Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My, my, an honest intelligence estimate

The biggest deal this week (so far), of course, has been the issuance of a new National Intelligence Estimate by the vaunted Intelligence Community, which concluded with "high confidence" that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003. (Here's a link to the nine-page summary of the conclusions of the 150-page classified document.) That assessment takes all the air out of the sails of people like Norman Podhoretz, who have "prayed" for the Bushlet to bomb Iran. It is especially telling that President Bush has known about this assessment since August or September, yet talked about Iran's weapons plans in October as a possible cause of World War III. The attempt to whip up war fever continued, by both Bush and Cheney, even when they knew there was no remotely justifiable casus belli, at least in terms of the best judgment of the country's 16 intelligence agencies.

I blogged about the topic several times today and yesterday, noting the probablility that Cheney worked hard to keep this estimate from ever seeing the light of day, argued over the implications, tried to cover it up, and, as exemplified by Bush's statement today, acted as if it hadn't been issued. Yet its public issuance makes it virtually impossible for the neocon cabal to take us to war with Iran. (My colleague Justin Raimondo disagrees, and his warnings are worth considering, but I don't see how it can happen now.)

What this looks like to me is the entire national security establishment -- the military, the State Dept., the "intelligence community" -- putting Bush and Cheney on notice that it's not going to stand for their irresponsible talk about military action against Iran. I don't doubt they might still try (especially Darth Cheney), but it's been made much more difficult.

1 comment:

fcb said...

I tend to agree with Raimondo. For some time it seems the administration has been emphasizing the Iranian "interference" in Iraq as opposed to its quest for a nuclear weapon as the reason it had to be attacked.