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U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb
Los Angeles Times ^ | February 23, 2012 | Ken Dilanian

Posted on 02/24/2012 7:35:14 AM PST by gandalftb

U.S. intelligence agencies don't believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb.

A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.

The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.

Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.

It is not known precisely what other technical hurdles Iran would have to overcome, but Albright and many other experts believe that if it decides to proceed, the country has the scientific knowledge to design and build a crude working bomb in as little as a year. It would take as long as three years, Albright estimated, for Iran to build a warhead small enough to fit on a ballistic missile.

Albright said a push by Iran to build a nuclear weapon probably would be detected.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: ahmadinejad; atomicbomb; complacency; history; idiotalert; iran; israel; lebanon; nuclear; parchin; reference; russia; stuckonstupid; thirdworldwar
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Some clarifications: The story errs regarding weapons grade % of enrichment.

U-235 needs to be at least 90% to reach a critical mass explosion, however, 20% and beyond is considered weapons grade as there is no peaceful purpose.

Iran first achieved 20% in trace amounts two years ago and has been accumulating only 20% since and has done legally and is inspected and in compliance.

They can use the 20% for fuel rods, medical radiation, and in their research reactor (that we built for them).

Problem: If the Iranians can secretly divert some 20% into a secret enrichment facility, they could enrich to 90% quite easily and quickly.

Response: U-235 always decays into lead. As it does so it gives off a few, very powerful gamma rays that pass through our planet. We have some extremely sensitive detectors around our planet that detect gamma rays. By careful calculation we can eventually see the source of those rays and haven't seen any from Iran that indicate over 20% enrichment.

Iranian leaders know that once they produce 90% and have a bomb program, they could lose control of that program to hotheads in the Revolutionary Guards and poof, the Middle East and Iran go up in smoke.

That is the dichotomy in Iran. Ayatollahs - be careful what you wish for, Dajjal is waiting.

1 posted on 02/24/2012 7:35:19 AM PST by gandalftb
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To: gandalftb
Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.

Why would Israeli intelligence want to confide in Barry's intelligence services? Nothing good could come of it.


2 posted on 02/24/2012 7:42:45 AM PST by FourPeas ("Maladjusted and wigging out is no way to go through life, son." -hg)
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To: gandalftb

It does not make any difference what the US thinks.

Israel knows that her very existence is at stake. She absolutely cannot and will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power.

The Israelis will destroy Iranian nuclear capabilities. In particular, the Bushehr (west-central Iran) reactor will be destroyed.


3 posted on 02/24/2012 7:46:32 AM PST by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: gandalftb

It is quite possible this is another Iraq situation where they are all bluster in order to stave off some perceived threat from their enemies.


4 posted on 02/24/2012 7:49:46 AM PST by Peter from Rutland
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To: gandalftb

Dajjal is a figment of mad mo’s imagination. The article is propaganda. The US knows Iran is working on a nuclear weapon.


5 posted on 02/24/2012 7:50:55 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: gandalftb

OK, Have all of the intelligence officials who believe there is no threat to a nuclear weapon from Iran sign the document. Have them agree to be executed by firing squad if they are wrong. Simple enough. Problem solved. Let’s see how many still so believe.


6 posted on 02/24/2012 7:52:51 AM PST by Portcall24
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To: doug from upland; Nachum; Cindy; G8 Diplomat; AdmSmith; Dog; nuconvert; Straight Vermonter; ...

Iranians can be extremely clever at cheating. I can attest to that, having played a lot of poker with them, LOL.

What they do is to make sure that every potentially controversial move has a dual use so that they can deny they have wicked intentions.

For example, they enrich to 20%, but as they say, only for permissible legal purposes, medical research... Even though we know there is no point having so much 20% around, especially when we offered to give them all the 20% they need for free, for research. Dual use.

Why is Iran building rockets that can fly thousands of miles? They say the rockets are for satellites. Same rocket can carry a nuke. It only matters where you point them. Dual use.

Why so much testing and research at Parchin with very high velocity explosives (that we can hear detonating and could be used to light off an atomic bomb)? They say, gee it’s hot here in Iran and we are tunneling and plan to use those explosives to cut through rock. Dual use.

Throwing a net over Iranians is very hard to do. They know that we would have a hard time justifying war, having been embarrassed by the lack of Saddam’s WMDs.

The worlds most lethal shell game.


7 posted on 02/24/2012 7:54:37 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: FourPeas

“Why would Israeli intelligence want to confide in Barry’s intelligence services?”

Because we have significant passive and active satellite and airborne electronic eavesdropping that Israel does not begin to have.


8 posted on 02/24/2012 7:57:42 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: gandalftb

OBAMA says this, not the intel community. they KNOW Iran is building a bomb.

Obama will never say anything negative about Muslims as he isone.


9 posted on 02/24/2012 7:58:50 AM PST by CodeToad (NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!)
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To: FourPeas

Sadly, the last 15 years have taught us that the US intelligence community ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be.


10 posted on 02/24/2012 7:59:41 AM PST by Drill Thrawl (Brass, copper, lead. The new precious metals.)
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To: gandalftb; onyx; TitansAFC; b9; Gator113; Marcella; katiedidit1; annieokie; ...

“Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.”

What a horrible liberal spin.
Israel is convinced of the contrary.
You know, Israel possesses its own sources of information and satellite over Iran. They don’t have to rely on Obama administration data.

Earlier this month, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, said that intelligence suggests Iran already has enough nuclear material to build four atomic bombs. Kochavi told the annual Herzliya Conference that if Iran decided today to build a nuclear bomb, it could do so in less than one year.

Many in Israel believe there will ultimately be no choice but to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities - just as Israel did to Iraq in 1981 and to Syria in 2007 - but know that such a move will carry a heavy price tag.

In a document published by Iran’s Alef news agency, the chief strategist of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Alireza Forghani, argued that “in the name of Allah, Iran must attack Israel by 2014. All our troubles are due to Israel!”

AND IT IS PRECISELY AT THIS CRUCIAL MOMENT that the US, Britain and other European powers are showing themselves most apathetic and incapable of facing down the Iranian threat.


11 posted on 02/24/2012 7:59:41 AM PST by Marguerite (When I'm good, I am very, very good. But! When I'm bad, I'm even better)
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To: TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed

“Bushehr (west-central Iran) reactor will be destroyed.”

Hmmm, do you think the 1,200 Russians that live and work at Bushehr will get a heads up to run for their lives first? Putin and Russia might get a little upset.

Perhaps we could pick better,...military...., targets?


12 posted on 02/24/2012 8:01:42 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: Peter from Rutland

That is certainly a component, self protection. I think a bigger component is showing the muslim world that Shiism is more powerful Sunnism.

Iran wants religious and political leadership of the muslim world.


13 posted on 02/24/2012 8:04:39 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: gandalftb

..........and when a religious fanatic says he has a moral obligation to bring abut the end of the world and to wipe our ally off the map, he’s probably lying. Nothing to see here. Move along.


14 posted on 02/24/2012 8:07:52 AM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: gandalftb

these estimates come from the same agency analysts who assured Presidents Clinton and Bush43 that Iraq WAS trying to build a bomb

meh


15 posted on 02/24/2012 8:08:33 AM PST by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: F15Eagle

“The US knows Iran is working on a nuclear weapon.”

How do we prove it? Every task towards building a nuke, the Iranians can cleverly mask as having some legitimate purpose.

You find the absolute bomb-making proof and and the B-52s are on the way.


16 posted on 02/24/2012 8:08:37 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: gandalftb

LOL! If you want to identify Iran’s “military” targets, look for the Russian advisors


17 posted on 02/24/2012 8:10:49 AM PST by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: F15Eagle

Did I not read somewhere Iran was doing work on an explosive lens which is used only in an implosion type bomb??


18 posted on 02/24/2012 8:11:54 AM PST by jesseam
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To: gandalftb

and what percentage enrichment is necessary for a “dirty bomb”?

(Hint, 20% is plenty....)

Obama is manipulating the NIE to justify his inaction.

The statement “The U.S. does not believe...” is pure poicy propaganda.

It derives from a prosecutorial mindset “you can not prove...”, misapplied to achieve Obama’s objective.


19 posted on 02/24/2012 8:14:02 AM PST by G Larry (We are NOT obliged to carry the snake in our pocket and then dismiss the bites as natural behavior.)
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To: gandalftb

The US government and our non-intelligent services are engaged in magical thinking if they say Iran is not working on an A-bomb or H-bomb. With the bomb, Iran’s radical Muslim leaders know they are invulnerable and can make trouble everywhere. They don’t fear China or Russia and know the USA is too wimpy to head them off.


20 posted on 02/24/2012 8:15:25 AM PST by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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To: gandalftb

Ha. Only a fool believes Iran is doing peaceful nuclear work. Barry won’t attack unless he needs it for reelection purposes, if he thinks it will sell.


21 posted on 02/24/2012 8:16:15 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: Portcall24

One of the hiring requirements of intelligence officials is that they must be intelligent.

They would hardly take a job where guessing wrong gets them a firing squad.


22 posted on 02/24/2012 8:16:38 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: gandalftb

“...and the B-52s are on the way.”

That mission might be worth a couple Spirits


23 posted on 02/24/2012 8:23:26 AM PST by Flightdeck (If you hear me yell "Eject, Eject, Eject!" the last two will be echos...)
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To: gandalftb
I have several problems with this article, including its sources and assumptions. A primary source for the report referred to is the Institute for Science and International Security, whose board members are clearly left-of-center, and whose funding sources read like a "who's who" of Progressive funders.

Secondly: Western human intelligence assets in and around Iran are few, and communications/electronic intercepts subject to various interpretation in the absence of validation by experienced and trustworthy eyes and ears within the region.

Even assuming the conclusion that Iran is not presently seeking a nuclear bomb is a correct one, it is abundantly clear that once the Iranians decided upon such an objective, it might be achieved in months, not years. Furthermore, other weapons might well be contemplated by Iran, including chemical and biological ones. The article is silent in consideration of such potential alternative threats.

Finally, what if Iran is using its shadowy nuclear program as cover for a darker plan: obtaining fully-functional nuclear weapons from allied elements in, say, Pakistan? Or from one of the former Soviet republics where much fissionable material "disappeared" sometime during the 1990s?

As you suggest, Iran is building long- and medium-range rockets for a reason. I would not trust desk-based analysts in Washington to conclusively tell us why.

24 posted on 02/24/2012 8:24:31 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: gandalftb

Well, they got a 50-50 chance of being correct...


25 posted on 02/24/2012 8:24:48 AM PST by stuartcr ("In this election year of 12, how deep into their closets will we delve?")
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To: Marguerite

“intelligence suggests” Iran has enough for a bomb.

Without the Mossad, I suggested the same thing a year ago. Whoop de do, I can’t prove it anymore than Mossad can.

Having enough 20% for a hundred bombs doesn’t matter. Only if Iran takes that 20% and enriches to 90% can we legally make a case for attack.

The only reason Israel constantly goads and incites the US to attack Iran is that Israel knows it cannot get the job done on its own.

If Israel could stop Iran’s nukes they would stop talking and do it.

Israel never telegraphs its military moves. Only when Israel stops talking is it time to put on the ear plugs and sun glasses.


26 posted on 02/24/2012 8:25:19 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: G Larry

You can make a dirty bomb with any radioactive isotope of many elements. It would be much cheaper and easier to use radioactive iodine.

Once Iran uses a nuke, they know it better have serious traction and they know they better have many more, ready to use, to postpone extermination.

I don’t blame Obama, he’s stuck as any president would be without the hard evidence.

Gingrich can run his mouth all he wants but in the same position he would do the same as Obama is doing now about Iran. Any president has to make the case before going to war.


27 posted on 02/24/2012 8:33:32 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: gandalftb

I expect Israel to go quiet very soon.


28 posted on 02/24/2012 8:35:34 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: gandalftb

“A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view”

Things have changed since early last year.
Not sure if I can continue to read this.


29 posted on 02/24/2012 8:37:51 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: gandalftb
U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb

Sure they (we) do.

That is why the muslim sympathizers in the administration want to call off any Israel attacks.

That way the the Iranian muzzies will have the time they need to assemble a working nuclear weapon.


30 posted on 02/24/2012 8:43:07 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he'll just kill you." John Steinbeck)
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To: gandalftb

US doesn’t think Iran is making a bomb?

Are these the same geniuses who thought the Stimulus would keep unemployment down?


31 posted on 02/24/2012 8:48:00 AM PST by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: andy58-in-nh

Good points.

The NIE is a matter of record, by our best intel professionals. This is what they agree on, with reservations.

Our humint in Iran is getting better, but certainly Mossad leads here and shares with us.

I agree, they could enrich to 90% in months. Three cascades of 164 p-1 centrifuges each can take 20% to 90%, enough for one bomb per year. They say they have 18 cascades available now that could do so.

We’ve done an airtight op over the last 15 years to secure the former USSR’s nukes, OK, we bought them.

Pakistan won’t sell nukes, they are too afraid of India.

Iran’s nuke goal is not to use the nukes, but to sell them and their technology to any and all, the Burma’s, Venezuela’s, etc. The other goal is to show muslims that Shia’s are stronger than Sunni’s.

Iran wants to be the first homegrown muslim nuke power as Pakistan bought their centrifuges and know how from N Korea.

As far as missiles go, no one can predict a missiles flight trajectory that is determined only by the launch commander. None of our intel professionals are clairvoyant.


32 posted on 02/24/2012 8:48:45 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: gandalftb

One very good analysis piece that I read suggests that Iran is “going slow” on the development of an A-bomb until they develop a long-range ballistic missile to deliver it. That makes sense. If you build a bomb that can’t actually reach your chief adversary (the US) then all you’re going to do is get maneuvered into a corner like Saddam did. And the US eventually gets a coalition together along with a sufficient UN declaration to take you out. The ayatolla’s have seen that movie before. In fact it played at a theater in their neighborhood.


33 posted on 02/24/2012 8:53:20 AM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: Tzimisce

“US doesn’t think Iran is making a bomb?”

Every thinking person knows Iran wants nukes.

The problem is how do you drag them, while they are kicking, screaming, holding their breath, stomping their feet, out into the light?


34 posted on 02/24/2012 8:53:31 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: Tallguy

Good point. Not much point having a nuke if you can’t deliver it. That is truly important to the Iranians.

The Iranians could terrorize their enemies simply by demonstrating an ICBM and then let the world fuss itself endlessly guessing at whether Iran had a nuke to go with it.

The Iranians are clearly pro’s at mind games. They know the perception of force is just as good and a whole lot cheaper than the actual means of force.


35 posted on 02/24/2012 8:58:55 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: gandalftb

The long-term effects of the Liberal campaign to undermine George W.

Since no WMD was found in Iraq, any talk of a hostile power working on them is now “a neocon fantasy intended to manufacture an illegal war!”

Shouldn’t have let them shove ya around for seven years there, Georgie!


36 posted on 02/24/2012 9:03:20 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: gandalftb

The single best use for an Iranian nuke against the US would be an EMP burst. They need a ICBM for that. Right now they are testing/deploying IRBM’s that can reach parts of Europe. That cuts down on the coalition.

An EMP strike immediately levels the playing field between the Western and Muslim worlds. Perhaps Iran gets taken out in a nuclear counterstrike, but the crazies over there might just deem that ‘acceptable’.


37 posted on 02/24/2012 9:18:04 AM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: FourPeas

If the consensus agrees they are not making a bomb, I would say it’s 100% sure they are. Who really wrote this article AKMANGETAJOB with co-operation from the socialist frauds in our MSM.


38 posted on 02/24/2012 9:19:56 AM PST by spawn44
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To: gandalftb
I am sorry but I REMEMBER the track record of our so-called intelligence community
39 posted on 02/24/2012 9:23:10 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (Hey repubic elite scumbags... jam mitt up your collective arses!)
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To: gandalftb

I am certain that the targets will include Bushehr.

Bushehr is located in the west-central part of Iran historically known as Elam.

There is an unfulfilled prophecy in Jeremiah 49:34-39 that speaks of Elam being struck and its people scattered.

You may find the following analysis by Bill Salus enlightening:

http://www.prophecydepot.net/2012/why-irans-absent-from-psalm-83/

http://www.prophecydepot.net/2012/the-dual-prophecies-of-iran-%e2%80%93-part-two/


40 posted on 02/24/2012 9:25:20 AM PST by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: gandalftb

Why would Iran bury their facilities hundreds of feet underground if they were just refining to 20%?

They are working on a bomb. Delivery could be as simple as a container ship.
Or give it to a terrorist group kookier than themselves. (if that’s possible)

As far as their concern about retaliation, it’s their ride to heaven. They are looking forward to it.


41 posted on 02/24/2012 10:40:23 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: gandalftb

My concern re: Pakistan is not that the country’s nominal leadership would allow sale or transfer of WMD’s to Iran, but that the leadership is itself very tenuous. By accounts I have read, their ISI is closely allied with Islamic radicals throughout the region, to the extent of quite possibly being responsible for Bin Laden’s extended protection. Israeli intel assets are certainly in-country, but they must deal with very untrustworthy people whose allegiances can change quickly.


42 posted on 02/24/2012 10:44:53 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: gandalftb

I think you missed my meaning. Why would Israel communicate to Barry’s intelligence services that they disagree with their analysis and/or info? The Israelis have many reasons not to trust that Barry’s intelligence services would keep their confidences.


43 posted on 02/24/2012 10:54:00 AM PST by FourPeas ("Maladjusted and wigging out is no way to go through life, son." -hg)
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To: gandalftb

Perhaps you missed the part where Iran places no value on survival?

12th Imam?


44 posted on 02/24/2012 11:23:06 AM PST by G Larry (We are NOT obliged to carry the snake in our pocket and then dismiss the bites as natural behavior.)
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To: gandalftb

40 years ago I had completed Nuke Weapons school and was in my first assignment.
I’m still in the defense biz and don’t need much public info to make my assessments.


45 posted on 02/24/2012 11:28:21 AM PST by G Larry (We are NOT obliged to carry the snake in our pocket and then dismiss the bites as natural behavior.)
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To: jesseam

I hadn’t heard that. Ping me if you get a link please. Thanks.


46 posted on 02/24/2012 11:42:42 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: gandalftb
"...where guessing wrong..." Exactly. The problem is the intelligence officials try to convenience leadership that it is more than guessing. And aren't they asking the entire Nation of Israel to gamble their survival on the guessing?

In my prior life folks would bring briefings to us that had a little box and describe it as where intelligence "fusion" occurred. But when you ask them to describe what exactly this "fusion" was the result was some exceptional tap dancing. Fusion is one of those amorphous terms is often used and seldom defined.

47 posted on 02/24/2012 1:19:16 PM PST by Portcall24
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To: Vinnie

Good points, particularly about a ship delivered nuke. I have always thought they could get one within Tel Aviv.

A crude device is very heavy to transport and they don’t have the “reflectors” to get enough blast yield for a portable nuke.

No problem on a ship.


48 posted on 02/24/2012 2:04:22 PM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: F15Eagle

If you Google “iran explosive lens” there are some articles that discuss research on developing explosive lens for an implosion bomb. Maybe they should be taken with a grain of salt but maybe not.


49 posted on 02/24/2012 4:01:34 PM PST by jesseam
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To: All

A Look at Iran
http://www.truthusa.com/IRAN.html


50 posted on 02/24/2012 4:11:42 PM PST by Cindy
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