Professor Thomas Fingar (Stanford University, California), former Director of the National Intelligence Council, will receive the annual Sam Adams award from Oxford Union on January 23, 2013.
Dr. Fingar oversaw preparation of the landmark 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the Islamic Republic, in which all 16 US intelligence agencies concluded with “high confidence” that Tehran had halted its nuclear program for military usage in 2003. The Estimate’s key judgments were declassified and made public, and have been revalidated every year since.
The said findings played a major role in delaying Bush-Cheney war on Iran for Israel in 2008. The report authored by Tom Fingar, Van Diepen and Kenneth Brill angered Israel-Firsters in Bush administration (Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates , John Brennan, George Tenet, Condileeza Rice, etc.). Several Senators from both parties called for a Congressional commission to prove that NIE report was not based on facts. Israel-Firster Republican Senator John Ensign said: “Iran is one of the greatest threat in the world today. Getting the intelligence right is absolutely critical“.
Former CIA analysts like Ray McGovern and Flynt Leverett had praised Fingar and his colleagues. “We seem to have lucked out and have individuals who resist back-channel politics and tell it how it is. That is what the CIA and other agencies are supposed to do. Fingar and Vann Van Diepen had opposed the war in Iraq because both felt the intelligence was misused in the run-up to Iraq war. The neocon are now attacking them, saying they are taking their revenge. It’s not mutiny for intelligence officers to state their honest views,” said Flynt Leverett, who was also a National Security Council adviser in the Bush administration.
The report was a disaster for Bush and his pro-Israel administration. Bush, though like Obama, refused to take military option off the table – it became hard for him to order Generals to attack Iran just because Israel perceives a nuclear Iran an “existential threat”. It also made harder for Washington to pursue Russia and China to back tougher economic sanctions against Tehran.
Kobi Ritcher, Israeli airforce veteran of 20 years, said: “An Israeli strike on Iran would be an untenable gamble. If Netanyahu and Barak do decide to take this dreadful gamble, they will be endangering Israel’s very survival.” Similar fears have been stated by other US and Israeli security officials, such as, Gen. Anthony Zinni, Gen. Michael Hayden, Gen. James Cartwright, Gen. James Hoar, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Gen. David Petraeus, Gen. John Abizaid, Admiral Mullen, Admiral Joe Sestalk, Admiral Fallon, Brig. Gen. John Johns, Col. Wilkerson, Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, Maj. Gen. Ahron Ze’evi Farkash, Gen. Meir Dagan, etc. Read them here.