The Neo-cons either lost a big internal struggle in Washington or got caught completely off-guard, and man are they pissed. John Bolton in the WaPo:
That such a flawed product could emerge after a drawn-out bureaucratic struggle is extremely troubling. While the president and others argue that we need to maintain pressure on Iran, this “intelligence” torpedo has all but sunk those efforts, inadequate as they were. Ironically, the NIE opens the way for Iran to achieve its military nuclear ambitions in an essentially unmolested fashion, to the detriment of us all.
Equally pissed was Frank Gaffney on Hardball last night:
GAFFNEY: The question is not cause and effect here. The question is the president doing his job telling the truth to the American people about how dangerous a world this will be if the mullahs in Iran who want to bring about the apocalypse, who say so, have nuclear weapons? I think the president is doing his job.
Now, the question is will he be prevented from doing his job in the future by what is A, I believe, an ill considered, ill advised, and incomplete assessment of this? I think we need a second opinion on this, much as team B, something you supported, Pat, if I recall directly back in the Cold War, and the Rumsfeld commission on the missile threat.
BUCHANAN: Did you call for a team B in the 2005 report to really check out whether they were really driving for weapons?
GAFFNEY: I did not. It didn‘t seem to me that was necessary because it seemed to me that‘s about right. But here it would be useful to have one. You can bet that other people .
All of this should be interpreted through the Admiral Fallon quote the Agonist highlighted yesterday:
‘A source who met privately with Fallon around the time of his confirmation hearing and who insists on anonymity quoted Fallon as saying that an attack on Iran “will not happen on my watch”. Asked how he could be sure, the source says, Fallon replied, “You know what choices I have. I’m a professional.” Fallon said that he was not alone, according to the source, adding, “There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box.” ‘
Of course, there is no way of knowing whether or not Iran really has stopped their nuclear program. Just as there is no real way of knowing whether they are plowing full speed ahead with designs to send the entire world into nuclear armageddon. But in a sane world, the burden of proof before lauching yet another war lies on those who suggest they are developing weapons.
So far, the crazies haven’t provided anything other than a window into their own thinking, which, loosely stated, is that war is good. I tend to disagree.