CNN poll played into White House spin on Iraq, war on terror
A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll asked respondents to respond "yes" or "no" to the question: "Is the War in Iraq part of the War on Terrorism?" But by asking respondents simply whether the statement is true, the poll, conducted June 24-26, ignored the circumstances that make it true. The Bush administration promoted Iraq's purported connection to terrorism as a rationale for the March 2003 invasion, and as a reason for the continued U.S. military presence in the region. But Iraq became a center of global terrorism only after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq sparked a terrorist insurgency, according to the CIA.
The CIA's National Intelligence Council  -- the "the Intelligence Community's (IC's) center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking" -- identified Iraq as succeeding Afghanistan as the major new training ground for terrorists. "The al-Qa'ida membership that was distinguished by having trained in Afghanistan will gradually dissipate, to be replaced in part by the dispersion of the experienced survivors of the conflict in Iraq," the council stated in a report  titled "Mapping the Global Future: Pervasive Insecurity." The 9-11 Commission concluded  that there was no "collaborative operational relationship" between Iraq and Al Qaeda prior to the September 11 attacks.
The "yes" and "no" responses offered respondents no way to accurately answer the question: They could either respond "yes" and affirm the White House spin that Iraq is part of the "war on terror" without noting the Bush administration's duplicity in making that claim; or they could respond "no" and deny that Iraq has become a hub of terrorist activity and training, which indisputably has occurred.