Posted by Curt on 5 December, 2007 at 7:52 pm. 1 comment.


A bit more on this NIE that came out a few days ago:

Consider that on July 11, 2007, roughly four or so months prior to
the most recent NIE’s publication, Deputy Director of Analysis Thomas Fingar gave the following testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (emphasis added):

Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The
United States’ concerns about Iran are shared by many nations,
including many of Iran’s neighbors. Iran is continuing to
pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting
negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC
sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution. We assess
that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons–despite its
international obligations and international pressure.
This is
a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security
would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons.

This paragraph appeared under the subheading: “Iran Assessed As
Determined to Develop Nuclear Weapons.” And the entirety of Fingar’s
22-page testimony was labeled “Information as of July 11, 2007.” No
part of it is consistent with the latest NIE, in which our spooks tell
us Iran suspended its covert nuclear weapons program in 2003 “primarily
in response to international pressure” and they “do not know whether
(Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”

So in four months their belief that Iran was DETERMINED to develop nukes changed to “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.”

Add in the fact that its been learned Fingar and the other two writers involved in putting this thing together are “hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials.” and you have the making of a bogus NIE. 

Israel, which has one of the best human intelligence services in the world is a bit miffed:

Israeli officials, who’ve been warning that Iran would soon pose a nuclear threat to the world, reacted angrily Tuesday to a new U.S. intelligence finding that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons development program in 2003 and to date hasn’t resumed trying to produce nuclear weapons.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak directly challenged the new assessment in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the new finding wouldn’t deter Israel or the United States from pressing its campaign to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

“It seems Iran in 2003 halted for a certain period of time its military nuclear program, but as far as we know, it has probably since revived it,” Barak said

John Noonan:

Israel doesn’t enjoy the electronic collection capabilities that the
United States does, but the Mossad is widely to believed to field one
of the most effective HUMINT networks in the world.

So who to believe?

There’s no shortage of intel wonks who believe that running
agents–HUMINT–is more reliable than signature, imagery, and signals
intelligence. That’s Israel’s specialty. Given the Mossad’s past successes,
and their obsession with Iran’s atomic program, one would assume that
Israel has penetrated the Iranian government with a certain level of

But why believe actual human intelligence when you can believe three intelligence officials with a very bad case of BDS?

Lastly, for a very in-depth look at this NIE and how these NIE’s are put together go check out The Jacksonian Party.  It’s a long and in-depth read but well worth the time.


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