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Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Monday, September 25, 2006

Release the NIE!

, writing in The Nation, calls for public release of the infamous NIE. He'll settle for a redacted version, but wants the document out in the public forum.

Disambiguation: there is more than one infamous NIE. The one I am referring to is the one reported in the NYT that reveals 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 Washington Post has been all over this one, too. They have an interview with retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who agrees with the NIE.

Within hours of the breaking of the news of the NIE, the White House had a reply. Reuters carried a piece on the subject, quoting White House spokesman Peter Watkins.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A newspaper report that a U.S. intelligence analysis said the Iraq war gave rise to a new generation of Islamic radicals and made the overall terrorism problem worse was "not representative of the complete document," the White House said on Sunday.

A day later, the WaPo quoted Negroponte.

The conclusion of U.S. intelligence analysts that the Iraq war has increased the threat from terrorism is only "a fraction of judgments" in a newly disclosed National Intelligence Estimate, Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte said yesterday.

Funny, isn't it, that they both said the same thing. And neither one said anything substantive. Of course the version in the news was not the full story. the document is classified. The reporters could not read it, so it would have been impossible for them to characterize it fully. To point that out is to point out the obvious, which is, well, pointless.

So if the Bush administration wants to defend itself, it will have to do what Corn suggests: release the report for public viewing. It's OK to black out anything that would reveal sources or methods.

Don't try to defend yourself by implying that you know more than we do, but you can't tell us the specifics. We are sick of that. We don't trust you. You've lied too much already. You have to show us the evidence. Just show us the report. Either that, or shut up and take your lumps.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |


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