[Vision2020] American Intelligence: Iraq War Has Created Terrorists

Bill London london at moscow.com
Sun Sep 24 16:15:10 PDT 2006

This report focuses on what I think is the key to understanding the current
my response to the 9/11 terrorism was the same as the world-wide reaction:
Al Qaeda terrorism must be destroyed.
Then, over the next few years (despite the warnings and concerns expressed,
again, worldwide), the Bush administration perverted that goal, through
incompetence or extreme political myopia or a combination of both, into a
land war in the mideast that has built an Islamic Radical movement and
increased the number of jihadists ready to die.
I used to joke about the end of the American hegemony.  Now, I can see how
this incompetent imperialism can really make that happen.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <nickgier at adelphia.net>
To: <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2006 2:11 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] American Intelligence: Iraq War Has Created Terrorists

> Critics of the war said this even before the war started.
> September 24, 2006, The New York Times
> Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat
> WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American
intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of
Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the
overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.
> The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct
role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in
recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House
Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington
involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.
> The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal
appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since
the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy
services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications
for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than
being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.
> An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global
Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of
jihad ideology.
> The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem
worse,” said one American intelligence official.
> More than a dozen United States government officials and outside experts
were interviewed for this article, and all spoke only on condition of
anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence document.
The officials included employees of several government agencies, and both
supporters and critics of the Bush administration. All of those interviewed
had either seen the final version of the document or participated in the
creation of earlier drafts. These officials discussed some of the document’s
general conclusions but not details, which remain highly classified.
> Officials with knowledge of the intelligence estimate said it avoided
specific judgments about the likelihood that terrorists would once again
strike on United States soil. The relationship between the Iraq war and
terrorism, and the question of whether the United States is safer, have been
subjects of persistent debate since the war began in 2003.
> National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative documents that
the intelligence community produces on a specific national security issue,
and are approved by John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence.
Their conclusions are based on analysis of raw intelligence collected by all
of the spy agencies.
> Analysts began working on the estimate in 2004, but it was not finalized
until this year. Part of the reason was that some government officials were
unhappy with the structure and focus of earlier versions of the document,
according to officials involved in the discussion.
> Previous drafts described actions by the United States government that
were determined to have stoked the jihad movement, like the indefinite
detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and the Abu Ghraib prison abuse
scandal, and some policy makers argued that the intelligence estimate should
be more focused on specific steps to mitigate the terror threat. It is
unclear whether the final draft of the intelligence estimate criticizes
individual policies of the United States, but intelligence officials
involved in preparing the document said its conclusions were not softened or
massaged for political purposes.
> Frederick Jones, a White House spokesman, said the White House “played no
role in drafting or reviewing the judgments expressed in the National
Intelligence Estimate on terrorism.” The estimate’s judgments confirm some
predictions of a National Intelligence Council report completed in January
2003, two months before the Iraq invasion. That report stated that the
approaching war had the potential to increase support for political Islam
worldwide and could increase support for some terrorist objectives.
> Documents released by the White House timed to coincide with the fifth
anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks emphasized the successes that the United
States had made in dismantling the top tier of Al Qaeda.
> “Since the Sept. 11 attacks, America and its allies are safer, but we are
not yet safe,” concludes one, a report titled “9/11 Five Years Later:
Success and Challenges.” “We have done much to degrade Al Qaeda and its
affiliates and to undercut the perceived legitimacy of terrorism.”
> That document makes only passing mention of the impact the Iraq war has
had on the global jihad movement. “The ongoing fight for freedom in Iraq has
been twisted by terrorist propaganda as a rallying cry,” it states.
> The report mentions the possibility that Islamic militants who fought in
Iraq could return to their home countries, “exacerbating domestic conflicts
or fomenting radical ideologies.”
> On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee
released a more ominous report about the terrorist threat. That assessment,
based entirely on unclassified documents, details a growing jihad movement
and says, “Al Qaeda leaders wait patiently for the right opportunity to
> The new National Intelligence Estimate was overseen by David B. Low, the
national intelligence officer for transnational threats, who commissioned it
in 2004 after he took up his post at the National Intelligence Council. Mr.
Low declined to be interviewed for this article.
> The estimate concludes that the radical Islamic movement has expanded from
a core of Qaeda operatives and affiliated groups to include a new class of
“self-generating” cells inspired by Al Qaeda’s leadership but without any
direct connection to Osama bin Laden or his top lieutenants.
> It also examines how the Internet has helped spread jihadist ideology, and
how cyberspace has become a haven for terrorist operatives who no longer
have geographical refuges in countries like Afghanistan.
> In early 2005, the National Intelligence Council released a study
concluding that Iraq had become the primary training ground for the next
generation of terrorists, and that veterans of the Iraq war might ultimately
overtake Al Qaeda’s current leadership in the constellation of the global
jihad leadership.
> But the new intelligence estimate is the first report since the war began
to present a comprehensive picture about the trends in global terrorism.
> In recent months, some senior American intelligence officials have offered
glimpses into the estimate’s conclusions in public speeches.
> “New jihadist networks and cells, sometimes united by little more than
their anti-Western agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge,” said Gen.
Michael V. Hayden, during a speech in San Antonio in April, the month that
the new estimate was completed. “If this trend continues, threats to the
U.S. at home and abroad will become more diverse and that could lead to
increasing attacks worldwide,” said the general, who was then Mr. Negroponte
’s top deputy and is now director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
> For more than two years, there has been tension between the Bush
administration and American spy agencies over the violence in Iraq and the
prospects for a stable democracy in the country. Some intelligence officials
have said the White House has consistently presented a more optimistic
picture of the situation in Iraq than justified by intelligence reports from
the field.
> Spy agencies usually produce several national intelligence estimates each
year on a variety of subjects. The most controversial of these in recent
years was an October 2002 document assessing Iraq’s illicit weapons
programs. Several government investigations have discredited that report,
and the intelligence community is overhauling how it analyzes data, largely
as a result of those investigations.
> The broad judgments of the new intelligence estimate are consistent with
assessments of global terrorist threats by American allies and independent
terrorism experts.
> The panel investigating the London terrorist bombings of July 2005
reported in May that the leaders of Britain’s domestic and international
intelligence services, MI5 and MI6, “emphasized to the committee the growing
scale of the Islamist terrorist threat.”
> More recently, the Council on Global Terrorism, an independent research
group of respected terrorism experts, assigned a grade of “D+” to United
States efforts over the past five years to combat Islamic extremism. The
council concluded that “there is every sign that radicalization in the
Muslim world is spreading rather than shrinking.”
> =======================================================
>  List services made available by First Step Internet,
>  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>                http://www.fsr.net
>           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
> =======================================================

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list