Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Which war are we fighting?

This is from UPI, whose reliability has become suspect of late, but the author is someone with credibility and a history of strong sourcing inside the intelligence community, so it is likely an important story:

Top White House anti-terror boss resigns
WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- The top National Security Council official in the war on terror resigned this week for what a NSC spokesman said were personal reasons, but intelligence sources say the move reflects concern that the looming war with Iraq is hurting the fight against terrorism.

Rand Beers would not comment for this article, but he and several sources close to him are emphatic that the resignation was not a protest against an invasion of Iraq. But the same sources, and other current and former intelligence officials, described a broad consensus in the anti-terrorism and intelligence community that an invasion of Iraq would divert critical resources from the war on terror.

Beers has served as the NSC's senior director for counter-terrorism only since August. The White House said Wednesday that he officially remains on the job and has yet to set a departure date.

"Hardly a surprise," said one former intelligence official. "We have sacrificed a war on terror for a war with Iraq. I don't blame Randy at all. This just reflects the widespread thought that the war on terror is being set aside for the war with Iraq at the expense of our military and intel resources and the relationships with our allies."

This makes both the diplomatic and the intelligence communities now officially up in arms over Bush's Iraq war. And who could blame them? The clearest, most present danger to Americans is Al Qaeda. A close second is North Korea. And we're devoting our resources to unseating Saddam Hussein and rebuilding Iraq?

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