MoveOn.org Shouldn’t Attack Petraeus BUT Bolton Can Smear Entire National Intelligence Establishment?

-

bolton clemons glasses.jpg
When MoveOn.org ran full page ads just before the Congressional testimony of General David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker with huge headlines saying “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?“, John Bolton’s fellow travelers went great lengths to condemn Move On for its lack of appropriate respect for dedicated national security leaders. Resolutions in the House and Senate were passed to condemn Move On.
But in today’s Washington Post, John Bolton — who in addition to his own State Department team was infamous for trying to mine raw intelligence and manipulate it towards political ends — essentially accuses the entire national security intelligence establishment of betraying American interests in the 2007 Iran National Intelligence Estimate.


Bolton writes:

. . .many involved in drafting and approving the NIE were not intelligence professionals but refugees from the State Department, brought into the new central bureaucracy of the director of national intelligence. These officials had relatively benign views of Iran’s nuclear intentions five and six years ago; now they are writing those views as if they were received wisdom from on high. In fact, these are precisely the policy biases they had before, recycled as “intelligence judgments.”
That such a flawed product could emerge after a drawn-out bureaucratic struggle is extremely troubling. While the president and others argue that we need to maintain pressure on Iran, this “intelligence” torpedo has all but sunk those efforts, inadequate as they were. Ironically, the NIE opens the way for Iran to achieve its military nuclear ambitions in an essentially unmolested fashion, to the detriment of us all.

I disagree with nearly every element of the Bolton take on the NIE report, with the exception that he is right that the release of the NIE has most likely sunk any serious plans to initiate a preemptive attack against Iran — much as I argued in a Salon.com article titled “Why Bush Won’t Bomb Iran.”
John Bolton didn’t get his vote in the Senate on his confirmation — and he is not going to get his Iran War.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

67 comments on “MoveOn.org Shouldn’t Attack Petraeus BUT Bolton Can Smear Entire National Intelligence Establishment?

  1. Alex says:

    And what do you think of the very popular view by a leading Israeli analyst Obadiah Shoher? He argues (here, for example, www. samsonblinded.org/blog/america-arranges-a-peace-deal-with-iran.htm ) that the Bush Administration made a deal with Iran: nuclear program in exchange for curtailing the Iranian support for Iraqi terrorists. His story seems plausible, isn’t it?

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Why does anyone care what Bolton says? Here’s something you didn’t know: I know for a fact that he is an advocate of female circumcision.”
    Oh come on. Do you really think it is so easy to sow this kind of BS here? Tell you what, why don’t you just gift us with your source, and some substantiation, eh?
    (Watch this guy dissappear.)
    Bolton doesn’t need this kind of BS accusation leveled at him in order for him to be shown as a less than credible fanatic.

    Reply

  3. Blutscheiss says:

    Why does anyone care what Bolton says? Here’s something you didn’t know: I know for a fact that he is an advocate of female circumcision.

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Lying War Propaganda Against Iran
    by Ron Paul
    Statement on H Con Res 21
    Before the U.S. House of Representatives, May 22, 2007
    Madam Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. This resolution is an exercise in propaganda that serves one purpose: to move us closer to initiating a war against Iran. Citing various controversial statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this legislation demands that the United Nations Security Council charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
    Having already initiated a disastrous war against Iraq citing UN resolutions as justification, this resolution is like déjà vu. Have we forgotten 2003 already? Do we really want to go to war again for UN resolutions? That is where this resolution, and the many others we have passed over the last several years on Iran, is leading us. I hope my colleagues understand that a vote for this bill is a vote to move us closer to war with Iran.
    Clearly, language threatening to wipe a nation or a group of people off the map is to be condemned by all civilized people. And I do condemn any such language. But why does threatening Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as many here have done, not also deserve the same kind of condemnation? Does anyone believe that dropping nuclear weapons on Iran will not wipe a people off the map? When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide? And we wonder why the rest of the world accuses us of behaving hypocritically, of telling the rest of the world “do as we say, not as we do.”
    I strongly urge my colleagues to consider a different approach to Iran, and to foreign policy in general. General William Odom, President Reagan’s director of the National Security Agency, outlined a much more sensible approach in a recent article titled “Exit From Iraq Should Be Through Iran.” General Odom wrote: “Increasingly bogged down in the sands of Iraq, the US thrashes about looking for an honorable exit. Restoring cooperation between Washington and Tehran is the single most important step that could be taken to rescue the US from its predicament in Iraq.” General Odom makes good sense. We need to engage the rest of the world, including Iran and Syria, through diplomacy, trade, and travel rather than pass threatening legislation like this that paves the way to war. We have seen the limitations of force as a tool of US foreign policy. It is time to try a more traditional and conservative approach. I urge a “no” vote on this resolution.
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul393.html

    Reply

  5. Kathleen says:

    I think the paralel was perfrect. It validates MoveOn.Org’s assertion that General Patraeus substituted the adminstration’s policy position, for an actual report of the facts on the ground.
    That was a betrrayal of our Constitutionbal processes, the separation of powers and misled Congress in their oversight. His oath of service requires him to protect our Constitution and his allegiance should be to our Constitution, not the temporary occupant of the Oval Office.

    Reply

  6. Pat W. says:

    The “…General Betray Us?” question was only the lead-in to a full-page ad that included a list of well-reported facts in conflict with Bush administration claims. The general certainly gave all appearances of being Bush’s political front man. In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony, Petraeus’s superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting. Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chicken****” and added, “I hate people like that.” To Petraeus’ credit, he apparently refused to let the White House see his planned remarks until the last minute. But MoveOn.org and virtually everybody else was not aware of that as Bush built up the Sept 15th presentation. On Bolton’s part, he’s just trying to smear the top experts of 16 intelligence agencies. It would seem that Cheney and Rove’s plot to out Valerie Plame-Wilson and shut down that major CIA operation to cut off the intelligence wasn’t as successful as they’d hoped it would be. Enter the destroyer, John Bolton. I just heard that the reason the NIE report was finally released was because some intelligence officials had threatened that they would release it and go to prison rather than see our nation commit further “crimes against humanity” by bombing Iran. BTW- that accidental transport of nuclear warheads in August could NOT have been an accident. No way. The intelligence community knows that. We are on the edge. There has been much courage and sacrifice by whistleblowers already. SUPPORT THE WHISTLEBLOWERS.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen says:

    Well, I use K and she uses k, so that’ll work. Anytime k calls for Bolton being locked up, ditto for K.

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    More pouting by the Israelis..music to my ears…
    http://tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=126d3cf1-9957-450e-b4be-66b1ca542b7a
    The New Republic
    An Insult to Intelligence by Yossi Klein Halevi
    The Israeli defense community responds to the NIE.
    Post Date Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen at December 7, 2007 01:06 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    We have two Kathleens? Maybe the original kathleen should add 1 and the other be kathleen2.

    Reply

  10. Kathleen says:

    Thanks so much for the yummy links and quotes and comments, guys, pauline, Carroll, POA, others. In the food for thought department, this is a feast,
    We have 2 kathleens?? but we agree.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    Col Lang sometimes gets to me with his sort of elitist military attitude but I value his opinion because he is totally objective and 100% America interest and always has called a spade a spade. He needs to come out of retirement….exactly the sort of “no nonsense” we need back in military intelligence.
    De Borchgrave on the Iran NIE
    “Clearly, Bush did not wish to disappoint loyal supporters at home and Israeli allies abroad who saw an existential threat to the Jewish state. There was much talk in recent months to the imperative need “to save Israel from a second holocaust.” Norman Podhoretz, godfather of the neocons and now foreign policy adviser to Rudi Giuliani’s presidential campaign, wrote in Commentary last June, “Please Mr. President, as an American Jew, I beg you, bomb Iran.” For the neocons, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was another Hitler. (Late-night comedians who can’t pronounce his name call him I’m-a-dinner-jacket.) This was now World War IV; World War III was the one we won against the evil Soviet empire.
    Vice President Dick Cheney, who says Darth Vader “is one of the nicer things I’ve been called recently,” was clearly in the neocon camp and sent the NIE estimate back to the drawing board on several occasions in recent months. Star investigative reporter Seymour Hersh delivered one “scoop” after another in The New Yorker about a secret Pentagon unit planning a “shock and awe” aerial blitz designed to destroy not only nuclear installations, but also Iran’s military assets, from missile batteries to naval bases in the Gulf.” De Borchgrave for UPI
    ——————————————————————-
    It is time for plain talk, time to call a spade a “f—–g shovel” as one of my old sergeants would have said.
    The chimera of Iran as deadly menace is a product of Israeli paranoia and debilitating fear of the “other.” This fear saturates Israeli strategic thinking making impossible for them a rational contemplation of the odds against Iranian suicide attacks against Israel. Israel rejects the concept of deterrence of nuclear attack through creation of MAD (mutual assured destruction). I have described their reasoning elsewhere in these pages. Given the awful nature of Jewish history, such overwhelming fear of the return of the final “golem,” or perhaps Azrael himself is comprehensible.
    What is not comprehensible is that their fear somehow captured the “minds” of the present population of of the White House, the NSC staff and the office of the Vice President. The tail has truly been wagging the dog. The interests and attitudes of a small client state have been allowed to seize control of the policy of an ecumenical empire. Was not this surrender and acceptance of capture an abandonment of the sacred oath sworn to the Constitution of the United States? “Protect and Defend….”
    It is said that this National Estimate survived repeated efforts by the administration to corrupt the judgments of the intelligence community.
    If that is true, then someone should pay… pat lang
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2007/12/de-borchgrave-o.html
    Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years. He is a highly decorated veteran of several of America’s overseas conflicts including the war in Vietnam. He was trained and educated as a specialist in the Middle East by the U.S. Army and served in that region for many years. He was the first Professor of the Arabic Language at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. In the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) he was the “Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism,” and later the first Director of the Defense Humint Service.” For his service in DIA, he was awarded the “Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive.” This is the equivalent of a British knighthood.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    DAMN right…they should all pay. Prison or exile and deportation to another country sounds appropiate.

    Reply

  12. Krashkopf says:

    I was asking myself the same question.
    Why was it WRONG for Democrats to question the integrity of ONE General, who, clearly, was allowing administration words to be put into his mouth, but, NOT wrong for a Republican to accuse the entire U.S. Intelligence establishment of attempting to sabatoge the President?
    Can someone in the GOP, or the “so-called” Mainstream Media, explain that, please?

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    Posted by reggie at December 7, 2007 11:30 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Good!

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Posted by susan at December 7, 2007 12:27 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    It could be an elaborate trojan horse…and regime change in Iran will always be on the Israeli agenda and is on this adm’s agenda still.
    But the Iran “did have” vrs. the “Iran as rational actor nation state making realistic adjustments for their national interest” findings should/could take away the sledge hammer rhetoric of the crazies… not that it will…but their whole arguement is built on Mad Mullahs willy nilly shooting off nukes. Whereas the non fanatics and realist have never gone along with the dumbed down Iran as crazed and suicidal Mad Mullahs arguement.

    Reply

  15. kathleen says:

    I will never forget watching I believe his name was Paul Ford (who described himself as a devoted Republican) testify about his interactions with Bolton at the NSA. How Bolton threw hissy fits and intimidated and threatened anyone who challenged him.
    Or how about when Senators Kerry, Kennedy, Biden, Dodd , Chaffee were demanding those NSA intercepts (rumored to be spying on Colin Powell) at the John Bolton nomination hearings? I thought they were going to jump over that table and collectively kick Boltons ass. Those intercepts have never been released.
    Lock Bolton up!

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    Fools rush in…..
    WP..
    “Senate Republicans are planning to call for a congressional commission to investigate the conclusions of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran as well as the specific intelligence that went into it, according to congressional sources. The move is the first official challenge, but it comes amid growing backlash from conservatives and neoconservatives unhappy about the assessment that Iran halted a clandestine nuclear weapons program four years ago. It reflects how quickly the NIE has become politicized, with critics even going after the analysts who wrote it…..”
    >>>>>>>>
    All you need to know about this flap is that when the neo’s and Israelis had control of the US intelligence process in the run up to Iraq they loved it….now they have lost control and they hate it.
    All this is doing is once again distinguishing between those who are pursuing basic American interest and those who are pursuing their own and other interest.

    Reply

  17. reggie says:

    Bolton told to his face on British TV that he’s a war criminal:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO87jib5o8w

    Reply

  18. pauline says:

    “Iran, the NIE, Bush, Cheney and whoo-ha”
    12/7/07
    “…What hasn’t been emphasized enough yet, is that when the narrative about WMD fell apart on Iraq — Bush turned to the rhetoric of “Programs to develop WMD’s” as opposed to real WMD’s — and in this instance it seems he pulled the same rhetorical trick — Iran was not really about actually developing a Nuclear Bomb program — instead it was about getting the knowledge of how to perhaps develop a nuclear bomb program. Hopefully someone will tell Bush that most of the necessary knowledge about this has been in Physics textbooks since at least about 1946 or 47 — and once you master that, then the rest of it is in the peer reviewed journals — American, British, French, Russian, Chinese, and others over the years. Progressive Magazine did, after all, publish a rather short article on “how to do it” from open sources back in the late 1970’s — and the Supreme Court said since it was all open source, no problem. I have a fascinating history I’ve been reading in recent months on the history of India’s Nuclear Project — something with origins in a study committee Nehru set up in 1946, a year before India became Independent. By 73, and without any great push, they had a device that would explode. In the meantime, quite independent of much outside assistance, they had a whole nuclear industry. All this is illustrative of the bias that “knowledge” is something exclusively American, or Western, and it reminds me of the estimates offered to Truman back in the mid-1940’s that the Soviets were so backward, they could not get a Nuclear Weapon before perhaps the mid 50’s at the earliest. Well — 1949 was a little early given those estimates. You would think that by this time the notion that science and technology knowledge is exclusively American would have worn off a bit. Anyhow — Bush seems to be pushing that idea again as a last ditch cover up.”
    see —
    http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/12/iran-the-nie-bu.html

    Reply

  19. BillS says:

    Listening to John Bolton impotently and impudently slurring the intel establishment brought to mind several evergreen right wing obsessions.
    Bolton was doing nothing but recycling the red-scare tactics of Joe McCarthy in a more subtle way: “We’ve got traitors in the government.” This plays well to the anti-government libertarians, the anti-intellectual GOP base, and the fear-mongering of the Cheney/Bush Administration.
    Mostly, Bolton’s slurs were just sour grapes. Cheney and Bolton pressured the intel agencies to go along with their Iraq misrepresentations. Now the intel agencies won’t play ball after Cheney/Bush made them fall guys for the Iraq debacle.
    Bolton is essentially complaining that the intel peons have the audacity to refuse to give King George the fig leaf that he demands.
    The Royal Presidency theory espoused by Cheney is far more dangerous to the American Republic than an Iranian IED or any Al Quaeda attack.

    Reply

  20. Homer says:

    Olbermann’s Special Comment on Iran NIE: “Bush, Pathological Liar or Idiot-in-Chief?” [VIDEO]
    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/#69962

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here’s an off topic must read.
    This guy is looking better and better.
    http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=12015

    Reply

  22. easy e says:

    susan 12:27am & kotzabasis 12;04am –
    “spot on”, per regular twn poster.

    Reply

  23. susan says:

    From http://www.moonofalabama.org
    The NIE is a Ruse
    The Iran NIE starts with this (pdf):
    “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program
    The above sentence has two chunks of information. One, Iran has no current nuclear weapon program, was greated with great relief, including by me, as it makes an attack on Iran during Bush’s remaining reign unlikely. That chunk, which we are happy about, induces us to trust the second chunk and the whole NIE. We want to believe in this.
    But by swallowing that chunk we are pressed to also automatically swallow the other part: the assertion that Iran really had a nuclear weapons program up to 2003.
    As Chris Floyd notes:
    By accepting the NIE report uncritically — because part of it does indeed reveal that the Bushists have been lying about the Iranian threat for years — they inadvertantly (or willingly) buy into the report’s underlying assumption: that Iran really was building a bomb all these years, and only stopped because big bad Bush rolled into Baghdad and put the fear of God into them. Thus the report can be seen as accepting a bit of short-lived bad PR — “NIE Report Muddies the Water in Administration Stance on Iran,” etc. (and that’s as bad as it would ever get with the corporate media) — in exchange for “confirmation” of the Regime’s basic contention (the dire threat posed by Iran) and another “justification” of the war crime in Iraq.
    The 2005 NIE was not at all sure about the existence of a nuclear weapon program in Iran. As Dafna Linzer wrote back in 2005 about that now old NIE:
    The new National Intelligence Estimate includes what the intelligence community views as credible indicators that Iran’s military is conducting clandestine work. But the sources said there is no information linking those projects directly to a nuclear weapons program. What is clear is that Iran, mostly through its energy program, is acquiring and mastering technologies that could be diverted to bombmaking.
    Did Iran hide stuff it should have disclosed? Yes it did. But one can understand this as Iran tried for a long time to acquire civil nuclear technology. All contracts Iran tried to make with the ‘west’ to this regard were broken under pressure from the U.S. At a point Iran decided that it would have to go clandestine to achieve something at all. By 2002 information about the clandestine efforts got out.
    In 2003 the IAEA detailed (pdf) the issues Iran had hidden. All of these issues are explainable as parts of a civil nuclear program. Currently Iran and the IAEA have a work plan for clearing up the last IAEA questions on these issues. Iran is ‘coming clean’. The IAEA has never asserted that Iran had a military nuclear program and I expect it to certify that there has never been one sometime next year.
    The only issue that would be open after that, is Iran’s adherence to the Additional Protocol of the NPT, which allows all over intrusive IAEA inspection. Iran voluntarily adhered to the protocol until its case was referred to the UN Security Council. If the Security Council hands the issue back to the IAEA, Iran is likely to agree to again allow intrusive inspections.
    The IAEA has up to today not found ANY evidence for a nuclear weapon program in Iran. But the new NIE asserts this with “high confidence”. Why can this be so?
    Today’s NYT has some spin that tries to explain:
    American intelligence agencies reversed their view about the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program after they obtained notes last summer from the deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the weapons development program, senior intelligence and government officials said on Wednesday.
    The notes included conversations and deliberations in which some of the military officials complained bitterly about what they termed a decision by their superiors in late 2003 to shut down a complex engineering effort to design nuclear weapons, including a warhead that could fit atop Iranian missiles.

    The officials said they were confident that the notes confirmed the existence, up to 2003, of a weapons programs that American officials first learned about from a laptop computer, belonging to an Iranian engineer, that came into the hands of the C.I.A. in 2004.
    Ok – lets get the timeline straight: First came The Laptop, which I believe is forgery (emptywheel also wrote about The Laptop: 1, 2, 3 and 4), then the U.S. obtained some “notes”.
    Can you imagine high military folks in Iran writing “notes” in which they “bitterly complain” about government policies with regard to nukes? Wouldn’t that risk their immediate demotion or something much worse?
    No way I’ll swallow that one.
    If the U.S. has information on a Iranian weapon program it should give that to the IAEA so it can be verified. Unless the IAEA confirms this information, there is absolutely no reason to believe any of it.
    That the U.S. is refusing to hand over its ‘information’ to the IAEA is simply an attempt to create new ‘issues’ and to make it impossible for Iran to defend itself against the accusations and the ‘secret evidence’.
    For now a hot war with Iran is unlikely. But a warm war on Iran is already going on. This is economic warfare.
    Like with Iraq after 1991, the U.S. is trying to degrade Iran’s economic capabilities through sanctions. It took 11 years to get Iraq so far down that it could not put up any resistance to the U.S. invasion. It will take longer with Iran, but the U.S. is trying hard.
    When Bush declared the Al-Quds force, part of the Iranian military, a “terrorist organization” that was big news. But the steps really taken were not against the Al-Quds. The order Bush signed put the top three Iranian banks, Bank Melli, Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat, out of business with the “west”.
    Imagine Goldman-Sachs, Bank of America, and Citigroup being unable to conduct any foreign transaction. They wouldn’t survive long and the U.S. economy would be hit hard.
    The U.S., both parties, want to keep these instruments in place: slow economic death or at least diminishing Iran’s capacities to a point where a future invasion becomes viable. The Carter doctrine is well alive.
    The whole “nuclear issue” is only a device to achieve regime change and unrestricted hegemony of the U.S. over the Persian Gulf, its countries and oil.”
    See also: Is the Iran NIE a Trojan Horse?http://tinyurl.com/yrndyk

    Reply

  24. kotzabasis says:

    With the exception of two or three posts, all the above posts by pouring their venom upon Bolton pellucidly show that in the realm of Foreign Affairs Bolton is the American Gulliver among Lilliputians.

    Reply

  25. Frank says:

    Bush’s lie of the century re Iran’s nuclear ambitions, revealed to the world and you give us a Bolton story?

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Equating the opinion that a method of intelligence collection is flawed with a deeply political attack on a the leading commander in Iraq is absurd.”
    Hmmmmm.
    You better let CENTCOM Fallon know, so he stops called Petreaus an ass kissing little chickenshit.
    “This is typical of the Left and is revealing as to why people don’t take your patriotism seriously.”
    Gee, I guess we’re now bending over our computers and handing out vaseline when someone like you comes along and insults our patriotism, so I’ll refrain from my usual instinctual tirade of ad hominem.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This NIE tells us one of two things. Either the Bush-Cheney administration has been willfully misleading the American public on Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities or they are incompetent and were not aware of the consensus view of sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies until yesterday.”
    …….Bill Richardson.

    Reply

  28. ... says:

    folks can try to discredit bolton all they like… as long as he is pinch hitting for cheney and bush, we will continue to have to put up with his bullshit. we have to with those 2 stooges still as well..

    Reply

  29. Dave from queens says:

    IOKAYAR
    This is the number one rule for being a conservative republican.
    So in Conservative Wacko World, Bolton is allowed to smear the military.

    Reply

  30. mb says:

    I understand that 9 of the agencies involved in the Iraq NIE report are tied to the Pentagon.
    In keeping with the “Petraeus” report frame — why not refer to the Iraq NIE as the “Hayden” report or the “Gates” report or the “Gates-Hayden” intel report?
    Tie it to the Bush administration and not let them get away with this “oh, the CIA is out to get Bush” BS.

    Reply

  31. 007 says:

    Steve is absolutely right. The Intelligence Community is finally telling truth to power and Bolton doesn’t like it–just like he didn’t like it while he was a wrecking ball at the Department of State. Bolton tried to squeeze the life out of INR because he didn’t want the facts getting in the way of his ideological agenda. Good thing is that no one is paying much attention to Bolton’s editorial and his pathetic attempt to argue with the entire intelligence community (State, DoD, CIA, NSA, DOE and the NIC) because conservatives are ready to slit their throats–over the President’s demonstrable lies re the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
    007

    Reply

  32. p.lukasiak says:

    “Finally, all of you who believe Iran is not building a bomb have to account for the Natanz problem. Do you think the enrichment at Natanz is for alternative energy? Even though such alternative energy has been promised by the EU3 as soon as said enrichment is suspended?”
    absolutely. Its called sovereignty. Iran has the right, under the NNPT, to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. And Iran would be insane to depend upon the goodwill of “the EU3” for its energy needs given its willingness to follow the insane lead of Bushco on the sanctions issue.
    Remember that most of the so-called “damning” evidence against Iran is coming through the US sponsored anti-Iranian terrorist group, MEK. We’ve already seen THAT movie — it was called “Bogus Intelligence Via the Iraqi National Congress.”
    Me, I trust the IAEA, since their record has been pretty stellar of late. And the IAEA has not said that Iran had a weapons program even in 2003. Basically, the evidence of such a program consists of some files that were transferred from Pakistan at the same time Pakistan was covertly helping Iran develop civilian uses of nuclear technology — and some equipment from Pakistan that had been contaminated with trace amounts of weapons grade uranium from Pakistan’s weapons program.
    Paranoia isn’t evidence — it wasn’t evidence in Iraq, and it ain’t evidence for Iran.

    Reply

  33. Hawkeye says:

    I’ll tell you why the Right is giving Bolton a pass. Their hypocrites who’ve shown that their true loyalties lie not with America, but with the Republican Party. Their allegiance to their Party is more important than their allegiance to their country.

    Reply

  34. apeman says:

    Bolton against the 16 agencies
    * Independent Agencies
    o Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
    * United States Department of Defense
    o Secretary of Defense, through the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA)
    o Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AF ISR or AIA)
    o Army Military Intelligence
    o Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
    o Marine Corps Intelligence Activity
    o National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
    o National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
    o National Security Agency (NSA)
    o Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
    * United States Department of Energy
    o Office of Intelligence
    * United States Department of Homeland Security
    o Coast Guard Intelligence
    * United States Department of Justice
    o Federal Bureau of Investigation Directorate of Intelligence (FBI DI)
    o Drug Enforcement Administration Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA)
    * United States Department of State
    o Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
    * United States Department of the Treasury
    o Office of Intelligence and Analysis

    Reply

  35. wvng says:

    Marcy Wheeler has a wonderful piece, over at emptywheel, on the ICs new sourcing rules that were drawn straight from the processes followed by the intelligence folks over at State who were, as was noted above, singularly correct about conditions in pre-war Iraq. She also offers some historical perspective on Bolton’s feud with State’s intelligence professionals. Worth a look.
    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2007/12/05/the-ics-new-sourcing-rules/

    Reply

  36. al75 says:

    It’s interesting: the extremists on the right have achieved a kind of lock on invective. Somehow, it IS okay to denounce “leftists”, accuse people who question Bush/Cheney policies as Hitler-appeasers at best, and traitors at worst (cf Poderetz’s accusations of a fifth column in the CIA).
    All of this while it is a matter of simple fact that Cheney et. al., aided by a diverse group of fellow-travelers from the oil industry to deluded supporters of Israel — manufactured a disastrous war in Iraq, attempted to install Ahmed Chalabi as the team bagman, and produced a perilous, costly, bloody mess in the process.
    The war has slowly bled the legitimacy of this movement, and the pants-down Iran NIE moment will, I hope, be a highly destructive event.
    Yes, Clemons is a beltway insider, but he has deviated from the herd in his willingness to call Bolton, Cheney, Abrams, et. al what they really are: extremists.
    They aren’t conservatives. They aren’t republicans. They are extremists who embrace warfare and American military domination as their instrument. They despise the American democratic system. They welcome deficit-funded war because debt, they reason (correctly), will weaken the capacity of the federal government to govern and care for the vulnerable.
    There is plenty of value to core conservative principles, though I generally don’t share them. But Cheney and his claque embrace violence and unilateral power, not conservatism. Calling political opponents traitors is just part of the fun. They may not be personally evil, but there actions and policies are as morally ungrounded as they are unwise.
    Clemons’ non-ideological posture and gracious tone is an example for all of us of how to fight back: with reasoned arguments, with respect for the ideas integrity of those who may have a different point of view.
    That’s the real American way, in my book.

    Reply

  37. LJM says:

    I didn’t like the Moveon ad, but at least it was on their dime. Publishing John Bolton is like publishing Ann Coulter. They both have an obvious agenda and it’s not in the best interest of the country. They are both nucking futs.

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    A most excellent interview with Trita Parsi by Mother Jones on the NIE implications.
    http://tinyurl.com/yteq4b

    Reply

  39. Thom says:

    My dear Kotzabasis
    Bolon said this: “While the president and others argue that we need to maintain pressure on Iran, this “intelligence” torpedo has all but sunk those efforts, inadequate as they were. Ironically, the NIE opens the way for Iran to achieve its military nuclear ambitions in an essentially unmolested fashion, to the detriment of us all.”
    And you say “nowhere does he [Bolton] imply, like the MoveOn add did on Petraeus, that its personnell are ‘betraying American interests’.” You’re simply wrong about that.

    Reply

  40. Carroll says:

    An article by Ron Kampeas in the JTA has quoted SC on the NIE.
    http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20071204hoenleinaipac.html
    “”I think they’re on a mission to look for a new casus belli” to attack Iran, said Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, whose focus has been Bush policy on Iran.
    Clemons said the lesson of the NIE should be to examine whether the Bush administration had ignored overtures from relative moderates within the Iranian regime in seeking to push for isolation.
    “What we have done since 2003, we’ve kicked Iran, we’ve demonized it,” Clemons said.
    The danger, he added, was that punishing Iran even after it suspended its weapons program strengthened the hand of extremists.

    Reply

  41. Laughable says:

    Equating the opinion that a method of intelligence collection is flawed with a deeply political attack on a the leading commander in Iraq is absurd. This is typical of the Left and is revealing as to why people don’t take your patriotism seriously.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    Posted by Eli Lake at December 6, 2007 09:53 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Even if Iran were seeking nuclear weapons what is the problem with that? MAD as a peace guarentee isn’t perfect but sounds like the only remaining eternal stand off solution unless everyone in the world sheds their nukes.
    It would be perfectly rational thinking on Iran’s part based on the same rationale as the US’s and Israel’s and every other country that has nukes.
    Iran’s starting or stopping or delaying a nuke program sounds like realist judgements being made in a very rational way to me.

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    Do not forget the congressional neos.
    As Jim Lobe mentions:
    “Second, the fact that the main conclusions of the report were known in top policy circles since at least last summer, if not well before then, helps explain why the administration’s hawks (and their neo-con allies) started hyping Iran’s alleged direction of attacks on U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq in August. It was clear by then that the nuclear pretext for war would suffer a serious setback whenever the NIE would be published, so that a new pretext needed to be pressed hard.”
    Knowing the likely conclusions of the NIE, their promoting of the bills targeting Iran re Iraq and labeling the Iran Royal Guard as terrorist put a lot of them right up there with Bolton and Cheney.
    Particulary among the presidential candidates and members like Hillary who signed onto these resolutions?
    Hillary said it was non binding and meaningless..if so why waste time doing it?
    Granted a lot of what congress does is ridiculous but there is always a purpose behind it for someone even in the “meaningless”.
    Obviously the neo’s have lost some ground to the realist in our agencies but congress is another and maybe just as big a story

    Reply

  44. rich says:

    Eli Lake:
    “Contrary to the fantasies of the Juan Cole set, Bush has pursued diplomatic pressure, not bombing as his chosen policy with Iran.”
    Bush is/has been waging a covert war inside Iran. According to Sy Hersh and other sources, it’s been ongoing for months & years, and involves several provinces heavily populated with ethnic minorities.
    That’s an act of war. By definition.
    The only reason Iran hasn’t responded is they do not have the military capacity to exact the appropriate, justified compensatory battlefield win for those covert, unprovoked attacks. Any open response would be misused as an opportunity by Bush, as in the imagined attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.
    Lake:
    “Right now because of the release of the estimate, there is little chance China or Russia will sign off on a third UN resolution.”
    Not because of that, no.
    Despite the maneuverings and public rhetoric, I don’t believe China or Russia has any real interest in assisting the isolation of Iran.
    It’s unlikely (without doing deep research) that a U.S. attempt to blockade Iran could succeed; we can always be outflanked by major actors. Iran has something to offer, on several levels, and those actors (the EU, China, Russia, among others) will always have a strong interest in accepting, for multiple reasons.

    Reply

  45. Chris Brown says:

    “. . .many involved in drafting and approving the NIE were not intelligence professionals but refugees from the State Department…”
    Other than the fact that Bolton uses the word “refugees” as an attempt to bias the reader, I don’t understand.
    The State Dept. intelligence agency was consistently right in its evaluations of the bogus Iraqi threat.

    Reply

  46. Kathleen says:

    Poor Bolton…. here he has all that unused Niger Embassy Stationary ready to serve up another does of yellowcake……when they outed Valerie Plame they thought they had the problem of reliable intel on Iran licked…now what?
    This whole intel fiasco just goes to show that the task of weapons inspections is best left to the auspices of the UN’s International weapons inspectors, who want to promote peace not find a reason to foment more war, or claim they found one, so bent on killing for profit as our home grown NeoNutzis are.
    Yesterday, Busholini laughingly joked about Psychology 101,… clearly he was truant that whole semester because he doesn’t seem to comprehend that he is a classic textbook case of Projection of his own agressive, sadistic motives.
    I think all options need to be on the table when it comes to protecting our Constitutionm from the doimestic enemies currently occupying the Oval Office and those who stand idly by, watching it happen are accessaries to the crime.

    Reply

  47. Carroll says:

    Bolton and his kind are the times that try men’s souls.
    Here we have the people that were all in favor of stovepiping and probably helped stovepipe and gin up the intelligence on Iraq and politicized the CIA and the Pentagon with their OSP’s now crying foul.
    I don’t care how the NIE came about I am just glad the crazies got beat at their own game.
    The only question worthwhile to me on this is who do you trust to have America’s real interest at heart in this NIE..Bolton and his crowd or Gates and his crowd?

    Reply

  48. DonS says:

    Eli Lake, your points are selectively chosen and interpreted, as any good polemicist.
    First point, on Iraq “progress”, you ignore the factors of massive outmigration from the country, ethnic cleansing within the country, and accommodation with the Sunnis that undercuts several years of strategy and rationale, not to mention the potential escalation of heightened civil war with the Shite dominated government.
    Second point, Bush pursuing diplomacy versus bombing, smacks of revisionist history based on assumptions you can’t know (or if you do, you are leaking national security information). And it is a naive assumption in that it flies in the face of the record of the disinformation campaign leading up to Iraq and, from much emerging information, being repeated with regard to Iran.
    Third, you are conflating Israeli interests with those of the United States, and waving the red flag of an implied threat to the U.S. that Iran does not represent — again much like Iraq. True, an expansion of the mideast conflict is in no ones interest, but that still does not justify the Israeli tail wagging the U S dog even if your domesday scenario were valid. Given this assertion of yours, if you are saying that the Israelis are crazy enough to take preemptive action, then it seems the problem lies in Tel Aviv as much as anywhere.
    Fourth, you assume Iran is, and will remain, so crazy, that pressure will not be viable. Their recent pronouncements, apparently backed by the NIE evidence counters that. Ahmadinejad appears to be losing favor. And you, as most necons, ignore the calculus the indicates any aggressive Iranian action will be met by overwheming force; a powerful disincentive to Iranian agression. You wave the the threat of long term, speculative danger, to discredit short term facts on the ground.
    Lastly, as far as the enrichment problem, most realistic estimates of real threat capability are well off into the next decade. Really giving diplomacy a chance, as you assert Bush is doing, mitigates against the more aggresive stance of everything you argue.

    Reply

  49. david says:

    Anyone know if Bolton is on retainer with anyone now that he is out of public service? I assume he definitely has something outside the AEI gig. Thanks.

    Reply

  50. Linda says:

    I don’t agree with Bush about most anything, but he may be correct that it takes decades for history to reveal the true facts. Our intelligence about Soviet missiles wasn’t very good 50 years ago, and we had a lot of real spies in the cold in the Cold War with USSR.
    After Sputnik, Eisenhower appointed the Gaither Commission that reported we had a missile gap. Ike wasn’t persuaded by the report, but JFK ran in 1960 saying there was a missile gap. The arms race intensified a great deal under JFK and LBJ. And then we learned that there really wasn’t a missile gap after all.
    If politicians in both parties spent more time talking about nuclear disarmament and listening to Sam Nunn, Ted Turner, the whole world would be safer.
    We also have to start being more realistic about the big loopholes in NPT that allows any country to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Any country that can do that also can develop nuclear weapons. And it’s all quite ridiculous in that Israel didn’t sign the treaty and thus can’t be accused of violating it, but everybody knows they have nuclear weapons. It’s sort of a nuclear “don’t sign/don’t ask/ don’t tell.” I do get a bit tired of all the politicians, intelligence experts,etc. on these issues because they don’t pass the common sense test.

    Reply

  51. Eli Lake says:

    Steve,
    In all due respect, this is ridiculous. Vann Van Diepen and Ambassador Brill are not intelligence professionals. They were key drafters of the estimate and they come from the State Department, and their views on Iranian nuclear proliferation are well known inside. Moveon.org would have its members believe that the general in charge of Iraq didn’t know what he was talking about with regards to progress in Iraq, a charge that has evaporated it seems with every dispatch filed from that country in the last six weeks.
    More important, Bolton is making an obvious point about pressure. Contrary to the fantasies of the Juan Cole set, Bush has pursued diplomatic pressure, not bombing as his chosen policy with Iran. Right now because of the release of the estimate, there is little chance China or Russia will sign off on a third UN resolution. Our European allies will likely have to reconsider their pledges of divestment because of this. So the pressure dissipates. Far from stopping a war, the people who drafted this NIE probably made one more likely. The pressure route is now likely scuttled. Israel is left with fewer options. Congratulations.
    Finally, all of you who believe Iran is not building a bomb have to account for the Natanz problem. Do you think the enrichment at Natanz is for alternative energy? Even though such alternative energy has been promised by the EU3 as soon as said enrichment is suspended? Even though the Iranians operate a nuclear facility at Bushehr that would accomplish the same thing. Even though they also operate a facility at Arak for plutonium, which would be an additional method for creating fissile material. Do you think the third leading exporter of oil and natural gas in the world is building a nuclear power plant and willing to endure two UN Security Council Resolutions to enrich uranium?
    If you believe that . . . .
    Yours,
    Eli

    Reply

  52. pauline says:

    CNN: Seymour Hersh ‘vindicated’ by new Iran intel estimate
    David Edwards and Muriel Kane
    Published: Wednesday December 5, 2007
    Reporter believes Cheney ‘kept his foot on the neck of’ report
    A new National Intelligence Estimate released on Monday indicates that 16 US intelligence agencies have concluded with a high level of confidence that Iran has not had an active nuclear weapons program since 2003 and that even if it resumed weapons development, it would be unlikely to obtain a nuclear bomb in less than 5 to 10 years.
    The NIE apparently came as a surprise to President Bush, who insisted at a news conference the next day that “I was made aware of the NIE last week. In August, I think it was, John – Mike McConnell – came in and said, ‘We have some new information.’ He didn’t tell me what the information was. He did tell me it was going to take a while to analyze.”
    However, the NIE was no surprise to veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who has been writing about it since November 2006. Hersh told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he believes the White House deliberately kept the NIE bottled up for over a year because the vice president was dissatisfied with its conclusions.
    “At the time I wrote that, there was a tremendous fight about it because Cheney … did not want to hear this,” Hersh recalled. “I think the vice-president has kept his foot on the neck of that report. … The intelligence we learned about yesterday has been circulating inside this government at the highest levels for the last year — and probably longer.”
    As early as July 2006, Hersh had reported that the US military was resisting administration pressure for a bombing campaign in Iran, because “American and European intelligence agencies have not found specific evidence of clandestine activities or hidden facilities.”
    By November 2006, Hersh’s sources had told him of “a highly classified draft assessment by the C.I.A.,” which concluded that satellite monitoring and sophisticated radiation-detection devices planted near Iranian facilities had turned up absolutely no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. However, Bush and Cheney were expected to try to keep those conclusions out of the forthcoming NIE on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
    As Hersh explained to Wolf Blitzer at the time, the White House was attempting to counter the CIA assessment with an Israeli claim, based on a “reliable agent,” that Iran was working on a trigger for a nuclear device. “The CIA isn’t getting a good look at the Israeli intelligence.” Hersh explained. “It’s the old word, stovepiping. It’s the President and the Vice President, it’s pretty much being kept in the White House.”
    RAW STORY’s Larisa Alexandrovna further reported in January 2007 that the NIE on Iran was intended to be released later that month, but that John Negroponte’s was being replaced as Director of National Intelligence because he had refused to tailor the NIE to Vice President Cheney’s specificiations.
    Despite feeling vindicated by the latest developments, Hersh warned Blitzer that the White House push for war with Iran is “still not over. … There’s always Israel.” He explained that “the Israelis were very upset about the report. They think we’re naive.”
    However, Hersh was confident that there was very little chance the NIE could be mistaken, because “It’s been four years since we’ve had any positive evidence of a parallel secret program to build a bomb — and we’ve been all over the country.”
    Hersh and Blitzer then recalled Hersh’s past appearances on CNN — including several long interviews discussing the Abu Ghraib scandal — and how the White House would regularly accuse him of using “anonymous sorces” or just “throwing crap against the wall.”
    Hersh concluded by emphasizing what a serious problem the NIE poses for Bush. “It’s a lose-lose for them,” he stated. “The fight I’m talking about began last year. … This is going to pose a serious credibility problem. … That’s not what we pay the guy to do.”
    However, Hersh’s sources tell him that despite the NIE, Bush’s negotiating position is still that the Iranians “have to stop everything … destroy it. … Inspectors have to come in that we pick. … He’s not saying that publicly, but that’s the private standard.”

    Reply

  53. sdemetri says:

    One of the real dangers to all of this, and I may be wrong, is that a chorus of voices rising to challenge the NIE, whether with a smattering of sound observations or not, can discredit its conclusions, and sway public opinion. It is the swiftboating method of public debate. The objective for those doing the swiftboating is to obscure the facts.
    Bolton’s criticism may contain a kernal of truth, good propaganda most always does. But it doesn’t need to be the Big Lie to be effective. It only needs to muddy the waters. This admin has mastered this technique. The supporters of its policies, Bolton and those compliant in the media, need not worry too much about facts, just what kinds of mud can be slung, how widely and how far.

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “As long as they continue with their enrichment activities, then the opportunity to resume that nuclear weapons program is always present.”-GATES
    So now its not about weapons, its about ANY enrichment program. We will starve the Iranians through crippling sanctions because they MIGHT in the future reinstitute a weapons program? After all, according to Bolton, the NIE is just a political bit of propaganda put together by a bunch of Bush hating traitors in the intelligence community. By God, we need a congressional investigation here, so we can rout these traitors out of our intelligence community! Imagine, politicizing intelligence. How dare those pro-terrorist anti-american anti-semite evil doing overpaid spooks. Gads, I though we purged these people when we outed Plame and fired Edmonds.

    Reply

  55. Punchy says:

    Is that his high school ring he’s sporting? A championship ring of some sort? That looks suspiciously like Jostens, circa 1968.

    Reply

  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/12/04/bolton-nie-iran/
    “I really think the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have to look at how this NIE was put together because there are a lot unexplained points in here.”
    “I think there is a risk here, and I raise this as a question, whether people in the intelligence community who had their own agenda on Iran for some time now have politicized this intelligence and politicized these judgments in a way contrary to where the administration was going. I think somebody needs to look at that.”
    End quote.
    Its amazing to me that Steve keeps expecting some sort of honesty or integrity from these people.
    Look, heres the bottom line; We have completely failed to hold this Administration accountable for a full range of staggering executive abuses, cronyism, manipulation of the media, unprecedented secrecy, illegal acts of war, politicizing all branches of government, and even apparent criminal manipulation of the electoral process.
    You can argue till hell freezes over, but had we of held this Administration accountable for any number of serious crimes and abuses, this abominational monster Bolton would not be an issue, nor would we be seeing such widespread distrust of our intelligence reports and conclusions.
    I suspect you haven’t seen nuthin’ yet. What incentive does this Administration have to act within the law, or adhere to the wishes of the American people, or to even respect intelligence estimates that go against desired policy directions? The checks and balances are obviously no longer in place, so all bets are off.

    Reply

  57. Pernicious Pavlovian says:

    Bolton gets the acclaim for being an “intellectual” and rarely shows even the vaguest leaning toward intellect or intellectualism. Bolton advocates mass murder and crimes against humanity on a scale that is both satanic and starkly war criminal. America needs wise counsel at present and not histrionic saber rattling by the likes of Bolton and his ilk. Can’t mainstream media offer up a perspective like that of Chuck Hagel?

    Reply

  58. Paul says:

    Steve — Interesting that Bolton talks about “intelligence professionals” when he regularly ripped the CIA whenever it did not support his view of the facts.
    I do think here that he stopped just short of the water’s edge — from everything he and many others have said, the implication arises from his words that anyone from State is antiwar (and therefore in their lexicon unpatriotic), but he never actually said it.
    Best wishes for a successful, civilized, issues-focused, discussion as part of your blog.

    Reply

  59. DonS says:

    To use another parallel that should resonate here of late, Bolton is doing the equivalent of an ad hominem attack on the intelligence community dressed up in analytical jargon, just becaust he can get the ear of the media.
    Bolton and his ilk have been discredited by the facts. Unfortunately, the media have yet to come up to speed. And Bolton apparently never saw a mic he didn’t love.

    Reply

  60. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks for the interesting comments above.
    George, i think that Bolton is not engaged in the same level of dramatic framing that Move On engaged in, but I do think that he is arguing that the wrong people with the wrong assumptions generated conclusions in the NIE that were undermining America’s interests. He did not use the words I used — but I think that is what he has implied.
    The parallelism is at least partially apt because thousands and thousands of hard working intelligence analysts were involved in the preparation of the NIE — and all units were in aggreement in those sections of the report that said “with the highest confidence.”
    Bolton is trying to cast suspicion on that process and those people. What Bolton in part is doing is casting doubt on one of the key assemblers of the report, Tom Fingar — who was one of Bolton’s adversaries during the battle over his confirmation.
    Others close to Bolton are waging war against Fingar’s competence and loyalty in other channels.
    So, I do find this similar to the “Betray Us” ad.
    To Lukasiak — I don’t believe that Bolton has the same degree of regular access to classified material — but that does not mean his security clearances are gone. It just means that he’s not in need-to-know loops and not able to receive regular cables.
    But I think much is regularly leaked to him.
    best, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  61. p.lukasiak says:

    steve… you need to fix the spelling of Petraeus in the title…
    that being said, I think you’re right to draw the parellel. The essence of Move-On’s critique was that Petraeus was being intellectually dishonest and advancing a pre-determined agenda without regard to the facts. Bolton is making the same accusation — accusing them of simply recycling their “policy biases.”
    But here is a question — does Bolton still have access to the intelligence information from which the NIE conclusions were drawn? It seems to me that he (and lots of others) are talking out their butts here — reflecting not any real knowledge, but merely their own ‘policy biases’.

    Reply

  62. Carl says:

    Reggie says it all, anyone who exercises their right of free speech, as an American, but disagrees with the liberal party line should be examined and reeducated, by force if necessary.

    Reply

  63. reggie says:

    Belligerent Bonkers Bolton should be examined by a psychiatrist. If he refuses he should be compelled.

    Reply

  64. kotzabasis says:

    My dear Steven
    You are developing a flair for easy going parallelisms which is a sign of intellectual laziness. This time with MoveOn and Bolton. The latter mounts a rigorous and serious critique of NIE and nowhere does he imply, like the MoveOn add did on Petraeus, that its personnell are “betraying American interests”.
    TokyoTom says it all!

    Reply

  65. sujal says:

    TokyoTom,
    By your logic, MoveOn was only questioning the fact that Petraeus was engaging in too much policy formulation rather than an accurate analysis of the situation on the ground.
    He’s still accusing them of not doing their job, or putting their policy preferences above an accurate reading of the intelligence.
    Sujal

    Reply

  66. TokyoTom says:

    Steve, I’m no fan of Bolton, but I think you’re being unfair. He’s questioning the judgment and NOT the patriotism of those who wrote the NIE; his basic argument was that “Too much of the intelligence community is engaging in policy formulation rather than “intelligence” analysis”.
    He may be wrong, but he’s not challenging people’s bona fides.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *