News Release

NIE Issues: Terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan

ROBERT DREYFUSS
Dreyfuss wrote the piece “Beware the NIE” this week about the latest National Intelligence Estimate controversy. He is author of the book Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam.
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CAMILO MEJIA
A former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, Mejia served nine months in a U.S. Army jail for refusing to return to his Florida Guard unit in Iraq, saying he did not want to participate in torture. His Iraq war memoir, Road From Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia, is forthcoming.

On March 15, 2004, just before surrendering to military authorities after refusing to return to the war, Mejia said at a news conference that morale among U.S. troops was really low because they lacked a sense of mission and because “we were all lied to about weapons of mass destruction and connections between Iraq and terrorism to justify the war. In reality, we’re giving terrorism a reason to exist with this war.”

Mejia said today that the worst outcome following the NIE “would be for the people of the United States to allow this ‘new report’ — many of us have been saying this for years — to be misused for political gain rather than for a more appropriate action: the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.”
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ANNE E. BRODSKY
Bush dines this evening with the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Brodsky is author of the book With All Our Strength, which chronicles the experiences of Afghan women; she returned last month from her fifth trip to Afghanistan.
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STEVEN KULL
Kull is director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes, which just released a poll that found that “seven in ten Iraqis want U.S.-led forces to commit to withdraw within a year. An overwhelming majority believes that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing and there is growing confidence in the Iraqi army. If the U.S. made a commitment to withdraw, a majority believes that this would strengthen the Iraqi government. Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a majority position — now six in ten. Support appears to be related to a widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167