The United States intelligence services have assure the American people and the governments of the Middle East that they will know if and when Iran reaches the final stage of development toward a nuclear weapon.
Why should I believe that?
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed in a terrorist attack that US intelligence never saw coming on September 11th, 2012.
An Ambassador and his security detail were attacked on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, in a volatile country where Al-Qeada has a local affiliate...and we did not see this coming. Don't worry, we missed the obvious threat hiding in plain site in Libya, but we will definitely know for sure when Iran's super-secretive, partially buried nuclear program goes weaponized.
Do you think that is plausible?
Did US intelligence forecast 9-11-01?
The underwear and shoe bombers?
Saddam's WMD or no-WMD?
The 1974 and 1998 Indian nuclear weapons test?
The surprise Pakistani test in May 1998?
Syria's nuclear reactor that Isreal bombed in 2007?
Libya's expansive WMD program pre-2003?
Did U.S. intelligence foresee Pearl Harbor?
What about the start of the Korean War?
The third stage of North Korea's rocket capability?
The Russian atomic bomb in the 50s?
I am not dumping on America's intelligence officers. The CIA does incredible work all around the world. There are covert CIA operations that we don't even know about that suppress enemies of freedom on a weekly basis. Intelligence gathered by CIA and military field operatives and analysts have disrupted dozens of terror plots around the world, leading to deeper insights into the functions of terrorist organizations. We ask these brave people to accomplish the impossible on a daily basis. We practically ask them to predict the unpredictable. They often succeed and we are safer as a result.
However, they are humans, and they make mistakes as documented above.
The Benghazi terror attack clearly reminds us of that. People die when analysts are wrong. Sometimes nations go to war due to bad intelligence gathering. Sometimes they don't.
President Obama is asking the Israelis, the Saudis, the Persian Gulf States and the western world to trust him and his intelligence services on Iran. Why would they?
Not only did we miss most previous atomic weapons tests on the planet, but we also can't keep our own ambassador's safe. And when they are assassinated, we don't even have enough information from our intelligence officials to clearly state to the world and the victim's family's how they died!
If there were nervous looks around the UN meeting tables last month, they are now panicked gestures.
I believe in our CIA and our military intelligence officers.
However, after the events of September 11th, 2012 in Benghazi and the proceeding White House response, I am reminded of the limits of intelligence gathering.
If Iran slips past U.S. intelligence like Al-Qeada did in Libya, the consequences for the region and world will be grave. The time for severe actions against Iran are near. Whether it's a President Obama or a President Romney in 2013, our nation should prepare now for a very tense and potentially dangerous Spring.
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