Friday, February 24, 2012

Iranian Scientists’ Goals Should Be No Secret


Iranian Scientists’ Goals Should Be No Secret

There’s a school of foreign policy thought predominant in the United States which teaches officials to ignore rhetoric. This would be a mistake, one which should have been corrected after the George H.W. Bush administration and the State Department largely ignored Saddam Hussein’s threats against Kuwait, only to learn that the dictator actually meant what he said.
In government and intelligence circles, there is a persistent problem in which people cleared to read high level intelligence spend disproportionate time leafing through intercepts to the exclusion of the open-source material—newspapers and television transcripts—for which everyone is cleared. Intelligence is 90 percent open source, so to focus on the ten percent to the exclusion of the rest gives a skewed perspective. It is time the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency realize that when the Iranian regime says something in Persian, it might mean it, even if no one is around to translate it into English and even if it was only said in a national newspaper rather than a hurried cell phone call.
Ignoring rhetoric because they come through unclassified media is intelligence incompetence, but dismissing what the Iranians say becomes policy malpractice of the highest order.
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/02/24/iranian-nuclear-scientists-goals-secret/