Saturday, April 29, 2006


John Negroponte, Voice Of Reason?

In one case, shockingly enough, he is:

“According to the experts that I consult, achieving — getting 164 centrifuges to work is still a long way from having the capacity to manufacture sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon,” Negroponte said in an interview with NBC News on April 20. “Our assessment is that the prospects of an Iranian weapon are still a number of years off, and probably into the next decade,” said Negroponte, who was appointed last year as the Director of National Intelligence, a new post that supplanted the traditional primacy of the CIA director as the head of the U.S. intelligence community. Expressing a similar view about Iran’s nuclear program in a speech at the National Press Club, Negroponte said, “I think it’s important that this issue be kept in perspective.”
Indeed, as Juan Cole and others have noted, it takes at least sixteen thousand centrifuges to be able to make enough fissile material for a nuclear warhead. Iran barely has a hundredth of that number. Speaking of Juan Cole, he's letting us know the whole story about the IAEA's finding in their report released yesterday: The story that our Bush-loving media won't tell us. Namely, that the IAEA found no evidence that Iran's actually pursuing nuclear weapons. Nuclear energy, yes. Weapons, no. Of course, the same people who had no problem with Ambassador Negroponte's looking the other way two decades ago while right-wing Latin American death squads raped and murdered nuns, suddenly find him intolerable now that he's talking realistically about Iran:
Some Bush supporters are now complaining that Negroponte has shown disloyalty to the President by siding with intelligence analysts who reject the direst predictions on Iran. Frank J. Gaffney Jr. an original signer of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, even called for Negroponte’s firing because of the Iran assessment and his “abysmal personnel decisions” in hiring senior intelligence analysts who were skeptics about Bush’s Iraqi WMD claims, too. In an article for Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Washington Times, Gaffney attacked Negroponte for giving top analytical jobs to Thomas Fingar, who had served as assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, and Kenneth Brill, who was U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which debunked some of the U.S. and British claims about Iraq seeking enriched uranium from Africa. The State Department’s Office of Intelligence and Research led the dissent against the Iraq WMD case, especially over what turned out to be false claims that Iraq was developing a nuclear bomb. Gaffney specifically faulted Fingar for his testimony against neoconservative favorite John Bolton to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
That's the thing about neocons: Of all the various species of conservatives, they are the ones who are not only the least conversant with reality, but also the ones most hostile to it.

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