Intelligence and war with Iran


Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities
(National Intelligence Estimate)

Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 2007-12-03

(see also Statement by Dr. Donald Kerr)

A Miracle: Honest Intel on Iran Nukes
by Ray McGovern
Antiwar.com, 2007-12-04

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

For those who have doubts about miracles, a double one occurred today.
An honest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear program
has been issued,
and its “Key Judgments” were made public.

With redraft after redraft,
it was what the Germans call eine schwere Geburt
a difficult birth, 10 months in gestation.
I do not know how often Vice President Dick Cheney visited CIA headquarters
during the gestation period,
but I am told he voiced his displeasure
as soon as he saw the first sonogram/draft very early this year
and is so displeased with what issued that he has refused to be the godfather.
This time Cheney and his neocon colleagues were unable to abort the process.


This, of course, pulls out the rug from under
Cheney’s claim of a “fairly robust new nuclear program” in Iran
President Bush’s inaccurate assertion
that Iranian leaders have even admitted they are developing nuclear weapons.


[I]it is an open secret that [CENTCOM commander Admiral William Fallon]
and other senior military officers,
except those of the Air Force,
are strongly opposed to getting into a war with Iran
for which the U.S. is so ill prepared.

[If the above statement
truly captures the views of senior AF commanders,
let me question their judgment.
Is it possible
they are seeking a way of increasing their prominence in the war effort?]

The Skeptical Camp Emerges on Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions
By Mike Nizza
New York Times The Lede (blog), 2007-12-04

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

[S]trong contrary opinions on the accuracy of the assessment
are emerging from two intertwined camps
that have always viewed Iran’s nuclear claims with suspicion:
  • American neoconservatives

  • the Israeli government.

No Iran Attack?
Don't Be So Sure…

Never underestimate the neocons
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-12-05

The release of the National Intelligence Estimate
on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program
has everyone breathing a sigh of relief.
According to our best intelligence,
the Iranians stopped their weapons program in 2003.
The liberal pundits and the more reasonable Sullivanesque conservatives
are shouting “Hallelujah!” War has been averted!
My response: not so fast.


Realist Revenge
by Jim Lobe
Antiwar.com, 2007-12-05

Review of Iran Intelligence to Be Sought
As Conservatives Reject New NIE,
Republican Senators to Urge Congressional Panel

By Robin Wright and Glenn Kessler
Washington Post, 2007-12-07

Senate Republicans are planning to call for a congressional commission
to investigate the conclusions of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran
as well as the specific intelligence that went into it,
according to congressional sources.

Diving Deep, Unearthing a Surprise
How a Search for Iran's Nuclear Arms Program
Turned Up an Unexpected Conclusion

By Peter Baker and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post, 2007-12-08

A Failure of Intelligence
by Craig Unger
Huffington Post, 2007-12-09

Iran, Nukes, and the 'Laptop of Death'
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-12-10

How we were almost lied into war – again

[An excerpt:]

[Yossi Klein Halevi wrote:]
No one with whom I’ve spoken believes that
professional considerations, such as new intelligence,
were decisive in changing the American assessment on Iran.
What has been widely hailed in the American media
as an expression of intelligence sobriety, even courage,
is seen in the Israeli strategic community as precisely the opposite:
an expression of political machination and cowardice.
‘The Americans often accuse us
of tailoring our intelligence to suit our political needs,’
notes a former top security official.
‘But isn’t this report a case study of doing precisely that?’
[What never ceases to amaze me
is how many people will believe such crap.
Think about it:
The politicians in the American government
are the president, vice president, and the members of Congress.
They are, to some extent, the people who are well documented
as being opposed to the NIE
(and surely are beholden to their heavily Zionist donor base).
The IC has almost no connection to politics,
and doesn’t need to worry about fund-raising
(budget maintenance is another matter).
Why should anyone, except a fool or someone out to hoodwink America,
believe that the IC is more motivated by politics than the real politicians?
Why do more people, in politics and in the media,
not reject, on the face of it, such absurd allegations?]

Neocons Strike Back on Iran
by Philip Giraldi
Huffington Post, 2007-12-10

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

The redoubtable neocons, operating out of their bastions
at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard,
and a clutch of other institutes and media outlets,
had embraced the 2002 Iraq NIE, which was
a cobbling together of poor information
to support an essentially political agenda.
Much of the truly bad information that wound up in the Iraq NIE
was generated by the neocons themselves
through the questionable and frequently fictitious resources
of their protégé Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress.
Neocons in the administration
also were allowed to “assist” in the drafting process,
even though they were hardly experts on Iraq.
Now they are attacking the Iran NIE claiming, somewhat bizarrely,
that the information it is based on is unreliable and
that the analysis is suspect.
Their specific claims are worth considering,
if only to demonstrate that
they are as wrong about the current NIE as they were about Iraq.


It will be interesting to see what various Congressmen,
particularly leading Democrats,
will say about the NIE
as it is clearly displeasing to Israel
and puts them in an awkward position.
As has been pointed out ad nauseam but probably bears stating yet again,
Iran has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful uses.
It is a signatory of the UN’s Non-Proliferation Treaty,
which Israel has refused to sign,
and its nuclear facilities are subject to inspection.
As the NIE makes clear, if Iran is threat at all,
it is manageable and containable.

Neocons Attack the NIE, Yet Again
By Eric Alterman, George Zornick
Center for American Progress, 2007-12-13

Antiwar.com's Man of the Year: Thomas Fingar
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-12-21

He stopped the War Party almost single-handedly

Justifying the Iraq War:
Why the NIE Is Wrong

by Gordon Prather
Antiwar.com, 2007-12-22

[This is cross-posted to both my posts
Intelligence and war with Iran and
Intelligence and the Iraq War.]


No More Slam Dunks
by Philip Giraldi
The American Conservative, 2008-01-14 (Internet posted 2007-12-21)

A reality-based assessment of Iran’s nuclear capability

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