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July 22, 2007


Solid start to a Sunday, ew. Where would we be without you? Following the obvious general question (these are our allies?) and your lead from over a month ago (is anybody besides Cheney dealing with this?), and then seeing others (natural gas pipeline deal no one knows about), now it seems everything is ever so slowly focusing on Pakistan. I was looking for it from the Democrats in the Senate withdrawl debate, where there was a lot of "we didn't finish the job in Afghanistan, and Bush began his war of choice in Iraq," but no one seemed to get as far as "look at what's happening in Pakistan!" Any update on the Cheney Pakistan portfolio?

And my own Sunday morning (earlier on west coast) thought/question is that it seems the intriguing current congress' oversight/criminal investigations, while it will continue to be "fun" and compelling, is going to pretty much run out the clock on this administration (well played, Fred Fielding--should have guessed that Cheney had a player like FF buried deep on his bench for 4th quarter crunchtime), especially when you consider that a lot of the content will be turned into 08 campaign material. But what happens with investigating and charging all of the outgoing crooks in 09? This assumes that the Dems don't mess it up and there's no Rovian math we don't know about. With a real Justice department, and an Admin that is actually looking for the truth (partly out of partisan glee and retribution, yes) rather than trying to kill the constitution to protect itself, what can and what will they do?

Not giving up the current fight, but some frustations lead to wondering about the next phase. And if we're wondering about it, you know that Bush-Cheney-Rove and Fielding have their own timetable and have a good idea of how they want things to go.

OfT, IIRC, last week (imvho in response to the increasing likelihood that we are pulling out) Shia legislators (loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr) ended their boycott.

EW, in today's newspaper, in the Week in Review section of the NYT, there is a comparison of the 2000 NIE with the 2007, and the similarities are just amazing. I cannot find it on-line, and I am a Times Select member.

masaccio - Is this what you were referring to? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/weekinreview/22mazzetti.html?ref=weekinreview I am pretty sure it is.

bmaz, yes, it is the graphic on the left under the picture of George Tenet and Frances Townsend. Nice find.

bmaz, it is indeed, the graphic you click on under the pictures of George Tenet and Frances Townsend. Nice find!

Once would have been enough.

Questions Congress Needs to Ask About the Latest NIE


There is a significant and unexplained disconnect between the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Defending the Homeland and the April 2006 NIE, Trends in Global Terrorism.

How do we get from “seriously damaged” to “regenerated”?

A careful reading of the NIE on The Terrorist Threat to the Homeland fails to reveal any empirical or intelligence data to justify the conclusions.

What is up DNI Director Mike McConnell? Is the DNI and the NIC confusing their fears with reality? It sure looks like it. It is time for the Senate and House intelligence committees to get some firm, clear answers.


I'm curious about this sentence in your post:

The previous NIE, unlike this most recent one, may have relied on intelligence gathered using torture.

I don't understand the basis for this statement. Why should we think that the current NIE isn't based on intelligence gathered using torture?

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