iran nukes and the cia.


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?

im sorry i dont buy it.someone has got to finally call shenanigans on the cia.
this same cia that has been battling this president policy's by leaking to the ny times secret prisons info and locations...

the same cia that leaked to the ny times the operations we had going to track a.q.'s money laundering operations.

the same cia that leaked the eves dropping program.

the same cia who is sent unqualified husbands of agents to niger.

the same cia that slandered feith.

this post is me ranting incoherently(not unusual) without facts(as of yet) but as soon as i herd this story i smelled cia.this is complete bullshit and another attempt to fuck with this presidents policy's.its disgusting.

for the slandering of feith-

for the cia(an fbi)fuck ups pre 911(truthers love this because they claim the f ups were intentional)

f the cia.

george clintonleftoverlackey tenet is responsible for any intel the president used to go to war.not the president.the president doesn't collect falls on his lap.but he blames all his failings on the administration.fucking bullshit. f u!


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?

We cannot rule out that Iran has acquired from abroad—or will acquire in the future—a nuclear weapon or enough fissile material for a weapon.
C. We assess centrifuge enrichment is how Iran probably could first produce enough fissile material for a weapon, if it decides to do so. Iran resumed its declared centrifuge enrichment activities in January 2006, despite the continued halt in the nuclear weapons program. Iran made significant progress in 2007 installing centrifuges at Natanz, but we judge with moderate confidence it still faces significant technical problems operating
Iran's 3000 Centrifuges
[Stanley Kurtz]
Friday, November 16, 2007
If you thought the press was burying news about the surge, look at what they’re doing to the nuclear news from Iran. The IAEA has now confirmed that Iran has 3,000 working centrifuges, a ten-fold increase from just a year ago. If those 3,000 centrifuges can be made to work efficiently, Iran could manufacture a bomb in 12-18 months. This is major news. Iran has reached a red line that could easily trigger an Israeli strike. Yet The New York Times has buried its story on page 12, while The Washington Post has gone deeper still, at page 22.

So let me get this straight. We are supposed to relax because, at worst, it may be mere months before Iran gets its 3,000 centrifuges up to nuclear-weapons speed?

David Albright, a former UN inspector and now an independent nuclear expert in Washington, said ElBaradei appeared to be trying to put "a happy face" on a worsening situation. "The main issue is that Iran now has 3,000 centrifuges," he said.

Exactly. With 3,000 centrifuges up and working, with the Iranians making a ten-fold improvement in their capacity in just one year’s time, how secure can we feel when they could conceivably be only months away from bomb-level efficiency, and an additional 12-18 months away from actually producing enough fuel for their first bomb? It seems obvious that official claims by U.S. intelligence that Iran won’t have a bomb until 2015 are nonsense. It seems much more likely that Iran is about two-to-four years away from a bomb. And consider that the IAEA report makes it clear that Iran is blocking inspectors from gathering critical additional information. There may already be significant additional capabilities we don’t know about.

Direct confirmation that Iran now has 3,000 working centrifuges, even if not yet working at peak efficiency, is a major story. But the Post and Times alike have buried and downplayed this story, like the IAEA itself. And all because it gives credibility to the concerns of those nasty Republicanhawks.



Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
This is one of those situations where I really trust Israel more than I trust the CIA. I think that the Israelis know a little bit more about this than we do, especially considering they bombed a Syrian facility this year which, by all evidence indicated, was building a nuclear BOMB.


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?
Some questions that have been raised regarding these findings:

First, what intelligence is this assessment based upon?

Any student, or even casual observer, of the U.S. intelligence community knows that it has done a remarkably poor job of recruiting spies inside unfriendly regimes. For example, we had no meaningful spies inside Saddam’s regime. That was at least part of the reason the U.S. intelligence community misjudged Saddam’s WMD programs so badly. (Whatever came of Saddam’s WMD, U.S. intelligence clearly did not know what was going on since the few sources it had were on the periphery of Saddam’s regime.)


Second, what has changed since 2005?

As this latest NIE notes, its conclusions are at odds with what the IC believed in 2005. The last page of the declassified Key Judgments notes significant differences between what the IC believed in 2005 and what it is saying now. In 2005, the IC noted: "[We] assess with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure, but we do not assess that Iran is immovable." Now the IC says, "…we do not know whether (Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons." So, in 2005 the IC was sure that Iran was determined to build a nuclear weapon and now it is not sure at all. This is a profound change in opinion and, at a minimum, does not inspire confidence that the IC can get this story right. After all, if the IC’s judgments can change so drastically in two years time, why should we believe any of its pronouncements one way or the other?

What is the basis for this flip-flop? What has been learned in the meantime to warrant such an about-face?

Third, how did the IC draw its line between a "civilian" nuclear program and a military one?

In the very first footnote the authors of the NIE explain: "For the purposes of this Estimate, by ‘nuclear weapons program’ we mean Iran’s nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work; we do not mean Iran’s declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment."

So, is the IC then assuming that Iran’s "declared civil work" is necessarily benign? ...

Fourth, how does the IC know that Iran has stopped its clandestine activities with respect to developing nuclear weapons?

Returning to the first footnote of the NIE’s Key Judgments, the IC argues that, in 2003, Iran ceased its "nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work." How does the IC know that Iran did not continue working on "weapon design and weaponization" covertly? ...

Fifth, how does the IC know what motivated Iran’s alleged change in behavior?

The NIE claims that "Iran halted the program in 2003 primarily in response to international pressure." How does the IC know what motivated Iran’s alleged change in behavior? Did the Iranians tell someone? Is this coming from clandestine sources? Assuming for the moment that Iran really did halt its program, are we to believe that a substantial U.S.-led military presence in Afghanistan and in Iraq (or potential presence in Iraq, depending on when in 2003 this change supposedly occurred), had nothing to do with Iran’s supposed decision? That is, are we to believe that U.S. led forces on Iran’s eastern and western borders had nothing to do with Tehran’s decision-making process?

We are left with a number of important questions. And without knowing the answers to these questions, the IC’s opinions are best viewed with a skeptical eye.


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?
This is one of those situations where I really trust Israel more than I trust the CIA. I think that the Israelis know a little bit more about this than we do, especially considering they bombed a Syrian facility this year which, by all evidence indicated, was building a nuclear BOMB.

Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: December 5, 2007

JERUSALEM, Dec. 4 — Israel today took a darker view of Iran’s nuclear ambitions than the assessment released by United States intelligence agencies yesterday, saying it was convinced that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons.

It said Iran had probably resumed the nuclear weapons program the American report said was stopped in the fall of 2003. “It is apparently true that in 2003 Iran stopped pursuing its military nuclear program for a certain period of time,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli Army Radio. “But in our estimation, since then it is apparently continuing with its program to produce a nuclear weapon.”

Israel led the reaction around the world today to the new intelligence assessment released in the United States on Monday that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Iran welcomed the report. “It is natural that we welcome it,” the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, told state-run radio. “Some of the same countries which had questions or ambiguities about our nuclear program are changing their views realistically.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna said the new assessment should now help ease the international confrontation with Iran and prompt it to cooperate fully with the United Nations nuclear watchdog. The agency had been criticized in the past by the Bush administration for not pressing Iran hard enough on its nuclear intentions.

“This new assessment by the U.S. should help to defuse the current crisis,” the atomic energy agency’s director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, said in a statement.

“At the same time, it should prompt Iran to work actively with the I.A.E.A. to clarify specific aspects of its past and present nuclear program as outlined in the work plan and through the implementation of the additional protocol.”

But the United States, Britain and France urged the international community to maintain pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear enrichment activities despite the new assessment.

“We think the report’s conclusions justify the actions already taken by the international community to both show the extent of and try to restrict Iran’s nuclear program and to increase pressure on the regime to stop its enrichment and reprocessing activities,” a spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“It confirms we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons and shows that the sanctions program and international pressure were having an effect,” he said.

France expressed a similar opinion. “It appears that Iran is not respecting its international obligations,” a French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“We must keep up the pressure on Iran,” the spokeswoman said, adding that France will continue “to work on the introduction of restrictive measures in the framework of the United Nations.”

At a meeting with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, today in Moscow, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said Iran should ensure its nuclear activities were “open and transparent,” Bloomberg reported. Mr. Putin’s spokesman said Russia was offering to supply Iran fuel for the Russian-built nuclear power plant at Bushehr, in southern Iran, with the intention of persuading Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, Bloomberg reported.

“The sooner we ship it, the less they will have a need for their own program,” the spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, was quoted as saying.

The new American intelligence assessment comes at a sensitive time, when the six powers involved in negotiating with Iran — the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany — have decided to press ahead with a new United Nations Security Council resolution.

Iran had maintained since 2003, when it started negotiations with the three European countries, France, Germany and Britain, that its program was peaceful and not meant for military purposes. It insisted that it wanted to enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel for its nuclear reactors.

However, the West had accused Iran of having a clandestine nuclear program. The Security Council has already imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran for its defiance to halt its enrichment program.

With his comments today, Mr. Barak, the Israeli defense minister, came close to contradicting the American assessment of “moderate confidence” that Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program by mid-2007 and that the halt to the weapons program “represents a halt to Iran’s entire nuclear weapons program.”

While the Americans think Iran has stopped its nuclear weapons program while continuing to enrich uranium as rapidly as it can, Israel thinks that Iran has resumed its nuclear weapons program with the clear aim of building a nuclear bomb.

Israel must act in accordance with its intelligence estimates, Mr. Barak suggested. “It is our responsibility to ensure that the right steps are taken against the Iranian regime. As is well known, words don’t stop missiles.”

Assessments may differ, Mr. Barak said, “but we cannot allow ourselves to rest just because of an intelligence report from the other side of the earth, even if it is from our greatest friend.”

Mr. Barak also said the apparent source of the new American assessment on the weapons program was no longer functioning. “We are talking about a specific track connected with their weapons building program, to which the American connection, and maybe that of others, was severed,” Mr. Barak said cryptically.

It was only today that Israel received and began to assess a copy of the classified American report, which is believed to run some 130 pages, Israeli officials said.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said diplomacy remained the correct path for now to deter Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. But he was explicit about the Israeli conclusion that Iran’s intention is military, not civilian.

“We believe that the purpose of the Iranian nuclear program is to achieve nuclear weapons,” Mr. Regev said. “There is no other logical explanation for the investment the Iranians have made in their nuclear program.”

Some of the differences on estimates for when Iran could be capable of producing a bomb are slight, with a matter of a few months between Israel’s estimate of late 2009 or early 2010 to Washington’s 2010-2015. “A lot of it is splitting hairs,” Mr. Regev said. “Is it 2009 or 2010? Is it likely or very likely? These words are vague.”

Mr. Olmert, who had been briefed on the new assessment in Washington last week, tried to play down the gap in judgments with Washington. “According to this report, and to the American position, it is vital to continue our efforts, with our American friends, to prevent Iran from obtaining nonconventional weapons,” he said.

The American assessment said Iran probably halted the weapons program “primarily in response to international pressure,” a judgment Israel embraced as a call for further diplomatic action.

But Israeli experts on Iran said the American report would make any action against Iran less likely, whether diplomatic or military, and would probably kill or dilute American-led efforts to pass another sanctions resolution through the United Nations Security Council.

Efraim Kam, a former Israeli military intelligence official on Iran and deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, said the report “makes it very hard for anyone in the United States or Israel who was thinking of going for a military option.”

If American intelligence thinks there is no military nuclear program, “that makes it harder for Israel to go against it,” he said, since an Israeli attack would require operational coordination with Washington, “and will also make it harder to pass tougher sanctions. A lot of countries will be happy to go along with that — Russia, China — it’s a gift for the Iranians.”

He said the American assessment surprised him. “The report says its assessment is correct for now, but it could change any time,” he said. “Maybe the Iranians assessed that it was better for them to halt the military program and concentrate on enriching uranium,” which takes a long time, “and then go back to it.”

Iran was shocked this week when Chinese banks refused loans to Iranian businessmen, probably because of American pressure.

The head of the Iran-China chamber of commerce said Monday that over the past week Chinese state banks had refused to open a letter of credit for Iranian businessmen, the daily Etemad reported.

“The banks have not given any reason for these restrictions yet,” he said, adding that a trade delegation was in Beijing to discuss the restriction and that Iran’s central bank was also negotiating with the Chinese.


Registered User
george clintonleftoverlackey tenet
I had to read this a few times before I realized that you didn't think George Clinton was the President.
I really can't decipher his posts. Just too much.

Not sure what to believe here. The report seems to conflict what Iran has already said they are doing (nuclear power)


I'm bi-winning.
I take a "trust no side completely" approach when looking at events in the Middle East. All countries involved have, many times over, distorted and misreported quite a bit of information.

Hell, I'm still waiting to find WMD's in Iraq that have things written on them other than "Property of the United States Military".


Registered User
We knew already that Iran doesn't yet have nuclear weapons. We still have sanctions in place to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. I don't see how this national intelligence estimate changes anything.

Not all nations with nuclear energy programs enrich their own uranium. Iran can have energy without enrichment. Insisting on enrichment is pointless and expensive unless you want a nuclear weapons program.
this is semantics. there are different ways of characterizing a nuclear armament effort. the iranians are still trying to enrich uranium, and they have been more than open about why they are doing so


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?
I really can't decipher his posts. Just too much.

Not sure what to believe here. The report seems to conflict what Iran has already said they are doing (nuclear power)
what did you have trouble with sir?


Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
The Israelis have more to say about this, as the Washington Times reports:

Israel challenges report on nukes

December 5, 2007

By Joshua Mitnick - TEL AVIV — Israeli officials yesterday disputed the conclusions of Monday's surprise U.S. assessment of Iran's nuclear program, citing "clear and solid intelligence" that Iran is continuing to develop nuclear weapons to threaten Israel and Europe.

"We have no doubt," said one Israeli official, who requested to remain anonymous. "If one looks at the investment, if one looks at the nature of the project, if you look at the cost to the Iranian economy, there is no logical explanation other than that the Iranian program is not benign."

The intelligence assessment revealed a rare open rift between the intelligence communities of two allies, which have cooperated closely and share almost all their information about Iran's nuclear program.

The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate said that Iran froze its program to develop a nuclear weapon four years ago, while it continues to engage in uranium-enrichment activity.

In addition to virtually eliminating the possibility that the U.S. will attack Iran before the end of the Bush presidency, the estimate widens the gap between Israeli and U.S. estimates on the time remaining before Iran could achieve a nuclear weapon.

Israel still insists that there is as little as two years to stop Iran from going nuclear, while the new U.S. assessment finds that unlikely to happen before 2010 to 2015.

"Until now, there were no sharp differences in interpretation," said Yuval Steinitz, a Likud Party legislator who sits on the parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"I don't know of any piece of intelligence that supports this conclusion. It seems to me that this report repeats the mistake of Iraq, but taking it to the opposite conclusion.

"We have a lot of very clear and solid intelligence, that to my best understanding, clearly shows that the Iranians are developing nuclear weapons today, as they did two years ago. This is not a matter of speculation, but this is about solid intelligence."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak was only slightly less definite in published interviews yesterday.

"It looks like Iran stopped its program to create an atom bomb in 2003 for a certain time, but as far as we know, it has since probably renewed it," he was quoted as saying. "There are differences in the assessments of different organizations in the world about this, and only time will tell who is right."

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters that Israel "will make every effort — first and foremost with our friends in the U.S. — to prevent the production" of nuclear weapons by Iran.

Although Israeli and U.S. intelligence agencies share most of their data regarding the Iranian threat, it is possible that Israel has some exclusive information.

"Just because we are friends doesn't mean we are going to share everything," said Meir Javedanfar, a Tel Aviv-based analyst who co-authored a book on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the nuclear program titled "The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran."

Israelis were uncertain whether to be relieved at the distancing of an existential threat or to be concerned that readiness to confront that threat has been dissipated, perhaps for good.

A leading Israeli analyst, Ehud Ya'ari, said on Channel 2 television that the American finding showed that the Iranian program "is further behind than we assumed."

Washington, he said, had rejected Israel's belief that the Iranians are pursuing one or two secret nuclear programs that are not monitored by the West.

"The Americans apparently came to their conclusions on the basis of human intelligence," he said, mentioning Gen. Ali Reza Asghari, a former Iranian deputy defense minister who defected to the West in February.

Oded Granot, a commentator on Channel 1, who, like Mr. Ya'ari, has good connections with Israel's security establishment, said American intelligence had intercepted a transmission from a senior Iranian military official several months ago, in which he expressed disappointment that Iran's nuclear weapons program had been halted.

Although this might have been deliberate misinformation, Mr. Granot said that in recent weeks a flood of other evidence pointed to the program's being frozen.

Mr. Granot said Israel has learned that many of the 3,000 centrifuges that the Iranians had begun to activate in order to enrich uranium — whether for civilian or military purposes — have broken down.
Key part in bold.

Basically, there is no good reason for Iran to have spent the time and money on this program that it has, unless the ultimate goal IS to use it to create nuclear weapons. It becomes a simply matter not IF Iran will use it to get the bomb, but rather just when they'll decide to get around to it.

Now that this report has come out, the answer is pretty much "whenever they feel like it." Because we are now in a truly disastrous position. Democrats and those on the left are championing this report, but it's utterly foolish to do so. What this means now is that Iran has just about free reign to restart their program and finally obtain nuclear weapons, because no one has, for the moment, ample justification to stop them militarily, and Iran now knows that there's little pressure that can be applied to them diplomatically to stop them either.

I have dark thoughts on how this is all going to play out. IMO, it's either going to wind up with Iran holding nukes, or Israel being forced to do what it has to do to ensure that does not happen.


Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
More on this.

Here is an atricle which should give you some things to consider with regards to how much faith to put into these NIEs. A troubling quote:

Let me add a further note. In 1986 I was working for the Kissinger Commission on Central America and as such I was allowed to see the NIEs on all the relevant countries in the circum-Caribbean. I vividly recall the one on Mexico. Among other things it claimed that the foreign minister of that country was an embittered leftist married to a Soviet citizen. As it happens, I knew the son of the couple (he has since become foreign minister of Mexico in his own right) and I knew for a fact that his mother was not a Soviet citizen. Far from it. She was a nice Jewish lady who lived in New York and grew up in Brooklyn. It is, I suppose, possible that she was brought to the US in the 1920s from the Soviet Union--at age 3. But there is a crucial difference between that and what was in the NIE. The implications for our foreign policy were very different. At the time I wondered, Who checks this things out? I still wonder.

Let me add that with one signal exception--a report on Mexico prepared for President Clinton before he made his state visit there--I have never seen a piece of analysis by the CIA that could not have been written by a bright high school student. And this is what we spend billions of dollars on every year.
Then, of course, there's this, from last night's O'Reilly, an interview with former ambassador John Bolton.

I know O'Reilly's a douche and not particularly liked around here (least of all by me), but Bolton's claims, if true, are particularly disturbing. It's long been discussed that our intelligence community has become increasingly politicized, and I personally find a good deal of truth to those assertions, in particular (as noted before) due to the sheer amount of classified information which has been leaked over the past few years (with seemingly no other purpose than to embarrass the current administration).

Bolton references an individual who had a hand in writing the NIE on Iran, but doesn't mention him. Timmerman in this article backs up Bolton's remarks, and does name names.

The National Intelligence Council, which produced the NIE, is chaired by Thomas Fingar, “a State Department intelligence analyst with no known overseas experience who briefly headed the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research,” I wrote in my book "Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender."

Fingar was a key partner of Senate Democrats in their successful effort to derail the confirmation of John Bolton in the spring of 2005 to become the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.

As the head of the NIC, Fingar has gone out of his way to fire analysts “who asked the wrong questions,” and who challenged the politically-correct views held by Fingar and his former State Department colleagues, as revealed in "Shadow Warriors."

In March 2007, Fingar fired his top Cuba and Venezuela analyst, Norman Bailey, after he warned of the growing alliance between Castro and Chavez.

Bailey’s departure from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was applauded by the Cuban government news service Granma, who called Bailey “a patent relic of the Reagan regime.” And Fingar was just one of a coterie of State Department officials brought over to ODNI by the first director, career State Department official John Negroponte.

Collaborating with Fingar on the Iran estimate, released on Monday, were Kenneth Brill, the director of the National Counterproliferation Center, and Vann H. Van Diepen, the National Intelligence officer for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.

“Van Diepen was an enormous problem,” a former colleague of his from the State Department told me when I was fact gathering for "Shadow Warriors."

“He was insubordinate, hated WMD sanctions, and strived not to implement them,” even though it was his specific responsibility at State to do so, the former colleague told me.

Kenneth Brill, also a career foreign service officer, had been the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in 2003-2004 before he was forced into retirement.

"Shadow Warrior" reports, “While in Vienna, Brill consistently failed to confront Iran once its clandestine nuclear weapons program was exposed in February 2003, and had to be woken up with the bureaucratic equivalent of a cattle prod to deliver a single speech condemning Iran’s eighteen year history of nuclear cheating.”
Remarkably disturbing. We've intrusted our intelligence gathering on Iran to a group of men who've already demonstrated that they actively do not WANT to find anything negative regarding Iran and its nuclear weapons program. I'm also unsettled by the fact that this Brill used to work for the IAEA, which has proven in the past to be little more than apologists for the Iranian regime, and who has gone on record before as stating that they'll do whatever they can to prove Iran isn't up to anything. It should also be noted, for the record, that the IAEA was totally oblivious to what was going on in Syria recently, when Israel - as I mentioned already in this thread - bombed a facility which now appears to have been working on developing a nuclear weapon.


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?
#14 Security.htm

America’s Security: The Genesis of a Problem
by George Shadroui
26 April 2005

After the Vietnam War, a dovish Congress spent almost a quarter century undermining, mismanaging and debunking our military and our intelligence capabilities.

The release several weeks ago of the Weapons of Mass Destruction panel report underscored several realities that were not unexpected but were still disturbing.

In one conclusion, the panel reported: “Our collection agencies are often unable to gather intelligence on the very things we care most about….Across the board, the intelligence community knows disturbingly little about the nuclear programs of many of the world most dangerous actors.”

On page five of the executive summary, the panel states: “Current intelligence in support of military and other action is necessary, of course. But we also need an Intelligence Community with strategic capabilities: it must be equipped to develop long-term plans for penetrating today’s difficult targets, and to identify political and social trends shaping the threats that lie over the horizon.”

The report continues, reporting that the Intelligence Community: “is reluctant to use human and technical collection methods; it is behind the curve in applying cutting-edge technologies; and it has not adapted its personnel practices and incentives structures to fit the needs of a new job market.”

In short, our Intelligence Community has failed to follow many of the most basic precepts of strategic planning. Day to day demands apparently prevent analysts from doing long-term and strategic analysis. Bureaucratic rivalries and jealousies have prevented cooperation at the highest levels, and entrenched status quo thinking has proven an obstacle to better results even in the face of pressing national emergencies.

Whether creating the many new bureaucracies recommended by the panel will actually fix these issues is a matter of debate. To an outsider with limited knowledge, it seems to me that simplifying the web of reporting and oversight would make more sense than creating an even more complex structure of reporting and accountability.

One thing is certain -- our intelligence situation is a mess. One has to pause, for a moment, and reflect on how we got here.

During the 1970s, in the aftermath of Watergate, Vietnam and revelations about CIA involvement in covert activities, the U.S. Congress, then controlled by the Democratic Party, convened public hearings on CIA operations. On the Senate side, the investigating committee was chaired by Frank Church, a liberal Democrat from Idaho who harbored presidential aspirations. As besieged CIA Director William Colby volunteered information about mail interceptions, wiretapping, and covert operations, including assassination plots aimed at Fidel Castro (orchestrated by the Democratic Kennedy administration, one must add), the hearings quickly became politicized.

One Republican staffer who worked with the Committee observed: “My whole vision of him (Church) is blurred by his drive for recognition, publicity, his obvious ambitions. The Committee was used to boost those ambitions.” (As quoted by author Frank J. Smist, Congress Oversee the United States Intelligence Community, 1947-1989)

Even Democrats accused Church of using the investigation as a public relations platform in an effort to further his presidential hopes. This has been reported by Loch Johnson, who worked for Les Aspin and was assigned as staff to the committee. Johnson, now a scholar and author of several books on the CIA, documented the hearings in A Season of Inquiry.

It was during this period, too, that leaks about sensitive national security issues became standard operating procedure in Washington. These were no laughing matter. When leftist radicals published the name and home address of Richard Welch, station chief in Athens, Welch was shot and killed at his residence (1975). Likewise, leftists like Phillip Agee went so far as to advocate that CIA operatives should be exposed publicly. If this did not drive them from the country, Agee suggested, “the people themselves will have to decide what they must do to rid themselves of the CIA,” a comment that seemed an invitation to our enemies to murder CIA operatives. (Agee is quoted in John Ranelagh’s history of the CIA, The Agency.)

The Church Committee included a number of prominent liberals, including Church, Gary Hart, Phil Hart, and Walter Mondale. Even Republicans on the committee had extremely high ADA ratings, notably Charles Mathias and Richard Schweiker. Though Howard Baker, John Tower and Barry Goldwater provided some political balance, the committee was clearly liberal in perspective and displayed much of the distrust of the CIA and the defense establishment so evident during the Vietnam/Watergate era.

The House Select Committee on Intelligence was even more of a disaster than the Church Committee, both from a policy perspective and from a public relations point of view. Its membership was dominated by leftists and liberals, as Smist documents using ADA and national security ratings. The first Committee, chaired by Congressman Lucien Nedzi, had an accumulated ADA rating of 83.2.

Moreover, one of the committee members was Massachusetts leftist Michael Harrington, who was appointed by House Speaker Tip O’Neill as a political favor to Harrington’s father. Harrington quickly discredited himself on the Committee when he leaked private testimony on Chile by then CIA head William Colby. The legislative counsel to the Committee called Harrington’s actions “totally irresponsible.”

The Committee, under the leadership of Nezdi, quickly fell apart and Otis Pike, a maverick, took over the chair and reconstituted the committee. Again, liberals dominated, with a combined ADA rating of 72. Pike quickly maneuvered the Committee into an adversarial position with the Ford administration, including presuming to drive national security issues that were historically the domain of the executive branch. When major portions of the House report were leaked to the New York Times and CBS reporter Daniel Schorr, who then provided it to the Village Voice, the Committee came under intense criticism. Even Pike admitted that too many of its members were more interested in television cameras than in the hard work of managing intelligence issues.

All of this had an effect. When Jimmy Carter became president, a move was afoot to reduce human intelligence resources and to focus more energetically on electronic surveillance. Carter was not very savvy about the ways of the world. According to several reputable scholars, he did not even appreciate the need for the CIA and his knowledge of international politics and history was sparse. Carter himself admitted to the Washington Post that he had read more about history and international affairs during his few years as president than all the rest of his life combined. (For all the criticism leveled at Reagan for not being an intellectual, it is increasingly apparent that Reagan had a far more active mind in a global respect than Carter.)

Ranelagh also documents Carter’s inept handling of intelligence issues. Carter first tried to appoint former Kennedy aide Theodore Sorensen to replace Bush at the CIA, until it was revealed that Sorensen had left government service in 1964 with classified documents in tow. Sorensen withdrew his name from consideration when it became apparent that his opposition to the Vietnam War and his secreting of documents, no doubt used to write glowing tributes to the Kennedys, might cause problems. Carter finally chose Admiral Stansfield Turner.

Though on paper Turner seemed capable enough -- he had a strong military background and had been a Rhodes Scholar -- he was more interested in ruling the agency than in working cooperatively with existing staff. Turner claimed that he was opposed because his agenda conflicted with the goals of the agency professionals, but he did not help the situation by taking his criticisms public. For example, he raced to the Senate Committee on Intelligence to disclose the drug testing efforts conducted by the CIA back in the 1950s. This information was quickly leaked and caused more embarrassment to an agency already under fire. Turner also openly criticized the CIA for its efforts on the Kennedy assassination investigation, including the handling of a Soviet defector who had claimed the Soviets had no role in events in Dallas.

Turner treated the CIA as if it were a political organization. He drove out CIA staffers and brought in his own team of naval officers who buffered him from agency professionals. He also cut human resources, abolishing 820 positions, and devoted more resources to electronic and high-tech surveillance. This approach was partially discredited when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, much to Carter’s surprise, and the Shah was toppled and replaced by Khomeini, whose regime quickly took American hostages and precipitated a prolonged crisis. Many argue that this episode marks the true beginning of our current war with Islamic radicals.

The Reagan administration, with William Casey at the head of the CIA, tried to reverse some of these trends, but problems continued. The CIA began to resemble just another bureaucracy subject to political maneuvering. And leaks remained a common occurrence. According to historian Stephen Knott, in his book, Secret and Sanctioned, Senator Joe Biden twice threatened to expose covert activities being considered by the Reagan administration. Jim Lehrer of PBS observed that the House and Senate had become “colanders of leaks.” Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy was forced to step down from the Intelligence committee after giving a reporter access to a confidential report. Though Democrats were far more likely to leak, Republican Jesse Helms also engaged in the practice when he learned of agency support on behalf of El Salvadoran presidential candidate Jose Napoleon Duarte.

Casey understood the value of intelligence. He had been an OSS officer during World War II, and had witnessed firsthand the invaluable contributions of our intelligence operations. He did everything he could to beef up the agency. Many observers note that these efforts paid off, and many applauded the CIA’s work during the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe. But even Casey found himself caught in the institutional power struggles between Congress and the Executive Branch. Certainly, the Iran-Contra scandal reenergized Democrats in Congress who sought to assert their control over national security policy and curtail covert actions.

With the Cold War over, Clinton and the Democrats cut funding both for the CIA and for defense generally. Senator John Kerry was among those who supported these cuts. Moreover, as Dick Morris and many others have documented, President Clinton showed so little interest in the agency’s work that Clinton did not hold a meeting with his CIA Director for more than two years after the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Clinton failed to act on intelligence time and again, even when the Sudan offered the possibility of capturing and delivering Osama Bin Laden, whose threats and actions against the United States and its interests were by then well known. Clinton responded feebly when he responded at all.

Likewise, several major spy scandals emerged during the Clinton tenure, including the sharing of highly secretive technology that has given China the capacity to strike the United States with nuclear warheads. Reporter Bill Gertz of the Washington Times has documented this in detail. Clinton got plenty of encouragement for his nonchalant attitude from even so-called thoughtful Democratic leaders. The much vaunted Democrat Patrick Moynihan, the late former Senator and policy guru, recommended abolishing the CIA, arguing that the agency was no longer needed in a post-Cold War world.

So the problems, historically speaking, were twofold. First, you had agency insiders granted tremendous power by the government during the early years of the Cold War, and no doubt making questionable choices in the use of their power. Unfortunately, the overreaction to those abuses, spearheaded by the Democrats, made the situation worse. At least since the Kennedy/Johnson era, leftist thinking has dominated the Democratic Party on the issue of national security. Democrats, with occasional exceptions, have spent a quarter century of undermining, mismanaging and debunking our military and our intelligence capabilities.

The current Bush administration has not been perfect either. They clearly did not challenge vigorously enough the intelligence used to justify the toppling of Saddam and his regime. The costs of that war have been high, though the benefits may yet be great, but no fair-minded person can ignore that on several critical fronts our intelligence was wrong and our decisions based on false assumptions and erroneous information. The Bush team has likewise been slow to deal with homeland security issues satisfactorily, most notably border issues.

Yet at least Bush has shown some tenacity in trying to confront the problem. The Democrats, again with a few notable exceptions, have not demonstrated that they are ready to get serious about protecting our nation. Even the somewhat useful 9/11 Commission was marred, in the early days, by political grandstanding and sloppy attempts to blame the Bush administration for problems that were clearly rooted in 30 years of second-guessing and partisanship. Likewise, the rush by the media and the Democrats to embrace any critic of Bush, including discredited people like Richard Clarke and Joseph Wilson, underscored that politics, not policy, still ruled.

The hard work of rebuilding and conducting intelligence activities with tough-minded but shrewd judgment is a fundamental challenge that will be faced for decades to come. Democrats and Republicans alike will face serious challenges to our security. Partisan sniping does not make our nation safer. Tough-minded Democrats and Republicans need to come together and recognize that one of the fundamental responsibilities of government is to protect and defend our nation and its people.

There is more work to be done, so let’s get on with it.

George Shadroui has been published in more than two dozen newspapers and magazines, including National Review and


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?

High Confidence' Games
The CIA's flip-flop on Iran is hardly reassuring.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

In his press conference yesterday, President Bush went out of his way to praise the "good work" of the intelligence community, whose latest National Intelligence Estimate claims the mullahs of Iran abandoned their nuclear weapons program in 2003. "This is heartening news," Mr. Bush said. "To me, it's a way for us to rally our partners."

We wish we could be as sanguine, both about the quality of U.S. intelligence and its implications for U.S. diplomacy. For years, senior Administration officials, including Condoleezza Rice, have stressed to us how little the government knows about what goes on inside Iran. In 2005, the bipartisan Robb-Silberman report underscored that "Across the board, the Intelligence Community knows disturbingly little about the nuclear programs of many of the world's most dangerous actors." And as our liberal friends used to remind us, you can never trust the CIA. (Only later did they figure out the agency was usually on their side.)

As recently as 2005, the consensus estimate of our spooks was that "Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons" and do so "despite its international obligations and international pressure." This was a "high confidence" judgment. The new NIE says Iran abandoned its nuclear program in 2003 "in response to increasing international scrutiny." This too is a "high confidence" conclusion. One of the two conclusions is wrong, and casts considerable doubt on the entire process by which these "estimates"--the consensus of 16 intelligence bureaucracies--are conducted and accorded gospel status.

Our own "confidence" is not heightened by the fact that the NIE's main authors include three former State Department officials with previous reputations as "hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials," according to an intelligence source. They are Tom Fingar, formerly of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Vann Van Diepen, the National Intelligence Officer for WMD; and Kenneth Brill, the former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

For a flavor of their political outlook, former Bush Administration antiproliferation official John Bolton recalls in his recent memoir that then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage "described Brill's efforts in Vienna, or lack thereof, as 'bull--.'" Mr. Brill was "retired" from the State Department by Colin Powell before being rehired, over considerable internal and public protest, as head of the National Counter-Proliferation Center by then-National Intelligence Director John Negroponte.

No less odd is the NIE's conclusion that Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to "international pressure." The only serious pressure we can recall from that year was the U.S. invasion of Iraq. At the time, an Iranian opposition group revealed the existence of a covert Iranian nuclear program to mill and enrich uranium and produce heavy water at sites previously unknown to U.S. intelligence. The Bush Administration's response was to punt the issue to the Europeans, who in 2003 were just beginning years of fruitless diplomacy before the matter was turned over to the U.N. Security Council.

Mr. Bush implied yesterday that the new estimate was based on "some new information," which remains classified. We can only hope so. But the indications that the Bush Administration was surprised by this NIE, and the way it scrambled yesterday to contain its diplomatic consequences, hardly inspire even "medium confidence" that our spooks have achieved some epic breakthrough. The truth could as easily be that the Administration in its waning days has simply lost any control of its bureaucracy--not that it ever had much.

In any case, the real issue is not Iran's nuclear weapons program, but its nuclear program, period. As the NIE acknowledges, Iran continues to enrich uranium on an industrial scale--that is, build the capability to make the fuel for a potential bomb. And it is doing so in open defiance of binding U.N. resolutions. No less a source than the IAEA recently confirmed that Iran already has blueprints to cast uranium in the shape of an atomic bomb core.

The U.S. also knows that Iran has extensive technical information on how to fit a warhead atop a ballistic missile. And there is considerable evidence that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps has been developing the detonation devices needed to set off a nuclear explosion at the weapons testing facility in Parchin. Even assuming that Iran is not seeking a bomb right now, it is hardly reassuring that they are developing technologies that could bring them within a screw's twist of one.

Mr. Bush's efforts to further sanction Iran at the U.N. were stalled even before the NIE's release. Those efforts will now be on life support. The NIE's judgments also complicate Treasury's efforts to persuade foreign companies to divest from Iran. Why should they lose out on lucrative business opportunities when even U.S. intelligence absolves the Iranians of evil intent? Calls by Democrats and their media friends to negotiate with Tehran "without preconditions" will surely grow louder.

The larger worry here is how little we seem to have learned from our previous intelligence failures. Over the course of a decade, our intelligence services badly underestimated Saddam's nuclear ambitions, then overestimated them. Now they have done a 180-degree turn on Iran, and in such a way that will contribute to a complacency that will make it easier for Iran to build a weapon. Our intelligence services are supposed to inform the policies of elected officials, but increasingly their judgments seem to be setting policy. This is dangerous.

U.S. Goes Soft on Iran, Says U.N.
So reports the New York Times:

The International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday publicly embraced the new American intelligence assessment stating that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons effort, but in truth the agency is taking a more cautious approach in drawing conclusions about Iran's nuclear program.

"To be frank, we are more skeptical," a senior official close to the agency said. "We don't buy the American analysis 100 percent. We are not that generous with Iran."

The official called the American assertion that Iran had "halted" its weapons program in 2003 "somewhat surprising."

That the nuclear watchdog agency based in Vienna is sounding a somewhat tougher line than the Bush administration is surprising, given that the administration has long criticized it for not pressuring Iran hard enough to curb its nuclear program.

The Times editorial on the subject is called "Good and Bad News About Iran." The good news first:

President Bush has absolutely no excuse for going to war against Iran.

Now the bad news:

First, the report says "with high confidence" that Iran did have a secret nuclear weapons program and that it stopped only after it got caught and was threatened with international punishment. Even now, Tehran's scientists are working to master the skills to make nuclear fuel -- the hardest part of building a weapon.

Anyone who wants to give the Iranians the full benefit of the doubt should read the last four years of reports from United Nations' nuclear inspectors about Iran's 18-year history of hiding and dissembling. Or last month's report, which criticized Tehran for providing "diminishing" information and access to its current program. In one of those ironies that would be delicious if it didn't involve nuclear weapons, an official close to the inspection agency told The Times yesterday that the new American assessment might be too generous to Iran.

In other words, the bad news, per the Times, is that a lunatic theocracy may soon become a lunatic theocracy armed with nuclear weapons. The good news is that that there's nothing President Bush can do to stop it.

Blogger Richard Belzer has a genuinely optimistic take. News reports that focus on the political implications of the report, he argues, "miss two crucial risk assessment lessons one can infer from the unclassified summary":

1. The change in judgment is the result of new information recently obtained; it is claimed not to be a recalibration of judgment based on the same body of information that was available when the NIE on Iran was last updated in 2005.

2. The Intelligence Community widely believes that this new information (whatever it is) is highly credible -so credible, in fact, that it overwhelms the IC's prior consensus judgment based on all other information in the intelligence database.

The first of these inferences seems to be a good thing, for it suggests that the Intelligence Community remains confident of its 2005 judgment based on the information that was available in 2005. That is, the IC has not been swayed by the pressures of competing risk management constituencies that want to either exaggerate or downplay the data in order to support alternative policy views.

The second of these inferences is unambiguously good news. It is a fundamental principle of risk analysis that it is always a good thing when new, high-quality information reduces uncertainty. The reduction of uncertainty is the best reason for performing research in the first place; if research fails to reduce uncertainty, then it has little or no value for decision-making.

But there's a big caveat: "It is possible that the new information is not as powerful as the NIE suggests and that the existence of this new information is being used to change prior judgment without admitting so. Similarly, it is possible that the group dynamics within the IC have changed since 2005."

The Wall Street Journal reports in an editorial that "the NIE's main authors include three former State Department officials with previous reputations as 'hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials,' according to an intelligence source." So it could be that when the media and Democratic politicians treat the NIE as a political document, that is exactly what its authors intended.

Israeli intelligence is much less sanguine about Iran's nuclear ambitions and capabilities, and in analyzing the reasons for the differences, the Jerusalem Post's Yaakov Katz points to some other factors that can bias interpretations of ambiguous information:

Both countries are also influenced by different political agendas. The Americans, for example, are still traumatized by the blatant intelligence failure vis-à-vis Iraq's alleged WMD and, therefore, does not want to be caught crying wolf again. Israel, on the other hand, is traumatized by its failure to learn of Libya's nuclear program before it was abandoned in a deal Col. Muammar Gaddafi struck with the US and UK.

As a result of these traumas, both countries interpret the situation a little differently. Israel takes the more stringent track. As one defense official put it on Tuesday, "It is better to be safe than sorry." However, in America, where there is an already-growing anti-war sentiment, the report is meant to send a message that the military option is, at least for now, off the table.

(Israel might have known about Libya's weapons before Katz says; a September 2002 Associated Press dispatch quotes then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as saying, "Libya may be the first [Arab] country with weapons of mass destruction.")

Page 5 of the NIE summary describes the terminology the intelligence community uses to indicate how much confidence it has in a finding:

* High confidence generally indicates that our judgments are based on high-quality information, and/or that the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment. A "high confidence" judgment is not a fact or a certainty, however, and such judgments still carry a risk of being wrong.

* Moderate confidence generally means that the information is credibly sourced and plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence.

* Low confidence generally means that the information's credibility and/or plausibility is questionable, or that the information is too fragmented or poorly corroborated to make solid analytic inferences, or that we have significant concerns or problems with the sources.

At this point, we're inclined to give the NIE a "low confidence rating."
Good stuff.. think I've found my reading for the night, until I get sick of the rhet & shit.

I doubt that Iran has halted nuclear operations. This report looks like a partisan attempt to stop Bush & his (perceived) want to invade Iran. There are many, many reasons why this has become public; mainly political. I really can't form an opinion yet regarding the need to intervene in Iranian nuclear operations.

Best thought I can throw on the table is that I do NOT support an invasion at this time. There is no good for this country to extend military commitments; however it is in our best interest to finish the job in Iraq and keep Iran on notice.

We dug the hole. Gotta fill it.


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?

NIE: An Abrupt About-Face

As many recognize, the latest NIE on Iran’s nuclear weapons program directly contradicts what the U.S. Intelligence Community was saying just two years previously. And it appears that this about-face was very recent. How recent?
Consider that on July 11, 2007, roughly four or so months prior to the most recent NIE’s publication, Deputy Director of Analysis Thomas Fingar gave the following testimony (*1) before the House Armed Services Committee (emphasis added):
Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The United States’ concerns about Iran are shared by many nations, including many of Iran’s neighbors. Iran is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution. We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons--despite its international obligations and international pressure. This is a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
This paragraph appeared under the subheading: "Iran Assessed As Determined to Develop Nuclear Weapons." And the entirety of Fingar’s 22-page testimony was labeled "Information as of July 11, 2007." No part of it is consistent with the latest NIE, in which our spooks tell us Iran suspended its covert nuclear weapons program in 2003 "primarily in response to international pressure" and they "do not know whether (Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons."
The inconsistencies are more troubling when we realize that, according to the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Fingar is one of the three officials who were responsible for crafting the latest NIE. The Journal cites "an intelligence source" as describing Fingar and his two colleagues as "hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials." (The New York Sun drew attention (*2)to one of Fingar’s colleagues yesterday.)
So, if it is true that Dr. Fingar played a leading role in crafting this latest NIE, then we are left with serious questions:
  • Why did your opinion change so drastically in just four months time?
  • Is the new intelligence or analysis really that good? Is it good enough to overturn your previous assessments? Or, has it never really been good enough to make a definitive assessment at all?
  • Did your political or ideological leanings, or your policy preferences, or those of your colleagues, influence your opinion in any way?
Many in the mainstream press have been willing to cite this latest NIE unquestioningly. Perhaps they should start asking some pointed questions. (Don’t hold your breath.)



The Van Diepen Demarche

New York Sun Editorial
December 4, 2007

The latest assessment from the American intelligence community on Iran has been declassified, at least in part, and the directorate of national intelligence would have one believe that in 2003 "Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program". It's advancing a line that could be described with the word astounding if it didn't come from the same intelligence bureaucrats that so famously failed to foresee the attacks of September 11, 2001.
One doesn't have to be privy to our country's secret sources to know that this last statement strains credulity. Iran has been enriching uranium, or nuclear fuel, for nearly two years despite two Security Council resolutions urging them to suspend. To believe the Mullahs have halted their nuclear weapons program, one has to believe that all of those spinning centrifuges in Natanz are to fuel power plants in a country that is the world's third leading exporter of petroleum and natural gas.
That is precisely how Iran's diplomats defend their enrichment. They spin their centrifuges in blatant violation of their prior agreements, but they say they are within their rights because they are pursuing alternative energy and not atomic bombs. The reactor in Natanz, they insist, is for peaceful purposes only. The document released yesterday buys into this line, but contains so much hedging that it will take months to sort out what the analysts are implying in the way of policy.
Take this beauty: We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough (Highly Enriched Uranium) for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame. The paragraph goes on to note that the State Department believes they won't enrich the uranium until after 2013, but that all agencies recognize the possibility that this capability may not be attained until after 2015.
As one former senior intelligence officer told our Eli Lake yesterday, this is like submitting a report saying the sun will come up tomorrow unless it doesn't. There is also the problem that the intelligence estimate mentions the nuclear weapons program prior to 2003 but fails to give an indication of how advanced the weapons program was at the time.
* * *
The proper way to read this report is through the lens of the long struggle the professional intelligence community has been waging against the elected civilian administration in Washington. They have opposed President Bush on nearly every major policy decision. They were against the Iraqi National Congress. They were against elections in Iraq. They were against I. Lewis Libby. They are against a tough line on Iran.
One could call all this revenge of the bureaucrats. Vann Van Diepen, one of the estimate's main authors, has spent the last five years trying to get America to accept Iran's right to enrich uranium. Mr. Van Diepen no doubt reckons that in helping push the estimate through the system, he has succeeded in influencing the policy debate in Washington. The bureaucrats may even think they are stopping another war.
It's a dangerous game that may boomerang, making a war with Iran more likely. Our diplomats, after all, hoped to seal this month a deal to pass a third Security Council resolution against Iran. Already on Monday the Chinese delegation at Turtle Bay has started making noises about dropping their tepid support for such a document. Call it the Van Diepen Demarche, since the Chinese camarilla can boast that even America's intelligence estimate concludes the mullahs shuttered their nuclear weapons program more than four years ago.
So much for diplomatic pressure in the run up before the mullahs have their bomb. And so the options for preventing the Islamic Republic from going nuclear get progressively more narrow. What it means is that when the historians look back on this period, they will see that by sabotaging our diplomacy, our intelligence analysts have clarified the choice before the free world — appeasement or war.


I wear my sunglasses at night...Anyone want fries?

By Kenneth R. Timmerman

Some have called it the CIA's greatest covert operation of all time.

It is an intelligence war, conducted behind the scenes, aimed at confusing, misleading, and ultimately defeating the enemy. The goal is nothing less than toppling the regime in power. A network of agents has been planted at key crossroads of power, stealing secrets, planting disinformation, and cooking intelligence. The plan involves sophisticated political sabotage operations that bring in opposition forces who can challenge the regime openly, in a way the CIA cannot. The scope is breathtaking.

Who is the target of this vast, sophisticated CIA operation? Not the mullahs in Tehran or North Korea's power-mad Kim Jong II; the target is America's president, George W. Bush.

Drawing on exclusive information from senior government officials, intelligence, operatives, and many others, investigative reporter Kenneth Timmerman provides the full, untold story of the sabotage that occurs behind the scenes at key government agencies like the CIA and the State Department—and the profound effect it has on America's ability to confront its most dangerous enemies. In Shadow Warriors, Timmerman brings to light the vast underground working to undercut our nation's efforts to win the war on terror—revealing the when, where, how, and who for the first time. He also exposes the Democratic politicians who have sold out America's national security for political gain.

In Shadow Warriors, you'll learn:

* How the CIA and the State Department sabotaged the administration's Iraq war plans from the start—sparking the insurgency in the process
* How a high-level State Department officials gathered aides after Bush's reelection to insist they owed no allegiance to the president or his policies
* How pre-war intelligence on Iraq was cooked—not by the Bush administration, but by its opponents
* How and why the shadow warriors have leaked details of virtually every covert U.S. intelligence tool used in the war on terror
* How the leaks have devastated our efforts to fight terrorism—such as when a key U.S. ally rebuffed the CIA director's request for assistance by saying, "You Americans can't keep secrets"
* Why U.S. intelligence refused to examine important documents detailing the secret Iraqi networks that became the heart of insurgency
* How newly discovered Iraqi government documents reveal the extent of Saddam Hussein's ties to international terrorists and the truth about his WMD arsenal

Shadow Warriors shows that Bush never got the first rule of Washington: People are policy. He allowed his political enemies to run roughshod over his administration. This insider's look at secret White House meetings, political backstabbing, and war-room summits is an eye-opening account of the mind-set that is crippling our effectiveness in Iraq and around the world.

Did the CIA fund the Iraqi insurgency with millions of dollars?

Did a top State Department official call for insubordination by telling fellow employees to ignore official U.S. policy set by the Bush administration?

Who leaked the stories about the CIA secret prisons, and why?

How did the U.S. forces in Iraq become occupiers instead of liberators, as President Bush intended?

Who sabotaged the 9/11 Commission's report?

Why is new information being leaked almost daily, even though the leaks are gutting our ability to fight the war on terror?

Find out in Shadow Warriors, Kenneth Timmerman's explosive look at how political maneuvering by partisan bureaucrats at key government agencies is undermining the war on terror and creating a grave new threat to national security.

"An alarming but necessary book that reads like a thriller. By raising uncomfortable questions. Ken Timmerman has performed a significant public service."

—Michael Medved, nationally syndicated talk-radio host

Kenneth R. Timmerman is the New York Times bestselling author of Countdown to Crisis, The French Betrayal of America, Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, and Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq. In 2006 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his groundbreaking reporting on Iran's nuclear weapons program. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his family.

Ken Timmerman

U.S. Intel Possibly Duped by Iran

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 9:38 AM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman Article Font Size

A highly controversial, 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear programs was coordinated and written by former State Department political and intelligence analysts — not by more seasoned members of the U.S. intelligence community, Newsmax has learned.

Its most dramatic conclusion — that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure — is based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States.

Newsmax sources in Tehran believe that Washington has fallen for “a deliberate disinformation campaign” cooked up by the Revolutionary Guards, who laundered fake information and fed it to the United States through Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers posing as senior diplomats in Europe.

Dangerous Game

The National Intelligence Council, which produced the NIE, is chaired by Thomas Fingar, “a State Department intelligence analyst with no known overseas experience who briefly headed the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research,” I wrote in my book "Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender." [Editor's Note: Get "Shadow Warriors" free — go here now.]

Fingar was a key partner of Senate Democrats in their successful effort to derail the confirmation of John Bolton in the spring of 2005 to become the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.

As the head of the NIC, Fingar has gone out of his way to fire analysts “who asked the wrong questions,” and who challenged the politically-correct views held by Fingar and his former State Department colleagues, as revealed in "Shadow Warriors."

In March 2007, Fingar fired his top Cuba and Venezuela analyst, Norman Bailey, after he warned of the growing alliance between Castro and Chavez.

Bailey’s departure from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was applauded by the Cuban government news service Granma, who called Bailey “a patent relic of the Reagan regime.” And Fingar was just one of a coterie of State Department officials brought over to ODNI by the first director, career State Department official John Negroponte.

Collaborating with Fingar on the Iran estimate, released on Monday, were Kenneth Brill, the director of the National Counterproliferation Center, and Vann H. Van Diepen, the National Intelligence officer for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.

“Van Diepen was an enormous problem,” a former colleague of his from the State Department told me when I was fact gathering for "Shadow Warriors."

“He was insubordinate, hated WMD sanctions, and strived not to implement them,” even though it was his specific responsibility at State to do so, the former colleague told me.

Kenneth Brill, also a career foreign service officer, had been the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in 2003-2004 before he was forced into retirement.

"Shadow Warrior" reports, “While in Vienna, Brill consistently failed to confront Iran once its clandestine nuclear weapons program was exposed in February 2003, and had to be woken up with the bureaucratic equivalent of a cattle prod to deliver a single speech condemning Iran’s eighteen year history of nuclear cheating.”

Negroponte rehabilitated Brill and brought the man who single-handedly failed to object to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and put him in charge of counter-proliferation efforts for the entire intelligence community.

Christian Westermann, another favorite of Senate Democrats in the Bolton confirmation hearings, was among the career State Department analysts tapped by Fingar and Brill.

As a State Department intelligence analyst, Westermann had missed the signs of biological weapons development in Cuba, and played into the hands of Castro apologist Sen. Christopher Dodd, D, Conn., by continuing to use impeached intelligence reports on Cuba that had been written by self-avowed Cuban spy, Ana Belen Montes.

“After failing to recognize the signs of biological weapons development in Cuba and Cuba’s cooperation with Iran, Westermann was promoted to become national intelligence officer for biological weapons,” I wrote.

“Let’s hope a walk-in defector from Iranian intelligence doesn’t tell us that Iran has given biological weapons to terrorists to attack new York or Chicago,” I added, “because Westermann will certainly object that the source of that information was not reliable — at least, until Americans start dying.”

It now appears that this is very similar to what happened while the intelligence community was preparing the Iran NIE.

The Defector

My former colleague from the Washington Times, Bill Gertz, suggests in today’s print edition of the paper that Revolutionary Guards Gen. Alireza Asgari, who defected while in Turkey in February, was the human source whose information led to the NIE”s conclusion that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

But intelligence sources in Europe told Newsmax in late September that Asgari’s debriefings on Iran’s nuclear weapons programs were “so dramatic” that they caused French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his foreign minister to speak out publicly about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Sarkozy stunned his countrymen when he told an annual conference of French ambassadors on Aug. 27, 2007, that Iran faced a stark choice between shutting down its nuclear program, or tougher international sanctions and ultimately, war.

“This approach is the only one that allows us to escape from a catastrophic alternative: an Iranian bomb, or the bombing of Iran,” Sarkozy said.

Three weeks later, Foreign Minister Bernard Koucher warned in a televised interview that the world’s major powers needed to toughen sanctions on Iran to prevent Tehran from getting the bomb and to prevent war. “We must prepare for the worst,” Kouchner said. “The worst, sir, is war.”

Those comments were prompted by reports that were given to the French president about Iran’s nuclear weapons program derived from debriefings of the defector, Gen. Ashgari, a Newsmax intelligence source in Europe said.

Ashgari is the highest-level Iranian official to have defected to the West since the Islamic revolution of 1979. His defection set off a panic in Tehran.

As a senior member of the general staff of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Asgari had access to highly-classified intelligence information, as well as strategic planning documents, as I reported at the time.

A damage assessment then underway in Tehran was expected to “take months” to complete, so extensive was Asgari’s access to Iran’s nuclear and intelligence secrets.

Asgari had detailed knowledge of Iranian Revolutionary Guards units operating in Iraq and Lebanon because he had trained some of them. He also knew some of the secrets of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, because he had been a top procurement officer and a deputy minister of defense in charge of logistics. But Asgari never had responsibility for nuclear weapons development, and probably did not have access to information about the status of the secret programs being run by the Revolutionary Guards, Iranian sources tell Newsmax.

In an effort to cover up the failure of Iranian counter-intelligence to prevent Asgari’s defection, a Persian language Web site run by the former Revolutioanry Guards Comdr. Gen. Mohsen Rezai claimed in March that Asgari was on a CIA “hit list” of 20 former Revolutionary Guards officers and had been assassinated.

The Senate intelligence committee will be briefed today on the NIE, and the House committee on Wednesday.

But already, the declassified summary has Republicans grumbling on Capitol Hill.

“We want to know why we should believe this,” one congressional Republican told Newsmax. “This is such a departure from the past and there are so many unanswered questions.”

While the intelligence community is supposed to report just the facts and its assessment of those facts and their reliability to policy-makers, this NIE clear advocates policy positions.

“Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue that we judged previously,” the NIC wrote in the declassified “Key Judgments” of the NIE.

The NIE opined that the new assessment leads to the policy conclusion that the United States should offer “some combination of threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunites,” in order to lock in Iranian good behavior.

This carrot and stick approach has been the State Department’s preferred policy for the past 27 years, and has only strengthened the resolve of Iran’s leaders to continue defying the United States. “Those [countries that] assume that decaying methods such as psychological war, political propaganda and the so-called economic sanctions would work and prevent Iran's fast drive toward progress are mistaken," Ahmadinejad said in Tehran in September at a military parade.

By “progress” Ahmadinejad was referring to Iran’s recently-declared success at enriching uranium.

Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees “have been running around with big smiles on their faces,” a Republican source tells Newsmax.

Republicans on the committees intend to ask for more information on the sourcing of this latest NIE during closed door briefings today and tomorrow.

© 2007 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


I'm bi-winning.
Its most dramatic conclusion — that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure — is based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States.
Hmm, well when you put it that way, it reminds me of all that info that Iraq was stockpiling WMD's. The jury is still out in Iran in my opinion.


Rat fucks back stabbing and under mining the security of our country, please file under no shit Sherlock.

Report: UK spy chiefs believe Iran 'deceived' CIA over nuclear program

The UK-based Sunday Telegraph reported that British spy chiefs have serious doubts that Iran has shelved its nuclear weapons program, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been deceived by Tehran.

According to the report, "the timing of the CIA report has also provoked fury in the British Government, where officials believe it has undermined efforts to impose tough new sanctions on Iran and made an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities more likely.

"The security services in London want concrete evidence to allay concerns that the Islamic state has fed disinformation to the CIA," the Sunday Telegraph said.

The US intelligence report, according to the British newspaper, used human sources, wireless intercepts and evidence from an Iranian defector - to conclude that Iran suspended the military aspect of its nuclear programs in 2003.

However, the Sunday Telegraph added that "British intelligence is concerned that US spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a reason to go to war - as their reports on Saddam Hussein's weapons programs did in Iraq - that they got it wrong this time."

The newspaper quoted a senior UK official as saying that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defense chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.

'Military action last resort'

According to him, British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation.

"We are skeptical. We want to know what the basis of it is, where did it come from? Was it on the basis of the defector? Was it on the basis of the intercept material? They say things on the phone because they know we are up on the phones. They say black is white. They will say anything to throw us off," the Sunday Telegraph quoted the British official as saying.

"It's not as if the American intelligence agencies are regarded as brilliant performers in that region. They got badly burned over Iraq."

According to the report, a US intelligence source revealed that some American intelligence personnel share the concerns of the British and the Israelis.

"Many middle- ranking CIA veterans believe Iran is still committed to producing nuclear weapons and are concerned that the agency lost a number of its best sources in Iran in 2004," the official was quoted by the Sunday Telegraph as saying.

Ephraim Sneh, until recently Israel's deputy minister of defense, told the Sunday Telegraph that military action would be the only option if the world community did not impose tough sanctions on Iran.

"No one can rule out with high confidence that somewhere in Iran, 70 times the size of Israel, there is one lab working on the weapons program," Sneh told the UK newspaper.

"(Military action) is not a desired option; it is a last resort. That's why sanctions are so important. We have to urge the international community to be serious about sanctions and to take necessary measures to defend the civilian population."


Hackmaster Jones Sr.
Ironic in that these people who are so invested in this NIE embarrassing the Bush administration are the same people who are ashamed of trusting it when it came to Iraq's WMDs and the 9/11 intelligence failure.

Convenient isn't it?

Fuck Iran. Let them die in a H-bomb inferno


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look at me pretending to post.

WSJ: Group says Iran resumed weapon program Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Source: Wall Street Journal
By MARC CHAMPION in Brussels and JAY SOLOMON in Washington
The Iranian opposition group that first exposed Iran's nuclear-fuel program said a U.S. intelligence analysis is correct that Tehran shut down its weaponization program in 2003, but claims that the program was relocated and restarted in 2004.

The claim, to be made public today by the National Council for Resistance in Iran, joins a broad pushback by conservative hawks who say the U.S. analysis has wrongly given the impression that Iran's nuclear-fuel program doesn't present an urgent threat.

In recent days, Republican lawmakers have called for a review of the process that created the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, a nonclassified version of which was released last week. Senior U.S. officials have been consulting with allies in Israel and Europe to explain why the estimate differed so drastically from previous assessments.

A former U.S. intelligence official who works closely with the White House on Iran said that all the intelligence related to the NIE was being reassessed and that information coming from sources such as the NCRI would be included. "You have to take seriously what they say, but you also have to realize that they have gotten things wrong," the official said.

Representatives of the National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence both said they wouldn't speculate on how any new intelligence on Iran may be utilized. "We stand by the NIE assessment, which is the consensus view of all our intelligence agencies," said Ross Feinstein, a DNI spokesman.

The NCRI is the political wing of the Mujahedin e-Khalq, a group that still has as many as 4,000 members in a disarmed military camp just inside Iraq's border with Iran. The MEK has its roots as a Marxist-Islamist body that fought to overthrow the Shah and has been seeking to overthrow the current government since the mid-1980s. The U.S. and the European Union list both the NCRI and Mujahedin e-Khalq as terrorist organizations. The NCRI has had a mixed record in the accuracy of its claims concerning Iran's nuclear program.

U.S. intelligence officials have declined to comment on what role the NCRI or other Iranian dissident groups may have played in developing the new intelligence estimate. The NCRI first identified Iran's covert nuclear-fuel facilities in 2002, and the White House and State Department have credited the group with helping to expose the program.

The intelligence estimate by 16 U.S. government agencies concluded with "high confidence" that Iran shut its weaponization program in 2003, and with "moderate confidence" that it has remained frozen since. Diplomats say that because the report makes the need for action seem less urgent, it is likely to be harder for the U.S. and European Union to secure international support for tougher sanctions against Iran, aimed at pressuring it to suspend its nuclear-fuel program, which can be used for civilian or military purposes.

According to the NCRI, Iran's Supreme National Security Council decided to shut down its most important center for nuclear-weapons research in eastern Tehran, called Lavisan-Shian, in August 2003.

The NCRI, which claims to have intelligence sources inside Iran, said Lavisan was broken into 11 fields of research, including development of a nuclear trigger and of the technology to shape weapons-grade uranium into a warhead. But at the same meeting, the council decided to disperse pieces of the research to a number of locations around Iran, according to the NCRI. By the time international nuclear inspectors were allowed to get access to the Lavisan site, the buildings allegedly devoted to nuclear research had been torn down and the ground bulldozed.

"What the first part of the NIE says is right, that they halted their weaponization research in 2003," said Mohammad Mohaddessin, foreign-affairs chief for the NCRI. "But the second part, that they stopped until at least the middle of 2007, is wrong. They scattered the weaponization program to other locations and restarted in 2004."

Equipment was relocated first from Lavisan-Shian to another military compound in Tehran's Lavisan district, the Center for Readiness and Advanced Technology, Mr. Mohaddessin said. Two devices designed to measure radiation levels were moved to Malek-Ashtar University in Isfahan and to a defense ministry hospital in Tehran, he said. Other equipment was sent to other locations the NCRI hasn't been able to identify, he said.

"Their strategy was that if the IAEA found any one piece of this research program, it would be possible to justify it as civilian. But so long as it was all together, they wouldn't be able to," Mr. Mohaddessin said.

The NCRI said in a report on Iran's nuclear program in September 2005 that the Lavisan facility had been closed, setting back the regime's weaponization program by approximately one year. Mr. Mohaddessin said his group was certain no other Iranian nuclear facilities were closed in 2003.

A representative of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog in Vienna, declined to comment on the claims, but said the agency would consider seriously any NCRI information. A spokesman for the Iranian government couldn't be reached for comment.


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FP: Kenneth Timmerman, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Timmerman: Thanks, Jamie. It’s always a pleasure to appear alongside other founding members of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy.

FP: My pleasure as well.
What inspired you to write this book?

Timmerman: In the beginning were the leaks. I was curious how highly-classified intelligence information was winding up on the front pages of the NY Times and in other leftist media. Two stories, in particular, caught my attention initially: the leak of the CIA “secret prisons,” and the smearing of Ahmad Chalabi, to which I will return below.

I knew quite a bit about both stories, and knew that the way they were being reported was incredibly selective and politically motivated. I wanted to track them back to the source.

What I discovered was a vast, underground network of government officials, former intelligence officers, members of Congress and their staffs, who were in bed with a complacent, anti-Bush media. They were eager to publish anything that did damage to this president, even if it put the lives of our intelligence officers or of our front-line troops in jeopardy.

So tell us about the underground resistance movement against President Bush.

Timmerman: It certainly comes as no surprise to readers of this page to discover that a segment of the Democrat party never accepted the legitimacy of the 2000 presidential election, and sought in every possible way to delegitimize George W. Bush.

What I discovered, however, was that this political “pay-back” went far beyond the realm of domestic politics, and that legions of “shadow warriors” purposefully burrowed into the bureaucracy with the sole purpose of undermining the president and his policies.

The sabotage was so intense, for example, that CIA officers actually stood by and watched as a key moderate Iraqi cleric was hacked to death in front of their eyes on the steps of a Shiite shrine in Najaf by the pro-Iranian radical, Muqtada al-Sadr, in April 2003. The death of Majid al-Khoie, who was brought back to Iraq by the Bush administration just after the overthrow of Saddam, was a tremendous setback to our efforts to help the Iraqi Shiite community to distance itself from Iran and organize itself around moderate, pro-Western leaders.

For the shadow warriors, the failure of the liberation of Iraq was not “collateral damage.” It was the actual goal of their efforts. Within just weeks of the liberation, as I reveal in the book, a retired State Department officer who briefly served in Iraq devised the mantra “Bush lied, people died.” The Left has never tired of repeating it.

FP: Your thoughts on the politicization of intelligence by Senate Democrats?

The end result of the extraordinary cherry-picking of intelligence by Senate Democrats that I describe in detail in the book is to devalue intelligence and to make it suspect.

As you know, I follow events in Iran quite closely. You will not be surprised to learn that I am skeptical of the latest National Intelligence Estimate that concluded with “high confidence” that Iran stopped nuclear weapons work in late 2003.

What I find truly disturbing, however, is the widespread skepticism that has greeted this NIE by ordinary Americans and by intelligence specialists alike. No one trusts the intelligence community to come to an unbiased conclusion any longer. This NIE is far worse than the much disputed October 2002 estimate of Iraqi WMD programs, which failed to properly weigh conflicting information but never recommended a policy to the President or to Congress. (No, Rosie, there was no ‘rush to war.’) This NIE explicitly advocates policy – something the intelligence community is not supposed to do – and gives the impression that the intelligence information it chose to credit was pre-cooked in support of a political conclusion.

FP: Shed some light for us on the shadow warriors at the State Department. How much have they hurt Bush administration policies?

Timmerman: Let me answer with an anecdote I describe in the book. After President Bush was elected to a second term in November 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell called a town meeting at the State Department in Washington . Faced with a sea of Kerry-Edwards stickers in the parking lot, Powell decided to confront the problem head on. “We live in a democracy,” he said. “As Americans, we have to respect the results of elections.” He went on to tell his employees that President Bush had received the most votes of any president in U.S. history, and that they were constitutionally obligated to serve him.

One of Powell’s subordinates, an assistant secretary of state, became increasingly agitated. Once Powell had dismissed everyone, she returned to her office suite, shut the door, and held a mini town meeting of her own. After indignantly recounting Powell’s remarks, she commented: “Well, Senator Kerry receive the second highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. If just one state had gone differently, Sen. Kerry would be President Kerry today.” Her staff owed no allegiance to the president of the United States , especially not to policies they knew were wrong, she said. If it was legal, and it would slow down the Bush juggernaut, they should do it, she told them.

Here was an open call to insubordination, and, I might add, it was not an isolated incident. We have heard recently from John Bolton confirmation of another story I tell in the book about Vann Van Diepen, one of the authors of the recent Iran NIE. Van Diepen systematically refused to carry out direct orders from Bolton to enforce non-proliferation sanctions against Iran and North Korea , because he disagreed with the policy.

Scott Carpenter, who had been in charge of the Iran pro-democracy programs at State, recently told the New York Sun that those programs were “dead” because they had been sabotaged by career State Department officials and Democrat political appointees, such as Suzanne Maloney, who now works at Brookings.

Thanks to those efforts, we now have only two policy options when it comes to Iran : acquiesce to an Iranian bomb, or bomb Iran (as French president Sarkozy has said so eloquently). The much better option, which I have advocated in these pages for some time, is to help the people of Iran to overthrow the regime. Thanks to the shadow warriors at State, we no longer have that option.

The war in Iraq is going very successfully now, but for a while there it did go wrong. Where, when and why did it go wrong?

Timmerman: I believe the single most catastrophic decision in the war was made by L. Paul (“Jerry”) Bremer just two days after he arrived in Baghdad in May 2003.

I comment everyone to read this particular chapter of Shadow Warriors. It is entitled, “The Viceroy Cometh,” and it describes how Bremer single-handedly overturned the long-standing strategic plan of the Bush administration to liberate Iraq and hand over power to the Iraqis, without even consulting with the White House. Bremer, who knew nothing about Iraq , decided upon arriving in Baghdad that the Iraqi Governing Council was “unrepresentative” and that he should replace them and rule Iraq directly. His decision single-handedly transformed the liberation of Iraq into an occupation and spawned the insurgency that ultimately cost the lives of more than 3000 U.S. soldiers.

The CIA’s war against Chalabi?

Timmerman: Google the name Ahmed Chalabi and “fraud,” and you get more than 55,000 hits. Google his name plus the word “crook” and you will get more than 12,000 hits. This gives a measure of how successful the effort to smear Ahmad Chalabi’s reputation has been. As I reveal in Shadow Warriors, that effort was spear-headed by the CIA,

Why did the CIA hate Chalabi? It wasn’t because he was an Iranian “agent” (just one of many false accusations made against him). The hatred began in 1996, when Chalabi came to Washington to warn then CIA director John Deutch that a CIA-sponsored coup plot had been penetrated by Saddam Hussein. In short, he had intelligence the CIA did not, and they never forgave him for it. It’s the old story of exposing the Emperor with No Clothes.

The Senate Select committee on intelligence vindicated Chalabi, and the information the Iraqi National Congress supplied to the US intelligence community on Saddam’s WMD programs, in a scathing report released last year. Never heard about that report? Little wonder. The “mainstream” press almost totally ignored it. That is why I reproduce parts of it in Shadow Warriors.

What was the insurrection at the CIA against Porter Goss all about?

Timmerman: Porter Goss was the president’s pick to replace George Tenet, who most famously predicted that building a case against Saddam’s WMD programs was a “slam dunk” and failed to inform the FBI of information the CIA had gathered about the future 9/11 hijackers that could have allowed them to foil the terrorist attacks.

As he was leaving CIA, Tenet and his deputy, John McLaughlin, stacked the decks against Goss, naming Steve Kappes to head the Operations Directorate, making him America’s top spy. Normally, an outgoing director would leave that type of major personnel decision to his successor. This was a key move, because Kappes had been under investigation by Goss’s staff at the House intelligence committee for serious security breaches while at a previous job.

Once Goss came in, as I reveal in Shadow Warriors, Kappes and an Old Boys’ network at CIA fought tooth and nail against Goss, even providing him with false intelligence to take to the White House that subsequently had to be called back. (That particular black op was symptomatic of the type of thing Kappes and his rogue weasels did to undermine Goss, hoping to discredit him with the president and force his removal).

Ultimately, Goss called Kappes’ bluff, and Kappes resigned in November 2004 –but never gave up. In the end, Kappes won, and his allies, who included Judge Lawrence Silberman and the incoming director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, urged the president to get rid of Goss and bring Kappes back.

It was a tremendous victory for the shadow warriors, and a story that has never been told until now.

While the CIA will deny this, Kappes has always been big on “liason” rather than developing unilateral American sources. This willingness to rely on agents controlled by foreign intelligence services can get you in a lot of trouble, especially when “friends” do not always behave as “allies.”

FP: You have a unique angle on the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson saga. Share it with us please.

Timmerman: Valerie Plame has got some explaining to do. In March, she testified under oath before Congress and swore she had “nothing” to do with sending her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy uranium there.

In fact, Val sent an email to her bosses recommending that they send him on this mission because he “has good relationships with both the [Prime Minster] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.”

I guess she never realized anyone would check her emails, or ask the CIA to declassify them. Oops! Val, you may want to read page 354 of Shadow Warriors before you are next asked to testify…

But rest assured. I have high confidence that Valerie Plame will NOT be hauled before a federal grand jury on perjury charges, as was done to vice president aid Scooter Libby. The Dems do a much better job than this president has done at protecting their own.

FP: Kenneth Timmerman, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Timmerman: My pleasure Jamie.