Friday, July 31, 2015

Repeat after me (and the CIA): Iran is not developing nuclear weapons

Repeat after me (and the CIA): Iran is not developing nuclear weapons

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I'm a huge fan of George Orwell's classic "1984" -- it's hard not be these days -- and I often toss around a phrase from the book, "the memory hole." That's the place where the protagonist Winston Smith, who works for the Ministry of Truth, is tasked with tossing old newspaper articles that don't fit the party line.

Fiction? Look at how successful our government has been at incinerating the news that was released with a brief flurry of fanfare in late 2007: That Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program several years earlier, even as officials in the United States and Israel were still debating a preemptive strike.

That 2007 National Intellgence Estimate, the official verdict of the U.S. intelligence community, said in part:

We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.

A year later, all of Washington has conveniently forgotten that report, and not just the usual suspects. Barack Obama, who praised the intelligence estimate when it was released, went on national TV on Sunday and asserted that Tehran has an active nuclear program.

Really? If he knows something, he should also be firing a bunch of people at the CIA and preparing a whole new report. Otherwise, the president-elect and a whole lot of other people better get their facts straight, including the media. Several bloggers like Glenn Greenwald have been on this story for a while but this is something that cannot be repeated often enough -- given the possiblility of yet another deadly foreign policy blunder.

We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.

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Will Bunch
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