Friday, October 16, 2009

Gee... Maybe it *was* politicized...

From the "Gee... Maybe it *was* politicized..." Department comes this moment of clarity on the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran:
U.S. spy agencies are considering whether to rewrite a controversial 2007 intelligence report that asserted Tehran halted its efforts to build nuclear weapons in 2003, current and former U.S. intelligence officials say.

The intelligence agencies' rethink comes as pressure is mounting on Capitol Hill, and among U.S. allies, for the Obama administration to redo the 2007 assessment, after a string of recent revelations about Tehran's nuclear program.
When data arrives that disproves a hypothesis in the competition matrix, that item is struck from the array. Basic Analysis 101.

The sad part is that from Day 1 the flaws in (at least the presentation of) the NIE on Iran were so glaring that it probably should never have survived pre-release. But there were people, and goals, aligned against continuing to allow the Bush 43 administration freedom of action against Iran at the time, and those actors won the day.

Knowing what I know about some of the people who were in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence office at that time, I was surprised they let that NIE out back then. Given that Thomas Fingar is now a professor at Stanford and Adm. J. M. "Mike" McConnell is a Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, they are both out where some questions can be asked... and they should be... about whether they would be willing to "take a mulligan" on the previous assessment.

No comments: