The National Intelligence Estimate — “the most authoritative document that the intelligence community produces” — was delivered to President Bush and Vice President Cheney in April 2006. It was declassified today. Here’s a key excerpt:
The Iraq conflict has become the ’cause celebre’ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.
President Bush, August 21 2006:
Vice President Cheney, September 10, 2006:
BUSH: You know, I’ve heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of “we’re going to stir up the hornet’s nest” theory. It just doesn’t hold water, as far as I’m concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
RUSSERT: Here’s what the American people said in a recent poll. Is the U.S. involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan creating more terrorists or eliminating terrorists? And look at that. Overwhelmingly, 54 percent, clear majority, believe we are creating more terrorists.
U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
CREATING MORE TERRORISTS 54%
ELIMINATING TERRORISTS 15%
The New York Times CBS/Poll
CHENEY: I, I, I can’t buy that.