Yesterday’s National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, pouring cold water on neoconservative calls for bombing Iran. Like his ideological kin Norman Podhoretz, former U.N. ambassador and Iran war hawk John Bolton has been attempting to slander the U.S. intelligence community’s collective judgments.
Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons “for 20 years,” he defiantly declared today. To give weight to a single intelligence estimate “would be a mistake.” On Fox News today, Bolton went even further and called for a congressional investigation into U.S. intelligence agencies, stating that the report was politicized by intelligence officials who have their “own agenda”:
I really think the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have to look at how this NIE was put together because there are a lot unexplained points in here. [...]
I think there is a risk here, and I raise this as a question, whether people in the intelligence community who had their own agenda on Iran for some time now have politicized this intelligence and politicized these judgments in a way contrary to where the administration was going. I think somebody needs to look at that.
“I’ve never based my view on this week’s intelligence,” Bolton proclaimed today. Just as he did before the Iraq war, Bolton is attempting to discredit any intelligence which contrasts with his fixation on more war in the Middle East.
While Bolton is calling for a congressional witch-hunt into the intelligence community, VoteVets is calling for an congressional investigation into the Bush administration for warning of a false Iran threat despite knowing the key findings of the NIE.
UPDATE: Digby parses out the perpetually wrong neocon worldview: “The real question is why anyone ever takes them seriously about anything.”