Bolton says US intel report on Iran was political

Some times I really wonder what color the sky is on their planet.

BERLIN – U.S. intelligence services were seeking to influence political policy-making with their assessment Iran had halted its nuclear arms program in 2003, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said.

Der Spiegel magazine quoted Bolton Saturday as saying the aim of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), contradicting his and President George W. Bush’s own oft-stated position, was not to provide the latest intelligence on Iran.

“This is politics disguised as intelligence,” Bolton was quoted as saying in an article appearing in next week’s edition.

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‘Great discovery’ led to Iran nuke change – Bush

US President George W. Bush says a “great discovery” as recently as August prompted the US intelligence community’s stunning reversal of its long-held view that Iran had an active nuclear weapons program.

Mr Bush today provided no details on the nature of the new intelligence, which set off an in-depth intelligence review of the evidence and assumptions that underpinned a 2005 assessment, which had held with “high confidence” that Iran was determined to acquire nuclear weapons.

Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, went to Mr Bush in August 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 analyse,” Mr Bush said today.

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War pimp allert: Like Iraq, US intel on Iran faulty

WASHINGTON – First Iraq, now Iran. The United States has operated under a cloud of faulty intelligence in both countries.In a bombshell intelligence assessment, the United States has backed away from its once-ironclad assertion that Tehran is intent on building nuclear bombs.

Where there once was certainty, there now is doubt. “We do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons,” the new estimate said Monday.

Compare that with what then-National Intelligence Director John Negroponte told Congress in January. “Our assessment is that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons.”

Just last month, President Bush, at a news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said, “We talked about Iran and the desire to work jointly to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear weapons ambitions, for the sake of peace.”

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U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work

Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran delivering a speech in April at the nuclear plant in Natanz in observance of National Nuclear Day.

By MARK MAZZETTI

Published: December 3, 2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.

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War pimp alert: Gun-shy America is losing the best chance to stop Iran

John Bolton, the hawkish former US ambassador to the UN, says Tehran’s nuclear threat is growing and it will have to be halted by force

A grippingly topical nightmare unfolded in a television drama last week. Iran had secretly built a nuclear bomb, transforming the balance of power in the Middle East. All the United States could do was cut a deal and hope for the best as Tehran demanded a seat on the security council of the United Nations.

John Bolton snorts with derision at the scenario. But the only bit that he finds remotely funny is the prospect of Iran getting a seat on the security council; to him, long-time hawk and former American ambassador to the UN, the rest is a very real and global danger. Scientific experts and intelligence agencies are divided on when Iran might be able to build a bomb: it may be one, two, five or more years away from completion. For Bolton, this uncertainty misses the vital point.

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Iran Proposes International Security Force to Take Over in Iraq

An Iranian proposal for troops from Iran, Syria and other Arab states to replace U.S. forces in Iraq was swiftly rejected and ridiculed yesterday at a high-level gathering of Iraq’s neighbors and world powers, the U.S. newspaper The Washington Times said in a report on Sunday.

“As top diplomats from two dozen countries and international organizations took turns to discuss how to improve Iraq’s security, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki suggested that a coalition from neighboring Arab states take over from U.S. forces, conference participants said.”

“The Iranian delegation distinguished itself again today with the most extraordinary proposal,” said David Satterfield, the State Department’s top coordinator on Iraq, who accompanied U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Istanbul meeting.

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Attack Iran and you attack Russia

The barely reported highlight of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran for the Caspian Sea summit last week was a key face-to-face meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.A high-level diplomatic source in Tehran tells Asia Times Online that essentially Putin and the Supreme Leader have agreed on a plan to nullify the George W Bush administration’s relentless drive towards launching a preemptive attack, perhaps a tactical nuclear strike, against Iran. An American attack on Iran will be viewed by Moscow as an attack on Russia.

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