“This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we’re in”June 7, 2007
Those words were spoken by Bush back in January during his State of the Union address. I remember thinking at the time that the notion seemed pretty absurd, given the fact that I had stumbled upon a story that detailed how a 1999 war game had predicted many of the problems we are seeing right now in Iraq. Since then, there have been many more revelations that have been exposed about the nature of the intelligence that was available to the White House before the war, which appears to make it quite clear that this is exactly the fight we entered. This wasn’t a case of “no one anticipated“, this was a clear case of an administration simply a) ignoring the advise of experts b) entering a war unprepared for a extremely difficult reconstruction and occupation and c) not leveling with the American people or even their military about it.
The evidence to support this just keeps growing. In recent weeks there has been quite a bit of pre-war assessments and intelligence reports that have come to light publicly on this. Then, today, I spotted yet another one, in an excellent post by Bob Geiger: Latest Intelligence Report Yet Another Smoking Gun On Bush
Which makes the report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee before the Memorial Day holiday even more interesting because Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq (PDF) shows not only that Shinseki was right about troop levels, but also — as if more evidence is needed — that the Bush administration ignored critical pre-war intelligence in their rush to invade Iraq.
The report, which the previous Republican Congress successfully kept from being produced for two years, shows that months before the Iraq invasion, the White House knew from U.S. intelligence agencies that a civil war would likely erupt after Saddam’s ouster, that al-Qaeda would quickly move to exploit the American occupation and that Osama bin Laden’s organization would actually gain strength globally due to Bush’s action.