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September 30, 2009
The 3 stooges of the NIE
Back in 2007, the National Intelligence Estimate was released that all but absolved Iran of suspicions that it was on course to develop nuclear weapons. Rich Lowry writes:
The report was widely criticized by even the Europeans. Nevertheless, it gave cover to liberals -- including Barack Obama (hat tip: Jennifer Rubin) to downplay the threat from Iran. Now we know that the "secret" enrichment plant at Qom was already identified by the intelligence community when the 2007 report was drafted. The report never made mention of that plant, nor seemed to give it any import in the conclusions. The NIE was also criticized as being a hyper-partisan document whose drafting was done by three men who opposed a firm stance towards Iran and had an axe to grind (not with Iran, but with George Bush).
The unholy three were outed by the Wall Street Journal back in 2007:
Additionally, Brill's work as the US Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (the feckless group that has averted its eyes from Iran, Syrian and North Korean proliferation efforts) was disparaged by no less than Richard Armitage who characterized it as bull***t.
What happened to the three stooges?
We are talking government work, so they have been rewarded for their failure. Nothing succeeds like failure in this topsy-turvy world.
Vann Van Diepen has moved up in the administration of Barack Obama:
Ken Brill has also done well for himself-if not the world. He heads this government group in the Obama administration: Quote:
Did he suddenly find competence? Count me skeptical.
So we have two of the three playing key roles in the government, now responsible for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Why? They certainly failed big time in 2007. Now the world has to live with the consequences of their failure.
The third drafter of the NIE was Tom Fingar who parachuted out of Washington into a job at Stanford. He will at least do less immediate damage there, but he did do some further damage (a parting shot?) right before he left office. He was the official responsible for briefing Barack Obama regarding future global risks before Obama assumed office. We don't know what Fingar had to say to Obama but his report was previewed in a speech Fingar, the "U.S. intelligence community's top analyst", gave late last year. Fingar is a man who sees America on the decline:
He also counseled against sanctions on Iran's energy industry and thinks they would be counterproductive:
His survey barely touched on the topic of terrorism, and maintained his belief that there was no evidence that Iran has resumed work building a weapon, and said that their decision whether to build such weapons depended on how its leaders viewed their security requirement.
In other words, he did not see the Iranian regime as a terror supporting state that was religiously inspired , headed by leaders that view an apocalypse as a destiny that they are obliged to spark to bring about the return of the Missing Imam. He did not touch upon their promise to destroy Israel. He did not review their drive for hegemonic power in the region.
And this was the man the Washington Post characterized as the nation's leading intelligence analyst and the man who briefed Obama before he assumed office.
The three stooges.