Barack Obama says:
By reporting that Iran halted its nuclear weapon development program
four years ago because of international pressure, the new National Intelligence Estimate makes a compelling case for less saber-rattling and more direct diplomacy. The juxtaposition of this NIE with the president’s suggestion of World War III serves as an important reminder of what we learned with the 2002 National Intelligence
Estimate on Iraq: members of Congress must carefully read the intelligence before giving the President any justification to use military force.
There’s a very subtle dig here at Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, noting that both of them, unlike you or I or Barack Obama, had access to the classified version of the 2002 NIE on Iraq, a document that debunked substantial elements of the administration’s case for war, but which neither Clinton nor Edwards (nor a great many other members of congress) bothered to read before voting to authorize the use of force. Meanwhile, the John Edwards says:
The new National Intelligence Estimate shows that George Bush and Dick Cheney’s rush to war with Iran is, in fact, a rush to war. The new NIE finds that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that Iran can be dissuaded from pursuing a nuclear weapon through diplomacy. This is exactly the reason that we must avoid radical steps like the Kyl-Lieberman bill declaring Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, which needlessly took us closer to war. And it’s why I have proposed that we pursue a comprehensive diplomatic approach instead.
Typically, the dig here is less subtle. What’s more, it seems appropriate. Keep in mind that the contents of this NIE have been known to the Bush administration for over a year. Under the circumstances, the push for Kyl-Lieberman and similar measures looks an awful lot like a deliberate effort to change the subject away from Iran’s alleged nuclear program specifically because the main actors in the administration knew their case on this point was about to collapse. Democrats who voted for Kyl-Lieberman look, under the circumstances, likes dupes at best.