A Caveat On The NIE

A reader writes:

As a Republican, it is good to wake up and see Condi Rice and Robert Gates vindicated, especially Condi. She has been vilified by the Go To War Crowd at the NRO and the American Spectator for at least the past two years. Now, her path appears to have been the wisest choice.

However, bear something in mind. The data for the NIE comes from CIA Assessments, among other things. It would be interesting to hear what the Mossad and IDF Aman Intelligence has to say.

Why, you ask? CIA won't tell you this, but we have NOTHING in Iran. Our assets were rolled up years ago by the Revolutionary Guards. What is the factual basis for the reporting that went into the NIE? Is it any more valid than the stuff that animated the war scare and made Dick Cheney walk the Earth by Night?

In other words, as you breath a sigh of relief, how much of this report is politically motivated by a CIA eager to head off a war with Iran, and how much of it is based on actual intelligence? My skepticism arises from the decades of risible incompetence displayed by that agency across decades and Continents. These were the guys who gave us the Mossadegh Coup, the Missile Gap, and Curveball, remember?

Or, as another reader notes more succinctly:

PHEW. The CIA say Iran's not building a bomb. They're just enriching uranium. I feel SO much better.