Skip to comments.Iran NIE Is Not A Typical Intel NIE
Posted on 12/04/2007 8:31:53 PM PST by jrooney
Wild Speculation Alert: I have listed a lot of coincidental and circumstantial evidence in this post folks. I feel compelled to warn everyone when I see links to this NIE and Valerie Plame!
It seems the NIE was NOT a consensus view of the US Intelligence Community but a hack job by some folks with possible political aspirations (wonder what CNN debate these folks will turn up in):
A highly controversial, 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Irans nuclear programs was coordinated and written by former State Department political and intelligence analysts not by more seasoned members of the U.S. intelligence community, Newsmax has learned.
Its most dramatic conclusion that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure is based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States.
H/T Reader Kathie. No NIE Key Judgments would EVER be based on a single source that had not been vetted. Even the Israelis believe Iran has restarted their weapons program. Is someone trying to pull a Curveball on the US again? I mean this sounds like your classical slam dunk - doesnt it? Well there are political animals sprinkled all through the Federal Government - and this one just went too far:
The National Intelligence Council, which produced the NIE, is chaired by Thomas Fingar, a State Department intelligence analyst with no known overseas experience who briefly headed the State Departments Bureau of Intelligence and Research, I wrote in my book Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender. [Editors Note: Get Shadow Warriors free go here now.]
Fingar was a key partner of Senate Democrats in their successful effort to derail the confirmation of John Bolton in the spring of 2005 to become the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.
As the head of the NIC, Fingar has gone out of his way to fire analysts who asked the wrong questions, and who challenged the politically-correct views held by Fingar and his former State Department colleagues, as revealed in Shadow Warriors.
In March 2007, Fingar fired his top Cuba and Venezuela analyst, Norman Bailey, after he warned of the growing alliance between Castro and Chavez.
Yeah, like there is no bond between Chavez and Castro. I am looking into the names of the folks behind this NIE. They look to be targets of the left most of the time, but I did find some interesting points. It seems Fingar is more of an Academic than one would suspect:
Six months later, Director George Tenet delivered the CIAs conclusion in testimony before the Senate: Contrary to its own earlier analysis, the CIA now believed that North Korea would test an intercontinental missile in the near future. In response to this new threat, the Clinton administration earmarked $6.6 billion over five years to develop a missile-defense system.
Over at the State Departments Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), analysts argued that the North Koreans were much farther off than the CIA believed. North Korea could potentially threaten the United States within a decade only if it abandons its current moratorium on long-range missile flight testing, Tom Fingar, then-acting principal deputy assistant secretary of INR, testified before Congress in February 2001. Although the White House and Congress accepted the CIAs analysis, INR ultimately proved to be correct. In the five years since Tenets testimony, North Korea has yet to test an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Second, INR gets a different kind of analyst. The CIA, under the gun to staff up mightily after its ranks were thinned by budget cuts in the 1970s and 1990s, tends to recruit kids right out of college and train them in their new specialties. (All new CIA hires must be under 35 years of age, although that requirement is occasionally waived.) And while the CIAs young analysts occasionally travel to their countries of responsibility and bone up by reading at their desk, they have little first-hand experience of their regions. INR couldnt be more different. Among the civil servants who make up two-thirds of its staff are many scholars lured out of the academy who come with years of knowledge. Fingar is one of them: He spent a decade-and-a-half as a scholar at Stanfords U.S.-China relations program, speaks fluent Mandarin, and has traveled widely in China. The other third of INRs staff are Foreign Service officers rotating through who usually have spent several diplomatic tours in the country or region they are focusing on at INR, and who thus have both a reservoir of knowledge about its personalities and history, and a deep well of personal contacts.
Whoever wrote this really had it wrong on North Koreas intercontinental ballistic missile tests - they have been trying. Just not succeeding. But one thing is clear, Fingar is a hang-on from the Clinton days. And everyone should recognize the initials INR from the Plame Games.
So what about Kenneth Brill? Well, he also has some interesting intersections with Plame and Wilson - he worked with Joe Wilson at State. More than that he claimed in 2005 that Iran has lied to fit the facts on its nuclear weapons programs:
Following disclosures of previously undeclared nuclear activities, in March 2004, Brill said, The Iranians change their stories to fit the facts. He added, I think its striking that the more the agency learns, the more the Iranians have to change their stories, and he predicted the IAEA would have to deal with Iran for many years to come.
Needless to say he too is a Clinton holdover. My guess is we will discover these folks linked to the last big INR/CIA intel leak - the Wilson claim that Bush and Cheney used forged documents to go into Iraq. The timing is way too similar.
Update: More here on Brill and Fingar and their opposition to Bush:
DNI Negroponte is appointing Kenneth C. Brill, a frequent antagonist of Bush administration hardliners on policies toward North Korean and Iraq, to the new post of director of the National Counterproliferation Center, an Executive Level II job that outranks undersecretaries, the Washington Post reported.
Is the timing of these old Clinton hands coming out with this stuff tied to the coming election? Hmm, .
Update: From this tidbit I would bet Fingar and Plame crossed paths many times:
Thomas Fingar, like a number of members of John Negropontes inner circle, hails from the State Department. He led the departments intelligence unit, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), which raised some of the strongest objections to the determination by the CIA and others that Iraq was trying to build nuclear weapons rather than enhancing its conventional arsenal. The twist of fate in Fingars new job will not be lost on intelligence observers.
Recall Plame was heading up the entire Intelligence Communitys Joint Task Force on Iraq and WMDs at the time I believe Fingar was at INR. If Fingar was one of those few, like Plame, claiming Iraq was NOT attempting to acquire nuclear weapons then they would become fast allies in the small IC world. These two people rubbed shoulders - trust me. It is no secret the INR Fingar led played such a central role in Wilsons trip as well. Coincidence? And now we come back to the big mystery of the Wilson trip to Niger - why DID the IC debrief Joe Wilson at his house with Valerie when he came back from Niger? Why not bring him in? And who were the two INR/CIA folks at the debriefing (and possibly provided corroboration to the Kristof pieces when Joe was still anonymous)?
A long read but worth it. Very interesting ties.
John Bolton said tonight on the O’Reilly factor that he thinks that there is a agenda in this latest NIE report and he knows the people with agenda who wrote this report.
IMO, this is push back by liberals trying to stop GW from taking out Iran’s nuke facilities. Problem is this will come back to haunt the dems in the long run.
I read AJ daily. Good stuff!
He does some good work.
The President basically told the appeasers in today’s press conference to go and pound sand, he is not changing his position on Iran and that he will not allow them to acquire nuclear weapons. The President never said that Iran has nuclear weapons but they are working on enriching uranium which the most important step to make nukes in addition to the know how. The Iranian terrorist regime has not stopped enriching uranium and hence according to the President nothing has changed, he will keep going after them.
Good stuff indeed.
GW did do a good job today. He will keep doing whatever he has too. I highly doubt Cheney and GW will cower to the dems over the NIE.
Not your typical NIE??
Why wouldn’t the Bush administration or other Republicans ‘finger’ Fingar?
“John Bolton said tonight on the OReilly factor that he thinks that there is a agenda in this latest NIE report and he knows the people with agenda who wrote this report.”
I heard that, too
Not exactly a surprise to learn that Foggy Bottom Arabists - redundant, I know - are found at the bottom of this manure pile.
The NIE just came out. Maybe they will, now some are questioning it. Evidently John Bolton questioned it tonight on O’Reilly and Fred Thompson said he doubted it (NIE).
I think we will find there are more dem plants in this NIE than in that GOP debate on CNN.
BOR condescendingly shrugged off Bolton’s skepticism tonight. He’ll be eating crow before long. ...but not publicly, of course.
Yeah BOR does not admit mistakes well or at all sometimes.
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