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September 27, 2006


I just reread this post and I can't believe I'm celebrating the fact that the POTUS is actually reading a key assessment on his GWOT.

That's pathetic.

I contend that the Iraqi conflict, as well as the prevailing Middle East tensions, will be lessened in equal proportion to the success we achieve in providing for a Palestinian state. Given that the NIE assessment posits that, "If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives", then it would be reasonable to conclude that any progress with the Palestinian issue will greatly enhance the speculative potentiality of the NIE report. Absent the Palestinian effort, I'm of the opinion that the NIE timeframe is overly optimistic and dependent upon a relatively static progression without the prevalence of unforeseen events and escalations...which seems unlikely at best.

Frankly, I doubt that the existing Republican approach or the alternative of withdrawal supported by a number Democrats will serve to alleviate the existing conditions and bring relative stability to the troubled region. Neither approach has the wherewithal to alter the prevailing sentiment. Conversely, a voluntary effort that would demonstrate our ability to discern the profound importance of a successful Palestinian state would, in my opinion, yield exponential goodwill. Given the current conditions, such an effort has little risk.

Read more here:


It would have been unthinkable prior to 2002 to assume that the Commander in Chief AND the National Security Advisor hadn't read the NIE. But perhaps the media ought to pepper all the relevant senior members of the administration to see if they've read this one, and whether they read it before three days ago. They should also ask them about the second "secret" report dealing exclusively with Iraq that is an NIE in all but name.

Given the evidence, I still think Bush has plausible deniability regarding whether he has personally read this NIE. The quote the administration trotted out ("We Will Face The Terrorists In The Streets Of Our Own Cities") is borderline retarded. It is not in the NIE. (If it were, they would have already leaked that portion of it.) That quote was so clearly designed for the purposes of domestic fear-mongering and improving his anemic poll numbers, I can't believe we're actually discussing it in the context of the NIE. All Bush would have to say is that his speechwriters put in there, and he simply read it. And I would believe him. Bush has constantly been saying that the Iraq war has made us safer, which is, again, not the conclusions of the NIE. The NIE seems to portray Iraq as the exact opposite. (And so does Musharraf--last night on the Daily Show he said the Iraq war is making the world LESS safe.)

Given what we now know about the declassification of the 2002 NIE, I have a greater appreciation of all the behind-the-scenes manuevering that is undoubtedly going on in this White House right now. I'm sure everyone there is so busy, that they can't possibly remember what they told a reporter yesterday. Heck, there are probably certain members of this adminstration that are already fabricating entire conversations that they think they had with prominent members of the media.


Will you be heading to the Kos events tomorrow night? Doubt I will make it to the book reading, but I will probably be over at Leopold Bros. afterwards. Hope to see ya there.

I'm going to try to go to Leopolds. I'll look for you there.

I still doubt that bush has the cognative inteligence needed to UNDERSTAND a National Inteligence Estimate

this leads me to suspect that george did read both NIEs, he just didn't understand what they said

the man sat thru a terrorist attack so he could find out how "the pet goat" turned out

I don't think george reads above the first grade level to begin with

he sure can lie about it though

ever seen "A Fish Called Wanda" ???

Apes don't read philosophy

yes they do Otto, they just don't understand it

Jim E.,
In Froomkin's column today he quotes Bush as saying, "I, of course, read the key judgments on the NIE." Given his penchant for parsable phrases I guess this means that he hasn't read the whole thing. In fact, since he says "on the NIE" rather than "in the NIE", I suppose he could claim that he only read someone else's summary of the key judgments.


At least for the Iraq 2002 one, Bush got a one-page summary of it briefed to him (not the same as reading, but I guess you take what you can get with this guy). So that's probably what he got--the same key judgments, only with the conclusions that his war in Iran would force us to fight Hezbollah over here, as well as over there.

Among the other things missing from the NIE, at least as released, and probably in its entirety, are references to the other Muslim grievances, the Palestine question above all, and the changes that we would need to make to address this hostility.

As William Arkin points out in the piece linked above, Buish is not entirely correct, in that we were "in" Iraq from 1991 on, first through troops, then special forces, no-fly zones, sanctions and the rest. And it was Bush I who stationed the troops in Saudi Arabia, even if Clinton and then Bush II left them there leading up to 9/11.

The NIE evidently does not deal with the consequences of our tilt, exacerbated under Bush II, towards Israel, and of course the Dems won't touch that one either. And it apparently only tangentially mentions the need for change in repressive Arab givernments.

anybody watching wolfie ???

what does the NIE say about the cat fight between Musharif and Karzai that's being broadcast right now by chicken noodle network ???

is anything going right for repuglicans ???

I guess bringing our allies to washington before the election wasn't such a bright idea after all

what else has rover got on the menu ???

hope they all explode in his face like this one did

Karzai has a mean left and some fancy footwork, but my money is on the military guy in this fight

I agreee with the others who said that Bush could say that he was given to read some parts or some summaries but not the whole document.

I see this excerpted NIE as something like a Rove assignment: take all the parts of the NIE that reinforce Republican policies, and our speechwriting and the president's comments over the past year; remove all references to volatile ongoing and delicate situations; and keep some of the new insights into the dynamic created by the 'domino' effect.

I was looking for a lot more than Lebanon coverage, although given longstanding interest there by some EU principals, it is understandable most of that remains unpublished. It is a difficult region.

Slightly off topic, I wonder if some people here had read the Sunday WaPo article about who worked in the CPA, written by a current continuous news reporter there. I found a few items about this on the internet, and much of it was an encouragement to purchase his book.

All of this NIE stuff can be largely beside the point given the fact that the leaders of our country are idiots or liars, or both. This evening on Hardball, John Boehner repeatedly asserted that Saddam directly allowed Al Quada to live and train in Iraq prior and up to the U.S. invasion. Boehner said that he knows Iraq had WMD prior to the U.S. invasion, but that the mystery is what happened to them. Boehner also said that Saddam was involved in 9/11. When pressed on this point, Boehner said that Saddam was "indirectly" involved in 9/11. When continually pressed, Boehner seemed to backtrack and also say Saddam was only "indirectly" involved with Al Quada. Just about everything Boehner said (even if he backtracked to "indirect") is contradicted by facts documented years ago, even prior to the recent Senate report.

It was a surreal appearance. Well, every Republican appearance devoted to blandly defending the war -- and using blatent lies and/or astounding ignorance and/or misleading statements to do so, like Bush, Rice, Cheney, and Boehner do on a regular basis -- is a surreal one. As long as your blood pressure can bear it, you might want to catch the 7pm replay.

At this point, politically speaking, it is almost irrelevant as to what the NIE or any other official document says. No matter what the truth is, the pro-war folk will always have access to a microphone and millions of supporters to hear them spout gibberish.

JimE says "At this point, politically speaking, it is almost irrelevant as to what the NIE or any other official document says. No matter what the truth is, the pro-war folk will always have access to a microphone and millions of supporters to hear them spout gibberish."

Spot on. The only thing that matters these days is the spin and how the corporate media propagate the spin. The Repubs and neocons have a lock on that. So it all boils down to can the Dem base work harder and turn out in greater numbers and send these guys back to their rapture classes.

I think the selective NIE release backfired on the Administration, quite frankly. It showed that the Iraq War really was fueling jihadism, and increasing the number of jihadists, and making Iraq a 'cause celebre' across an increasingly disaffected Middle East. It left Tony Snow sputtering this morning about how being a jihadist wasn't necessarily about strapping on a bomb (and saying other weird things like that).

Frankly, I wondered if Bush released part of the NIE to justify, in the CIA leak case, the notion that, why indeed, yes, quite unlike any President before him, once in a while he orders the selective declassification of sections of the NIE. Indeed, that was exactly what Libby was ordered to divulge back in 2003, back when Libby made a note of it, and even made a special visit to counsel to discuss it. No, not Plame's identity, it was the NIE...even though it had already been leaked to others, ahem... And now that everyone in the White House has its story straight on that, why, let's make it seem like it's a regular habit....

Well, Emptywheel, looks like Murray Waas has got you beat on the Plame book front. He's got a book coming out in December.


Well if BushCo manages to bring the war home, isn't that good for (Republican owned private security) business? Local police units are underfunded. Time for private security firms to control the homeland. If you pay us, we'll protect you. If you have no money, you can be our indentured servants. Till the land. Sweep the streets.

Has anyone noted the lack of local news about this morning's bomb scare outside the courthouse where Libby's graymail deliberations were scheduled to take place? Fake bombs/real bombs usually register my local news no matter the location. Hmmm.
My first thought when I read this on FDL this am:

"Suspicious package found at Federal courthouse where Libby hearing was to have been held this morning. MSNBC reports that Fitz had arrived for the hearing along with his team, and they were all evacuated outside the building along with everyone else"

was that it was a ploy to secretly steal a look at any useful documents Fitz's team had to leave behind during the evacuation.

You know 'Emptywheel and Wass' has a nice ring to it.

robbie c

The more the merrier--Waas has different strengths than I do, so between us, we should be able to correct some of the misconceptions on this thing.

robbie c

Any word on the hearing transcript? And what was the prorgam that Leopold appeared on? I couldn't find a link to it.

I emailed Leopold and he said he's reading through the transcripts.

I asked him for a copy of the transcript and he said he is still reading it

I don't remember the Pacifica show but it was on 90.7 FM.


Murry Waas has a mean left and some fancy footwork

but emptywheel is gonna kick his ass in the Plame book mixer

ew by a knockout in chapter three, bet on it


Wayne Masden has an interesting story up, accept it or not, about Grossman leaking the Brewster Jennings identity in 2001.

Why don't you just lobby the New York Times and the Washington Post to release the NIE? Their informant/spy got it all.

Oh yeah, you aren't on speaking terms with those papers because they undercut your Plame conspiracy!

I got to admit it is hard to find someone that agrees with everything that that is patently ridiculous.

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