I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Who's the big dog?

I seem to have personally survived the duo of Pacific typhoons the battered the Pacific Northwest. I did experience a short power outage but that's all. There is a lot of news today but perhaps the biggest is the release of a year old National Intelligence Estimate.
U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work
A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.
Now it's easy to see why Cheney, Bush and DNI Mike McConnell didn't want it released - if proves that once again they were lying in order to push their war agenda. This will make it extremely difficult for the psychopaths in the administration to attack Iran.

Kevin Drum asks a very good question; WHY WAS THE NIE RELEASED? is the administration did not want it released.
All I've got is speculation on the second question, but here it is: it was congressional pressure. Democratic members of the various intelligence committees saw the NIE (or a summary or a verbal report or something) and went ballistic. Footnotes and dissents are one thing, but withholding a report whose primary conclusion is 180 degrees contrary to years of administration innuendo produced a rebellion. Somebody who got briefed must have threatened something pretty serious if the NIE didn't see the light of day.

Like I said, just a guess. But who else has the clout to force Bush, Cheney, and McConnell to change course?
I have to wonder if the lawmakers may have had some help from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Pentagon.

This should also all but take Iran off the table for the 2008 presidential elections meaning the Republicans will have to stick to immigration to prove how manly they are.

Spencer Ackerman doesn't think it was the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee that forced the release of the NIE but that it may have been a case where the Intelligence Community wanted to set the record straight. I don't think so. While the rank and file members may have wanted to release it they couldn't without Mike McConnell's approval and I would doubt that he would have any interest is "setting the record straight". My money is still on the the Pentagon and Robert Gates perhaps working with Rice and her people at State. Perhaps that's why Wolfie is coming back - to keep a leash on Condi.

1 comment:

  1. I've been podering this one since it came out. There was talk a couple months ago that it held info the admin didn't like. Gates gets a hmmmm, from me, this had to have gotten some serious traction somewhere to make this kind of push. What is Gates leverage? "Cough up or I'll talk" AS I said, hmmmm.


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