The Iraq Document Bush Is Hiding
Bush says that it is naïve to believe that the Iraq war he started has led to more Islamic jihadism, and challenges media accounts that the NIE says the war has worsened terrorism. To prove his point, Bush will release only a part of the NIE, but refuses to release the whole NIE before the election. House Democrats request a closed House session to discuss the full NIE, but the GOP on a party-line vote refuses to close the House and review the NIE, continuing the sandbagging until the election. Now the Democrats can hammer this sandbagging and cover-up all the way until the election.
Yet this move by Bush to force the media's focus on a terrorism NIE is a misdirection attempt away from the real damaging document. Josh Marshall's TPM Muckraker confirms today that Ranking House Intelligence Committee member Jane Harman has confirmed that John Negroponte and Bush are sitting on a very damaging second intelligence community report specifically on Iraq, that blows away the Administration's case that Iraq has made us safer. Harman wants this second report released before the election, but in a move to keep it away from Congress, the Administration has failed to designate the report a NIE, which would trigger an automatic sharing of the document with appropriate members of Congress. So instead, Bush and perhaps Pat Roberts are creating this misdirection attempt to get the media and the Democrats to focus on the wrong document.
At least Bush won’t be getting his domestic surveillance bill by the election, as congressional sources indicate today that there won’t be an agreement between the House and Senate in time this week before Congress recesses. Bill Frist and Karl Rove brought this upon themselves and will now try and ram through the domestic spying bills in the lame duck Congress after the election.