Can't Discredit The Message So Go After The Messenger

In the wake of the Bush Administration’s release yesterday of the synopsis of the classified NIE report, reaction has been swift and as can be expected varied depending on who is doing the reporting.

The Left feels that even the miniscule 3 plus page summary declassified out of the 30 page report backs up the assertion being made after the initial leak that the invasion in Iraq has managed only to increase the number of radical terrorists hell bent on the destruction of America. The paragraph in the summary that tends to back up that assertion does appear prominently in that report.

“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.”

Of course on the Right, most pretty much ignore that paragraph and instead concentrate on other bullets in the report or in a few instances they attempt to discredit the report itself. A case in point is the reaction by a blogger over at South Dakota Politics. Jason Heppler, instead of addressing that paragraph directly, states the obvious when he quotes other conservatives such as Andrew McCarthy, Glenn Reynolds and John Hinderaker.

Jihadists hate us because they hate us, not because of Iraq.

While most of that statement is quite true, he fails to address the more damning implication that the invasion of Iraq has made more of the “Jihadists that hate us” than had existed before the invasion. The NIE report is documenting that while there were plenty of militants that wanted to do us harm before we invaded, the act of the invasion itself has radicalized many more and instead Heppler concludes that from the only 3 pages released that those in our intelligence service who wrote the report and then leaked a portion of it should be summarily fired for producing a “a meaningless document full of empty bureaucratic twaddle.

Now the full report could in fact be the “meaningless document full of empty bureaucratic twaddle.” as Heppler so eloquently states but one would wonder how anyone could honestly come to that conclusion based on only 10 percent of it being made public?

The main criticism of the Bush policies regarding the tangible results of the invasion of Iraq coming from the NIE report appear to be confirmed by it’s release but as is usually the case in politics when someone attempts to discredit a political agenda, the party under attack goes after the messenger instead of the message.

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