September 24, 2006
Mr. Orwell, call your office
If you like running out of hot sauna into the icy pool, I can recommend a couple of interesting articles.
First, seriously, read Stephen Hayes's How Bad Is the Senate Intelligence Report? This was the cover of last week's issue (Felix Allen Macaca, Jr. has the current week) and is available free on the website.
The Weekly Standard, and Hayes especially, have been slow to lie down and accept the CW that Iraq would never work with al-Qaeda, 'cause Saddam was secular. You can get immediate troglodyte status with any thoughtful NPR listener by expressing the slightest doubt of that.
Hayes demolishes it
As early as 1982, the Iraqi regime was openly supporting, training, and funding the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization opposed to the secular regime of Hafez Assad. For years, Saddam Hussein cultivated warm relations with Hassan al-Turabi, the Islamist who was the de facto leader of the Sudanese terrorist state, and a man Bill Clinton described as "a buddy of [Osama] bin Laden's."
For several pages, Hayes enumerates inconsistencies, errors, and willful misdirection in the Senate Intelligence report which "proves" it.
Grab a large coffee and read that one coast-to-coast. It's cover story length, a little dry, and incredibly repetitive because Hayes finds so many errors to contradict. That's your sauna visit. After reading that article, you will be particularly informed on a topic about which most of the country is purposefully ignorant.
Then read as much as you can stand of the Page A01 bylined story in the WaPo Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight
"It's a very candid assessment," one intelligence official said yesterday of the estimate, the first formal examination of global terrorist trends written by the National Intelligence Council since the March 2003 invasion. "It's stating the obvious."
Saddam Hussein's Iraq, long before President Bush blundered into the Pottery Barn, operated state sponsored paramilitary training camps for terrorists.
Beginning in 1994, the Fedayeen Saddam opened its own paramilitary training camps for volunteers, graduating more than 7,200 "good men racing full with courage and enthusiasm" in the first year. Beginning in 1998, these camps began hosting "Arab volunteers from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, 'the Gulf,' and Syria.
Seems like recruitment was doing all right when President Clinton and Speaker Wright were running things.
Now the same "intelligence community" that participated in the Senate Intelligence Report, willfully obstructed the President, missed 9/11, sent the extraordinary Joseph Wilson IV to Niger, and said WMDs were a slam dunk should be believed in toto with a subjective assertion.
Because they're professionals, I suppose. It would be humorous to see the fourth estate so supportive of the veracity of every word from US government spooks. It would be humorous had it not been so successful in hurting the war effort and inculcating opposition in the electorate.