By: Mir M.Hosseini
A US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran was held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear program. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney with an aggressive policy toward Iran pressured on intelligence analysts to produce a draft estimate without those dissenting views.
White House finally released the unsatisfactory NIE draft, yet without making its key findings public.
NIE coordinates the judgments of 16 intelligence agencies on a specific country or issue.
Even within the biased views of US administration, there are certain doubts to alarmist signals that accuse Iran of having secret military purposes behind her nuclear program while Iranian nuclear activities are under international supervision. Pentagon uses the imaginary threat to finance its expensive overseas ventures in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile AIPAC uses a fictional Tehran bomb to channel funds in support of the bankrupt state of Israel.
The first NIE draft which was completed a year before was not acceptable to the White House. Intelligence analysts had to review and rewrite their findings three times, because of pressure from the White House who wanted a document that it could use as evidence for its Iran policy, Despite such pressures, some analysts refused to go along with conclusions that they believed were not supported by the evidence.
NIE on Iran had already been completed in October 2006 but Cheney's office had objected to its findings on both the Iranian nuclear program and Iran's role in Iraq. The draft NIE did not conclude that there was confirming evidence that Iran was arming the Shiite insurgents in Iraq.
The White House had decided to postpone any decision on the internal release of the NIE until after the November 2006 elections.
Cheney's desire for a clean NIE that could be used to support his aggressive policy towards Iran was apparently a major factor in the replacement of John Negroponte as director of national intelligence in early 2007. Negroponte had angered the neoconservatives in the administration by telling the press in April 2006 that the intelligence community believed that Iran would not be capable of making a nuclear bomb before a decade.
On Jan. 5, 2007, Pres. George W. Bush announced the nomination of retired Vice Admiral John Michael McConnell to be director of national intelligence. McConnell was far more amenable to White House influence than his predecessor. On Feb. 27, one week after his confirmation, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the alleged export of explosively formed penetrators to Shiite insurgents in Iraq was linked to the highest leadership in Iran; apparently a false accusation to start a blame game for US failures in Iraq.
Cheney had been making that charge, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defence Robert M. Gates, as well as Negroponte, had opposed it.
The decision to withhold key judgments on Iran from the public was apparently part of a White House strategy for reducing the potential damage of publishing the estimate with the inclusion of dissenting views.
The flow of information in US administration follows a complicated pattern in a Soviet style hierarchy, in that; a letter from Iran which was sent to the US administration as an olive branch on May, 4th 2003, did not reach high-ranking US authorities. The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied in Congressional testimony that she had seen the Iranian offer, well if she was not lying under oath.
The new US administration came with hopes but President Barrack Obama quickly forgot his promises of change before his election in Oct, 2009. This is probably because of his debt to lobbies supporting his presidential campaign. Obama released a New Year video message on March, 19, 2009 congratulating Norooz in Persian, yet US continued to impose tougher economic sanctions on Iran that made Americans more unpopular among average Iranians especially because of targeting sectors such as civilian aviation that has human lives at stake.
In September, 2011, the Obama administration accused Iran with an assassination plot against a Saudi official inside the US. Although allegations were funny enough to make a roasted chicken laugh, it is pretty obvious that a new breed of neoconservatives is still at work to start a war.
In one word, a consequence of a US military attack on Iran is disaster. Fortunately, level of sensitivity and awareness among American public has been rising thanks to independent media. Nevertheless, for this dangerous game the scenario to invade a nation does not have to be credible or logical as it was in the case of Afghanistan, a neighboring country which is still under occupation of NATO; therefore such ignorance and stupidity can become collective at the highest political levels despite simple facts that the time, effort and money which has been spent in warfare could have changed lives of people for better if it was managed wisely.
How can politicians risk their political future to such absurd atrocities? It is because they get credit and are paid for it, while they enjoy immunity from prosecution. If a few individuals that push nations to war, costing them millions of lives could be properly punished, they'd think twice even before uttering a stupid word out of the blue.
In 2003, in a meeting with Palestinian officials, George Bush claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. That lunatic held the office as President of the United States for eight years.
The fact that makes hostile states refrain from an attack is that: a strike on Iran will only give Iran the right to strike back. As it was experienced by Iraq on September, 23, 1980, the striker(s) will be caught by surprise.