Thursday, August 24, 2006

Politicization Of Iran Intelligence Requested By GOP

This politicization of intelligence is most unseemly considering the damage wrought so far by the same malfeasance regarding Iraq.

Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States.

If the threat was as bad as these lunatics imagine, the intelligence community would not be keeping the facts of the matter under wraps.

A recent Israeli intelligence report -- forwarded to U.S. intelligence agencies -- claims that Iran may be as close as seven months from having a workable nuke. The most recent U.S. estimate says at least four years.

Needless to say, U.S. intelligence analysts are not buying it.

The kooks are out in force:

"When the intelligence community says Iran is 5 to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon, I ask: 'If North Korea were to ship them a nuke tomorrow, how close would they be then?' said Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives.

What a ludicrous statement. Even if North Korea had a workable nuke (which contrary to the conventional wisdom--they don't) they could ship these weapons to any country in the world, not just Iran. Under Mr. World War III's rationale, we would be forced to take action against every conceivable enemy just because they might receive a weapon from the DPRK.

The issue at hand is Iran's nuclear program.

The GOP members of the House intelligence committee are moving to further politicize the intelligence regarding the Iranian nuclear program.

A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack "the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments" on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.

The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion.

"American intelligence agencies do not know nearly enough about Iran's nuclear weapons program" to help policymakers at a critical time, the report's authors say. Information "regarding potential Iranian chemical weapons and biological weapons programs is neither voluminous nor conclusive," and little evidence has been gathered to tie Iran to al-Qaeda and to the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, they say.

Not good enough for pretextual uses. Go back and look again, the House intelligence committee says.

There is an interesting caveat to their report:

(The report)warns the intelligence community to avoid the mistakes made regarding weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war, noting that Iran could easily be engaged in "a denial and deception campaign to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program as Saddam Hussein apparently did concerning his WMD programs."

The operative information operation is reflected by the existence of this "study."

Jamal Ware, spokesman for the House intelligence committee, said three staff members wrote the report, but he did not dispute that the principal author was Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA officer who had been a special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration's former point man on Iran at the State Department. Bolton had been highly influential in the crafting of a tough policy that rejected talks with Tehran.

It is really important to a certain element in Washington that the U.S. attacks Iran. However, the track record of this bunch is shaky at best.

Failure is never an option to these people. It is the only possible outcome of their actions.

19 Comments:

Blogger Meatball One said...

What dire intel do these kooks possess that the intel services don't - and how did they acquire it where professionals could'nt?

Or do they suspect a systemic wide break in the ranks? Now that would be news worthy if anything. But then they would perhaps be screaming about that instead of whining about this.

8/24/2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

These toads don't have anything particularly incriminating. I say this because, if they did, don't you think that they would share these gems with the intel boys?

They probably have already shared any juicy tidbits that their friends in the Los Angeles exile community have provided.

The confidence in their stuff must not be reckoned to be very high.

8/24/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Oh, you mean those Farsi speaking ex air force colonels cleaning pools in Malibu and working tripple shifts as orderlies in psychiatric institutions?

8/24/2006 6:21 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Yep. The ones who want to install the Shah's son on the Peacock Throne.

But that can only happen if we will take their country back for them.

They are wondering what is taking us so long.

8/24/2006 6:36 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

The Peacock throne....Christ, I just peed my pants

8/24/2006 7:11 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

The magnificence of the trappings of Iranian monarchical rule is only exceeded by its pomposity.

8/24/2006 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I completely don't understand the thinking of any of these people... they simply don't have the money or the troops to attack Iran... all they could do is bomb the hell out of it... and we just saw that played out in minor form with Israel + Hezz...

What credibility would the U.S. have -- even with their own thinking population -- if they bomb or nuke the country on some flimsy pretext? -- And you might not think credibility means much, but once you've lost it -- it's hard to get back and hard to strut around on the world stage when everyone thinks you're a raving lunatic.

-- Iran might be a threat to Israel, but it has never been a threat the U.S... of course it will be one, if the U.S. bombed it...

-- and, Eff, I know your "take back their country for them " comment was likely said in jest, but it bothers me because that's the way the U.S. went into Iraq -- we want to give it back to the Iraqis... corporate greed cloaked in altruism... I find it hard to believe that any Iranian who truly cared about their country would want the U.S. "to give it back to them.."

Dena

8/24/2006 8:35 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

Actually there is a large Iranian exile community based in Los Angeles that explicitly wants the U.S. to spill the blood of our soldiers to take back "their" country for them.

They are actively lobbying for such an action.

I wasn't advocating such a policy, but instead merely mentioning their express sentiments.

The L.A. emigres have recently been surpassed in terms of sheer obnoxiousness by some of the well-known American right wingers. There was an article today that details the desire of Walter Williams, one of these odious goopers, to have the U.S. use our submarine-based nuclear missiles to kill everyone--yes, every man, woman, and child--in Iran and Syria. Williams is no obscure blogger--but is a mainstream published pundit in the media.

The linked article also names other Americans who are calling for wholesale extermination of Muslims who have never attacked the U.S.

These wackos truly believe that a nuclear equipped Iran will be a mortal danger to Americans. That's why they want to strike Iran soon.

Grim.

8/24/2006 9:05 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Dena, I dont know jack shit but Im thinking like this...or rather; I imagine some are thinking like this:
Sure, we seem to be short on troops but Jack shit that. We have Iran surround with troops and other nifty assets so we hit them from the air and contain Iranian reactions from leaking out of Iran with the firewall of assets that surrounds it in conjunction with rather indiscriminate aerial targetting of anything that approaches Iran's borders.

At that we can merge the south of Iraq with Iranian targets and whack the crap out of any rebellious Shia down Basra way. I think the concept of Shia has been suffiently equated with Iran as far as the average Coors drinking Joe is concerned so once Iran is on then Iraqi Shia will be for all intents and purposes de facto Iranian and thus fair game for carpet bomb taming. They seem too pesky to handle with troops anyways.

But of course, this is just rude speculation

8/24/2006 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually there is a large Iranian exile community based in Los Angeles that explicitly wants the U.S. to spill the blood of our soldiers to take back "their" country for them.

They are actively lobbying for such an action.


Well, OK, then... If you say so.. Still, it strikes me like asking Dracula to take back the blood bank ... If the Iranians in LA are so corrupt or so stupid or both then I guess there's no saving them from themselves...

-- And thanks for the Glenn Greenwald ref.... my God how depressing!!

And M1 -- I'm not exactly sure what you're saying -- Is this how Joe Shmo thinks? Let's have another round of carnage! Bartender! make mine a double! And let's smash Iraq + Iran together -- we can't tell the difference between them anyway and dammit these bombs are gathering dust -- we need to use them!

Dena

8/24/2006 9:37 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

Still, it strikes me like asking Dracula to take back the blood bank...

Very true. But the L.A. emigres must work with the tools they have.

You are quite welcome for the link. I was just trying to show the moral development of some of the American punditocracy.

8/24/2006 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moral development of the American punditocracy?

I'm wondering how you can use those words in the same sentence... Isn't that some type of syntaxical oxymoron?

Dena

8/24/2006 10:19 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

With the apparent emergence of "Baked Intelligence, the Sequel", it makes me wonder what part the outing of Valerie Plame may have played in all of this. While the connection to Iraq and Joe Wilson's issues with yellowcake uranium seems cut and dried, one wonders if there was more forward-thinking skullduggery at play.

Supposedly, Ms. Plame was engaged in covert operations regarding WMDs and Iran. Conveniently, she is no longer capable of serving in such a capacity. And who knows how many of her "assets" in or related to Iran have been silenced? Was the her outing intended to eliminate potential intel that would run counter to the neo-con agenda?

Without knowing specifically what she was involved in, it's difficult to say for sure. However, the fact that she was involved in intel with Iran seems awfully suspicious, given what the neo-con endgame appears to be vis a vis Iran.

The mere fact that the House intel committee is clobbering the agencies for not knowing something that they don't know (go figure), this is the same old set-up all over again. It's insane.

8/24/2006 10:36 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

Just read the WaPo article. These guys are morons! They're making all these assertions without even talking to the intel agencies in question, and they're basing it all on PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION. WTF?! What sense does that make?!

Another issue is their complete lack of understanding of energy usage and power generation. They wonder "why a nation with so much oil needs a nuclear energy program".

Hello! McFly! Is anybody home?!

You don't generate electricity from crude oil. Period. It's generated from coal, lignite, natural gas, wind, water and nuclear power plants. Trying to use crude oil and its byproducts to generate electricity would be like driving in the Indy 500 riding a skateboard. It's just not efficient. And it's too expensive.

Isn't it ironic that, as Iran is being grilled about its nuclear energy desires, the energy industry in the U.S. is talking about expanding nuclear power generation. So I guess what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander.

It's all just such a crock of poo.

8/24/2006 10:56 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

Moral development can be measured in negative terms as well.

8/25/2006 9:10 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

DrewL:

The Valerie Plame affair seems to have tentacles in every dark corner of the national security state these days. I would not be surprised if the outing was -- as you say -- done to roll up her network.

And about the claim that they used only open source intel. BS.

They are saying that because the Republican stick has been used effectively against the New York Times and other media outlets over leaking classified info.

The House intelligence committee is replete with cleared staffers, has access to skiffs (SCIF: sensitive compartmented information facilities) all over town, and gets all the best stuff.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, the claim that Iran's oil exempts them from all energy needs is false for the reason you claim, and another. Iran's oil--like all the crude oil reserves everywhere--will be running out someday.

8/25/2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger DrewL said...

It did seem odd that the House INTELLIGENCE committee would be flying blind with just publicly available information. What's the point of having an INTELLIGENCE committee if they're not privy to INTELLIGENCE?

Then again, with the Bush administration, anything is possible. And I do mean...ANYTHING.

8/25/2006 11:35 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

DrewL:

Then again, with the Bush administration, anything is possible. And I do mean...ANYTHING.

On second thought, I am sure that there is lots of good stuff that the administration is hiding from the intel committees. Remember, they only briefed the ranking members of both parties from the intel committees about the warrantless NSA programs.

So the House intelligence committee may have good reason to suspect that more goodies may currently be withheld from them about Iran.

But I doubt it. After 9-11, the benefit of the doubt would be to go in favor of the more sinister interpretations of intelligence, not the other way around.

The goopers are clearly just politicizing the threat from Iran. Simple as that.

8/26/2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Dena... yeah something like that.

It's not what I would recommend as M1, but it's what I think I would do if I were a Perle or a Cheney. And they will always find can-doers in the Pentagon. No problem.

All the reasons given for why we can't attack Iran are in the hands of the eager beaver crazies the very reasons and opportunities for why we will, and can, attack Iran.

Dena, so you are Canadian. Hey, I had a summer house at a place called Eals lake - that being of course many moons ago. It was a few hours drive north of Peterborough. You heard of it? And yes, the multi culti food scene in Toronto is amazing. But the winters are so darn harsh - and the summers so humid.

8/27/2006 3:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home