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Posted: 12/3/2007 3:11:44 PM EDT
Bush contradicted on Iran nuclear programme

Reuters
Mon 3 Dec 2007, 23:14 GMT

By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new U.S. intelligence report says Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 and it remains on hold, contradicting the Bush administration's earlier assertion that Tehran was intent on developing a bomb.

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released on Monday could undermine U.S. efforts to convince other world powers to agree on a third package of U.N. sanctions against Iran for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment activities.

Tensions have escalated in recent months as Washington has ratcheted up the rhetoric against Tehran, with U.S. President George W. Bush insisting in October that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War Three.

But in a finding likely to surprise U.S. friends and foes alike, the latest NIE concluded: "We do not know whether (Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons."

That marked a sharp contrast to an intelligence report two years ago that stated Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons."

But the new assessment found Iran was continuing to develop technical means that could be used to build a bomb and it would likely be capable of producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon "sometime during the 2010-2015 time-frame."

The shift in the intelligence community's thinking on Iran comes five years after a flawed NIE concluded neighbouring Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction -- a report that helped pave the way for the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

No nuclear, chemical or biological weapons were ever found in Iraq and intelligence agencies since have been more cautious about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who have repeatedly accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, were briefed on the new NIE last Wednesday.

Washington, which insists it wants to solve the Iran problem diplomatically while leaving military options "on the table," is pushing for tougher U.N. sanctions against Tehran but faces resistance from China and Russia.

Iran insists it wants nuclear technology only for civilian purposes, such as electricity generation.

The nuclear standoff has become a major issue in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, with candidates weighing in on the prospects for military action against Iran.

U.S. STILL SEES IRANIAN "RISK"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, among senior Democrats who had requested the updated report on Iran, said the assessment challenged some of the administration's "alarming rhetoric about the threat posed by Iran."

He and other critics had accused Bush trying to rush the country into war again based on faulty intelligence.

Bush's national security adviser said that on balance the report was "good news," insisting it showed Tehran was susceptible to international pressure but that the risk of it acquiring nuclear weapons "remains a very serious problem."

But he added: "The international community has to understand that if we want to avoid a situation where we either have to accept Iran on a road to a nuclear weapon ... or the possibility of having to use force to stop it with all the connotations of World War III, then we need to step up the diplomacy, step up the pressure."

Administration officials denied the new NIE had exposed a serious intelligence lapse but could not explain how agencies failed to detect for four years that Iran's nuclear weapons programme had been halted.

Intelligence officials said the suspension involved design and engineering for a bomb and covert uranium-conversion work.

A key NIE finding was that: "Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005."

Still, the report said: "We also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons."
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 3:14:58 PM EDT
Great. More ammo for the Bush bashers.

Iran still needs to go. Period.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 3:15:58 PM EDT
Looks like the NSA and the CIA are getting as bad as the weather service, with thier reports
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 3:26:01 PM EDT
One of BBC-TV's talking heads attributed the abrupt about-face to changes in leadership within the intel community, rather than to having any new data.

Naturally, the libs are more than willing to accept this new report at face value.

The Israelis have been briefed - should be interesting to see what they make of it.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 3:30:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:
One of BBC-TV's talking heads attributed the abrupt about-face to changes in leadership within the intel community, rather than to having any new data.

Naturally, the libs are more than willing to accept this new report at face value.

The Israelis have been briefed - should be interesting to see what they make of it.



If the BBC report is true then that might explain it.

I can't understand how they could go 180 on what they have been saying for years , it just shoots there credibility all to hell...
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 4:15:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:
One of BBC-TV's talking heads attributed the abrupt about-face to changes in leadership within the intel community, rather than to having any new data.

Naturally, the libs are more than willing to accept this new report at face value.

The Israelis have been briefed - should be interesting to see what they make of it.



This confirms an earlier posting I made quoting the New York Times.

5sub
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:05:05 PM EDT
Very interesting development to say the least. Not sure what to make of it exactly...definately need to watch them. Especially if they survive until a dem is elected pres.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:10:14 PM EDT
What you'll find is that the DoD under Rumsfeld got similar answers, so it invented Feith-based intelligence and jumpstarted the war with intelligence that was at best marginally true.

Read Fiasco by Thomas Ricks.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:41:35 PM EDT
Doesn't change a thing.

The regime (actually, the Mullahs) are the threat.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:48:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2007 10:50:07 PM EDT by raven]
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

I think the CIA is making a mea culpa and the media playing up something they want to hear.

If the USA errred by invading Iraq because they mistakenly made the error that Iraq did not have WMD, that is a better error than making the error of not invading Iraq if it had WMD.

Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:50:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Doesn't change a thing.


Yep, this new report doesn't change the estimated date when Iran could have the nukes that it isn't working on...
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:51:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

I think the CIA is making a mea culpa and the media playing up something they want to hear.

If the USA errred by invading Iraq because they mistakenly made the error that Iraq did not have WMD, that is a better error than making the error of not invading Iraq if it had WMD.



It's a national intelligence estimate. Every single intel department agrees on this.

And the White House has confirmed its authenticity.

And apparently Cheney tried to block it.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:55:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By badfish274:

Originally Posted By raven:
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

I think the CIA is making a mea culpa and the media playing up something they want to hear.

If the USA errred by invading Iraq because they mistakenly made the error that Iraq did not have WMD, that is a better error than making the error of not invading Iraq if it had WMD.



It's a national intelligence estimate. Every single intel department agrees on this.

And the White House has confirmed its authenticity.

And apparently Cheney tried to block it.


Darth Cheney, there he goes again...
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 10:57:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2007 10:58:29 PM EDT by raven]

Originally Posted By badfish274:

Originally Posted By raven:
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

I think the CIA is making a mea culpa and the media playing up something they want to hear.

If the USA errred by invading Iraq because they mistakenly made the error that Iraq did not have WMD, that is a better error than making the error of not invading Iraq if it had WMD.



It's a national intelligence estimate. Every single intel department agrees on this.

And the White House has confirmed its authenticity.

And apparently Cheney tried to block it.


The first NIE released to the public was after the 9/11 commission, because the commission wanted the public to know the damning top secreat briefining the White House had had bin the weeks before 9/11. And it was along the lines of: There are a lot of Islamic nuts out there wanting to strike at the homeland, and they have exploreed using commercial aviation as an avenue.

That was the top secret briefing the president received straight from the CIA, too sensitive to be known by the public.

My point is, I question the profundity of these NIE reports, no matter how secret they are. The actual information is very pedestrian and unactionable.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:00:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:

Originally Posted By badfish274:

Originally Posted By raven:
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

I think the CIA is making a mea culpa and the media playing up something they want to hear.

If the USA errred by invading Iraq because they mistakenly made the error that Iraq did not have WMD, that is a better error than making the error of not invading Iraq if it had WMD.



It's a national intelligence estimate. Every single intel department agrees on this.

And the White House has confirmed its authenticity.

And apparently Cheney tried to block it.


The first NIE released to the public was after the 9/11 commission, because the commission wanted the public to know the damning top secreat briefining the White House had had bin the weeks before 9/11. And it was along the lines of: There are a lot of Islamic nuts out there wanting to strike at the homeland, and they have exploreed using commercial aviation as an avenue.

That was the top secret briefing the president received straight from the CIA, too sensitive to be known by the public.

My point is, I question the profundity of these NIE reports, no matter how secret they are. The actual information is largely unknown to us peons.


The actual, real-deal NIE is secret.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:02:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Doesn't change a thing.


Yep, this new report doesn't change the estimated date when Iran could have the nukes that it isn't working on...

I don't know. Does this "report" say when Iran could purchase, steal, or be given a quantity of fissile materials? Are you assuming that "the intelligence community" really does know every little thing about Iran's nuke program?
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:02:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2007 11:05:45 PM EDT by raven]

Originally Posted By badfish274:

Originally Posted By raven:

Originally Posted By badfish274:

Originally Posted By raven:
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

I think the CIA is making a mea culpa and the media playing up something they want to hear.

If the USA errred by invading Iraq because they mistakenly made the error that Iraq did not have WMD, that is a better error than making the error of not invading Iraq if it had WMD.



It's a national intelligence estimate. Every single intel department agrees on this.

And the White House has confirmed its authenticity.

And apparently Cheney tried to block it.


The first NIE released to the public was after the 9/11 commission, because the commission wanted the public to know the damning top secreat briefining the White House had had bin the weeks before 9/11. And it was along the lines of: There are a lot of Islamic nuts out there wanting to strike at the homeland, and they have exploreed using commercial aviation as an avenue.

That was the top secret briefing the president received straight from the CIA, too sensitive to be known by the public.

My point is, I question the profundity of these NIE reports, no matter how secret they are. The actual information is largely unknown to us peons.


The actual, real-deal NIE is secret.


You are really overestimating the CIA, who have demonstrated themselves over and over to be completely clueless and of little use in major executive decision-making over and over and over for the last 3 decades. The way that old super-secret NIE was guarded and defended from being aired, you'd think it was some real inside super secret shit. But when it was aired, it wasn't anything more than you'd read from only slightly less-conventional outlets more concerned with national security....like The Economist. A lot of people (including me) were shocked about how this was considered top-secret info for the President's eyes only.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:07:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2007 11:07:48 PM EDT by motown_steve]

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Tensions have escalated in recent months as Washington has ratcheted up the rhetoric against Tehran, with U.S. President George W. Bush insisting in October that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War Three.

...

But the new assessment found Iran was continuing to develop technical means that could be used to build a bomb and it would likely be capable of producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon "sometime during the 2010-2015 time-frame."



Isn't 12/21/2012 in the the 2010-2015 time frame?

Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:10:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:

Originally Posted By badfish274:

Originally Posted By raven:

Originally Posted By badfish274:

Originally Posted By raven:
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

I think the CIA is making a mea culpa and the media playing up something they want to hear.

If the USA errred by invading Iraq because they mistakenly made the error that Iraq did not have WMD, that is a better error than making the error of not invading Iraq if it had WMD.



It's a national intelligence estimate. Every single intel department agrees on this.

And the White House has confirmed its authenticity.

And apparently Cheney tried to block it.


The first NIE released to the public was after the 9/11 commission, because the commission wanted the public to know the damning top secreat briefining the White House had had bin the weeks before 9/11. And it was along the lines of: There are a lot of Islamic nuts out there wanting to strike at the homeland, and they have exploreed using commercial aviation as an avenue.

That was the top secret briefing the president received straight from the CIA, too sensitive to be known by the public.

My point is, I question the profundity of these NIE reports, no matter how secret they are. The actual information is largely unknown to us peons.


The actual, real-deal NIE is secret.


You are really overestimating the CIA, who have demonstrated themselves over and over to be completely clueless and of little use in major executive decision-making over and over and over for the last 3 decades. The way that old super-secret NIE was guarded and defended from being aired, you'd think it was some real inside super secret shit. But when it was aired, it wasn't anything more than you'd read from only slightly less-conventional outlets more concerned with national security....like The Economist. A lot of people (including me) were shocked about how this was considered top-secret info for the President's eyes only.


A) This isn't just the CIA. This is everyone.
B) I'm certainly taking this with a grain of salt, but I'm not going to discount it completely. The intel guys get things wrong, and they get things right.
C) I wouldn't base my opinion of the NIE in general based on just one of them.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:18:05 PM EDT
Stratfor has an interesting take on it:

http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/gir.php

Short version: Iran would have to be a blazing idiot to work on nukes when Israel will just take them out anyway (i.e. downside is higher than upside), US wouldn't mind having Iran lay off helping Iraqi insurgents, and US has other fires to fight.

Stratfor also had an interesting theory about the Russians helping out the Iranians, the idea being that the Russians were effectively blackmailing the US into getting our nose out of Ukraine and other countries in their "sphere of influence" or else they'd give the Iranians lots of cool weapons. Diffusing Iran - at least for now - takes away a lot of their thunder.

I gotta subscribe to Stratfor...
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:24:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2007 11:53:15 PM EDT by Koyannisqaatsi]
Looks like we've just had a '1938' moment.

"I've spoken to Herr Ahmadinijad and he assures me he has no intention of building nuclear weapons. Peace in our time!"
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:44:18 PM EDT

I gotta subscribe to Stratfor...

I remember when they were essentially free... and still very high quality
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 11:57:48 PM EDT
So why is it that when the CIA says Iran will have a bomb in 3 years, everyone here agrees whole heartedly.

When the entire Intelligence community says that Iran probably gave up 4 years ago, no one believes a word of it and screams conspiracy.

Do you think that maybe, just maybe, some folks here want to go to war with Iran irregardless of the threat it poses? I mean, they seem like a threat, so thats enough, right?

We entered into a hugely unpopular war over intelligence that turned out to be largely wrong. Does anyone really want to enter into another hugely unpopular war on the off chance that this intelligence will be wrong?

If Iran has or is trying to get nukes then I'm all for denying them that with force. But we need to know for sure. If they aren't trying to get nukes, or we can't reasonably prove they are, then fuck them. It's not worth it. There are bigger fish to fry and better ways to spend our time then knocking over every despotic regime in a world full of despotic regimes.

-Local
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:47:50 AM EDT
How do we know it isn't disinformation
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:09:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 2:12:34 AM EDT by gdblair]
They were wrong about Iraq, could be wrong about Iran...
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:14:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:21:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 3:22:16 AM EDT by jeffers_mz]
1. IGNORE media spin on the NIE, read the KEY JUDGEMENTS yourself:

2007 Iran NIE Key Judgements

Per some media reports, Ahmadinejhad offered Petraeus regular blowjobs. That's NOT in the NIE, though the Lib media would have you believe it is.

2. WATCH what Bush and Centcom DO, and pay much less attention to what is SAID.

3. If we're going to do Iran anytime soon, (within 5 years) that SMALL portion of the military and political run-up to war which is hard to hide, and not yet ALREADY COMPLETE, will begin shortly after the holidays, by mid January 2008 at latest.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:10:58 AM EDT
something smells funny about this. this nie report wasnt suppose to come out till spring 08.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:25:50 AM EDT
The fact that they actually had one to "halt", and is not denying it, is kind of damning. I mean, I quit smoking a few times too.

Also, the "Inteligintze communidy" said Saddam had a load of crap he never had either.

All this really shows is Mohammad El Baradei needs to go kill himself.
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