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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Times' Response To The Declassified NIE

Call it an impossibility to settle down. That is why I am up at this hour. And what do I see? I see a response by the New York Times to the declassification of the NIE yesterday. The entire "brief" has not been fully declassified, but key areas of it were so they could combat the spin the Times put on the estimate in the first place. The entire piece is cited below, as a subscription is required to access it. And, of course, what sort of an analysis would this be without my interjections smashing their fooilish little ideas:

It’s hard to think of a president and an administration more devoted to secrecy than President Bush and his team. Except, that is, when it suits Mr. Bush politically to give the public a glimpse of the secrets. And so, yesterday, he ordered the declassification of a fraction of a report by United States intelligence agencies on the global terrorist threat.

When it suits him? We bloggers could say the same thing about the Times and their blatant release of classified material from government leakers, but not the president. Never mind that the president, along with the vice president, have the ability to declassify ANYTHING. But the Times is disgusted with this, and we know why. They already blew the analysis, and as readers will see, this is a feeble attemtpt to save face with a "nanny-nanny boo-boo" defense. So, let us get this out of the way now. Yes the estimate did state all that the Times said was in there, however they took these items out of context within the report, and there is a need to set the record straight.

Mr. Bush said he wanted to release the document so voters would not be confused about terrorism or the war when they voted for Congressional candidates in November. But the three declassified pages from what is certainly a voluminous report told us what any American with a newspaper, television or Internet connection should already know. The invasion of Iraq was a cataclysmic disaster. The current situation will get worse if American forces leave. Unfortunately, neither the report nor the president provide even a glimmer of a suggestion about how to avoid that inevitable disaster.

Technically that is not what the estimate is about. It tells the readers what is going on with certain aspects of the world. The points in question within the released pages deal primarily with al-Qaeda, and briefly, at the end, with Iran and Syria. (I cited the document and gave analysis here.) The "glimmer" of hope that the Times is so desperately searching for is right here:

The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

The ray of hope is for America to win this, and we cannot do that while mainstream media outlets continue to hinder our progress in the war. The Times, with the story releasing information about the NIE has single-handily blown two classifed programs designed to disrupt our enemies, and then released information regarding an intelligence report. Thank you New York Times in aiding our enemies again by allowing them to know things that we know about them. And we have fulkl intention of sending these poor little jihadists back home defeated. That is how we will protect ourselves.

Despite what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, have tried to make everyone believe, one of the key findings of the National Intelligence Estimate, which represents the consensus of the 16 intelligence agencies, was indeed that the war in Iraq has greatly increased the threat from terrorism by “shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives.”

Again, the context, please? It also states that if they leave Iraq feeling defeated, it will kill the jihadist movement. All we have to do is hold true the course. Yes there will be successes and defeats. It is a war, after all. But to eternally proclaim the mission a failure--which the Times has done with nauseating incessancy--is a bit much. These people were screaming fromt he rooftops "QUAGMIRE" a week into the war, and they just will not come down off of that horse.

It said Iraq has become “the cause célèbre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.” It listed the war in Iraq as the second most important factor in the spread of terrorism — after “entrenched grievances such as corruption, injustice and fear of Western domination.” And that was before April, when the report was completed. Since then, things have got much worse. (The report was written before the killing in June of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The authors thought such an event would diminish the danger in Iraq. It has not.)

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. We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qaida.

Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.

The above two parts are the only spots where al-Zarqawi is even discussed. It does not say that his death or removal from the Iraq theater would result in a decrease in violence. It says that the death of all three men in "rapid succession" would splinter al-Qaeda into tiny little groups. And that they would pose less of a threat to the nation. This is never more evident than in Iraq. The terrorists will not engage our troops. They are falling back on their old tactics of terrorism to force peopel to abide by their "rule." We see them come and go all the time in Iraq, and they do not last long once we sweep in. The second part is technically moot because he did not "escape" Iraq. Those in Iraq right now are strained already. They cannot compete against coalition and Iraqi forces. We recently captured al-Qaeda's number two man in Iraq, but I am sure the Times agrees that that is not a great achievement either.

Mr. Bush decided to release this small, selected chunk of the report in reaction to an article on the intelligence assessment that appeared in the Times over the weekend. As a defense of his policies, it serves only to highlight the maddening circular logic that passes for a White House rationale. It goes like this: The invasion of Iraq has created an entire new army of terrorists who will be emboldened by an American withdrawal. Therefore, the United States has to stay indefinitely and keep fighting those terrorists.

No, it goes more like this. On 9/11 we were attacked by al-Qaeda. They launched a team from afghanistan, and we demanded the Taliban hand over bin Laden and other key emembers of the organization. They refused. We invaded. In the course of the invasion we came across information that showed that al-Qaeda had been working with Saddam Hussein. Saddam bucked yet another United Nations resolution (1441), and we invaded. (We believe that "serious consequences" needs to go a bit beyond a harshly worded letter.) When we did invade, and remove him, the terrorists that had been there--some al-Qaeda, and a few others from the ranks of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, et al--fought against us. Once Saddam's military ended its fight, we dealt with a native insurgency fueld by people like al-Sadr, in addition to the outside terrorist forces.

The native insurgents, for the most part, surrendered to the new government after the final vote--the constitution vote--in December of 2005. Since then we have been dealing with more foreign terrorists than native ones. And we will not abandon that nation to those animals. We will stay until they are ready to stand on their own. Pulling out would be the equivalent to pulling their chair out from underneath them. We will leave when the job is done. The jihadists decided to throw all their eggs in one basket; quite possibly an excuse for their failures around the world on terrorist plots. When our enemy went to ground, we left none for it to go to.

By that logic, the more the United States fights, the longer the war stretches on.

It’s obvious why Mr. Bush did not want this report out, and why it is taking so long for the intelligence agencies to complete another report, solely on Iraq, that was requested by Congress in late July. It’s not credible that more time is needed to do the job. In 2002, the intelligence agencies completed a report on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in less time. Mr. Bush also made selected passages of that report public to buttress his arguments for war with Iraq, most of which proved to be based on fairy tales.

He released these portions of the estimate to counter the Times' faulty assessment of what the report entails. Complaining about the time spent on these reports is absolutely nuts. It is the federal government, and it moves at the pace it sets for itself. Stamping your feet about it is not going to speed up the process. And as for the "fairy tales" the Times speaks of, need we remind them of of the casus belli?

--Alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction.

--Alleged ties to Al Qaeda and to international terrorism in general.

--Iraqi repression and brutalization of its civilian population. --Iraqi hostility toward the United States.

--Iraqi hostility toward UN sanctioned operations such as Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch.

--Perceived Iraqi failure to cooperate with UN weapons inspections and disarmament procedures.

--Iraqi possession of Kuwaiti POW's, Iraqi violation of cease fire agreement.

--Attempted plot to kill former US president George H.W. Bush by Iraqi special service.

Then, Mr. Bush wanted Americans to focus on how dangerous Saddam Hussein was, and not on the obvious consequences of starting a war in the Middle East. Now, he wants voters to focus on how dangerous the world is, and not on his utter lack of ideas for what to do about it.

Idea Number One: Kill our enemy, or destroy their capacity to fight. See, we would still be doing that if it were not for the defeatist efforts of the Times. Blowing the cover on the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program, which helps us keep tabs on our enemies here, has been useful not only to us, but other nations, too. The Canadians made their raids based partly on information gleaned from the NSA TSP. The same goes for Britain in their recent arrests of a number of jihadists determined to commit an act equal in atrocity to 9/11; possibly even surpassing it.

When they released the story about the SWIFT program, the Times tipped our enemies off to what was being used to track their finances around the world. They knew, obviously, that we would be working to follow their money so we could put a stranglehold on their operations, but they likely did not know to what extent we had gone to. The revelation by the Times let them know that. Numerous intelligence analysts have stated that the release of these stories has damaged our efforts to stop our enemies here in the nation.

The Times does a nice rinse-and-spin of the NIE release, but it does not measure up to what the declassified sections really say. It does not paint a rosy picture, at all. But the underlying points made are that as long as they go home unhappy, the chances of more jihadists joining their ranks are greatly reduced, and that the worries of the future lie in the region, with an ending emphasis placed on Syria and Iran; the two nations feeding the terrorists in Iraq.

The Times, simply put, is incorrect in their assesssments, and in their defense. It is utterly ridiculous to buy their Sunday assessment of the NIE after reading this today. Their view is utterly defeatist. The president's remains true to the task of finishing the job. They seem to miss the point that to run in the face of these animals is a slow death sentence on the nation, and on the world.

Whew. I needed that venting today. With all that is about to happen, I needed to blow off some steam. NOW, I think I can fall asleep.



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