13 April 2006

How I Learned to Stop Worrying
and Love the (Tactical Nuclear) Bomb

Ever since Sy Hersh's latest New Yorker piece hit the web
there’s been a lot of scary and confusing talk about a possible
U.S. attack against Iran –- one that might even include the use of
nuclear weapons. Desperate to change the subject from our failure
in Iraq
and pump up the fear factor, the Bush administration is
once again beating the war drums, hoping to drown out anything
resembling logical, rational thought.

And it might actually work.

Which is why you should read this post from John Aravosis.

Iran is ten years away from developing nukes.

I'll say it again, TEN YEARS away. That would be TEN
YEARS at the earliest, according to the best estimate
we have. And that's not according to some peacenik
liberal, it's according to the best estimate of US

From the US State Department's own web site:

Iran is likely years away from producing weapons-
grade plutonium or highly enriched uranium. Vice
Adm. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence
Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in
March 2005 that Iran is expected to be able to
produce a weapon early next decade. According to
one report, the new National Intelligence Estimate on
Iran assesses
that it will be ten years before Iran has
a bomb.

And I'm sure you'll find this to be a big shock, but the
State Department didn't bother mentioning that the
five year "sometime early next decade" estimate has
now been overruled by this ten year estimate. Yes,
the "according to one report" reference State makes
in its document, that would be THE definitive federal
government report on this issue, not just "one"
report. State conveniently mentions the now-
debunked five-year estimate by the DIA director to,
one might suspect, confuse the issue and shorten the
time span.

Which all leads to the rather obvious but essential question…

So why, suddenly, in the second week of April, 2006,
have we found ourselves in a media feeding frenzy of
speculation over whether the US will be soon be
launching a massive (possibly nuclear) attack on Iran
to eliminate an "impending" nuclear threat that won't
appear until 2015?

John has answers (and some useful counter-arguments) at
AMERICAblog. Read it.

Also, in case you were wondering, Digby explains how to make a
tactical nuclear weapon
. (Just don’t tell the bad guys.)