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December 10, 2007
Silver lining in the NIE flap?
Laurie Mylroie sees a potential silver lining in the NIE flap. With the CIA being increasingly discredited as a source of creditable intelligence, perhaps someone will review earlier NIE reports which missed that Iraq was behind 9/11 and other attacks:
Now prompted by the latest NIE, the Washington Post recounts some of the CIA's "biggest bloopers," while the National Interest relates others. Maybe, the failed hunt for Iraq's weapons will eventually be added to those lists? [snip]
Most Americans, including perhaps, the president himself, would be astonished to learn that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and that could be demonstrated -- if the administration were willing to take on the intelligence community. Such a demonstration would focus on the extraordinary "family" of terrorist masterminds (pdf) behind the major attacks, starting with the first assault on the Trade Center, culminating in 9/11, and even continuing afterwards.
Might those who want a tough policy toward Iran be ready to help correct the intelligence failure that emerged in the 1990s, when shadowy groups supplanted hostile states as the focus of America's national security policy? Even to take another look at the information suggesting Iraq's role in terrorism, including 9/11? The decision to remove Saddam was entirely justified, but their failure to offer it adequate support now undermines their own cause.