Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 03, 2007

Iran NIE - What Changed?

Two levels of change:

The director of national intelligence said Tuesday he does not plan to make public any of the key findings of a soon-to-be-completed assessment on Iran's nuclear program.

Mike McConnell said to do so could expose U.S. intelligence capabilities and enable Iran to change its practices.
Iran threat assessment won't be released, intelligence chief says,
CNN, Nov. 14, 2007


Iran halted work toward a nuclear weapon under international scrutiny in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until 2010 to 2015, a U.S. intelligence report says.

A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate found with "high confidence" that the Islamic republic stopped an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.
U.S. report: Iran stopped nuclear weapons work in 2003,
CNN, Dec. 3, 2007

First level: What changed between the above news releases?

  • Who decided why to now release the NIE conclusions when it was explicitly not planed to be released 18 days ago?
  • Why does the release now not "expose U.S. intelligence capabilities and enable Iran to change its practices?"
  • Did Cheney die?

Second level: Changes in the 2007 NIE vs. 2005

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA has, to my best knowledge, never assessed that Iran had or has a nuclear weapon program. Why does the NIE differ from that?
  • The NIE is backtracking from a 2005 NIE that assessed with 'high confidence' that Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure" while the new one assesses with 'high confidence' that "we do not know whether [Iran] currently intends to develop nuclear weapons" and "in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." This seems to express that the 2005 NIE was wrong. Why then should we believe the 2007 NIE is right on the issue?
  • Is the new NIE just an attempt to keep the meme of an 'Iranian nuclear weapon program' alive by assessing that it has stopped? (That is - could the next NIE conveniently assess it as restarted.)

National Intelligence Estimate summary (PDF)
The Arms Control Wonk on the issue.

Posted by b on December 3, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


Did Cheney die?

Cheney had an "episode" just a few days ago in which they had to shock his heart back into a normal rhythm.

I get the feeling Cheney won't be a factor in anything in the near future. He's practically Frankensteins Monster right now, put together with string and chewing gum.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 3, 2007 5:19:01 PM | 1

Cheney losing his strength? Falling by the wayside? O dear. Now it makes sense that his enemies are gaining the upper hand.

I hope I live to read the inside stories after they're declassified.

Posted by: rapt | Dec 3, 2007 7:21:45 PM | 2

I think both the military and the intelligence communities are panicking that the idiot in the White House really will attack Iran, and I agree with Uncle; Cheney is finished in more ways than one.

I know there breathes a sigh of relief from the front-running, warmongering presidential candidates of both parties who have spewed their unswerving support of invading Iran and couldn't back down from it until this report gave them an excuse.

Boy, I'll bet Israel is pissed! I guarantee you that within 24 hours they will be spinning this NIE to make it seem that Iran is more dangerous than ever.

Posted by: Ensley | Dec 3, 2007 7:47:05 PM | 3

Why should we believe that Iran EVER had a nuclear weapons program at all?


Iran NIE report: Are you lying now, or were you lying then?

If the 2005 NIE report was wrong when it claimed with "high confidence" that Iran had a active nuclear weapons program, why should the 2007 NIE be any more credible when it claims that Iran had a nuclear weapons program until 2003? If Iran really had a nuclear weapons program until 2003 as the new report claims, then why has the IAEA found no evidence of it?

Posted by: hass | Dec 3, 2007 8:38:21 PM | 4

As expected the Israelis seem to be very unhappy with this unexpected novelty:

The Bush about-face, which leaves Israel high and dry against a regime committed to wipe the Jewish state off the map, may be designed to draw attention from the happy communion between the Saudi monarch and Iranian president in Doha and other policy debacles.

After years of foot-dragging, Tehran has decided it has nothing to fear from the US and so why bother with further engagement over its nuclear program? Deputy foreign minister Saeed Jalili, the dour official who took over negotiations from the urbane Ali Larijani, did not mince his words with the Solana. According to the New York Times , Ahmadinejad’s close ally said: ‘Everything in the past is past, and with me, you start over,’” He added: ‘None of your proposals has any standing.’”

When Solana said that he was under the assumption that there would be continuity in the talks, Mr. Jalili told him he was wrong

The French official described the meeting as “a disaster,” adding “Jalili essentially said: ‘Everything that Larijani has proposed is a dead letter and we have to start from zero.’”

The Iranian official is also quoted as saying: “There is no longer an Iranian nuclear problem,” and the only interlocutor recognized by Iran from now on would be the International Atomic Energy Agency, with whom he claimed Tehran had solved all its problems.

Of course, this is merely Debka doubletalk, but it seems to indicate substantial Israeli unhappiness with the turn Mideast politics may be taking. If this is not all an elaborate charade, one has to wonder what steps Tel Aviv's minions will take to ``rectify" matters. Moreover, one also begins to suspect that somewhere in the bowels of the Republican establishment a drastic re-evaluation of the net electoral worth of total committment to the Likud-Kash-Israel-Beitanou line is now under way. Since the proponents of that line are quite capable of mounting a wide-ranging and well-funded riposte we may reasonably expect to soon see "deviating" politicians dusted with some extremely nasty fallout. Perhaps even the most reliably Likud-linked elements of the main stream media will begin to expose major flaws in the president's moral teflon. More likely, however, would be a preliminary shot across the presidential bow in the form of the disgracing of someone from his inner circle. For once, it might be worthwhile to keep a close eye on what is about to be reported by the pillars of the mediatic cabal.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 4, 2007 3:28:44 AM | 5

Hannah, wait a minute.
Did Debka just wrote that Solana was a "French official"? Are they just being sloppy or are they really that amateurish not to know who he really is? Or were they mentioning another guy in the talks that was quoted in the NYT?

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Dec 4, 2007 4:02:06 AM | 6

@ Clueless Joe
No an earlier part of the text linked to mentions the comments of
a French official (probably Kouchner, but that's only my interpretation),
and then mentions the official again in the excerpt quoted.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 4, 2007 4:36:55 AM | 7

The submarine in these waters is Negroponte.

Posted by: alabama | Dec 4, 2007 12:27:50 PM | 8

Hurry hurry, step right up...The Show must go on...

With or without Cheney.

I have said before, the "ideology control system" routes around feckless damage and continues it's insatiable course in other words, The Rise of Rove's Republic will act like any good ideological network and route the perceived damage carrying on as if nothing happened. And this is important: Whether WHETHER OR NOT IT IS TO BE THE DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS IN POWER.

One of Money and Influence, controlled chaos /opportunity. The Master template.

The basis of Rove's Republic will not only be massive debt, but the 'fire-sale' of the entire countries infrastructure, of privatizing everything. All that it can pawn, beg, borrow or steal from the current and future Eco-sphere and landscape and it's people. Using the advanced technology gained from decades of secret black budget programs. That the American citizen paid for.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 4, 2007 1:41:50 PM | 9

Perhaps should have used this one to illustrate my point better...

The Show Must Go On (Pink Floyd: The Wall)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 4, 2007 1:50:49 PM | 10

Talking about "exploding heads" in Tel Aviv, look at this comment on a Ha'aretz thread to an article Olmert: Nuke report on Iran shows need for tighter Iran sanctions.

Is anyone aware that there were present at the Annapolis Summit in the Roman Catholic colony of MARYland... Roman Catholic Cardinals and bishops who enjoy diplomatic immunity? Is anyone aware that Benedict XVI just recently met with the King of Saudi Arabia? Is anyone aware Ahmadinejad just met with The Saudi King and other Mohammadean oil barons? Is anyone aware that there is death in the pot bieng stirred by the Pope?

Is anyone aware that Sanctions in the PAST and up until now concerning Iran HAVE NOT WORKED? Is anyone aware that a Catholic named Cardinal Spellman was closely affiliated with the US presidency during WWII, where the USA turned a blind eye to the plight of the Jews until 6 million of them were murdered by Roman Catholic Adolph Hitler and Pius XII. Is anyone aware that Hitlers subserviants were 99% of them loyal Mary worshipping Catholics? Is anyone aware that the
RCC never excommunicated Adolph Hitler not even
posthoumously? WAKE UP

God bless Israel

I tell ya, fundies, with a gripe that is so horribly real (holocaust), are pretty dangerous when sitting on 200 plus nukes, and their bully in the schoolyard has wimped out.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 4, 2007 2:01:39 PM | 11


begroponte is a submarine but kouchner is a clown

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 4, 2007 2:06:16 PM | 12


don't know if you are in france still but i notice in le monde - that benjamin netanyahu is speaking at a conference in paris with a league of other defenders of the extinguishing of palestine

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 4, 2007 2:09:30 PM | 13

The successive and contradictory reports show that that the US intel services are:

a) clueless (see c, d)

b) politically driven/motivated/controlled

c) the outcome of discussions and procedures that are detached from reality

d) just hype

I haven’t read the el Baradei and other reports on Iran. (I did read those about Iraq.) They are available to the public. Maybe the hydra of US intel services (how many million ppl are employed?) would care to take an exhilerating illuminating spin on google? Or demand, by phone and post, hard copies of reports, and confidential notes?

The projected or imagined ‘attack on Iran’ will deflate like a botched cheese soufflé. The Israelis (Zionists, etc.) of course won’t learn their lesson and will persist in the same policies which have been successful in some measure so far; the policy of corruption - that is corrupting others with cash, favors, etc. - and playing victim and righteous aggressor turn by turn - it is all becoming stale, care of Mearsheimer and Walt, others...

Posted by: Tangerine | Dec 5, 2007 10:37:55 AM | 14

mullah cimoc say ameriki intel agencies the mass insubordination against him president bush for stop him WWIII.

israeli spy neocon him try start WWIII base on big lying but usa bureaucracy not accept. now pres. bush not have the power because leave office soon. bureaucrat not the fear of president bush regime.

this example of israeli spy in whitehouse and pentagon plan control usa but instead am this kind of silent revolution by aemriki?. this the import develop for usa people live free of control by him master in tel aviv.

google: mighty wurlitzer +cia

now understand: usa media the enemy of usa people.

Posted by: mullah cimoc | Dec 5, 2007 9:47:32 PM | 15

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