Could the Bush administration be invoking the ominous specter of al-Qaida — and suggesting the extremist group is gathering strength and preparing to strike — for political reasons? CNN’s Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware says Americans should watch out for rhetorical sleight of hand from the White House concerning the current threat level and the newly unveiled National Intelligence Estimate.

The Raw Story:

“That statement in the NIE is about three years too late,” Ware responded. “Al Qaeda has reorganized itself through the war in Iraq that America handed it on a silver platter in its own backyard. … The war here … has energized the jihadi community across the globe.” Ware asserted that “Iraq veterans” among foreign terrorists “are creating a whole new momentum back in their homelands,” but said that “the true danger of al Qaeda in Iraq is the template or the model it offers” even to those who have never been to Iraq.

Equally quick to insist that the NIE should not be taken too literally, Ware said, “We must be aware of the spin, the smoke and mirrors from the administration, trying to reshape the message on Iraq being specifically about al Qaeda … trying to evoke some Pavlovian response from the American public to fear them into again supporting the war. That doesn’t quite hold water.”

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