Senator Kit Bond had a lot to say today about the leak of information from that National Intelligence Estimate. I wonder how the Democrats are feeling at the news that the entire report might now be made public? I doubt they care. They are not concerned in the least about classified information that should remain secret being leaked all over the place as long as it might help them politically.
As for the information regarding Iraq and terrorism in this report, they have already gotten a couple of days of custom-designed coverage which reported the leak as proof that Iraq was a disaster and the root of all terrorism in the world today. If the entire report reveals statements such as the ones Kit Bond quotes from Micheal Hayden it won’t matter to them. The media will never do followups admitting their earlier stories were slanted and misrepresentative of the report as a whole. Those in the media should be outraged at being manipulated in such a way, but as long as Democrats are doing the manipulating and the stories they can write could hurt the GOP, they will be begging for more.
Here is the statement from Senator Bond today:
WASHINGTON – Calling the recent leak of a National Intelligence Estimate another politically-motivated leak of classified information, U.S. Senator Kit Bond today cited remarks by CIA Director Michael Hayden describing why Iraq is crucial to winning the global war on terror.
Bond said that on April 25th, around the same time the NIE was produced, current CIA Director Michael Hayden, then the Deputy Director of National Intelligence, best summarized why Iraq is crucial to winning the global war on terror.
“Gen. Hayden was clear in his remarks,” said Bond. “He said that while the war in Iraq may inspire or motivate terrorists now, their failure would weaken the movement worldwide. Gen Hayden said that should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, that fewer fighters would step forward to carry the fight.”
“The fact is the war on Iraq is a central front in the struggle against radical Islamists. It is not a distraction from the war on terror, it is central to the war on terror.”
Bond said Hayden’s remarks highlighted the terrorists’ greatest vulnerability: the terrorists’ ultimate goal of establishing an ultra-conservative religious state spanning the Muslim world is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Hayden said the emergence of a Muslim mainstream, like the one being built in Iraq, could emerge as the ‘most powerful weapon in the war on terror’.”
Bond also criticized the leak of the NIE and Democrats’ use of it for partisan attacks.
“Democrats may be trying to use selected leaks and political spin and half-truths cynically to win votes this election, but their efforts are a gross distortion of reality,” said Bond.
“Democrats would like the American people to believe this document confirms what Democrats believe: that the war in Iraq is simply a distraction from and has nothing to do with the war on terror, and that it is the reason for the growth of radical Islam. This is simply a pitiful election-year interpretation of a serious document.
“If we win in Iraq, moderate Islam wins and Bin Laden and all other extremists will have been handed a sound defeat that will have profound repercussions.
“The terrorists realize this, that’s why they are there and that’s why we are fighting them on their turf, before they have the opportunity to regroup and assault us on ours. There is no way the United States can afford to let the terrorists have their way in Iraq.”
Excerpts of Hayden’s Remarks from April 25, 2006 follow:
‘The centrality of Iraq to the jihadists cuts both ways. Just as the war there seems to currently inspire or at least motivate jihadists, their failure in Iraq would weaken the movement globally. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we
believe fewer fighters will step forward to carry on the fight. The loss of key leaders like Bin Ladin, Zawahiri, and Zarqawi, especially if they were lost in rapid succession, could cause the jihadist movement to fracture even more into smaller groups and would probably lead to
strains and disagreements.
“But the jihadists’ greatest vulnerability is more fundamental: their ultimate political solution-an ultra-conservative, shari’a-based governance spanning the Muslim world-is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists’ propaganda will divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.
“Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by notable clerics should help the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This could also lead to the broader Muslim community rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.”