Thursday, August 24, 2006

We've Got No Intel on Iran, Yet the GOP Wants War

The New York Times takes a different read on the Iran intelligence issue than the Reuters article cited below. The Times is focused on the fact that top Republicans aren't happy with the lack of intel about Iran because, it seems, those officials want to build the case for action against Iran:

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.

Some policy makers have accused intelligence agencies of playing down Iran’s role in Hezbollah’s recent attacks against Israel and overestimating the time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

The complaints, expressed privately in recent weeks, surfaced in a Congressional report about Iran released Wednesday. They echo the tensions that divided the administration and the Central Intelligence Agency during the prelude to the war in Iraq.

The criticisms reflect the views of some officials inside the White House and the Pentagon who advocated going to war with Iraq and now are pressing for confronting Iran directly over its nuclear program and ties to terrorism, say officials with knowledge of the debate.

We don't even have the intelligence to enter negotiations with Iran. Forget about negotiations, having no real intelligence has not been an impediment to war for the Bush team. In the warped world view of George Bush, if there is no intel, we'll have to go to war:

The U.S. intelligence community is ill-prepared to assess Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities and its intentions for developing weapons of mass destruction, a congressional report said on Wednesday.

Noting "significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the various areas of concern about Iran," the House Intelligence Committee staff report questioned whether the United States could even effectively engage in talks with Tehran on ways to diffuse tensions.

We've been down this path before. Bush, the neo-cons and the GOP want the intelligence to match their agenda. They're not happy that they're not getting it.

The Bush team is really starting to beat the drums for war again. While most Americans are worried about getting out of the quagmire in Iraq, Bush is getting ready for his next war -- without intelligence again.

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