December 5, 2007
With the release of the latest NIE report stating that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Democrats have received new ammunition to use against the president in future dealings with the country of Iran. For several years now we have heard how Iran, in its rapid push to build centrifuges across the nation, is preparing to join the Nuclear Club, prompting fears that Iran might share their nuclear secrets with groups as Al Qaeda.
Harry Reid, (D Nv) said, “I would be very surprised if, when this report came out yesterday and was made public, that the president didn't already know all about it.”
Hillary Clinton, (D NY) said, “I vehemently disagree with the president that nothing's change and, therefore, nothing in American policy has to change. I have, for two years, advocated diplomatic engagement with Iran, and I think that's what the president should do.”
Barack Obama (D Ill) chimed in, “They should have stopped the saber rattling, shouldn't have never started it, and they need now to aggressively move on the diplomatic front.”
Jay Rockefeller (D WV)says, “I have to believe that he knew what was going on. Why was he talking about a nuclear Holocaust? Why was he talking about all of those things?”
Silvestre Reyes (D Tx) opines, “I strongly urge President Bush to pursue a clear-eyed, serious diplomatic effort, with both carrots and sticks, to prevent Iran from restarting its nuclear weapons program.”
Joe Biden (D Del)adds, “The president raised the specter of World War III with Iran because, as he said, its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, months after he had been told by our intelligence community it's likely that Iran had halted its weapons program.”
Mirroring her successful campaign slogan from the 2006 elections, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D Ca) says, “the new Iran NIE suggests there is time for a new policy toward Iran that deters it from restarting its nuclear program while also improving relations overall.”
Rahm Emanuel (D IL) claims, “This report is a game changer. Okay?”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran says, “This is a declaration of victory for the Iranian nation against the world powers over the nuclear issue.” He added, “This was a final shot to those who, in the past several years, spread a sense of threat and concern in the world through lies of nuclear weapons ... Thanks to your resistance, a fatal shot was fired at the dreams of ill-wishers and the truthfulness of the Iranian nation was once again proved by the ill-wishers themselves.”
Some Officials from the European Union indicate that the report has removed the sense of urgency from the effort to compel Iran to cooperate fully with the international community in curtailing their nuclear enrichment. While they still look upon Iran with a wary eye, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency is urging “all parties to enter without delay into negotiations to ... bring about a comprehensive solution that would normalize the relationship between Iran and the international community.”
Still reeling from accusations of failing to connect the dots to prevent the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks, President Bush, ever on the defensive, held a Press Conference Tuesday, December 4. Addressing the newly released NIE Report, Bush said, “I think it is very important for the international community to recognize the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program it would create a danger for the world. And so I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the program. And the reason why it's a warning signal is that they could restart it.”
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cautioned, "I continue to see Iran as a dangerous power in international politics. At this moment, it doesn't appear to have an active weaponization program. That frankly is good news. But if it causes people to say, 'Oh, well, then we don't need to worry about what the Iranians are doing,' I think we will have made a big mistake."
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak disputes the U.S. NIE report, saying, “Israeli intelligence believes Iran is still trying to develop nuclear weapons. It is our responsibility to ensure that the right steps are taken against the Iranian regime.”
The NIE report itself claims that they “Created new procedures to integrate formal reviews of source reporting and technical judgments” and “Applied more rigorous standards” to arrive at the assessment they did.
The NIE A) Judges with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.
B) Judges with high confidence that the halt … was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure resulting from exposure of Iran’s previously undeclared nuclear work.
C) Assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.
D) Assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.
E) Assess with low confidence that Iran probably has imported at least some weapons-usable fissile material. They cannot rule out that Iran has acquired from abroad, or will acquire in the future, a nuclear weapon or enough fissile material for a weapon.
F) Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so.
G) Does not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its options.
H) Assess with moderate confidence that convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult given the linkage many within the leadership probably see between nuclear weapons development and Iran’s key national security and foreign policy objectives.
I) Assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.
Although Democrats and detractors of President Bush may feel he has been pushing for war with Iran, or that the sanctions need to be strengthened is inciting Iranian leadership, the report seems to have some level of confidence that President Bush is correct when he says, “It is clear from the latest NIE that the Iranian government has more to explain about its nuclear intentions and past actions.”
Deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said, “Anyone who thinks that the threat from Iran has receded or diminished is naive and is not paying attention to the facts,” and in response to Iran’s claims of vindication by the NIE Report, Fratto added, “I think that's absolutely absurd, and Iran should take no comfort or vindication from the NIE.”
How embarrassing it must be for the President of the United States of America to once again, have to go before the American people and show them how the dots line up towards another grave threat, explaining in plain English what a report actually says, while the opposition paints him as a fearmonger and after being castigated for not lining up the dots after he first took office by those same Democrats.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Posted by Lew Waters at 11:28 PM