Why Did Bush Want the NIE Released When It So Obviously Contradicts His Happy Talk?

This kinda makes you wonder why Bush was so hot to get the full intel report out in the open.

Portions of the report appear to bolster President Bush’s argument that the only way to defeat the terrorists is to keep unrelenting military pressure on them. But nowhere in the assessment is any evidence to support Mr. Bush’s confident-sounding assertion this month in Atlanta that “America is winning the war on terror.”

While the spread of self-described jihadists is hard to measure, the report says, the terrorists “are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.”

It says that a continuation of that trend would lead “to increasing attacks worldwide” and that “the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities.”

Cue lapidary quote from terrorism expert. “I guess the overall conclusion that you get from it is that we don’t have enough bullets given all the enemies we are creating,” said Bruce Hoffman, a professor of security studies at Georgetown University.

What to make of this? Either Bush truly believes that stuff about how we’re an empire now and we make our own reality through action and wishful thinking; or he hadn’t read the report, relying on “the filter” of Cheney et al., or he has entered a state of self-protective delusion. Whatever the explanation, the more important point is that the answer to the question Are We Safer? is pretty obviously “NO.” So what to do about that?


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.