Accurate Intelligence Ignored

The Progress Report

Center for American Progress

Last week, President Bush dismissed a bleak assessment on Iraq prepared in July by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) as “just guessing as to what the conditions might be like.” (Bush later said he should have used the word “estimate” instead, but continues to insist that Iraq is on a path of steady success. Note to media: please ignore this vacillation when discussing the president’s “clarity” and “resolve.”) But the record shows that estimates on postwar Iraq prepared by the NIC – a group White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan dismissed as pessimists and naysayers – have been extraordinarily accurate. An NIC report prepared two months before the war began, and first reported in the New York Times this morning, “warned of a possible insurgency against the new Iraqi government or American-led forces, saying that rogue elements from Saddam Hussein’s government could work with existing terrorist groups or act independently to wage guerrilla warfare.” The report also warned that a war “would increase sympathy across the Islamic world for some terrorist objectives.” Twenty months later, “the warnings about anti-American sentiment and instability appear to have been upheld by events.”

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