Last week, Newsweek reported that the U.S. intelligence community would be revising the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran. Reports on the content of this revised intelligence estimate on Iran have coincided with broader efforts by some neoconservatives to politicize intelligence gathering, raising the possibility of neoconservative intelligence manipulation to beat the war-drum on Iran.
Not only was this the case in the run-up to the Iraq war, but following the release of the 2007 NIE on Iran, which dealt a severe setback to war talk against Iran, several prominent neoconservatives attacked the intelligence community for a releasing an estimate that failed to advance their dangerous arguments for military action.
This evening President Bush will give a farewell address to the nation in which he will undoubtedly claim that thanks to his national security policies America has not been hit by a terrorist attack since 9/11. But while our law enforcement agencies and military work to protect Americans from attack, President Bush leaves behind a legacy of failure. The Bush Administration has succeeded in overinflating the terrorist threat at home and utterly discrediting it abroad.
Today, President Bush is giving a speech at the Army War College touting his legacy by arguing that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11. Vice President Cheney has echoed the same sentiments recently in an interview with ABC. Sadly, this argument ignores the obvious fact that the administration ignored warnings from terrorism experts such as Richard Clarke in the run up to 9/11 and did not make al Qaeda a top priority.
Three new National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq add up to a stunning indictment of conservative foreign policy. Each report, prepared as part of a comprehensive re-evaluation of current U.S. strategy, contains troubling findings for our national security.
John McCain’s positions on critical foreign policy issues such as Iraq, Iran Afghanistan, and Pakistan have all been undermined by the assessments of our intelligence community and members of the military leadership. In a speech this week, General David Petraeus contradicted McCain’s positions on using our Iraq strategy in Afghanistan and on negotiating with our enemies. Additionally, in a damaging critique of the Senator’s bellicosity toward Russia, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz cautioned that U.S. interests demanded a strong effort to ease tensions with a resurgent Russia.