Bolton said that the CIA shared the State Department’s opposition to doing anything overtly or covertly to undermine the Iranian regime, and faulted Secretary of State Rice for getting “co-opted” by the bureaucracy.
“Secretary Rice has adopted the prevailing view within the bureaucracy, which have been reflected in our deference to the Europeans and the exclusively diplomatic approach for four years,” he said.
This approach is particularly dangerous because the U.S. intelligence community has almost always been wrong in its estimates of when Iran could acquire nuclear weapons capability, Bolton said.
One of reason for the inability to get Iran right is an unwillingness to talk to Iranian defectors. “Since World War II, the Intelligence community has disliked exiles and dissidents, claiming they are unreliable because they have a political agenda. This is just self-blindness,” he said.
As a result of such prejudices, “[o]ur lack of reliable intelligence inside Iran is substantial… Every day the military option is postponed makes it riskier that we will actually use force but fail to achieve our objectives.”
State & Langley are always going to want to play the loser-game wait-and-see that led the CIA to so vastly underestimate the weakness of the Soviet Union, or of the Shah of Iran, for that matter. A State friend of mine, Stan Escudero, was actually punished by the State Dept for reporting that the Shah was much weaker than the CIA & State Nomenklatura were saying he was---indeed, the Senior Apparatchiki were proclaiming the Shah's resilience and power at the same time he was planning a coward's exit!
Clowns like Arthur Schlesinger Jr. played the same game with the Soviets, reporting that the Soviet system was economically strong because he could tell from visiting the shops in Moscow within walking distance of the Kremlin!!
The willful blindness of the State perennials does NOT mirror the UK's permanent Whitehall staff, who are urged to think outside the box & develop alternative scenarios---or they were back when I was an FSO. While I disagree with Bolton on certain tactical bases, he is certainly better than the Clintonian appeasers like a weirdo named Vann Van Diepen:
Bolton has long been an advocate of muscular diplomacy. When he served as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Nonproliferation during the early years of the Bush administration, he frequently crossed swords with arms control advocates who were viscerally opposed to imposing sanctions on proliferators.
In his recent book, “Surrender is Not an Option,” Bolton names one such official, Vann Van Diepen, who refused to act on direct orders to apply nonproliferation sanctions.
As Newsmax revealed on December 4, Van Diepen was one of three former State Department officials who authored the much-disputed recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
The arms controllers are also trying to rewrite history on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, Bolton warned.
During negotiations in 2002, the North Korean government admitted that in addition to its plutonium production reactor at Yongbyon, it also had a clandestine uranium enrichment program.
For once, Bolton said, “all of the intelligence community agreed that North Korea had embarked on procurement for a uranium enrichment program.”
And yet today, the arms controllers are trying to walk back that conclusion and “rewrite history” in order to cover-up North Korea’s lies and dissembling, Bolton said.
Bolton also was critical of the Bush White House for not doing more to name and retain strong conservatives in the administration.
When his nomination to become the permanent U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was submitted to the Senate, for example, the administration ran a confirmation battle, whereas the Democrats engaged in a full-fledged political campaign. “Given that, the outcome was predictable,” Bolton said.
The consequences of allowing the shadow warriors run the government instead of Bush loyalists have been dramatic, since they have succeeded in “turning the President’s policy in effect in a 180-degree U-turn” in North Korea and other areas, Bolton said.
The Iranian NIE is probably as accurate as the CIA prediction that the Soviet economy was prospering and would continue to do so in the mid-'80s.
And George W. Bush's management of his administration's policies mitigates strongly against another president with a Harvard MBA!!!