Fyra olika analytiker har gett mig stora skäl att ifrågasätta NIE:s senaste rapport. Det gemensamma för samtliga analyser är att ”the office of director of national intelligence”, som producerar dessa NIE:s, glömmer helt och hållet bort kontexten och gör sedan oundvikligen analyser som är mycket märkliga.
Here are some of the reasons our spy agencies’ switcheroo should cause more, not less, worry:
• The intelligence community’s renewed certainty that Iran did indeed have a nuclear weapons program.
• Our continued lack of human intelligence (real live spies and informers) within hostile regimes and terrorist organizations.
• The lack of confidence our spy agencies command because of the obvious fact that they either got it entirely wrong on Iran building nuclear weapons two years ago, or they have it all wrong now.
• The new estimate’s ”moderate-to-high-confidence” judgment that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons” and that, given its continued enrichment of uranium, Iran may have a nuclear weapon as soon as 2010.
• The International Atomic Energy Agency’s 2006 discovery of traces of highly enriched uranium on nuclear equipment — suggesting a true goal of producing enriched-uranium fuel for weapons.
Iranexperten Michael Leeden skriver:
[W]hatever the spooks think they know has to be evaluated in the light of common sense, the views of other countries, and the history of nuclear proliferation. WMD programs are easier to hide than one imagines. After the First Gulf War we were astonished to discover how far Saddam’s Iraq had advanced, for example. To claim we “know” that Iran no longer has a covert nuclear-weapons program is quite a statement. (Remember how we used to say that you can’t prove a negative? The IC seems to know better.)
Moreover, there’s the old smell test. We went from zero to bomb in four years leading up to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at a time when nobody even knew if the thing was doable. On the IC’s account, the Iranians have been at this since “at least the late 1980’s.” (I actually think it didn’t get into gear until 1991, but let’s not quibble.) During that time, almost everything was for sale (and Iran has lots of money), A.Q. Khan was running his bazaar, Soviet nuclear physicists were hired by Tehran, and the Iranians themselves are very smart. Is it likely, that Iran hasn’t been able to build nukes in two decades? No way.
Förre detta FN-ambassadören John Bolton har fem skäl att ifrågasätta NIE:s slutsatser varav detta är ett sådant:
Fifth, many involved in drafting and approving the NIE were not intelligence professionals but refugees from the State Department, brought into the new central bureaucracy of the director of national intelligence. These officials had relatively benign views of Iran’s nuclear intentions five and six years ago; now they are writing those views as if they were received wisdom from on high. In fact, these are precisely the policy biases they had before, recycled as ”intelligence judgments.”
Och Robert Tracinski skriver:
In short, this is a stunning propaganda victory for the enemy, delivered by our own national intelligence establishment. But it is just propaganda, not backed by any actual, substantial new intelligence. It is an exercise in writing pro-Iran headlines over text that doesn’t support it.
The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is a surprisingly short and thin document that offers nothing substantively new. It does not reveal any major new evidence about Iran’s nuclear program or its intentions, nor does it even refer to the existence of such evidence. It does not deny, for example, that Iran has obtained blueprints and technical guidance on how to build the core of a nuclear weapon and on how to mount nuclear bombs on a missile. These facts have already been admitted by Iran and acknowledged by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. The NIE does not deny that Iran is enriching uranium on an industrial scale, because that is also public knowledge, loudly and boastfully announced by Ahmadinejad.
Läs gärna dessa analyser i sin helhet.
Uppdatering: Wall Street Journal kommenterar också den nya NIE:n:
We reported earlier this week that the authors of this Iran NIE include former State Department officials who have a history of hostility to Mr. Bush’s foreign policy. But the ultimate responsibility for this fiasco lies with Mr. Bush. Too often he has appointed, or tolerated, officials who oppose his agenda, and failed to discipline them even when they have worked against his policies. Instead of being candid this week about the problems with the NIE, Mr. Bush and his National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, tried to spin it as a victory for their policy. They simply weren’t believable.