President Bush has called on Americans to read for themselves the recently declassified U.S. intelligence document that has stirred up new criticism of the war in Iraq.
In his weekly Saturday radio address, Mr. Bush said he declassified key parts of the document ,known as the National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism so that Americans could draw their own conclusions. He said it supports his argument that an immediate withdrawal from Iraq would embolden the terrorists.
A disabled Iraq veteran who is a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives countered the president's claim in the Democrats' weekly radio address. Tammy Duckworth, a former Army captain who lost both legs in an attack on her helicopter, said the Bush administration is relying on shallow slogans like "stay the course" instead of a strategy for securing Iraq.
Leaked excerpts of the classified report appeared last Sunday in U.S. media. President Bush has alleged it was leaked for political purposes ahead of the November mid-term elections.
The document says fighting in Iraq is creating a new generation of terrorist leaders. But it also says that if terrorists are perceived to have failed in Iraq, fewer people will be inspired to carry on the fight.