White House brushes off CIA Iran nuclear weapon report

#1
So even the CIA has no evidence - and I'm sure it's been trying bloody hard to find some - that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.

But Cheney et al know better, of course...
:evil:

Reuters said:
White House brushes off CIA report on Iran: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House dismissed a classified CIA draft assessment that found no conclusive evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program, the New Yorker reported.

The article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said the CIA's analysis was based on technical intelligence collected by overhead satellites and on other evidence like measurements of the radioactivity of water samples.

"The CIA found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program running parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency," according to the article.

"A current senior intelligence official confirmed the existence of the CIA analysis, and told me that the White House had been hostile to it," it said.

Cont/...
The New Yorker article is quite an interesting read too...
 
#2
I don't think that's controversial: 'No conclusive evidence'.

Frankly, after the last balls-up, their definition of 'conclusive evidence' will probably be nothing less than a signed statement from the Iranian Defense Minister.

Article doesn't say that the CIA thinks that Iran's not trying, note.

NTM
 
#3
the white house dont need anything from the CIA to know that the Iranians are trying to make a bomb.
bush hears voices in his head from god telling him whats happening in the world and how to act, remember?
 
#4
California_Tanker said:
Article doesn't say that the CIA thinks that Iran's not trying, note.
More importantly, there is no suggestion that the CIA thinks the Iranians are trying.

If it's not from their enormously financed intelligence service, where do Bush, Cheney et al get the idea that they are??? Is it their friends in MKO (the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation)? An organisation which most states regard and proscribe as a terrorist organisation - except the US who funds and supports it...
 
#5
Why do you feel the need to type in bold characters? It doesn't make your points any more or less valid.

I'm just pointing out that since the crux of the article is that the CIA doesn't have any proof of anything, that if the report also believed that the Iranians had no intentions in that direction, the article in all likelihood would have mentioned that too. Why wouldn't it?

NTM
 
#6
C_T,

You are back to the same arguments that Shrub made to justify invading Iraq - trying to make folks prove a negative! How are the CIA to prove that Iran are not producing weapon technology FFS!
 
#7
California_Tanker said:
Why do you feel the need to type in bold characters? It doesn't make your points any more or less valid.
Quite so. Don't know why I put this in bold. I normally use bold to highlight certain points and there is of course no reason to highlight everything in this post. Although I do remember that when I saw it was, I decided it wasn't worth the effort to go back and edit it. I meant nothing by it.

California_Tanker said:
I'm just pointing out that since the crux of the article is that the CIA doesn't have any proof of anything, that if the report also believed that the Iranians had no intentions in that direction, the article in all likelihood would have mentioned that too. Why wouldn't it?
Well there was two articles mentionned and linked in my post: the Reuters wired 'news' and the NewYorker 'oped'.

I suspect the Reuters piece was making a statement that the Whitehouse and the CIA are not in agreement about the 'evidence' - rather than discussing whether there is cause to suspect that evidence does exist. Subtle point, but very relevent.

The NewYorker text was a rather longwinded critique of the 'faltering' Bush Administration. This was but one of the points made in criticising its failure to listen to any advice from outside a very close-knit circle of like-minded thinkers. Again, the emphasis was on critique, not specifically on whether Iran is, or is not, developing nuclear weapons.

And finally, how do you provide evidence that Iran is not pursuing a weapons programme. You can prove they are, if you have evidence, but how do you prove that something doesn't exist? In that sense, it is impossible for the CIA to categorically state that Iran is not doing what the Bush Administration says it is doing - the very best it can do is say, "well we can't find anything to support your assertion, sorry!"

Hope you appreciate the extra effort in ensuring the bold problem didn't reoccur. :D
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#8
Just as a thought I'd imagine that they actually are developing Nuclear Power for civilian purposes. I think that even after having the whole system up and running they will not 'develop' nuclear weapons. Nothing like waiting. If I was Mr. Dinner Jacket, I'd have all the required parts separate and not part of one programme., i.e. not everyone with flour in their cupboard intends to make bread (of course some do). What might happen in the kitchen in the future...
 
#9
Oh, you can't prove the non-existance of a programme, I fully agree. I don't see how that can prohibit the CIA's report from making an estimate of intentions, however from whatever circumstantial evidence they've managed to clobber together.

NTM
 
#11
#13
Just heard an "intelligence source" on BBC world, he reckons that the Israelis are passing on info to the US to the effect that the Iranians are right now in the process of testing the detonation of a warhead.

This is a warhead without any nuclear material in it and is to test the firing sequence etc. According to this source once they get this bit right all they need to do is fill the thing with some enriched material from their "only for peacefull electricity generating nuclear facilities" and they would have a working bomb.

These tests are supposed to be taking place in tunnels and facilities built next to but seperate from the ones the IAEA etal actually know about.
 
#15
Sven said:
Nehustan said:
crabtastic said:
tomahawk6 said:
Go to the IAEA website and read the reports and you'll find that once again, you are talking out of your hoop.
Ahh come on Crabtastic, Fox News says so, so it must be true...
Fox News controls the IAEA???? :omg:
Read the IAEA report first. Then read the Foxnews story. Then decide if Fox has represented the report acurately.

For someone who spends 99% of his ARRSE time criticising the UK media, you seem to give Fox a huge dollop of the benefit of doubt.
 
#17
Steven said:
Just heard an "intelligence source" on BBC world, he reckons that the Israelis are passing on info to the US to the effect that the Iranians are right now in the process of testing the detonation of a warhead.
Well, that's from an objective and trustworthy source without any axe to grind, isn't it?

Seems like they didn't pass that "information" to the CIA, or that the CIA didn't consider it credible.
 
#18
Seems like they didn't pass that "information" to the CIA, or that the CIA didn't consider it credible.
They did, and they did. Read the New Yorker article.

The crux of the issue is that the CIA can't verify for themselves. They've got all sorts of technological wizardry, and can't prove anything. The Mossad have a man on the ground (and in fairness, they're quite good at that sort of thing) giving them information which is unverifiable by the CIA's techniques. Therin lies the problem. The White House wants something verifiable by the CIA, not a "Well, we heard it from the Israelis who heard it from a spy" as that is hardly going to sway many people in the UN: They like to be able to see graphs and pictures, not a statement from some guy they've never heard of and never will.

NTM
 
#19
California_Tanker said:
They did, and they did. Read the New Yorker article.
It says nothing of the sort. What it says is:

"Additional data have been gathered, intelligence sources told me, by high-tech (and highly classified) radioactivity-detection devices that clandestine American and Israeli agents placed near suspected nuclear-weapons facilities inside Iran in the past year or so. No significant amounts of radioactivity were found."

Therefore, if the report of the CIA assessment is accurate, and neither of us are in a position to know if it is, that means that no significant amounts of radioactivity were found by any of those assets listed, including the alleged Israeli humint. The New Yorker article also states that “clandestine American agents” were involved, and even if the CIA were reluctant to trust the Israeli’s word on the matter, why would they be equally reluctant to trust their own sources?

The New Yorker article does not say what you interpret it to say.
 
#20
Chinggis said:
California_Tanker said:
They did, and they did. Read the New Yorker article.
It says nothing of the sort. What it says is:
Might as well finish quoting the article.

As the C.I.A.’s assessment was making its way through the government, late this summer, current and former military officers and consultants told me, a new element suddenly emerged: intelligence from Israeli spies operating inside Iran claimed that Iran has developed and tested a trigger device for a nuclear bomb. The provenance and significance of the human intelligence, or HUMINT, are controversial. “The problem is that no one can verify it,” the former senior intelligence official told me. “We don’t know who the Israeli source is. The briefing says the Iranians are testing trigger mechanisms”—simulating a zero-yield nuclear explosion without any weapons-grade materials—“but there are no diagrams, no significant facts. Where is the test site? How often have they done it? How big is the warhead—a breadbox or a refrigerator? They don’t have that.” And yet, he said, the report was being used by White House hawks within the Administration to “prove the White House’s theory that the Iranians are on track. And tests leave no radioactive track, which is why we can’t find it.” Still, he said, “The agency is standing its ground.”

The Pentagon consultant, however, told me that he and other intelligence professionals believe that the Israeli intelligence should be taken more seriously. “We live in an era when national technical intelligence”—data from satellites and on-the-ground sensors—“will not get us what we need. HUMINT may not be hard evidence by that standard, but very often it’s the best intelligence we can get.” He added, with obvious exasperation, that within the intelligence community “we’re going to be fighting over the quality of the information for the next year.”


I'm just saying that the report should be taken exactly as it says it is: The CIA has been unable to confirm anything. Nothing more, nothing less.

NTM
 

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