3 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Everything changes and nothing changes

Reader comment on item: That NIE Makes War against Iran More Likely

Submitted by Rebecca Moulds (United States), Dec 13, 2007 at 10:02

Yesterday I printed out the NIE report so I could read it at leisure, to try to understand what it all means. I read the entire thing three times through, and have come to the conclusion that it is very much like a legal document, full of legalistic terms that the layman is not supposed to understand, and yet very simplistic as well.

On the last page, in the column marked 2005 IC Estimate: "Iran could produce enough fissile material for a weapon by the end of this decade if it were to make more rapid and successful progress than we have seen to date." Next to that is the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate: "We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely."

What happened in between 2005 and 2007 is within these pages, and yet, even with all the explanations of the terms and phrases (i.e. very unlikely, even chance, almost certainly, etc.) that give this assessment its desired confidence, I smell a rat. On page 5, the seventh point down, this report states that Iran "probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame." It goes on to say that this is unlikely "because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems."

In my estimation, this document is merely a compendium of information made to placate the public, but there is something very disturbing about such a great turnabout in opinion (is there something underhand going on here?) and obviously we are supposed to believe everything we are told. Our government, and other agencies, does not allow for the intelligence of its population, most of which can decide for itself what is true, what is false and what is merely conjecture. According to this NIE report, we are to assume that there is nothing to worry about concerning Iran's nuclear threat, but don't we all know better?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Everything changes and nothing changes by Rebecca Moulds

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)