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Author Topic: Report from all 16 intel. agencies concludes Iraq War has made US less safe
Tom Curtis
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G2:

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad"; (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims - all of which jihadists exploit.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't see much, if anything, that can be done about 1 and 3. Islam has a long history of hostility to the West as well as one of Islamic imperialism from time immemorial. Thee Koran-inspired war on infidels has been going long before there was a United States and any "pervasive anti-US sentiment." 4 is not much easier to fix either.

Islam may have a history of imperialism from time immemorial as you suggest, but when Islam started that history, it was the European power of Rome that was pursuing imperial ambitions in the Middle East. It was the Europeans who initiated the Crusades. It was the Europeans who conquered and colonised the entire world except for China and Japan, and even they were forced to make concessions to colonial powers. And while Islam has hated the West, it was the Christian Europeans who initiated the practise of killing people for being moslem.

IF your comments have any relevance, then they are relevant also to show that the Western powers cannot be trusted in the Middle East for they too have an ancient and vicious history of imperialism and anti-islamism. If, on the other hand, you wish to allow that the West can out grow their sordid past, can embrace the better aspects of their culture and act with integrity, then so also can Islamics and your comments are irrelevant.

On the more substantial points, fairly obviously something can be done about (1). The simplest procedure is to no longer support corrupt, unjust regimes just because they are friendly to the West. Ceasing to pursue a foreign policy based on dominance would help as well. Of course, that would require the US government finally deciding to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
Based on Kennedy's squealing over this, I think it's safe to conclude that the NIE report does more to support the Bush administration rather than harm it.
I assume you've read the excerpt and are speaking from knowledge. What in the report most encourages you? I read the following and felt the opposite:
quote:
We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities are are likely to do so for the duration of the timefram of this Estimate.

I read the following (first line of the first paragraph):
quote:
United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa'ida and disrupted its operations ...
This sounds like there has been considerable success in dismantling al-Qa'ida.

I also found this encouraging:
quote:
We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global strategy, and is becoming more diffuse.
So not just al-Qa'ida but the entire movement is losing focus.

Also was this:
quote:
Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on
passive community support.

So there is a trend developing torward peaceful activism rather than violence - very encouraging indeed.

quote:
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:
I take it from this that you have no problem with the administration cherry picking the information it releases for political purposes, but have a serious problem with the press filling in the blanks. If not, why have you not been accusing Bush of lying by ommission by not reporting that the intelligence he was recieving showed an increased spread of terrorist cells as a result of the Iraq war?

I don't know why you take it that way. I have not been accusing Bush of lying (or defending him from it) because this thread is about the NIE report, not the Bush administration. I can only handle so much at a time.

Where did Bush actually say there was no spread of terrorist cells (or even imply it)? I't not saying he didn't do it, I just want to see where you're getting this from. Based on the NIE report it appears that there are more cells but they are diffuse and poorly organized with more limited ability to attack than before. Are you sure Bush was not talking about cells but was instead not talking about their ability to strike?

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:

On the more substantial points, fairly obviously something can be done about (1). The simplest procedure is to no longer support corrupt, unjust regimes just because they are friendly to the West. Ceasing to pursue a foreign policy based on dominance would help as well. Of course, that would require the US government finally deciding to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

No doubt the Romans and the Crusades created some historical animosity but if you really believe the blame America first rhetoric then you're well on your way to dhimmitude. Do you honestly believe refusing to support a government friendly to the west because jihadists believe it to be corrupt is something that would help? We're dealing with a group that believes they have a religious obligation to subjugate the world. They will always have a justification for pursuing western subjugation no matter what we do.
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meworkingman
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quote:

The thing is, oh G2 dude, that everybody here *knows* I've got a package. Got me a bias hanging between my legs. I've stated it quite obviously, even clarified it in minutiae with meworkingman.

Hey dude, are you sure you want to use the the word minutiae when talking about your package? [Big Grin]
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kenmeer livermaile
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"a) I assume you've read the excerpt and are speaking from knowledge. What in the report most encourages you? I read the following and felt the opposite:

We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities are are likely to do so for the duration of the timefram of this Estimate."

Well, when a government report that is currently diminishing enthusiasm for the war says this, it must be interpreted positively. IN other words, saying that terrorism is vigorous and growing is bas in this instance.

But when said in this context (wherein kenmeer states and gG2 refutes):

"a) Over the long haul terrorism is a poor strategy. After awhile, it alienates those whom it claims to serve and wishes to enlist.

b) I missed that ... how long is "the long haul"? This strategy has been in place for several decades now and appears to be just as strong or stronger ever year."

It is a good thing.

The former, you see, can be interpreted as discrediting the war effort. The latter, can be interpreted as encouraging its rationale.

So it's true when it makes the war sound good and bad when it makes the war sound bad.

"Will you share it with us then?"

Apparently not. Nuts to you, then [Wink]

[ September 27, 2006, 07:13 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I take it from this that you have no problem with the administration cherry picking the information it releases for political purposes, but have a serious problem with the press filling in the blanks. If not, why have you not been accusing Bush of lying by ommission by not reporting that the intelligence he was recieving showed an increased spread of terrorist cells as a result of the Iraq war?"

See rationale of my post above.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Do you honestly believe refusing to support a government friendly to the west because jihadists believe it to be corrupt is something that would help?"

Saddam used to be friednly to us, and we helped him.
But that's an ancient quibble. Currently, we've helped Iraq by invading their ass. With help like that, who needs vicious dictatorships?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Where did Bush actually say there was no spread of terrorist cells (or even imply it)? "

TC said that he OMITTED saying it. Let's do keep our positive and negative actions separate, eh? Negative actions are sins (or virtues) of omission. Positive actions are sins (or virtues) of commission.

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meworkingman
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quote:

It may have been a rational thing to believe, but it was irrelevant.

Your opinion. Of course I disagree.

quote:

...the fact remains that the US invaded Iraq when UNIMOVIC and the IAEA were getting full cooperation from Iraq.

Well, actually that *fact* is your opinion. I would define full cooperation as not impeding the investigation in the slightest. Even Blix stated that their cooperation "didn't cover all areas of relevance." He also said that there were additional issues to work through. As I said, Iraq had cooperated many times in the past, for a time.
quote:
To suggest that the invaded because of a lack of cooperation from prior months is specious.

Specious, spacious, whatever. You're of course welcome to your opinion but I don't have to agree.
quote:

You have, and can point to no evidence suggesting it as a possibility.

You are correct. That is why I withdrew the hypothetical some posts back. Sorry I wasted your time with it.
quote:

No, what I enjoy is the way that a conclusion (and very clearly a conclusion) is treated as though it was presented as evidence.

I guess I read it wrong. I'm too lazy to go back and look it up so I'll take your word for it. I apologize.
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Tom Curtis
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G2:

quote:
No doubt the Romans and the Crusades created some historical animosity but if you really believe the blame America first rhetoric then you're well on your way to dhimmitude. Do you honestly believe refusing to support a government friendly to the west because jihadists believe it to be corrupt is something that would help? We're dealing with a group that believes they have a religious obligation to subjugate the world. They will always have a justification for pursuing western subjugation no matter what we do.
Do I advocate not supporting a government just because the Jihadists think it is corrupt? No. Do I advocate not supporting (or tempering support, with renewed suport of the corruption is eliminated) governments which are in fact corrupt. Absolutely. Likewise if they are not democratic.

The question is not whether the Jihadists themselves are rational, but whether their support base is. If US suport for governments was premised on their ensuring the rule of law, and of democratic governance; then support for Jihadists from the general population would plummet - just as the NIE report suggests.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If US suport for governments was premised on their ensuring the rule of law, and of democratic governance; then support for Jihadists from the general population would plummet - just as the NIE report suggests."

Nah, we like guys like Suharto too much for that.

IF.... IF we walked our talk, things would be a whole big bunch better.

That concept is the basis of most of the dissent that the right typically deems 'anti-American'.

Funny. POinting out when America betrays its ideals is anti-American.

Boosters versus roosters. I beez a roostah: I crows the dawn both at sunrise but also at sunset. I rail against that dark night.

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kenmeer livermaile
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So PBS Frontline news has two terror experts discuss the main statements of Bush's sample release of the NIE study.

One flla wants to stress that the problem existed before Iraq, that entities conceiving, funding, and organizing jihad existed decades before and will likely exist decades after, and that the Iraq war is merely affecting this.

Duh.

I mean, we invaded Iraq as part of a war on terrorism, ci?

But the fella felt a need to stress this point. The other fella was a bit stunned, I thought. Like: 'Why is this guy even bothering to SAy this?'

My impression is that the fella stressing the practically tautological assertion that terrorism existed before we decided to fight it via the Iraqi invasion was there to minimize the impact of the report... but we all tend to lead with our hot buttons, yes?

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kenmeer livermaile
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Creating a monster:

Link

Reading these data take the bite out of our arguments for American intervention in Iraq except for the most venal, corrupt, and humanely insenstive of reasons.

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KnightEnder
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G2, I don't have time to explain how full of **** you are, but please know you are.

KE

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OrneryMod
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Yesterday there were a number of comments on this thread, from several members, that were more personal than is appropriate for Ornery. While it appeared that the tone was returning to a more civil one during the evening, I see that it is necessary to advise everyone to remember that reasonable people can disagree, and that "personal courtesy is the fundamental condition of free discussion," not to mention the rule for participation on these fora.

Please adhere to these principles more assiduously.

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DaveS
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From the NY Daily News:
quote:
President Bush criticized his own intelligence agencies yesterday as "naive" for saying the Iraq war was spreading terror worldwide and rallying new recruits for Al Qaeda.

In heated remarks, Bush said, "I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe."

"To suggest that if we weren't in Iraq we would see a rosier scenario, with fewer extremists joining the radical movement, requires us to ignore 20 years of experience" of terror attacks, Bush said. "I think it is naive."

Bush ordered excerpts of the highly classified National Intelligence Estimate to be made public yesterday because he implied they would support his argument.

But excerpts of the estimate, compiled by 16 spy agencies including the CIA, appeared to contradict Bush.


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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"Will you share it with us then?"

Apparently not. Nuts to you, then [Wink]

Yeah, I kind of wrote you off when you went on your screed about your genitals ...
quote:
Originally posted by KnightEnder:
G2, I don't have time to explain how full of **** you are, but please know you are.

KE

ROTFLMAO, noted! I certainly can't compete with such fine prose as that.

quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
From the NY Daily News:
quote:
President Bush criticized his own intelligence agencies yesterday as "naive" for saying the Iraq war was spreading terror worldwide and rallying new recruits for Al Qaeda.

In heated remarks, Bush said, "I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe."

"To suggest that if we weren't in Iraq we would see a rosier scenario, with fewer extremists joining the radical movement, requires us to ignore 20 years of experience" of terror attacks, Bush said. "I think it is naive."

Bush ordered excerpts of the highly classified National Intelligence Estimate to be made public yesterday because he implied they would support his argument.

But excerpts of the estimate, compiled by 16 spy agencies including the CIA, appeared to contradict Bush.


I think this is your example of the Bush Lied® meme and honestly I can see where you would come to the conclusion you have. Bush appears to be addressing Al Qaeda specifically instead of jihadists generally. The NIE indicates that Al Qaeda is having trouble but in general jihadist cells have increased with more diffuse focus. I guess you could make the case either way depending on your political goals.

However, are you saying Bush should be a fair and impartial source of information? Was Clinton, the previous Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, etc., etc. all impartial sources of information in the pursuit of their policies? How many politicians have been so impartial as you insist on Bush being? I think the number could probably be counted on one hand. If you think any previous presidents have been impartial in their supporting arguments for policy decisions then you're sorely mistaken.

I don't have any problems with Bush or any other politician presenting the information in a way to support their policies. The Democrats do it as well as the Republicans, that's why it's important to listen to both sides so you can make an informed decision. To decry one side doing it when they've been donig it on all sides since politics was invented is a form of denial.

The problem with the NYT is that they are claiming to be an unbiased and non-partisan source of information, a place where we can get all the facts and make informed decisions. Had this story been on the editorial page, no problem. It was on the front page as hard news with no political motivation behind it. Obviously that was not true, the NYT story was as biased as any politician.

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DaveS
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G2, your response is, to put it politely, orthogonal to what the article in my post addresses. I attribute that to your wearing rose colored glasses that are also polarized to filter unwanted light.

I wrote a detailed response outlining the problems in your post, but I decided to back off a bit (my new write twice, post once policy). The only comment I'll make is that if you look again at my post you'll see that it is from the people's rag, the NY Daily News, not the elitist bastion of liberalism, the NY Times. The sky is blue, unless you are wearing rose colored glasses.

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G2
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Hey Dave, I appreciate your ... uhh, polite reponse. [Embarrassed]

I know you link to the Daily News, that's all good. However, I was addressing the NYT article where this story was originally broken. Sorry for the confusion. I look forward to further such courteous responses from you and the gang ... [Roll Eyes]

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DaveS
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G2, how is it within the general scope of the President's prerogative to present information "in a way to support their policies" to say that the judgment behind the combined assessment of 16 Security, Intelligence and Information Agencies is naive? What is wrong with those people?!?
quote:
I don't have any problems with Bush or any other politician presenting the information in a way to support their policies. The Democrats do it as well as the Republicans, that's why it's important to listen to both sides so you can make an informed decision.
That implies that the truth lies somewhere between two biased representations. More important is to find an unbiased source of information and evaluate it yourself. The NIE is not a political committee and they didn't produce a political report, so we should assume that they are trying to avoid spin. Their assessment is that terrorism will persist and Jihadism will increase through the period their report addresses, which is somewhere between 5-10 years. The snippet of the NIE report that we've seen and the overall assessment of it by the NY Times and others suggest to me that the naivete is not on their end.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Yeah, I kind of wrote you off when you went on your screed about your genitals ... "

And you are written off since, genital metaphors or not (but then, what else is revealed when one's pants are dowN? more on that in a moment), you've not yet deigned to explain what I was missing in this exchange:

"a) "The nature of the Armitage/Plame leak was, if anything, to give the American people a heads-up about the motivations of opponents of certain administration policies."; it works exactly the same when I phrase it with your logic for good/bad leaks."

b) Are you saying that the reason White House officials leaked Plame's name to the press was to reveal that Plame was on the committee that suggested Wilson go to Niger? Or...?

One outs a CIA agent so that the American people can know that her husband the ambassador might be carrying water for the party not currently holding the White House? So that the American people won't be duped by his testimony (which appears to be correct anyway)?

Or am I missing something here?"

Is there any clarification you wish to make of this or should we just let it remain hermaphroditic?

"I look forward to further such courteous responses from you and the gang ..."

I'd drop my pants for you, G2, but you might think I was mooning you. That would be in violation of the Spirit of Ornery.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"The problem with the NYT is that they are claiming to be an unbiased and non-partisan source of information, a place where we can get all the facts and make informed decisions. Had this story been on the editorial page, no problem. It was on the front page as hard news with no political motivation behind it. Obviously that was not true, the NYT story was as biased as any politician."

Regarding the NYTimes: might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. The Left distrusts them as insufficiently aggressive in exposing what the Left perceives as decptions asserted by the Right, and the Right thinks the NYTimes is practically a bullhorn for the Left.

Might as well stand up on your own two biases and state it as you like. Just so long as those ads keep selling and paying your publishing bills, it's all good...

[ September 28, 2006, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
G2, how is it within the general scope of the President's prerogative to present information "in a way to support their policies" to say that the judgment behind the combined assessment of 16 Security, Intelligence and Information Agencies is naive? What is wrong with those people?!?

The full quote is this:
quote:
... Bush said, "I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe."

"To suggest that if we weren't in Iraq we would see a rosier scenario, with fewer extremists joining the radical movement, requires us to ignore 20 years of experience" of terror attacks, Bush said. "I think it is naive."

I think he meant something along the lines of it being naive to think that the jihadist movement would have been less than it is now if we had never gone to Iraq. History supports that opinion. I don't think he's calling the intelligence agencies naive, just the idea that the radical movement would have been less today without Iraq. I happen to agree that the jihadist movement expanded significantly in the 20+ years before the Iraq war and would have continued to do so whether or not we invaded Iraq; so Bush may have a point here. If you disagree with that opinion, you have some history to refute but you could certainly make the case to support a differing opinion. What makes you think the jihadist movement would have declined in the absence of of our invasion?


quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:

quote:
I don't have any problems with Bush or any other politician presenting the information in a way to support their policies. The Democrats do it as well as the Republicans, that's why it's important to listen to both sides so you can make an informed decision.
That implies that the truth lies somewhere between two biased representations.
It generally does.

quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:

More important is to find an unbiased source of information and evaluate it yourself.

Let me know if you ever find one. I think they all disappeared by the late 1970's if they ever existed at all.
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:

The NIE is not a political committee and they didn't produce a political report, so we should assume that they are trying to avoid spin.

Why should we assume that? The intelligence agencies have shown a willingness to leak information harmful to the administration, it's not a stretch to believe they would write the report in such a manner either. In this case, I don't think it happened but I don't think we should simply assume it. There are obivously some people in the intelligence community playing politics which, unfortunately, require us to now question everyone's motives.

quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:

Their assessment is that terrorism will persist and Jihadism will increase through the period their report addresses, which is somewhere between 5-10 years. The snippet of the NIE report that we've seen and the overall assessment of it by the NY Times and others suggest to me that the naivete is not on their end.

If you insist on using the NYT analysis, I can see where you would come to that conclusion. If you check the parts of the report the NYT neglected that I list above you get quite a different picture.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Interesting ethical framework: the POTUS is allowed to spin things however he wishes, because he is, after all, just another politician; the NYTimes, which has NOT taken a vow to uphold the Constitution or anything but does have a market-based vested interest in being perceived by a sufficient number of people as a purveyor of relatively accurate and moderately unbiased information, is expected to be as pure as the driven snow.

And I... 'I am the ruler of the Queen's na-vee!!!.... bad dates.'

Someone has poisoned the fruit bowl?!?!?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"a) More important is to find an unbiased source of information and evaluate it yourself. The NIE is not a political committee and they didn't produce a political report, so we should assume that they are trying to avoid spin.

b) Why should we assume that? The intelligence agencies have shown a willingness to leak information harmful to the administration, it's not a stretch to believe they would write the report in such a manner either. In this case, I don't think it happened but I don't think we should simply assume it. There are obivously some people in the intelligence community playing politics which, unfortunately, require us to now question everyone's motives."

Well, then, let's just ignore this little tempest in a political teapot, or let's just take the POV that pleases us and call it a day.

One minute we need to question the NIE committee's motives; the next minute we use it refute imbalanced representations of its report by this paper or that prez. God forbid we admit we're arguing over which liar is better (mis)representing the untestable statements of a possibly corrupt committee.

Everybody's lying, and only you or I or the third postyer can save the world from this insidious spin.

I stand tall atop a high building, cape fluttering in the wind, wearing leotards and a cape with a mighty O (for Ornery) on my chest.

For Lo! I am Ornery... and Thou Art Wrong. Let us now endeavor with all our strength to save the world from our respective ignorance.

(The neat thing about tights is everyone can see your bias. I, for example, 'dress' to the left. Really. Not just metaphorically but in real life. I wonder if there's a correlation? If so, is there an equivalent phenomenon in women? A discrepancy in breast weight? A slight smirk to their pudenda?
Any excuse to get women to war tight-fitting cat suits is OK by me.)

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kenmeer livermaile
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"The intelligence agencies have shown a willingness to leak information harmful to the administration, it's not a stretch to believe they would write the report in such a manner either."

An interesdting obserrvation (well, I think it is, but then, I think I look swell in tights, too):

When information is released, officially, that is perceived as beneficial to the administration, it is just an official release for those who support its content, and just so much bully pulpit spin for those who don't.

When information is leaked that is beneficial to the administration, it is deemed even more accurate by both sides. 'See! Even the leakers agree!'

When official information discrediting to the adminstration is released, it is deemed evidence of forthright honesty by those who approve of the admiistration, and evidence of a 'limited hang-out' by those who disapprove.

When official information damaging to the administration is leaked, it is deemed accurate by those who disapprove of the administration and evidence of an obvious political machination by those who approve of the administration.

And *we* accuse the info sources of bias?!?

One hing I;ve learned about opinion poll surveys is that they are designed to bypass or surmount the respondent's bias. That's why they ask the same question several times but in different contexts. It is very difficvult to properly do. I've only seen one that I think succeeded in this. Made libs think the survey had to have been written by the conservatives, et vice-versa.

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DaveS
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G2, these news outlets aren't Democratic Party allies, so how do you account for their consistent bias?

From The Economist (London):
quote:
...THE war in Iraq has “made the overall terrorism problem worse.” Many Islamist extremists consider it to be the first front of a total war against Islam. It has galvanised jihadists, becoming their “cause célèbre”, and it has contributed directly to increasing recruitment of violent Islamist terrorists. The terrorist threat is now more acute than it was before the September 11th attacks on the United States.

These blunt conclusions, leaked last week to the New York Times and the Washington Post, are part of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on global terrorism trends. Such estimates are the consensus opinion of 16 government agencies, including the CIA, FBI, State Department and all four branches of the armed forces. They are hard to dismiss by any but the wilfully dim-sighted. “Stating the obvious”, one leaker said. But it has never been obvious to the Bush administration....

From Kommersant (Russia):
quote:
...US President George Bush took an unprecedented step this week, allowing to publish the key points of a secret report describing the terrorism threat to the U.S. Bush was forced to do so due to the leak of some parts of the report into the press. Those extracts painted a very negative picture of Washington’s war in Iraq and other anti-terrorism activities....
From Asia Times
quote:
...Here is one conclusion of the NIE: "We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere. 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."

The trouble with that professional judgment is that it contradicts Bush's belief, which appears not to be based on fact. Making an appearance with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Bush said it was a mistake to think that the Iraq war had increased the terrorism threat....

From The Star (Malaysia):
quote:
...An intelligence report showing an upsurge in Islamic militancy put the White House on the defensive on Wednesday in an election-year debate over whether President George W. Bush has made America safer.

In a second blow to the president, a new U.N. report said the Iraq war was providing al Qaeda with a training centre and fresh recruits, and was inspiring a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan hundreds of miles away.

Bush ordered the release of parts of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Tuesday to try to stamp out a political fire after a leaked portion said the Iraq war had increased Islamic extremism.

But a key judgment in the declassified version that could backfire on Bush said intelligence experts believed activists identifying themselves as jihadists "are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion."...

From OhmyNews International:
quote:
...Indeed, at one level, the report is quite unremarkable, as it merely states the obvious. However, remembering the infamous 2002 NIE alleging the existence of WMDs in Iraq, one may find remarkable the fact that these 16 U.S. Intelligence Agencies have assessed so accurately the sobering reality that the Bush administration's strategy has failed the Rumsfeld test.

Have these agencies improved so much in the last four years? Or could it be that they got it right because, this time around, telling the truth actually serves their interests? ...

etc....
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
G2, these news outlets aren't Democratic Party allies, so how do you account for their consistent bias?

Ever read "Bias" by Bernard Goldberg? It's really good at showing how these biases propagate. For example, one of the outlets you list, Kommersant, is literally quoting the NYT. Did Natalia Portyakova read the NIE report or only the NYT account of the report? What other sources did Ms. Portyakova use for this story? The only source she lists (at least that I saw) was the NYT. Did she even read the published NIE extract? She says it's a 3 page extract - it's actually 4, although to be fair the last page is the end of a paragraph and one bullet point so its a bit of an abbreviated 4 - maybe she just rounded it? Why would she do that?

I'm not going to go through all the sources you link but you get the idea. There's no conspiracy or anything like that as Goldberg points out in his book (you really should check it out). Many reporters simply follow the NYT lead, as Ms. Portyakova appears to have done.

edit to add:

I did scan through the snips you provided and are all of these actually news articles or are some editorials? Saying things like:
quote:
The trouble with that professional judgment is that it contradicts Bush's belief, which appears not to be based on fact.
and
quote:
Have these agencies improved so much in the last four years? Or could it be that they got it right because, this time around, telling the truth actually serves their interests?
Sounds like these two at least are editorials.

[ September 28, 2006, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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DaveS
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Portyakova refers to the 3 page NIE extract. Since the NYT article came out before the extract did, it presumably means that she acquired and read it. It bleeds over to a 4th page, but it's fair for her to call it a 3 pager, as you correctly point out. You then insinuate that she might not have read it, because she says it's a 3 pager. Doesn't the insinuation contradict the fact you just legitimized? What better source would you expect her to cite?

It is overly suspicious logic to challenge one source with an unprovable insinuation lacking a credible basis, and then use the supposed legitimacy of the insinuation to disavow all of the other sources cited, and finally to wind up with a deeper insinuation that there is inescapable bias infecting all possible similar sources. For you, your conclusion is that you don't need to go through the sources, QED. I should have included one that supported Bush (I did find one, though it was an independent opinion piece) just to watch you squirm.

G2, I'm surprised and frankly disappointed that you choose this kind of discussion technique in a forum that is intended to argue ideas and views, supposedly without spin. This is a tactic worthy of a political hit squad.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Portyakova refers to the 3 page NIE extract. Since the NYT article came out before the extract did, it presumably means that she acquired and read it. It bleeds over to a 4th page, but it's fair for her to call it a 3 pager, as you correctly point out. You then insinuate that she might not have read it, because she says it's a 3 pager. Doesn't the insinuation contradict the fact you just legitimized? What better source would you expect her to cite?

Presumably she read it? She got the page count wrong, I don't think we can presume anything and its a legitimate question to ask. Just because I'm willing to extend some benefit of doubt for the sake of discussion does not invalidate the question. Did she read the extract? You're saying "presumably" because you don't know. There is no way to tell from her story. She never cites it as a source, only the NYT. It's only 4 pages, how did she lose count? Or was the NYT her one and only source? Why don't you fire off an email and ask her what her sources were and why she got the page count wrong if you're interested in defending her?
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:

It is overly suspicious logic to challenge one source with an unprovable insinuation lacking a credible basis, and then use the supposed legitimacy of the insinuation to disavow all of the other sources cited, and finally to wind up with a deeper insinuation that there is inescapable bias infecting all possible similar sources. For you, your conclusion is that you don't need to go through the sources, QED. I should have included one that supported Bush (I did find one, though it was an independent opinion piece) just to watch you squirm.

It's not overly suspicious at all. I can prove she got the page count wrong and that clearly implies she did not read it or did not read it very carefully at the very least. I don't need to go through every possible thing you link to because its not necessary. You asked me why they might all show the same bias and I answered your question, using her story as an example. Just because the answer blew your template is no reason to get so wound up.
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:

G2, I'm surprised and frankly disappointed that you choose this kind of discussion technique in a forum that is intended to argue ideas and views, supposedly without spin. This is a tactic worthy of a political hit squad.

I can see you ran out of ideas and lost on the logic front so you ran to an emotional personal attack. Hey ... it's going to be OK. Deep breath in, hold it, let the tension out. Keep going like this and you're going to end up talking about nothing but your genitals and tight fitting pants like that guy kenmeer livermaile.

Take a deep breath and think a moment. I've answered your questions, care to answer the ones I asked in this post and others?

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DaveS
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No, we're talking past each other.
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
No, we're talking past each other.

I don't think so Dave, you have some good points here and there and some reasonable questions to ask. And so far, you kept away from the whole "genitals in my tight pants" kookery which makes me like you even more (I mean, jeez, that guy cracked).

Take a few moments to go through some of the questions I asked you over the last few posts and respond, I read them and I do think about what you say. Then I'll tell you what I think - feel free to ignore it, my wife usually does so I'm used to it. I suspect I may have upset the apple cart of your preconceived notions a bit (it happens to me all the time) and that's cool if it gets you defensive - been there myself and will be again soon I'm sure.

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Daruma28
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Here's 4000 reasons why the US is safer since the Iraq war started.

quote:
(CBS News) CAIRO, Egypt The new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq said in an audiotape posted on the Internet Thursday that more than 4,000 foreign insurgent fighters have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

"The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir - also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri - the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, though the voice could not be independently identified.

The Arabic word he used indicated he was speaking about foreigners who joined the insurgency in Iraq, not coalition troops.


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kenmeer livermaile
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"Keep going like this and you're going to end up talking about nothing but your genitals and tight fitting pants like that guy kenmeer livermaile. "

Talk about a nothing butt...

"(I mean, jeez, that guy cracked)"

[!RimShot!]

Still no clarification? If not, I guess my interpretation stands:

"a) "The nature of the Armitage/Plame leak was, if anything, to give the American people a heads-up about the motivations of opponents of certain administration policies."; it works exactly the same when I phrase it with your logic for good/bad leaks."

b) Are you saying that the reason White House officials leaked Plame's name to the press was to reveal that Plame was on the committee that suggested Wilson go to Niger? Or...?

One outs a CIA agent so that the American people can know that her husband the ambassador might be carrying water for the party not currently holding the White House? So that the American people won't be duped by his testimony (which appears to be correct anyway)?

Or am I missing something here?"

Going once, going twice...

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kenmeer livermaile
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It's a 3-page report, if one is rounding off. The fourth page is all of 6 lines long. Was she rounding off. Does she have difficulty counting? Did she bother to read the report she was critiquing, or did she -- a journalist -- just mention in passing that the government published a response to the hottest news sotry on the American scene, about which she just happens to be writing an article, do a quick page count, and then not read it?

because she is so lazy or enamored of the NYTimes or so gosh-darned biased that she refused to pollute her purely biased mind with the doggone facts?

The strongest bias being revealed by all this, G2, is yours. It's a bias so strong it imparts its own shadow onto others. It's almost like you're bi-assed.

Hey... like my new codpiece?

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kenmeer livermaile
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One must note in fairness, though, that she doesn't link to the report. On the other hand, the report is a .pdf, which means she can only link to the site and then expect folks to navigate to the report.

Perhaps, since she couldn't guarantee a direct link, she declined to html the bugger.

Who knows? (Obviously, though, a Russian journalist is likely to have a negative bias against Bush.)

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DaveS
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G2, you don't have a registered Ornery email, or I would have sent the following to it. Everyone else, please ignore the following (oh, sher).

I'm not defensive and you didn't upset me in any way. I just don't see a connection between our point/counterpoints. You probably see it otherwise. However, I'll say that in the last such exchange that rather than responding directly to the sources that I dug up, you instead challenged the validity of one of them, and then proceeded to generalize to say that all the others were perforce tainted. I intentionally cited only international sources, and ones that are far apart both geographically and politically. You didn't actually read them, because you had satisfied yourself that there would be no value to doing so.

FWIW, you objected to that source because she only referenced the NYT article, but here are two quotes from her article:
quote:
Those extracts painted a very negative picture of Washington’s war in Iraq and other anti-terrorism activities.
quote:
However, the 3-page extract reflects only one positive trend in the war on terrorism.
Her English translation may so good be not, but don't both of those quotes directly reference the extract? The only reference to the NYT is a quote at the very end of her article. How do you honestly conclude that her only source was the NYT? I can't imagine, which is why I said that we're not communicating.

It also doesn't help to say that I'm going out on a limb by saying that a source "presumably" read the material she refers to. Doesn't that smack of excessive defensiveness? How do we know you're not being paid by the RNC to object to anything that doesn't sound like GOP boosterism? Presumably, you're...well, I guess I shouldn't presume.

Take the arguments on their merits, or attack them on their merits, and don't inject into your response that because a book exists that claims that bias infects the media any sources you don't like are suspect. Some of your points are legitimate (i.e., well-formed but still wrong [Smile] ), and some of mine may be wrong (not). I may come back to them later. Maybe I am just getting testy. These shorts are killing me.

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kenmeer livermaile
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And, of course, the London Economist, the Asia Times, the Malaysia Star... well, they probably ARE biased against Bush and the war in Iraq, both of which are evenb less popular abroad than they are in the homeland.

Is it biased that the world declares its bias? Or should they pretend not to be so that they can appear... unbiased?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"These shorts are killing me."

Pell 'em down! Pull 'em down!

(I'm always up for a moment's diversion [Wink] )

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
I'll say that in the last such exchange that rather than responding directly to the sources that I dug up, you instead challenged the validity of one of them, and then proceeded to generalize to say that all the others were perforce tainted. I intentionally cited only international sources, and ones that are far apart both geographically and politically. You didn't actually read them, because you had satisfied yourself that there would be no value to doing so.

You asked why they all sounded the same. I gave you the answer. I understand you may not like that answer, what's wrong with it? BTW, one of your links, the last one, is invalid. Also, they sound like editorials - I asked you if they were but you continue to ignore any questions.
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
The only reference to the NYT is a quote at the very end of her article. How do you honestly conclude that her only source was the NYT? I can't imagine, which is why I said that we're not communicating.

OK, so what other source does she reference? As far as I can tell, the NYT is her only source because she does not list anything else. I think she did not read the NIE because she got the page count wrong, it was only 4 pages. If she's going to mention the page count, how could she have gotten it wrong? It's a pretty basic thing. The only answer I have, she didn't actually read it or read is so poorly that she didn't know what it contained. Poor english is not an excuse for missing the page count. Do you think she read it?

quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:

Take the arguments on their merits, or attack them on their merits, and don't inject into your response that because a book exists that claims that bias infects the media any sources you don't like are suspect. Some of your points are legitimate (i.e., well-formed but still wrong [Smile] ), and some of mine may be wrong (not). I may come back to them later. Maybe I am just getting testy. These shorts are killing me.

I would say the same thing to you. But when you ask questions, be prepared for the answers. I didn't say I didn't like these sources you list, you asked why they were biased. I pointed you to a resource that would explain it in great detail.
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