NIE — Doublespeak Dreaming

December 12, 2010


Orwellian coin:

Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them…
1984, New American Library, 1981, p35

Time once again for contradictory doublespeak on the failings of US war operations — one message for the public, another for the powers-that-be, which in normal, guy-on-the-street talk is considered bald-faced lying, or maybe, talkin’-outta-ya-ass.
A new report on the Af-Pak theater reveals a grim outlook:

New U.S. intelligence reports paint a bleak picture of the security conditions in Afghanistan and say the war cannot be won unless Pakistan roots out militants on its side of the border, according to several U.S. officials who have been briefed on the findings.
The reports, one on Afghanistan, the other on Pakistan, could complicate the Obama administration’s plans to claim next week that the war is turning a corner.
But U.S. military commanders have challenged the conclusions, saying they are based on outdated information that does not take into account progress made in the fall, says a senior U.S. official who is part of the review process.
The analyses were detailed in briefings to the Senate Intelligence Committee this week and some of the findings were shared with members of the House Intelligence Committee, officials said.

The report contains public opinion polling that finds Afghans are ambivalent — as willing to cut a deal with the Taliban as they are to work with the Americans, the official said.
It also shows U.S. efforts are lagging to build infrastructure and get trained security forces to areas where they are needed, the official said.
And it says the war cannot be won unless Pakistan is willing to obliterate terrorist safe havens in its lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
The new report on Pakistan concludes that the Pakistani government and military “are not willing to do that,” says one U.S. official briefed on the analysis.

The cited “reports” are part of the National Intelligence Estimates — the NIE — and is a product of 17 different US ‘intelligence‘ agencies and supposedly the “most authoritative and coordinated written assessment” from all those departments on a variety of subjects, from wars to climate.
These “estimative” intelligence reports were established by the National Security Act of 1947.

Despite the above “bleak” NIE Afghan assessments, President Obama and his military boys are whitewashing the war, blubbering excited little bromides on just how cherry things are over there, just in time for a supposedly wonderful Afghanistan Review from the White House’s National Security Council on the state of cherry-picked data.
From Jason Ditz at, who does a most-excellent job of keeping up with this shit:

Record death tolls and a really pessimistic Pentagon report delivered to Congress just days ago are old news, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who insisted that the war in Afghanistan is going really well and indeed “exceeded my expectations.”

And even though bombings are on the rise and by all accounts the war is getting worse, not better, it is a very good time to make false claims of progress, as snowfall will soon make Afghanistan virtually impassable for several months, keeping the lies from being obvious for quite awhile.

On top of Bullet-Bob Gates’ bullshit, Obama himself blubbered a couple of weeks ago on the “important progress” in the conflict during a surprise visit to Afghanistan: “Today we can be proud that there are fewer areas under Taliban control,” Obama said, in a speech filled with tributes to serving troops and the burden carried by their families.
“We said we were going to break the Taliban’s momentum and that’s what you’re doing, you’re going on the offense, tired of playing defense,” he said to the crowd of mostly U.S. troops.

And what progress?
Just this morning via the New York Times: A suicide attacker detonated a minibus packed with explosives near the gates of a military base in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing six NATO troops and two Afghan soldiers, officials said.

In digesting all this, one must keep in mind the strange and infamous NIE.
Of course, the most-recent of these heinous NIEs was the infamous 2002 version — compelling George Tenet’s ugly “slam dunk” wise-guy moniker on Iraq possessing WMD.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee two years later: “Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence,” Rockefeller said. “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

Then two years later than that – the 2006 NIE — the “estimative” painted a horrifying rebuke of George Jr. and his warring misadventures (and the intelligince community’s ‘payback‘): The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.
And of course, George Jr. and his lackeys/henchmen blubbered about how wonderfully wonderful the Iraqi war was then going (anarchy, ethic cleansing, nothing heavy) and scorned their once beloved NIE.
Now it’s Obama’s turn to play the anti-NIE card.

In that same sense of Orwell, doublespeak, bullshitting and the like, I watched the movie, “Inception,” on DVD for the first time last night, a film about getting into people’s heads while they’re asleep.
Good flick!
It’s a much-deeper mind-scatter from Christopher Nolan than even his own incredible, “Memento,” from a decade ago and displays how a dream team can literally drop in on your wildest night-time fantasies and give a you a strange bend-over’s bend-over.
The real terror, though, is that same dream team screwing with one’s daydreams, and thoughts, and opinions while wide-ass awake.
Case in point: Mental hardcase Glenn Beck announcing last week that 10 percent of Muslims are terrorists
Or Medal-head hard-case Gen. David H. Petraeus waxing wonderful: “We started achieving progress with security, then governance, and then citizen confidence – that’s literally how it plays out,” Petraeus said in a recent interview at his headquarters in Kabul. “It’s the kind of progression we’re trying to achieve in other areas.”

Dreams of the arrogant to the ignorant.


The Washington Post is reporting Sunday evening, the six NATO troops killed today by a suicide bomber were, in fact, US GIs.

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