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  • U.S. Intel Community Unintelligent About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Effort

    The Wall Street Journal yesterday published an important op-ed by a distinguished intelligence specialist, Fred Fleitz, that alleges that the U.S. intelligence community remains in denial about Iran’s accelerating drive for nuclear weapons.

    Fleitz noted that Iran has accumulated over 4,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, enough to arm four nuclear weapons if it is further enriched to weapons grade. Tehran has accelerated its uranium enrichment efforts and recently announced plans to install more advanced centrifuges in a fortified facility build deep inside a mountain.

    Yet despite mounting evidence that Iran’s nuclear efforts have a military dimension—including allegations made last month by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has developed technology needed to build nuclear warheads—the U.S. intelligence community produced a classified 2011 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that reiterated the controversial assessment of a flawed 2007 NIE that maintained that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and did not restart it.

    Fleitz, who retired this year after a 25-year career in the CIA, DIA, State Department, and House Intelligence Committee staff, wrote that the 2007 NIE was a politicized effort to minimize alarm over Iran’s nuclear program by intelligence officials who feared how the Bush Administration might respond to Iran’s growing threat. He charged that the officials arranged a “skewed set of outside reviewers” that they knew would endorse the flawed analysis of the NIE.

    Fleitz concluded:

    It is unacceptable that Iran is on the brink of testing a nuclear weapon while our intelligence analysts continue to deny that an Iranian nuclear weapons program exists. One can’t underestimate the dangers posed to our country by a U.S. intelligence community that is unable to provide timely and objective analysis of such major threats to U.S. national security—or to make appropriate adjustments when it is proven wrong. If U.S. intelligence agencies cannot or will not get this one right, what else are they missing?

     

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to U.S. Intel Community Unintelligent About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Effort

    1. ricp says:

      "…wrote that the 2007 NIE was a politicized effort to minimize alarm over Iran’s nuclear program by intelligence officials who feared how the Bush Administration might respond to Iran’s growing threat. …"

      I'm sorry doesn't this activity, if true, amount to treason or at least dereliction of duty and qualify for immediate dismissal? Whose side are these analysts on?

    2. Winston says:

      Help us change the Iranian regime please

    3. ricp says:

      "…wrote that the 2007 NIE was a politicized effort to minimize alarm over Irans nuclear program by intelligence officials who feared how the Bush Administration might respond to Irans growing threat. …"

    4. Pingback: U.S. Intel Community Unintelligent About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Effort | INTELLIGENCE WORLD

    5. clint says:

      The accusations would be hilarious if they weren’t so serious. In essence, Fleitz is writing that the consensus of the U.S.’s 16 intelligence agencies — that Iran has still not made the decision to build a nuclear weapon — should be thrown out and everyone should listen to him.

      The 2007 NIE seems to have been accurate: I see no Iranian bomb — and the 2011 NIE backs that up.

      Who do I trust more the DNI or this Fleitz chap who leaked Valerie Plame's identity when working for Bolton?

      Fleitz’s tenure in government was so plagued by scandal and deeply flawed and biased analysis that it raised hackles from experts worldwide.

      He espoused a worldview that considers anything insufficiently edgy or hawkish enough “wimpy.” Here are some of Fleitz’s greatest hits:

      – Fleitz was a CIA officer who, in 2002, took on a position as reflexive überhawk John Bolton‘s chief of staff, where, wrangling with the intelligence community about Cuba’s (non-existent) biological weapons program, he wrote to his boss that it is a “political judgment as to how to interpret [intelligence] data.”
      – Fleitz was also reportedly involved in the leaking of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name to the media in retaliation for her husband’s public questioning of the Bush administration’s assertions about Iraq’s WMDs. Fleitz worked in the same CIA office as Plame and reportedly passed her name to Bolton, who gave it to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby‘s aides.
      – By 2006, Fleitz made his way to the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee as a staffer under then-GOP Chairman Pete Hoekstra. In August of that year, Fleitz authored a report about Iran’s nuclear program that was so overblown that it elicited a letter of complaint about “erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated information” from the U.N. atomic watchdog.

      Given his record of sloppy analysis, bullying, and close association with some of the Bush administration’s leading hawks, there is a special irony in Fleitz’s complaint in the Journal that the intelligence community is “affected by the wave of risk aversion that has afflicted U.S. intelligence analysis since the 2003 Iraq War.” Perhaps Fleitz was the perfect man to write an op-ed for a paper that’s already more or less called for war with Iran.

    6. Mark Whiting says:

      I just saw that Fred Fleitz is going to be on an internet radio show next Wednesday at 1:00 pm, might be a good chance to ask him some questions: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/empact-radio/2011/07

    7. EstherHaman says:

      More Zionist propaganda!! But Of course. Since Bibi Yahoo showed up here the last time and made the speech at and forced our Senators, congressman to get the heat off of him on the Peace treaty with the Palestinians and putting Iran back on the front pages, we have seen this sort of non-sense back in the news. We are a toy in their hand and they can change our public opinions over night.

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