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December 7, 2007

Skepticism Mounts Over NIE Findings

It didn't take the liberal, openly anti-administration, Democratic-spin meister media a nanosecond to pounce on sentences and phrases in the NIE report that provided the most politically advantageous cover for hiding our national head in the sand while the Iranians danced with glee over America's latest swallowing of an Iranian taqiyya. pill (religiously-sanctioned deception, or "holy dissimulation"). Simply put, to believe Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure -- based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States, and if they did, never started it up again - is nuts!

However, just because the liberal Democratic leadership, the liberal media, and the far Left, no-war-at-any-cost, peacenik crowd fell for what can best be described as only the latest intelligence report and/or leak (of a long list of ) cooked up by bureaucrats eager to embarrass George Bush and transform US policy towards Iran - doesn't make the NIE report accurate - as reported by the media.

As a matter of fact, skepticism is mounting over the NIE findings. And as Rep. Pete Hoekstra points out, "The intelligence community has proven over past five to seven years that they can't get analysis right. They can't build satellites. They can't (even) keep a secret." In other words, our intelligence community is more like politically-agended keystone cops than a paradigm of excellence at their trade.

[...] The intermingling of intelligence with politics raises "profound issues" about the role of the intelligence community, said Michelle Van Cleave, who was the nation's top counter-intelligence officer until last year.

"Should intelligence be contributing to the public debate? Or should it be confined to providing that secret information to national security decision makers that they cannot get anywhere else? If it is that later, we should not be encouraging them to go public with snapshot in time judgments," she said.

Hoekstra said he received a call for McConnell's to deputy, Donald Kerr, just hours before the Key Findings were released on Monday.

That last-minute call, and subsequent briefings by intelligence community representatives, were "disappointing," said Hoekstra.

Citing the 2005 Iran estimate that concluded with "high confidence" that Iran continued to pursue nuclear weapons, Hoekstra said the president should order a "full-depth analysis" to get the intelligence community to "fully explain how they got it so wrong in 2005 and how they now believe they've got it so right in 2007."

[...] the main conclusion of the report - that Iran had a nuclear weapons program but shut it down in the fall of 2003 - "flies in the face of virtually everything we know - or thought we knew - about the Iranian regime, its capabilities and its intentions."

If that key judgment is incorrect, and the Iranians are in fact continuing to build nuclear weapons, "the political impact of its publication will be catastrophic,"

As John Bolton notes in his WaPo piece yesterday titled, The Flaws In the Iran Report: "Too much of the intelligence community is engaging in policy formulation rather than "intelligence" analysis, and too many in Congress and the media are happy about it. President Bush may not be able to repair his Iran policy (which was not rigorous enough to begin with) in his last year, but he would leave a lasting legacy by returning the intelligence world to its proper function."

Interestingly, John Bolton's nomination to become the permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations was derailed by Senate Democrats in May 2005, with help from State Department official Thomas Fingar - the author of this latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.

Just in case you aren't aware of the proper function of the intelligence world - consider the clue that it has absolutely nothing to do with serving as political operatives for the hug-a-terrorist-a-day crowd and autonomously striving to direct foreign policy to serve their own political agendas.

Posted by Mike in Iraq at December 7, 2007 10:17 AM

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