Iran: Slam Dunk Intelligence

Back during the march towards the invasion of Iraq, George Tenet famously characterized the WMD case against Iraq as a “Slam Dunk.”

Today, it seems like 2002 all over again, with George Bush claiming the Iranian government is building bombs for insurgents.

Mr. Bush said it had been established beyond a doubt that a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps known as the Quds Force is supplying Shiite groups inside Iraq with particularly deadly, Iranian-designed weapons known as explosively formed penetrators, or E.F.P.s.

The president brushed off a suggestion that there is a disagreement within the American military about the role of the Quds Forces, as evidenced by recent statements by Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said he was not ready to conclude that the top Iranian leadership was behind the attacks.

“There’s no contradiction,” Mr. Bush told a questioner today. “I can’t say it more plainly.”

Mr. Bush rejected the idea that the intelligence about the Quds Forces might be no more reliable than that about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, which turned out not to exist.
“I can say with certainty that the Quds Force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated I.E.D.’s that have harmed our troops,” he said, using shorthand for improvised explosive devices.

“I intend to do something about it,” Mr. Bush said, alluding to the armor-piercing weapons. He also said, as he has repeatedly, that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons would be a peril to world peace, although he steered wide of any suggestion that the United States might wage war against Iran.