Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Proof NIE Was A Political Lie

You and I don't have spooks and sensitive listening antennae, but we've got common sense, so most of us thought the last National Intelligence Estimate's conclusion that Iran was no longer pursuing nuclear weapons was based on politics, not evidence.

Now there's apparent proof the authors of the NIE were duping us, risking our national security because they wanted to limit President Bush's options in dealing with terror theocrats of Tehran:
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The U.S. has recently shared sensitive information with the International Atomic Energy Agency on key aspects of Iran's nuclear program that Washington says shows Tehran was directly engaged in trying to make an atomic weapon, diplomats told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The diplomats said Washington also gave the IAEA permission to confront Iran with at least some of the evidence in an attempt to pry details out of the Islamic republic on the activities, as part of the U.N. nuclear watchdog's attempts to investigate Iran's suspicious nuclear past.

The decision by the U.S. administration to declassify its intelligence and indirectly share it with Iran through the IAEA was a clear reflection of Washington's' drive to pressure Iran into admitting that it had focused part of its nuclear efforts toward developing a weapons program.
This appears to be a strategic maneuver to end-run the NIE. If our own intelligence political hacks analysts won't give our info on Iran its due, the Administration figures, why not give it to someone who might? The stakes are high, as evidence by the fact that Washington is putting its hopes in the IAEA. Yikes.

This comes as Iran has just notified the IAEA that its new generation centrifuges are up and running, producing the gas that is required to produce fissile material.

According to AP, the material released to IAEA is primarily recently declassified old stuff -- the contents of a laptop smuggled out of Iran in 2005, materials gained from Israel's recent attack on an alleged nuke facility in Syria, and:
U.S. intelligence also was forwarded on two other issues — the "Green Salt Project" — a plan the U.S. alleges links diverse components of a nuclear weapons program, including uranium enrichment, high explosives testing and a missile re-entry vehicle, and material in Iran's possession showing how to mold uranium metal into warhead form.
Nothing may come of this. The IAEA could decide it is better to hamstring Bush than to deal with Iran -- but they could use the information to pressure Iran further, and if they do, it will be vindication for all of us who smelled a rat in December's NIE.

Not that we need proof ... but it's always good to be able to dramatically slam the book on your case.

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