The Corner

Iraq and Pennsylvania’s 10th District

Eli Lake reports that an RNC mailing targeting Chris Carney, a naval reserve officer and Democrat challenging Republican Phil Sherwood in upstate Pennsylvania, accuses Carney of starting the Iraq war by demonstrating a link between Saddam and multiple terrorist groups.  This mailing is shameless.  Carney was a reservist activated and sent to the Pentagon.  He had reams of old reports and raw data dumped on his desk and was asked to review it.  He did his service.  That he raised questions about links and meetings that the CIA couldn’t answer, well, that says a lot more about the analysis wing at the CIA than about anything else.  Many people discuss how there needs to be renewed focus on the CIA’s directorate of operations.  In the intelligence directorate, though, there are people focusing on ever more narrow subjects, but few people that have adequate long-term memory on their subjects.  It is even more disturbing that, as their source, the RNC mailing used a 2004 article by the former “Middle East intelligence correspondent” of the Lyndon LaRouche movement.  His source?  Karen Kwiatkowski, a former Pentagon Morocco desk officer whom the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence suggested was a fabricator in a 2004 report.  Republicans are better than Democrats on national security and terrorism.  Note to Pennsylvania Republicans: laying the Ned Lamont populist card is both counterproductive and irresponsible.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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