"Surge Of Facts" To Become The New Bush Co. Mantra
Going against a near endless stream of national, and international intelligence, reports that claim that Al Qaeda in Iraq is a small, but still powerful, influence in the terror attacks in Iraq, President Bush has ramped up his claims that Al Qaeda in Iraq, is the very same Al Qaeda that attacked the United States on 9/11.
As the myth-making has failed to take root in the American mind, Bush is now losing patience with the spin he has been directed to unfurl, in the hope of bumping back up support for the Iraq War and the 'War on Terror'.
Bush needs Americans to see Al Qaeda in Iraq as the new Nazis - a massive, strong, well-armed, ideologically driven enemy worth of half trillion per year defence budgets. But the US Treasury is running low on funds, and the American people are running low on patience.
Bush, however, keeps up the myth-making :
President Bush sought anew on Tuesday to draw connections between the Iraqi group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the terrorist network responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, and he sharply criticized those who contend that the groups are independent of each other.From the Washington Post :
At a time when Mr. Bush is trying to beat back calls for withdrawal from Iraq, the speech at Charleston Air Force Base reflected concern at the White House over criticism that he is focusing on the wrong terrorist threat.
“The facts are that Al Qaeda terrorists killed Americans on 9/11, they’re fighting us in Iraq and across the world and they are plotting to kill Americans here at home again,” Mr. Bush told a contingent of military personnel here. “Those who justify withdrawing our troops from Iraq by denying the threat of Al Qaeda in Iraq and its ties to Osama bin Laden ignore the clear consequences of such a retreat.”The Iraqi group is a homegrown Sunni Arab extremist group with some foreign operatives that has claimed a loose affiliation to Mr. bin Laden’s network, although the precise links are unclear.
In his speech, Mr. Bush did not try to debunk the fact — repeated by Mr. Reid — that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia did not exist until after the United States invasion in 2003 and has flourished since.
His comments also reflected a subtle shift from his recent flat assertion that, “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on Sept. 11.”
The overall thrust of the speech was that the administration believes that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has enough connections to Mr. bin Laden’s group to be considered the same threat, that its ultimate goal is to strike America...
Mr. Bush referred throughout his speech to what his aides said was newly declassified intelligence in his effort to link Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the central Qaeda leadership that is believed to be operating from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. Although the aides said the intelligence was declassified, White House and intelligence officials declined to provide any detail on the reports Mr. Bush cited.
In stark terms, Mr. Bush laid out a case that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia had taken its cues from the central Qaeda leadership, and that it had been led by foreigners who have sworn allegiance to Mr. bin Laden.Mr. Bush quoted from what aides said was a previously classified intelligence assessment, saying, “The Zarqawi-bin Laden merger gave Al Qaeda in Iraq quote, ‘prestige among potential recruits and financiers.’ ” He added, “The merger also gave Al Qaeda’s senior leadership ‘a foothold in Iraq to extend its geographic presence.’ ”
Some administration officials have been more conservative in their assessments of any ability and desire that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia might have to carry out attacks here.“When you look at how they are arraying their capabilities, those capabilities are being focused on the conflict in Iraq at this time,” Edward M. Gistaro, one of the principal authors of a recent National Intelligence Estimate on terrorist threats to the United States, said last week
"Some will tell you al-Qaeda in Iraq isn't really al-Qaeda -- and not really a threat to America," Bush said. "Well, that's like watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and a gun, and saying he's probably just there to cash a check. We are fighting bin Laden's al-Qaeda in Iraq."
Critics of the Bush administration's policy in Iraq -- including former intelligence officials, lawmakers and regional experts -- have said that al-Qaeda in Iraq grew up in response to the U.S. occupation and that loyalists of the group represent just a small percentage of the insurgent forces battling U.S. and Iraqi forces. Moreover, al-Qaeda as a whole represents an ideology for extremists as much as it does a functioning organization, some intelligence analysts have said.
But Bush called the Iraqi organization an "alliance of killers" and repeated earlier assertions that a military withdrawal would allow Iraq to be used as a base from which to strike the U.S. homeland.
"Those who justify withdrawing our troops from Iraq by denying the threat of al-Qaeda in Iraq and its ties to Osama bin Laden ignore the clear consequences of such a retreat," Bush said. "If we were to follow their advice, it would be dangerous for the world -- and disastrous for America."
"The masterminds who want to harm this country are in Pakistan while our troops are in Iraq. It doesn't get much simpler than that," said Rand Beers, a former National Security Council aide who is president of the National Security Network, an advocacy group.
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) similarly said Bush's handling of the war has intensified the terrorist threat. "The National Intelligence Estimate contradicted what the president said today and made it clear that al-Qaeda is stronger because of our massive military presence in Iraq," he said Tuesday.Bush also added that another terrorist leader recently captured in Iraq, whom he identified only as Mashhadani, had told U.S. interrogators that the Iraqi organization there went to "extraordinary lengths to promote the fiction" that it was not run by foreigners tied to the central al-Qaeda network. Khalid al-Mashhadani's capture was announced in a news conference last week by U.S. forces in Baghdad.
A Bush administration spokeswoman was quoted in the New York Times story as describing the added emphasis on Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia as being part of the 9/11 Al Qaeda network as an element of the "surge of facts" that the White House was using to make its case to stay and keep fighting the 'War on Terror' in Iraq.
But while Al Qaeda-aligned terror groups in Iraq remain small, though formidable, Al Qaeda as a political and war fighting strength continues to grow in strength, capacity and tactical knowledge in the 'badlands' of Pakistan, close to the border of Afghanistan.
The call will grow amongst Americans : why are we fighting in Iraq to defeat Al Qaeda when we should be fighting them in Pakistan?
This is an argument, and debate, that the Bush administration doesn't want to take hold. Pakistan has soaked up more than $10 billion in American 'War on Terror' related funding, but Al Qaeda now appears to be stronger, and more numerous, in Pakistan than anywhere else in th world.
Note : Crooks And Liars noted on July 13 that White House press secretary Tony Snow had used the term "surge of facts" for the first time. It's already getting a strong workout from the Bush Co. spin ministry. Expect to see more of it. We await President Bush's first use of the term. Shouldn't be too long now.