Leakers and liars
President Bush, by releasing a de- classified version of that controver sial intelligence report on terrorism and the Iraq campaign, has put the lie to claims that even his own spies say toppling Saddam Hussein was a bad idea.Democrats and their allies in the media have compounded the wrong by continuing to spin the NIE as supporting their cut and run policies when the opposite is the case. The NY Times and the Washington Post are particularly at fault in this regard.
Yes, the report says that the war in Iraq is one of four factors that have energized the jihadists.
But it also maintains that the greatest threat to America and the West will come if the insurgents are seen to have won in Iraq - and that the way to prevent that is to defeat them, not to follow the Democrats' cut-and-run formula.
"Perceived jihadist success [in Iraq] would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere," the report notes, adding: "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."
Repeat: Showing the terrorists that America will stay the course until they are defeated will dissuade others from joining the jihadist movement.
Indeed, the report says, "the jihadists' greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution . . . is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims."
The Bush administration has combined that approach with targeting of al Qaeda's operational ability. And the NIE also concludes that U.S.-led efforts "have seriously damaged the leadership of al Qaeda and disrupted its operations."
Now, none of this was apparent in the weekend reporting on the intelligence survey found in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times.
Of course not.
There are at least two possible reasons for this:
* The leakers cherry-picked the report, intending to undermine the administration's war policies, and the reporters bit - hook, line and sinker.
* Or the reporters - and editors - themselves collaborated in disseminating deliberately deceptive "news."
Either way, the original newspaper stories amounted to distribution of propaganda - witting or otherwise - that materially aided the cause of the enemy in time of war.
And somebody needs to be held to account for that.
... Leading Democrats are playing politics with the lives of U.S. troops in Iraq. By undermining U.S. policy there, they are emboldening the very terrorist movement they say they hope to defeat.
The Democrats - and their newsroom allies - thought the NIE would prove to be their smoking gun. But if Americans actually take the time to read the report, it will be seen for what it is.
Nothing of the sort.