Tuesday, December 4, 2007
A Good Article
By Ray McGovern
"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.....
The main points of the NIE:
"We judge that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program…
"We assess with moderate confidence Tehran has not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007.
"We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely…
"We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame.
"We judge with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015."
Having reached these conclusions, it is not surprising that the NIE's authors make a point of saying up front (in bold type), "This NIE does not [italics in original] assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons.".....
Curiously, McConnell indicated recently that the key findings of NIEs would no longer be made public.
My guess is that the Pentagon, and especially Adm. William Fallon, commander of our forces in the Middle East, succeeded in persuading McConnell to go public. Several months ago, Fallon was reliably reported to have said, "We are not going to do Iran on my watch."
And it is an open secret that he 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.
Will President George W. Bush and our domesticated media succeed in dismissing this latest NIE as "guesswork," as he has in the past? It is going to be highly interesting to see how the White House will try to spin this one."