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Tilting at Windmills

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December 3, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

IRAN'S BOMB PROGRAM....The newly declassified version of the NIE's key judgments on Iran's nuclear program is here. An excerpt:

We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons.

....We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons. We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years....We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007....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.

There are all the usual caveats you'd expect, since the intelligence community can never be entirely sure of its conclusions in a case like this. But still, this is a bombshell. This isn't just an NIE with a few dissenting footnotes, it's an NIE whose primary conclusion is that Iran hasn't been seriously working on a nuclear weapon for the past four years, and furthermore, that if it starts back up again it's highly unlikely to succeed until 2010-2015 at the earliest.

I commend to your attention, once again, this report from Gareth Porter dated November 8:

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.

I guess Cheney finally lost his turf battle on this one. But I'd sure like to hear more about it, especially since Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell confirmed on November 14 that he had no plans to publicly release any part of this NIE because "to do so could expose U.S. intelligence capabilities and enable Iran to change its practices." I wonder who pushed back? Who's got the juice?

Well, maybe it'll all come out at Cheney's impeachment proceedings. Stay tuned.

Kevin Drum 12:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Comments

Curses, Foiled again!

Posted by: cheney on December 3, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

You can't impeach Cheney -- that would just make Bush president....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on December 3, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's over for Cheney's dream of attacking Iran while Bush is still President. And over for the identical dream of the Israel lobby and Lieberman and the neocons.

Bush's term will end not in bang but in a whimper.

Posted by: frankly0 on December 3, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Lack of a nuclear program didn't stop us from getting into an endless war in Iraq. I don't see what all the fuss is about. Now is the perfect time for the Executive to demonstrate their authority to pre-emptively nuke any nation at will. National security demands it.

Posted by: Trypticon on December 3, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's term will end not in bang but in a whimper.
I'm not a religious person but I pray that frankly0 at 1:07 is right.

Posted by: thersites on December 3, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program;

Spring 2003: Iraq was liberated by George W Bush and General Petraeus.
Fall 2003: Iran halts its nuclear weapons program.
Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Al on December 3, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Of course if you actually read the NIE:

"We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame."

But if they have halted their program why wouldn't they lack they capability to build a bomb indefinitely? Oh I see, because:

"Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so."

So it comes down to Iran's decision whether or not to build a nuke. Well what's the deal with that?

"We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its options, or whether it will or already has set specific deadlines or criteria that will prompt it to restart the program."

Well we must have some idea, right?

"We assess with moderate confidence that convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult given the linkage many within the leadership probably see between nuclear weapons development and Iran’s key national security and foreign policy objectives..."

So basically they've halted the official nukes program while continuing to develop technological know-how and enriching uranium under their "civilian" program. Well at least we know what's going on. But wait:

"We assess with moderate confidence that Iran probably would use covert facilities— rather than its declared nuclear sites—for the production of highly enriched uranium for a weapon."

Gee that makes me feel better.

Posted by: Hacksaw on December 3, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Our intelligence agencies should stop fabricating lies about Iran and instead publish truths about Cheney.

Posted by: Brojo on December 3, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw,

No doubt Iran presents an ongoing problem with regard to nuclear capability.

But the good thing is that it will almost certainly be a Democratic President who will be dealing with it.

Which means it will be driven far more diplomacy -- if diplomacy employing an iron fist in the velvet glove.

Bush/Republican style "persuasion" via unprovoked attacks has now been thrown into the toxic waste bin of history.

Posted by: frankly0 on December 3, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

So the Hitler of Our Time is actually a pussy!

Lots of heads at the NRO and the Michael Savage Nation must be exploding right now.

Posted by: gregor on December 3, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the backstory, for anyone who wants all the gory details:

Cheney Tried To Stifle Dissent In Iran NIE, IPS

Posted by: nepeta on December 3, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, my link is the same one that appears in Kevin's post by Gareth Porter...

Posted by: nepeta on December 3, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Gee that makes me feel better. Posted by: Hacksaw

Good. Now fuck off.

Posted by: JeffII on December 3, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

So the Hitler of Our Time is actually a pussy!

American pussies work for intellignece agencies, where they cower in fear of Cheney while preparing a waterboard for a shackled innocent civilian.

Posted by: Brojo on December 3, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Al:

No, Iran's continued ability to "ramp up," while being more circumspect, simply shows the limits of preemptive bullying. Nice try.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 3, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney Tried To Stifle Dissent In Iran NIE, IPS

From reading the article it sure seems like it wasn't the dissent he was trying to stiffle, but the majority conclusions.

Posted by: Col Bat Guano on December 3, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but since they are scary and brown, we still need to bomb them.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on December 3, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Al: We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program

Spring 2003: Iraq was liberated by George W Bush and General Petraeus.
Fall 2003: Iran halts its nuclear weapons program.
Coincidence? I think not.

So the Iranians never intended to use nukes against Israel at all, and we really invaded Iraq to get rid of weapons of mass destruction in Iran! Now I get it. How did I miss the connections?

BushCo were obviously thinking many moves ahead in their game of international chess. But why did they keep inflating the Iranian threat when they knew their objective had already been achieved? It must have been a strategy that will result in some good result years from now, that will entirely change perspective on Bush's legacy.

I think the only recourse we have is to accept any policy proposed by BushCo, no matter how unrealistic it is, or how horrible the short term results are, because it must be part of a master plan that will produce good effects five or five hundred years later. After all, the Depression produced Social Security and deep-sixed Prohibition, so it was a Good Thing. I'm sure more wonderful things will flow from the coming recession, so it was a good idea for the federal government to abandon all attempts to regulate banks and lenders.

In fact, I think we should never oppose any policy, Republican or Democratic, because of the possibility of unintended good consequences. Isn't that how we all live our lives?

Posted by: cowalker on December 3, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Last sentence of the NYT article:

"In a separate statement accompanying the N.I.E., Deputy Director of National Intelligence Donald M. Kerr said that given the new conclusions, it was important to release the report publicly 'to ensure that an accurate presentation is available.'”

Is that a, you know, comment on past White House presentations?

Posted by: Swift Loris on December 3, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Al:

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

It's a logical fallacy.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on December 3, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder who pushed back? Who's got the juice?"

Maybe the whole National Intelligence bureaucracy knew the basic outlines of the truth, and if the Director McConnell wanted to change the conclusions, or keep it under wraps, too many people knew and would speak out.

So what's different between now and 2002? Maybe just that everyone learned from the experience. The belligerents (Republicans) and neocons ("liberal" hawks) just couldn't get away with it again.

Or, maybe Bush himself wanted to back down from the belligerence, and finds this a face-saving opportunity.

Or, maybe Bush is still planning on bombing Iran, but wants to make it seem as though he's cooling his heels - that he decided against it. But then Iran will "commit" some outrageous act, courtesy of the Mossad or CIA, and we'll "reluctantly" commence the bombing.

There's never any telling. Wars, casualties, truth and stuff.

Posted by: luci on December 3, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

FranklyO,

Well I'm not sure how you arrive at your conclusion. If the NIE is right, then Iraq halted its program just as "Bush/Republican style "persuasion" via unprovoked attacks" reached their peak.

You expressed your confidence in the ability of a future Dem to deal with Iran down the road but one could just as justifiably claim that Iran decided to hunker down and focus on its civilian-covered technical capabilities until a Dem came in and Iran could resume its nuclear program with impunity. Knowing that the worst they might face is that dreaded velvet glove.

The point being we don't really know what the Iranians are thinking. I don't believe they did what Libya did and abandoned their nuclear ambitions after watching the fall of Saddam. I think they have moved their efforts underground (literally and figuratively) and are biding their time, developing technical capabilities, and waiting to see what happens. But I saw very little in the NIE in terms of warm and fuzzy assurances that Iran is not in fact interested in becoming a nuclear power. And whether they do so in 2012 or 2015 isn't much of a difference as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: Hacksaw on December 3, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, maybe it'll all come out at Cheney's impeachment proceedings. Stay tuned.

Who do I have to bribe to get these to start?

Posted by: craigie on December 3, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Moreover, what exactly is bombshell here?

Here is an article from August 2005 on the Iran NIE at that time:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/01/AR2005080101453_pf.html

"A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis."

"The new National Intelligence Estimate includes what the intelligence community views as credible indicators that Iran's military is conducting clandestine work. But the sources said there is no information linking those projects directly to a nuclear weapons program. What is clear is that Iran, mostly through its energy program, is acquiring and mastering technologies that could be diverted to bombmaking."

"Since 1995, U.S. officials have continually estimated Iran to be "within five years" from reaching that same capability. So far, it has not. The new estimate extends the timeline, judging that Iran will be unlikely to produce a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient for an atomic weapon, before "early to mid-next decade," according to four sources familiar with that finding. The sources said the shift, based on a better understanding of Iran's technical limitations, puts the timeline closer to 2015 and in line with recently revised British and Israeli figures"

In other words, the previous NIE held pretty much the same thoughts. Iran is not likely to have a nuke until 2012-2015. It continues to develop technical know-how and continues to be interested in having nukes.

It seems Kevin and others have fallen for a headline that, to paraphrase Inigo Montoyo, does not mean what they think it means. Iran may have halted its declared nuclear weapons program in 2003 but it continues to be interested in nukes and continues to develop nuclear-related capabilities outside of that program. If not, then they would never be able to develop a nuke (rather than being able to have one by 2015). Moreover, this was known in 2005. So where exactly is the bombshell again?

Posted by: Hacksaw on December 3, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well, 1000 or so UN weapons inspectors had found that Iraq had no WMD's. It didn't make any difference to advancing the PNAC agenda back then and I doubt this report will make any difference to those in power now.

Just repeat the following over and over...

"Reality has nothing to do with it"

Posted by: Buford on December 3, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well I'm not sure how you arrive at your conclusion. If the NIE is right, then Iraq halted its program just as "Bush/Republican style "persuasion" via unprovoked attacks" reached their peak.

Except that here's the actual statement from the NIE:

We judge with high confidence that the halt, and Tehran’s announcement of its decision to suspend its declared uranium enrichment program and sign an Additional Protocol to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure resulting from exposure of Iran’s previously undeclared nuclear work.

Kinda funny how they don't even mention the wonderful effect of the unprovoked attack on Iraq, isn't it?

And of course it's hardly surprising. In fact, that attack reached its height of greatest perceived success immediately after the invasion -- it was all downhill from there. Iran didn't stop its nuclear weapons program until, presumably, at least six months later. And of course the immediate reaction of Iran might very well have been exactly the opposite, namely to speed up their nuclear weapons program, precisely because they needed a deterrent against attack by the US.

Posted by: frankly0 on December 3, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Errr.

Stil talks about capability, and capability is still as dangerous the end result.

A murderer can be incapable of murder by incarceration, but is still capable if the situation changes.

Good thing you dolts aren't running our foreign policy.

Posted by: Jack moss on December 3, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

What I find most significant is that Cheney & Co have been able to impose their casus belli criteria on the national debate -- with no objections from any corner.

Remember, in the case of Iraq they had to invoke alleged Iraqi violations of binding UN resolutions that were the result of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

But no such resolutions exist for Iran. The only thing Iran would be violating, even if it had a nuclear weapons program, would be the NPT -- which is not binding, and which allows its signatories to walk away from it.

Yet everyone is debating whether an Iranian weapons program exists, implicitly accepting the view that, if it does exist, then the US has a legal basis for war. What is this legal basis?

Posted by: JS on December 3, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

From the NIE (PDF):

This National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assesses the status of Iran’s nuclear program, and the program’s outlook over the next 10 years. This time frame is more appropriate for estimating capabilities than intentions and foreign reactions, which are more difficult to estimate over a decade. In presenting the Intelligence Community’s assessment of Iranian nuclear intentions and capabilities, the NIE thoroughly reviews all available information on these questions, examines the range of reasonable scenarios consistent with this information, and describes the key factors we judge would drive or impede nuclear progress in Iran. This NIE is an extensive reexamination of the issues in the May 2005 assessment.
This Estimate focuses on the following key questions:
• What are Iran’s intentions toward developing nuclear weapons?
• What domestic factors affect Iran’s decisionmaking on whether to develop nuclear weapons?
• What external factors affect Iran’s decisionmaking on whether to develop nuclear weapons?
• What is the range of potential Iranian actions concerning the development of nuclear weapons, and the decisive factors that would lead Iran to choose one course of action over another?
• What is Iran’s current and projected capability to develop nuclear weapons? What are our key assumptions, and Iran’s key chokepoints/vulnerabilities?
This NIE does not assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons. Rather, it examines the intelligence to assess Iran’s capability and intent (or lack thereof) to acquire nuclear weapons, taking full account of Iran’s dual-use uranium fuel cycle and those nuclear activities that are at least partly civil in nature.
This Estimate does assume that the strategic goals and basic structure of Iran’s senior leadership and government will remain similar to those that have endured since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. We acknowledge the potential for these to change during the time frame of the Estimate, but are unable to confidently predict such changes or their implications. This Estimate does not assess how Iran may conduct future negotiations with the West on the nuclear issue.
This Estimate incorporates intelligence reporting available as of 31 October 2007.
Emphasis in bold is via the NIE.

More importantly, on page 6-7, the NIE states:

• We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.
• We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.
• 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. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.
B. We continue to assess with low confidence that Iran probably has imported at least some weapons-usable fissile material, but still judge with moderate-to-high confidence it has not obtained enough for a nuclear weapon. We cannot rule out that Iran has acquired from abroad—or will acquire in the future—a nuclear weapon or enough fissile material for a weapon. Barring such acquisitions, if Iran wants to have nuclear weapons it would need to produce sufficient amounts of fissile material indigenously—which we judge with high confidence it has not yet done.
C. We assess centrifuge enrichment is how Iran probably could first produce enough fissile material for a weapon, if it decides to do so. Iran resumed its declared centrifuge enrichment activities in January 2006, despite the continued halt in the nuclear weapons program. Iran made significant progress in 2007 installing centrifuges at Natanz, but we judge with moderate confidence it still faces significant technical problems operating them.
• We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely.
• We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame. (INR judges Iran is unlikely to achieve this capability before 2013 because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems.) All agencies recognize the possibility that this capability may not be attained until after 2015.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on December 3, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Stil [sic] talks about capability, and capability is still as dangerous the end result which may not be attained until after 2015.

There fixed it for you.

Evidently you have the capability of, how did you put it? A dolt.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on December 3, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

fraklyO,

I think we may disagree on what "international scrutiny and pressure" may mean but, as I said in my earlier comment, I actually don't think that Iran pulled a Libya and dropped its nuclear program due to Iraq. My comment was only directed to your "thank God Bush won't be in charge then" remark which was odd given the NIE's conclusion that even as Bush was implementing his evil foreign policy, Iran decided to halt is declared nuclear program.

Apollo 13,

You managed to cut off your excerpt of the NIE precisely before it got into Iran's intentions:

D. Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could
be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so. For example,
Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing. We also assess with high
confidence that since fall 2003, Iran has been conducting research and development
projects with commercial and conventional military applications—some of which would
also be of limited use for nuclear weapons.

E. We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing
to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its
options, or whether it will or already has set specific deadlines or criteria that will prompt
it to restart the program.

Moreover, the bold language on the NIE assumptions relate to assumptions used in their analysis in developing the NIE and do not relate to conclusions about Iran's intentions.

Posted by: Hacksaw on December 3, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

" 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."

Now that the report has been released we can see that Porter's reporting was false - these were not "dissenting judgements" - it is in fact the consensus conclusion and obviously Cheney couldn't get that turned around.

Yet Kevin goes ahead and relies upon this false account to bash Cheney.

Posted by: b on December 3, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13, you managed to cut off your excerpt of the NIE precisely before it got into Iran's intentions...

No, I didn't manage to cut it off. I quoted the relevant portion on Iran's nuke capability.

Its intentions, OTOH, can be persuaded and as the NIE stated in bold, "This NIE does not assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons. Rather, it examines the intelligence to assess Iran’s capability and intent (or lack thereof) to acquire nuclear weapons, taking full account of Iran’s dual-use uranium fuel cycle and those nuclear activities that are at least partly civil in nature."

Regardless, of whether Iran intends to develop the capability for a nuke, with moderate confidence, the NIE states its capability is within a timeframe of 2010-2015 and "[a]ll agencies recognize the possibility that this capability may not be attained until after 2015."

There's time to exercise diplomacy to change the course of Iran's intentions. No need to go to war now.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on December 3, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Al, Hacksaw, read:
http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/2003.php

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 3, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

as I said in my earlier comment, I actually don't think that Iran pulled a Libya and dropped its nuclear program due to Iraq.

Strangely enough, Hack's statement is true for once -- although, of course, unintentionally -- since Libya has been working toward reconciliation since long before Iraq.

Posted by: Gregory on December 3, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I actually don't think that Iran pulled a Libya and dropped its nuclear program due to Iraq.

Libya didn't drop its nuclear program due to Iraq. Efforts to persuade Libya to disarm began in 1999, under the Clinton Administration, and were largely successful due to Libya's increasing economic desperation and desire to sell its oil on the world market by coming out from under sanctions. Here from a BBC summary:

The key factors have been growing pressure from the West and Colonel Gaddafi's desire to take his country back into the international fold, analysts say. They say the process of Libya's gradual rehabilitation started earlier this year, with the agreement on a compensation deal over the Lockerbie bombing. The move was rewarded by lifting of the United Nations sanctions against Libya in September. Experts say that economic reasons have also played a major part in Libya's decision to abandon its WMD programme. Tripoli currently does not have the means to pursue such a programme and is also too dependent on Western markets to sell its oil.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3336109.stm

Posted by: Stefan on December 3, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, ignore what Gaddafi himself said and ascribe it all to coincidence. Better yet, credit it all to Clinton. Reality-based indeed!

Posted by: Hacksaw on December 3, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Stil talks about capability, and capability is still as dangerous the end result.

which is why the US Anti-Strangling Task Force is currently getting set to being a round-up of every person with more than zero functioning hands. they hope to be done by mid-March.

Posted by: cleek on December 3, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Hack wrote: ignore what Gaddafi himself said and ascribe it all to coincidence. Better yet, credit it all to Clinton

No one's ascribing it to any such thing, Hack; simply not what you claim, as Stefan points out.

Your inability to argue honestly reveals how bereft modern conservatism is of truth, honor and morality. I know it's impossible to defend the GOP honestly, Hack, but that should eb a clue not only that you shouldn't try, but that you shouldn't assoiciate yourself with them -- unless, of course, you identify with these dishonest, corrupt scum. Shame on you, Hack.

Posted by: Gregory on December 3, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Banks are tottering. Could this NIE leak bolster their fortunes, at least temporarily? If so, does that make the leaked NIE more, or less, credible.

Posted by: sal on December 3, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Your "righteous indignation against conservatives" macro seems to have a spelling problem.

Stefan dismissed a connection between Libya dropping its nuclear ambitions and the Iraq invasion ("Libya didn't drop its nuclear program due to Iraq"). He credited it instead to efforts begun under Clinton. So I'm pretty comfortable that he was ascribing Libya's actions to these things (fine, with a little artistic license for the Clinton jab).

Posted by: Hacksaw on December 3, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

This report should be scrapped for complete logical incoherence. Iran continues to work at enriching uranium, the primary technical hurdle to building the least sophisticated fission weapon. The entire report is simply splitting hairs on what constitutes a nuclear weapon program.

Whether Iran builds a nuclear weapon or not only depends on their success at uranium enrichment and their actual desire to construct an actual bomb. One can only guess whether they would construct a weapon given the actual material to do so- that is in the future.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on December 3, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

There's only one word I want to hear out of any Democrats mouth from here on out:

Impeachment.

If Pelosi or Reid won't do it, they need to be replaced, immediately, or be accused of being in league with this administration. There really are no halfway positions at this point.

Impeachment.
Impeachment.
Impeachment.
Impeachment.
Impeachment.

Posted by: Augustus on December 3, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

This just proves that Bush and Cheney are full of SSSSHHHIIIAAATTT just like we have all known for years. LMFAO Again all Bush knows is how to lie, start wars, and the use of the VETO PEN.

Posted by: Al on December 3, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

The point being we don't really know what the Iranians are thinking. I don't believe they did what Libya did and abandoned their nuclear ambitions after watching the fall of Saddam. I think they have moved their efforts underground (literally and figuratively) and are biding their time, developing technical capabilities, and waiting to see what happens.

I don't believe or think anyone cares what you believe or think.

Posted by: Ex - Republican Yankee on December 3, 2007 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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