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November 11, 2007

Iran NIE Finally "Finished"?

According to Gareth Porter, the intelligence agencies and Dick Cheney's office have wrestled to a tie on Iran:

The US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear program. The aim is to make the document more supportive of Vice President Dick Cheney's militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts provided by participants in the NIE process to two former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers.

But this pressure on intelligence analysts, obviously instigated by Cheney himself, has not produced a draft estimate without those dissenting views, these sources say. The White House has now apparently decided to release the "unsatisfactory" draft NIE, but without making its key findings public.

For your enjoyment, here are the conclusions of the two government "investigations" of whether the Bush administration pressured the intelligence agencies on Iraq. First, the Senate Intelligence Committee:

The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.

And the WMD Commission:

The Commission found no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs.

Look for the reports on how there was no pressure re Iran in early 2011.

EARLIER: How George Bush's speeches on Iran reveal this ongoing subterranean battle within the government.

Posted at November 11, 2007 10:19 AM | TrackBack

occasionally I wonder if, many, many years from now when the IMF has to bail out the US if the UN and various other entities get involved and insist that the US gov't hang George Jr. out to dry and he'll get tried for war crimes. It might happen not because of the intrinsic merit of such an action but because the various international bodies decide that if they're going to bail out the US economy and ask dozens of member countries to contribute they'll need a scapegoat to deflect global ire.

I also wonder if the lefty blogs, or whatever might exist in their place in this far off day, will crow triumphantly about justice even though scores of S.O.B.s who played Junior like a marionette for fun and profit will get off scot-free in exchange for their testimonies.


Posted by: jonathan versen at November 11, 2007 12:52 PM

Sometimes the truth seeps through.

The last NIE on Iran, August 2005, projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon [if it had a nuke weapon program, which it doesn't as verified by the IAEA].

The NIE on terrorism from April 2006 had some truth in it:

Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement:
(1)Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness;
(2) the Iraq "jihad;"
(3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and
(4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims.

In a perfect world there would be an annual, comprehensive and truthful analysis (NIE) of the threats that face the USA, and this would be a basis for the national defense strategy and the Pentagon budget. But we don't get it. At a time when the USA is actually not threatened by any foreign military force we still have obscenely high Pentagon budgets rubber-stamped by the Congress, with pork earmarks added.

The force design of the current US defense strategy, which was slightly modified from an earlier version after the 9/11 attacks, is “1-4-2-1.” The first “1” means the military must be prepared to defend the U.S. homeland. The “4” stands for the ability to deter hostilities and counter aggression in four regions of the world. The “2” means it must be capable of swiftly defeating two adversaries in overlapping military campaigns. The final “1” stands for the capability to win one of the two campaigns decisively, while also engaging in the other hostilities.

So, at a time of no military threat, the military (army and Marines) is expanding. Go figure. A truthful NIE on threats to the US would highlight the stupidity of these corporate welfare programs which detract from real national security and sink us in debt. The NIE's on Iran and terrorism tell us that there is no military threat, and an overall NIE would indicate the same.

Posted by: Don Bacon at November 11, 2007 01:11 PM

I'm STILL waiting for Kissinger's arrest and trial.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 11, 2007 02:09 PM

1-202-225-0100 DEMAND IMPEACHMENT.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 11, 2007 02:13 PM

Ahh, the ole WMD commission report, I love that one:

"Our review has been limited by our charter to the question of alleged policymaker pressure on the Intelligence Community to shape its conclusions to conform to the policy preferences of the Administration. There is a separate issue of how policymakers used the intelligence they were given and how they reflected it in their presentations to Congress and the public. That issue is not within our charter and we therefore did not consider it nor do we express a view on it."

Posted by: buermann at November 11, 2007 07:11 PM

As much as I want to believe that Cheney is ordering a doctoring up of information to lather up an attack on Iran (and he probably is), I have to say that quoting an article by someone who justified the Khmer Rouge does not seem to be the wisest route to push the theory. The right is always getting knocked for quoting bullshit from obviously slanted sources, as they well should, and here is the left doing what I view as the same thing. Weak.

Posted by: sources at November 13, 2007 03:06 AM