John on January 22, 2010 at 8:38 am
The infamous 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran which said that Iran had stopped its weapons program in 2003, was wrong. I wrote about it here based on some information from the Wall Street Journal. Now even Newsweek is changing its tune:
U.S. intelligence agencies are quietly revising their widely disputed assertion that Iran has no active program to design or build a nuclear bomb. Three U.S. and two foreign counterproliferation officials tell NEWSWEEK that, as soon as next month, the intel agencies are expected to complete an “update” to their controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Tehran “halted its nuclear weapons program” in 2003 and “had not restarted” it as of mid-2007. The officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive information, say the revised report will bring U.S. intel agencies more in line with other countries’ spy agencies (such as Britain’s MI6, Germany’s BND, and Israel’s Mossad), which have maintained that Iran has been pursuing a nuclear weapon.
Calling the 2007 NIE on Iran a “disputed assertion” doesn’t quite capture the moment. Let”s travel back in time, shall we? Watch as much of this as you can take:
Keith Olbermann has become a joke even within his own circle, i.e. wealthy, liberal, TV-talking-heads. But contrary to Jon Stewart’s fawning you’re-better-than-this mockery, Keith was already a hysteric back in 2007.
All of that nauseating smugness was essentially based on the 2007 NIE which had just come out. To outraged liberals like Olbermann it was one more foreign policy exaggeration, the last straw on a nuclear camel’s back which started with the “16 words” in Bush’s State of the Union years earlier and led us all the way through claims of “sexed-up” intelligence, the execrable Joe Wilson, and the Fitzmas that never came.
Of course, the fact that Wilson was a liar never changed their story much. Even now, Hollywood is prepping a film about his exploits. So I suspect the quiet revision of the 2007 Iran NIE won’t make much real world difference to a lot of folks. Like the “stolen election” of 2000, it’s part of their mythology now.
But for the record, the 2007 NIE was wrong. Olbermann was wrong. Bush was right.