Dec 11 2007

Our Spooks Cannot Be So Slow As To Miss Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

Published by at 10:41 am under All General Discussions,Iran

Why do so many think there is something fishy about the latest NIE on Iran? For starters there is the result the NIE has had in undoing years of diplomatic efforts to hold Iran accountable for its nuclear weapons ambitions (now a high-confidence conclusion). By hinting (never a slam-dunk conclusion) Iran is not designing warheads for missiles anymore, the NIE has turned Iran into a peaceful and loving nation in the eyes of the left. Of course these same lefties think convicted cop killers are saints and should be set free. So let’s just say their judgement is suspect.

The fact this NIE is being spun to draw conclusions it never draws is due to the art of its structure and focus – a deliberate construction that ignores the real trick to obtaining nuclear weapons – weaponized radioactive material. Also known as enriched Uranium. And the most cost effective and simple way to obtain weapons grade uranium is by using gas centrifuges in a massive cascade architecture. Iran is doing this and simply claiming this is for civilian use – even though they don’t need to process the fuel for their reactors since Russia has agreed to provide them reactor grade fuel many times.

This deliberate sleight of hand hides the core of a weapons program under the cloak of a civilian power program. It is a subterfuge used by many nations to hide their weapons programs from scrutiny by the international community (an entity every good lefty bows down to as the all-knowing, all-proper bastion of worthy world views). What makes the NIE so suspect is it too uses this same shell game on the American people to try and divert their attention from the currently active threat to something much less threatening and from the distant past. The fact the NIE plays the same shell game as the rogue nations trying to circumvent the the UN inspectors is more than enough evidence of shenanigans to take issue with it.

There are many good skeptics out there raising questions. One of the best out today is by Christopher Hitchens (contrary to his hysterics on the destruction of CIA tapes I noted in a previous post).

To say that Iran has “stopped” rather than paused its program is to offer an opinion, not to present a finding. (For more on this, see the excellent article by Valerie Lincy and Gary Milhollin in the Dec. 6 New York Times, and also Jonathan Schell’s Dec. 9 piece on the Guardian’s Web site.) The mullahs are steadily amassing the uranium and plutonium ingredients of a weapon and will indeed soon be able to pause, along with other countries, like Japan, at the point where only a brief interlude and a swift spurt of effort would put them in full possession of the bomb.

The policy of getting the United Nations to adopt sanctions on the regime, which was about to garner the crucial votes, can now be regarded as clinically dead. A fine day’s work by those who claim to guard us while we sleep.

This is a must read for everyone today. Hitchens concludes, like I did previously, it is probably time to totally reorganize the Intel Community and think about something other than a CIA right now. This cold war relic seems to have become too dysfunctional and laden with career egos willing to play political games as opposed to protect the nation from harm.

The fact is there are lots of signs of Iran’s continued march to a nuclear bomb. Hitchens notes some. But I can note something even more obvious – the science of shaped charges. Focusing the force of an explosive material is a very complex science, and is important to building nuclear triggers – the initial explosion which causes the atomic cascade and much larger atomic explosion. And we have evidence all over Iraq of Iran’s abilities in shaped charges. They can be found in the high tech, armor piercing explosive devices used to target our forces in Iraq. The technology behind shaped charges to create armor piercing projectiles is not far off from the technology used in the shape charge of a nuclear bomb trigger.

Is this a multi-use technology? Of course, it even has civilian applications in demolition of large buildings and structures. Lots of things are multi-use technologies. Which is why a distinction between nuclear power and nuclear weapons is not easily made. If Iran was NOT developing a massive centrifuge capability we could assume they were only looking at civil power uses. But that is not the case and the spooks know this.

Or should know this. So what is it with this NIE? Are they truly this easily duped? Doubtful. It seems one of their sources has done some investigating and determined the weapons program is alive and operating in Iran:

An Iranian exile group accused Tehran on Tuesday of pursuing efforts to develop nuclear weapons, dismissing as incomplete a U.S. intelligence report that Iran’s nuclear arms program was frozen in 2003.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which first exposed Iran’s nuclear fuel program in 2002, said it published information three years ago alleging that Tehran had restarted weapons-related work after a short break.

NCRI officials said they checked back with sources inside Iran after the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was released, and those informants reported that work on nuclear weapons was still being pursued at three sites.

“The clerical regime is continuing its drive to obtain nuclear weapons,” Mohammad Mohaddessin of the France-based group, listed as a terror organization in the United States, told a news conference in Brussels.

We know these are intel sources, they are the ones who alerted the west to Iran’s nuclear programs initially – exposing something the CIA and others did not know existed. Now they say – again – the CIA and others are wrong. Given their track record it seems they have a firmer standing than the NIE.

BTW – why is it only the Iranian and the rabid anti-Bush crowd are the ones cheering this faulty NIE?

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Our Spooks Cannot Be So Slow As To Miss Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    If they just wanted nuclear power you do not need a heavy water reactor for starters.

    They have plenty of fuel in the contract from Russia on the two plants they are building.

    The last IAEA report I saw said they were producing now at 8% enrichment , which is above what you need for commercial power fueling, but would still be usable for increased power density and core lifetime.

    Much above that you run into life of the fuel rods themselves before the fuel would be depleted, so it makes not good sense to go higher than that.

    They would also have to develop the ability to handle, package and construct the fuel rods which is not an easy task.

    The only thing they could even try to pass it off as now is they are going to produce power grade fuel and send it back to Russia along with spent fuel rods to get a discount of replacement fuel rods or go commercial selling on the international fuel market, neither which make sense.

  2. […] nuclear weapons. That was reported in the infamous NIE on the Iranian nuclear weapons program (see here, here and here). Even Democrats had serious reservations on the Pollyannish NIE that was produced […]

  3. […] Our Spooks Cannot Be So Slow As To Miss Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions […]