Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Iran: CIA drops the ball, and The Bomb

Now here is an interesting story from today’s L.A. Times. The revelation that the CIA may actually have helped Iran to build a bomb is, of course pretty stunning. But there’s a subplot in the piece as well. The implication is that The New York Times was sitting on this scoop, and on the NSA revelations, as well, while it waited for Risen to publish all this in his new book. There’s an obvious echo of Bob Woodward’s reticence to reveal what he knew about the Plame case. But this is more problematic still. Did the NYT have all this stuff, perhaps, even before the elections last year? Not a happy thought for the Times, if that’s true. Nor for the country. Or did the NYT sit on this material at the request of the president, even before the meetings my colleague Jon Alter wrote about (see below)? That’s not a very appealing prospect either. - CD

CIA Gave Iran Bomb Plans, Book Says

The nuclear designs were intentionally flawed, but Tehran was tipped off and could have made use of them, the writer contends.

By Josh Meyer
Times Staff Writer
January 4, 2006
WASHINGTON — In a clumsy effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran some top-secret bomb designs laced with a hidden flaw that U.S. officials hoped would doom any weapon made from them, according to a new book about the U.S. intelligence agency.

But the Iranians were tipped to the scheme by the Russian defector hired by the CIA to deliver the plans and may have gleaned scientific information useful for designing a bomb, writes New York Times reporter James Risen in "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration." …

Continued in the L.A. Times

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