[Congressional Record: September 26, 2006 (Senate)]
[Page S10125-S10126]

                           AMERICA'S SECURITY

  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, today we are speaking about security. The 
major topic of discussion has been, are we safer today? Well, we are 
safer because of the actions this administration and the Congress have 
taken, backed up by our brave Americans in the military, intelligence, 
and law enforcement agencies.
  But recently, there has been another politically motivated selected 
leak of classified information. Regrettably, I am talking about the 
National Intelligence Estimate, a fraction of which was reported on in 
the New York Times and, I believe, misinterpreted.
  Beside the fact that leaks of this nature, 6 weeks before elections, 
are clearly politically inspired, these leaks are also illegal and they 
make the job of our intelligence agency operatives even more difficult. 
For example, how can intelligence operatives report on the strengths 
and weaknesses of our allies when those conclusions will be spread on 
the record? Our policymakers need to know, but what good is it to tell 
the world what we think about the people we depend upon?
  With that said, I have read the NIE in question. It is not what the 

[[Page S10126]]

and some on the other side and the media say it is. Some of our 
Democratic colleagues would like Americans to believe that the document 
confirms what the Democrats believe--that the war in Iraq is simply a 
distraction from and has nothing to do with the war on terror, and that 
is the reason for the growth of radical Islam. This is simply a pitiful 
election year misinterpretation of a serious document.
  It is clear that critics want Americans to have only a portion of the 
truth. That is unfortunate, but that is what happens when some people 
simply see intelligence matters as another tool to aid them in the fall 
  As I said, I have seen the NIE, which is a lengthy 35-page document. 
It remains classified, so we cannot discuss its contents, although the 
President announced that some of it will soon be declassified.
  Although it is a shame that dishonorable leakers have put us in this 
position, I believe declassifying the relevant portions of the document 
so that the American people will have a more balanced perspective on 
what the document truly says is necessary.
  The fact is the war on Iraq is a central front in the struggle 
against radical Islamists. Our successes in Afghanistan and Iraq have 
made us much safer in our homeland. There have been no attacks since 9/
11. We have destroyed their safe havens, interrogated detainees, 
tracked terrorist financing, and listened in on al-Qaida calls in the 
U.S., followed up by agency, law enforcement, and military personnel.
  Iraq is not a distraction from the war on terror; it is now central 
to the war on terror. You don't have to take my word for it; that is 
the word of Osama bin Laden's primary deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. He 
wrote this to the late head of al-Qaida in Iraq, Zarqawi. We 
intercepted that in a raid months ago. So their deputies echoed the 
  They believe the war in Iraq is their best chance in the war on 
terror, and I believe that once you see more of the NIE, you will see 
it conveys that message with a warning that if we lose in Iraq, terror 
threats from radical Islamists will dramatically increase.
  There is no greater motivation than success. If the radicals are able 
to claim success in Iraq, I believe we will see a geometric increase in 
radical recruitment as we have never seen before.
  At first, Democrats argued that Iraq had nothing to do with the 
global war on terror. Now they are grasping at a selectively leaked 
portion of an NIE, claiming that Iraq is central to terrorism because 
of our efforts there. You cannot have it both ways. Does Iraq or does 
it not have something to do with the war on terror? It is clear it 
  Iraq supported terrorists before the war, and terrorists are there 
now. Iraq was a state sponsor of terrorism and paid the families of 
suicide bombers. Was Iraq the primary backer of al-Qaida? No, but 
Saddam Hussein supported terrorism, and that is what this is about--all 
groups who use terror to attack America. And they must be dislodged.
  In April, about the same time the NIE was produced, current CIA 
Director Michael Hayden, then the Deputy Director of National 
Intelligence, best summarized why Iraq is crucial to winning the global 
war on terror. In his speech in Texas, he addressed the subject we 
focus on today. He said that while the war in Iraq may inspire or 
motivate terrorists now, the failure of the terrorists in Iraq would 
weaken the movement elsewhere.
  He continued saying that, should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive 
themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, fewer fighters would step 
forward to carry the fight.
  He went on to explain the terrorists' greatest vulnerability--the 
fact that the terrorists' ultimate goal of establishing an 
ultraconservative religious state spanning the Muslim world is 
unpopular with a vast majority of Muslims.
  General Hayden stated that the emergence of a Muslim mainstream, such 
as the one we are building in Iraq, could emerge as the ``most powerful 
weapon in the war on terror.''
  Whatever one believes about how we got where we are now, one thing is 
clear: The war in Iraq and the global war on terror are part and parcel 
of the same thing.
  Some on the other side of the aisle, and some in the media, may try 
to use selected leaks and political spin and half truths to cynically 
win votes in the election, but their efforts grossly distort reality.
  If we win in Iraq, moderate Islam wins and bin Laden and other 
extremists will have been handed a sound defeat that will have profound 
  The terrorists realize this. That is why they are there, and that is 
why we are fighting them on their turf before they have the opportunity 
to regroup and assault us on our turf.
  There is no way the United States can afford to let the terrorists 
have their way in Iraq. That means we cannot cut and run, or establish 
a politically driven withdrawal date, before Iraq's security forces can 
control the country. Were we to do that and were the place to fall into 
chaos, not only would sectarian strife arise, but it would become a 
training ground and feeding ground for terrorists once again, and they 
would be emboldened, as they were after we pulled out of Somalia. That 
sign of weakness would be a sign for terrorists to get mobilized and 
get working on it.
  Success in Iraq is essential. Sure, people are motivated on both 
sides by the war, but the only answer to that is to win, make sure that 
we prevail and protect freedom, democracy, and integrity throughout the 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico is recognized.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 30 minutes, 
to be equally divided into 10-minute parcels, to the Senator from New 
Mexico, the junior Senator from New Mexico, and the Senator from 
Tennessee, Senator Alexander, and that we speak in that order for 10 
minutes each.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.