Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Personal Intelligence Agency Alert

For new readers the previous PIA Alert with an explanation is here. Today's is a real doozy. From Bloomberg (tip to Josh Marshall):
Iran, which is defying United Nations Security Council demands to cease its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days if it goes ahead with plans to install thousands of centrifuges at its Natanz plant, a U.S. State Department official said.

"Natanz was constructed to house 50,000 centrifuges," Stephen Rademaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, told reporters today in Moscow. "Using those 50,000 centrifuges they could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 16 days."
So we've gone from the ten years that the NIE on Iran projects, to the two or three years that anonymous administration officials started pushing recently, and now sixteen days. Before long, I expect to hear hours and ultimately minutes pushed for public consumption. You do remember how fast Iraq would have been able to launch an "attack" on the continental U.S., yes? We've reached the point at which it's accurate to describe those pushing this deception as rogues. Make no mistake: there are some very good reasons why Iran should be prevented from possessing nuclear weapons. But it keeps getting easier to understand why Iran and other nations might want to protect themselves, doesn't it?

The marketing of Target Iran continues apace. As the price of oil keeps rising and foreigners demand higher interest rates on our debt to compensate for the inflation we've created, watch for that marketing to get increasingly creative and desperate.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yankee stadium is large enough to house 100,000 centrifuges. Using those 100,000 centrifuges, the Yankees could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 8 days. Bomb the Yankees before it's too late!

4/12/2006 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yankee stadium is large enough to house 100,000 centrifuges. Using those 100,000 centrifuges, the Yankees could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 8 days. Stop the Yankees before it's too late!

4/12/2006 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said yesterday the country had succeeded in enriching uranium on a small scale for the first time, continues to "goad" the West into what seems ultimately will be his own country's destruction.

4/12/2006 11:20 PM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Anonymous,
Why do you think Iran will be wiped off the map? Do you think Bush will really use nukes? I am not sure bombs other then nukes can penetrate the underground bunkers they have. If Bush does nuke them, it will open a big can of worms. The other thing you must remember is that enriching uranium and being able to use it on a missle are two different things.

4/13/2006 12:30 AM  
Anonymous wj said...

Actually, Ahmadinejad's actions may be understandable from a political point of view. The population of Iran is increasingly unhappy with the way that the mullahs are running the country. And the younger people are particularly unhappy.

Nothing is better calculated to get people to rally 'round the flag than an attack from outside. And failing that, even the apparent threat of an attack is good for quite a bit. So the more he can goad the U.S., the better for his political situation.

As for concern about an actual attack, it doesn't take much to realize that the U.S. is over-extended already with Iraq. There simply aren't troops enough to invade Iran. And a simple bombing run (such as is currently being floated) will at most remove the nuclear weapon production capability. BUT, and this is the important point for Ahmadinejad, it won't bring down the government (let alone the regime) -- if anything, the reverse.

Could the U.S. actually destroy Iran? Sure . . . if we plastered it with nuclear weapons. But short of that, all we can do is some damage to some physical plant. And whatever kind of attack happens, a) Iraq explodes on us, and b) oil prices go thru the roof, with all the accompanying economic damage.

In fact, the worst case from Ahmadinejad's point of view is probably that the U.S. backs down. Then all he can claim is that he faced down the Great Satan -- which prestige will wear off in a year or three. Still, not a bad outcome for him, just not as good as it might be.

4/13/2006 12:38 AM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Who benefits? That's the first question that should have been asked after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks and that's the question that should be asked now.

I know I don't.

4/13/2006 1:25 AM  
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4/20/2006 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nuclear test scheduled in Nevada is weeks away. USAF refueler pilots are receiving redeployment orders. Mid-June seems to be the target date.

4/22/2006 1:51 AM  

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