WASHINGTON (AP) -- Intelligence analysts predicted, in secret papers circulated within the government before the Iraq invasion, that al-Qaida would see U.S. military action as an opportunity to increase its operations and that Iran would try to shape a post-Saddam Iraq.
The top analysts in government also said that establishing a stable democracy in Iraq would be a "long, difficult and probably turbulent process."
Democrats said the newly declassified documents, part of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation released Friday, make clear that the Bush administration was warned about the very challenges it now faces as it tries to stabilize Iraq.
"Sadly, the administration's refusal to heed these dire warnings - and worse, to plan for them - has led to tragic consequences for which our nation is paying a terrible price," said Senate Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
How is this super-secret, only-just-now-revealed information any different -- any different, in any meaningful sense -- than the following?
We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We are pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We have begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. And then we will leave — and we will leave behind a free Iraq....
Our mission continues. Al-Qaida is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the terrorist network still operate in many nations, and we know from daily intelligence that they continue to plot against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger. The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland — and we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike.
The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory.
I guess Bush ought to be impeached for blabbing classified intelligence data on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, huh?