CIA Analyst: Iraq War Was a Huge Gift to Bin Laden

by Tabbassum Zakaria Reuters-full article

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S.-led war against Iraq was a huge gift to Osama bin Laden in his drive to incite Muslim extremists to attack the United States, a CIA analyst said on Friday.

And if the White House was not told that before the war, it was an intelligence failure, said the analyst in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, who once led the unit that tracked bin Laden.

The unnamed analyst has written a book called “Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror.” It was signed “Anonymous” and is due out July 15.

He said he did not write the book to criticize Democrats or Republicans but wanted to tell the public that U.S. policies, not a hatred of the American way of life, were fueling anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world.

“The last two administrations have consistently said that bin Laden and his ilk are out to rob our liberties and freedoms and democracy. And in fact that has nothing to do with what they’re after,” said the analyst, whose first name Mike was disclosed by others.

“They are fighting us because of our policies and they are becoming stronger and more violent because our policies are so vastly unpopular in the Islamic world,” he said.

In his book, he wrote policies that generate such anger in the Muslim world include U.S. support for Israel, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, support for Russia, India, and China against their Muslim militants, and U.S. pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low.

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