An unimpressive performance. The key point seems to be that new evidence emerged just in the past two weeks that made it possible to reassess Iran's nuclear ambitions. Is this true? Scott Horton:
One highly reliable intelligence community source I consulted immediately after Hadley spoke answered my question this way: “This is absolutely absurd. The NIE has been in substantially the form in which it was finally submitted for more than six months. The White House, and particularly Vice President Cheney, used every trick in the book to stop it from being finalized and issued. There was no last minute breakthrough that cause the issuance of the assessment.” So what, I asked, caused the last-minute change and the sudden issuance of the summary of the NIE? My source had no idea.
He speculated, however, that a hardening of attitudes within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the intelligence community, and in Israel against the air war in Iran had caused Cheney and his team to fold their cards. “But I’d leave that with a final note of caution,” the source added, “Cheney sometimes appears to give up, but he’s a tenacious son-of-a-bitch. He may very well be back at it tomorrow.”
My hunch is that this is the final collapse of the neocon wing of the Bush administration. They simply couldn't survive Iraq.