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Senator Bond On Iraq and Terrorism

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."

Update:Blue Crab Boulevard has more on the leaked NIE. The Anchoress explains the chain of events.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Senator Bond On Iraq and Terrorism:

» Security Watchtower linked with More on the political battle over intelligence leaks

» Blue Crab Boulevard linked with A Chain Of Events

» Flopping Aces linked with The NIE And The MSM’s Blatant Bias

» Thespis Journal linked with Ghost Light: Thespis Glow

Comments (31)

I wonder how the Democra... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I wonder how the Democrats are feeling at the news that the entire report might now be made public? I doubt they care.

I certainly care! I care about two possibilities:

1) That the administration is classifying reports that should not be classified, as evidenced by how quickly they announced plans to declassify it when it benefits them to do so.

2) That the administration is willing to release a classified report, vital to our nation's security, simply for political expediency.

Those are, after all, the only explanations for today's events.

Unless, of course, you have the delusion that the Dems somehow have the power to "force" Bush to release additional classified information against his will.

These reports are and have ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

These reports are and have been routinely classified.

The only thing differenmt is that the NYT is obtaining leaked portions and is publishing them knowing that the portions are incomplete.

The Dems are using these leaks for their perceived political advantage, but also to undermine the public's faith in their government.

The entire report had to be declassified in order to counter these lies and yes, to prevent voters from getting only one side of the story.

"Gen. Hayden was clear i... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"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."

Ahh yes - apologize away the present by forecasting some pie in the sky future. The problem is we've heard all of this before from the Republicans - and they are consistently wrong.

Rumsfeld said Iraq would be a three month operation.

Bush said mission accomplished.

Cheney said it's winding down...

The current adminstration cannot be believed - whether you attach bad motives or not - either they don't know what they are talking about or they are lying. Either way, they are not to be believed.

The entire report had... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The entire report had to be declassified in order to counter these lies and yes, to prevent voters from getting only one side of the story.

Is that the proper measure for when classified information is released to the public? I thought information was classified because its release could compromise national security. I wasn't aware it had anything to do with its impact on voters. Or is it that the information didn't need to be classified in the first place?

See, now I'm confused. The domestic spying program is classified, but it was leaked. Does that mean that Bush has to release full details of that program now, to counter the lies and prevent voters from only getting one side of the story? Or is it that some classified information can be declassified for political benefit, and some cannot?

Lee, based upon your eviden... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Lee, based upon your evidence it is impossible to tell a Republican administration from a Democratic administration. So, which of the alternative parties are you giving your support to in 2006??

""If we win in Iraq.."... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

""If we win in Iraq.."

That is the big question.

Brian: Information becomes... (Below threshold)
engineer:

Brian: Information becomes 'declassified' for many reasons. It's timeliness may be what makes it classified, and after awhile it can be declassiied. Many documents are classified because, like your mail, they just aren't anybody else's business. If the President wants to 'declassify' his personnel mail to correct the 'incorrect' information about it, it is his right to do so. Your concern, Brian, should be the fact that classified information is being leaked. If this type of leakage is occurring for little or no money (ie political gain only), what information might be leaking for money to foreign agents. If somebody leaks information for a little price, what will they leak for a lot of money. These people need put in jail!

BarneyG2000 , The U.S. mili... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

BarneyG2000 , The U.S. military will not lose on the ground in Iraq. The only way we will lose (and we all will lose) is for the democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. That can be done as evidenced by the defeat in Vietnam (led by Hanoi John and Jane) two years after combat had stopped. Result in Vietnam, the democratic party was responsible for 3 to 5 million people (yes democrats they were people, not piss ants as you treated them) being slaughtered. Evidently their thirst for blood is rising again. How many millions of deaths must they have to be satisfied this time?

Brian said: See, now I'm... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Brian said: See, now I'm confused.

Wow, talk about stating the obvious.

Why haven't we tracked down... (Below threshold)
Thrush:

Why haven't we tracked down these leakers and put them in jail? This classified information leaking is really getting out of hand.

"They are not concerned in ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"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."

Does that make any sense at all? No, it doesn't. Another terrible lesson in logic at Wizbang.

"WASHINGTON -- President Bush authorized a leak of classified prewar intelligence about Iraq to help justify the case for war, a now-indicted former aide to Vice President Cheney told a grand jury in March 2004, according to court documents. "

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-06-libby_x.htm

Brian: Information becom... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian: Information becomes 'declassified' for many reasons.

I understand, and I agree with the reasons you listed for some material becoming declassified. However, none of them pertain to what has happened here. This is not the President's personal mail, and this didn't become declassified over time. This was an instantaneous decision that something that was previously classified should be declassified because it makes the President look better than he's currently being portrayed.

Your concern, Brian, should be the fact that classified information is being leaked.

In the abstract, of course leaking classified information is bad. But you also need to be rational when it happens, see what's going on, and think for yourself.

If Clinton classified details of his trysts, the right would be wholly in favor of "leaking" that information, right? If there was classified evidence that Cheney shot that guy in the face intentionally, then I'd hope most people would want that information out in the open. Taken to an extreme, a highly criminal president (I'm not saying "Bush") would obviously classify evidence of his misdeeds, but the American people would not agree that it should remain classified. So it is not true that leaking classified information is always bad in all cases simply because the President says so.

Now, if you agree with that, you look at the content of the information, rather than focusing on the leak. Think Watergate. Or if someone leaked troop movements or other sensitive intel, that would be very bad.

That said, I ask if you really think anything in the NYT article reasonably deserves to be classified. And before you answer, remember that Bush is about to release more of the report, parts that clearly never deserved to be classified in the first place, parts that I'm sure will make him look better than the other parts. So unless you think it's reasonable to classify reports that simply make you look bad without posing a true threat to national security, I'd find it hard to be upset about the leak.

These people need put in jail!

Let's start with this guy! Who's with me?

Easy there scrappy. I gues... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Easy there scrappy. I guess you have not read Cobra II or Fiasco? I guess you did not read or hear the testimony by Batiste and Eaton yesterday, or read how the top Army brass is conceding that the current funding will not sustain current troop levels, or the ABC report that the US Army is down to only 7,000 to 10,000 active troops equipped and available for a rapid response deployment.

Oh, but I forgot, that is all the democrats fault

Shorter Brian:Classified in... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Shorter Brian:Classified info that damages the GOP is A-OK to make public,but classified info that may help the GOP should never ever see daylight because...it's just wrong for that to happen in any way.Sorry buddy you just don't have an argument.

Uh, Xennady, I just used Cl... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Uh, Xennady, I just used Clinton as an example of someone who should not be supported if classifying information simply because it looked bad for him. Plus, I explicitly said that leaking classified info that is truly damaging to national security is bad, but not all information that is classified nor leaked falls into that category.

Sorry, buddy, you just don't have reading comprehension.

Let's start with t... (Below threshold)
Thrush:
Let's start with this guy! Who's with me?

Yes, Brian. Let's start with the defender. You should see if you can get a job at the U.N.

Oh, so Thrush agrees with X... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Oh, so Thrush agrees with Xennady, just in reverse.

"Classified info that helps the GOP is A-OK to make public,but classified info that may damage the GOP should never ever see daylight because...it's just wrong for that to happen in any way."

Say, Thrush, were you against leaking classified information before you were for it?

Well there, Brian, allow me... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Well there, Brian, allow me to retort.I'm extremely tired of the endless heads-the Democrats-win,tails-the Republicans-lose arguments made by Democrats.Your first post is such an example.Sections of a classified report were leaked to benefit the Democratic party.I emphasize-this was a partisan leak to benefit the Democrats and their electoral prospects.You don't seem to bothered by this-heads you win.The President,noticing the partisan nature of the leak in a press conference, releases the entire report (after review)-and you attack him for classifying it in the first place! Tails the GOP loses! Whee! It is significant (and typical of Democrats) that you had no objection to an illegal partisan leak, just any kind of GOP response.Also-having lived through the Clinton years and all the shocking totured arguments made to defend him-I have no doubt you would be singing a different song now if Clinton was President.As usual the "truly damaging" classified information is anything that makes the Democratic party look bad.

This <a href="http://www.dn... (Below threshold)
Neo:

This NIE is hardly Rovian. It's a Seinfeld.

Leave it to the MSM to take the most juicy cut and then claim the rest of the cow is even juicier.

Clearly "Cause and Effect" ... (Below threshold)
Thrush:

Clearly "Cause and Effect" was never covered in your schooling.

No, I'm against leaking any classified information. I was merely amused at your hypocrisy. It's pretty obvious that spook posted that in response to the NYT, and yeah it's against the rules as well.

Oh, and National Security is rather different than Clinton's Oval Office conquests. To some of us, at least. Your Clinton example doesn't work. The president's personal mail could work, depending on the content. You can't just "classify" anything you want.

From Executive Order 12958:

Sec. 1.5. Classification Categories.
Information may not be considered for classification unless it concerns:
  1. military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
  2. foreign government information;
  3. intelligence activities (including special activities), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;
  4. foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;
  5. scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;
  6. United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities; or
  7. vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects or plans relating to the national security.

Brian:Yes, the lea... (Below threshold)
engineer:

Brian:

Yes, the leaking of what is in a classified NIE report by anybody is wrong and a criminal offense. (The President, though, has the right to declassify information.) However, there is a slight variance betweeen the leaker of the report and the guy you cited. The leaker works at government agency (at least we assume he/she does)and as part of his/hers job discription they are not allowed to divulge classified information. The person you sited doesn't work for the government. However, whomever leaked the information to him, is just as guilty as the person who leaked the information to the NYT.

The reporting of this leaked information by the NYT and the person you sited, would be on equal level, as each knew that they were reporting classified information.

Furthermore, it doesn't matter what information is leaked, whether it is of national security or not. The fact that it was classified made it againsst the law, not the content.

The problem is that there is rarely ever accountable for one's crime anymore. It only incourages more criminal behavior.

Gee, I really should use a ... (Below threshold)
engineer:

Gee, I really should use a spell checker here.

The problem is tha... (Below threshold)
Thrush:
The problem is that there is rarely any accountability for one's crime anymore. It only encourages more criminal behavior.
Bingo.
Rice says she wasn't given ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Rice says she wasn't given a plan? This was given to her by clark five days into the Bush Administration
http://www.rawstory.com/images/clarkeatt.pdf

I'm extremely tired of t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I'm extremely tired of the endless heads-the Democrats-win,tails-the Republicans-lose arguments made by Democrats.

Now that makes me laugh! Apparently you don't read news periodicals much.

The President,noticing the partisan nature of the leak in a press conference, releases the entire report (after review)-and you attack him for classifying it in the first place!

Because it demonstrated that the report was classified for no good reason in the first place, likely only to bury bad news. But when he immediately turns around and releases more of it as rebuttal, it just shows that it was classified in the first place only for political gain. I tell ya, after reading the report, Bush would have been better off keeping it secret and telling everyone it was too classified to release.

you had no objection to an illegal partisan leak, just any kind of GOP response

And you have no objection to the shocking content of some of these leaks (NIA, NSA, pre-war assessments, etc.). So neither one of us is looking at the whole picture.

However, there is a slig... (Below threshold)
Brian:

However, there is a slight variance betweeen the leaker of the report and the guy you cited.

But none between the NYT and the guy I cited. Both still published leaked information.

The reporting of this leaked information by the NYT and the person you sited, would be on equal level, as each knew that they were reporting classified information.

I appreciate your intellectual honesty. It's good to see someone around here can at least admit that.

The fact that it was classified made it againsst the law, not the content.

I cannot argue with that. However, I also can't ignore the fact that very often things are classified that don't deserve to be, and are done so only to hide information that might make the government look bad (see Russia, Cuba, N. Korea). When a priest reveals a heinous confession to the police, he is violating the rules. But when you hear what he revealed, if it's heinous enough, sometimes you look the other way.

The problem is that there is rarely ever accountable for one's crime anymore. It only incourages more criminal behavior.

You seem to be applying that sentiment only to non-government employees. The founders of America, though, knew it to be true -- perhaps even moreso -- at the highest levels of government.

Brian:Are you joking? You p... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Brian:Are you joking? You provide links to a Glenn Greenwald blogpost (!) and another leftist site I've never seen-forgive me if I'm not impressed.Actually I never would have heard of Mr. Greenwald either except for his recent fame as a sock puppet master.I tend not to frequent leftist websites-they don't like blasphemy and hence ban me from posting rather quickly.But I digress.I thought any National Intelligence Estimate would be be classified as a matter of course.You imply otherwise.If this NIE only was classified and not others why haven't Pelosi et al made the same complaint you have? It seems both valid and more effective than what they actually did-attempt to bring the House into secret seession to discuss their carefully selected leaks.Lastly-my opinion about the content of a classified leak is entirely seperate from my opinion about whether that leak should occur.I'm sure my assessment of the content of those leaks differs from yours anyway.Was one of those leaks the terrorist financial tracking program that the NYT admitted was legal-but ran the story anyway,regardless of the damage done to anti-terror efforts? However I note that once again you voiced no objection to illegal partisan leaking-even when listing yet more examples! Couldn't you even come up with some kind of pro-forma partisan-leaking-is-bad-mmmkay statement to make me think you actually care about illegal leaking? Because one day a leak may lead to real damage to the country and I really want to think at least one Democrat actually cares about that.

Brian,I see from y... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Brian,

I see from your arguments that you are under the misconception that the classification of National Intelligence Estimates started with the Bush Administration.

So, for your education; National Intelligence Estimates are classified as a matter of course. They are, actually, strictly for the eyes and ears of the President and the Congressional Intelligence Committees unless declassified by the President.

So it's not that the President even bothered to classify it - it's not just the President that has classification authority, after all.

The NIE was classified before it was even delivered to him and the Congressional Intelligence Committees. This has been the law and practice for decades and I assure you that Karl Rove did not travel back in time to the Eisenhower Administration and make it so.

In fact, prior to the Bush Administration, you probably never even heard of them. You certainly never saw leaks of them on the front page of the New York Times ...

Happy now?

Martin, I don't know what y... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Martin, I don't know what you're responding to, but it certainly wasn't anything I ever posted.

Brian,Marti... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Brian,

    Martin, I don't know what you're responding to, but it certainly wasn't anything I ever posted.

Ha ha ha ...

You're not getting away that easily. I quote your own post below.

    XENNADY: The President,noticing the partisan nature of the leak in a press conference, releases the entire report (after review)-and you attack him for classifying it in the first place!

BRIAN: Because it demonstrated that the report was classified for no good reason in the first place, likely only to bury bad news. But when he immediately turns around and releases more of it as rebuttal, it just shows that it was classified in the first place only for political gain. I tell ya, after reading the report, Bush would have been better off keeping it secret and telling everyone it was too classified to release.

Note the bolded words. Unless you're going to claim that somebody else was using your name, they ALL came from your keyboard. You are clearly saying in this and all your posts on this subject that the NIE was only "classified in the first place only for political gain."

I just informed you that NIEs are classified as a matter of course by the nation's intelligence agencies as a matter of course and have been for decades before Bush came into office.

Hey Martin- I suspected tha... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Hey Martin- I suspected that NIEs would be all classified but I was too lazy to check.Thanks for doing so.




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