You are currently browsing the weblog archives for December, 2007.

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TPM’s Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials

Irancove @ December 31, 2007 # 5 Comments

Paul Kiel’s catalog of Bush administration officials involved in various scandals: Indicted / Convicted/ Pled Guilty * Eric G. Andell – deputy undersecretary in charge of newly created Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (previously senior adviser to Secretary of Education Rod Paige) – pleaded guilty to one count of conflict of interest for using […]

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There will be no UN inquiry over Bhutto

Irancove @ December 30, 2007 # 10 Comments

Pat Lang contrasts the investigation after Rafik Hariri’s assassination in Lebanon to accepting the word of the Pakistani government over Bhutto’s death. Unfortunately, there will not be an outside investigation. Some might ask why not?  After all, when Rafik Hariri was killed in Lebanon several years ago, there was an international hue and cry for […]

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Christmas in Iran, Perceptions in US

Irancove @ December 29, 2007 # 9 Comments

via Payvand Yep. That’s Iran. Tehran, Iran. The Hub of Human Evil. According to American hate radio, anyway. Snowy Tehran on a peaceful winter day. Makes you think of Boulder, don’t it? Surrounded by snow-covered mountains? Those are the Alborz Mountains. And they are higher than the Rockies. They are the highest peaks in Asia […]

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UK held secret nuclear talks with Iran 30 years ago

Irancove @ December 29, 2007 # 3 Comments

Via Payvand: London, Dec 28, IRNA – Britain entered into secret negotiations in 1977 to build 20 nuclear reactors in Iran before the Islamic Revolution, according to newly declassified official documents. The programme dwarfed similar projects offered at the time by France and Germany and senior UK civil servants predicted that by the end of […]

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Iran’s Peace Museum

Irancove @ December 26, 2007 # 3 Comments

Source Christian Science Monitor by Scott Peterson In the soil of an Islamic state long defined by war and martyrdom, some Iranians are planting a new seed of peace, by opening a museum that showcases the horrors of war. In Iran, countless acres are dedicated to cemeteries for soldiers killed in the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. […]

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Monroe Doctrine Under Seige by Iranians

Irancove @ December 24, 2007 # 3 Comments

Jim Jobe has an interesting post on Commentary Magazine’s response to Iranians in Latin America.  This story was also reported here and by Fox News. by Jim Lobe Remember when Ronald Reagan warned more than 20 years ago that Soviet- and Cuban-backed revolutionaries were just “two days’ driving time from Harlingen, Texas?” Well, the folks […]

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It’s time to talk to Iran

Irancove @ December 23, 2007 # 3 Comments

Daniel Levy writes in the JTA on the strategic benefits of Israel talking to Iran: The strategy of using international sanctions and military threats to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions has failed. Israel and the United States must realize they have a lot more to gain from talking to Iran than isolating it. Published: 12/20/2007 WASHINGTON […]

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Krauthammer joins Frum and Kristol on Iran

Irancove @ December 22, 2007 # 16 Comments

Via Jim Lobe: Charles Krauthammer has joined David Frum and Bill Kristol in concluding (bitterly) that the Iran NIE has made it impossible for George W. Bush to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities before the end of his term. …. He goes on to cite “recent dissidents’ reports” that the weaponization program, suspended in 2003, in […]

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Iranians celebrate Yalda

Irancove @ December 21, 2007 # No Comment Yet

Iranians throughout the world will celebrate the longest night of the Iranian calendar year, Yalda, in a tradition welcoming the birthday of the Goddess of Love, Mitra.  On Yalda festival, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.

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UK court reinstates Iran’s claim to art

Irancove @ December 21, 2007 # 4 Comments

Iran won an important court ruling Friday in its bid to force an international art dealer in London to return 18 ancient artifacts that allegedly were stolen from the country’s tombs. The Court of Appeal, overruling a lower court, reinstated Iran’s suit to reclaim the artifacts.

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al Qaeda’s Ayman Al Zawahiri Attacks Iran

Irancove @ December 19, 2007 # 8 Comments

Via the USG Open Source Center, Ayman al-Zawahiri lashes out at Iran: He [Zawahiri] sees Iran as hypocritical and actually tacitly cooperating with the US. He dismisses Muqtada al-Sadr as an Iranian cat’s paw. He attacks Hasan Nasrallah of Lebanon’s Hizbullah. But with no evidence and complete ignorance—or deliberate disregard—of regional dynamics, the NRO’s Larry […]

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Dubai, Iran’s Hong Kong?

Irancove @ December 19, 2007 # 2 Comments

Source: UPI by Arnaud De Borchgrave DUBAI, , 17 (UPI) — The latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that said Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons quest four years ago was greeted in the Persian Gulf Emirates with a collective sigh of relief. Accurate or not didn’t seem to matter. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on a […]

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Israel plans to “correct” the Iran NIE

Irancove @ December 16, 2007 # One Comment

Col. Pat Lang weighs in on Avi Dichter’s remarks declaring that the Iran intel casts doubt on the American intelligence community.  Dichter invoked the specter of the Yom Kippur war to raise fears of an Iranian attack on Israel. Yup.  Tail wags dog.  Mouse gives diving eagle the finger.  Dog bites the hand, etc. Israeli […]

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David Frum Reluctantly Rules Out Iran Strike

Irancove @ December 15, 2007 # 6 Comments

Jim Lobe reports that David Frum—a strong advocate for attacking Iran—has joined the other neocons like Bill Kristol in ruling out a strike on Iran based on the NIE.  However, he is still pushing for regime changed based on a variety of means including sanctions.

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US Report on Iran’s Nuclear Aims Hurting Ahmadinejad?

Irancove @ December 14, 2007 # 6 Comments

Vali Nasr and Ray Tayekh weigh in on the effects of the NIE for Ahmadinejad in Iran: It is clear that the Bush administration’s policy of sanctions and tacit threat of war toward Iran has lost all credibility. This became evident as soon as the National Intelligence Estimate released this month contradicted the White House […]

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Kissinger vs. the Intelligence People

Irancove @ December 13, 2007 # 6 Comments

Pat Lang has an excellent post responding to Kissinger’s piece in the Washington Post on the subject of the Iran NIE: Henry the “K” has (until now) managed to disguise his relationship to the neocon Jacobins who seek the “perfection of mankind”  through political scheming and open warfare.  Through the skillful use of avuncular editorials, […]

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Key Neo-Cons Giving Up on Attacking Iran?

Irancove @ December 13, 2007 # 6 Comments

Jim Lobe reports on a split in the issue of the NIE and prospects of attacking Iran before the end of President Bush’s term among the neoconservatives.  Robert Kagan is now in favor of negotiating with Iran, and Bill Kristol has also given up on the prospect of attacking Iran. Not only does he [Kagan] […]

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The NIE Spin in Washington and Tehran

Irancove @ December 12, 2007 # 5 Comments

Farideh Farhi has an excellent post on the spinning of the NIE story to the public.  It is worth a read: I just saw this piece by Dennis Ross about the incompetent way the NIE was framed and presented to the American public and was stunned to read the following: “…in 2005, former Iranian president […]

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Calling on Congress to Stop a War

Irancove @ December 12, 2007 # No Comment Yet

Scott Ritter: Let’s hear it for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). After more than five years of effort, incorporating technologically advanced, exhaustive inspections of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities (and, to a lesser degree, some undeclared facilities as well), the fruit of its labor has been borne out in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced […]

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Bombed If You Do, Bombed If You Don’t

Irancove @ December 12, 2007 # 6 Comments

Ron Paul: The truth is Iran is being asked to do the logically impossible feat of proving a negative. They are being presumed guilty until proven innocent because there is no evidence with which to indict them. There is still no evidence that Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has ever violated the […]

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Thomas Friedman and Bad Analogies

Irancove @ December 12, 2007 # One Comment

William Hartung deconstructs Thomas Friedman’s dribble on the Iranian nuclear energy program.  Friedman is using the metaphor of Iran as a heroin dealer who has paused its activities after years of production: “Gulf Arabs feel like they have this neighbor who has been a drug dealer for 18 years. Recently, this neighbor has been very […]

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Looking Back at the Iran Nuke Alarmism

Irancove @ December 12, 2007 # 9 Comments

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Iran in the Shadow of Annapolis

Irancove @ December 12, 2007 # 5 Comments

Iran Must be Included in Peace Talks by Dr. Trita Parsi In light of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran released last week, the Bush administration’s choice to exclude Iran from the Annapolis meeting in late November looks all the more foolhardy. But the sole country from the region not to be invited to the […]

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Iran, Israel and the United States

Irancove @ December 11, 2007 # 6 Comments

Trita Parsi—president of NIAC in an interview with reza Firouzbakht on the future of Iran, Israel and the US: …it is important to note that a peaceful solution is possible, precisely because of the fact that the Israeli-Iranian rivalry has strategic roots. Had the conflict been driven by ideological factors, then it would have been […]

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Return of the Living Dead

Irancove @ December 10, 2007 # 6 Comments

NPR Check takes a look at NPR’s coverage of the NIE with the “colorful” John Bolton.

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Lecture: All I am Saying is Give War a Chance

Irancove @ December 10, 2007 # 5 Comments

From a safe and luxurious distance, Jonah Goldberg—author of Liberal Fascism—gives an edifying lecture on the benefits of war at the University of Massachusetts Amherst: (link DailyKos) Join the UMass Republican Club for yet another lively and edifying political discussion on the costs, necessities, consequences, and benefits of war. A question and answer session will […]

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No Bomb in Iran

Irancove @ December 9, 2007 # 4 Comments

A very interesting series with The Real News’ Paul Jay and Babak Yektafar: Part 1: No Iranian Bomb Part 2: Iranian Reaction to Bush Part 3: Iran, media and the candidates

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Why was the NIE released?

Irancove @ December 9, 2007 # 2 Comments

According to retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and Army Special Forces Pat Lang: The “jungle telegraph” in Washington is booming with news of the Iran NIE.  I am told that the reason the conclusions of the NIE were released is that it was communicated to the White House that “intelligence career seniors were […]

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CIA paying Iranian nuclear scientists to defect

Irancove @ December 9, 2007 # No Comment Yet

via Los Angeles Times  by Greg Miller WASHINGTON — The CIA launched a secret program in 2005 designed to degrade Iran’s nuclear weapons program by persuading key officials to defect, an effort that has prompted a “handful” of significant departures, current and former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation say. The previously undisclosed program, […]

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Giuliani deaf on Iran intel

Irancove @ December 9, 2007 # 4 Comments

Via TPM: RUSSERT: Seeing that, hearing that, learning that [NIE], doesn’t this remove the option of a pre-emptive military strike against Iran? GIULIANI: No, I don’t think it does…. Of course we don’t want to use the military option. It’d be dangerous; it’d be risky; but I think it would be more dangerous and more […]

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Bolton calls Iran nuclear intelligence “Quasi-Putsch”

Irancove @ December 9, 2007 # One Comment

Far-right ideologue John Bolton on the Iran intelligence report: “This is politics disguised as intelligence…”

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Bush’s real lie about Iran

Irancove @ December 8, 2007 # 5 Comments

By Flynt Leverett and Hilary Mann Leverett Dec. 7, 2007 | The latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program raises questions once again about the Bush administration’s veracity in describing a nuclear threat. But President Bush’s worst misrepresentations about the Iranian nuclear issue do not focus on whether Tehran is currently pursuing a nuclear […]

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“Made in Tehran” Exhibition of young Iranian female photographers opens

Irancove @ December 8, 2007 # 11 Comments

All pictures can be viewed at Spiegel Online.

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Iran: Order out of Chaos

Irancove @ December 8, 2007 # One Comment

Intelligence assessment of the Iran situation from Swoop: In our advance discussions of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran we anticipated it would conclude that Iran was not close to obtaining a nuclear weapon. Now that it has been released, the NIE’s conclusion that in 2003 Iran “halted its nuclear weapons program” has transformed […]

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Thompson’s theories on the NIE

Irancove @ December 7, 2007 # 2 Comments

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson thinks the Iran intel may have been leaked by Iran itself to confuse the US intelligence community.  He also claimed: The accuracy of the latest NIE on Iran should be received with a good deal of skepticism. Our intelligence community has often underestimated the intentions of adversaries, including Saddam Hussein’s […]

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A tale of two Kleins

Irancove @ December 7, 2007 # 4 Comments

Think Progress and Daily Kos cover Joe Klein’s “obvious” clarification on his statements about Bush’s “amazing moment of candor.”

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Big news orgs—with the exception of CNN—punt on Bush’s Iran intel lie

Irancove @ December 7, 2007 # One Comment

Greg Sargent reports on the reluctance of news organizations to do stand alone pieces on the Iran NIE in their ledes.  Sargent mentions that, to its credit, CNN’s Ed Henry gets it right.

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“I can see where you could see that the president could have been more precise in that language, but the President was being truthful.”

Irancove @ December 7, 2007 # 4 Comments

Dana Perino’s press briefing on the Iran NIE via TPM:

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Reading the NIE in Tehran

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # No Comment Yet

Farideh Farhi has the reaction of the NIE from the Iranian POV.

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CNN postpones nuclear Iran special

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 3 Comments

Variety reports on how the new Iran intel caused CNN’s speculative documentary—set partially in the future—about a nuclear armed Iran to be postponed. HOLLYWOOD — The latest National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program four years ago has claimed one casualty: CNN has postponed speculative documentary “We Were Warned — Iran […]

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Wash. Post and NY Times ignored Hadley’s claim and denial that Bush was told to “stand down” upon learning of Iran intel

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 6 Comments

via Media Matters—read the whole report. During his December 3 press conference regarding the recently released National Intelligence Estimate’s (NIE) conclusion that Iran halted its nuclear program in late 2003, National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley said that when the intelligence community first informed President Bush that there was new information on Iran’s nuclear program […]

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The Zero-Sum Fiasco

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 3 Comments

A very interesting essay by Dilip Hiro at Tomdispatch.com

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Is the NIE a blessing in disguise for Israel?

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 8 Comments

A very interesting analysis by Trita Parsi of the possible implications of the NIE for Israel: WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (IPS) – The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate’s assertion that Iran currently does not have a nuclear weapons programme has caused much frustration in Israel. Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh referred to the report as a lie […]

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Victor Davis Hanson forgets he wanted to bomb Iran

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 2 Comments

Victor Davis Hanson—Hoover Institution senior fellow and recipient of National Humanities Medal by President Bush—on 8/13/2007: “We really need to start doing some things beyond talking, and if that is going into Iranian airspace, or buzzing Iranians, or even starting to forget where the border is and taking out some of these training camps.” Victor […]

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3 out of 4 primetime shows on Fox ignored NIE

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 5 Comments

via Think Progress: Early Monday afternoon, the Bush administration released a new National Intelligence Estimate revealing that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Though the blockbuster revelation was featured prominently that night in all three network newscasts, it was all but ignored on Fox News. Steve Benen reports that on Monday night, […]

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The Myth of the Mad Mullahs

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 3 Comments

David Ignatius argues: In the entryway of “Persia House,” as the CIA‘s new Iran operations division is known internally, hangs a haunting life-size poster of Hussein, the martyr revered by Iran’s Shiite Muslims. The division was created last year to push more aggressively for information about Iran’s nuclear program and other secrets. Creating Persia House […]

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Was Bush behind the NIE report?

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 3 Comments

Robert Baer argues that while President Bush will continue to talk tough, he gave the greenlight for the NIE release to get out of bombing Iran—which he was being pressured to do by administration hardliners. But there is also no doubt that the Bush White House was behind this NIE. While the 16 intelligence agencies […]

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Jim Lobe on Iran NIE

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # 3 Comments

Read Jim Lobe’s excellent account of the Iran intel—excerpt below: What I think is particularly remarkable about the NIE — aside from its conclusions and willingness to virtually repudiate the main conclusions of the 2005 NIE (a reflection no doubt — in addition to new intelligence and analysis — of the political space created by […]

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White House changes official Iran NIE story

Irancove @ December 6, 2007 # No Comment Yet

Dana Perino gives a revised explanation of events.

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Did Iran ever have a nuclear weapons program?

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 4 Comments

The NIE states that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003—based on the assumption that Iran did in fact have a nuclear weapons program at one point. Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich makes some good points challenging this notion: Iran Intelligence Report: Another Psychological Warfare? By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich December 5, 2007 Under the current administration, it is […]

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Inside the Iran NIE scandal

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 20 Comments

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Policy should be adjusted to NIE reality check

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 5 Comments

NIAC memo on NIE: With no weapon program, justification for suspension precondition eliminated The President’s comments today further fueled the perception that the White House pursues policies detached from reality. In spite of the National Intelligence Estimate stating that Iran has ended its weapons program, the president insisted that the military option remains on the […]

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Bush keeps preemptive military strike option “on the table” despite the NIE

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 3 Comments

via Las Vegas Sun: Bush said the new conclusion – contradicting earlier U.S. assessments – would not prompt him to take off the table the possibility of pre-emptive military action against Iran. Nor will the United States change its policy of trying to isolate Iran diplomatically and punish it with sanctions, he said. As many […]

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Despite findings of NIE, Olmert calls for more Iran sanctions…

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 8 Comments

Ehud Olmert thinks the Iran NIE calls for tighter sanctions. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that a new U.S. intelligence report finding that Tehran halted its development of a nuclear weapons demonstrates the need for tighter international sanctions in order to ensure the Islamic republic can never acquire nuclear weapons. “We discussed this report […]

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Farhi: What is George Bush Smoking?

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # One Comment

Farideh Farhi makes some excellent points about Bush’s press conference where he tried to blame the souring of US-Iran relations on Ahmadinejad’s presidency: BUSH: “People say, would you ever talk to Iran? For you veterans here, for those who have been following this administration for a while, you might remember that I have consistently said […]

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The “Iran Threat” Montage

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 2 Comments

Is Iran a threat to world peace? Some lawmakers and talking-heads continue to make that charge. This video examines some of the rhetoric.

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5 Myths About the Bomb and Us

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 2 Comments

Interesting article in the Washington Post: The Bush administration likes to boast that it has dramatically cut the size of the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Meanwhile, it’s busily trying to shore up congressional support for multibillion-dollar proposals to “modernize” the bristling U.S. arsenal. A world that’s skeptical about the last superpower’s intentions only gets more so […]

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Coverage of cable news websites on Iran NIE

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 4 Comments

In response to Josh Marshall’s “little quiz,” as of 12:05am, December 5:

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Bush knew about Iran NIE for at least one year

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # No Comment Yet

According to Larry Johnson, despite ratcheting up rhetoric about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, President Bush was briefed about the NIE over a year ago, which was delayed for political reasons. This blog was one of the first to report that the NIE was being delayed for political reasons. George Bush tried his moron act […]

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Huckabee not aware of NIE report on Iran

Irancove @ December 5, 2007 # 2 Comments

According to David Paul Kuhn who attended an on-the-record dinner with Mike Huckabee, Huckabee had not heard of the Iran NIE yet. (link via TPM)

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Bush’s Response to NIE

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 6 Comments

Months after the NIE was finished, President Bush still gave a speech warning of WWIII with regards to Iran’s nuclear program.  His response to the NIE: “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” Bush said, pointing out that Tehran continues […]

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Mitt Romney Rejects the NIE

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 3 Comments

Eunomia makes some good points about Mitt Romney’s response to the NIE: Essentially, Romney’s position is that sanctions have worked, so he concludes that continuing to engage in punitive sanctions is obviously the thing to do.  In other words, Iran should be punished when we think they’re developing nuclear weapons, and Iran should be punished when we know with […]

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Israel Still Unconvinced Iran Has No Nuclear Weapons Program

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 7 Comments

Israel—the only country in the region with a stockpile of nuclear weapons—is not convinced by the NIE’s assessment that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. While the Americans think Iran has stopped its nuclear weapons program while continuing to enrich uranium as rapidly as it can, Israel thinks that Iran has resumed its […]

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Ray McGovern: Fact-Based Intelligence Prevails on Nukes and Iran

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 2 Comments

Ray McGovern via Common Dreams: Apparently, intelligence community analysts are no longer required to produce the faith-based intelligence that brought us the Oct. 1, 2002 NIE “Iraq’s Continuing Program for Weapons of Mass Destruction” — the worst in the history of U.S. intelligence.

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Rudy Adviser Podhoretz Accuses CIA of Lying About NIE to Protect Iran

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 3 Comments

After a long span of aggressively pushing the Bush administration to bomb Iran because of its alleged nuclear weapons program, Rudy Giuliani’s radical foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz has “dark suspicions” that the CIA fabricated the NIE findings to protect Iran from Bush and Giuliani. (via TPM) I entertain an even darker suspicion. It is […]

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FCC and Media Consolidation

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 7 Comments

Source: The Real News, very interesting information about the upcoming media consolidation decision by the FCC.

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Did Iranian Spy Clear Tehran of Nuclear Ambitions?

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 2 Comments

Juan Cole has a very interesting post about Ali Reza Asghari—former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon—who may have been recruited as a spy by a foreign country (the guess is Turkey). Cole also asks: Some press accounts say that Asghari was able to bring actual documents out with him about Iran’s nuclear […]

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Republican Candidates Ignore NIE Findings

Irancove @ December 4, 2007 # 4 Comments

via NYT:  “For years now, the Islamic Republic of Iran has defied and played games with every international effort aimed at persuading the country to halt enriching uranium,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, said in a statement. “Sanctions and other pressures must be continued and stepped up until Iran complies by […]

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Some More Questions About the NIE Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Irancove @ December 3, 2007 # No Comment Yet

Farideh Farhi asks some very good questions in her analysis of the NIE report: In short, the fact that this NIE can so easily become an instrument in support of the Bush Administration’s current policy raises a few questions for me, including: • What explains the timing of the release of the report? • On […]

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Iran Nuclear Weapons NIE

Irancove @ December 3, 2007 # 3 Comments

Regarding the newly released NIE (pdf) about Iran’s nuclear program, Kevin Drum asks: This NIE was apparently finished a year ago, and its basic parameters were almost certainly common knowledge in the White House well before that. This means that all the leaks, all the World War III stuff, all the blustering about the IAEA […]

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