Eli Lake reports that top spy Michael McConnell has had second thoughts about the National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program. If the goal of the NIE was to tie Bush’s hands, it succeeded marvelously. Eli writes:
The director of national intelligence is backing away from his agency's assessment late last year that Iran had halted its nuclear program, saying he wishes he had written the unclassified version of the document in a different manner. …
The release of the December 2007 estimate at best delayed American diplomatic efforts to pass a third U.N. Security Council resolution sanctioning Iran's uranium enrichment, an activity the mullahs have continued for two years despite warnings from all five permanent members of the security council. The estimate also drew rare rebukes from American allies, including Israel, France, and the United Kingdom who said their intelligence agencies did not concur with the American assessment that Iran had frozen its plan to produce an A-bomb.