September 27, 2006


Released part of intel study notes new threats (Bill Nichols and David Jackson, 9/26/06, USA TODAY)

The Iraq war has become the "cause célèbre" for Islamic militants, breeding resentment in Muslim nations and cultivating supporters worldwide, according to portions of a secret intelligence study the Bush administration released Tuesday.

That it has sidetracked them from more significant causes is an argument in its favor, no? It may explain why they've been so unsuccessful at launching follow-up attacks.

As War Over Leak Grips Washington, Al Qaeda Quails (ELI LAKE, September 27, 2006, NY Sun)

On a day when much of the capital's attention was focused on leaked excerpts of an intelligence estimate report that suggested the Iraq war was creating more jihadists, the military quietly released an intercepted letter from Al Qaeda complaining that the terrorist organization was losing ground in Iraq.

The letter, found in the headquarters of Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, after he was killed on June 7, was sent to Zarqawi by a senior Al Qaeda leader who signs his name simply "Atiyah." He complains that Al Qaeda is weak both in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and in Iraq. [...]

"Know that we, like all the Mujahidin, are still weak," he wrote in the letter dated December 11, 2005. "We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter."

That assessment from Al Qaeda is in stark contrast to the key findings of a declassified national intelligence assessment released to the public by President Bush yesterday.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 27, 2006 8:10 AM

Well, Darfur has become a "cause célèbre" among certain liberal types like George Clooney, and it involves Islamic militants. Perhaps the two sides can get together there and work things out (though furs would be uncomfortable in any season around the Horn of Africa...).

Posted by: John at September 27, 2006 9:16 AM

Sheesh, if we hadn't invaded Iraq it would be Afghanistan that was the "cause célèbre" among Islamic militants - and that'r much more unfavorable terrain for us to fight in.

Posted by: Brandon at September 27, 2006 9:31 AM

Wait, so now now the "Iraq is a Mistake" crowd thinks US intel is valid? Can somebody please make up my mind?

If the "secret" "intelligence" "study" "leak" were about how WMD were moved to Syria pre-invasion, the current group of gloating smirkers would be screaming propaganda mill and questioning the timing.

Posted by: John Resnick at September 27, 2006 9:57 AM

A feature, not a bug, as the newfangled saying goes.

Flypaper--the flies go to the flypaper and they die there. This is supposed to be a bad thing?

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 27, 2006 10:11 AM

What the Dems are really saying is that if they take over, we won't be attacked because the terrorist threat will evaporate. Kind of like Hillary saying 9/11 wouldn't have happened if Bill had been given 8 more months.

Posted by: ratbert at September 27, 2006 11:01 AM

If Bill had been given eight more months, Christopher Reeve would have gotten up and walked again ... oh, wait, that's John Kerry's specialty...

Posted by: John at September 27, 2006 10:28 PM