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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 Dec. 6, 2007 / 26 Kislev 5768

If NIE is true, the evidence would have to be awfully good. And evidence of that quality has been in famously short supply

By Michael Ledeen

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Those lively minds over at the (always capitalized) Intelligence Community have given us yet another of their entertaining Estimates, this time about the Iranian nuclear-weapons program. You know, the one the Iranians stoutly deny exists, the one they refuse to let inspectors examine, and the one they sometimes acknowledge when on or another of their leaders has a slip of the tongue. They now favor us with slightly more than two pages of "Key Judgments" on this important subject.


Two years ago, the IC — the same IC that claimed to have detailed information about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, that famously missed the boat on al-Qaeda, and that has had at least two spy networks inside Iran rolled up in the past couple of decades — told us it was all but certain that Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons."


Tuesday it reversed field. It said that in fact, two years before the 2005 report, the Iranians had "halted its (covert) nuclear weapons program," and that the "halt lasted at least several years" and (although the IC is less certain about this) is still in force. There is some disagreement within the IC on this point, however. The Energy Department and the National Intelligence Council apparently agree that something was stopped, but have at least some doubt as to whether the "halt" encompasses Iran's "entire nuclear weapons program."


In short, some IC analysts think there is no covert nuclear-arms program at all, while others aren't so sure. In a moment of candor at a briefing Monday, these gentlemen stressed that Iran has a "latent goal" to develop a nuclear weapon, that "gaps remain" in our information, and that Iran is "probably the hardest intelligence target there is." And they warn us, in one of their Key Judgments, that the odds are that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Parse this: "only an Iranian political decision to abandon a nuclear weapons objective would plausibly keep Iran from eventually producing nuclear weapons — and such a decision is inherently reversible." This seems to imply that the "halt" was a tactical move, not a strategic decision.


You certainly can't criticize them for failing to cover their derrieres.


Nonetheless, despite the "gaps in intelligence," and despite the Islamic Republic's well-earned reputation for being one of the most deceptive on earth, the IC goes right ahead and predicts that Iran is quite a long way away from being able to field nukes. The earliest possible — albeit "highly unlikely" — date at which Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon is late 2009, but it's more reasonable to look to the 2010-2015 timeframe. Interestingly enough, this pretty much corresponds to their 2005 forecast, when they said that if Iran's technical progress increased, they might have enough weapons-grade uranium "by the end of this decade." And the IC stresses that Iran has "the scientific, technical and industrial capacity...to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.


All this deals with the Iranians' ability to enrich uranium on their own. Of course, they could have obtained some from abroad, and the IC admits that they cannot rule out the possibility that Iran has obtained an actual weapon "or enough fissile material for a weapon."


More derriere protection. And there is still more. After all, the Iranians excel at deception, and we've been fooled about the nuclear programs of countries from the Soviet Union to India and Pakistan. Maybe we've been fooled again. The IC doesn't think so, although, in its usual "on the one hand yes, on the other hand maybe" routine, the officials responded to the question in yesterday's press briefing by reassuring the press that "We gamed more than half a dozen such scenarios," ...But the analysts reached the conclusion such a scenario was "plausible but not likely."


Tom Joscelyn has wisely warned us to be skeptical about anything that comes from the IC, and he rightly asks about the sources for the new conclusion. There is no point guessing about this, and without such knowledge it's very difficult to assess the quality of the analysis. But whatever the spooks think they know has to be evaluated in the light of common sense, the views of other countries, and the history of nuclear proliferation. WMD programs are easier to hide than one imagines. After the First Gulf War we were astonished to discover how far Saddam's Iraq had advanced, for example. To claim we "know" that Iran no longer has a covert nuclear-weapons program is quite a statement. (Remember how we used to say that you can't prove a negative? The IC seems to know better.)


Moreover, there's the old smell test. We went from zero to bomb in four years leading up to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at a time when nobody even knew if the thing was doable. On the IC's account, the Iranians have been at this since "at least the late 1980's." (I actually think it didn't get into gear until 1991, but let's not quibble.) During that time, almost everything was for sale (and Iran has lots of money), A.Q. Khan was running his bazaar, Soviet nuclear physicists were hired by Tehran, and the Iranians themselves are very smart. Is it likely, that Iran hasn't been able to build nukes in two decades? No way.


If this NIE is true, the evidence would have to be awfully good. And evidence of that quality has been in famously short supply. These are the same guys who have been telling us for years that Sunnis and Shiites can't work together, when they should have known that Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Shiites) were trained in the early 1970s by Yasser Arafat's al Fatah (Sunnis).


Color me an unbeliever.

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

JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of, most recently, ""The War Against the Terror Masters," Comment by clicking here.

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