Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

NYC indictment reveals Iranian nuclear plans

So much for the vaunted NIE assessment back in 2007 that Iran had suspended it's program. Manhattan's district attorney is about to present an indictment on a Chinese national who was helping Iran procure a necessary component for Iran's nuclear program: (HT to Captain Ed)

The Manhattan district attorney's office has smashed a sinister plot to smuggle nuclear weapons materials to Iran through unwitting New York banks, the Daily News has learned.

Officials plan to unseal a 118-count indictment Tuesday accusing a Chinese national of setting up a handful of fake companies to hide that he was selling millions of dollars in potential nuclear materials to Tehran.

"This case will cut off a major source of supply to Iran and it shows how they are going ahead full steam to get a nuclear bomb. Long-range missiles they pretty much have already," a law enforcement source close to the case said.

"We think it is one of the largest suppliers of weapons of mass destruction to Iran."

Experts say Iran, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appears close to amassing enough nuclear material to make an atom bomb. A United Nations embargo bans Iran from acquiring the high-tech metals needed to make a long-range nuclear weapon a reality.

The indictment will outline the financial conspiracy behind 58 different transactions, including shipments of various banned materials from China to Iran between 2006 and late 2008.

Among them:

-- 33,000 pounds of a specialized aluminum alloy used almost exclusively in long-range missile production.

-- 66,000 pounds of tungsten copper plate, which is used in missile guidance systems.

-- 53,900 pounds of maraging steel rods, a superhard metal used in uranium enrichment and to make the casings for nuclear bombs.

The recipient is believed to have been a subsidiary of the Iranian Defense Ministry.

The suspect, who is not believed to be in the U.S., set up four bogus import-export companies that did business with six Iranian shell firms, one source said.

"They took elaborate steps to conceal the identity of the shipper and the recipient," the source said.

This doesn't bode well for Iran, the Chinese guy involved, or the New York banks involved. Worse yet, it shines a light on the intelligence gathering operations of the CIA, who assisted in authoring the 2007 NIE. Someone clearly dropped the ball, and heads should roll over this. Our intelligence services are supposed to get their information as accurate as possible to ensure the safety of the nation. Clearly, this didn't happen here. Worse, it likely gave Iran precious time to continue their program as the world breathed a foolish sense of relief on the heels of that intelligence assessment.

I have long called for a top-to-bottom house cleaning at Langley. Either the analysts and intel procurers there are incompetent or lazy. To let something like this slip by them is inexcusable, especially when dealing with a nation that is intent on obtaining a nuclear weapon. The region and the world are at stake, and the CIA treated this intelligence analysis with the same fervor they treated Joe Wilson's trip to Niger to investigate the claims that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase yellow cake uranium. They were wrong then to take Mr. Wilson at his ever-changing word, and they were wrong to assume the Iranians had halted their research and development of nuclear weapons in the NIE. Now the truth is coming out, but will we really get the truth, or will we get the CYA government run-around we're used to seeing?

Publius II


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