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Bush and Iran

December 4th, 2007

August 12:

“My latest information is that the Iranians refuse to comply with the demands of the free world, which is: do not in any way, shape or form have a program that could yield to a nuclear weapon. And the United States and Israel are united in our objective to make sure that Iran does not have a weapon.”

August 28:

“And Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.

”Iran’s actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. And that is why the United States is rallying friends and allies around the world to isolate the regime, to impose economic sanctions. We will confront this danger before it is too late.“

October 17:

”If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it’d be a dangerous threat to world peace. So I told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested“ in ensuring Iran not gain the capacity to develop such weapons.

”I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously.“

November 16:

”We discussed Iran. The Prime Minister and I agree that a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten the security of the Middle East and beyond. Our two nations are united in our efforts to change the regime’s behavior through diplomacy. We agreed that unless Iran commits to suspend enrichment, international pressure must, and will, grow.“

And, of course, about 24 hours ago, the administration’s NIE report was released, saying that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program three years ago.

This brings up a few questions: first, how could Bush not have been aware of this? Did the intelligence agencies keep this a secret from him? Of course, over the last three weeks, the administration stopped voicing wild threats about World War II and a nuclear holocaust at the hands of Iran. Did the intelligence develop only just then?

Update: According to Kevin Drum, this report has been around for the past year. Think Progress reports that National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said that Bush had been briefed ”in the last few months,“ stating a range from August to October. On reviewing the quotes listed above, they’ll probably try to claim it was late October.

The second question is, why did Bush allow the report to be released, or at least not watered down? Could it be that Democrats in Congress found out and the lid could not be kept on the bottle? From Bush’s past actions, it is only natural to assume that Bush would suppress such data, as he has several times before.

Either way, don’t expect this to completely stifle Bush’s drumbeat against Iran. Most recently, this defense:

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley says Bush’s warnings are still valid since Iran is continuing to enrich uranium and could restart weapons efforts.

The new spin? Iran is still a threat, because they could restart their nuclear program at any time, and have it read by 2010 or 2015, so the claim goes.

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  1. Tim Kane
    December 5th, 2007 at 08:49 | #1

    Regardless of what is said, the pattern of Bush’s insanity is plainly exposed, for at least the second or third time, depending upon how closely you are watching things. The spinning wheels will be approaching warp speed but at some point it just doesn’t matter. Bush claimed WMD in Iraq and there was none. The mass destruction came afterwords from him. At this point he’s got no credibility with anybody that’s reasonably informed.

    He’s a sad joke of a president. And America is a nation of chumps for having voted for him twice, in large enough numbers that he could steal an election.

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