The Director of National Intelligence recently released a preview of its latest National Intelligence Estimate. I’ve read several news stories about this, and I’ve also seen some comments about it on other blogs. A common theme seems to be that Al Qaeda is stronger now than it was before 9/11. I’ve actually seen people make that claim, and this is not just on far Left blog sites, this claim is actually being made by major news organizations and now has been adopted by the Left as part of their anti-Bush rhetoric. Naturally, I immediately had my doubts. Usually, if the New York Times says something bad about Bush then it’s going to slanted, incomplete or grossly biased. So I decided to go straight to the NIE website and read the report for myself. Here is a link so you can do the same. I’ve included a few key points with my comments below:
We assess that greatly increased worldwide counterterrorism efforts over the past five years have constrained the ability of al-Qa’ida to attack the US Homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the Homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11
We are concerned, however, that this level of international cooperation may wane as
9/11 becomes a more distant memory and perceptions of the threat diverge.
We judge the US Homeland will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years
Al-Qa’ida is and will remain the most serious terrorist threat to the Homeland, as its central leadership continues to plan high-impact plots, while pushing others in extremist Sunni communities to mimic its efforts and to supplement its capabilities
We assess the group has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability
Of note, we assess that al-Qa’ida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland.
We assess that its association with AQI helps al-Qa’ida to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks
We assess that al-Qa’ida will continue to try to acquire and employ chemical,
biological, radiological, or nuclear material in attacks and would not hesitate to use
them if it develops what it deems is sufficient capability
After reading this, I realized that it made sense, and that most Americans would agree with the notion that Al Qaeda still wants to attack us and is still highly motivated. I also agreed that Al Qaeda in Iraq plays a major role in international terrorism. Remember, the Dems and most Americans want to turn Iraq over to this very group, they want to yield ground to the “most serious terrorist threat to the Homeland” . I think that would lead to a much worse prognosis in our fight against terrorism. Also, I agree that Al Qaeda is actively seeking WMDs, which makes the situation in Iran that much more critical.
What it doesn’t say is the war on terror is a bumper sticker slogan. It doesn’t say that Al Qaeda is stronger than it was before 9/11, despite the “interpretation” of the mainstream media and the lemmings that believe everything they read. It doesn’t say that our efforts have been in vain. It doesn’t say that the Iraq War has diminished our ability to fight the terrorists.
I caution people out there to understand that the mainstream media appears to be misleading the American people. I have no idea how they make the claims they make based on what is found in the NIE report. Don’t believe everything you read. If it sounds a bit outrageous, it probably is and chances are you need to check out the source yourself. The NIE is not a damnation of the Bush administration’s policies, despite the claims made by the Left. I've included a few of those claims here, enjoy:
New York Times