The only man causing President Obama more headaches than Joe Biden these days is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who, coincidentally, was right after Biden on Obama's short-list for V.P.).
Despite Obama's personal magnetism, the Iranian president persists in moving like gangbusters to build nuclear weapons, leading to Ahmadinejad's announcement last week that Iran is now a "nuclear state."
Gee, that's weird -- because I remember being told in December 2007 that all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that Iran had ceased nuclear weapons development as of 2003.
At the time of that leak, many of us recalled that the U.S. has the worst intelligence-gathering operations in the world. The Czechs, the French, the Italians -- even the Iraqis (who were trained by the Soviets) -- all have better intelligence.
Burkina Faso has better intelligence -- and their director of intelligence is a witch doctor. The marketing division of Wal-Mart has more reliable intel than the U.S. government does.
After Watergate, the off-the-charts left-wing Congress gleefully set about dismantling this nation's intelligence operations on the theory that Watergate never would have happened if only there had been no CIA.
Ron Dellums, a typical Democrat of the time, who -- amazingly -- was a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, famously declared in 1975: "We should totally dismantle every intelligence agency in this country piece by piece, brick by brick, nail by nail."
And so they did.
So now, our "spies" are prohibited from spying. The only job of a CIA officer these days is to read foreign newspapers and leak classified information to The New York Times. It's like a secret society of newspaper readers. The reason no one at the CIA saw 9/11 coming was that there wasn't anything about it in the Islamabad Post.
(On the plus side, at least we haven't had another break-in at the Watergate.)
CIA agents can't spy because that might require them to break laws in foreign countries. They are perfectly willing to break U.S. laws to leak to The New York Times, but not in order to acquire valuable intelligence.
So it was curious that after months of warnings from the Bush administration in 2007 that Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons program, a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran was leaked, concluding that Iran had ceased its nuclear weapons program years earlier.