We're coming to you today from the Department of Mastery of the Stunningly Obvious here in the marbled halls of IM Central. DMSO is a wholly owed subsidiary of the Well, Duh! Corporation and is partially funded by a grant from the Foundation for the Promulgation of Stupid Pronouncements.
But before we get on to today's festivities, a little bit of full disclosure. Regular readers of this blog can attest to the fact that some people do, in actuality lead lives of quiet desperation...er...we mean regular readers know that this blog has never had anything intelligent to say, has never shown even the slightest scintilla of analytical acumen, and has never been even in the same zip code with any value that might even remotely be construed as being socially redeeming. Do we exaggerate? Do you not concur? Don't make us link to previous posts to make our point.
Anyway, that brings us to the second reason we cast our desultory gaze in the particular direction of this story and that is, it occurs to us with the specific skill set described above, we should be report writers for the government. Or journalists.
The terrorist network Al-Qaida will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate on threats to the United States.
Gee. Ya think?
"See, it's like this," explained White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "When the Saudi Arabians attacked us on 9/11, we responded by blowing up Afghanistan and Iraq. Our analysis suggests that this has been somewhat problematic for the Arab people."
The report makes clear that al-Qaida in Iraq, which has not yet posed a direct threat to U.S. soil, could become a problem here. "Now, what that means is that as long as they're in Iraq, they'll continue blowing up stuff in Iraq, but if they came here, they would be obliged, vis-a-vis their geographic location, to blow up our stuff," Snowjob explained. "It's all highly technical."
"Of note," the analysts said, "we assess that al-Qaida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the homeland." When asked how it was determined that al-Qaida in Iraq was the only terrorist group who had "expressed a desire" to attack the United States a spokesperson responded that they were the only ones "who returned the survey."
The analysts also found that al-Qaida's association with its Iraqi affiliate helps the group to energize the broader Sunni Muslim extremist community, raise resources and recruit and indoctrinate operatives. "We're trying to adapt some of what we've learned about how they've increased recruiting to our own difficulties recruiting soldiers at home, but so far it doesn't look like we're going to be invaded by a foreign army and occupied anytime soon," said one official familiar with the report.
"We're trying to remind people is that this is a real threat. This is not an attempt to divert. As a matter of fact ... we would much rather — one of the things we'd like to do is call attention to the successes in the field" in Iraq, Snowjob said. "Danged if we can find one though."
House Republican leader Representative John Boehner of Ohio said the report confirms gains made by Bush and blamed Democrats for being too soft on terrorism. "Look, if the democrats had been in charge we wouldn't even be in Iraq right now. Then where would we be?"
Al-Qaida has been able to restore key capabilities it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. U.S. officials have warned publicly that a deal between the Pakistani government and tribal leaders allowed al-Qaida to plot and train more freely in parts of western Pakistan for the last 10 months. "In other words, the surge is working," Snowjob added.
Lebanese Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim extremist group that has conducted anti-American attacks overseas, may be more likely to consider attacking here, especially if it believes the United States is directly threatening the group or its main sponsor, Iran. When asked if that would cause president Bush to reconsider military action against Iran Snowjob replied that he wasn't sure if the president will read the report. "He doesn't like to clutter up his thought processes, and besides there aren't many pictures."
The high-level estimate notes that the spread of radical ideas, especially on the Internet, growing anti-U.S. rhetoric and increasing numbers of radical cells throughout Western countries indicate the violent segments of the Muslim populations is expanding. "Allow me to repeat, "Snowjob said. "The surge is working."