All this hand wringing over the Iran NIE is hilarious. One minute American intelligence agencies are incompetent (Iraq) and the next they are geniuses (Iran). Am I the only one with the feeling that Democrats weigh the value of intelligence strictly by inherent political value?
Joe Biden's heavy breathing takes the cake. Bush is a liar! He knew! He's an incompetent liar! What a joke.
Somebody tell Biden that intelligence does change from time to time, especially intel this sensitive and difficult to acquire. Someone might also tell Biden that national intelligence agencies might be a tad gun shy about making solid conclusions after Iraq intel failures were politicized so. This line, from an IHT article, would seem to bolster that conclusion:
...at the same time officials were airing ... dire warnings, analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency were secretly concluding that Iran's nuclear weapons work halted years ago and that international pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran was working. (Emphasis mine)
Harry "I'm My Own Punchline" Reid reaches this conclusion:
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, portrayed the assessment as "directly challenging some of this administration's alarming rhetoric about the threat posed by Iran."
Let's be clear: Iran is still enriching uranium, is still estimated to have a nuke in the next decade, is still providing arms and insurgents in Iraq, and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Nothing to be alarmed about there. No sir. Time to start singing Kum-bay-yah while we dance around the May pole.
It would seem to me that the NIE is excellent news, if it is correct. Israel is taking it with a grain of salt and even believes Iran's nuke program has been reconstituted. Who knows? But suggesting that, since there is no immediate nuke threat from Iran, it is somehow benign, is just ridiculous.