Venomous Kate has an interesting post about the Saudis preparations for "sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards."
Kate also notes some interesting and familiar sounding military positioning plus sanctions:
• Last week, a U.S. nuclear sub joined the fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf.Read the whole thing.
• On land, Russian sources say the U.S. is currently massing forces on the ian border.
• Today the U.S. announced plans to sanction ’s Central Bank for funding state-sponsored terrorism.
Like Cheney, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has tried to undo some of the political and diplomatic damage done by the NIE:
During his February 5, 2008 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell tried to undo some of the political and diplomatic damage done by the NIE:
Not only did McConnell testify that the Islamic Republic was working to master the enrichment of uranium--"the most difficult challenge in nuclear production"--but he also acknowledged that, "because of intelligence gaps," the U.S. government could not be certain that the ian government had fully suspended its covert nuclear programs. "We assess with high confidence that has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons," he testified. "In our judgment, only an ian political decision to abandon a nuclear weapons objective would plausibly keep from eventually producing nuclear weapons--and such a decision is inherently reversible."McConnell, appearing on the February 17, 2008 edition of "Fox News Sunday," Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said could have a nuclear weapon next year:
WALLACE: Finally, you have dialed back on the recent national intelligence estimate that reported that gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003.Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert believes that could have "a nuclear weapons capacity" in a few months.
In fact, you said you wish you had the opportunity to redo the public presentation. Do you feel that the NIE understated the threat from ?
MCCONNELL: No. Chris, if the words in the NIE were correct, what I think we probably didn't do an adequate job on is reflecting — there are three parts to a nuclear program.
You have to have fissile material. You have to have a means to deliver a weapon. And you have to have the technical — to design a weapon.
The only thing that they terminated in 2003 was the design feature of the weapon. They're still pursuing fissile material. They're still pursuing missiles for delivery.
As it turns out, though, the hardest part is fissile material. The easiest part is weapons design. So when I testified on the Hill recently, the attempt was to put it in context.
WALLACE: So are you saying that and its uranium enrichment program and what that could lead to is as much of a threat as it ever was?
MCCONNELL: I am saying that. And I believe that the path they were on to achieve nuclear weapons has not been significantly changed because they terminated this technical design feature.
They can turn it on. Remember, it was secret. They've never admitted it. They could have turned it back on now and we wouldn't necessarily know. We'll try to know, but we're not 100 percent sure of that.
WALLACE: And the time frame for them to get the ability to make a nuclear bomb?
MCCONNELL: We've done an estimate in 2001, 2005 and 2007, and each time it says the same thing. They could do it by 2009 — unlikely. The range is 2010 to 2015. And the best guess is about the middle range there for having a nuclear weapon.