Monday, December 14, 2009

Hang 'Em . . . Hang "Em High

Two years ago, I excoriated the drafters of the NIE on Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program - Thomas Fingar, Kenneth Brill, and H. Van Diepen - for drafting what was clearly then a highly politicized document that ignored the great weight of publicly available facts and, moreover, came to ridiculously unsupportable conclusions. Those conclusions included that Iran had ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003, that Iran's nuclear program since was civilian in nature, that Iran would respond "rationally" to carrots and sticks, and that Iran was amendable to negotiations. It was a document drafted with the intent of tying Bush's hands in dealing with the mad mullahs.

What we have learned since is that our intelligence agencies had known for years that Iran had built a secret enrichment plant near Qom that was too small for commercial use, but the correct size for enriching uranium to weapons grade quality. That was known at the time that the NIE was released but was held in confidence by the U.S. Now we learn that Iran has been working on a critical component of atomic weapons since 2007 - in addition of course to enriching vast amounts of uranium for which they had no other use than to make atomic weapons. This from the Washington Post:

Western and U.N. nuclear officials are evaluating a secret Iranian technical document that appears to show the country's nuclear scientists testing a key component used in the detonation of a nuclear warhead, according to intelligence officials and weapons experts familiar with the document.

The document, if authenticated, could rank as one of the strongest pieces of evidence pointing to a clandestine Iranian effort to build nuclear weapons, said former intelligence officials and weapons experts. They were responding to a published report of alleged sophisticated research by Iran on one of the final stages in the construction of a nuclear device.

Excerpts from the technical paper, first reported on the Times of London Web site late Sunday, detail a four-year program by Iranian scientists to develop and test a neutron initiator, a device used to trigger a nuclear explosion.

Although the document is undated, the Times quoted foreign intelligence officials as saying it was written in 2007, more than four years after U.S. intelligence agencies believe Iran stopped research on a nuclear warhead.

"It looks bad -- there is no doubt about it," said David Albright, a former inspector with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, who reviewed the document and other papers for the London newspaper. He said work on a neutron initiator is a "very strong indicator of nuclear work." . . .

To say this comes as no surprise is an understatement. Anyone who for a second believes that Iran's nuclear program is for civilian use is naive to the point of suicidal. Bush had a window of opportunity to deal with the mad mullahs by force or the credible threat of force through 2007. When the NIE came out, it wholly emasculated the Bush regime in as much as they could no longer even credibly threaten force against Iran. As I wrote at that time, the NIE's effect would give Iran far more time to procure a nuclear arsenal, thus meaning that what we might have been able to stop with little cost would instead, eventually, require an exponentially greater cost in American blood and gold to end. Shades of Nazi Germany, circa 1937 to 1939.

In light of the revelations subsequent to the release of the NIE, it is becoming increasingly clear that what the authors of that document did amounted to treason. When Republicans again take control of Congress, one of their first acts should be to investigate the troika of Fingar, Brill and Van Diepen. Then they should be treated accordingly. I will donate the rope.


Ahminajad said...



Whatcha gonna do about it, Hmmmmm?



Come on!

Whatcha gonna do?

OBloodyHell said...

> I will donate the rope.

I will happily build the gibbet.

cdor said...

Using our current history, I would say the only chance these guys would even face a reprimand is if they had been trying to assist Israel.

Ex-Dissident said...

I think there will be a whole lot of hangings, once the mushrooms bloom.