Maybe they bought it off the Internet

Maybe they bought it off the Internet

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Okay, a lot of people won’t take the UN’s word for anything. But in this case, they seem to have a point.

U.N. inspectors investigating Iran’s nuclear program angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran’s capabilities, calling parts of the document “outrageous and dishonest” and offering evidence to refute its central claims. …

Privately, several intelligence officials said the committee report included at least a dozen claims that were either demonstrably wrong or impossible to substantiate. Hoekstra’s office said the report was reviewed by the office of John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence.

The report was written by a single GOP staffer — Fredrick Fleitz — who has hard-line views on Iran and ties to UN Ambassador John Bolton. It was not voted on or discussed by the full committee; Republicans simply made it public.

Among the errors:

1. The committee said Iran is producing weapons-grade plutonium, which usually means 90 percent enriched. Iran has in fact only managed to enrich uranium to 3.5 percent.

2. The committee said the IAEA had removed an inspector because he raised concerns about Iranian deception. The inspector has not been removed.

3. Most obnoxiously, the report asserted, without evidence, that the IAEA director had an “unstated” policy of keeping inspectors from telling the truth about Iran.

All this makes me wonder if this is a peek inside the intelligence-massaging techniques that led to the invasion of Iraq. With breathtaking chutzpah, the report makes unsubstantiated assertions about Iran’s nuclear capabilities — and then chastises intelligence agencies for failing to provide information that supports those assertions.

Make your own reality, and then go dig up (or make up) evidence to support it.

Here’s the kicker:

Hoekstra’s committee is working on a separate report about North Korea that is also being written principally by Fleitz. A draft of the report, provided to The Post, includes several assertions about North Korea’s weapons program that the intelligence officials said they cannot substantiate, including one that Pyongyang is already enriching uranium.

The intelligence community believes North Korea is trying to acquire an enrichment capability but has no proof that an enrichment facility has been built, the officials said.

Fabulous.

  • http://probligo.blogspot.com probligo

    Why do I have this strong feeling of deja vue and impending doom?

    Or as another blogsite put it “Groundhog Day – again”.

  • bernie

    I am completely confused. If North Korea does not have an enrichment facility Then how did they build the warheads they tested? What am I missing?

    The article you linked to is disapointing, there are no facts, no research, who’s telling the truth? I don’t trust either of them without some information.

    “Among the allegations in Fleitz’s Iran report is that ElBaradei removed a senior inspector from the Iran investigation because he raised “concerns about Iranian deception regarding its nuclear program.” The agency said the inspector has not been removed.”

    Does this inspector have a name? Did the reporter talk to him?

    “A suggestion that ElBaradei had an “unstated” policy that prevented inspectors from telling the truth about Iran’s program was particularly “outrageous and dishonest,” according to the IAEA letter, which was signed by Vilmos Cserveny, the IAEA’s director for external affairs and a former Hungarian ambassador.”

    Did too…, did not? These are the only issues with the report in the article.

    Useless.

  • rachel

    bernie,
    North Korea didn’t test warheads; they tested missiles. They say they’re going to test nuclear devices “real soon, any day now, could be next Tuesday”, but so far, no nukes yet.

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com/ Sean Aqui

    Bernie: I added this to the Midtopia posting but forgot to update here. The full text of the IAEA letter is available here.

    The Congressional report is available here.

  • Bernie

    Thanks, I’ll look

  • Bernie

    That was quick. The inspector, Mr. Charlier was removed, because Iran demanded it. This is off the IAEA letter. The reporter couldn’t read a 2 page letter?

  • Bernie

    “Iran is currently enriching uranium to weapons grade using a 164-machine centrifuge cascade at this facility in Natanz. Iran claims it will have 3,000 centrifuges at this site by next spring. (IKONOS satellite image by GeoEye)”

    That is the offending statement from the report. The committees concern is the future enrichment levels. Both the IAEA and the government report say that Iran has currently acheived 3.6%.

    The IAEA letter also critisizes the term “covertly” when discussing the Po-210 because Po is not required to be reported.

    Overall the IAEA letter makes me a lot more inclined to believe the government report.