A new assessment by American intelligence agencies released Monday concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting a judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.
What, I have to wonder, has changed in the last two years. If the program was halted in 2003 then that should have been just as obvious to our intelligence people in 2005 as it is now in 2007. Presumably the official explanation for what has changed involves new data or analysis that was not available two years ago.
My suspicion is that what has changed is that the intelligence people saw the Bush Adminstration, after having pressured the intelligence agencies to find evidence for Weapons of Mass Destruction in pre-invasion Iraq, then turn around and place all the blame on the intelligence community for the faulty assessments when no WMDs were found. I suspect that the sure knowledge that they would get the blame again for faulty assessments of Iran’s capabilities and intentions gave them the backbone to resist pressure to ‘sex up’ the intelligence on Iran as they had on Iraq.