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Bolton says NIE is flawed.

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1

    turbo

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    John Bolton is making the outrageous claim that professionals in our intelligence community produced a "political" document (NIE) with the intent of making policy. The guy is a certifiable loon. He would have us believe that the analysts and administrators of 16 separate intelligence agencies conspired to down-play the danger posed by Iran. To anybody who has thought this through, the concept is absurd on the face of it. These 16 intelligence agencies had to come up with a consensus assessment, and the findings contained in the NIE must of necessity be moderate and qualified. The truth is probably a lot starker and more clear-cut, but the conclusions were moderated to accommodate doubts and uncertainties. The fact that Cheney et al held up this NIE for over a year suggests that the version drafted in 2006 may have been even more direct and more certain about the cessation of Iran's weapons program.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120502234.html

    Bolton is not letting this die. He is beating the war-drum for the neo-cons, and attacking the loyalty and integrity of the employees of each of the 16 intelligence agencies in the process.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2007 #2
    no wonder:

    http://en.rian.ru/world/20071208/91488137.html

    It's simple. As Bush/Cheney/etc have demonstrated with Iraq, US politicians don't care what the facts are. They're going to do whatever they want & nobody's going to stop them, especially not the Democrats.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3

    Astronuc

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    That could hurt. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days and week on the world currency markets. The euro, yen and yuan would presumably strengthen.

    Maybe a mixed blessing perhaps. Good if US exports increase, but not so good if cost of imports increases.
     
  5. Dec 8, 2007 #4
    My Guess:

    Bolton usually just reads talking points, but when he does think it's with his mustache.

    In his defense it is a rather powerful mustache.
     
  6. Dec 8, 2007 #5

    turbo

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    Costs of imports increasing is not as much of a problem, since aside from energy, much of these purchases are discretionary and quite a bit of the market is captive. If the profit-margins of chip-makers are depressed, they can absorb some of that. The US is a huge market for PCs and our market crucial to the financial health of the producers, even if the dollar is depressed. Toys, gadgets, and other stuff that is not essential will go unsold if prices in the US rise, leading to price reductions so that China, etc, can keep production up. Don't expect soaring prices on discretionary goods. China relies on cheap labor and very little oversight to streamline production, so decoupling energy costs from the value of the dollar should not have a huge effect on them. They can dump stuff here very cheaply even if their energy costs increase steeply. Also, they are heavily invested in the dollar, and will not allow that huge foreign investment to collapse, so expect more Chinese investment if the dollar sags. Tips from a dummy.
     
  7. Dec 8, 2007 #6

    turbo

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  8. Dec 8, 2007 #7
    I'm not sure if I should be mad because it feels like you're just trying to distract me with a monkey, or be mad at the fact that it's working.
     
  9. Dec 8, 2007 #8

    turbo

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    He's cuter (and considerably wiser-looking) than Bolton. :rofl: He is equally stern-looking with at least as much real justification as Bolton. Do we have a new UN ambassador in line?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  10. Dec 9, 2007 #9

    BobG

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    You have a problem with the current UN ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, as well?
     
  11. Dec 9, 2007 #10

    turbo

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    He has been echoing the neocon line that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and needs to be stopped. He is not as outspoken and radical as Bolton, but he is a hawk - not the kind of person that we need in the UN. These guys get regular briefings on intelligence and they know (and have known for a long time) that the intelligence contradicts their claims about Iran, yet they persist in pushing Iran with sanctions and military threats with no attempt at diplomacy. These people are reckless.
     
  12. Dec 10, 2007 #11

    mheslep

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    "These people" ?
     
  13. Dec 10, 2007 #12

    turbo

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    Yes, these people. Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Bush, Khalilzad and all the other hawks in the administration who are trying to push us into another war by making claims that are contradicted by the intelligence. When the CIA, the NSA, and 14 other intelligence agencies can issue a consensus report (remember, that means that all of them have to agree to the wording) that says "with a high level of confidence" that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program 4 years ago, that's a pretty firm assesment. The neocons in this administration have been claiming all this last year that Iran has an active weapons program when they knew last fall that the NIE flatly contradicted that assertion. Then they send out Bolton and others to "refute" the NIE and claim that the intelligence agencies conspired to use the NIE to further some political agenda. He provides not a shred of evidence to support that assertion - he just floats it out there hoping that citizens of the US are stupid enough to fall for the lies and warmongering again. Remember WMDs, yellow-cake, Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda? All false.
     
  14. Dec 11, 2007 #13
    But that's the only part of the report that's not agreed upon:
    Wait a minute... Isn't the NIC the author of the NIE? Why did they exclude themselves? Maybe that's what Bolton meant by:
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  15. Dec 11, 2007 #14

    BobG

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    Neither Wolfowitz nor Bolton are part of the Bush administration anymore. They both belong to the American Enterprise Institute (aka Administration Exile Institute) along with Perle, Yoo, and David Frum.

    Gen Tommy Franks once called Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith "the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet." I'm not sure you could reach a consensus on that. They should scrap the polls and go to a play-off system among the guys we had developing an Iraq plan.

    Only came to mind because Feith (who actually did find a job post-Bush), visited his old cronies at the AEI and blamed the mess in Iraq on Bremer. Should be interesting once all the books come out pointing the finger at the other guys in government. Dang - a playoff system after all!
     
  16. Dec 11, 2007 #15

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: Bolton's article is so badly written as to be laughable.

    Here are my favorite parts (from the same link Turbo provided already in the OP):
    Then, later follows with:
    So, let's see, there are 140 pages of analysis and reams of underlying intelligence that are classified, so he is not privy to their contents nor are the rest of us, yet he has determined that even knowing this, he can judge whether the claims are sufficiently or insufficiently supported? If you KNOW there are large amounts of evidence you have not seen, why would you jump to the assumption there isn't support for the claims when it's just as likely the support is simply among those classified documents?
     
  17. Dec 11, 2007 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Par for the course.
     
  18. Dec 11, 2007 #17

    mheslep

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    WMD, agreed.
    Ties to AQ? No. The ties may have been not responsibly checked, exaggerated even, nonetheless Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was in Iraq while Saddam was still in power. The connection between AQ and the regime is disputed, but clearly not demonstrated false.
    Senate Pre-war report Intel. report, starting pg 334
    Zarqawi set up Iraq sleeper cells: U.K. report (before Iraq war)
    911 Report (only listed as Iraq/AQ connection - please no strawmen about the actual 911 attack)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  19. Dec 22, 2007 #18
    No he wouldn't. He'd have us believe that a handful of deputy principals shepherding the NIE through the draft process arranged and worded findings for a political purpose. He's not questioning the substance of the intelligence at all, nor does he have to. The key judgments indicating the IC's confident belief that Iran had a nuclear weapons program as late as 2003 and that the likelihood Iran can acquire weapons goes up as early as 2009 pretty much justifies the Administration's current policy. So unless you're the type who's trusting enough of Tehran to think this NIE proves Iran has given up now evidenced ambitions for nuclear weapons--a view Bolton accuses the coordinating deputies of holding--then you can't ignore the NIE's judgment that their enrichment capacity will open the door for to Iranian nukes in short order.

    Why not? Should Beltway desk jockies get a permanent honeymoon from criticism? And if the process that produced NIEs are so free from political concerns, why do people leak'em piecemeal? Let's face it, there's likely guys at State or Langley who feel as politically passionate as you do. The only difference is that you don't get paid to have your views color the facts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007
  20. Dec 22, 2007 #19

    Gokul43201

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    And this is not a big deal?

    The administration claimed it was true when it clearly was not demonstrably true. That is the crux of the argument.

    Besides, the argument about Zarqawi and the sleeper cells only reveals the following (from your second link):

    So, at best, we have Zarqawi setting up base in Baghdad long after the US decision to invade Iraq was essentially established (i.e., the US invasion was what was responsible for Zarqawi's presence in Iraq).

    Before going as far as pg. 334, one reads the following:
     
  21. Dec 22, 2007 #20
    Except, of course, there's no intelligence contradicting this judgment.

    By that reasoning, you could argue that the threat of invasion prompted the September 11th attacks as well. After all, Baghdad lived under that threat for 12 years prior to March 2003. In fact, this is a fairly common argument amongst Iraq War proponents.

    Murky was drafted by principals from two offices answering two separate questions. We can infer that CTC's objective was to identify any possible avenue of cooperation between al Qaeda and Iraq whereas NESA sought to determine whether or not available intelligence supported, ruled out, or inclusively addressed operational activity along those pipelines. The answer policymakers got back is "yes, we have links, but we're unable to tell you whether or not these links translate into operational cooperation."

    From this point on, it's a judgment call as to whether or not it's appropriate to assume that connections between al Qaeda and Iraq should be treated as operational. That depends entirely on your view of the risks associated. I imagine Zarqawi's return to Iraq in 2002 and a spike in activity in Ansar al-Islam led policymakers to heavily favor a dimmer perspective.
     
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