In Replay of Iraq, Battle Brews Over Intelligence
In a Replay of Iraq, a Battle Is
Brewing Over Intelligence on Iran
By Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott
Friday 15 September 2006
Washington - In an echo of the intelligence wars that preceded the US invasion of Iraq, a high-stakes struggle is brewing within the Bush administration and in Congress over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program and involvement in terrorism.
US intelligence and counterterrorism officials say Bush political appointees and hard-liners on Capitol Hill have tried recently to portray Iran's nuclear program as more advanced than it is and to exaggerate Tehran's role in Hezbollah's attack on Israel in mid-July.
The struggle's outcome could have profound implications for US policy.
President Bush, who addresses the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, has said he prefers diplomacy to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but he hasn't ruled out using military force.
Several former US defense officials who maintain close ties to the Pentagon say they've been told that plans for airstrikes - if Bush deems them necessary - are being updated.