Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Juan Cole: Good intelligence gets in the way

* per my obsession with US army recruiting and the lies that surround it - the monthly numbers are usually out by about the tenth or eleventh of the month - but no sign of the January numbers yet.

* steve clemons was on the radio the other day - download here - 40mins.

* juancole:
"There has for some time been speculation among bloggers that Cheney et al. wanted to shoot down :-) Plame Wilson for reasons other than that she is the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, who blew the whistle on intelligence failures concerning alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

If she was working specifically on Iran, this theory becomes more plausible. We know that Cheney, the Neocons and other factions in the Bush administration desperately wanted to get up a war against Iran so as to overthrow its government.

If the CIA was successful in a measurable way in preventing proliferation to Iran of technology required for making a nuclear weapon, and could certify as much to Congress, that very success would make it harder to justify a war on Iran.

We know that someone among the Neoconservatives also let Ahmad Chalabi know that the US had broken Iranian codes and could read that country's secret diplomatic correspondence. As anyone could have expected, Chalabi immediately told the Iranians about the US spying. The Iranians will have immediately changed their codes.
So between disrupting the work of Plame Wilson's unit at the CIA and letting the Iranians know about the broken codes, the pro-war party managed to make Iran's actual progress on nuclear research opaque to the US government. It was necessary that it be opaque if there was to be a war. Iran is actually a decade or two away from having a bomb even if everything went well. But US intelligence agencies must be less confident they know what is going on in Iran now than before the Neocons destroyed so much of the effort against Iranian proliferation. It was the US withdrawal of inspectors from Ira[q] in 1998 that created the uncertainties that allowed Bush to invade Iraq. For warmongers, good intelligence on the enemy's capabilities is undesirable if that intelligence would get in the way of launching a war."
heh. indeedy.

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