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Bush's Watergate

by Tomasz Konicz Thursday, Jan. 03, 2008 at 11:29 PM

The publication of the new NIE represented a Declaration of Independence of professional secret service analysist who were made absolute fools by the neoconservatives in the past decades. Journalist Saul Landau described the new NIE as Bush's Watergate.


Critical reports confirm the weakening of the US government under George W. Bush. However nothing has changed in the war policy

By Tomasz Konicz

[This article published in Junge Welt, 12/27/2007 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.jungewelt.de/2007/12-27/031.php?print=1.]

Hardly a month after the publication of the “National Intelligence Estimate” (NIE), a secret service dossier on the Iranian nuclear program, a heated debate on the political consequences of its publication raged in the US. Leftist intellectuals point out the paper stands in clear contradiction to the war course of the White House. The renowned leftist journalist Alexander Cockburn did not mince words. For months, alternative media had warned of a putsch-attempt in Iran that could go along with a US attack. The NIE report prevents this option.

The NIE report is issued periodically and represents the unanimous opinion of all 16 US secret services on specific countries, regions or trouble-spots. Therefore, Cockburn said, “the power distribution in Washington is changing.” In October 2002 President George W. Bush and his vice-president Richard “Dick” Cheney set the extensive Iranian program for building weapons of mass destruction in the NIE. The fiasco left behind wounds. Before the publication of the latest NIE, “a consensus formed against a war against Iran in Washington and on Wall Street that contradicted the earlier war hysteria in many points,” Cockburn said.

The NIE estimate according to which Iran abandoned its military nuclear program in 2003 inflicted a heavy blow on the neoconservative strategists around Bush. In their journalist bastions like Weekly Standard and National Review, the neocons complain of betrayal by “careerists” in the State Department and the CIA.

Since their formation, neoconservatives have always sought to influence the information flow in the US. According to the journalist Robert Perry, they concentrate especially on secret service analyses and the US media. The publication of the new NIE represented a “Declaration of Independence of Professional Secret Service Analysts” who were made absolute fools by the neoconservatives in the past decades.

The journalist Saul Landau who described the publication of the NIE as “Bush’s Watergate” is entirely without naivety. He sees the neoconservatives as foreign bodies within the established US elites. The president’s claim in September 2007 that Iran’s nuclear program could trigger a “third world war” is not countered by the NIE statement that an Iranian nuclear bomb could not be realized before 2015.

According to Landau, with the NIE the “established bastions of power wand wealth” wanted to seriously discredit the Bush administration and the neoconservatives. These had governed extra-legally in established power structures like the accomplices of ex-president Nixon coming from California. Nixon was forced from office by a 1970 “Watergate affair” disclosed by an FBI man. A similar “sign of relief” is now heard over Washington after the publication of the NIE. Still illusions should be resisted. The NIE report reduces the chances of an imminent war with Iran but has not changed the baselines of US policy.

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