Here’s something really strange.
As the drumbeats for a U.S. war against Iran — ostensibly to prevent Iran from going nuclear — grow ever louder, yesterday came this piece of curious news:
U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran is actively trying to build a nuclear bomb!
Ken Dilanian reports for the Los Angeles Times, Feb. 23, 2012:
A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.
The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.
Although Iran continues to enrich uranium at low levels, U.S. officials say they have not seen evidence that has caused them to significantly revise that judgment. Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.
But Israel appears to have a lower threshold for action than Washington. It regards Iran as a threat to its existence and says it will not allow Iran to become capable of building and delivering a nuclear weapon. Some Israeli officials have raised the prospect of a military strike to stop Iran before it’s too late.
It’s unclear how much access U.S. intelligence has in Iran, a problem that bedeviled efforts to determine whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The assessment that Saddam Hussein had secretly amassed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and was seeking to build a nuclear weapon, cited by the George W. Bush administration to justify the invasion, turned out to be wrong.
Iran barred inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog group, from visiting Parchin, a military site, this week to determine whether explosives tests were aimed at developing nuclear technology.
An IAEA report in November cited “serious concerns” about “possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,” but did not reach hard conclusions.
Lest we forget, the C.I.A. also did not anticipate the collapse of communism across the Soviet bloc.
What it comes down to is that we are faced with two options:
- Either U.S. intelligence agencies are wrong, once again; or
- Our intelligence agencies are correct, which means we are being told yet another lie to justify yet another war.
Be it 1 or 2, neither is good news.