Posted Date: December 4, 2007
As a follow up to a previous blog:, I’d like to update “3)”.
In a recently declassified NIE, the National Intelligence Commitee has determined that “in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program” due to international pressure and scrutiny. It has also been determined that “Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015”. As an added bonus, the report admits that we do “not know whether it (Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons”
For those unfamiliar, the “National Intelligence Estimate” is produced by combining all the “intelligence” the US has available. This is not “hippy liberal bloggers”, the NIC creates reports like “Iraq’s Continuing Program for Weapons of Mass Destruction” and “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States“. I mean, these guys are paranoid, and somebody really is after them!
Sure, these reports are many times innacurate. After all, the report on Iraq’s WMDs was now clearly based on unreliable data, and can be pointed to as a key excuse for why we are in Iraq today! But at least after the fact we know that the Iraq report was very controversial within the intelligence community (Richard Clarke’s account in “Against All Enemies” is a good reference for this). According to the powers that be (or at least, Jane Harman :) this report is much more solidly founded, although history will be the final judge.
But it’s clear that a report that validates the political goals of the Bush Administration is considered infallible, while one that invalidates it is automatically considered untrustworthy. And here we see Bush doing exactly that again. Notice how differently he treated the Iraq WMD report in 2002!
I mean, this is a consistent human trait, and it’s not limited to just politics, of course. We always recognize results that support our predictions much more easily than those that don’t (see “Confimation Bias“). But this is why government has a system of checks and balances; this sort of bias is a systematic problem with the Bush Administration.
Because the fact is, BUSH WAS WRONG ABOUT IRAN!!!! The Administration’s policies have been based on Iran continuing weapons research. And they are wrong, per our own best intelligence. To oversimplify even further, Ahmadinejad was telling the truth, and Bush was not. Still, this makes me sick, we have serious problems when our enemies act more moral than we do! Who picked this fight, anyway?
It’s true that Ahmadinejad and Iran have serious issues. But if our policies are based on wishful thinking instead of fact, then it should be obvious we have our own issues to take care of! War is not the answer, and we can’t afford it anyway.