Tuesday, December 04, 2007

NIE, Boy Am I Ever Confused

Back in the summer, this summer, there was noise about the NIE and it not getting published, there were rumors that the intelligence had to be fixed, it was too dangerously secret. Congress was, by then, complaining about the lack of release.

Now a document directly refuting the BushCo rhetoric over the past six months is released. The NEI does not sort of contradict, it flatly refutes it. The President found out about this last Wednesday. Iraq stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

The questions surrounding this are mind-boggling and run the gamut of considerations. Why was this released? Whose decision was it to release it? Who knew about it? When did GeorgeII know? What does this mean to BushCo policy and who is running it?

NYT: Monday, Donald M. Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence, said that since the new estimate was at odds with the 2005 assessment — and thus at odds with public statements by top officials about Iran — “we felt it was important to release this information to ensure that an accurate presentation is available.”

That all sounds very responsible, but there is a distinct problem with it, it has been say upon for some time now while nonsense statements were being made. The thing is released and GeorgeII is on TV the next day stating, essentially that it is meaningless. Congress seems to be denying having pushed for release and if it were the Democrats they surely would claim credit. Hadley was not a happy camper during release press op. McConnell and Gates are keeping their heads down, so what - Darth Cheney? Did the intelligence agencies freak out and demand it? No answers forthcoming.

Now supposedly George found out last week that he has been FOS. There is nobody in BushCo who wins by having GeorgeII make a fool of himself. I understand that it is easy enough to accomplish once things become public but unless you can come up with a recently fired or resigned official with enough clout to know about this you are short of suspects. I'd speculate, but I have nothing to go on. I can think of all kinds of reasons to not release the NIE, but short of DoD realism regarding our military strength opposing the BushCo hasn't proved fruitful for anyone. If DoD had knowledge of this and opposition to poking at Iran, having it wait this long would be counter-productive.

Bush made it pretty clear that he figures Iran will try for nukes no matter what the NIE says about their evident agenda. His rhetoric showed no sign of easing and he seems to be pushing the same policy line. About as far as the President was willing to go was to acknowledge that the NIE even exists. This is all getting very tail chasing...

If there is a saving grace it is that the American people and much of the world are very dubious of BushCo claims, now. The biggest drawback is that it begins to look as though nobody is in charge and and no one knows what is going on.

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