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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 25, 2008 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan 5769

Intelligence misestimates

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Thomas Fingar is leaving the building.


Tom Fingar's is not, of course, exactly a household name. Nor is the building he will depart a publicly recognized fixture in Washington's official real estate. Still, when the history of the Iranian nuclear threat - and all that flows from it - is written, his dismal tenure as deputy director for analysis in the Office of National Intelligence will figure prominently.


After all, at a critical moment in the Bush administration, as evidence mounted in late 2007 of the true and ominous nuclear weapons ambitions of an Iranian regime that professed an interest only in peaceful nuclear energy, Mr. Fingar was instrumental in producing one of history's most politicized and misleading National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs). The lead sentence of the summary of this document made the stunning statement that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.


The effect of such a declaration was as palpable as it was predictable. Critics of the Bush administration seized on the finding to demand an end to any forcible effort to prevent the mullahocracy in Tehran from continuing to use its "peaceful" nuclear program as a cover for obtaining the bomb. Allies who knew better and had been pressed to join Washington in preventing such an outcome were appalled and alienated. Our enemies in Iran around elsewhere around the world were emboldened.


Mr. Fingar's Iran NIE was of a piece with the bit of political theater that got him appointed in the first place by then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte as not only the deputy for analysis but also as head of the National Intelligence Council. At the time, Mr. Fingar was - like Mr. Negroponte - a State Department bureaucrat. He claimed, wrongly, that the State Department Bureau's of Intelligence and Research (INR) had, under his leadership, been the only intelligence agency to assess correctly the actual pre-invasion status of Saddam Hussein's various weapons of mass destruction programs.


In fact, in 2002 State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissented slightly from the intelligence communitywide consensus that Saddam continued to have WMD capabilities. INR chose only to demur on the otherwise-consensus judgment that the Iraqi despot had an active nuclear weapons program.


Mr. Fingar's INR expressed no disagreement, though, with respect to the view of the rest of the community (and indeed that of many foreign intelligence services) that "the Butcher of Baghdad" continued to possess chemical and biological arms. Neither did it object to the president's 2003 State of the Union address on the subject of the threat posed by Saddam's Iraq. Nor to the presentation then-Secretary of State Colin Powell made on the subject to the United Nations Security Council the following month.


The Fingar-promoted mime about INR's perspicacity fed into the vicious campaign to the effect that "Bush lied, people died." The failure of the administration to counter this malicious slander is now widely seen to have contributed materially to its diminished stature and dissipated credibility. The Bush team shares, moreover, in some of the blame for what Mr. Fingar subsequently did on Iran by acquiescing to the granting of so much authority over U.S. intelligence products to so political - and overtly hostile - an individual.


The problem was compounded by others Mr. Negroponte also brought in from State, notably his assigning of the appallingly inadequate former U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kenneth Brill, as director of the Counter-Proliferation Center and of Foggy Bottom "expert" Vann Van Diepen as the national intelligence officer for nonproliferation matters. Like Mr. Fingar, and many other State Department apparatchiks, they shared an unconcealed hostility toward Bush policies and a "see-no-evil" attitude toward proliferators that should have disqualified them from such appointments.


In briefings on the Iran NIE by Mr. Fingar and Mr. Van Diepen to legislators, it became evident that their much-publicized "summary" was calculated to serve a highly political agenda, namely, thwarting U.S. action to stop the Iranian nuclear program. As the sheer magnitude of the NIE's mistakes became obvious, the current director of national intelligence, Adm. Michael McConnell, and CIA Director Michael Hayden felt constrained a few months later to withdraw the NIE's statement that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.


There is no little irony in Thomas Fingar's parting gift to the nation, a just-released National Intelligence Estimate entitled Global Trends 2025. This paean to the post-America zeitgeist - featuring a world devastated by global warming and "the withering away of nation-states," including the United States - actually emphasizes the very threat Mr. Fingar's NIE on Iran tried to wish away: an escalating Mideast nuclear arms race and the prospect of rogue states' readiness to share such terrifying weapons with their terrorist proxies: "Over the next 15-20 years, reactions to the decisions Iran makes about its nuclear program could cause a number of regional states to intensify these efforts and consider actively pursuing nuclear weapons."


In his latest book titled "The Failure Factory," The Washington Times' national security correspondent Bill Gertz develops more fully the dangers associated with the likes of bureaucrats of Thomas Fingar's ilk advancing their own agenda at the expense of the national interest.


Will the Obama administration learn the appropriate lessons from such politicized intelligence misestimates, or compound them?


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.

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