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10 January 2011

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Lysander

Col Lang, or anyone who cares to answer,

Why do you think Dagan stepped off the reservation?

J

Colonel,

Given Dagan's past statements regarding his 'certainty' that Iran was producing nuke bombs, his having to 'eat crow' because our IC stood by their guns is most refreshing. Now that Dagan is 'retiring' as the Mossad head reprobate, I wonder if our U.S. will seek his extradition and criminal prosecution? I somehow sadly doubt that the powers that be have the fortitude to do the right thing and prosecute Dagan.

Green Zone Cafe

In fairness to the Israelis, wasn't Dagan's analysis that agreed with the USIC one about 2015 an Israeli one, albeit informal and "out of office," like the Colonels?

Perhaps Meir Dagan should also be congratulated for a stand on principle.

Patrick Lang

GZC

The Israeli intelligence establishment and its AIPAC extension has done everything in its power to stampede the US into an air and missile campaign against Iran. Reality triumphed and they failed. What were you saying about credit that they deserve? pl

Lysander

The other thing I was thinking is that having been thwarted in their war attempts (assuming they've been thwarted) perhaps the Mossad is tryingto take credit for it. In other words, it isn't that we were wrong or lying about Iran's program before, it's that our super clever special ops, assassinations and stuxnet has stopped Iran's "weapons program"

mac

I thought it odd for Mr. Dagan to announce this.

I also thought the timing was interesting in relationship to the attacks on the scientists.

confusedponderer

Come to think of it: Israel on Iran: So wrong for so long - The extremely long history of incorrect Israeli predictions about when Iran will obtain a nuclear bomb

Officials at the U.S. Department of State, we learned from the secret cables released by WikiLeaks last week, have serious questions about the accuracy -- and sincerity -- of Israeli predictions about when Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon. As one State official wrote in response to an Israeli general's November 2009 claim that Iran would have a bomb in one year: "It is unclear if the Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States."

So we thought this was as good a time as any to look at the remarkable history of incorrect Israeli predictions about Iran -- especially given that the WikiLeaks trove is being used to argue that an attack on Iran is becoming more likely.

According to various Israeli government predictions over the years, Iran was going to have a bomb by the mid-90s -- or 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and finally 2010. More recent Israeli predictions have put that date at 2011 or 2014.

None of this is to say that Iran will not at some point get a nuclear weapon -- though the Iranian government has maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. That said, Iran has not fully cooperated with international inspectors. But even assuming that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, estimates still vary widely on when it will reach that goal.

So what the below timeline should show us is a few things: making accurate predictions about the future is difficult; the Israelis are almost certainly not always offering good-faith assessments of intelligence on Iran; and reporters and the public should demand evidence for assertions about an Iranian nuclear program, whomever the source. Here we go ...

Castellio

Yes, congratulations are due to someone, or someones, who may forever remain unknown, who have insisted on a fact based world. My God, maybe a corner has been turned in the American analysis of, and relation to, Israeli intentions?

I can hope, can't I? Lets be thankful for this unexpected victory.

CK

Reality's triumphs can be so very short lived. As is said on Mythbusters, "I reject your reality and substitute my own."

PirateLaddie

Poor baby!! For another example of Dagan's finesse and humility, see the GQ article on Mossad's murder of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a nasty piece of Hamas work in his own right. The article's at -- http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201101/the-dubai-job-mossad-assassination-hamas.

PirateLaddie

OOPS -- looks like you'll have to go to The Daily Beast, World News, for "The Dubai Job," by Ronen Bergman, presuming this link (a longer version) doesn't work:
http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201101/the-dubai-job-mossad-assassination-hamas?printable=true

Sorry 'bout that!

Matthew

Col: As you note, the Israelis are masters of re-framing a defeat into a victory. For example, Dagan is now credited with "restoring" Mossad's effectiveness, when, in fact, they had massive failtures under his watch. Most important: The rolling up of a huge spy ring in Lebanon. However, I guess if the Israelis don't admit to failures, our media doesn't notice them.

To paraphrase a great quote about Mossad, it's a second-rate spy agency with a first-rate press office.

johnf

Is Dagan going because of his mess-ups in Lebanon and with the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, and is he getting back at Netanyahu because of his sacking?

William R. Cumming

What is Saudi missile and nuclear capability?

Has there ever been an NIE on Saudi Arabia?

Adam L Silverman

Mr. Cumming: last week on NPR I heard an interview with the author of the/a new book on the AQ Khan network. One of the things he mentioned is that there is evidence that the Saudi's were clients of Khan's. If you go to NPR's website and do a search for AQ Khan the interview should turn up in the returns.

Charles I

Maybe he's out and speaking because he doesn't see any utility in attacking Iran. But what about Cast Lead and Lebanon Redux. The party line is that war with them is war with Iranian proxies whose masters are explicitly declared participants in these next wars.

It really doesn't matter - Israel as it is presently constituted must keep fighting and smiting as long as Yaweh ordains.

Norbert M. Salamon

The Iran issue is not the WMD, but making sure that Israel is safe and Uncle Sam is the lord of the Persian Gulf oil producers.
As long as USA is subservient to Israel [via Isreal Firsters in Congress/Administration] the USA will be in the LONG WAR in ME land - at least til the USA economy collapses [give it less than 10 years at the present rate of serving the USA citizens' welfare plus Peak Oil, plus Global warming].

William R. Cumming

GATES announced N.Korea could target US within 5 years.

mac

I still cant figure out why make such a public announcement, although it is possible, as Charles I states, that Dagan opposes opening the Pandora's Box of tit for tat strikes between Israel and Iran. The facts are open to this interpretation, and why not.

It seems obvious to me that there are many in both the Tel Aviv and Tehran establishments who are not only opposed to any sort of military confrontation between the two former allies but who actively work to achieve some form of modus vivendi. Maybe Dagan is in this camp.

I think I know which camp this fellow is in:

"A political source said Netanyahu was very unhappy with the departing Mossad director Meir Dagan for airing his views in public and the prime minister shrugged off his comments on Tuesday."

Herb

No one here has pointed out that the article hints a successful cyber-war operation by "parties unknown" may have prevented an actual shooting war? It certainly appears to have worked to take pressure off, and the Iranians admit it was successful in setting back their weapons-grade uranium refining program.

This apparently successful "hacker war" event has broader implications, both good and ill.

Wikileaks is a sideshow comparatively.

Phil Giraldi

One wonders when someone adult and serious will take charge of US foreign policy. Dagan admits that Iran cannot possibly have a nuke before 2014, something which everyone in the US intel community has long known to be true. Within 24 hours, Netanyahu states that he wants the US to put more military pressure on Iran. Well, if Iran is a long way from having a nuke what is Washington's horse in this race? Time for Obama to step up and put Bibi in his place, but of course he wouldn't consider doing anything like that, would he?

I also note Joe Biden in Pakistan telling the folks there that US patience is running out over Waziristan. Last I checked Pakistan was a sovereign country that doesn't take kindly to being told what to do. Does Biden actually think that his comments will produce any kind of positive result, particularly as he was unsubtlely hinting that the US would use its own troops to attack the militants? If he thinks that either his words or the implied threat of force will solve the problem, he is delusional. So why make the comment at all? Who is he speaking to? Beats me.

J

Phil,

Didn't you know, every syllable that Biden speaks is 'on Israel's behalf' so says our self-declared Zionist Vice President. The Iraq war has all been about Israel's security, not U.S. interests. Now the failed Israeli push for U.S. strikes against Iran has met with the brick-wall of U.S. IC 'stubbornness for realistic intelligence', Israel is now using its walking stick-figure U.S. VPres to try and intimidate the greater Mideast on Israel (Bibi/Likud)'s behalf.

What a three-ring circus.

mac

The more I learn about Pakistan, the more I worry.

It's not because there is nobody opposing the near out of control fundamentalism, because there are. I'm just afraid that, in the end, they will lose and something akin to 1978/79 begins to unfold except, with the added nightmare of nuclear weapons.

And I think we have all been very fortunate that there has not arisen from the fundamentalist camp/movement(s) a central, charismatic leader a la Ayatollah Khomeini. If that should ever change, then I just do not see Pakistani society withstanding the wave of extremism that would surely accompany such a national personality.

Put another way, imagine if the Shah had already gone nuclear, what would have been the plan then?

Steve

It is now clear, that the only reason why he has been going off the reservation in touting the Obama WH position is because he is deathly afraid of an Israeli attack on Iran and he would bend the truth backwards to do so. The proof is in the pudding.... and here is the pudding from an article in today's Haaretz online newspaper.
"Speaking during a conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Dagan continued his public rejection of a military move against Iran, saying that Israel didn't "have the capability to stop the Iranian nuclear program, only to delay it.""If anyone seriously considers [a strike] he needs to understand that he's dragging Israel into a regional war that it would not know how to get out of. The security challenge would become unbearable," Dagan said.The former Mossad chief reiterated his position, saying that the "military option is the last alternative, not preferred or possible, nut a last resort. Every other alternative must be weighed before the use of force."Referring to those who criticized him for speaking out on these matters soon after his retirement, Dagan said: "I feel obligated to express my opinion on certain matters. The prime minister and defense minister are the ones in charge, but sometimes good sense and a good decision don't have anything to do with being elected."" Israel won't withstand war in wake of strike on Iran, ex-Mossad chief says - Haaretz Daily Newspaper [Online] (Updated 01 June 2011) Available at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-won-t-withstand-war-in-wake-of-strike-on-iran-ex-mossad-chief-says-1.365396 [Accessed 01 June 2011].

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