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A Rug Pulled but Another Already Laid

At least now we know why the Bushies were so hot to keep the latest intelligence estimate on Iran from the scrutinizing eyes of the public. Turns out it completely puts the kibosh on all that World War III rhetoric. Via The New York Times, who sadly know a thing or two about reporting on dubious claims of Middle Eastern nukes:
A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely keeping its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”

Now not to be a buzz kill or anything, while it is good news that the Iranians don't appear to be on the fast track to having a nuke anytime this decade, the Bushies have already done away with the threat of said nukes as a rationale for war. This estimate was ready well over a year ago and as Larisa reminds us, since then the rationale for war has shifted. So we can take this bit of news with a bitter grain of salt.

More reactions via Meme. See also Ray McGovern.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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