According to former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, writing in the October 9th edition of the American Conservative magazine, the Bush administration is withholding a new CIA National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
“The United States government’s intelligence community has prepared a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, but the White House has decided that it is not “finished” yet and has decided to postpone any decision on issuing it until after the November elections. NIEs are the government’s document of record on international issues that confront the United States and they are supposed to be both impartial and definitive. Vice President Cheney’s office has reportedly objected to many of the conclusions in the draft Iran NIE, or, more to the point, to the lack of any conclusions that he would welcome.
“The draft document indicates that there is no solid intelligence confirming that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, contradicting many recent statements made by the Administration. It also states that Iran exercised virtually no control over Hezbollah in the recent fighting in Lebanon and that there is little to no confirmed information supporting the often cited contention that Iran is arming the militias and insurgents in neighboring Iraq. The report ruefully observes that there are plenty of weapons floating around inside Iraq without any assistance from Iran, though it does note, without hard evidence, that Iran could have provided some bomb making expertise and possibly sophisticated timers and detonators to the insurgency’s arsenal. For what it’s worth, most US intelligence officers working on Iran believe that Tehran is concealing a weapons program even if the hard evidence is lacking.”
The people of the Unitary Executive State of America[.pdf] have a right to know what that NIE says now, before the mid-term elections. Before the next war.
The rest of the piece is regarding Pete “Hoaxter” Hoekstra and Capital Hill staffer Vaughn S. Forrest’s visit with Manucher Ghorbanifar’s sock-puppet, Fereidoun Mahdavi, in Paris, which Larisa Alexandrovna also covered for RawStory earlier this week. Giraldi writes:
“The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra has been receiving information reports from an Iranian exile source in Paris who is believed to be Fereidoun Mahdavi, a close associate of discredited Iran/Contra fabricator Manucher Ghorbanifar. Hoekstra, who has stated his contempt for the US intelligence community, has been using Vaughn Forest, a well-known Hill staffer who has a reputation for right-wing activism, as a channel to the Ghorbanifar circle. Hoekstra recently made a trip to Paris with Forest to meet the source who has been providing information on Iranian intentions in the nuclear field that CIA and DIA analysts consider to be largely fabricated. Unfortunately, some of these reports have been stove-piped to Vice President Cheney’s office through the Pentagon’s Abe Shulsky, who heads up an “Iranian Directorate”, an office that replicates the disbanded Office of Special Plans that was previously used as a clearinghouse for fabricated and speculative exile reports on Iraq. The Ghorbanifar information is also disseminated to the intelligence community from Hoekstra’s House Intelligence Committee. Ghorbanifar and his associates have no access to genuine information about Iran, often just repackaging media reports and propaganda handouts from the Paris-based Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK), a Pentagon protected Iranian exile group that is on the US State Department’s list of terrorist groups. Ghorbanifar and Mahdavi are also reported to be the sources of Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon, who advocates pre-emptive war against Iran. Weldon has written a sensational and factually challenged book on Iran that describes Tehran as the number one threat to world peace, a line that is curiously similar to that being promoted by the Israeli lobby AIPAC.”
October 18th, 2006 – in News by Scott Horton