Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

November 15, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

NO FINDINGS FOR YOU....Gareth Porter, last week:

A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear programme, and thus make the document more supportive of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts of the process provided by participants to two former Central Intelligence Agency officers.

But this pressure on intelligence analysts, obviously instigated by Cheney himself, has not produced a draft estimate without those dissenting views, these sources say. The White House has now apparently decided to release the unsatisfactory draft NIE, but without making its key findings public.

CNN on Tuesday:

The director of national intelligence said Tuesday he does not plan to make public any of the key findings of a soon-to-be-completed assessment on Iran's nuclear program.

Mike McConnell said to do so could expose U.S. intelligence capabilities and enable Iran to change its practices.

Those are your choices. The NIE's key findings, which are normally released, are being withheld because (a) they contain dissents Dick Cheney doesn't like, or (b) because they might expose U.S. intelligence capabilities. If you choose (b), I have a subprime loan you might be interested in taking a look at.

Kevin Drum 4:13 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Umm, in which tranche?

Posted by: Wendell on November 15, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Wendell: It hardly seems to matter anymore, does it?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on November 15, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Mike McConnell said to do so could expose U.S. intelligence capabilities and enable Iran to change its practices.

But wait! Isn't that what we wanted? For them to change their practices!!?! I mean, even if they change them in a way we don't like, won't those "changes" allow us to get a peek at what they're doing?

It's like they're not even trying anymore.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on November 15, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike McConnell said to do so could expose U.S. intelligence capabilities and enable Iran to change its practices."

Yes, why would we ever want to accomplish that through diplomacy when we could open another couple of Pandora's Boxes with some randomly placed bunker busters.

Posted by: Kenji on November 15, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

When has the Rove-Cheney-Bush Usurpistration ever let actual facts determine policy?

When has the Rove-Cheney-Bush Usurpistration ever allowed open discussion of facts that disagree with their (often secret) policies?

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on November 15, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

hey what's with all the cynicism? now when has cheney ever misled us on anything? he is a man of absolute integrity.

just so you know, i'm saving al the bother of one of his silly posts.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on November 15, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Govenrnment Contracter turned VP has done it again! The man has a vision, people. That vision is to become as stinking filthy rich as possible as quickly and grotesquely as possible. If that means duping you into another war, then so be it. Who cares how closely related culturally they are!! They're BROWN and have oil! Now, that's what I call sticking to your principles...psychotic though they may be.

Posted by: Eason on November 15, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

It should be WELL recognized by now that Mike McConnell is conspicuously full of himself (and other foul excrements).

Kevin: Nice to see you actually read Porter's report. Usually, posting a link here is followed by the thunderous sound of pins dropping. (Of course, I merely assume you pursued the link.)
.

Posted by: Poilu on November 15, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

You can bet your sweet ass if the NIE exposed facts validating Cheney's claims, they would have disclosed the NIE, regardless of whether or not it would tip off Iran about our intelligence capabilites.

Posted by: bigcat on November 15, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

It's beyond the pale for anyone to impugn the integrity of a sitting VPOTUS much more so of Dick Cheney who has sacrificed the hundreds of millions of dollars he could have earned in the private sector just to make sure that our grandchildren do not have to speak Urdu and eat goat meat on Eid.

Posted by: gregor on November 15, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Those are your choices. The NIE's key findings, which are normally released, are being withheld because (a) they contain dissents Dick Cheney doesn't like, or (b) because they might expose U.S. intelligence capabilities

They aren't mutually exclusive. Our intelligence sources could have discovered proof that Iran is NOT pursuing nuclear weapons and the way that proof was discovered could reveal methods and practices.

That said, screw Cheney.

Posted by: Martin on November 15, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Our intelligence sources could have discovered proof that Iran is NOT pursuing nuclear weapons and the way that proof was discovered could reveal methods and practices.

But "key findings" wouldn't generally include the way that proof was discovered.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 15, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

expose U.S. intelligence capabilities

I hate when that happens. The whole thing could go up in plames, er, flames.

Posted by: thersites on November 15, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Only wimpy, unsophisticated con men trade directly in subprime mortgages. Now, if you believe the NIE Iran findings are being withheld because their release might jeopardize intelligence gathering, I've got securitized bonds backed by a diverse portfolio of subprime mortgages, the liquid assets of several unnamed Nigerian princes, and Halliburton stock options exercisable only after January 20, 2009 you might be interested in looking at.

Posted by: rmj on November 15, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, but what does Gareth Porter mean by
"participants to two former CIA officers".

What sort of a source is this? Vaporware?

Posted by: optical weenie on November 15, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me."

Posted by: anonymous on November 15, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

A government that can withhold information b/c it's classified--without independent review--is not really a democracy.

A citizenry that doesn't have the important information is voting blind.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on November 15, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

if you choose B) i have a good Buy on a Bridge in

Brooklyn that you might be interested in taking

a look at.

Posted by: wschneid25 on November 15, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Fine; most analysts - along with the international community - think Iran is 1-5 years from having a deliverable long-range nuclear weapon. Some do not. That is what is in the NIE. Now what pacifists?

Were it not for Israel, I'd say we should knock out Iran's programme and if they resist topple the government and confiscate their oil - using it only for food, education and health of Iranian citizens. Instead, I say we let Israel handle it; we'll finally get a return on the $40B a year we give them. And they will or else they are toast. We should sit this one out.

What do you guys say?

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on November 15, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

TOH-

most analysts - along with the international community - think Iran is 1-5 years from having a deliverable long-range nuclear weapon.

Source?

(crickets chirp)

Thought so!

Posted by: Jeff S. on November 15, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff S. - haven't you heard about all the test missiles the Iranians have been firing off over the Yellow Sea? Or did I get something mixed up?

Posted by: Doug on November 15, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

More bad news. The IAEA said today that Iran hasn't lived up to its deal to explain remaining questions about its enrichment program by Nov 2007. Bush is already crowing about that, saying the lack of cooperation with IAEA will lead to more severe sanctions.

The whole NIE thing as described by Porter is mind-blowing. Why can't an NIE contain dissenting views? It seems that such a report would be a much more valuable document for making policy decisions. But of course Bush/Cheney are looking for a propaganda sheet with no dissent. No shades of gray for those two.

Posted by: nepeta on November 15, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

?????

In what sense has the NIE been "released" if its key findings have not been released?

Posted by: Tom on November 15, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Doug: haven't you heard about all the test missiles the Iranians have been firing off over the Yellow Sea? Or did I get something mixed up?

No, you got it right. Just to add insult to injury, they're doing it near where the Germans launched their attack on Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: alex on November 15, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Who does this asshole Macconnell think he is? Worse, who does this prick think he works for? Since I, an American taxpayer, am his boss, I demand that this jerk give us all the facts from this NIE, every last one of them. Only then, can I, his employer, make an informed decision as to the best course of action in dealing with Iran. The Democrats need to put an end to this nonsense immediately, tell this jerk they want the NIE and then send him to prison for a while, where he can brush up on his understanding of the United States Constitution.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 15, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Objective" Historian: Instead, I say we let Israel handle it; we'll finally get a return on the $40B a year we give them.

Hah, some "historian". Off by an order of magnitude.

Oh, it was a typo? I see. Well, maybe that can explain the rest of your drivel too.

Posted by: Dave Howard on November 15, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, if Israel launches an unprovoked attack on Iran, that will certainly discourage Iran from wanting to attack Israel ever again, which I gather has every right-winger's testicles caught in his Y-fronts.

Posted by: MFB on November 16, 2007 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly