Sunday, September 24, 2006

NYT: "Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat" (Mark Mazzetti)

The big news is the National Intelligence Estimate:

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States," it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.
An opening section of the report, "Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement," cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.
The report "says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse," said one American intelligence official.

The above excerpt is from Mark Mazzetti's long, prominetly placed (best spot on the front page, the eyes go left to right) "Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat" in this morning's New York Times. What does it mean? The excerpt tells you what it means. It means something else as well. Mazzetti goes with what he's given. And this time around "[m]ore than a dozen" were giving. That tells you something.

When that many are willing to talk, when the story makes the paper (and the favored spot on the front page, no less), that tells you something. What?

The simplest explanation is that "people" are trying to place Bully Boy in check with regards to his plans for an Iran war. Want to dig a little deeper? It could mean that, as with Nixon, the government (and other interested parties) are no longer willing to cover for him. (And if Cheney's explained that to him this morning, he's probably alarmed. If Cheney explained to him that he should be.) The think tanks are going against the war. Now intell is getting antsy in a very non-off-the-reservation manner.

It's news. No question. The bigger news is that the paper published it as opposed to two other things they're currently sitting on or James Risen's exclusive that they set on for over a year. If Dick Cheney's sat him down and explained it to him, Bully Boy's probably alarmed today. He should be. His approvals are low (and remain low) and the people have turned against the war. Though he's no student of history, Cheney was around during the lead up to Watergate and he doesn't need to be a tea leaf reader to realize what this could mean.

Martha notes Karen DeYoung's coverage of the story, "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight" (Washington Post):

The NIE, whose contents were first reported by the New York Times, coincides with public statements by senior intelligence officials describing a different kind of conflict than the one outlined by President Bush in a series of recent speeches marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"Together with our coalition partners," Bush said in an address earlier this month to the Military Officers Association of America, "we've removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they're carried out. We're on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront, and we'll accept nothing less than complete victory."
But the battlefronts intelligence analysts depict are far more impenetrable and difficult, if not impossible, to combat with the standard tools of warfare.
Although intelligence officials agree that the United States has seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qaeda and disrupted its ability to plan and direct major operations, radical Islamic networks have spread and decentralized.

Sidebar, I wasn't aware the sabbatical was over.

Darrell Anderson is the topic of Sun Media's "Iraq war deserter going back to U.S." (The Calgary Sun):

"He's not giving up," said Lee Zaslofsky, friend and co-ordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign in Toronto.
"His battle is with the American authorities so he wants to continue the battle with Americans ... It certainly isn't that he's crawling back to the U.S."
Anderson told a Kentucky newspaper he had hoped to build a new life in Canada.
He had served with the 1st Armoured Division and received a Purple Heart after being wounded by a roadside bomb.
But disillusionment with the war quickly set in and he decided to flee north of the border.
"I decided that I've got to go back and get this over with once and for all, instead of living in limbo up here forever," Anderson said.

He's also the topic of The Third Estate Sunday Review's editorial (which, by mistake, is above the note, but it's stayng that way because we're tired and it's good to have a visual at the top). New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Editorial: Darrell Anderson Needs You
A Note to Our Readers
TV: Heroic Would Be Pasdar in a Loin Cloth
Dick & Bully Boy hiding behind others as usual
Bully Boy cloud
The Tears
MyTV's Fascist House
Shades Include Green (Party)
GreenStone Media
About the Times Select . . .
Nye-Nye Takes a Fall

The editorial will make it over here on Monday if not before. Check out Mike's "War comes to class" and Ruth's Report yesterday covered Darrell Anderson as well. We'll note the other Iraq article in the Times tonight (late, late tonight) in "And the war drags on . . ."

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