The NIE and Israel

In my banana republic thread, MinnesotaChuck asks the $64,000 question.

I wonder if the withdrawal of the resolution, which went down several days ago, had anything to do with the release of the NIE yesterday.

That–or rather the reverse scenario–seems pretty darn likely to me. Consider these data points:

November 26: Per Seymour Hersh, Bush tells Ehud Olmert what’s in the NIE.

November 27: The Annapolis Peace Conference

November 28: The day Hadley claims Bush was briefed on the NIE; Bush meets with Olmert again

November 29: Khalilzad submits a resolution endorsing Annapolis at UN; Condi calls Khalilzad in the middle of the meeting to ask WTF he’s doing

November 30: A Khalilzad deputy withdraws the UN resolution while Khalilzad is in "previously scheduled" meeting in DC with Condi

December 3: Unexpected public release of NIE showing Iran has given up nuke program

December 4: Israelis say the NIE is wrong; Bush announces his first trip to Israel as President (h/t Laura); both Annapolis and Iran’s purported nukes are on the agenda; Khalilzad calls the claim that he had submitted the resolution without vetting it bull

All of which makes me all the more curious how–and when–the NIE got declassified. Because it sure looks like Israel is only going to let Condi have her Annapolis-based legacy if she allows them to continue to war-monger in Iran. Read more

I Dunno. It Looks Like a Banana Republic to Me.

I suspect Zalmay Khalilzad doesn’t care to lose all his credibility in the international community just so Condi doesn’t have to admit she lost her latest fight with Cheney (or did she lose a fight with Olmert?). At least, that’s what I surmise from his snarky response to Madame Secretary’s attempt to blame him, Khalilzad, for introducing a resolution at the UN that the Administration later withdrew (h/t Holden).

Washington’s U.N. envoy denied on Tuesday he had acted alone in handing the Security Council a Middle East resolution he later pulled after Israel objected.

The United States withdrew the draft, which hailed the results of a November 27 Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, last Friday in what the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers called an embarrassing about-face.

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad dismissed what he said were media reports he had submitted the draft resolution "on my own," without consulting the State Department or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Read more