Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Analyzing the Analysis

An assessment of the recently leaked National Intelligence Estimate says this, describes the spreading "global jihadist movement" as fueled largely by forces that al-Qaeda exploits but is not actively directing. They include Iraq, corrupt and unjust governments in Muslim-majority countries, and "pervasive anti-U.S. sentiment among most Muslims."

The overall estimate is bleak, with minor notes of optimism. It depicts a movement that is likely to grow more quickly than the West's ability to counter it over the next five years, as the Iraq war continues to breed "deep resentment" throughout the Muslim world, shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and cultivating new supporters for their ideology.

In describing Iraq as "the 'cause celebre' for jihadists,"....
The president says this,
"that because of our successes against the leadership of al-Qaeda, the enemy is becoming more diffuse and independent."
They react like this,
The reports led to an explosion of reaction, with the Bush administration and leading congressional Republicans saying that the published portions did not reflect the document's balanced view of successes and remaining challenges. It was no accident, Bush charged, that selective and potentially damaging parts had been "leaked" on the eve of the midterm elections.
A key intelligence officer says this,
"This is very much mainstream stuff," said Paul R. Pillar, the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005. "There are no surprises."
No surprises.



Not much buzz about this yet, but Josh Marshall is monitoring the story...

This morning at TPM we got word that in addition to the already reported April Iraq/Terrorism NIE, there was another NIE exclusively on Iraq.

We talked to various Hill sources who confirmed its existence. And then Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), ranking member of the House intel committee discussed the report and called for its release at an event at the National Press Club.

Only there was another wrinkle to the sources. Hill sources tell TPMmuckraker that the administration has been sitting on the report, trying to prevent its dissemination before the election, presumably. And it turns out, from what we've heard, that this NIE actually hasn't been given the official "NIE" label because doing that would have required sharing it with various members of Congress.

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