The Washington Post is running today an “undisclosed sources” article designed to surface a supposedly new “National Intelligence Estimate” that says Iran is 10 years away from having an atomic bomb. Here we go again. The leftist mainstream media has launched its own pre-emptive attack against the Bush administration, hot on the case of making sure we don’t get tough with Iran.
Last month, I traveled to Israel where I addressed the Knesset about the nuclear weapons threat represented by Iran. I told the Knesset that Iran’s nuclear program was a “clear and present danger,” and I stressed that the time was short. Iran has everything it needs right now to build an atomic bomb.
While in Israel, I had discussions with intelligence officials in the Israeli Defense Forces and with the Ministry of Defense. These discussions confirmed my worst fears.
Israeli intelligence estimates are that once Iran begins enriching uranium again, the red flashing light should go off. Once the mullahs reach the “point of no return,” they can produce bombs on a constant basis – not just one or two, but a steady stream of atomic weapons.
The “point of no return” is defined as the moment when Iran has everything it needs to make a bomb, such that even a military attack couldn’t stop them. That point is imminent, here right now, not 10 years away.
The Iranian Shahab-3 missile is also ready to go, with tested solid-fuel capability that could reliably hit Tel Aviv with an atomic bomb any day now. Hezbollah sleeper cells are in place in American cities waiting for the delivery from Tehran of an improvised nuclear device. We do not have the luxury of 10 years to deal with this problem, despite what some disgruntled source within the U.S. intelligence establishment may want the Washington Post to think. The Atomic 9-11 plot is in full swing as you are reading these words. The attack could happen any day.
Israel does not want to attack Iran unilaterally, believing instead that the problem of controlling Iran is an international problem which should be taken on by the United States and Europe as well. The time for peaceful change to occur in Iran may have passed, simply because of our inability to act. The mullahs have put down recent protests with their typical brutality. The United States and the world stood by and watched. Now, the State Department is dragging its heels awarding the $3 million in grants supposedly available to support dissidents with Iran. John Kerry sympathizers within Foggy Bottom are winning the day once again.
What we have with the Washington Post article today is a replay of the “Where’s the Weapons of Mass Destruction” argument all over again. Washington Post staff writer Dafna Linzer wants to make sure she has launched the first salvo, charging that there’s no smoking gun in Iran either. This shot is taken just to make sure nobody in the Bush Administration thinks too seriously about keeping the military option on the table.
The extreme political left in the United States would like nothing better than an excuse to impeach George Bush, especially after his recess appointment of John Bolton to be our ambassador to the United Nations. The next political battleground is over Iran and the Democrats don’t intend to lose, even if America’s national security is put at risk. So, today the Washington Post launched the pre-emptive attack on Iran, but they focused the fire on the White House, not the mullahs.
How much more evidence to we need that Iran has an advanced secret weapons program? The mullahs have lied over and over again. They most likely stopped enriching uranium not because they wanted to give the negotiations with the EU-3 a fair chance, but because they had technical problems and stopping for a while was convenient. While the negotiations have dragged on since November, the mullahs have moved somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 highly advanced centrifuges into their underground facility at Natanz.
Now the mullahs want to take the seal off their uranium processing plant at Isfahan, so they can go back to “processing uranium.” The mullahs are clever in insisting that they don’t want to “enrich uranium,” they just want to “process uranium.” What’s the difference? Processing uranium is the first step to enriching uranium. At Isfahan, the mullahs take yellowcake uranium and turn it in to uranium hexafluoride gas. The uranium hexafluoride gas is then transported to Natanz where the advanced centrifuges turn the gas into weapons-grade uranium. The Islamic Republic of Iran, about to be led by the terror-supporting hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, may have found yet another loophole big enough to drive an ayatollah through.
In May, the mullahs admitted to enriching 37 tons of yellowcake uranium into UF-4. This quantity of uranium hexafluoride would yield more than 200 pounds of weapons-grade uranium, enough for five simple gun-type atomic bombs. The IAEA had to admit that somehow the inspectors missed this, yet again. Meanwhile, Iran continues to push for its right to “pursue the full fuel cycle” – code language for the right to enrich uranium to weapons-grade or near weapons-grade.
In writing “Atomic Iran,” I warned America that most of the technical problems involved with getting an improvised nuclear device into the United States will be solved if a rogue regime like Iran gets the ability to manufacture an atomic weapon. Iran does not need a full-scale manufacturing capability – one or two bombs will be sufficient. Terrorists do not stockpile weapons, they use them.
Do we have to see the mushroom cloud to understand that the mullahs are at war with us and Israel, a war they are secretly pursuing nuclear weapons to win? Unfortunately, probably yes. In “Atomic Iran,” I even presented the operational scenario where an improvised nuclear device made in Iran could be delivered to a major U.S. city and exploded. We were asleep when the 9-11 attack occurred. We are asleep again, refusing to realize that the day is here when an Atomic 9-11 will mean the destruction of Tel Aviv, or maybe New York City.
By the way, were any laws violated when the undisclosed sources provided the Washington Post information from classified intelligence reports? Did the Washington Post follow all applicable laws when investigating the story and reporting on it. If the leak had involved Karl Rove, you can be sure the Washington Post itself would be asking the questions.