Deja Vu all over again

Although the Bush White House tried to put the best face on it, there’s no getting around the fact that a national intelligence finding that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program four years ago and that it remains mothballed is a black eye for administration credibility and a blow to its hard line policy toward Iran.

At the very least it should cause the White House to tone down its belligerent rhetoric about a “military option” toward Iran. Indeed, in a backhanded way the finding concludes that the reason Iran froze its nuclear weapons program in 2003 — “primarily in response to international scrutiny and pressure” — was in a sense a victory for Bush’s diplomatic policy since the U.S. largely organized that pressure.

At a White House press conference called largely so the president could discuss the new national intelligence estimate, Bush insisted that Iran remains a nuclear threat because it now has the capacity to enrich uranium, a necessary prelude to building weapons, and because of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s bellicosity toward Israel.

Bush said he first saw the intelligence findings last week. But the administration knew last summer that the intelligence agencies had come into possession of information that cast extreme doubt on their 2005 finding of “high confidence” that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

Yet in the meantime the Bush administration ratcheted up its rhetoric toward Iran. In August the president said Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons put the Mideast “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust” and in October that ending its weapons program was vital “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III . . . ” Also in October Vice President Cheney direly warned that the world was prepared to impose “serious consequences” on Iran.

Asked if this sudden reversal was evidence of another intelligence failure, the president said that it was evidence his wholesale reform of the intelligence community had worked. And maybe it has.

Making the findings public must have been embarrassing to the White House, but it frees the president from the damaging charges during his first term that his administration cherry-picked and distorted intelligence to justify its policies and suppressed information that contradicted them.


  1. Sandra Price

    There is a terrible anger coming from the neoconservatives regarding a bad reaction to Bush’s comments on Tuesday. I now listen to Imus in the Morning that streams in from New York’s radio station 77WABC and discovered that this is also Rush Limbaugh’s station. His trailer this morning was an angry tirade against those who dared to believe the combination of Security reports that Iran had stopped production of nuclear weapons.

    I’ve also recognized the fury found on many sites on the ‘net who believe Bush has every right to ignore this information that Iran stopped this production. He apparently is the religious leader these people have wanted for President and they will fight with their fangs and claws out to protect him.

    This anger will either destroy the reputations of candidates running as Conservative Republicans or pull out the religious right again to stamp out this deadly liberal questioning of Bush’s integrity. Do we wait until just before he announces an attack on Iran, or do we get our Congress aware that we will fight against such an action before Bush dares to act on more lies?

  2. Steve Horn

    Wait, wait – the NIE is talking about Nuclear weapons – Bush is talking about Noookueular weapons – I think that’s where the disconnect is – they’re two distinct things – one exists (Nuclear) but not in Iran, the other (Noookueular) exists – but only in the mind of Bush …..



  3. LurkingFromTheLeft

    What is that?

    …he has a mind?

    …I thought the head had no brains just like the emperor has no clothes –


  4. Steve Horn

    All madmen have a mind.

    Sometimes madness revelas itself as creative genius, we allow these folks to show their world of illusion to us as it can bring great joy. Many great artists occupy the list of names described by this condition.

    Sometimes madness reveals itself as mental paralysis, where a person can not make rational decisions based on presented evidence, where a person just seeks approval no matter the cost. In 2006 we, as a nation, decided to elect a large number of these folks to congress.

    Other times madness reveals itself in the person of a psychotic, unable to grasp the reality that surrounds them and keep it separate and apart from their own inner madness, their delusional world that they’ve created for themselves. We used to institutionalize these folks, apparently now we elect them to the offices of President and Vice President and allow them to run rough-shod over our constitution and freedom.

    Worst of all is the most common form of madness in this once great nation of ours, which manifests itself as apathy.



  5. JudyB

    Bush has shot himself in both feet so often that his wounds have not only crippled him but left him with severe untreatable infections. The shot he gave to his foot yesterday might have killed most normal human beings..however Bush is not a normal human being and he will continue to inflict more damage unless his gun is taken from him. I don’t care what happens to him, but I despise the fact that our nation is what he has really maimed putting us in harms way in every arena he has ventured. I dread this next year and the further dangers he is still capable of inflicting upon us. I am afraid..VERY afraid!

  6. lindaj

    I asked an Israeli I’ve known for a very long time, a respected scientist, what he thinks of what’s going on. My answer from him today was “Dear Linda, We have been surprised (to put it mildly) by the recent anouncement of the US intelligence agencies’declaration that Iran has ceased to seek the development of nuclear weapons! Any sensible child would conclude the opposite. Iran has enough oil and energy sources for many years to come so their claim to develop nuclear energy for peace is a joke!The fact that they refuse to open their facilities for inspection speaks for itself. Their open and clear policy to anihilate Israel is enough of a warning we understand at face value and cannot ignore. Best regards, (name withheld)”
    Bush is indeed not trustable, it’s hard to wait a year to replace him, but there is some kind of error in the intelligence judgment that they aren’t doing anything. The intelligence people have been consistently also un-trustable.

  7. JerryG

    Surely, you don’t believe the latest Iran intel report do you? This is either one of three things:

    1 – Disinformation
    2 – Gigantic intel blunder
    3 – The truth

    Considering it has occured during the Bush administration only 2 of the 3 are remotely possible!