The same intelligence unit that produced a gloomy report in July about the prospect of growing instability in Iraq warned the Bush administration about the potential costly consequences of an American-led invasion two months before the war began, government officials said Monday.
The estimate came in two classified reports prepared for President Bush in January 2003 by the National Intelligence Council, an independent group that advises the director of central intelligence. The assessments predicted that an American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political Islam and would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal conflict.
One of the reports also warned of a possible insurgency against the new Iraqi government or American-led forces, saying that rogue elements from Saddam Hussein's government could work with existing terrorist groups or act independently to wage guerrilla warfare, the officials said. The assessments also said a war would increase sympathy across the Islamic world for some terrorist objectives, at least in the short run, the officials said.
The contents of the two assessments had not been previously disclosed. They were described by the officials after two weeks in which the White House had tried to minimize the council's latest report, which was prepared this summer and read by senior officials early this month.
Last week, Mr. Bush dismissed the latest intelligence reports, saying its authors were "just guessing'' about the future, though he corrected himself later, calling it an "estimate.''
Why do I have a feeling that when he retires (as opposed to living like he has retired) Dubya is going to build himself a vacation home below a seawall on the Florida coast?
Stay tuned for ABC's series of the future, "Extreme Do-Over" where friendly people from the past come back and undue giant clusterfucks of world Super-Powers. I'm sure they will get to Iraq right after they undue the Diem Assasination or the Mossadegh coup.