CNN is reporting on a classified intelligence report dealing with our fight against the terrorists who hate us.

A classified intelligence report concludes that the Iraq war has worsened the terrorist threat to the United States, U.S. officials told CNN Sunday.

Some intelligence officials have said as much in the past, but the newly revealed document is the first formal report on global trends in terrorism by the National Intelligence Estimate, which is put out by the National Intelligence Council.

[And now for a gratuitous shift of focus from the subject of the report - CM]As Democrats seized on the report to support their position on the war, violence Sunday left at least nine Iraqis and two U.S. Marines dead at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

And raising doubts whether the Iraqis can maintain order once a security operation in Baghdad concludes, The Associated Press reported Sunday that some U.S. soldiers working in Shiite neighborhoods say the Iraqi troops are among the worst they’ve ever seen. ["Iraq is a failure" reporting - done. Now back to the actual subject of the news report - CM]

The White House Sunday said a New York Times report on the National Intelligence Estimate document “is not representative of the complete document.”

Has Iraq become a magnet for the terrorist thugs who hate us? Of course it has become exactly that, but here’s my question: would you rather have soldiers fighting terrorists thousands of miles away from Hometown USA, or would you rather battle them daily as you drive to the local 7-Eleven? Frankly, I’d rather keep terrorists away from my home, and I really don’t care that killing terrorists makes other terrorists mad.

Let’s think about this for a second. If you fight terrorists, you will make them mad at you, and they will want to fight you in return. It is a normal and natural human reaction. But liberals would have you believe that this reaction completely invalidates President Bush’s plans for fighting terrorists. After all, they surmise, if we left them alone, they’d leave us alone. Fighting them just makes them hate us even more.

Baloney. This liberal argument can be dismissed with two words: “Nine/Eleven.” Almost 3,000 people were peacefully going about their lives on that September morning when terrorists took the fight to them, killing them all. Terrorists following the philosophy of radical Islam have been fighting the West for decades. Their hatred for the West in general and Americans in particular didn’t begin with our invasion of Iraq to remove a dictating thug.

But what about that report? Why are we seeing excerpts of a classified document being published in the press for everyone — including terrorists — to read?

Mario Loyola makes a great point about the way CIA is leaking confidential information for political points:

A former senior administration official told me that in the run-up to the 2002 mid-term election, he remembers being horrified at how the CIA was leaking qualified intelligence estimates “like a sieve” for political effect. He thinks that the CIA and the State Department are both political assets for the Democrats, but unlike the State Department, which more often undermines the president quietly, the CIA actively intervenes in national elections by systematically leaking stuff calculated to have an adverse political impact on Republicans.

That this latest “secret” report (Iraq-makes-terrorism-worse) was leaked for political effect is obvious in the “conclusion” of the report, which turns on a philosophical (and policy) question that no intelligence credential makes one particularly qualified to address: Is Iraq part of the War on Terror, and will fighting them over there keep us from having to face them here? If you think the campaign in Iraq is part of the War on Terror, then examining whether terrorist recruitment has increased as a result is like measuring public opinion polls in Germany in the days after D-Day to see if the invasion is succeeding.

Attacking your enemies can be expected to make them angrier. Hitting the beaches at Normandy is going to increase your casualties. Those are things you’ll see on your way to victory.

Democrats are using this illegally leaked report to call for a change of leadership. Which makes me wonder: when the troops hit the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, were there any people in government who called for a change of leadership because the body count went up and Germans really started to hate us?

UPDATE (9/26/2006 12:37:22 PM): President Bush is confronting the people who are speculating over the leaked document by releasing the document in question. He has called for the parts that do not reveal sensitive data-gathering methods and techniques to be removed, but the rest will be declassified and released. Then we can read what these leakers have been whispering about.

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