Tuesday, December 4, 2007

There is only one reason for this

The NIE, the National Intelligence Estimate, was published online practically before the President saw it.

Without high level agents placed inside, without corroboration from independent agents, without much of any real way to know what's going on in Iran, the NIE has now firmly opined that Iran has not been developing nuclear weapons for four years now.

They allow that Iran could restart the process any time, but they believe it is presently idle.

Our intelligence agencies have conducted their version of a coup, going public to show they are firmly opposed to military intervention in Iran, citing the lack of activity of this program as if to say "If Bush goes to war, he won't be able to blame US for it!"

Rarely have I seen this level of opposition to a sitting president by the agencies which are there to serve his administration.

There is no way to know they are right, of course; they were the ones who said Saddam had WMD, along with the same agencies in a dozen other countries. And they are very careful to cover their assertions in a welter of different levels of probability.

Odds are, if Iran wanted to fool these people, it could do so effortlessly. We already know that Syria is a proxy for Iran, and we already know that North Korea was helping Syria build something very very dangerous which was destroyed by Israel a few months ago. It is only sensible to assume Iranian involvement in, or direction of, that project.

Nobody knew about it until a few months before the strike.

In fact, we now know that some Romanians were arrested for trying to sell over a pound of very enriched uranium powder, the product that bombs are made of. Suppose other such sales are taking place? Suppose the Syrians already have this powder, and need only assemble the weapon itself. Iran could stop its centrifuges, just as our intelligence says, and STILL be in possession of a nuclear bomb in a very short time.

This NIE fills me with contempt for the US intelligence services, but it does NOT fill me with confidence about the future safety of the west.

1 comment:

Susan Katz Keating said...

Much of the reason we are in this muddle is because we have nearly 0 humint on the ground in the Middle East. Why not? Ask George Tenet. He's the one who presided over the dismantling of our intel capabilities.