Sunday, December 30, 2007

Benazir Bhutto's Path to Martyrdom

Born on June 21, 1953 into a wealthy political family, Benazir Bhutto was the firstborn of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Zulfikar Bhutto founded the Pakistan's Peoples Party and rose to prominence leading Pakistan to become the first Muslim nation with nuclear capabilities

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An Atheist In The Woods

Posted By Tony Vega, author unknown.

An atheist was walking through the woods. "What majestic trees"! "What powerful rivers"! "What beautiful animals"! He said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!" Time Stopped.The bear froze.The forest was silent.As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"? The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian"?"Very Well," said the voice. The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Norovirus Outbreak

On December, 19, 2007, Rudolph Giuliani the Republican presidential candidate spent a night in a Missouri hospital after suffering from flu-like symptoms.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007


If you've ever wondered why terrorists get only 72 virgins, or what life is like inside a cave, al Qaeda has opened the floor to questions.

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Congress Knocks Down Border Security Fence

The Security Fence act of 2006, or more aptly titled The Insincere Fence Act of 2006, promised American citizens an 854-mile double layered barrier spanning across the U.S. and Mexico border.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Celebrate Christmas

By Tony Vega for
December 17, 2007

There are times when I find the commercial start of the Christmas season annoying and burdensome. Many times I have found myself saying, out of frustration, "I can’t stand this holiday." Why? Because of the burden of purchasing gifts, dealing with the crowds, and of course the never ending in your face postings (advertisements) cajoling you to purchase.

Those sentiments, however, are not reflective of the spirit of Christmas.

The commercial aspect, the telemarketers, merchants, and the rest of those exploiting the holiday for commercial gain should draw our ire, not the meaning of Christmas.

As I return from another Christmas party transformed into a “Holiday Party” I reflect on Christmas and wonder about its place in American culture.

In 2006, the Catholic League from New York provided some very interesting data. It was revealed that the United States is 85 percent Christian, which means the U.S. is more Christian than India is Hindu and Israel is Jewish.

Can you imagine traveling to India or Israel and complaining about their religious observations? I didn’t think so. That was a pretty safe proposition. How about traveling to an Islamic nation to criticize their religious observations? I really didn’t think so, unless you want to put your neck on the line-literally.

The attack on Christmas occurs when the secular-progressive(S-P) crowd starts demanding the castration of Christmas. The S-P’s scoff at the notion of a war being fought against Christmas. I can understand that because of the limited numbers of the secular movement-it is tantamount to bringing a rock to a gun fight. The S-P crowd does, however, have power tools as secret weapons. These tools are in the form of the ACLU and media giants like the NY Times. The ACLU is greased by the rich and powerful anti-American George Soros, and when he starts scratching in his multibillion dollar check book, the elite left listens. When that power tool fires up the machine the noise is heard loud and clear. The S-P crowd has a voice. The ACLU has leveled a few court battles against some small school boards in a continuing attempt at revising American traditions and has lost many of these proceedings. The point, however, is quite sharp. Christmas seasons arrive with the threat of more costly court battles that these small towns can’t afford. The various school super intendants and town leaders quake in their boots and “Silent Night” is silenced, Christmas trees are brought to the mill, and Baby Jesus is spirited away.

Let a menorah be a menorah, let a Christmas tree be a Christmas tree, let a zulfiqar(sword of Ali) be a zulfiqar.

The Catholic League brought out a good point regarding exclusion; “Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Black History Month, Gay Pride Parades-they all exclude someone.”

I believe we are strong enough to handle the spirit of all these observations.

America was founded with Judeo-Christian philosophies. Christmas is a large part of an American tradition, with a majority of Americans embracing the holiday.

Why should we pander to these secular groups?

Are we going to allow these culture-arsonists to destroy American tradition and intimidate us away from such a cherished celebration?

Hey, I'm not being overly religious here, but I see nothing wrong with the country I live in embracing a holiday that I happen to believe in. And if I did not believe in it, I certainly can appreciate the liberty of the majority to celebrate en masse in this wonderful land of Freedom.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

President Bush Pardons Drug Dealers and Car Thieves

By Tony Vega for
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On Tuesday, December 11, 2007, President Bush granted 29 pardons that included carjackers, drug dealers, a moonshiner and a violator of election laws. It was rumored that he was going to pardon Cheney pal I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby the former top aide who was convicted in the case of the leaked identity of a CIA operative. The full pardon for Libby would have been gravy; he already had his two ½-year sentence commuted by Bush over the summer. So much for the “rule of law.”

There are two American heroes, ladies and gentlemen, that sit in prison for securing our borders in Texas, Bush’s hometown, and protecting the sovereignty of our nation from Mexican drug invaders. It is painful to witness this president pardon Thanksgiving turkeys, drug runners, and car thieves. The president refuses to entertain the notion of pardons for former Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean, because as the president puts it his “dear friend” Johnny Sutton is a fair guy. This is where justice gets hijacked, folks. You see, Johnny Sutton a Bush appointee is the West Texas U.S. General Attorney, the top lawman in Texas. Sutton has in the past sent Texas law enforcers to prison for their roles in immigration enforcement. Apparently, the message to the lawmen out there is enforce our immigration laws at your own peril. Discouraging the border agents from enforcing our immigration laws creates in essence de facto amnesty.

Sutton will tell you it’s a matter of upholding the “rule of law.” I think most people can accept that. I certainly can. The only problem with these high level Texans is that they are full of horse crap. Sutton’s rule of law justified his office to suppress information regarding a drug runner that testified against the two agents. His rule of law allowed this same drug runner to continue dealing drugs from Mexico to the U.S., and commit perjury. Sutton’s Mexican drug dealer committed crimes that were not covered under his initial immunity deal. Some of those crimes were dealing drugs, perjury, and obstructing justice (lying to federal authorities). The “rule of law” should have prompted an investigation. Nope, not by Sutton. It took other federal agencies to arrest Sutton’s drug dealer for crimes that were being shielded by Sutton.

Sutton creatively managed to secure prison terms of 11 and 12 years for Ramos and Compean respectively, for enforcing our immigration laws. While that travesty took place, let’s take a quick look at a 2005 case involving a corrupt Border Patrol Agent for breaking our immigration laws while in San Diego.

The defendant Ortiz, a criminal illegal Mexican alien duped the U.S. Border Patrol into hiring him. Ortiz once legally armed with a gun and shield continued to smuggle people and drugs into the U.S. He was discovered, subsequently arrested and convicted of the following charges:

Case Number: 05CR1436-JAH
Defendant Oscar Antonio Ortiz
False Claim to U.S. Citizenship - Title 18, U.S.C., Section 911
Conspiracy to Bring in Aliens - Title 8, U.S.C., Sections 1324(a) (1) (A) (I) and (v) (1)
False Statement in the Acquisition of a Firearm - Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 922(a) (6) and 924(a) (2)
Illegal Alien in Possession of a Firearm - Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 922(g) (5) (A) and 924(a) (2).

Defendant Ortiz received a five-year prison sentence.

With in the scope of Sutton’s rule of law, Agents Ramos and Compean received 11 and 12 years in jail for enforcing the law!
As a result of the president’s cronyism and support of de facto amnesty, there is no pardon forthcoming for Agents Ramos and Compean.

Pardons are an end-of-the-year presidential tradition, and Mr. Bush was not expected to issue any more this year.

The presidential pardon list was issued by the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Justice Department (Justice Department -what an oxymoron term that is becoming).
The criteria for Bush to examine prior to granting a pardon are the following:

1. The seriousness of the crime

2. How long ago it was committed

3. The acceptance of responsibility and showing of remorse

4. Post-conviction conduct and contributions to society

5. Any specific compelling need for relief

6. Official recommendations, including from the sentencing judge, the probation officer and the federal prosecutor.

Since President Bush apparently is confusing the seriousness of drug dealing and enforcing our immigration laws a pardon will not be forthcoming for the two agents.

Interestingly on the same day as the presidential pardons and on an unrelated topic Mr. Bush granted a very candid interview with ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz. During this Interview, Mr. Bush talked about overcoming his alcohol addition saying he hasn’t had a drink in over 20 years.

It was rare that the president discussed his addiction so candidly. Perhaps pardoning all of those drug dealers made him nostalgic.

Agents Ramos and Compean's appeal is grinding through the process, with a hopeful hearing that commenced on December 03, 2007.

Please take a moment to contact the White House and express your
outrage over this obvious Presidential oversight!

White House Comments Line: 202-456-1111
White House Fax: 202-456-2461
Email the White House:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shock and Awe: We Are Winning!

BY Andrew G. Benjamin

Note the date, March 2007. Note the publication. NY Post (a Murdoch/FOX publication.) Note what Murtha, Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy and the others of their opportunistic and disingenuous ilk have said since. Note what ideas and info The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, TIME, Newsweek, CBS, NBC, ABC have pounded into the minds, nay, "pushed" (that is the correct word) on its American voters, readers and listeners. Note the author, a combatant in Iraq.

Note the next author, a recognized award-winning military historian.

And the next, Ralph Peters, former intel officer interviewed on FOX (no, not on CBS 60 Minutes -- which is, of course, far more "Fair and Balanced", sort of like Dan Rather. They, CBS that is, forgot to mention that Rather is unbalanced in the head.)

And now, John Murtha, that phony fat slob. Remember his condemnation and indictment of our troops, some of whom got killed -- and subsequently cleared of ALL charges? And when confronted by the evidence that he was bloviating as usual, shall we say prematurely, he told the reporter to get lost?

MURTHA: "The Surge is Working."
For the Democrats, the bad news never stops. They hoodwinked the voters and the world. Their comeuppance is just around the corner. And if not soone enough...eventually.

I remind them of Ronald Reagan's reply before he ran for president when asked about how he'll handle the issues of the Cold War:

"We win; They lose."

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Remember Pearl Harbor The Day of Infamy

Forget at our Peril

By Tony Vega for
Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sixty-six years ago on December 08, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his famous speech, in regards to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

December 8, 1941
To the Congress of the United States:
Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

The above is an excerpt of FDR’s speech. History is usually interesting and always relevant. The importance of remembering such events is so we don’t allow America to fall asleep again. It is easy to attack a sleeping giant, and Americans forget very quickly. The attacks on September 11, 2001 (9/11) are a glaring example of this intentional forgetfulness. Denial and conspiracy theories are not a new phenomenon born from the terror attacks on 9/11. There was widespread conspiracy theories advanced shortly after the Japanese attacked the U.S. and many of those theories are still entertained today, I’m sure sixty-six years from now the same will still hold true. The attack on a civilian target on 9/11 caused more casualties than the attack on Pearl Harbor. At our peril, we forget the lessons that history holds.

The reliability of our national intelligence capabilities is understandably questioned. Logic and evidence, however, should not be ignored. The results of numerous world intelligence reports regarding Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was relied upon as a precursor to the war against Iraq. The failure to recover WMD’s post or pre invasion caused the consternation of many, to say the least. What was forgotten was the ridicule Hans Blix the UN weapon’s inspector suffered, first at the hands of Baghdad with the consistent cat and mouse games employed by the Saddam Hussein regime and then at the UN when he reported the discovery of suspicious equipment and/or activity. It was apparent that it was politically expedient for the inspector and his team to come up empty handed. What was forgotten or ignored by many were the threats by Saddam, the prior use of WMD’s, the aid and succor provided to terror groups. We failed to recognize the threat by the Saddam Regime.

Today, we have a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced by the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC). The latest NIE CYA (cover your posterior) report on Iran reveals that Iran stopped its nuclear endeavors in 2003. I do not doubt this report, just the significance and the political intent. The Irony of the report indicates that President Bush was correct in assessing Iran’s nuke race in 2003. Recently, Hillary Clinton found the courage or political savvy to join President Bush and V.P. Cheney in declaring the Iran Guard a terror outfit.

The NIE is a CYA report due in part to the following excerpt gleaned from sections of the actual report available to the public, and can be found here in its entirety for your perusal: NIE Report.

An excerpt:
This NIE does not assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons. Rather, it examines the intelligence to assess Iran’s capability and intent (or lack thereof) to acquire nuclear weapons, taking full account of Iran’s dual-use uranium fuel cycle and those nuclear activities that are at least partly civil in nature.

This Estimate does not assess how Iran may conduct future negotiations with the West on the nuclear issue [end]. The bold emphasis from original NIE report.

Interestingly, what is consistently ignored is Iran’s desire to “wipe Israel off the map”, remain an enemy of America, and defy UN resolutions in the pursuit of uranium enrichment. The CYA aspect of the report is clear. If Iran does develop nuclear weapons, the NIC can point to its plausible deniability and if Iran does not continue to develop, the NIC can say, “I told you so”

The basic layperson on national intelligence matters can easily grasp the concept of intelligence not being an exact science and will have the luxury of flexibility. With that said, it should be obvious that we need to rely on the totality of evidence at hand. This includes the enemy’s rhetoric, and historical occurrences. History is always relevant. Again, I do not doubt the veracity of the NIE. This layperson made similar estimates as to Iran’s nuclear acquisition in “Our Withdrawal Implications” article previously submitted. That estimate was derived from a simple check with a private intelligence firm. What this writer won’t do is dismiss threats made by foreign leaders or forget history. Knowledge is power. If we continue to bury our heads in the sand regarding our enemies we may soon find the same removed from its host.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto had lived in the United States, studied at the U.S. War College and at Harvard University, and had served as a naval attaché in Washington, D.C.. Twenty years after his studies in the U.S. Yamamoto planned and executed the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 07, 1941.

Will America show her enemies that we are unwilling to fight for our way of life and that we will continue to bury our heads in the sand regarding the very real threats facing this nation?

I dare say, at the risk of being labeled a jingo, that America despite her internal detractors and revisionists will remain a vanguard for Freedom. In the true spirit of Americanism, we will fight for our way of life by any means necessary and put up with the apologists for our enemies. This is what our present day enemies such as Islamic jihadists, to their peril, do not realize. Freedom will be our salvation.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

NIE Report on Iran 2007

Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities
November 2007

The Director of National Intelligence serves as the head of the Intelligence Community(IC), overseeing and directing the implementation of the National Intelligence Program and acting as the principal advisor to the President, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is charged with:
• Integrating the domestic and foreign dimensions of US intelligence so that there are no gaps in our understanding of threats to our national security;
• Bringing more depth and accuracy to intelligence analysis; and
• Ensuring that US intelligence resources generate future capabilities as well as present results.

Since its formation in 1973, the National Intelligence Council(NIC)has served as a bridge between the intelligence and policy communities, a source of deep substantive expertise on critical national security issues, and as a focal point for Intelligence Community collaboration.
The NIC's key goal is to provide policymakers with the best, unvarnished, and unbiased information—regardless of whether analytic judgments conform to US policy. Its primary functions are to:
• Support the DNI in his role as Principal Intelligence Advisor to the President and other senior policymakers.
• Lead the Intelligence Community's effort to produce National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) and other NIC products that address key national security concerns.
• Provide a focal point for policymakers, warfighters, and Congressional leaders to task the Intelligence Community for answers to important questions.
• Reach out to nongovernment experts in academia and the private sector—and use alternative analyses and new analytic tools—to broaden and deepen the Intelligence Community's perspective.

National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are the Intelligence Community’s (IC) most authoritative written judgments on national security issues and designed to help US civilian and military leaders develop policies to protect US national security interests. NIEs usually provide information on the current state of play but are primarily “estimative”—that is, they make judgments about the likely course of future events and identify the implications for US policy.

The NIEs are typically requested by senior civilian and military policymakers, Congressional leaders and at times are initiated by the National Intelligence Council (NIC). Before a NIE is drafted, the relevant NIO is responsible for producing a concept paper or terms of reference (TOR) and circulates it throughout the Intelligence Community for comment. The TOR defines the key estimative questions, determines drafting responsibilities, and sets the drafting and publication schedule. One or more IC analysts are usually assigned to produce the initial text. The NIC then meets to critique the draft before it is circulated to the broader IC. Representatives from the relevant IC agencies meet to hone and coordinate line-by-line the full text of the NIE. Working with their Agencies, reps also assign the level of confidence they have in each key judgment. IC reps discuss the quality of sources with collectors, and the National Clandestine Service vets the sources used to ensure the draft does not include any that have been recalled or otherwise seriously questioned.

All NIEs are reviewed by National Intelligence Board, which is chaired by the DNI and is composed of the heads of relevant IC agencies. Once approved by the NIB, NIEs are briefed to the President and senior policymakers. The whole process of producing NIEs normally takes at least several months.

The NIC has undertaken a number of steps to improve the NIE process under the DNI. These steps are in accordance with the goals and recommendations set out in the SSCI and WMD Commission reports and the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Prevention of Terrorism Act. Most notably, over the last year and a half, the IC has:
• Created new procedures to integrate formal reviews of source reporting and technical judgments. The Directors of the National Clandestine Service, NSA, NGA, and DIA and the Assistant Secretary/INR are now required to submit formal assessments that highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and overall credibility of their sources used in developing the critical judgments of the NIE.
• Applied more rigorous standards. A textbox is incorporated into all NIEs that explains what we mean by such terms as “we judge” and that clarifies the difference between judgments of likelihood and confidence levels. We have made a concerted effort to not only highlight differences among agencies but to explain the reasons for such differences and to prominently display them in the Key Judgments.

Scope Note
This National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assesses the status of Iran’s nuclear program, and the program’s outlook over the next 10 years. This time frame is more appropriate for estimating capabilities than intentions and foreign reactions, which are more difficult to estimate over a decade. In presenting the Intelligence Community’s assessment of Iranian nuclear intentions and capabilities, the NIE thoroughly reviews all available information on these questions, examines the range of reasonable scenarios consistent with this information, and describes the key factors we judge would drive or impede nuclear progress in Iran. This NIE is an extensive reexamination of the issues in the May 2005 assessment.

This Estimate focuses on the following key questions:
• What are Iran’s intentions toward developing nuclear weapons?
• What domestic factors affect Iran’s decisionmaking on whether to develop nuclear weapons?
• What external factors affect Iran’s decisionmaking on whether to develop nuclear weapons?
• What is the range of potential Iranian actions concerning the development of nuclear weapons, and the decisive factors that would lead Iran to choose one course of action over another?
• What is Iran’s current and projected capability to develop nuclear weapons? What are our key assumptions, and Iran’s key chokepoints/vulnerabilities?

This NIE does not assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons. Rather, it examines the intelligence to assess Iran’s capability and intent (or lack thereof) to acquire nuclear weapons, taking full account of Iran’s dual-use uranium fuel cycle and those nuclear activities that are at least partly civil in nature.

This Estimate does assume that the strategic goals and basic structure of Iran’s senior leadership and government will remain similar to those that have endured since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. We acknowledge the potential for these to change during the time frame of the Estimate, but are unable to confidently predict such changes or their implications. This Estimate does not assess how Iran may conduct future negotiations with the West on the nuclear issue. This Estimate incorporates intelligence reporting available as of 31 October 2007.

What We Mean When We Say: An Explanation of Estimative Language We use phrases such as we judge, we assess, and we estimate—and probabilistic terms such as probably and likely—to convey analytical assessments and judgments. Such statements are not facts, proof, or knowledge. These assessments and judgments generally are based on collected information, which often is incomplete or fragmentary. Some assessments are built on previous judgments. In all cases, assessments and judgments are not intended to imply that we have “proof” that shows something to be a fact or that definitively links two items or issues. In addition to conveying judgments rather than certainty, our estimative language also often conveys 1) our assessed likelihood or probability of an event; and 2) the level of confidence we ascribe to the judgment.

Because analytical judgments are not certain, we use probabilistic language to reflect the Community’s estimates of the likelihood of developments or events. Terms such as probably, likely, very likely, or almost certainly indicate a greater than even chance. The terms unlikely and remote indicate a less then even chance that an event will occur; they do not imply that an event will not occur. Terms such as might or may reflect situations in which we are unable to assess the likelihood, generally because relevant information is unavailable, sketchy, or fragmented. Terms such as we cannot dismiss, we cannot rule out, or we cannot discount reflect an unlikely, improbable, or remote event whose consequences are such that it warrants mentioning.

Our assessments and estimates are supported by information that varies in scope, quality and sourcing. Consequently, we ascribe high, moderate, or low levels of confidence to our assessments, as follows:
• High confidence generally indicates that our judgments are based on high-quality information, and/or that the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment. A “high confidence” judgment is not a fact or a certainty, however, and such judgments still carry a risk of being wrong.
• Moderate confidence generally means that the information is credibly sourced and plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence.
• Low confidence generally means that the information’s credibility and/or plausibility is questionable, or that the information is too fragmented or poorly corroborated to make solid analytic inferences, or that we have significant concerns or problems with the sources.

Key Judgments
A. We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program 1we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons. We judge with high confidence that the halt, and Tehran’s announcement of its decision to suspend its declared uranium enrichment program and sign an Additional Protocol to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure resulting from exposure of Iran’s previously undeclared nuclear work.
• We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.
• We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years. (Because of intelligence gaps discussed elsewhere in this Estimate, however, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons program.)
• We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.
• We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.
• Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.

B. We continue to assess with low confidence that Iran probably has imported at least some weapons-usable fissile material, but still judge with moderate-to-high confidence it has not obtained enough for a nuclear weapon. We cannot rule out that Iran has acquired from abroad—or will acquire in the future—a nuclear weapon or enough fissile material for a weapon. Barring such acquisitions, if Iran wants to have nuclear weapons it would need to produce sufficient amounts of fissile material indigenously—which we judge with high confidence it has not yet done.

C. We assess centrifuge enrichment is how Iran probably could first produce enough fissile material for a weapon, if it decides to do so. Iran resumed its declared centrifuge 1 For the purposes of this Estimate, by “nuclear weapons program” we mean Iran’s nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work; we do not mean Iran’s declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment. enrichment activities in January 2006, despite the continued halt in the nuclear weapons program. Iran made significant progress in 2007 installing centrifuges at Natanz, but we judge with moderate confidence it still faces significant technical problems operating them.
• We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely.
• We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame. (INR judges Iran is unlikely to achieve this capability before 2013 because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems.) All agencies recognize the possibility that this capability may not be attained until after 2015.

D. Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so. For example, Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing. We also assess with high confidence that since fall 2003, Iran has been conducting research and development projects with commercial and conventional military applications—some of which would also be of limited use for nuclear weapons.

E. We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its options, or whether it will or already has set specific deadlines or criteria that will prompt it to restart the program.
• Our assessment that Iran halted the program in 2003 primarily in response to international pressure indicates Tehran’s decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic, and military costs. This, in turn, suggests that some combination of threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in other ways, might—if perceived by Iran’s leaders as credible—prompt Tehran to extend the current halt to its nuclear weapons program. It is difficult to specify what such a combination might be.
• We assess with moderate confidence that convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult given the linkage many within the leadership probably see between nuclear weapons development and Iran’s key national security and foreign policy objectives, and given Iran’s considerable effort from at least the late 1980s to 2003 to develop such weapons. In our judgment, only an Iranian political decision to abandon a nuclear weapons objective would plausibly keep Iran from eventually producing nuclear weapons—and such a decision is inherently reversible.

F. We assess with moderate confidence that Iran probably would use covert facilities—rather than its declared nuclear sites—for the production of highly enriched uranium for a weapon. A growing amount of intelligence indicates Iran was engaged in covert uranium conversion and uranium enrichment activity, but we judge that these efforts probably were halted in response to the fall 2003 halt, and that these efforts probably had not been restarted through at least mid-2007.

G. We judge with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015.

H. We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.

Key Differences Between the Key Judgments of This Estimate on Iran’s Nuclear
Program and the May 2005 Assessment can be found by reviewing the chart on the NIC website:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Agents Ramos and Compean’s Appeal is Heard

By Tony Vega
Monday, December 03, 2007

Today, December 03, 2007 the appeal for former U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean was scheduled to be heard at 9:00 am at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The encouraging news is that Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of three Appellate judges stated that federal prosecutors "may have overreacted in their case against" Ramos and Compean. Jolly questioned Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Steimach saying, "It does seem to me that the government overreacted here."

To the casual observer these agents should have never been arrested in the first place. The Western Texas U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton apparently engaged in some very questionable practices in bringing forth the prosecution. Sutton’s team heavily relied on procedural violations by the agents after the attempted arrest and shooting of the drug smuggler, illegal criminal alien Osvaldo Alrete-Davila. There is precedent, namely United States v. Christo, in which the court held that criminal convictions based upon civil violations constituted plain error. Due process will be challenged. There are other nefarious actions by Sutton and his office, such as withholding details that would have shown Davila was not an innocent migrant humbly trying to enter the U.S. to better his life.

Investigators came into contact with Davila after a phone call generated by his mother to a long time family friend. This friend is the mother-in-law to a questionable Border Agent in Arizona. This agent Rene Sanchez grew up with the drug dealer and remained a contact for him. After the February incident in Texas involving Ramos and Compean, the Arizona agent Sanchez made numerous inquiries about the incident to the Texas station, including computer queries, to yet another agent by the name of Blanchett. Sanchez even went so far as to give agent Blanchett times of future illegal border crossing in his area. Why, did he pass this info on? How did Sanchez get this inside information into the illegalities of smugglers? These questions were never answered because U.S. attorneys refused to put agent Blanchett on the stand and successfully prevented the defense from calling him as a witness. The web becomes more tangled.

U.S. attorney Johnny Sutton has claimed there was no evidence at the scene capable of identifying Davila as the perpetrator. An independent review of court testimony available to the public reveals that two agents testified that Davila’s cell phone was recovered from his van, the same van containing 743 lbs of marijuana. This was not a scant mention of a phone, but a detailed account of where the phone was recovered and codes in the phone, commonly used by drug dealers. Johnny Sutton gave Davila immunity, so testimony about the cell phone and drugs in essence was pointless. It did, however, reveal more of Sutton’s deceptive ways and the need for a special prosecutor to look into this mess.

Agents Ramos and Compean could not catch a break; it seems they were caught up in a perfect storm of prosecutorial and investigative malfeasance. High level investigators from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was lying about Ramos and Compean when they reported the agents were “rouge agents looking to shoot a Mexican”, so admitted DHS Inspector General Skinner. Congress is calling for the firing of these investigators. Meanwhile agents Ramos and Compean sit in prison. There is no indication when the Appellate decision will be rendered.

Steve Elliott, President of Alliance who has championed the cause of the two agents has requested the grassroots to respond-and keep respondinguntil this tragic wrong is righted and Ramos and Compean are freedto spend Christmas with their loved ones! Part of that effort is to blanket the nation with yellow ribbons for Ramos and Compean. After ordering yours, forward this message to your friends urging them to do the same by clicking here: