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Unformatted text preview: SDI 2010 Turkey TNWs Shared Neg FMW TNWs Shared Neg 1 ***AT: Case*** AT: Middle East Adv (1/3) No Iran prolif- intelligence is politicized and false SCHOENFELD, Ph.D. from Harvard University's Department of Government , July 19, 2010 (GABRIEL, The Wall Street Journal, <<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704293604575342941580221462.html#>> DA: July 19, 2010, SL) U.S. intelligence has already had two horrendously costly lapses this decade: the failure to interdict the plot of Sept. 11, 2001, and the erroneous assessment that Saddam Hussein was amassing weapons of mass destruction . Both brought us into wars. A third failure may now be unfolding, with consequences that might dwarf the preceding two . To avoid this, we need an inquest. The status of Iran's nuclear program is the issue . In December 2007 , our intelligence agencies put out a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which in its opening sentence baldly declared that "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." In a stroke, this authoritative pronouncement eliminated any possibility that President Bush, then entering his final year in office, would order a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Perhaps even more significantly, it undercut White House and international efforts to tighten sanctions on Iran. After all, if the Iranian nuclear program had been halted in 2003, what would be the point? But the NIE, or at least the unclassified summary around which public discussion revolved, was badly flawed. It relegated to a footnote the all-important fact that the most difficult part of a bomb project"uranium conversion and enrichment"was proceeding apace. The only thing that Tehran was said by the NIE to have stopped was "weaponization," the design of an actual warhead. This is the technically least complex facet of the enterprise. Behind the scenes, the intelligence services of Germany, Great Britain, France and Israel all took issue with the NIE. It became the subject of fierce criticism in Congress and the press. It is now clear that while the U.S. dithered, Tehran forged ahead. Evidence has surfaced that the flawed 2007 NIE was the result of political cookery . Paul Pillar, a former top analyst at the CIA, has frankly acknowledged that in downgrading the Iranian nuclear threat analysts may well have had policy implications foremost in mind . The intelligence community was severely burned for its erroneous conclusion about Iraq's WMD in 2002, which the Bush administration employed to justify going to war with Iraq. As a result, Mr. Pillar stated in a January 2008 NPR interview, "estimators might have shaped [the 2007 Iran] estimate in a way that would take this military option off the table." In his book published last year, "The Inheritance," David Sanger of the New York Times quotes Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (a former CIA chief himself) declaring "that in his whole career in intelligence he had never seen 'an NIE that had such an impact on U.S. diplomacy.' He did not mean it as a compliment." "that in his whole career in intelligence he had never seen 'an NIE that had such an impact on U....
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