This politicization of intelligence is most unseemly considering the damage wrought so far by the same malfeasance regarding Iraq.
Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States.
If the threat was as bad as these lunatics imagine, the intelligence community would not be keeping the facts of the matter under wraps.
A recent Israeli intelligence report -- forwarded to U.S. intelligence agencies -- claims that Iran may be as close as seven months from having a workable nuke. The most recent U.S. estimate says at least four years.
Needless to say, U.S. intelligence analysts are not buying it.
The kooks are out in force:
"When the intelligence community says Iran is 5 to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon, I ask: 'If North Korea were to ship them a nuke tomorrow, how close would they be then?' said Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives.
What a ludicrous statement. Even if North Korea had a workable nuke (which contrary to the conventional wisdom--they don't) they could ship these weapons to any country in the world, not just Iran. Under Mr. World War III's rationale, we would be forced to take action against every conceivable enemy just because they might receive a weapon from the DPRK.
The issue at hand is Iran's nuclear program.
The GOP members of the House intelligence committee is moving to further politicize the intelligence regarding the Iranian nuclear program.
A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack "the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments" on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.
The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion.
"American intelligence agencies do not know nearly enough about Iran's nuclear weapons program" to help policymakers at a critical time, the report's authors say. Information "regarding potential Iranian chemical weapons and biological weapons programs is neither voluminous nor conclusive," and little evidence has been gathered to tie Iran to al-Qaeda and to the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, they say.
Not good enough for pretextual uses. Go back and look again, the House intelligence committee says.
There is an interesting caveat to their report:
(The report)warns the intelligence community to avoid the mistakes made regarding weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war, noting that Iran could easily be engaged in "a denial and deception campaign to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program as Saddam Hussein apparently did concerning his WMD programs."
The operative information operation is reflected by the existence of this "study."
Jamal Ware, spokesman for the House intelligence committee, said three staff members wrote the report, but he did not dispute that the principal author was Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA officer who had been a special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration's former point man on Iran at the State Department. Bolton had been highly influential in the crafting of a tough policy that rejected talks with Tehran.
It is really important to a certain element in Washington that the U.S. attacks Iran. However, the track record of this bunch is shaky at best.
Failure is never an option to these people. It is the only possible outcome of their actions.