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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 12/ 4/2007

'Bomb, Bomb, Bomb; Bomb, Bomb, Iran'

By Michael Dobbs


Iranian President Ahmadinejad visits nuclear enrichment facility, April 2007.

"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program...A growing amount of intelligence indicates Iran was engaged in covert uranium conversion and uranium enrichment activity, but we judge that these efforts probably were halted in response to the fall 2003 halt, and that these efforts probably had not been restarted through at least mid-2007."


--National Intelligence Estimate, released December 3, 2007.


There has been a lot of loose talk about Iran's nuclear capabilities out on the campaign trail. Here is a sampling of campaign rhetoric undercut by the publication of the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, representing the consensus view of the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies.


Rudy Giuliani:

"As we all know, Iran is seeking nuclear weapons and they're threatening to use them."
--Speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, October 16, 2007

John McCain:

"There's no doubt that [Iran is] moving forward with the acquisition of a nuclear weapon."
--Republican debate, September 5, 2007.

McCain caused some controversy back in April when he suggested that the Beach Boys' song, "Barbara Ann," should have new lyrics reflecting the present-day situation in the Middle East. He entertained an audience by singing the opening line:

"Bomb, bomb, bomb, Bomb, bomb, Iran."

Mitt Romney:

"I believe that Iran's leaders and ambitions represent the greatest threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union, and before that, Nazi Germany....The Iranian regime threatens not only Israel, but also every other nation in the region, and ultimately the world."
--Speech in Herzliya, Israel, January 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton:

"Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in the forefront of that, as they are in the sponsorship of terrorism."
--Democratic debate, Philadelphia, October 30, 2007, explaining why she voted in favor of a resolution declaring the Revolutionary Guard a "terrorist" organization.

The Facts

Republican candidates, and some Democrats, have been vying with each other to make bellicose statements about Iran. The assumption behind many of these statements has been that the Iranian regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is pushing full speed ahead with a nuclear weapons program. While there is no doubt that Iran has been processing uranium for what it claims is a civilian nuclear program, in defiance of United Nations resolutions, it suspended its military program in 2003, according to the NIE.

Last August, President Bush mistakenly stated that the Iranian government had "proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon." (Iran has never said it wants to develop a nuclear weapon. It claims that its nuclear program is purely civilian, although it has had difficulty explaining why it needs to develop nuclear power when it has ample oil reserves.) During an October 17 press conference, he warned that an Iranian nuclear bomb could lead to "World War III." But he was more circumspect when asked whether "you definitively believe Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon." His reply was a model of incoherence, which becomes more explicable in light of the latest NIE:

I think so long -- until they suspend and/or make it clear that they -- that their statements aren't real, yeah, I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge, in order to make a nuclear weapon. And I know it's in the world's interest to prevent them from doing so. I believe that the Iranian -- if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace.

It is almost certainly true, as Bush says, that Iran wants to have the "capacity" or "knowledge" to build a nuclear weapon. But there is an important distinction between that and saying that it has proclaimed its intent to build a bomb, or is actually developing nuclear weapons. Past intelligence failures serve as a reminder of the danger of making definitive statements on such matters, without carefully examining the actual evidence.

The Pinocchio Test

I will hold off on Pinocchios for the time being, but let me know if you think that the candidates have been telling the truth on Iran. If you come across quotes from other presidential candidates that conflict with the latest NIE on Iran, please post them in the comments section.

VERDICT PENDING.

By Michael Dobbs  | December 4, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Candidate Watch, Other Foreign Policy, Verdict Pending, War on Terror  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A 'Superhighway' to Nowhere
Next: The CIA's Biggest Bloopers

Comments

So you're not going to do anything about yesterday's incorrect article?

Posted by: natrius | December 4, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Why not quote the 'moderate' Rafsanjani..."the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam."

Or don't you think statements about allies, by leading politicians go into the mix?

Or, when looking at the NIE as a set of facts, have you considered that our intelligence has NEVER accurately predicted, by YEARS when any adversary or potential adversary has had nuclear weapons? That is true since 1949, and the USSR.

In short, the NIE is not granite to check against. What it is remains to be seen.

Posted by: epaminondas | December 4, 2007 7:01 AM | Report abuse

geez, you skipped obama stating that iran is trying to weapons... which he did ephatically state.

not that you are biased or anything, no doubt barak wouldn't have shown up for that vote either.

Posted by: B.Williams | December 4, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Do you believe President Bush made his WWIII comments before or after he had been briefed by the National Intelligence Estimate, the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies?


http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1178


.

Posted by: Scott, New York NY | December 4, 2007 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Note the Bush sleight of hand. The 'knowledge' to build a nuclear bomb? That means stuff that's in basic graduate level physics classes; maybe even senior level classes. It's dissembling at it's Bush-league obviousness.

What the Bush team has dishonestly done - as with Iraq and now with Iran - is say 'uranium enrichment' = 'nuclear bomb program' when that is not exactly true. They try desperately to put 'nuclear weapon' in any sentence because it conjures up fear and anxiety among those who don't know that this is not-so-clever parsing. Because the various candidates don't have that same intel as the President, you have an artificial binary where one either accepts the President's mis-statements (as do most Republicans and perhaps some Dems) or you have to work a bit harder to convey the distinction between fact and fiction and the American people generally tune out if your position is anything more than a basic binary.

Posted by: criticalThought | December 4, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

At this point everyone knows President Bush is a liar. Lied about WMDs in Iraq. Lies about Iran's nuclear program.
How many years will it take to fix the mess he's made?

Posted by: MarkD | December 4, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter believes that Bush had a heads up about this report some time ago, and has already started change his argument for attacking Iran. The new line is that the US needs to attack because the Revolutionary Guard is a sponsor of terrorism. One wishes that every time a US administration was exposed in its attempt to start a war on phony grounds the mainstream media in the US would become a little less credulous, but it never seems to happen.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=33454§ionid=3510302

Posted by: CTurner | December 4, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Obviously the Israelis and their friends in the US will hate this dammning official report by people whose business is to know.

Israel has already started crying, the report is wrong, and that people should believe Israeli conjecture and not rely on factual unbiased reports.

Sad thing is, it just gives more determination to Muslims that in fact the Israelis are their true enemies, and the Christian right wing bible thumpers would like nothing better than to see an attack on Iran for the sake of making Israel more secure.

These special interest groups are more loyal to Israel than they are to America, in the coming years, decades we will witness a fight between true America lovers and those who live in America but love Israel and want to sacrifice everything American at the altar of Israel.

Posted by: Tariq Shah | December 4, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"...let me know if you think that the candidates have been telling the truth on Iran. "

I'll let you know if the candidates acquire psychic abilities and can then know more about this situation than the NIE. Until then, I presume, we won't see Pinocchios for anyone on this topic.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | December 4, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The NIE report that Iran was never a threat and not worth starting or posturing to start another Middle East war (one that could predictably turn nuclear) is going to have a MASSIVE EFFECT on the US presidential election:

The entire gutless pack of supposedly 'first tier', leading Democrat candidates anointed as they were by the MSM wouldn't "take anything off the table" in threatening Iran with nuclear war.

Only Dennis Kucinich had the guts and brains not to fall for this pro-war posturing and 'tough guy' BS.

Now that the NIE shows that Iran was never any threat, it's more than a bit embarrassing for the pack of 'big name' Democratic candidates that they were so fearful of appearing 'weak on terrorism', that they were cowed by Bush into committing Americans to another war in the Middle East just to protect their cowardly hides.

Hey, Hillary, here's something that you shouldn't "take off the table" --- your friggin excuse and lies about how you never accepted war with Iran as an 'option'.

Maybe you can use the same pack of lies that your hubby just did in his, "I was always against the Iraq war" BS.

This pack of gutless idiots, along with the lying MSM's help in promoting them as being friggin 'electable' came that close to installing someone in the White House who would have gladly done anything "on the table" before this NIE news broke -- and made them all look like the dangerous fools that they are.

Remember that, people when you go to vote next fall --- it's actually more important to the lives of your kids than whether Bill will be more help to Hill's campaign than Oprah will be to Obama --- in fact it's more important than any of the BS smoke that the MSM blows up your posterior about this totally phony 'campaign entertainment'.

Of course, the proto-fascist Republican war-mongers calling for more war in the Middle East are all totally discredited even more than the dummy dems, with McCain taking the prize for his rendition of "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" ---- which we think he will no longer be singing.

Posted by: Alan MacDonald | December 4, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

two points:
1) It is not true that Iran has difficulty explaining why it would want nuclear power. Iran makes its money by selling oil to other countries. And it has limited refining capacity, so it has to pay for some of the oil it actually uses. So while Iran has good reason to want nuclear weapons, it is not at all hard to explain why it wants nuclear power.

2) epiminandas, you seem to have accidentally left off the first half of the Rafsanjani quote in which he claims that Iran getting the bomb would prevent military action. No doubt this was accidental on your part, but when you give the part of his quote which explains how deterrence works, it comes out looking like he is threatening a unilateral attack.
That is why one should be careful with ones editing. It is possible to edit someones remarks to say the opposite of what they actually said, as you, or your source, has done in this case.

Posted by: Lon | December 4, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

No Pinnochios? How many Pinnochios for Bush/Cheney on Iraq? The fact checker needs to grow a pair.

Posted by: Mark | December 4, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs, take courage in the facts! Four Pinocchios for ALL you quoted. Did not the same slander on Iraq cause our current war? That Iran has been demonized, that we don't like their president or culture, is no reason to be soft on such lies - just the opposite. In our post-post-9/11 world, we need a POTUS who won't pander to special interests, popular sentiment, or discredited ideologies. Thank you, Mr. Dobbs, for your sharp focus on this all-important issue.

Posted by: jhbyer | December 4, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

How do we know that the intellegence estimates are now accurate?.... we seem to want to believe them only when the confirm our preconceptions. It is hard to know, of course, just what is truly going on in Iran.

Posted by: wallace Oliver | December 4, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

For the past several years sadly enough much of the media like fox news and Glen Beck from CNN in the US and Europe have joined this ferocious attack on Iran for alleged accusation that Iran is building a nuke bomb and Iran is a threat to world peace only to satisfy the right wing Zion's worshipers in the US. The Zionist regime of Israel and it's allies in the US have been lying and deceiving the innocent public with their grip on the media for all this time. Shame on biased media, Shame on Zions and shame on right wing evangelist allies of Zions.

Posted by: fonz | December 4, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who believes this report will change anything is delusion. Have any of these candidates changed their stated opinions about, say, the efficacy of torture? the value of No-Child-Left-Behind? or intelligent design?

Posted by: JAD | December 4, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Lon,

Excellent point. So glad you spoke up.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 4, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

No Pinocchios ? Did the mis-representations leading up to Iraq not rate a Pinocchio either?
You have a worthless charade going here - you rate 5 Pinocchios !

Posted by: Keith | December 4, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who denies that Iran is actively seeking to manufacture nuclear weapons needs thier head examined. The NIE has been wrong before and it is probably wrong now. All we have to do is listen to Iran's rhetoric about removing Isreal from the map. Once this is complete, they will move on the next "Satan"; the US. Isreal has fairly accurate intelligence and they are convinced that Iran will soon possess enough material to make several warheads. Dr. A.Q. Khan from Pakistan has ensured that Iran has the bomb blueprints and technological know-how. They also have a ballistic missle capable of hitting Isreal and Europe. All they will soon need is some madman to order a nuclear strike. Enter Ahmadinejad

Posted by: Bill | December 4, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The problem is all countries are suspicious of one another. Too many national interest involved that makes the UN useless. Civilian uses of nuclear power, in my opinion is very necessary if we are to reduce the harmful gasses in the atmosphere, yet, all type of interest group sterm the advancement in this area. A more effective UN is the only organization that can solve mayor disputes but unfortunately most of the countries ignore it, if it doesn't advance their agenda...there is always two side for a coin

Posted by: Anonymous | December 4, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Time to fact check the Post's editorial page and its libel campaign against Mohamed ElBaradei, and Hans Blix before him. Once again the Post owes Mr. ElBaradei a huge apology.

Posted by: gordonminor | December 4, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

There is a peaceful and a bellicose explanation for their nuclear program. Bellicose: Israel has one, Israel leads the US around by the nose, better rustle our own up, preferably in-house, but if necessary, on the black market. Peaceful: Oil reserves figure to be worth more as they run out - if they can develop a reasonably reliable working alternative, they're hoarding an increasingly valuable asset.
Iran has large reserves, much of it under a very thick granitic shield that has tended to push indispensable reservoir maintainence and engineering work over the near horizon, even assuming full technical capability to do it. Energy-wise, they're buying time and betting on carrot/stick diplomacy to help them bank it. Not an unreasonable choice.

Posted by: B.F.Edwards | December 4, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

why does everyone keep saying that there's no good reason for iran to develop nuclear power if they have oil?

First off, iran has too few processing facilities to supply its needs. It has to import gasoline now.

Second, oil is plentiful now, but is running short everywhere else -- if you had something that could bring in a lot of cash, and could be replaced locally, what would you do? You'd sell it for cash and build the replacement. And who do you sell it to?

Those idiots in the west who are too cheap or greedy to look for alternatives. Selling them oil keeps them addicted to oil and makes you rich in the bargain.

I can see this, iran can see this, why can't the fact checker? Why can't the Administration? It's called capitalism 101, dummies.

Posted by: ogden, utah | December 4, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Zero to one as far as pinnochios go for those previous statements, as they were likely honest assessments of a country that has been enriching uranium and has proven very difficult to trust, and they were long before the NIE. Though NIEs have been problematic in the past, statements of similar definitiveness now would have to recieve three to four pinnochios. In terms of presidential caliber, overblown statements of McCain and other neocons who speak lightly of using nuclear bunker busters and form parodies of beach boys songs about preemptively bombing a foreign nation prove that they should not shape foreign policy, but fail to prove explicitly dishonest before the NIE.

Posted by: Kevin Steimel | December 4, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments that "they were wrong about Iraq so we shouldn't believe the NIE" are just the biggest bunch of bunk I have ever heard. So what do these people propose - NOT to believe our best intellegence and just do what is right based on Cheney's "gut" feelings - brilliant! The fact is this administration pushed back when the intellengence agencies said there was no evidence for WMDs - they kept telling them "wrong answer" until they produced something they could fix for the war - this admin wants to discredit our intelligence agencies because the NSA, CIA etc.. live in the world of reality - that is their job. I wonder who in the CIA will loose their job because of this report...

Posted by: rm-rf | December 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

No Pinocchios? Are you kidding me? Grow a set of balls, Michael Dobbs. Your column is fast becoming a joke.

Posted by: Jon | December 4, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Welcome to the UN. It's your world." This is how the United Nations' website welcomes the visitors. But for Iranians, it is not their world. It is a world that has been discriminating against them for years. It is a world that has depicted Iran as the devil and has denied its rights.

The world has been convinced that Iran is a threat for its neighbours. This is while for the last 250 years Iran has not attacked any country but has been attacked in many occasions. Most recently, Iran was a victim of chemical weapons supplied by the western powers. More than 100,000 Iranians were killed in those chemical attacks. Not only the world and the United Nations did not come into rescue, an Iranian complaint to the United Nations Security Council was vetoed by the United States . Where was the conscious of the world at that time?

Iranians have been depicted as terrorists. It is a very confusing world for an Iranian. There has been no Iranian involved in any terrorist attacks in the past. Iran does support Hizbollah, but Hizbollah only and only fights inside the borders of his country against foreign military personnel and never against civilians. For an Iranian, it is mind baffling to call that terrorism. In contrast, the United States has shot an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf , has supplied chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein to be used against Iranians, and has bombed and tortured civilians across the world over the past years. For Iranians, it is a mystery why the United Nations does not consider the US a terror state.

It is advertised that Iran does not agree to suspend uranium enrichment under any condition. Iran did agree to suspend uranium enrichment. The Iranian conditions included disarm the entire Middle East region from nuclear and chemical weapons and give Iran security guarantee against foreign invasion and foreign attempts for regime change. The US did not agree these conditions. What did Iranians think when these two conditions were denied? How did Iranians feel when, knowing that these two conditions have been denied, the United Nations went on to pose sanctions against them? The United Nations denied Iran a security guarantee against invasion, bombs, killing and torture of another country. The United Nations denied Iran sovereignty. Is Iranian blood any different from that of the other nations?

Iranians are not building an arsenal to threaten their neighbours or any other country. For the last 250 years, Iran has not attacked any country. While the majority of Iranians, including the writers, denounce and condemn president Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel and the holocaust, his remarks did not contain a military threat to Israel . He called for the day that "the Zionist regime" (intentionally mistranslated to " Israel " by the western media) is wiped off the map. He continued to explain that by "the Zionist regime" he means a regime that discriminates against non-Jews and is, therefore, racist. He concluded his remarks with wishing for the day that Jews and non-Jews live in peace and harmony in that region. This is not a military threat, and most definitely not a threat against Jews. In the past, Iran has denounced the apartheid regime of South Africa . However, Iran has become one of South Africa 's closest allies as soon as the racist practices have been abandoned there. What makes other nations to believe the same will not happen this time?

Iranians feel that the United Nations is paving the way for the US to destroy another nation, to kill and to torture Iranians. This is not the first time the US has committed such crime. At this critical time, there is nothing left for Iranians but to hope that some day the conscious of the world will awaken and regret these actions.

Posted by: An Average Iranian | December 4, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: votenic | December 4, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The column is too chicken to give Pinnochios to people who merely echo the fact-free claims repeatedly put out by this newspaper's editor Fred Hiatt.

But the poster Lon scored big, pinning five well-deserved Pinocchios on the sneaky Epaminondas for his selective-quoting trickery with Rafsanjani.

That's right, Epaminondas. Yours is exactly the kind of fact-twisting we've come to expect from the war-at-all-costs crowd.

Lon is too polite to say it, but far from vindicating Bush with your comment, Epaminondas, your attempted (and discovered) lie merely serves to highlight the way your Fearless Leader operates.

Posted by: OD | December 4, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I really want a new war, but I have this old one out back and should probably get rid of it before starting a new one.

Posted by: Average American | December 4, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

FOUR STAR PINOCHIO FOR THE WASHINTON POST FACT CHECKERS-

The real liar here was once again the Bush administration who misled the American people about nuclear threat.

They knowingly lied to us about Iraq's nuclear potential and this deception was pivotal in getting the neccessary support to take us to war. Now they have done the same thing with Iran and the "fact checkers" are dilligently obfuscating this by avoiding the glaring reality that the president of the United States once again lied to America to get support for war.

The facts- Bush lied us into war and the fact checkers were no where to be found. No warning to the American people, no admission of their role in allowing this by not researching the facts.

The facts- Bush and Cheney lied to us again about Iran and the "fact checkers" came in after the fact again, and avoided the real crime that came straight from the white house.

Hasn't anyone figured out that this whole "fact checker" feature is as big a propaganda tool as the front page stories that sell us the administrations lies?

Posted by: Kevin Morgan | December 4, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Where do the candidates get their information from? It's either from the intel agencies, or from the Bush Administration. So if the candidates are stating a falsehood, it's because they've been lied to by the administration! (In the case of the candidates who get briefings as members of Congress, the intel the agencies present to them is filtered through ADMINISTRATION appointees before it ever reaches anyone.)

Aside from being typically risible, todays "Fact" checker gets 5 Pinocchios, two Roves and an O.J.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 4, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

how can you fact-check what Bush says when he's not even speaking english?? does your fact-checker have a gibberish gauge?

Posted by: million | December 4, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs:

Go the nearest Asian market in the DC metro area. Look for a set of chinese finger exercise and meditation balls. Buy the largest set you can find. Put them in your Y-fronts. Now award 83 gazillion Pinocchios to Bush/Cheney and company. Award 34 billion to yourself for not having any cajones. Add 27 trizillion more because the rest of us had to help you figure out how to do your job.

And after the BS-riddled piece on Obama you wrote recently, including petulant extra Pinocchio for either the "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" email response from Obama's campaign (LMAO) or the later response that you determined came too late because the INTERNET WAS CLOSED, you don't deserve the bandwidth.

P.S.: your J-school called... they want their diploma back. Why? Because as we all know: Childrens do learn.

Posted by: jade7243 | December 4, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Now I know that Ron Paul was right all along ...
I watched him in last debate . He was right all along
He got my vote for sure

Posted by: Sean John | December 4, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Bush gets four pinocchios and these candidates each get zero. They were going by the best intelligence they had, while Bush had reliable information months ago suggesting Iran had halted the program. He simply decided not to let the American people know about this information because it compromises his illusive War on Terror.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

No, the candidates also deserve Pinocchios for stating that they KNEW Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons when clearly they can have known no such thing.

"There's NO DOUBT that [Iran is] moving forward with the acquisition of a nuclear weapon."
McCain

"As we all KNOW, Iran is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Giuliani

Hillary Clinton even goes so far as to say that she knows which Iranian organisation is running this program that doesn't exist.

"Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in the forefront of that..."

So she's ahead of the Bush career curve, because her baseless WMD claims have been debunked even before she became president. Before she'd started a single war.

Mrs Clinton also said that it was childish to rule out nuking Iran. So much more grown-up to threaten to incinerate and irradiate millions of civilians based on your convictions that happen to be dead wrong.

The amazing thing is that if America did nuke Iran then discover it had made an "intelligence error" like in Iraq, Hillary Clinton would refuse to apologise - like in Iraq - and the US Establishment would agree with that sentiment - like in Iraq. The US still hasn't apologised for shooting down that Iranian passenger jet - in fact they actually decorated several officers from the USS Vincennes.

Incidentally, Since Hillary Clinton claims to know so much about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, does that mean she actually bothers to read intelligence estimates on Iran nowadays?

Not like Iraq then, where even though she was given the full NIE document, she somehow couldn't be bothered to read it before she voted for a war that's killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Hey, it was 60 pages and she's a busy woman with a very important career to think of.

Posted by: OD | December 4, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what these goofball candidates say on the trail compared to the actual president, the one who actually could start World War III in Iran? Given how many of Bush's statements during the press conference alone could rate four noses (such as his insistence that things were going swimmingly between the U.S. and Iran until 2005, despite the fact he called Iran part of the Axis of Evil in 2002), and just on general principles for the lies and their deadly consequences of his entire historic fiasco administration, you should rename the Pinocchios to Bushes. Award four W's for the World War III lies and calibrate other lies accordingly.

Posted by: Tom | December 4, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

What I haven't read here is disbelief that it took the world's super power 4 years to make this assessment. Doesn't scare anyone that our intelligence community can't tell us something until 4 YEARS after it happened. That is what has shocked and upset me the most. We all new Bush was a little off kilter on his foreign policy. So now the intelligence community, since 2003, has given us two faulty reports, and one that is 4 years late. Give me a break.

Posted by: Jake | December 5, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

It is my understanding that the CIA did not foresee the October 1973 Mideast War (Egypt and Syria against Israel), and in fact issued a report on the eve of that war that there was little possibility of such a war. Surely this ranks as a major CIA blunder!?

Posted by: tonyribeiro | December 5, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Some bureaus and agencies have been too interested in protecting the civilrights, diversity, and economic benefits of illegals and terrorists rather than deporting and/or terminating them. In addition; some members of the agencies, like Plame and Wilson and Hannsen; have so big an ego that they believe that they, not the president, should set national priorities.

Posted by: CivilrightsInvestigativeAssembly | December 5, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Actually the scarest thing is that one of these next marons is going to be president.

Posted by: Rollover | December 5, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

To Judge C. Crater: The GOP candidates already have psychic abilities.How else to explain the debate where they all professed and swore, to a certainty, the existence of(a)" god", without a scintilla of fact to support them? They richly deserve Pinoccio's !!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 5, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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