Posted by Curt on 3 December, 2007 at 4:00 pm. 20 comments already!


Deja vu?  Remember a few weeks ago when that McClellan story came out in which he supposedly said he was lied to about the Plame affair?  I wrote then:

Isn’t it curious how the left constantly wailed about Scott McClellan
allegedly lying during his press conferences, but now that he is saying
something that smells like trash talk about Bush, he is suddenly a
truth teller.

And now when a new NIE is released to the public saying that Iran has stopped its nuclear weapons program, NOW the left believes our intelligence agencies. 

For the last year the left has been all over the intelligence, saying that its all drummed up to let Bush go to war against another country.  Not anymore, now our NIE’s are the whole truth and nothing but the truth:

Let’s not lose sight of the context of this news. The President has, on more than one recent occasion, talked about “World War III” with Iran. The Vice President has been dusting off his 2002 speeches, blustering that the U.S. “cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its grandest ambitions.” The man responsible for shaping Rudy Giuliani’s foreign policy vision believes anyone opposed to immediate miltary strikes in Iran are guilty of “an irresponsible complacency that I think is comparable to the denial in the early ’30s of the intentions of Hitler.”

But, once again, they’re all wrong.

Funny huh?

Here is the news:

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the
consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran’s
ultimate intentions about gaining a nuclear weapon remain unclear
, but
that Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather
than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and
military costs.”

“Some combination of threats of intensified
international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran
to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in
other ways might — if perceived by Iran’s leaders as credible — prompt
Tehran to extend the current halt to its nuclear weapons program,” the
estimate states.

The new report comes out just over five years
after a deeply flawed N.I.E. concluded that Iraq possessed chemical and
biological weapons programs and was determined to restart its nuclear
program. The report led to congressional authorization for a military
invasion of Iraq, although most of the N.I.E.’s conclusions turned out
to be wrong. The estimate does say that Iran’s ultimate goal is still
to develop nuclear weapons.

And their findings:

We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.

  • We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several
    years. (Because of intelligence gaps discussed elsewhere in this
    Estimate, however, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence
    that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran’s entire
    nuclear weapons program
  • We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.
  • We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.
  • Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is
    less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging
    since 2005. Our assessment that the program probably was halted
    primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be
    more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.

So let me get this straight.  Our intelligence agencies screwed the pooch on Iraq five years ago.  Three years later they issue a report stating that Iran is well on its way to a nuke.  Now today they are telling us to forget what they said earlier, they were wrong.  But now they’re right.

I don’t know about you but this tells me our intelligence is as screwed up as it has been.  Stephen Hadley:

The national security adviser, Stephen J.
Hadley, quickly issued a statement describing the N.I.E. as containing
positive news rather than reflecting intelligence mistakes. “It
confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop
nuclear weapons,” Mr. Hadley said. “It tells us that we have made
progress in trying to ensure that this does not happen. But the
intelligence also tells us that the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear
weapon remains a very serious problem.”

“The estimate offers
grounds for hope that the problem can be solved diplomatically —
without the use of force — as the administration has been trying to
do,” Mr. Hadley said.

But wait.  How does this jive?  Supposedly Iran stopped its program in 2003 when there was no threats of force being made nor were there any diplomatic conversations going on.  They supposedly stopped it all because it was too expensive?

Come on…..

Then there is the IAEA:

Last month, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general
of the international Atomic Energy Agency, had reported that Iran was
operating 3,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges, capable of producing
fissile material for nuclear weapons.

But his report said that
I.A.E.A. inspectors in Iran had been unable to determine whether the
Iranian program sought only to generate electricity or also to build

Ok, so they are still producing fuel.  AJStrata:

They don’t NEED to process fuel for Nuclear
Energy. Russia has offered to SELL THEM fuel if they return the spent
fuel so it cannot be used to make weapons. Note this when reading this
next finding:

C. We assess centrifuge enrichment is how Iran probably could first
produce enough fissile material for a weapon, if it decides to do so.
Iran resumed its declared centrifuge enrichment activities in January
2006, despite the continued halt in the nuclear weapons program. Iran
made significant progress in 2007 installing centrifuges at Natanz, but
we judge with moderate confidence it still faces significant technical
problems operating them.

I’m not buying it and Cliff May gives me even more reason not to buy it:

A friend, formerly at the CIA, tells me that while this NIE does
confirm Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons in 2002 and 2003, its
conclusions that as to why it may have stopped the program and why this
halt may have continued are debateable and speculation.  These KJs [Key
Judgments] have too much political spin. This assessment was strongly
influenced by two hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials who oversaw it,
both former State officials who fought tooth and nail against Bush WMD
policies, especially Iran.

Surprise surprise.  VIPS at work once again?  It smells like more leaks by the VIPS types ala Plame and friends, trying to influence either the tactics used by this Administrations to stop Iran from getting a nuke, or to influence the upcoming elections.  Even the NYT’s notices:

they [the conclusions] come in the middle of a presidential campaign during which a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear program has been discussed.

This whole NIE smells to high heaven.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x