Multiplying the enemy

Boston Globe
by Derrick Z. Jackson

09/27/06

President Bush first declared Iraq to be the 'central front' in his war on terror in a nationally televised address in September of 2003, just before the second anniversary of 9/11. 'Two years ago, I told Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war fought on many fronts in many places. Iraq is now the central front,' he said. Even then, top intelligence officials were worried about such rhetoric. The very next month, a National Intelligence Estimate warned -- in a story unknown until Knight Ridder broke it this year -- that the unrelenting violence in Iraq after the US invasion was over local conditions and the presence of US forces. It was not inspired by foreign terrorism, as the White House kept saying. 'Frankly, senior officials simply weren't ready to pay attention to analysis that didn't conform to their own optimistic scenarios,' Robert Hutchings, chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2003 to 2005, told Knight Ridder...

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