Sunday, February 11, 2007

Victory Is Not an Option

The Washington Post Outlook Section has two pieces in it this Sunday that ought to be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to discuss Iraq rationally.

The first is an essay by William E. Odom. Odom is a retired Army lieutenant general, and was head of Army intelligence and director of the National Security Agency under President Reagan.

His essay is entitled "Victory Is Not an Option."

It is tightly written and tightly reasoned. It is the work of a patriot in despair over his Commander-in-Chief's blind, willful ignorance.

The second is the declassified portion of the latest National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq that was released by the Bush Administration on Groundhog's Day. Or, as the Post puts it:
The unclassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq was released late Friday, Feb. 2, the time of day the Bush administration has often used to release bad news.

The NIE (pronounced like the joint between your thigh and shin) is sobering as hell. And the annotations by Mark M. Lowenthal, a 31-year career intelligence officer and a former vice chairman for evaluation of the National Intelligence Council, which writes NIEs, are both enlightening and entertainingly droll.

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