Sending the U.S. military into Iraq was
not a mistake, and if America had never gone into Iraq, terrorists would
still be active and would still be promoting their radical movement,
President Bush said here today.
To dispel rumors and speculation about the findings of a National
Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which was recently leaked to the media, Bush
announced today that he is declassifying the document so the public can
draw their own conclusions.
"You can read it for yourself. We'll stop all the speculation, all the
politics about somebody saying something about Iraq, you know, somebody
trying to confuse the American people about the nature of this enemy,"
Bush said during a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid
Karzai at the White House.
The media has reported that the classified report, which was completed
in April, finds that the Iraq war increased the terrorist threat to the
United States. Bush said he agrees that because of coalition successes
against the leadership of al Qaeda, the enemy is becoming more diffuse
and independent in Iraq, but said he does not believe that there would
be less terrorism in the world if America had not gone into Iraq.
"To suggest that if we weren't in Iraq, we would see a rosier scenario
with fewer extremists joining the radical movement requires us to
ignore 20 years of experience," Bush said. "We weren't in Iraq when we got
attacked on September the 11th. We weren't in Iraq, and thousands of
fighters were trained in terror camps inside (Afghanistan.) We weren't in
Iraq when they first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. We
weren't in Iraq when they bombed the (USS) Cole. We weren't in Iraq when they
blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."
If the U.S. weren't in Iraq, the terrorists would find other places to
attack, because they have a history of killing to achieve their
objectives, Bush said. Going on the offense against these terrorists is the
only solution that will keep America safe, he said.
"This government is going to do whatever it takes to protect its
homeland," he said. "The best way to protect America is defeat these killers
overseas so we do not have to face them here at home. We're not going
to let lies and propaganda by the enemy dictate how we win this war."
See More Here:NIE report - declassified