Senate Democrats

REID: Contrary to White House PR Campaign, Bush Iraq Policies Have Made America Less Safe

Washington, DCSenate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today issued the following statement on press reports that the National Intelligence Estimate, the most authoritative summary of the opinion of America’s intelligence community, has concluded that the war in Iraq has made the threat of terrorism worse.

“Once again, the American people have learned that the Bush Administration has not been honest with them about the war in Iraq. Press reports say our nation’s intelligence services have confirmed that President Bush’s repeated missteps in Iraq and his stubborn refusal to change course have made America less safe. No election-year White House PR campaign can hide this truth. It is crystal clear that America’s security demands we change course in Iraq. The war in Iraq is now in its fourth year and Congress has yet to ask the tough questions and get the honest answers our nation’s security demands. Tomorrow, that will change. With the Democratic Policy Committee’s hearings into the conduct of the war in Iraq, we will finally take America in a new direction.”


President Bush’s Recent Claims of Progress in Combating Terrorism Are at Odds with Today’s Press Reports of the National Intelligence Estimate’s Conclusions

Bush Said His Policies Are Keeping Terrorists under Constant Pressure, and Keeping America Safer. “[W]e’re determined to prevent terrorist attacks before they occur. So we’re taking the fight to the enemy. The best way to protect America is to stay on the offense. Since 9/11, our coalition has captured or killed al Qaeda managers and operatives, and scores of other terrorists across the world. The enemy is living under constant pressure, and we intend to keep it that way — and this adds to our security. When terrorists spend their days working to avoid death or capture, it’s harder for them to plan and execute new attacks.” [President Discusses Global War on Terror, Washington, D.C., 9/5/06]

Bush Said America Is Winning the War on Terror after Having “Transformed Former Adversaries into Allies”. “We’ve learned the lessons of 9/11, and we have addressed the gaps in our defenses exposed by that attack. We’ve gone on the offense against our enemies, and transformed former adversaries into allies. We have put in place the institutions needed to win this war. Five years after September the 11th, 2001, America is safer — and America is winning the war on terror.” [President Bush Discusses Progress in the Global War on Terror, Atlanta, 9/7/06]

Bush Said America Is Safer Because of Action Overseas. “Many Americans look at [terrorist attacks in Britain, Spain, India, Turkey, Russia, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq] and ask the same question: Five years after 9/11, are we safer? The answer is, yes, America is safer. We are safer because we’ve taken action to protect the homeland. We are safer because we are on offense against our enemies overseas. We’re safer because of the skill and sacrifice of the brave Americans who defend our people.” [President Bush Discusses Progress in the Global War on Terror, Atlanta, 9/7/06]

Bush Claimed His Policies in the Middle East Would Make America More Secure. “And by leading the cause of freedom in the vital region, we will change the conditions that give rise to radicalism and hatred and terror. We will replace violent dictatorships with peaceful democracies. We’ll make America, the Middle East, and the world more secure.” [President Bush Discusses Progress in the Global War on Terror, Atlanta, 9/7/06]

Bush Asserted that Supporting Democracy in Iraq Is Making America More Secure. “By advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternative to repression and radicalism, and by supporting young democracies like Iraq, we are helping to bring a brighter future to this region — and that will make America and the world more secure.” [President’s Radio Address, 9/9/06]

Bush Said the “Terrorists Disagree” with the Contention that Iraq is a Distraction from the Fight against Terrorism. “The fighting in Iraq has been difficult and it has been bloody, and some say that Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror. The terrorists disagree.” [President Bush Discusses Progress in the Global War on Terror, Atlanta, 9/7/06]

Bush Said the U.S. Is on the Offense in the Fight against Terrorism. “We’re a nation at war — and America and her allies are fighting this war with relentless determination across the world. Together with our coalition partners, we’ve removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they’re carried out. We’re on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront — and we’ll accept nothing less than complete victory.” [President Discusses Global War on Terror, Washington, D.C., 9/5/06]