Monday, December 10, 2007

CIA `Hoodwinked' On Iran Nukes - British Intelligence

Apparently John Bolton, numerous commentators and the Israelis aren't the only ones going public about the flawed Iran NIE.

British Intelligence apparently has similar doubts:

British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been `hoodwinked' by Teheran.Analysts believe that Iranian staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation

The timing of the CIA report has also provoked fury in the British Government, where officials believe it has undermined efforts to impose tough new sanctions on Iran and made an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities more likely.

The security services in London want concrete evidence to allay concerns that the Islamic state has fed disinformation to the CIA.The report used new evidence - including human sources, wireless intercepts and evidence from an Iranian defector - to conclude that Teheran suspended the bomb-making side of its nuclear programme in 2003. But British intelligence is concerned that US spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a reason to go to war - as their reports on Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes did in Iraq - that they got it wrong this time.

A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defence chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.

The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation. "We are sceptical. We want to know what the basis of it is, where did it come from? Was it on the basis of the defector? Was it on the basis of the intercept material? They say things on the phone because they know we are up on the phones. They say black is white. They will say anything to throw us off.

"It's not as if the American intelligence agencies are regarded as brilliant performers in that region. They got badly burned over Iraq."

A US intelligence source has revealed that some American spies share the concerns of the British and the Israelis. "Many middle- ranking CIA veterans believe Iran is still committed to producing nuclear weapons and are concerned that the agency lost a number of its best sources in Iran in 2004," the official said.

Of course, Joshua's Army members know my views on the subject.This was not something that was foisted on the Bush Administration by `rogue' intel agents, but something designed and made public by the Administration deliberately.


Anonymous said...

If this was done deliberately by the Bush Administration, then these guys are dumber than I thought they were. This just added ammunition to the impeach Bush crowd. "Did you lie then or are you lying now?" is alrady being incorporated into the talking points of the angry left.

Perhaps it was deliberate on the part of the Administration. Certainly members of the US government including the White House are devious enough to do things like this, however, in this case I have a hard time believing it was deliberate.

The sanctions against Iran were slowly beginning to impact their economy. Gradually the Chinese and even the Russians were making small noises about coming on board with the sanctions. Even Iraq was slowly becoming more stable. Granted it was not moving quickly enough but progress was being made. Now this is all for naught.

If the Administration deliberately did this or anything else, the media will get to the bottom of it. If Bush thinks he will simply ride out his term, he will ride it out all the way to a jail cell. The sudden turn on Iran will not help him one little bit. Now it could be argued that the release was deliberate because the Administration's enemies would have released it any way.

In any event, not good for the Administration. Perhaps Bush and Company are tired and hoping that the House and the Senate will put them out of their misery. You see if Iran had stopped their WMD program in 2003, this means all other intellegence assessments prior to this were wrong and Bush "lied" about them to try and goad the country into a war. At least, this will be the taling point of the angry left who directs the Democrat party. Impeachment just got easier for them.

Btw, the British seem to be asking the right question. I must say I'm pleasently surprised. They probably don't war with Iran and would be just as happy as anyone to see this all go away.

Whether war with Iran happens or not, we need to know this. Hot war with Iran will be VERY difficult. As I'm writing this, the American people are unprepared for this. Given the domestic political realities, there might be a sound reason to try and put this off for now, however, Israel cannot wait. Due to its small size and its close proximity to Iran the danger to Israel is quickly acute. The best option appears to be have Israel take out the Iranian nuclear program and stay out of their way.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly the Iranians will not be able to build a nuclear bomb before 2001 or some say 2013 and still others say 2015. Who is stupid enough to actually believe this?

To put this into perspective, when the US built its first nuclear bombs during WWII it took the US less than three years to do so. The US did not have access to research that had already been done for them nor did the US have access to experts who had already built and tested nuclear weapons. The US started essentially from scratch and it only took about two and half years to build working nuclear weapons.

Iran has access to research that has already been done for them. They have access to people who have built and tested nuclear weapons. The notion that it would take them until 2011, 2013, or 2015 to be able to have a working nuclear bomb is utterly ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

"It's not as if the American intelligence agencies are regarded as brilliant performers in that region. They got badly burned over Iraq."

That’s sweat coming from British intelligence, who endorsed Blair’s position on WDM prior to Iraq. [and I’m a Brit]

Anonymous said...

PS sweet, not sweat ! OOps.

[ could you correct ? thanks ]