Tom Maguire of Just One Minute notes the New York Times bragging it leaked portions of the National Intelligence Estrimate at a critical time to help the Dems. Although he notes that the leak was disingenuous:
Unsurprisingly, the Times report was a bit tilted; a few days later Bush declassified the key judgments of the NIE and we saw things like this:
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.
Thank heaven for intelligence agencies — who would have guessed that a failure by the jihadists in Iraq would set them back? Of course, withdrawing US troops may not be the best way to bring about that jihadist failure, but the Times report overlooked that subtlety.
Here is another quote from the original Times story:
The report 'says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,' said one American intelligence official.
Really? Compared to what? The NIE made no attempt to establish a baseline. For example, prior to 2003, jihadists had been inspired by the US troops based in Saudia Arabia as a bulwark against Saddam Hussein, and by US—led UN Sanctions on Iraq, alleged to be killing 5,000 Iraqi babies a month. How would those two rallying cries have held up if in 2003 the US had settled for attempting to re—tighten "the box" containing Saddam Hussein?
Clarice Feldman 11 10 06