Friday, October 09, 2009

Rumblings in Congress On Iran

Two interesting occurrences in DC today.

In view of recent developments, the House tacked on an amendment to the recently passed 2010 defense budget bill requiring President Obama to report by January 31 on exactly what progress has been made with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

It also demanded that sanctions be levied against Iran if the Islamic republic does not "accept the offer of the United States to engage in diplomatic talks" and also if it fails "to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities" related to its nuclear ambitions.

The bill also requires that SecDef Robert Gates submit an annual report to Congress on current and future military strategy regarding Iran.

The bill still needs to go through the Senate, but it's highly likely the amendment will stand as written.

Another little noticed appropriation submitted by the Pentagon to Congress involves special funding to develop and implement a huge new bunker-buster bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) especially designed to take out underground targets buried as much as 200 feet below ground. Congress approved the $68.4 million dollar request as an 'Urgent Operational Need'(UON) and th eprocess is already underway.

In a separate development, two congressmen, Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) are circulating a letter in the House demanding to know exactly why the director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, testified to Congress earlier this year that Iran had no secret nuclear facilities:

"While we now know Iran built a secret underground uranium enrichment facility too small to be used for civilian purposes, Director Blair's recent testimony and the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate suggested that such a facility did not yet exist," said Kirk, co-chair of the bipartisan House Iran Working Group. "The United States cannot afford another intelligence failure. Director Blair needs to explain these apparent disconnects within the Intelligence Community."

'Intelligence failure'? Sounds suspiciously like the language used about the Bush Administration over Iraq.

But of course, that's what happens when you put all sorts of constraints on your intel gathering sources, cut back your actions on the ground and rely on satellites rather than humint (human intelligence).

This might just lead to a bit more emphasis on our intel and less on mirandizing enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.

Perhaps people are waking up a bit. I hope it's not too little, to late.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

According to the word "lie" is defined as follows: a false statement made with deliberate intent to decieve; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. Did the Bush Administration "lie" when they published reports of Iraq's WMD. By this definition, no they did not. Did they make an error. Yes they did. Why did they make the errors they made? Freedom Fighter explains it very well in the the second and third to last sentences in the posts.

Specifically not enough hummint and the hummint we have is too constrained. Unfortunately Mr. Obama and his team have made a bad situation worse.

When Mr. Blair and his team reported that Iran did not have any clandestine nuclear facilities, did they lie? By the above definition they probably did. Bush and his team were vilified by the media for their errors. Why no vilification by the media here? I suppose dead Americans and destroyed American cities fit nicely into the media's agenda. I suppose as long as it is not the city where they live that bites the nuclear dust or their family members who get killed I suppose all is well and good with them. Of course they could be to ideologically blind to recognize the stakes.

If we assume that Mr. Bush and his team did not lie, then the correct course of action would have been to increase our hummint and to remove the restraints from our intellegence agents. If we assume Bush and his team lied, then the correct conclusion is to vilify the President, his team, and anyone who supports him and pretty much continue what was being done.

The "Bush lied" meme accomplishes several things. 1.)It discredits American officials. This comes in handy for America's enemies. Nobody trusts us and would probably celebrate if we were destroyed. (At least temporarily they would.) 2.)If Bush and his team did not lie, then BIG changes would need to be made to US intellegence, their agencies, and the officials operating them. By perpatrating the Bush lied meme, incompetent officials are able to keep their jobs and it takes the heat off of them. In any event, it is very destructive to American interests.

As such, American officals should challenge the "Bush lied" theory at every turn. Unfortunately some have placed short term political gain over the slightly longer to mid range survival of their country. Shame on such people.

None of what I typed here is meant to be construed as a defense of President Bush. In fact, as I've said here and elsewhere many times, he was by far the worst President America has ever had. So far, Obama appears to be even worse but he is not finished yet. Time will tell.