Nukes, or no nukes?
Call me naive and misguided, if you like, but generally I tend to believe the estimates of U.S. intelligence agencies. Let's face it, they're better than I am -- they have more resources and nicer offices -- at judging where in the world are the real threats to U.S. national security. I thought so, at least.
I have to admit, however, that my confidence in the intelligence experts is shaken this morning. For quite a while now I and other people , some of them intelligent and respectable people, have labored under the assumption that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. This assumption has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy for many months, accompanied by saber rattling and international threats of economic sanctions on that country.
But this morning I awaken to new reports from U.S. intelligence experts that Iran really ISN'T developing nuclear weapons ... furthermore that they haven't been pursuing nuclear weapons since 2003. That's four years ago. I know the government can be slow in getting the word, but four years ago?
Now what to believe? For months the experts have been warning us that Iran shortly will have nuclear weapons with which they could menace Israel and other country in the Middle East within range of its ballistic missiles. But this morning? Never mind. This from the International Herald Tribune:
But the new estimate declares with "high confidence" that a military-run Iranian program intended to transform that raw material into a nuclear weapon has been shut down since 2003, and also says with high confidence that the halt "was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure."
I only wish I could say I still have "high confidence" in the ability of U.S. intelligence agencies to get the story right.