Is it time to revisit the NIE on Iran?


The December NIE, and the assessment that Iran’s nuke program was effectively stopped at the time of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, may need to be revisited. NYSun reports…

It turns out that on Tuesday, as our Eli Lake reported on page one of yesterday’s Sun, the director of national intelligence, Mr. McConnell says he now regrets the phrasing of the unclassified estimate that so stirred America’s enthusiasts of diplomacy. In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Mr. McConnell went further. He noted that Iran is developing both the long range ballistic missiles and the nuclear fuel for a potential weapon. What had halted, it turns out, was work to design the actual warhead and secret enrichment activity. The Iranians continued to enrich uranium in the open in Natanz in defiance of two Security Council resolutions.

As for the secret enrichment and weapons design, Mr. McConnell is not even sure as of mid-2007 whether the Iranians have restarted this work. “We assess with moderate confidence that Tehran had not restarted these activities as of mid-2007, but since they comprised an unannounced secret effort which Iran attempted to hide, we do not know if these activities have been restarted,” he told the assembled senators. So why then did the opening sentence of the December 3 assessment state with no equivocation, “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program”? Mr. McConnell said that it was because he had to assemble quickly a declassified estimate in late November and that it did not occur to him that this kind of declarative statement would confuse the issue.

Words mean things. The words and headlines have not escaped the attention of those who see a deeper meaning….

“Especially when it’s accompanied by as many as 9 communications cable breaks, as we reported yesterday, and a virtual disappearance of regular internet traffic to and from Iran that continues this morning.” LINK

The best advice? Be prepared, go shopping, review your plans, stay vigilant, and most importantly, have faith.

See also: “The Front Page Story That Was Not.” (h/t n2l)

One Response

  1. Mr. McConnell said that it was because he had to assemble quickly a declassified estimate in late November and that it did not occur to him that this kind of declarative statement would confuse the issue.

    Didn’t occur to him? We have some pitiful people in control of this country.
    Put your mind in gear, before you drop the clutch on your mouth.

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