Bush V The Geneva convention 2

Just a few days after President George Bush, with the help of his chief henchman, the Vice-President Dick Cheney, thrashed out a deal with his Republican critics, led by Senator John McCain, that allows him, with Congress’s blessing, interpret the Geneva Convention in more or less any way he feels like when dealing with detainees in Guantanamo or in any of the CIA’s ‘black’ prisons.

Today Bush’s instincts about how to deal with terrorism are brought into question by a National Intelligence Estimate report, which has been investigated by today’s New York Times, that says that by going to war in Iraq Bush has done something that has actually worsened terror threat.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by
United States intelligence agencies since the
Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the
Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.

The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

More than a dozen United States government officials and outside experts were interviewed for this article, and all spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence document. The officials included employees of several government agencies, and both supporters and critics of the Bush administration. All of those interviewed had either seen the final version of the document or participated in the creation of earlier drafts. These officials discussed some of the document’s general conclusions but not details, which remain highly classified.

And what will happen now? Not a lot, I would say. There does not appear to be anyone capable of calling Bush and the bunch of shysters who surround him to account.

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