Loose Cannons

Issue 

Opinion not intelligence-based

"The NIE doesn't do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world — quite the contrary." — Emperor George Bush II, December 4, commenting on the release of a new National Intelligence Estimate by 16 US intelligence agencies that concluded Iran has not had an active nuclear weapons program since 2003.

The power behind the throne

"The NIE apparently came as a surprise to President Bush, who insisted at a news conference the next day that 'I was made aware of the NIE last week'... However ... veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who has been writing about it since November 2006, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he believes the White House deliberately kept the NIE bottled up for over a year because the vice president [Dick Cheney] was dissatisfied with its conclusions." — CNN, December 5.

Gotta stop 'em doin' what they're not doin'

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won support from European allies Thursday for new UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program." — Associated Press, December 6.