Friday, December 07, 2007

NIE versus Reality

The recent release of the National Intelligence Estimate that says that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons has been widely trumpeted as proof that we don't have to worry about it anymore. Why am I still concerned then? Oh yeah, that's right, look at the history of the Intelligence Community.
First, they were completely surprised at how far along Saddam was in 1991, Then they missed the Pakistanis development until they actually tested their nuke. After that, there was "Slam Dunk" Tenet, and his wonderfully incorrect failure. At the start of the Iraq war, a nuclear weapons program was found, in Libya, that the IC had no inkling of.
But I am sure that they have this one right. Right? I mean how often can they be so darned wrong and still be taken seriously? Of course, as shown at the link above, it is possible that this is just political chicanery, designed to make Bush look bad. Not that that has ever happened before. Snark!
It is also reasonable to question why the basis for the change was based on some notes from a meeting. Color me skeptical. It couldn't be part of any organized disinformation campaign could it?

9 comments:

carol said...

If I were the prez I'd say, hey that's great news, I'm taking a month off! Only a year left, woohoo! The left would go from "he's a war monger" to "he's a wimp" in 5 sec.

Mark T said...

Cheney and Bush are dead in their tracks, caught in a lie and paralyzed by the report. As I understand it, several people risked going to jail to make the report public, and so stave off another disastrous war. Patriots, we used to call them. Patriots.

It's a good day.

But I see what you're saying. We should go ahead and attack Iran anyway. Just for the fun of it. That's what led us to Nuremberg. That's why people hanged, and I don't mind admitting I would not mind seeing these lunatics doing their final twitches.

Steve said...

Amazing, that once again you are so wonderfully wrong. The point of the post is that you can't trust anything that those idiots say. They are not necessarily "patriots" if they are playing politics with questionable intel.
A country that has a secret can keep it from us very easily. Since satellite transits are dictated by physics, it's really not that hard to predict when surveillance birds are going overhead. With that knowledge, you can hide anything, and our Intel Community will never have a clue.

Steve said...

Mark, I have to apologize for the above retort. You were kind enough to comment, and did not deserve to be treated dismissively.
My apologies.
But, do you really believe the NIE estimate? What if it had come out the other way, as it had in 2005? Would you then believe that they were patriots for forcing the release of classified material that did not support your preconceived notions?
And do you not have any curiosity about why it changed from two years ago? Do you believe that Bush et al. have been manipulating intel all this time? Or is it possible that people in the intel community have taken partisan sides to the point that they are no longer neutral arbiters of information?
The article linked to in the heading for this post shows some of the partisanship of the authors of the revised NIE. You might want to give it a gander.

Mark T said...

In a larger context, the invasion of Iraq was meant to permanently inject US forces in the region, with long term goals of "stabilizing" the area by threatening and maybe even invading and conquering Iran and Syria. The region is important because it holds so much oil.

In order to justify continued US presence there, including permanent bases in Iraq. there has to be a perceived threat, and the Bush Administration has done everything in its power to hype that threat. We know now that Iraq was no threat, and that there were those in the intelligence community who tried to relay this information to Bush. But he was having none of it. The greatest indignity is that, when the invasion and conquest did not go as planned, they tried to lay it all on faulty intelligence. Not so - they were simply lying.

So there's an underlying conflict - as with Iraq, the intelligence community trying to smuggle truth to the public, while the Bush Administration attempts to suppress it. In 2003, Bush and Cheney won, this time, we did.

Put it this way: Iran is no threat. They have not invaded anyone in 250 years. On the other hand, the US averages two invasions before breakfast. Who are you going to believe? My money is on the peaceful nation.

Steve said...

Your confidence in Iran and Ahmadinijhad over America is most telling. I doubt that you can be dissuaded from that point of view, in spite of what the leadership of Iran actually says.
Too bad.

Mark T said...

I've written here and there about what the leaders of Iran actually say - it's an interesting topic to pursue if you get a chance - the most inflammatory comments by Ahmadinijhad have been American inventions. It's part of the war-hyping effort, to demonize the enemy, put an ugly face on him - just as Americans found it easy to kill Iraqis when all they could see was Saddam's face, so too is the samae type of transference at work with Ahmadinijhad and Iran. That's how propaganda works. I'm not having any part of it.

But, by all means, enjoy!

Steve said...

I am sure that the Holocaust cartoon exhibition was somehow misconstrued as well. Or maybe, the imprisonment of people for speaking their objections to the oppressive theocracy is just a "misunderstanding."
Sorry, I don't think much of a country with their human rights record is actually going to trump ours. Not to mention the support, funding and training of Hezbullah, which until 9-11 had killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization.
I am sure that they are just a concerned citizens group who are being misrepresented.

Mark T said...

1)The US does not care about human rights, in Iran or Iraq or anywhere. If the US attacks Iran, it will have nothing to do with their human rights record, which is abysmal. That's just posturing.

2) Iran is free to support Hezbollah, or any group without our supervision. The US, after all, funds Israel, and Israel attacks its neighbors with impunity. So we are even on that count, save the huge disparity in amounts. And just as the US is funding an occupation force in Iraq that is destabliaizng the entire region and has killed hundreds of thosuands of people, so too is Iran capable of misdeeds. But once again, that does nto give us the right to attack them.

The number of Americans killed by anyone in the Mideast pales in comparison to the number of Iraqis we have killed, or Lebanese we (through Israel) killed last summer. You've got quite a double standard.

Note: When the US is getting set to attack a country, 'inflammatory' statements and deeds by that country have a way of popping up in our media. So it was that in 1989, when Bush I was about to attack Panama, Manual Noreiga "declared war on the US!!!" So it was that in 1991, when the US was about to attack Iraq, "Premature Kuwaiti babies were dumped out of incubators and left to die on the floor!!!"

Learn to recognize propaganda. Iran has done us no harm.