Chain of events:

1) Someone told Cheney “no” over the Thanksgiving weekend.

When Dick Cheney, the vice-president and leading Iran hawk, was briefed on the about-turn a couple of weeks ago, there was a “pretty vivid exchange” with intelligence officials in the White House, one participant told The New York Times.

According to an intelligence source, Cheney sought to block the NIE’s release, but was overruled.

2) Cheney develops irregular heartbeat.

Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was discovered to have an irregular heartbeat around 7 a.m. when he was seen by doctors at the White House for a lingering cough from a cold. He remained at work throughout the day, joining President Bush in meetings with Mideast leaders.

3) Cheney in Hospital for day

Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering at home Monday night after being treated for an irregular heart beat, found Monday morning during a checkup for lingering cold symptoms, Cheney’s office said

4) NIE comes out with Iran free of Nuclear weapons.

David Wurmser, Cheney’s former Middle East adviser, charged: “One has to look at the authors of this report to judge how much it can really be banked on.”

The “guilty men” were named as Thomas Fingar, Kenneth Brill and Vann Van Diepen, all now in top US intelligence posts, who had seethed at Bush policies for years and were said to have executed a triumphant revenge.

Yet there was an infusion of new information about Iran that persuaded all 16 American intelligence agencies to back the NIE.

Israeli sources told The Sunday Times that a key part of the jigsaw was supplied by General Ali Reza Asghari, 63, a former Iranian deputy defence minister who is believed to have defected after disappearing from his hotel room in Istanbul in February.

The Iranian regime accused Washington of kidnapping him, but western intelligence sources say he is in America of his own accord. His debriefing was so secretive that information went directly to the director of the CIA, rather than to senior officials. “People who would normally know, and should know, are completely out of the loop,” said one informed source.

American intelligence agencies also received a trove of information last summer, including intercepts of Iranian phone calls by GCHQ, the British listening station, which suggested that Iranian military officials were angered by a decision in late 2003 to halt a project to design nuclear weapons. The suspicion that the revelations might be a complex hoax were discounted.

Yet some American intelligence experts remain baffled by the black and white picture presented by the NIE. Former CIA official Paul Pillar, who helped to compile the 2005 NIE on Iran, believes the difference with the 2007 report has been greatly exaggerated.

“It’s described as a dramatic 180-degree reversal but it’s not. The key ‘pacing element’ about when Iran is going to get a nuclear weapon is the uranium enrichment issue and that hasn’t changed,” he said.

As before, the NIE suggests “with moderate confidence” that the Iranians could be capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon by 2010-2015.

5) There is no credibility behind invading Iran. it is off.

Bottom line, it appears the facts did not change….Just our interpretation of facts based on the evidence….In other words back in 2005 we estimated that Iran could have a crude weapon between 2010-2015. Today we estimate that Iran could have a crude weapon between 2010-2015. The difference is that the evidence that Iran had stopped in 2003, was not deleted by Mr. Cheney….

In other words, we were lied to…..and now we are not.

So who is that hero? Hmmmm……

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