Verbs are important. The Bush administration has gone from saying we "know" something--as in, "we know Saddam has nuclear weapons"--to we "believe" something. Which is fair warning, for a faith-based foreign policy. (No longer a Faith-based one).
Nonetheless, Sunday morning on Fox News Sunday, Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen said he "believes" Iran is moving towards acquiring nuclear weapons. Interrogator Chris Wallace didn't ask him upon what that belief was based. Nor did he ask Mullen whether that belief represented a disagreement with the publicly expressed consensus view of the intelligence community, released last December in a National Intelligence Estimate, that Iran had halted such a program four years ago.
As I recall, the 2002 NIE, the public version of which (minus the privately expressed caveats and dissents) was used to support the push for war in Iraq, was often brandished by media questioners and war supporters to silence those who opposed the invasion. It's no surprise this latest NIE has fallen down the administration's memory hole, but what excuse do those in the media have for sipping the amnesia juice?
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