Sep 30 2009
In 2008, a suspicious National Intelligence Estimate was leaked to the news media, apparently to influence the 2008 presidential elections. An NIE is the consensus view on the threats to this nation, at times on a specific topic like Iran or Iraq or al Qaeda.
In 2007 the NIE was a crass act of misinformation.
The NIE claimed two things, one with confidence and one without – but the pliant and not-too-bright news media treated both claims as gospel. The first claim made a lot of sense. It said Iran had ceased its secret nuclear weapons program in 2003 after the quick defeat of Iraq by US forces. Apparently we put some needed fear into them. This was the high confidence claim.
The second claim had no confidence and later turned out to not be a consensus conclusion but the opinion of 3 anti-Bush bureaucrats who apparently wanted a Democrat in the White House. They feared the saber rattling, naively thinking that Iran could be reasoned back to sanity. Men willing to martyr their people for a kingdom in heaven can rarely be talked back to sanity.
The second claim, which was all misinformation, was that Iran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program. Even though a 2005 NIE had said just the opposite. Now we have confirmation from UK intelligence that Iran did restart their nuclear weapons program – and we have proof the 2007 NIE was wrong:
Britainâ€™s intelligence services say that Iran has been secretly designing a nuclear warhead â€œsince late 2004 or early 2005â€, an assessment that suggests Tehran has embarked on the final steps towards acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
Emphasis mine. Since that bogus, leaked NIE on Iran came out in 2007 it clearly was wrong. And don’t be naive on intelligence gathering. Both the UK and US have troops in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. These troops are the perfect target for a short range missile with a nuclear warhead. Both countries share a lot of intelligence on Iran given their alliance in these nearby war zones
As I wrote the other day, it is time to haul the three authors of the 2007 NIE in front of Congress and put them under oath to determine how and why they screwed up so badly in their findings.
How is it they decided to override the views of others on Iran’s nuclear weapons program? What possessed them to think they knew better than all the rest. And why did they leak the NIE to the news media? One of them had no intelligence experience for years!
The bad news is, one of these rogue bureaucrats was promoted and works in the Obama administration. The good news is he still answers to Congress.
Here are some of my posts on the NIE at the time it was released (latest to earliest). As can be seen by the shear number of posts this was a hot topic in December of 2007. This was a coordinated PR spin job by people on the left with delusions of grandeur.
These posts are all worth reviewing in light of these latest revelations about Iran and its nuclear weapons program. They cover an act of stupidity and arrogance, that has resulted in nothing more than a more dangerous Iran. If you can read only one post, read the last one,