"But is [the CIA's] new report any more reliable than its original 2005 estimate, which declared that Iran was marching briskly towards attaining nuclear status? A look at the history of the CIA estimates suggests that caution is in order. ... On August 24, 1949, the office again declared that Stalin would most likely not be able to field an atomic bomb until mid-1953. Five days later, the Soviet Union conducted its first atomic test. ... After John F. Kennedy became president, satellite photography revealed not only that there wasn't a missile gap, but that the US was far ahead in the arms race. ... In addition, the CIA has rather amusingly concluded in the 1970s that East Germany was one of the top ten economies in the world. ... It took the CIA until 1960 to realize that Israel was building a bomb in Dimona. ... Then there was India. ... 'The CIA [stated] ... It is apparent that the Indians went to some lengths to conceal their activities and intentions'. The rapidity with which the CIA has reversed course on Iran should itself induce circumspection", Jacob Heilbrun (JH) at http://www.atimes,com/, 7 December.
"One revelation published in Saturday's Washington Post indicated that our intelligence community relied, in part, on the word of Iranian leader Hashemi Rafsanjami [HR]--long time power broker in Iran and a man marked by his extremism, corruption, intimate involvement with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards terror network and one of the men who has the most vested interest in furthering the Iranian nuclear program. He is also one of the wealthiest men in Iran with a compelling desire to avoid a santions regime that would directly harm his familiy's business empire. ... If former Iranian leader [HR] says it is so, it must be so? How is that intelligence? ... The Iranian regime has been caught lying (even the Iran-friendly [IAEA] has criticized the Iranians for lying) about their nuclear program. Furthermore, the Shite-created doctrines of 'taquiya' (deception) and kitman (dissembling) explicitly permit Muslims to lie to non-Muslims if such lying furthers Islamic interests", Ed Lasky at http://www.americanthinker.com/, 9 December.
Wow, the NYT printed Lincy and Milholin's price as an op-ed. Some circumspection indeed, JH. I guess I'm not everybody, I didn't see the report as a blockbuster, but as a non-starter. I remember the "missile gap" was an issue in 1960's election. I remember the CIA's reports on the East German econony, and India'a nuclear progress and the USSR's later strategic weapons position. My bottom line: I view anything coming out of the CIA with caution. I wonder if anyone at the CIA ever heard of takiwa?