Posted by Curt on 4 December, 2007 at 6:03 pm. 13 comments already!


I wrote yesterday on this whole new NIE story:

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.

And now more information is coming out that bolsters the case that this was another shot over the bow of this Administration by our rogue intelligence agencies.  Kenneth Timmermann, the author of the excellent book “The Shadow Warriors” writes:

A highly controversial, 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear programs was coordinated and written by former State Department political and intelligence analysts — not by more seasoned members of the U.S. intelligence community, Newsmax has learned.

Its most dramatic conclusion — that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure — is based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States.

Newsmax sources in Tehran believe that Washington has fallen for “a deliberate disinformation campaign” cooked up by the Revolutionary Guards, who laundered fake information and fed it to the United States through Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers posing as senior diplomats in Europe.

The National Intelligence Council, which produced the NIE, is chaired by Thomas Fingar, “a State Department intelligence analyst with no known overseas experience who briefly headed the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research,” I wrote in my book “Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender.”

Fingar was a key partner of Senate Democrats in their successful effort to derail the confirmation of John Bolton in the spring of 2005 to become the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.

As the head of the NIC, Fingar has gone out of his way to fire analysts “who asked the wrong questions,” and who challenged the politically-correct views held by Fingar and his former State Department colleagues, as revealed in “Shadow Warriors.”

In March 2007, Fingar fired his top Cuba and Venezuela analyst, Norman Bailey, after he warned of the growing alliance between Castro and Chavez.

Bailey’s departure from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was applauded by the Cuban government news service Granma, who called Bailey “a patent relic of the Reagan regime.” And Fingar was just one of a coterie of State Department officials brought over to ODNI by the first director, career State Department official John Negroponte.

Collaborating with Fingar on the Iran estimate, released on Monday, were Kenneth Brill, the director of the National Counterproliferation Center, and Vann H. Van Diepen, the National Intelligence officer for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.

“Van Diepen was an enormous problem,” a former colleague of his from the State Department told me when I was fact gathering for “Shadow Warriors.”

“He was insubordinate, hated WMD sanctions, and strived not to implement them,” even though it was his specific responsibility at State to do so, the former colleague told me.

Kenneth Brill, also a career foreign service officer, had been the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in 2003-2004 before he was forced into retirement.

“Shadow Warrior” reports, “While in Vienna, Brill consistently failed to confront Iran once its clandestine nuclear weapons program was exposed in February 2003, and had to be woken up with the bureaucratic equivalent of a cattle prod to deliver a single speech condemning Iran’s eighteen year history of nuclear cheating.”

Negroponte rehabilitated Brill and brought the man who single-handedly failed to object to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and put him in charge of counter-proliferation efforts for the entire intelligence community.

The title of his article alleges they were duped.  They weren’t duped.  Just as in the Plame case they knew exactly what they were doing and that is to undermine this President at every turn.  Even if our national security is compromised.

Two of our most fervent Bush haters where instrumental in writing this NIE.  A NIE that says stuff like this:

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.

By the way. 

Be that it may, even if this NIE is correct and not a hit job by the VIPS crowd, and Iran has stopped trying to make a nuke, they are still enriching uranium and it will only take a year or two to get that nuke if and when they start it up.  From the NIE:

Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so. For example, Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing.

Meaning in no way, shape, or form, should we let our guard down and now just let Iran off the hook.  Ahmedanutjob has said they want a nuke, their prior history suggests they were making a nuke, and that should be enough for the rest of the world.

But not to the left. 

Just take a look at this child molester who wrote this headline on The Huffington Post today:

Enough Spin Already: Bush and Cheney Lied, Iran Didn’t

The BDS is palpable.  They will believe a man who calls for the destruction of Israel and who believes the Holocaust never happened over our President.

Just amazing.


Paul Mirengoff tells us why, if this NIE is true, its a vindication for the Bush Administration policies:

If Iran actually has abandoned its program to build nuclear weapons, that’s
great news for the Bush administration and just about everyone else. And rather
than a blow to Bush policy, this news (if true) should be viewed in the first
instance as vindication of the administration — both its use of force in 2003
against a neighbor of Iran’s that was thought to possess WMD and its insistence
that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. Even former CIA man and Bush administration
critic Paul Pillar (my college roommate) told the Post that there’s good reason
to see matters this way.

And why it should be taken with a grain of salt:

The real problem for the administration and the nation is that one can have
little confidence in the accuracy of the NIE’s current assessments. Our
intelligence community appears to have been wrong in its key assessments of
Iraq’s WMD capability and intentions during the run-up period to both Gulf Wars.
And, if the intelligence community is correct about Iran now, then it was wrong
in its 2005 assessment of Iran’s nuclear program, an assessment in which it
placed high confidence.


Great interview by Dennis Prager of Michael
Ledeen and Ronald Kessler about the NIE and Iran

Michael’s view is that this document is a policy document masquerading as a intelligence document.  Michael also notes that the real intelligence officials, not State Department diplomats (the writers of this NIE), all dissent to this document as evidenced by this segment of the document:

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

NIC is the National Intelligence Council:

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is the Intelligence Community’s (IC’s) center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking. Its primary functions are to:

  • Support the DNI in his role as head of the Intelligence Community.
  • Provide a focal point for policymakers to task the Intelligence Community to answer their questions.
  • Reach out to nongovernment experts in academia and the private sector to broaden the Intelligence Community’s perspective.
  • Contribute to the Intelligence Community’s effort to allocate its resources in response to policymakers’ changing needs.
  • Lead the Intelligence Community’s effort to produce National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) and other NIC products.

The diplomats have HIGH confidence while the NIC has MODERATE confidence.

Hmmmm, which to believe?   Diplomats or an intelligence council?

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