This afternoon, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley held a press briefing on the new National Intelligence Estimate, which concludes that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. As ThinkProgress has documented, Bush administration officials -- despite knowing of the NIE -- have been ratcheting up their rhetoric on Iran in the past couple of months.
The central question in today's briefing for Hadley was whether White House officials intentionally disregarded the intelligence community's findings in order to bang the war drums against Iran. Reporters repeatedly pressed Hadley on the specific date when the White House learned about the NIE's findings. Yet incredibly, he refused to give a "precise answer," instead stating that it was within the "last few months." From the briefing: