Tony Snow, General Petraeus and right-wing Republican pundits can spin all they want, but one thing that the new version of the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) makes clear is to continue with the Bush/Republican agenda is to continue down the same disastrous road. Bush and the Right want more American troops to die not to save America from another 9-11, but to try and salvage the national security reputation of the Republican party. Iraq, the war the Right manipulated America into and which too many Democrats failed to speak up against will not stop Islamic extremism. Finally, Bad News That Even Bush Can’t Spin
The latest National Intelligence Estimate concludes that al-Qaeda and its leader have only grown stronger since the inception of Bush’s war.
While the president diverted the military to Iraq, the real terrorist threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan intensified. If he reads the estimate, he will weep for the more than 3,000 lives lost and billions of dollars spent in a war that’s only heightened the hatred of Americans in the Islamic world and increased their desire to kill us — here.
Combine the NIE summary with last week’s interim report on the Iraqi government’s progress meeting the 18 benchmarks and Bush’s claims are laughable.
The White House gave itself “satisfactory” ratings on progress if the Iraqis so much as formed a committee to study a problem. It gave the Iraqis “satisfactory” marks for fixing their constitution, while the parliament has missed every deadline for resolving disagreements.
And it gave itself high marks for securing a place for minority parties, when killing and boycotts have stalled any such thing and a major Sunni bloc withdrew.
Republicans in the private sector have been doing this for years; they have a committee look at how management is doing and what do ya know the committee always finds that management is doing great. The NIE findings also beg some questions about the surge. Cooking the intelligence, again
The latest NIE, however, is a strange product. According to highly reliable sources in the intelligence community, no new intelligence at all is reflected in the NIE. Its conclusions, on one level, are a rehash of obvious facts that anyone who reads a daily newspaper could glean, such as the protected status of al-Qaida in frontier regions of Pakistan. Other conclusions lack contextual analysis, partly because of the continuing pressure from the administration to politicize information and cherry-pick intelligence. The NIE, for example, does not explain that al-Qaida in Iraq, while lethal, is a very small part of the Sunni insurgency, and that a number of Sunni insurgent groups are its sworn enemies. Nor did the NIE note how few foreign fighters are in Iraq and what a small percentage of insurgents they constitute. (A Los Angeles Times story published on July 15 reported that of the 19,000 Iraqi prisoners held by the U.S. military there, only 135 are foreign fighters, and nearly half are Saudis.) The NIE is utterly devoid of political analysis.
According to intelligence sources, CIA director Michael Hayden has been under attack within the administration from Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives since testifying frankly to the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group that urged a strategic redeployment of U.S. forces and new diplomatic efforts in the region, which were rejected by President Bush.
Iraq is not a full house its a bluff and Bush has been called. We’re not losing now in some precipitous moment in the great battle that will end terrorism we lost the day Bush wouldn’t weapons inspectors do their job. Conservatives, both those elected and those shaking their pom-poms on the side lines are doing nothing less then creating a meat grinder in Iraq and feeding it with our troops – and if you’re against Bush’s using the troops as cannon fodder by the way you’re unamerican and pro terrorist. The Iraq government that Bush created is largely corrupt. Some of the Iraqi police are police by day and insurgents by night, and the Iraqi Army has probably reached its pinnacle of competency. A president and his supporters that cared about the troops and defeating al-Qaeda would strengthen our forces in Afghanistan, rotate troops back to the states for a rest and stop using Iraq as political cover.
A small, but still crucial victory, House protects public broadcasting from Bush attack
The House on Wednesday evening overwhelmingly rejected President Bush’s plan to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The 357-72 vote demonstrated the enduring political strength of public broadcasting. The outcome was never in doubt, unlike a fight two years ago when Republicans tried but failed to slash public broadcasting subsidies.
The move to kill subsidies for the CPB, which make up about 15 percent of its budget, was launched by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado.
Lamborn has at least two faces. One of them thinks that the misley 420 million will really make a dent in the deficit, but has never failed to vote for every bit of Republican pork amounting to hundreds of billions, not to mention the black hole which is Iraq, Iraq War Costs Approach $567 Billion, Congressional Report Says
Unka Karl lied again and the Whitehouse claims to Stalinesque powers is just bull hockey, Top ‘Attorneygate’ investigator: No ‘blind faith’ for the White House
He went on to warn that “the White House participated in false statements to Congress.”
“Chris Oprison in the Counsel’s office signed off on an inaccurate letter that the Justice Department sent to Congress claiming that Karl Rove did not play a role in the appointment of Tim Griffin to replace Bud Cummins,” he explained.
The committee’s chairman also implied an effort was being taken to obstruct the investigation of the Attorneys’ firings.
“We also have evidence of a concerted effort both by the Justice Department and the White House to hide or downplay the role of White House personnel in this process,” he argued.
Among the urban myths that the unhinged Right likes to regularly recycle is the one about Jamie S. Gorelick who was Deputy Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton administration and what has been called the “wall”. This “wall” that Gorelick supposedly created segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents which according to those on the Right seeking to deflect blame for 9-11 away from the Bush administration has used as the institutional reason that the 9-11 conspirators(hijackers) were not caught. The 9-11 Commission found and it is a matter of public record that laws preventing certain types of cooperation between domestic agencies and bodies such as the CIA had come into place over the course of several president and as Slade Gorton (R-WA) a member of the 9-11 Commission said, “nothing Jamie Gorelick wrote had the slightest impact on the Department of Defense or its willingness or ability to share intelligence information with other intelligence agencies.” The flow of information was regulated but not stopped. The intelligences services were then and they are now free to share information with the Department of Justice which can then direct the FBI to investigate those issues , such as the 9-11 hijackers. Gorton’s letter to The Washington Times who helped to spread the misinformation against Gorelick,
Defending the September 11 commission
The criticisms of the September 11 commission and, in particular, my commission colleague Jamie Gorelick, are unfounded (“Blinks and winks on Able Danger,” Commentary, Tuesday, and “Able Danger’s hidden hand,” Commentary, Monday). The commission asked the Defense Department for all documents relating to the Able Danger military intelligence program. None of those that the Defense Department supplied us mentioned Mohamed Atta.
The one witness who did name Atta came to our staff shortly before the commission’s report went to the printer. He said he thought he had seen something showing Atta in Brooklyn early in 2000. We knew, in fact, that Atta first arrived in the United States in June 2000 with a visa. For this and other reasons, the witness simply was not credible on this subject.
Additionally, the assertion that the commission failed to report on this program to protect Ms. Gorelick is ridiculous. She had nothing to do with any “wall” between law enforcement and our intelligence agencies. The 1995 Department of Justice guidelines at issue were internal to the Justice Department and were not even sent to any other agency. The guidelines had no effect on the Department of Defense and certainly did not prohibit it from communicating with the FBI, the CIA or anyone else.
Congress created the walls that were in place before September 11 — such as the National Security Act’s prohibition on U.S. intelligence agency spying on Americans and the Posse Comitatus Act — that have nothing to do with the Department of Justice memo. The Defense Department’s own directives on sharing such information date from the 1980s. It is not clear that those laws would have prohibited sharing information in this instance.
The fact is that the Justice Department guidelines sought to encourage sharing in a way that was consistent with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. FISA enabled the government to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes under a lesser standard than typical criminal surveillance. To keep this power in check, the courts prohibited the use of intelligence wiretaps unless their “primary purpose” was intelligence gathering rather than criminal prosecution.
Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s department reissued and reaffirmed those guidelines in 2001, before September 11.
Even when the Patriot Act eliminated the “primary purpose” test, it took an appellate court ruling to permit the Justice Department to change those rules.
So attributing these procedures to Ms. Gorelick is wrong. If the Ashcroft Justice Department couldn’t eliminate them with a stroke of a pen, Ms. Gorelick could not have created them with the stroke of a pen, either.
September 11 commission member
“Liberal” Hollywood? Pleasssse. Right-Wing ‘Path to 9/11? receives 6 7 Emmy nominations.
They should have called it The Right-Winger’s Faire Tale of 9-11.
“The whole family of pride and ignorance are incestuous, and mutually beget each other” – Charles Caleb Colton