Thursday, February 22, 2007
Blond, James Blond
If there weren't so many lives at stake, the whole US-Iran showdown would make for great comedy. Take this article in the Guardian describing how a lot of the intelligence the CIA has supplied to the IAEA to help it inspect Iran's nuclear facilities has turned out to be false. Like the list of sites that, when visited, showed no signs of banned nuclear-related activities. Or the laptop computer containing plans for a nuclear weapon, supposedly stolen by a CIA informant inside Iran. As an IAEA official put it:
"First of all, if you have a clandestine programme, you don't put it on laptops which can walk away," one official said. "The data is all in English which may be reasonable for some of the technical matters, but at some point you'd have thought there would be at least some notes in Farsi. So there is some doubt over the provenance of the computer."
But it's not just the Americans who come off looking like the Keystone Kops. The IAEA is still waiting for a satisfactory explanation for how and why Iran procured a 15-page document on how to manufacture hemispheres of enriched uranium, whose only known use is in nuclear warheads. A document that the Iranians apparently turned over to the IAEA by mistake along with a stack of other paperwork.
Pretty amateurish for the build up to a major regional conflagration, if you ask me.