Yesterday’s NIE proved Podhoretz’s claims were false. Rather than modify his views on Iran, Podhoretz — who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 — aired a nasty conspiracy theory yesterday, attacking the authors of the NIE and accusing the intelligence community of deliberately “leaking material calculated to undermine George W. Bush:”I entertain an even darker suspicion. It is that the intelligence community, which has for some years now been leaking material calculated to undermine George W. Bush, is doing it again. This time the purpose is to head off the possibility that the President may order air strikes on the Iranian nuclear installations.
Helpfully, TP notes in an update that Podhoretz is not alone in calling America's intelligence gathering agencies a bunch of terrorist-hugging defeatists:
Strata-Strata: “This smells like another leak by forces in our intel community trying to — once again — influence our national elections.”
Powerline: “But the report offers no reason to be less concerned about the likelihood that Iran will possess nuclear weapons in the near future, and no reason to doubt that our own willingness to take military action is one of the factors that will influence decision-making in Tehran.”
Michelle Malkin: “What’s not making headlines (the certainty that Iran indeed had a nuke program) is as telling as what is making news (the halting of the program in 2003).”
Seth Liebelson at the Corner: If Iran shut its program down in the fall of 2003 MIGHT, MIGHT, MIGHT it have anything to do with it noticing that the US militarily took out its neighbor (another enemy of the U.S.) earlier that year for, among other things, having a concealed WMD program?
Michael Rubin at the Corner: “If Iran was working on a nuclear weapons program until 2003, what does this say about U.S. policy in the late Clinton period and European engagement?”
Rather than discuss the real implications of facts upon policy, it is so much easier for people to discount facts that do not agree with their theory of the world. It is also more fun to feel embattled by dark forces bent on your destruction, rather than face up to the reality that you are a doofus.
One idea that is emerging is typified by the quote from insane cheerleader Michelle Malkin, and is noted by Gavin M. at Sadly, No, in a quote from Victor Davis Hanson:
Are [liberal Democrats] now to suggest that Republicans have been warmongering over a nonexistent threat for partisan purposes? But to advance that belief is also to concede that Iran, like Libya, likely came to a conjecture (around say early spring 2003?) that it was not wise for regimes to conceal WMD programs, given the unpredictable, but lethal American military reaction.
This is the same kind of thing we hear when we read that it was Reagan's plan all along to bankrupt the Soviet Union with a nuclear arms race, thus hastening the day when it would crumble like dust, vindicating all the insanity we had to put up with during the 1980's. In this case, the argument goes something like this: The invasion of Iraq may be a cock-up, but it was successful because we got (Libya/Iran/North Korea) to act in the way we wanted them to.
I have to wipe the coffee I just spit-taked all over my computer screen. These people have no shame. Then again, we all knew that, didn't we.