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Chris Dodd

Dubya’s Iran Plans, NIE-capped.

“Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005.” Uh, y’know that whole Iran is the new face of evil, imminent-WWIII thing we’ve been hearing about? Well, never mind. It’s time to update those lyrics, Senator McCain: A new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report — which, it seems, Cheney may have held up for a year — finds that Iran actually stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. “Even if Iran were to restart its program now, the country probably could not produce enough highly enriched uranium for a single weapon before the middle of the next decade, the assessment stated. It also expressed doubt about whether Iran ‘currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.‘”

This happy piece of information obviously puts our Saber-Rattler in Chief in a bit of a bind — In a news conference this morning, he was reduced to spluttering, “‘What’s to say they couldn’t start another covert nuclear weapons program?‘” What indeed…perhaps we should bomb them anyway, is that your point? Well, probably not. Says Slate‘s Fred Kaplan of the NIE: “If there was ever a possibility that President George W. Bush would drop bombs on Iran, the chances have now shrunk to nearly zero….Skeptics of war have rarely been so legitimized. Vice President Cheney has never been so isolated.” Still, just to keep the timeline in perspective, Dubya made that dubious WWIII comment months after being apprised of this information. So, in effect, he was lying to us yet again.

As for the 2008 contenders, the campaigns are all taking the news pretty much in stride, although Chris Dodd got off a pretty good zinger on Clinton: “It’s easy to say ‘fool me once, shame on George Bush,’ but when she’s been fooled twice, shame on her.

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