So: Bush is devious and incompetent? Or: Bush's public statements were part of what has been a brilliant strategy for controlling Iran?
Critics seized on the new National Intelligence Estimate to lambaste what Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards called "George Bush and Dick Cheney's rush to war with Iran." Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), echoing other Democrats, called for "a diplomatic surge" to resolve the dispute with Tehran. Jon Wolfsthal, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, termed the revelation "a blockbuster development" that "requires a wholesale reevaluation of U.S. policy."Is anyone switching sides over this? You can read the spin elsewhere. I'm just putting up this post so you won't keep talking about this in the comments to other posts.
But the White House said the report vindicated its concerns because it concluded that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program until halting it in 2003 and it showed that U.S.-led diplomatic pressure had succeeded in forcing Tehran's hand. "On balance, the estimate is good news," said national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley. "On the one hand, it confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons. On the other hand, it tells us that we have made some progress in trying to ensure that that does not happen."
I feel I have nothing I can contribute at this point. I don't understand why reports like this come out when they do, in the form they do or how these things play behind the scenes and are coordinated with the President's public statements. I'd like to see some expert discussion about that. Let me know if you see any.