Monday, December 03, 2007

NIE report: Tehran just a tame tiger

By Libby

Unless you spent the day in an isolation tank, you've probably heard that the long awaited NIE was finally released today and it said Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. They are nowhere near building a bomb, nor are they trying to today. No wonder the White House held the release up for over a year and kept sending it back to the intelligence agencies for revisions. To their credit, this time the reality based agents refused to rewrite their reports as sheet music for Cheney's war drum.

Kevin Drum wonders, why now?

All I've got is speculation on the second question, but here it is: it was congressional pressure. Democratic members of the various intelligence committees saw the NIE (or a summary or a verbal report or something) and went ballistic. Footnotes and dissents are one thing, but withholding a report whose primary conclusion is 180 degrees contrary to years of administration innuendo produced a rebellion. Somebody who got briefed must have threatened something pretty serious if the NIE didn't see the light of day.

Like I said, just a guess. But who else has the clout to force Bush, Cheney, and McConnell to change course?

I don't think it was Congress. If they were willing to really use their clout, our troops would be home by now. As I said at Kevin's place, to the extent it was the result of internal pressure, I think it would have come from Gates. I believe he's the only thing standing between us and teh bomb. Oddly, both Negroponte and Rice are standing with him, according to Gareth Porter.

You have to think at some point, it's more of a political liability to withhold it and let people speculate on the motives for doing so, than it is to release it and hope people forget what it said by the time they come up with a casus belli to go forward.

Since the IAEA already issued their disclaimer recently, it seems like a good time to get it over with to me. They still have over a year left to advance their plots. They would be crazy to bomb before closer to the end of Bush's term anyway. The PR blitz in September was just the first wave of shock and awe propaganda designed to build the false narrative into an accepted wisdom.

Never underestimate the long range thinking of the neocons. It's useful to remember that even today, over 40% of Americans still believe Saddam had something to do with 9/11. I wouldn't be too quick to think this a blunder or even a setback to their plans. They built their "OMG we're all going to die - it's WWIII" narrative over the whole year they knew it wasn't true.

They're not done yet. The White House and its adoring fringeroots are already spinning the report as some kind of vindication for Bush's swaggering arrogance and are calling for more of it.

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Blogger Swampcracker said...

On the other hand, there is this, according to Newsweek:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has offered [Paul D.] Wolfowitz … a position as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board, a prestigious State Department panel, according to two department sources who declined to be identified discussing personnel matters.

A horse trade, maybe? What do you think?

12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I don't know that one has to do with the other. Wolfie getting a new job is just the customary payola for creative incompetence and loyalty I think.

8:46:00 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

The Bushistas continue with the "black is white" psycho routine because they know the despicable MSM will dutifully give the headline to them even as the body contradicts their crazy talk.
Such as this headline Bush: Iran Intel Report a Warning Signal, a twisted lie from the yahoos who simply rewrite logic.

10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

This is why I think the leftopians should make media consolidation a priority target. Nothing is going to be fixed as long as the MSM has the biggest microphone.

12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

From your favorite nutter-pundit, Stormin Abhoretz:

I entertain an even darker suspicion. It is that the intelligence community, which has for some years now been leaking material calculated to undermine George W. Bush, is doing it again. This time the purpose is to head off the possibility that the President may order air strikes on the Iranian nuclear installations.

2:33:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

All the Pods are on my do not read list. I've decided to stop reading crazy people. My blood pressure has greatly improved since I took the vow of abstinence.

2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

Libby, I look at this way. In the recent political debates, both sides, there are those in the room who cheer and those who boo. When I look at that Odd-Pod quote, I am the one cheering, and this does not raise my BP at all. In fact, it brings it down a notch.

What has not been said in the context, is that the intelligence community has been downplaying the Iran threat for months. I recall, for instance, a recent statement by one of the Pentagon top brass (rough paraphrase): There is no direct evidence linking Iran with violence or IED attacks in Iraq, and that the noises from Washington were diplomatic posturing.

Of course, the petulent POTUS gets pissy whenever he does not get his way, and this makes want to cheer even more.

When you read those nutters, know this: The President's BP is even higher.

4:14:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

What are you talking about SC? The fringers like the Pods are on Commander Guy's side. They're the ones convincing him to do all this crazy shit.

7:23:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

Libby, rereading what I said, I think I understand the confusion of my last comment. I cheer when the nutters have a temper tantrum (i.e. when they are the ones booing) and cheer even more when the peevish, petulant POTUS has a pissy-fit. And if the peevish, petulant POTUS burst his rivets, I would probably laugh my head off.

Apologies for any confusion.

9:04:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

BTW, Joe Biden made a comment on NPR yesterday about eating Giuliani for lunch. One of my friends over at wondered what Giuliani meat might be like.

My comment: If turned into chop steak, it would be labelled "Ground Zero" and priced at $9.11 per pound.

9:09:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...


9:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raimondo has a neo con reaction round up.

Also, I would point out that Iran's nuclear WEAPONS program was largely to deterr SADDAM not the US which is wwhy it ended in 03.

10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

Lester, an interesting point you make here. There was also another lost opportunity that coincides with this timeline. Apparantly Iran made "backdoor" diplomatic overtures to the USA, which the Bush junta turned down. This may be as regretable a mistake as when the CIA staged the coup that overthrew Mossedegh in the 1950s (the singular event that started the Iran-USA emnity culminating in the 1979 hostage crisis).

Libby, today's word verification "jhklvhzw"
There oughta be law.

11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't it GOOD that Iran DOESN'T have a nuclear weapon program? am i missing something? Do the neo cons WANT us to be in danger?

10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

Do the neo cons WANT us to be in danger?

But of course. They have nothing to offer but fear itself.

6:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of our alleged enemeies is apparently NOT the threat we thought they were and this is BAD news?

because some faction of beltway assholes now has a slight advantage over some other asshole faction.

10:21:00 AM  

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