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Intelligence expert who rewrote book on Iran
Guardian Unlimited ^ | Saturday December 8, 2007 | Ewen MacAskill in Washington

Posted on 12/08/2007 1:31:09 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Report has torpedoed plans for military action and brought 'howls' from neocons

The intelligence came from an exotic variety of sources: there was the so-called Laptop of Death; there was the Iranian commander who mysteriously disappeared in Turkey. Also in the mix was video footage of a nuclear plant in central Iran and intercepts of Iranian telephone calls by the British listening station GCHQ.

But pivotal to the US investigation into Iran's suspect nuclear weapons programme was the work of a little-known intelligence specialist, Thomas Fingar. He was the principal author of an intelligence report published on Monday that concluded Iran, contrary to previous US claims, had halted its covert programme four years ago and had not restarted it. Almost single-handedly he has stopped - or, at the very least, postponed - any US military action against Iran.

His report marks a decisive moment in the battle between American neoconservatives and Washington's foreign policy and intelligence professionals - between ideologues and pragmatists. It provided an unexpected victory for those opposed to the neocon plans for a military strike.

The report, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which represents the consensus of the 16 US intelligence agencies, gave President George Bush one of his most difficult weeks since taking office in January 2001.

Fingar's findings were met in many Washington offices occupied by foreign policy and intelligence professionals not only with relief but with rejoicing. They had lost out in the run-up to the war in Iraq in 2003, but they are winning this one.

A backlash is under way; with the neocons being joined by even moderate foreign policy specialists who claim the report seriously underestimates the threat posed by Iran. Senate Republicans are planning to call next week for a congressional commission to investigate the report.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cia; flyntleverett; hezbollah; iran; iraniannukes; irannukes; irg; irgc; leverett; mohsenrezai; nie; nukes; tomfingar; waynewhite; white
Senator John Ensign, a Republican, said: "Iran is one of the greatest threats in the world today. Getting the intelligence right is absolutely critical."

Flynt Leverett, a former CIA analyst and former National Security Council adviser in the Bush administration, was among those celebrating this week, and praised Fingar and his colleagues. "We seem to have lucked out and have individuals who resist back-channel politics and tell it how it is," he said. "That is what the CIA and other agencies are supposed to do."

1 posted on 12/08/2007 1:31:11 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: SierraWasp; All; blam; SunkenCiv; NormsRevenge; kellynla; onyx; Brad's Gramma; Howlin; MEG33; ...

fyi


2 posted on 12/08/2007 1:32:41 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

On the subject of enriched uranium and Iran’s intentions, here’s a “not so” hypothetical:

If you were a nuclear-ambitious country (like Iran), what would you want to possess, (1) a fully optimized set drawings and no enriched uranium or (2) a ready supply of weapons grade enriched uranium and not so well optimized drawings?

Yep, a 50th percentile fifth grader would get that answer right. But not the State Department of the United States of America. And apparently not Thomas Fingar.


3 posted on 12/08/2007 1:38:27 AM PST by John Valentine
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To: John Valentine
Here is a piece from the Wall Street Journal:

Behind the Iran-Intelligence Reversal

*******************************EXCERPT*******************

By NICK TIMIRAOS
December 8, 2007; Page A9

A new U.S. intelligence report concluded that Iran abandoned its nuclear-weapons program in 2003 -- a reversal of findings issued two years ago -- and underscored the challenges facing the intelligence community.

The surprise assessment followed intelligence-community changes triggered by faulty intelligence reports on Iraq that fueled the run-up to war, by asserting that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing nuclear weapons.

The new estimate could decelerate already-sluggish diplomatic efforts to suspend Iran's uranium-enrichment program by the United Nations Security Council, and calls into question Washington's increasingly hawkish rhetoric toward Tehran. Here's a closer look:

How definitive are National Intelligence Estimates? The estimates reflect the consensus opinion of the nation's 16 intelligence agencies, and while they provide a snapshot of current judgments about future events, estimates don't always deliver the final word on a subject. The conclusions of a 2002 Iraq estimate were wrong in part because analysts, according to a Senate investigation, were led to "ignore or minimize" evidence that Iraq didn't have an active program to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Some conservative critics received the new Iran estimate skeptically, and Republican senators called for a review of the contradictory conclusions.

What prompted the new conclusions? Officials said a combination of new intelligence and a review of old evidence, not a "smoking gun" or single piece of evidence, prompted the new assessment.

4 posted on 12/08/2007 1:45:13 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"Flynt Leverett, a former CIA analyst and former National Security Council adviser in the Bush administration, was among those celebrating this week, and praised Fingar and his colleagues."

These are the guys who scare me the most and to think the CIA and State Department is loaded with them blows my mind.

5 posted on 12/08/2007 1:51:24 AM PST by moonman
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To: moonman
There is a book about these people:

Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left
By David Horowitz

*******************

Though strange bedfellows, America's liberals and radical Muslims stand on suspiciously similar ground in refusing to condemn Islamic terrorism, in criticizing America and the West, and in opposing efforts to export capitalism...

6 posted on 12/08/2007 2:01:04 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: All
Book Review:

Book Review: Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left, by David Horowitz

*********************EXCERPTS*********************

Fortunately, Unholy Alliance is a more sober and learned volume than the hyperbolic press release would make it appear, and it does a reasonably good job of making Horowitz's point: that the American extreme left has entered into a de facto alliance with their nation's Islamofascist enemies, and that the more moderate left is either unaware of or indifferent to this disturbing development. But there's little here that regular readers of conservative weblogs - or Horowitz's online magazine, FrontPage, from which much of the book appears to have been adapted - won't already know about.

Tens of thousands of Americans demonstrated against the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and it would be unfair to dismiss all of them as knee-jerk radicals who hate their country. The same cannot be said about the people who organized the protests, however. International ANSWER, perhaps the most prominent of the groups which sprung up to oppose the American response to the 9/11 attacks, is a front group for the Workers World Party, an organization founded in 1956 by supporters of the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and most of America's other (seemingly interchangeable) "antiwar" groups are similarly infested with Marxists, Maoists and "anarchists" at their highest levels. Even "Win Without War", an organization founded to put a more moderate face on the "peace" movement, has many of the same old moonbats on its board of directors.

7 posted on 12/08/2007 2:08:49 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: All
Another review:

Review: UNHOLY ALLIANCE:
Radical Islam and the American Left

***************************EXCERPT*********************

What happened to the Nazis and Nazism after the collapse of the Third Reich?  Did they go away, or just go underground?  What happened to communists and communism after the collapse of the USSR?

 

        David Horowitz*, in Unholy Alliance, tells us.

 

        He does not address the Nazis as much he does the Reds, but his presentation allows inclusion of both.

 

        And the answer is that their intellectual heirs are living and well in America and Europe.  Just as the Nazis and Communists in Pre-Nazi Germany were two sides of the same coin, so they are here as well.  Remember that “NAZI” stands for NSDAP, which means “National SOCIALIST German Workers Party,” and remember that fascism, including its Nazi variant, and communism come from the same intellectual root stock:  SOCIALISM.

 

        All of these virulent socialists have reemerged from the collapse of the old left and old communism to form what Mr. Horowitz properly calls the “neocommunists,” or “neocomms.”  The neocomms, however, have devolved from their pining for the new world order of old communism to raw nihilism—destruction of everything.  Their goal is to destroy America and everything it stands for, and now they have new partners.

 

        The new partners are the Islamic jihadists, who want exactly the same thing:  The destruction of America and all it stands for.  This is the hardcore FIFTH COLUMN, with many strap-hangers along for the ride.  This is the UNHOLY ALLIANCE David Horowitz presents.  And, hold your hats, the Unholy Alliance is WINNING.  If we don’t get off our derrieres, we are going to be herded into a totalitarian state worse than any of those in the 20th century, and we will be bowing to Mecca five times a day.

8 posted on 12/08/2007 2:14:33 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

This is making me sicker and sicker and angrier than ever.


9 posted on 12/08/2007 2:57:44 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: MEG33

So was Fingar lying to Congress when he testified about their nuclear program in July or is he lying now about them terminating their program in 2003? His conclusions are diametrically opposed. They can’t both be true. He is a liar, one way or another.


10 posted on 12/08/2007 3:07:22 AM PST by 17th Miss Regt
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To: 17th Miss Regt

Who can say? What part is agenda driven and which part is solid verifiable intelligence..Which part is convenient interpretation ? I just hate the games being played by the intelligence community.


11 posted on 12/08/2007 3:25:45 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: John Valentine
The “report” has proved absolutely nothing as far as Iran goes, but it has VIVIDLY demonstrated that the CIA is populated by the same sort of half-wits that haunt the State Department!
12 posted on 12/08/2007 3:26:36 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: MEG33
Intelligence? What a misnomer! How many times have these jokers been wrong on critical issues? Have they been TOTALLY overrun by the ilk of Hansen and Ames? They seem as subversive as the State Department——and now they are depending on the assessment of ONE PERSON?

Why don’t we just fire all of them and hire Fingar to replace them? We may as well, for all the good they’ve done us.

13 posted on 12/08/2007 3:35:53 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: singfreedom

You sound as frustrated and mad as I feel.


14 posted on 12/08/2007 3:38:31 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
They had lost out in the run-up to the war in Iraq in 2003

Absolutely fraudlent statement. No truth in this claim at all. More of the revisionist history being spun by the Left to try and hide the fact they have been all wrong about Iraq from day one.

15 posted on 12/08/2007 5:06:54 AM PST by MNJohnnie (Hillary Clinton has never done one thing right. She thinks that qualifies her to be President?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The surprise assessment followed intelligence-community changes triggered by faulty intelligence reports on Iraq that fueled the run-up to war, by asserting that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing nuclear weapo

Again, an absolute lie. Saddam had them, was pursing them, and we have found some and have a pretty good idea where the rest went. Another example of how the Political Left screams a lie and then keeps screaming it until people believe the lie truth.

16 posted on 12/08/2007 5:10:14 AM PST by MNJohnnie (Hillary Clinton has never done one thing right. She thinks that qualifies her to be President?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Wait until there is some nuclear incident somewhere and watch all the “blamers” and “spinners” go ballistic.


17 posted on 12/08/2007 5:39:25 AM PST by CPOSharky (Energy plan: Build refineries and nuke plants, drill for our oil, mine our coal.)
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To: singfreedom
You would be surprised to find out that almost all of our intelligence has long since been "outsourced" and entrusted to foreign countries.

An American Expat in Southeast Asia

18 posted on 12/08/2007 5:39:59 AM PST by expatguy (Support Conservative Blogging - "An American Expat in Southeast Asia")
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To: CPOSharky

The three authors of the NIE are all Clinton holdovers and known Democrat allies. While the estimate may be correct, there is enough evidence against the three to question why Bush and his “advisors” would rush to accept their conclusions. The Israelis, who have much more to lose, have rejected the study outright. Let us be frank, Bush’s instincts on the War on Terror are bang-on. Otherwise, his presidency has been characterized by stupidity piled on stupidity. Like his mundane father, George Bush is a rather tongue-tied over-educated New England elitist who dresses-up in cowboy boots. Unfortunately for America’s fastest growing state, he has ensured that it will be a very cold day in Hades before the US votes for another “Texan” for President.


19 posted on 12/08/2007 6:29:11 AM PST by Melchior
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Fred Nerks; KlueLass; ...

Thomas Fingar ping. Thanks Ernest.


20 posted on 12/08/2007 7:32:49 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Friday, December 7, 2007_____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv; CPOSharky; MEG33; MNJohnnie
Ugly stuff...but it is appropriate that this appears in a very leftist UK paper.
21 posted on 12/08/2007 8:17:25 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: expatguy
You would be surprised to find out that almost all of our intelligence has long since been "outsourced" and entrusted to foreign countries.

Would be interesting to see you provide 3 sources to back this claim up.

22 posted on 12/08/2007 8:21:49 AM PST by MNJohnnie (Hillary Clinton has never done one thing right. She thinks that qualifies her to be President?)
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To: expatguy

Thanks for the link to some good reading.


23 posted on 12/08/2007 8:24:01 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: moonman

The real question is “Who is responsible for allowing commie pinkos into the CIA in the first place and how do they get in such positions where they can control U.S. foreign policy?”


24 posted on 12/08/2007 10:01:08 AM PST by Stayfree (*************************EquipmentSearchEngine.com)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv

The federal agency responsible for national intelligence estimates yesterday defended its report on Iran against charges that it was crafted primarily by former State Department officials who infused their personal politics into the report to undercut the Bush administration.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071208/NATION/112080051/1001


25 posted on 12/08/2007 10:25:17 AM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76; Grampa Dave; SunkenCiv; Marine_Uncle
Thanks...Posted :

Agency defends estimate on Iran ( NIE estimate that Iran has suspended activities)
Washington Times ^ | December 8, 2007 | By Jon Ward

26 posted on 12/08/2007 10:40:36 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: MEG33; 17th Miss Regt; singfreedom
see link at #25 and 26...for response from the Intel agency that produced the NIE.

Meanwhile Gates answers ...nothing has changed:

BBC: Iran threatens Mid-East, US says

27 posted on 12/08/2007 10:45:17 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Stayfree

Ever hear of Sen Joe McCarthy?


28 posted on 12/08/2007 10:46:43 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"Joseph Cirincione, author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons, also welcomed the report, saying: "What is happening is that foreign policy has swung back to the grown-ups. We are watching the collapse of the Bush doctrine in real time. The neoconservatives are howling because they know their influence is waning."
We shall see who comes out on top, after the Republican lead investigation on this matter is carried out.
Off the cuff, I dare say the "grown ups" where mostly far left libs entrenched over the years in our various Intel Agencies that have greatly undermined the national security of this nation.
This band of three under Finger just may yet get their noses pushed into the dodo.
29 posted on 12/08/2007 12:31:28 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter for POTUS)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The authors of the NIE have committed Treason, in my estimation. They are selling us out to their liberal agenda, and that of their fellow travelers.


30 posted on 12/08/2007 1:39:11 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: Marine_Uncle
Got a new thought on this from Wretched at Belmont Club:

Friday, December 07, 2007
Good cop, good cop

**********************EXCERPT********************

As I wrote in Not that Far, embracing the line that sanctions and diplomacy alone can bring Iran to heel ironically work against, well, sanctions and diplomacy.

What the new NIE has done -- and why I think even the liberals are so worried -- is that the intelligence assessment has made it very difficult to sustain even the bluff of working towards regime change; a threat they would have no truck with but at the same time probably found useful for so long as they could get a President George W. Bush to articulate it. Now that the doves have got what they ostensibly wanted, whether by design or misadventure, it has become apparent that it's not everything they wanted after all.


31 posted on 12/08/2007 2:09:37 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: LiteKeeper
`Another view on the NIE from the Powerline Blog:

December 8, 2007
Defending the NIE Report

************************EXCERPT**********************

After years of trying to expose the CIA's war on the Bush administration, we may be making a little progress. Questions about the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran have become sufficiently widespread that the intelligence community has found it necessary to respond:

The federal agency responsible for national intelligence estimates yesterday defended its report on Iran against charges that it was crafted primarily by former State Department officials who infused their personal politics into the report to undercut the Bush administration.

"It's not as if there are two or three people who craft this and then it's just put out there," said Vanee Vines, spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

Ms. Vines defended the report, saying that each NIE is a "group exercise" involving the "entire intelligence community."

However, another DNI spokesman said earlier this week that two individuals in particular played a significant role in drafting the report.

"Many analysts worked this issue, but Tom Fingar, our deputy director of national intelligence of analysis, and Vann Van Diepen, national intelligence officer for WMD and proliferation, had a major part in it," spokesman Ross Feinstein said in an e-mail.

A third DNI official, Kenneth C. Brill, also was reported to be a chief contributor.

Ms. Vines insisted, however, that "to try to characterize these estimates as the product of one or two individuals is just entirely inaccurate." She pointed out that a NIE is compiled using intelligence from the CIA and the other 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, and then reviewed by the National Intelligence Board, whose chairman is Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell.

Apart from the fact that it doesn't even touch on the merits, this defense is unpersuasive. Every NIE is, by definition, supposed to represent a "consensus" of all of the intelligence agencies. Yet those who actually write the report obviously exercise great influence, and when the "consensus" of seventeen agencies does a 180-degree U-turn, it is reasonable to shine a spotlight on the authors. Moreover, as we have pointed out repeatedly, the liberal, anti-Bush slant of the intelligence community is not a function of a few bad apples; rather, it broadly pervades that community as a whole. So to say that many intelligence officials had a hand in the report is by no means reassuring.

32 posted on 12/08/2007 3:37:37 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Interesting but disgusting how these morons operate. They just made it harder for the beast or the muslim if elected to have a bag of big sticks to use against the mullahs if push really comes to shove. Then again, they could give a rat less most probably. I can see them wanting to normalize relations with Iran over the outcries of those with sounder judgment.
33 posted on 12/08/2007 5:06:47 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter for POTUS)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; piasa
The article mentions Thomas Fingar. Isikoff and Corn's book on Plamegate, Hubris, 193, describes him requesting the State Department's Wayne White to alter the title of an early 2003 report on Iraqi intelligence in order to make it "a jab at Bush and the neoconservatives and their claim that an invasion of Iraq would create a chain reaction, spreading democracy through the region. (It was merely 'serendiptious," White later said, that the report was ready for dissemination the day after Bush's AEI speech.)" And these are the guys who complain about "cherrypicking" and "the politicization of intelligence". . .
34 posted on 12/08/2007 5:41:29 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora

Lovely bureaucrat....he should be exiled...


35 posted on 12/08/2007 5:54:14 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: MNJohnnie

EXACTLY...remember Collin Powell showing the photos of the Iraqi trucks that were chemical weapons labs? Where were these people then?

Not only that, we hear over and over “rush to war” lies too...

you know after 18 UN resolutions over an 11 YEAR run-up.

And who says we were automatically going to war in Iran?

Frankly I think it’s inevitable, but not anytime soon. And certainly not on W’s watch.


36 posted on 12/08/2007 6:13:53 PM PST by tpanther
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Iran threatens EVERYONE, not just covertly, but overtly! The fact that what passes as our “intelligence agencies” can’t figure that out is truly mind boggling-—and terrifying! Our military cannot be called upon to compensate for the shortcomings of these knuckle dragging, mind numbed idiots.

Our intelligence community does not need revamping. It needs housecleaning-—and I mean down to the original bare plaster! Everyone goes. Start hiring, from scratch, new, young, truly dedicated, brilliant young people who understand what is at stake-—not a bunch of old, cold war retread, Aldrich Ames look-alikes, that were inept and co-opted then, let alone now. (I won’t even discuss what I think should happen at the State Department. I’d probably go to jail. They can’t find Iran’s nukes, but they would find me!)

The President can’t fix this because our intel folks belong to labor unions. Can you believe that? Labor unions. We MUST be the only country in the world where “secret agents” have a labor union. This is a situation that must be remedied by the American people, like illegal immigration, we MUST INSIST on something better from our government!

I cannot imagine what the “boots on the ground”, hard working, ordinary “Joe”, at these agencies must feel like-—if he does still exist. They have been betrayed just as surely as we.

37 posted on 12/09/2007 1:43:12 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: MEG33
Absolutely. These intel types would have us believe they are our “first line of defense”. .....But they can’t make up their minds? It’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in my life!

The “church lady” could do a better job!

38 posted on 12/09/2007 1:47:34 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
My goodness, I can only imagine what sort of “complex” someone named “Vanee Vines” or “Van Van Diepen” might have!! Their names not only sound like cartoon characters, they even act like them!
39 posted on 12/09/2007 4:47:47 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Yeaaaaa, Powerline! Another brilliant analysis. Great find, Ernest.
40 posted on 12/09/2007 5:04:45 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: Fedora

Yes, I also find that choice of words the ultimate irony.

They are, very deliberately and with impunity, doing the same thing they accused the White House of doing in the run-up to Iraq.


41 posted on 12/09/2007 5:11:42 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: MNJohnnie
"Would be interesting to see you provide 3 sources to back this claim up."

Well then, I suppose you trump me there unless I am willing to come right out and name names and circumstances. And as much as I would like to, I just won't do that.

Don't misconstrue what I'm saying to mean that I'm backing down on my claim though, because I'm not.

42 posted on 12/09/2007 5:30:46 AM PST by expatguy (Support Conservative Blogging - "An American Expat in Southeast Asia")
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To: Fedora

Thanks for that info on Fingar.


43 posted on 12/09/2007 5:41:51 PM PST by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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Flynt Leverett, a former CIA analyst and former National Security Council adviser in the Bush administration, was among those celebrating this week, and praised Fingar and his colleagues [for their 2007 NIE that Iran stopped their nuke program in 2003]. "We seem to have lucked out and have individuals who resist back-channel politics and tell it how it is," he said. "That is what the CIA and other agencies are supposed to do." 1 posted on 12/08/2007 1:31:11 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

One month after Iran was named an "axis of evil" nation, Haass went to the Middle East and told Israeli officials that they needed to "engage" the mullahs. And earlier this year [2003], Haass tried to undermine the president's clear determination to not give in to North Korean demands for one-on-one talks. This January, he sent out a cable blasting the president's approach in what an administration official labeled a "broadside."
If Haass is effectively restricted from arranging official sit-downs with Iran, he may go through back-channels to achieve essentially the same result. Earlier this month, Haass protege Flynt Leverett had a "chat" with a former head of Iran's military at a political conference in Athens...
...The Iranian with whom Leverett had his "informal" conversation is himself not a government official, though he still is very much a power broker, with proteges of his dotting the top echelons of the Iranian government. It is most likely that Iran saw Leverett in a similar light. Leverett was not just a recent retiree; he is extremely close—personally and professionally—to Haass. ...
It is not clear if Leverett's supposedly spontaneous meeting was pre-cleared by Haass or anyone else at State, but it is clear he exercised the same questionable judgment used by other Foggy Bottom officials. The man Leverett so happily met with was Mohsen Rezai, the former head Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Rezai is an active supporter of Hezbollah, which has killed more Americans than any other terrorist outfit besides al-Qaeda. Rezai has also long been suspected of ties to a deadly attack in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 238 U.S. troops. -----STATE DEPARTMENT'S FAVORITE MULLAHS (Anti-America best friends - State Dept.) Townhall ^ | 6/2/03 | Joel Mowbray

44 posted on 12/09/2007 6:06:23 PM PST by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa
Just a reminder to myself...don’t remember seeing your post....Thanks.
45 posted on 12/23/2007 12:47:18 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: singfreedom

IC staff employees are still barred by federal law from unionizing. There have been attempts in the pass to change this law but as of now it still stands.

Look the NIE could be an honest assessment, given the spotty nature of the actual facts on what Iran is really doing. Intelligence analysis is an art not a science, one or a couple new data points could completely change the interpretation of the data. You & I have not seen the facts that underlie this NIE. For example, you could walk into a room that has 2 exits (The one you came in and another.) You then see a dead man lying in a pool of blood. Another person is standing there holding a knife. Now tell me what happened?
Point being if your fact set is very limited you can have two or more even contradictory explanations.


46 posted on 12/23/2007 1:12:21 PM PST by Reily
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