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07 December 2007

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condfusedponderer

After a lot of relief and glee I am getting second thoughts.

The Whitehouse and VP crowd managed to delay the NIE for at least 10 months it is said. I don't buy the 'intelligence went rogue on Bush' nonsense you get to hear from Pod-man and Bolton. Had they done that, there would heads be rolling, after all Bush's is the message control administration. I think the administration chose to release the NIE, despite their well known dislike and resistance to it's content.

Now that can't be all of it then. The NIE hurts the Bush policy towards Iran, and indeed, kudos to the intelligence folks to get that far. I am unconvinced that the pressure from the intelligence community was so great they had to concede. The Bushies wouldn't willingly hurt themselves, unless if it were to pre-empt something worse. What said Condi? This is a moment of crisis, but crisis bears within it opportunity.

There will be the IAEA report on Iran coming out soon. It will most certainly say much less than the NIE. They will probably say they can't find any evidence for a nuclear weapons program.

Interesting to compare the NIE and what Hadley said in his presser. First the NIE:

We use phrases such as we judge, we assess, and we estimate—and probabilistic terms such as probably and likely—to convey analytical assessments and judgments. Such statements are not facts, proof, or knowledge. These assessments and judgments generally are based on collected information, which often is incomplete or fragmentary. Some assessments are built on previous judgments. In all cases, assessments and judgments are not intended to imply that we have “proof” that shows something to be a fact or that definitively links two items or issues.
...
High confidence generally indicates that our judgments are based on high-quality information, and/or that the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment. A “high confidence” judgment is not a fact or a certainty, however, and such judgments still carry a risk of being wrong.
...
We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.
....
For the purposes of this Estimate, by “nuclear weapons program” we mean Iran’s nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work
and now 'Uranium from Niger'-Hadley
The National Intelligence Estimate released today reveals that there was a covert nuclear weapons program. It also reveals that, unknown to us, that program was halted in the fall of 2003. So the covert nuclear weapons program was unknown to us, suspected, unknown; now confirmed.
That is quite a leap. The likely possibility for the spooks is the factual certainty for the kooks.

The kooks will probably react on the IAEA report by pointing to the NIE, and say that the NIE 'proves there was one' and say the IAEA report is wrong, and they the IAEA is an apologist for Iran or some other nonsense.

I think they published the NIE now to be the first one on message on this. They might just be pulling a fast one here.

b

The main new thing the NIE introduces is its conclusion that Iran had a nuclear weapon program.

This is based on some "intelligence" mostly related to the famous Laptop which to me looks as real as the Niger papers.

The IAEA has found NO evidence for an Iranian nuclear weapon program. This was emphazised again by an IAEA top guy after the NIE went public.

All open issues the IAEA discussed and is discussing with Iran can be explained by Iran's work on a civil nuclear program.

The Russians have said they have no knowledge of any Iranian nuclear weapon program.

Iran has said and said again after the NIE went public that it had and has no nuclear weapon program.

This new "fact" that the NIE introduced and that got swallowed hock line and sinker by the U.S. media is the real issue.

-start speculation-
Could there have been a deal where the White House finally agreed to publish "Iran has no current nuke program" only when the NIE included "Iran had a nuke program"?
-end speculation-

Bobo

Hearings, yes and bring the Neocons on.

Now was this Video Tape Trashing by Rodriquez story,a hero among the CIA crowd, a little payback for those trying to get out of line??

Babak Makkinejad

condfusedponderer:

I think US and Iran have made some progress on Iraq; about how to divide the spoils- so to speak.

Both sides are preparing their populations for further announcements.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, after his election, broke the internal Iranian taboo of openly communicating with US.

Mr. Bush, having achieved a phyrric victory by taking Iran to UNSC, started to back pedal; just like the North Korean case. For in both cases the policy was too costly to US since it ceded power to other states with little discernible benefits (in my opinion).

Simultaneously, Mr. Putin, determining that he was not going to have his concerns addressed by US & NATO on space weapons, anti-missile systems, etc. played his Iran card and made a strategic deal with Iran. The parameters of this strategic deal between Iran & Russia are at the present time unknown to me.

In the meanttime, Iran and US came to an agreement that enabled US to start withdrawing her troops from Iraq.

The NIE gave Mr. Bush a fig-leaf to cover his policy changes on Iran.

Likewise Mr. Ahmadinejad, can claim a victory against the Great Satan and thus publicly negogiate further with US.

Mr. Putin also can feel that he has purchased a strategic alliance on the cheap.

And the Chinese are content that they have to do nothing to remain in good graces with US, Iran, Russia, EU or anyone else. All the time calculating how much oil they can get from Iran for how long and how much they can entrench themselves there.

The loosers are EU states (and they had been warned repeatedly of this possibility by various Iranian officials since 2003) and India.

The biggest loosers of all was India, Mr. Singh, and the Congress Party. For they severly damged their strategic understanding with Iran on the basis of US promisory notes. And they have nothing to show for their political expenditures. In fact, I venture to say that the US-Iranian relationship will be improved faster than Iran-India relationship – in my opinion. We have to wait for a non-Congress government in India before the process can resume.

I think the Arab states of the Persian Gulf have come out well. They managed their relationship with Iran and US quite admirably. Clearly the leadership of these states is not the same as the “fuck-parties” of 1970s.

J. Rega

I doubt anything will come of this, even though I fervently hope the opposite. Fortuitous positioning of Aipac fifth columnists like Waxman, Ackerman, Lieberman, Schumer, and "I am a Zionist" Biden preclude anything other than coordinated harrumphing, foot dragging misdirection. As proof I offer the fact that as of now the NIE news is already being eclipsed by bipartisan furor over the CIA videotape matter.

DeLudendwarf

Speaking of Kool-Aid, General Batiste trots out "The Long War" Power Point, the "Greatest Generation", and the Iran threat in an op-ed in Pravda on the Potomac today.

Batiste might have been a strategic whiz at West Point, but he must have slept through introductory economics. Guns have got to be paid for in money at some point. Just like butter.

With respect to the Long War and the Greatest Generation, at this time in their Long War, the Greatest Generation was safe back home, making babies.

Ardie

We can also speculate that Condi, whose foreign policy views seem to be opposed to those of Cheney's, may have been behind this. This, of course, presupposes a divided Bush Administration. It can't be ruled out.

Sidney O. Smith III

Bolton wants to begin a fight?

No better place than a congressional hearing -- it’s like a dream come true. I say pull out the constitutional knife. No reason for hesitation. Annuit Coeptis! “He approves the things that have begun!”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annuit_coeptis

Chris

The big lies were disarmed, but the underlying sanctions are still in place.

The sanctions did nothing, but the NIE can now be used to claim they did.

Sanctions are not in place for any reason other than trying to channel business back to Western interests from our perspective, or steer all money China's way from that of our benefactor.

Bush needs budget money he doesn't have, giving tax breaks to billionaires.

So he borrows from China and takes their orders re:Persia and the Mid East.

China says no bomb Iran. We listen dutifully.

The extent to which we would lift sanctions depends on the amount of business Iran secures with the Halliburton portfolio's subsidiary umbrella.

Otherwise, stay the course so China has market entry ahead of the West. Ideally, Cheney gets both. Iran oil flows East, Western markets spike energy costs for the domestic donors to profit the most in Houston's oil belt.

China is happy and gets its boom fuel, old money interests in the West retain their top dog status on the oil spigot profit margins, and Halliburton channels illegal transactions through the Dubai doorway.

Win-win-win for Cheney. Unless China recognizes that nuclear development in Iran means they can garner greater shares of oil to accelerate their own macroeconomic development. Past long term deals for oil they'll open the door for Iran.

That gets in the way of our overall aims within Persia. We want China's money but other actors in the region want to rid Iran its development. Israel fears a military match in the region, Arabia fears losing influence over OPEC in post peak energy years. Both countries work closely with the US to shape various ends in policy worldwide.

Sanctions are being used for regime change.

Sy Hersh interviewing Ritter:

"They drafted a Chapter 7 resolution of the United Nations Security Council calling for the disarmament of Iraq and saying in Paragraph 14 that if Iraq complies, sanctions will be lifted. Within months of this resolution being passed--and the United States drafted and voted in favor of this resolution--within months, the President, George Herbert Walker Bush, and his Secretary of State, James Baker, are saying publicly, not privately, publicly that even if Iraq complies with its obligation to disarm, economic sanctions will be maintained until which time Saddam Hussein is removed from power.

That is proof positive that disarmament was only useful insofar as it contained through the maintenance of sanctions and facilitated regime change. It was never about disarmament, it was never about getting rid of weapons of mass destruction. It started with George Herbert Walker Bush, and it was a policy continued through eight years of the Clinton presidency, and then brought us to this current disastrous course of action under the current Bush Administration."


Clifford Kiracofe

The plot thickens:

1.The New Republic dutifully prints,
"The sense of betrayal within the Israeli security system is deep. After all, Israel's great achievement in its struggle against Iran was in convincing the international community that the nuclear threat was real; now that victory has been undone--not by Russia or the European Union, but by Israel's closest ally...."
Yossi Klein Halevi is a contributing editor of The New Republic and a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=126d3cf1-9957-450e-b4be-66b1ca542b7a

Per Shalem Center:
"2006 Natan Sharansky leaves political life to establish the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center, where he is joined by former IDF chief-of-staff Moshe Ya’alon and by Prof. Martin Kramer. Their aim is to develop the strategies needed by Israel and the West."
Shalem Board includes US Neocons like William Kristol and etc

2."Faced with the inconvenient assessment that Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program, GOP Senators are running an old game plan: create a commission that will treat the truth and a lie as equal possibilities. However, Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence, is unequivocally standing by the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran..."
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/004850.php


The politics are such that we are not confronting a merry little band of weirdo Neocon intellectuals on this. The full weight of the Zionist lobby is apparently being mobilized. The same organizations who called for the Iraq War are at it again per Iran, for example the very powerful "Conference of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations". (see their website).

W. Patrick Lang

b
You misunderstand the signficance of the NIE. Such documents establish the official truth of the US government. pl

Ken Mitchell

My local MURDOCH paper published 2 rebuttals. If you care to read the rubbish, the sites are:
http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071208/OPINION/712080305/-1/OPINION02

and

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071208/OPINION/712080306/-1/OPINION04

SAC Brat

What is the sticking point with normalizing relations with Iran? Is it as basic as needing a bad guy for the US administration to point to after running out of Native Americans, Spaniards, Nazis and Communists?

I see a lot of parallels between Iran and the People's Republic of China. Both ran the US backed group out of the country, both supported the opposing groups in several conflicts, both have nuclear programs. Is Washington afraid the Iranians will be better lobbyists than the current influencers running around the capital?

b

You misunderstand the signficance of the NIE. Such documents establish the official truth of the US government. pl

Pat, I understand the NIE is the "official truth" for the U.S. government.

But the "official truth" has only a slight relationship with the Truth.

Saddam's non existing WMDs were "official truth" too.

"We don't torture" is "offical truth" too. That's why co-conspirator Pelosi took impeachment "off the table".

Just because something is in an NIE, which was a political football for over a year, doesn't make it Truth at all.

veracity


COWARDLY, AIPAC-infested Democrats FORCE CAREER Intel pros to RISK PRISON to inform America of Bush's "IRAN nuclear program" LIES...

ONCE AGAIN, the COWARDLY Democrats ALLOW the Bush administration and neo-con media hawks who infest (and control) America's "major media" to CONTROL the American media NARRATIVE....
.... thereby FORCING career intelligence agency professionals to RISK PRISON, to inform Americans that the neo-con/White House push to BOMB IRAN, based on Iran's alleged nuclear bomb, HAS BEEN AN ONGOING LIE.

NANCY PELOSI IS A DISGRACE, for pretending that she and the Democrats have NO, ZERO, NONE obligation to CONFRONT and COUNTER that LYING neo-con, Bush White House narrative.

The Democrats, following the example of uber-war hawk Joe Lieberman, keep pretending that the administration has every right to produce any fanciful, imaginary facts they want to justify their next war, as the legitimate products of America's multi-trillion dollar defense/intel/counter-terror/national security establishement.

IF NOT FOR the courageous Intel pros behind the release of the December 2007 NIE, GEORGE BUSH WOULD STILL be talking about "IRAN's Nuclear Weapons program" - and NANCY PELOSI WOULD STILL be writing BLANK CHECKS to the corrupt, war-mongering president.

(Which, even WITH the NIE report documenting that the president is a Liar, the White House and Nancy Pelosi's Congress are STILL doing.)

NANCY, JUST FOR THE HISTORICAL RECORD, would you please publish or pod-cast that OATH OF OFFICE you apparently GAVE TO AIPAC for us, the oath that is clearly more important to you than that other oath you took to "preserve and defend the Constitution of the United Staes"?

ed

I'm getting sick of Israel pulling our strings and trying to get us to fight their battles for them. Whenever anyone points this out they're labeled anti-semitic by the lap dogs under their control. We shouldn't let them influence our foreign policy any more than some other country. By the way, how come no one ever mentions their nuclear weapons?

W. Patrick Lang

b

The significance of an NIE in this situation lies not in whether or not it is "true," but in the fact that Bush can not attack Iran withut the sanction of such a document. pl

Walrus

rakesh wahi md:

Your criticism of the CIA is unwarranted and misinformed.

The best reputation an intelligence service can have is that it is a collection of bumbling fools.

There is absolutely no way of knowing what the operational success record of the CIA really is. All we hear about is their occasional failures.

As an old and very senior former spook was fond of saying to me : "Those that know don't talk, and those that talk don't know."

Ghost Commander

I salute the "SPOOKS" for coming to the aid of their country. They should not rest on their laurels over this--there is more to reveal about the Bush/Cheney Fascist, Criminal Enterprise. Good men and women should always put their Country first. Cheers !

Marcos

W. Patrick is mostly correct. The greatest import is that there will be no first strike against Iran under Bush. There are other quite significant threads however, not the least of which is that Iran really does pose a nuclear threat to the world.

That being said, it is a relief that the military option has been taken out of the neocons' hands. It is a grave misfortune that diplomacy and sanctions will be much more difficult because of how the NIE has given away Bush and Cheney's lies, but nevertheless that is the way forward.

Bolton is complaining that the NIE represents a quasi-putsch, and in a sense he is right. I tend to see it more as institutional push back from Americans that put the well being of the country above loyalty to an administration that has done great damage to us as a nation. The pay back factor, if any, is just frosting on the cake.

Some of you might know that I am a Republican. Given that Ron Paul has very little chance, I've been thinking about what sort of Democratic dream team could best handle these international challenges. I'm thinking Clinton/Obama with Richardson as Secretary of State, and Gates staying on as SecDef.

As much as I might loathe Hillary on domestic issues, I think she would be strong on the international stage. I hate that she is a liberal, but I respect her mettle.

Clifford Kiracofe

The plot thickens more, AFP wire story:

...."But Admiral William Fallon, the head of the US Central Command, complained in a newspaper interview that incessant press speculation about military action was harming efforts to bring Iran onto a more positive path.

"It's a fundamental reversal of civil-military relations, and intelligence and political relationships, that were obvious in 2002," said Ray Takeyh, an expert on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations.

He said the new intelligence assessment was "part of a larger narrative, namely how the formal institutions of government are now determined to resist the White House, which wasn't the case in 2002."
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_reversal_on_Iran_intel_reflects__12072007.html

Having spent over a decade on staff of the Senate of the United States, my take is what we are seeing is the institutions of our government (the intelligence community, military, etc.) challenging the Zionist Power and the politicians allied to it whether in the White House or in the Congress.

The Zionist Power has as its cutting edge two main organizations: the "Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations" which traditionally targets the White House and AIPAC which targets Congress. To monitor their activities and personnel simply see their websites. One might say, as H.G. Wells did, it is something of an "open conspiracy."

Two other organizations exert undue influence in Washington, particularly on Captitol Hill: the "Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs" (JINSA) and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). To monitor their activities and personnel see their websites.

On the Christian Zionist front, the Southern Baptist Convention is probably the leading power. And there is Hagee and all the rest.

The Senate committees with jurisdiction in the Iraq-Iran etc. matter are: Foreign Relations, Armed Services, Intelligence, and Judiciary. It is their Constitutional duty to exercise oversight over the Executive Branch. In case folks have forgotten, we have a Republic in which there is a "separation of powers" between three co-equal branches: Congress, Executive, Judicial. Contrary to the fascists lurking inside the Beltway, the founding fathers did not intend a Prsidential dictatorship, which is why we have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Seems to me we are watching the mobilization of a political lobby composed of Jewish and Christian Zionists linked to a foreign power against the institutions of our government.

One institutional response is certainly in the counterintelligence area...

david

And Iran signs a 2b deal with Sinopec to develop Yadavaran. Small potatoes, but sanctions are in jeopardy as well, especially if the European biggies get serious about following suit.

Anyone got a better weather vein?

Trent

Walrus, he was quoting the Lao-tzu. Are you confident their success rate was high? Just curious, not begging the question.

Tyler

I find its somewhat telling that America's democracy hangs in the balance, the outcome hinging on who wins this shadow war that's apparently being fought.

Honestly, I don't think American democracy can survive another war on the scale of Iraq, which Iran promises to be at least a double dose of.

There's also the fact that America is rapidly and openly breaking its promises to take care of returning veterans, and feeding into the negative stereotype of the "crazy vet" no one wants to hire.

When people point out that America is following the same path Hitler's Germany did, I'd like to think we haven't quite hit that stage yet. Right now, it seems more like we're at the Freikorps level. Wait in five years and let's see if you have former soldiers battling the government in the street.

Martin K

Clifford Kiracofe: While I agree with you in principle on the problems of AIPAC, could we agree on some other term than "jewish" to describe the AIPAC-lobby? Over here in Europe, the use of that term has some hardcore connotations when used in political discussion. Israeli? Hasidic? Etc. Thanx ;-)

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