A Blow to Bush's Tehran Policy
Washington Post Staff Writers Tuesday, December 4, 2007; Page A01
President Bush got the world's attention this fall when he warned that a nuclear-armed Iran might lead to World War III. But his stark warning came at least a month or two after he had first been told about fresh indications that Iran had actually halted its nuclear weapons program.
The new intelligence report released yesterday not only undercut the administration's alarming rhetoric over Iran's nuclear ambitions but could also throttle Bush's effort to ratchet up international sanctions and take off the table the possibility of preemptive military action before the end of his presidency.
. . . But the White House said the report vindicated its concerns because it concluded that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program until halting it in 2003 and it showed that U.S.-led diplomatic pressure had succeeded in forcing Tehran's hand.
. . . Paul R. Pillar, a former CIA official who has been critical of the Bush administration's run-up to war with Iraq, said the revelation about the halted weapons program is a "shocker" but noted that "the administration can say that Iran halted its program during our administration and this is a success for us.
Policy? Bush had a Tehran policy? Who knew?
This administration can (and does) say any damned thing it pleases, but it's interesting that Bush knew of this evidence well before he rattled the saber over World War Three.
Now there will be no third war before he leaves office. Damn! There goes the legacy thing again--around the corner and down the alley.
Nothing now to fill the next 336 days before elections except 'administrative actions' nailing down every business wish-list for deregulation. That's merely graft--wars are so heroic.