Thursday, April 23, 2009

Iran's Bomb-3

"While President Obama's unanticipated Nowruz holiday greeting to Iran generated considerable press attention, his video wasn't really this week's big news related to the Islamic Republic. Far more important was that a senior defector--Iran's former Deputy Minister of Defense Ali Reza Asghari--disclosed Tehran's financing of Syria's nuclear weapons program. That program's centerpiece was a North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria. Israel destroyed it in September 2007. ... That the Pyongyang-Damascus-Tehran nuclear axis went undetected and unacknowledged for so long is an intelligence failure of the highest magnitude. It represents a plain unwillingness to allow hard truths to overcome well-entrenched policy views disguised as intelligence findings. ... Key IC agencies made two arguments in 2003 against the possibility of a clandestine Syrian nuclear weapons program. First, they argued that Syria lacked the scientific and technological capabilities to sustain such a program. Second, they said that Syria did not have the necessary economic resources to fund a program. ... The intelligence that did exist--which I thought warranted a close observation of Syria, at a minimum--that IC discounted as inconsistent with its fixed opinions. In short, theirs was not an intelligence conclusion, but a policy view presented under the guise of intelligence. ... Uncovering the North Korean reactor in Syria was a grave inconvenience for the Bush administration. It enormously complicated both the failing six-party talks on North Korea and the EU-3's diplomatic efforts with Iran, which Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice so actively supported. ... Such dialogue allows Iran to conceal its true intentions and activities under the camouflage of negotiations, just as it has done for the past six years with the EU-3. What's more, Iran will see it as confirmation of US weakness and evidence that its polcies are succeeding", my emphasis, John Bolton at the WSJ, 21 March 2009.

"In a meeting Thursday at the Journal, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told us that 'there is a leadership in Israel that is not going to tolerate' a nuclear Iran. Tehran's atomic designs, he said, were a matter of 'life or death' for the Jewish state. ... The Admiral was also clear about Iran's challenge to the US. 'I think we've got a problem now. ... I think the Iranians are on a path to building nuclear weapons.' For the time his counsel is diplomacy, noting that 'Even in the darkest hours of the Cold War we talked to the Soviets.' But, he added, 'we don't have a lot of time'," my emphasis, Editorial at the WSJ, 6 April 2009.

"On Apr. 9, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's atomic energy agency, announced that the Islamic Republic had installed 7,000 centrifuges in its Nataz uranium enrichment facility. The announcement came one day after the US State Department announced it would engage Iran directly in multilateral nuclear talks. ... Thus our president fulfills a pattern in which new adminstrations place the failure of diplomacy on predecessors rather than on adversaries. The Islamic Republic is not a passive actor, however. Quite the opposite: While President Obama plays checkers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni plays chess. The enrichment milestone is a testament both to Tehran's proactive strategy, and to Washington's refusal to recognize it. ... It was a ruse. Iranian officials were as insincere was European diplomats were greedy, gullible or both. Iranian officials now acknowledge that Tehran invested the benefits reaped into its nuclear program. ... When Mr. Obama declared on April 5 that 'All countries can access peaceful nuclear energy,' the state-run daily newspaper Resalat responded with a front page headline,' The United States capitulates to the nuclear goals of Iran'," Michael Rubin at the WSJ, 13 April 2009.

I agree with Bolton. I have no confidence in our intelligence establishment at all. It says what it's told.

Welcome aboard Mullen. I concluded this about five years ago. Have I access to better intelligence that you do?

Iran's press is more accurate than our State Department.


Anonymous said...

My hope with Pres-O is that he doesn't get carried away with his reflection in the press... he's portrayed as this magic figure that will sweep away conflict and animosity... and as was said 'our enemies play chess'... and wait patiently for our weaknesses to be exposed...

I don't know the answer for Iran but it seems that they have played successive US administrations well... wake up Pres-O!

Anonymous said...

any more posts coming ?