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Politics-US: Cheney Tried to Stifle Dissent in Iran National Intelligence Estimate

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This article describes Cheney’s attempts to impede any opposition that exhibited a view of Iran’s nuclear program not aligned with the menacing threat Iran-war advocates were pushing.

A former CIA intelligence officer who has asked not to be identified told IPS that an official involved in the NIE process says the Iran estimate was ready to be published a year ago but has been delayed because the director of national intelligence wanted a draft reflecting a consensus on key conclusions — particularly on Iran’s nuclear programme.

The NIE coordinates the judgments of 16 intelligence agencies on a specific country or issue.

There is a split in the intelligence community on how much of a threat the Iranian nuclear programme poses, according to the intelligence official’s account. Some analysts who are less independent are willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the alarmist view coming from Cheney’s office, but others have rejected that view.

The draft NIE first completed a year ago, which had included the dissenting views, was not acceptable to the White House, according to the former intelligence officer. “They refused to come out with a version that had dissenting views in it,” he says.

Irancove @ November 10, 2007

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