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?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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