Remember this story
in the months ahead when the media starts to cover "Ambassador" Bolton at the UN arguing for action against Iran:
A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.
The carefully hedged assessments, which represent consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies, contrast with forceful public statements by the White House. Administration officials have asserted, but have not offered proof, that Tehran is moving determinedly toward a nuclear arsenal.
Looks like CIA is trying to send someone a message . . .
And who might that be?
The new estimate could provide more time for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. President Bush has said that he wants the crisis resolved diplomatically but that "all options are on the table."
Obviously someone at CIA would like to short circuit that "war option." If you read between the lines, this is a clear shot across the bow of folks like Dick "Nuke 'em" Cheney from the Intelligence analysts at the Agency. They clearly don't want a repeat of what happened in Iraq, with intelligence being "fixed" and CIA set up to take the fall again.
At no time in the past three years has the White House attributed its assertions about Iran to U.S. intelligence, as it did about Iraq in the run-up to the March 2003 invasion. Instead, it has pointed to years of Iranian concealment and questioned why a country with as much oil as Iran would require a large-scale nuclear energy program.
The NIE addresses those assertions and offers alternative views supporting and challenging the assumptions they are based on. Those familiar with the new judgments, which have not been previously detailed, would discuss only limited elements of the estimate and only on the condition of anonymity, because the report is classified, as is some of the evidence on which it is based.
It looks like CIA produced their National Intelligence Estimate (the "NIE") on Iran's wmd while Cheney, Rove, Bolton and the boys we're busy dealing with the fallout from Treasongate and Bolton's failed nomination before the Senate. Remember, in the runup to the Iraq war, we didn't learn of the CIA's NIE on Iraq's wmd until Cheney and gang had a chance to "massage" it a while.
My interpretation of why this is being leaked now? CIA wants to leave a trail regarding its dissenting view on Iran's nuclear capability so they won't be left holding the bag when Bush calls for another war next year against Iran.
What's that Bush saying that seems so appropos at the moment? Oh yes:
Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.
I guess this is CIA's message to the Bush administration: No more fooling around!