Monday, August 28, 2006

this is how the drum beats

remember those disappointed and frustrated republicans last week who felt the intelligence community and the media were downplaying iran's "nuclear weapons program"? a number of pieces at and elsewhere rip this canard to shreds.

speaking of Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States, the republican-penned report of the house subcommittee on intelligence policy, juan cole writes:
So this report is the long arm of Bolton popping up in Congress. It is Neoconservative propaganda.[...]

Nor do the Republican congressmen know anything special about Iran's nuclear energy program. They certainly know much less than the CIA agents who work on it full time, some of whom know Persian and have actually done . . . intelligence work. [...]

Pete Hoekstra, who is the chair of this committee, has a long history of saying things that are disconnected from reality. Like when he made a big deal about some old shells with mustard gas found in Iraq left over from the 1980s Iran-Iraq War, and claimed that these were the fabled and long-sought Iraqi WMD over which 2600 of our service people are six feet under and another 8000 in wheelchairs. Nope.
gary sick, who served on the NSC under ford, carter reagan, offers this:
If you read to the end of the text, pp. 24-5, you will find a series of exceptionally bland recommendations (need better analysis, more Farsi speakers, more translation, more human intelligence, etc.) that have been voiced repeatedly by serious observers of the intelligence community.

But that is not the purpose of this “study,” which is really intended as a sort of Team B report of what at least one Hill staffer believes the intelligence community should be reporting on Iran.[...]

Throughout the report, there is careful documentation of any & all criticism that the IAEA inspectors have produced or any questions that they may have raised about Iran’s performance. However, there is no mention at all of any of the IAEA conclusions that they find no evidence of weapons production or activity. Some people will recall that the IAEA inspectors, in their caution, were closer to the truth about Iraqi WMD than, say, the Vice President’s office. [...]

The author of this repoprt did not have the time or inclination to talk to any of the intelligence organizations that he was indicting. If he had, he might at least have caught some of the embarrassing bloopers in the text. Yet the report was rushed to public release in order to coincide with Iran’s reply to the Europeans (for maximum publicity impact), without even waiting for it to be reviewed by the full committee.
here's virginia tilley, author of an intriguing-looking book called the one-state solution, focuses on how the demonization of ahmedinejad is bolstering a context such that
what we are seeing now is the US creating the international security context for Israel's unilateral strike and preparing to cover Israel's back in the aftermath.
perhaps most unsettling of all, though, is "Why Bush will Choose War Against Iran" by former CIA analyst ray close, who offers the following:
We can huff and puff, but the reality is that we will not succeed in either persuading or intimidating the Iranian leadership into doing what we want them to do. [...]

[Bush] has vowed that he will not leave office without first ensuring that Iran cannot become a nuclear power. He has probably given the leaders of Israel a similar promise --- privately and perhaps explicitly. That means that he is effectively committed to attack Iran militarily before January 2009 if all other means of accomplishing the objective fail --- which they will. [...]

Sometime before the end of his term, a massive air military attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers --- justified by the conviction that a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to American national security, firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership.

No comments: