Following the leak of the National Intelligence Estimate, a report from U.S. intelligence agencies that found the Iraq war is fueling Islamic radicalism and emboldening terrorists, Democrats reiterated the call for a new plan in Iraq. A CIA veteran discusses the report.
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SPENCER MICHELS, NewsHour Correspondent:
The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is fomenting Islamic radicalism around the world and is increasing the threat of terrorism; that's the assessment revealed in newspaper reports about a classified National Intelligence Estimate.
Excerpts from the document said Iraq is serving as a training ground for would-be terrorists who are determined to fight against the West. The intelligence estimate said the threat has evolved, changing from a core of al-Qaida fighters and related groups, to a new and wide-ranging body of cells acting independently of Osama bin Laden. And radicals have spread their ideology with the help of the Internet, according to the intelligence analysis.
TERRORIST RECRUITING VIDEO NARRATOR:
… after the crimes of the administrations of the U.S., and Britain, and Iraq, we have chosen our future.
It says they have made the war in Iraq an effective tool for recruiting more Islamic extremists willing to act. Details of the report, which is a consensus view of the CIA and 15 other United States intelligence services, appeared in major newspapers over the weekend.
Democrats were quick in responding to the news. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the report is, quote, "further proof that the war in Iraq is making it harder for America to fight and win the war on terror."
But the director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, in an e-mail sent to news organizations yesterday, said the published reports missed many of the nuances of the complete estimate. He said, "While there is much that remains to be done in the war on terror, we have achieved some notable successes against the global jihadist threat." He continued, "The conclusions of the intelligence community are designed to be comprehensive, and viewing them through the narrow prism of a fraction of judgments distorts the broad framework they create."
Today, Senator Pat Roberts, the Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the administration would bolster its case by declassifying the full report.