The last three years are proof enough of that.

    And I don’t think it’s vindictive of me to insist that there be significant political fallout for the idiots who cooked up this mess. Again, we start repairing the damage they’ve done by replacing them and their ideas. We don’t turn to them, unrepentant as they are, and invite them to a seat at the brainstorming session. In my world, when you are incompetent and your ideas wrong-headed – and you refuse to learn anything from the experience – you’re off the team.

    In any war since the founding of this country, the leaking of classified information that aids, supports or guides the strategy of the enemy is called treason.

    Let me quote myself: “they’ll likely call into question the competence, fairness and patriotism of the report writers and those who draw attention to it.” I rest my case.

    Slick Willie is in a fuss about questions (Fox News Interview) that he could have taken out Bin Laden 7 or 8 times before 9/11 and did nothing.

    I give it a D for accuracy but an A+ for distraction.

    How would you handle the Middle East starting today and for the next 50 years?

    Step 1. Admit where we’ve fucked up and get rid of those who did it. Especially when they can’t even admit they were wrong.

  3. Scott, as I read your comment, I could swear I heard a sound in the background–it sounded like the proverbial nail being hit on its proverbial head. How’d you do that?

    Bill S. must be joking. “20/20 Hindsight?” “Armchair quarterbacking?” Is that how he would explain Senator Feingold’s vote AGAINST authorizing the invasion? And the now stale “Justified or not, we are in Iraq–now what?” Well, were I a supporter of Regent Cheney and his malleable pledge son President, I suppose that’s what I would be saying, because I don’t hear many people trying to justify the decision to invade a country that had done nothing to us.

    Here are the facts to consider as one ponders “now what?” The war is over. That part of our misadventure was quickly accomplished: Saddam was ousted and then found, arrested and brought before the bar of justice. That was the war. Since then, we have been in the Occupation phase and it has not been going well, because our continued presence there causes many problems for our troops and for the Iraqi people. Worse, our Occupation Without a Plan is a magnet for terrorists and terrorist wanna-bes from all over the globe–now in Iraq, getting training and indoctrination. These are people from whom more will be heard.

    The Administration doesn’t call this an Occupation, for a couple of reasons. First, no nation in its right mind continues an Occupation as the place breaks into Civil War. All Occupations end with withdrawl of troops. And it ain’t cutting and running unless it’s done during the War phase. Also, it is more difficult to claim sweeping extraordinary powers (and damn the Constitution) as an “Occupation-Time President” than as a “War-Time President.” The former just doesn’t have that ring. Even the famed legal scholar Alberto Gonzalez would have trouble justifying no-warrant wiretaps for an Occupation-Time Commander in Chief.

    Whether we end this occupation on Deadeye Dick Cheney’s timetable or on Cindy Sheehan’s the outcome is going to be exactly the same. Parades and showers of gratitude here at home; chaos there, including harsh retribution for Iraqis who cooperated with the occupation forces. (Did you know that most folks LOATHE those who occupy their country by force?)

    During the festive welcome home parades and in the period thereafter, it would probably be a good idea to keep an eye on the skinheads, neo-Nazis and Aryan Nation idiots who realized their dream of munitions training from Uncle Sam when the enlistment standards headed south due to difficulty meeting quotas.

    Don’t let anyone tell you there is a good outcome possible in Iraq. Iraq and post-Iraq will be festering sores on our country for a long, long time. But Cheney and his pals at Haliburton cannot thank you folks enough, because it has been a genuine financial pleasure for them. Assuming Cheney’s Haliburton stock is part of the blind trust he created when the 5 Supremes voided the 2000 election and made him the most powerful Vice President ever (and how many believe a Cheney blind trust is really blind?), the Veep has made about $21k a day on this war.

    Finally, I really loved “What’s the point” as a reaction to President Clinton’s taking a little break from sucking up to the Bush family to defend himself against the Big Lie the Bush family has spewed out into the blogosphere about him. Five years of “it was Clinton’s fault” are reduced to “let’s focus on the future” after one slam-bam act of self-defense.

    Clinton followed a strategy in the Fox “News” interview that has never failed: Shine a Light on a Lie. If you want to see an absolutely brilliant report on what happened in that interview, drop by this address: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/09/25/olbermanns-special-comment-are-yours-the-actions-of-a-true-american/ Olbermann should be our National Commencement Speaker until further notice.

  4. Why should we believe ANY of this report? These are the same intelligence agencies that convinced us Iraq had WMD’s and was linked to Al-Qaeda. They envision that if we “win” in Iraq that the terrorists will be shamed into retreat. How do they KNOW this? It’s all conjecture isn’t it? Based on assumptions that these agencies have used in the past and been proven way off the mark since. I’ll make a prediction, we “win” in Iraq and terrorist attacks leap to an all time high. I’ve got a 50/50 chance of being right, so do they. Wonder what it costs to prepare such drivel.

  5. […] I’ve just about had it with these lilly-livered, yellow-bellied, appeasement-happy surrendermonkeys! Heh. Seriously, why would anyone find his comments “quite extraordinary,” when the United States’ National Intelligence Estimate said the same thing a month ago? […]

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