Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ya Don't Say

The eternal recurrence of the Bush administration:

U.N. inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran's capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest" and offering evidence to refute its central claims.

Officials of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency said in a letter that the report contained some "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements." The letter, signed by a senior director at the agency, was addressed to Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, which issued the report. A copy was hand-delivered to Gregory L. Schulte, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA in Vienna.

Wow. Who. Could. Have. Seen. That. Coming. Lest we all forget the respective track records here:

The IAEA openly clashed with the Bush administration on pre-war assessments of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Relations all but collapsed when the agency revealed that the White House had based some allegations about an Iraqi nuclear program on forged documents. [...]

"This is like prewar Iraq all over again," said David Albright, a former nuclear inspector who is president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. "You have an Iranian nuclear threat that is spun up, using bad information that's cherry-picked and a report that trashes the inspectors."

Meddlesome do-gooders that IAEA bunch. And sweet jeebus, they're not even changing the actors in the lead roles:

The committee report, written by a single Republican staffer with a hard-line position on Iran, chastised the CIA and other agencies for not providing evidence to back assertions that Iran is building nuclear weapons.

The report's author, Fredrick Fleitz, is a onetime CIA officer and special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration's former point man on Iran at the State Department.

Jonathan Schwarz and Kevin Drum have more, but Matt really brings it on home:

Think about that for a while. And also think about the quality -- intellectual and moral -- of the men and women who would look at the past several years of American and world history and decide that an outrageous and dishonest report on Iranian nuclear capacities was exactly the sort of thing the US congress should spend its time working on. Simply put, there's a miasma of insanity, dishonesty, and hubris floating around the circles they operate in that makes them grossly unfit to govern.

Speaking of which:

Hoekstra's committee is working on a separate report about North Korea that is also being written principally by Fleitz. A draft of the report, provided to The Post, includes several assertions about North Korea's weapons program that the intelligence officials said they cannot substantiate, including one that Pyongyang is already enriching uranium.

I can hardly wait.

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