Media Very Selective As to When They Choose to Believe the NIE
Thomas Fingar, the Deputy Director of Analysis for the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), is the media rock star of the moment.
Why? For the just released NIE assessment he co-authored that proffers with "high confidence" that Iranian nuclear weapon development came to a halt in 2003.
This lands him myriad press plaudits because it affords them yet another opportunity to bash President George W. Bush.
However, those with any sort of political memory recall a July 11, 2007 Congressional appearance by the very same Thomas Fingar. Just these scant four months ago, he gave the House Armed Services Committee a very different "high confidence" perspective on Iran and their efforts to develop the bomb.
From the Congressional record:
Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The United States' concerns about Iran are shared by many nations, including many of Iran's neighbors.
Iran is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution.
We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons--despite its international obligations and international pressure. This is a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
Certainly contradicts his just released account, does it not? The account the media has been unquestioningly citing en masse.
They are more than happy to pummel the President without giving the merest of passing thoughts to the fact that it was this same Fingar, this same NIE, and their previous reports that contributed in large part to the development of Bush's perception of the Iranian nuclear program.
Add to this the Wall Street Journal tidbit that an "intelligence source" deems Fingar and his two co-authors "hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials", and the picture is complete.
Where is the MSM on this? This hardly requires in-depth journalism.
Then again, these are not in-depth journalists.