How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The NIE

December 3, 2007

I realize the new National Intelligence Estimate is important and is getting a lot of attention. Unfortunately, in greater context, I don’t find it the least bit reassuring. I can’t get too excited about the NIE given the recent bombing of what’s now being called a nuclear bomb factory in Syria. If those reports are accurate, it would make sense for Iran to be doing a rope-a-dope with facilities such as Natanz.

If, as is suspected, North Korea and Iran are behind the effort in Syria, Iran doesn’t have to build a bomb and they already have the rockets. They could have a Syrian assembled bomb in hours once one were constructed. If they’ve outsourced that aspect of an effort to obtain a bomb, suspending their own effort while giving the IAEA and the US fits would make perfect sense.

"A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb."

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  1. reliapundit says:

    i agree,
    and this is why this nie was leaked now – after we/the IAF destroyed the iranian/noko/syrian facility.
    remember: syria wouldn’t start a project like that without the approval of their bossses in tehran.

  2. reliapundit says:

    btw: none of our 16 spying agancies – whose “consensus” intel analysis comprises the NIE – even new about the syrian bomb-making plant.
    the intel was israel’s as was the execution of the preemptive demolition.
    ALSO: it is in our interest to make iran think we won’t hit them.
    the element of surprise if essential to a successful preemptive strike.
    this NIE restores the element of surprise.
    so it might be a deliberate feint by bush/cheney.
    then again…. if it was leaked to the media by dems in the congress,
    it miught very well be a de facto coup – AGAIN – by dems in the intel services and their comrades in the congress to neuter bush.
    the NIE says that we have two years. HOW CONVENIENT: this kicks the ball up the road – AND INTO THE NEXT PRESIDENT’S TERM.
    and the plame-wing of the intel-community and their comrades in congress: rockefeller et al – want HILLARY or Obama to make this call, bot a GOP potus.

  3. notahack says:

    Funny thing about that top secret israeli raid everyone knows about. I would tend to think it put a lot of insecurity in Tehran that Israel zipped in and zipped out without a loss almost as if the sophisticated air defense systems from Russia were not such hot stuff after all.

  4. Jabba the Tutt says:

    Bingo! The Lefties have accused the Bush Administration of massaging the intelligence before the Iraq battle. There is no evidence of this, every investigation has said the opposite.
    The Lefties always accuse others of doing, what they themselves do. So, if they accuse others of manipulating intelligence, look to see if and how the Lefties are manipulating intelligencee. I look at this NIE and wonder if it’s been written by the DNC or Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.
    Then you need to look at the record of American Intelligence in correctly identifying the state of a country’s nuclear program. How well did they do with Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, Israel, South Africa, India, Pakistan, A Q Khan, North Korea, Iraq and now Iran? What’s their record of success here? Zero? Were they correct even one time? The over-estimated the Nazi program, under-estimated the commies in Russia and China, missed India and Pakistan, over-estimated Iraq and who knows how they did with Israel, South Africa and a whole slew of other countries I could list?
    So, what confidence can we have in this NIE on Iran? And as Riehl points out, does it matter what Iran’s exact program is, if they can get the bomb from elsewhere and put it on their rockets?

  5. Worst_President_Ever says:

    It’s kindof curious that the Bush Administration has been threatening to bomb Iran based on their Nuclear Program at the same time the government intelligence agencies were telling them it ain’t so. Where are Bush and Cheney getting their intelligence?
    For all you folks that want to go to war with Iran, where are we going to get the soldiers to fight it? Are you for a draft?

  6. rwilymz says:

    “It’s kindof curious that the Bush Administration has been threatening to bomb Iran …”
    WHO has been threatening to bomb Iran?
    Not the US. Many, many, many self-proclaimed “experts” IN the US, yes, who are deigning to say what is going through the minds of US leaders. But not “The US”.
    This is another “Bush blamed 9-11 on Iraq” thing. No … he didn’t. Y’all did, because you’re superficial dunces, and blamed him for it. Bush hasn’t been threatening to bomb Iran. The most that’s been officially stated is that “military options” are possible.
    “Are you for a draft?”
    But keep in mind, Iran is largely westerinized. Not in the nominal semi-secular way Iraq was, but instead in ways that like and respect American cultural trappings, and the country [namely the US] which provides same.
    That majority is simply being cowed into compliance by a despotic government — the government that was created by those hotheads and rebels the Shah spent twenty-five years trying to keep down and that the perennially tear-stained American Neophyte kept grousing about being denied their civil liberties. Guess he knew what he was doing after all, didnee?
    As with Iraq, any war between the US and Iran will find the major portion of Iran’s military quitting the battlefield at, or before, the first shot. Which will leave only Iran’s “elite” few divisions to defend their poisoned theocracy. Their “elite” divisions are comparable to American Guard and Reserve units. The air will be long to the US almost immediately, and those few “elite” divisions of modern-day “Immortals” will be augmented by remote-control and push-button warfare … the missile sites, S-A and S-S types.

  7. Rachel says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but W NEVER said he wanted to go to war with Iran – and I do read the news. If he did, you know it would be front page news in 64 font and his ratings would go into the single digits. No one wants another war, much less in the middle east. It would also guarantee a Dem in the White House next year. Fellow Reps would have him for lunch.
    As a liberal, this accusation is nothing more than a pipe dream to take a lame duck down, instead of actually promoting a strong Democratic leader. But I could be wrong…
    “and I never voted for the guy”

  8. Worst_President_Ever says:

    George Bush says: “So I’ve told people that, if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,”
    Yes, there’s a lot of pro-American sentiment in Iran. Much of that will disappear if we bomb them and we’ll end up turning potential allies away.

  9. Worst_President_Ever says:

    As Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, put it, the intelligence finding removes, “if nothing else, the urgency that we have to attack Iran, or knock out facilities.” He added: “I don’t think you can overstate the importance of this.”

  10. seekeronos says:

    Iran is in a holding pattern… assuming that nothing drastic changes (such as Iran detonating a nuclear warhead or opening a petro-euro oil bourse… any future war agains A’jad will not be W’s problem, but the problem of whoever wins in Nov. 2008.