Monday, August 01, 2005

Gaslight Watch: Deja vu all over again 

I've got this crazy feeling that I've heard all this somewhere before:

A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.

The carefully hedged assessments, which represent consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies, contrast with forceful public statements by the White House. Administration officials have asserted, but have not offered proof, that Tehran is moving determinedly toward a nuclear arsenal. The new estimate could provide more time for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. President Bush has said that he wants the crisis resolved diplomatically but that "all options are on the table."

In January, before the review, Vice President Cheney suggested Iranian nuclear advances were so pressing that Israel may be forced to attack facilities, as it had done 23 years earlier in Iraq.

In an April 2004 speech, John R. Bolton -- then the administration's point man on weapons of mass destruction and now Bush's temporarily appointed U.N. ambassador -- said: "If we permit Iran's deception to go on much longer, it will be too late. Iran will have nuclear weapons."

But the level of certainty, influenced by diplomacy and intelligence, appears to have shifted.
(via WaPo)

Not, of course, that "fixing the intelligence and the facts around the policy" are in the Republican playbook. I'm sure that was all just a one-time thing, and they've learned from their mistakes. And after all, this is 2005, so there aren't any branches of government at stake.

So I think we should all just trust the President.

And if He wants to have Dick "Dick" Cheney whip those analysts back into line, then God love him.

NOTE Note that I'm not saying there's no chance Iran has nuclear weapons, or that it would be good if they did. What I am saying is that the ideologues in the malAdministration have so totalled FUBARed themselves, in both intelligence and execution, that there's simply no reason to believe anything they say.

NOTE Funny how this report got leaked on the same day Bush left for the ranch.

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