NIE on "leftists"

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Glenn Greenwald writes at Salon about this passage in the April NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] which was partially declassified by Bush in a pathetic attempt at ass-covering:

"Anti-U.S. and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint. […] We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train and obtain logistical and financial support."

Greenwald rebuts this as follows:

Prior to 9/11, the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil was in Oklahoma City, where Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in pursuit of his right-wing, anti-federal-government agenda. But there is nothing in the NIE findings about right-wing or anti-government groups. Instead, there is a rather stark warning about the danger of "leftist" groups using the Internet to engage in terrorist attacks against the United States. Is there any basis at all for that warning?

There have been scattered reports over the last several years that the Bush administration's anti-terrorism programs have targeted domestic political groups solely because such groups espouse views contrary to the administration's. […] Are "leftist" groups one of the principal targets on the anti-terrorism agenda of the Bush administration, and if so, aren't the implications rather disturbing?

Regarding the declassification process, Greenwald slams Bush on that as well:

If large and important parts of the NIE can be safely declassified and known by the American public, why were they classified in the first place? And why have they been kept classified since April? Obviously, the NIE is being declassified now only because the White House needs a political defense to the New York Times article reporting that the NIE concluded that the war in Iraq worsened the terrorist threat. But it is really amazing just how transparent the White House is being about the fact that it routinely conceals information as "classified" not because it is secret but because it is politically damaging. What other explanation even theoretically accounts for this behavior? [emphasis added]

Bush claimed in yesterday’s press conference that, “Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes.,” but it’s more accurate to say that someone—namely Bush—has taken it upon himself to conceal unclassified information for political purposes.

That sounds quite different without the self-serving spin, doesn’t it?

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 27, 2006 3:47 PM.

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