Although international concern is growing about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, diplomats here say most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran.
The officials said the CIA and other Western spy services had provided sensitive information to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at least since 2002, when Iran's long-secret nuclear program was exposed. But none of the tips about supposed secret weapons sites provided clear evidence that the Islamic Republic was developing illicit weapons.
"Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," a senior diplomat at the IAEA said. Another official here described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now" because "so little panned out."
In accurate information about Iran's nuclear program from the United States.
You know the United States could probably have used qualified W.M.D. specialists working in the area of Iran.
You know people like say, VALERIE PLAME, and other former covert operatives of the type that were employed by say BREWSTER JENNINGS.
But somehow Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer and Dick Armitage all decided to publicly gossip about Joe Wilson's wife and how she worked for the CIA and what's more, expose the fictional business that she and several other CIA employees supposedly worked for.
David Shuster: While the heart of the CIA leak investigation is the Bush administration's agressive defense of the WMD case for war in Iraq, there is new evidence now the defense may have undermined intelligence efforts on Iran.
The key player in the CIA leak story is Valerie Wilson, a CIA operative whose identity was outed by white house officials.
As MSNBC first reported yesterday, Wilson was not just undercover... but was, according to intelligence sources, part of an effort three years ago to monitor the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson's cover was blown, part of the administration's ability to track Iran's nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.
And now, the Bush Administration is pushing Iran's nuclear program and peddling the same bullshit intelligence it always does.