Skip to comments.Intelligence expert who rewrote book on Iran
Posted on 12/08/2007 1:31:09 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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 ...
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."
On the subject of enriched uranium and Iran’s intentions, heres 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.
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.
These are the guys who scare me the most and to think the CIA and State Department is loaded with them blows my mind.
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...
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.
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 nihilismdestruction 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 dont 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.
This is making me sicker and sicker and angrier than ever.
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.
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.
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.
You sound as frustrated and mad as I feel.
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.
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.
Wait until there is some nuclear incident somewhere and watch all the “blamers” and “spinners” go ballistic.
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.
Thomas Fingar ping. Thanks Ernest.