Republican presidential candidate
The key question is whether Israeli Prime Minister
As we saw 10 years ago with respect to
Mr. Netanyahu broke all records for speed in blaming Iran and Hezbollah for the recent terrorist attack that killed five Israelis in Burgas,
But what is the evidence on Iranian or Hezbollah involvement? Bulgarian officials keep saying they have no such evidence. More surprising still, government officials in Washington and elsewhere keep warning against jumping to conclusions.
So far the "evidence" against Iran consists primarily of trust-me assertions by Mr. Netanyahu. On
Did the Israelis somehow forget to give "specific details" to Bulgarian and U.S. officials?
At a joint news conference with
Mr. Brennan's July 25 talks with top Israeli officials, it appears, were similarly unproductive. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on July 26: "A week after the Burgas attacks, Israeli, Bulgarian, and U.S. [officials] still have no leads regarding the identity of the suicide bomber."
These events took place against an historical backdrop pregnant with relevance. July 23 was the 10th anniversary of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, at which the head British intelligence casually revealed the fraudulent origins of the coming attack on Iraq.
The official minutes of that meeting were leaked to London's Sunday Times, which ran them on its front page May 1, 2005. No one has disputed their authenticity.
This is how the minutes record the core of the briefing by Sir Richard Dearlove, the British intelligence chief, who had just conferred with his U.S. counterpart, George Tenet, at
"… Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. …"
The "fixing" of intelligence is bad enough. But note Mr. Dearlove's explanation that war with Iraq was to be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD." Translation: We will claim Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and that he might well give them to terrorists — unless he is stopped forthwith.
Mr. Netanyahu is now taking the same line on Iran. On Face the Nation on July 22, he pointedly asked:
"Just imagine what the consequences would be if these people [terrorists] and this regime [Iran] got a hold of nuclear weapons. … [We need to] make sure that the world's most dangerous regime doesn't get the world's most dangerous weapons."
Never mind the elusive evidence on the perpetrators of the attack in Bulgaria. Never mind that Defense Secretary
The likelihood of hostilities with Iran before the presidential election in November is increasing. Beware of "fixed" intelligence.