Credibility Consequences

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

With the Bush Administration being cagy about everything from torture to its "evidence" leading up to the Iraq War, it’s no surprise that the world view of America’s credibility has shrunken.  In fact, most countries apparently view our credibility on a scale apar with that of Iran:

[D]oubts about the intelligence persist among some foreign analysts. In part, that is because American officials, citing the need to protect their source, have largely refused to provide details of the origins of the laptop computer beyond saying that they obtained it in mid-2004 from a longtime contact in Iran. Moreover, this chapter in the confrontation with Iran is infused with the memory of the faulty intelligence on Iraq’s unconventional arms. In this atmosphere, though few countries are willing to believe Iran’s denials about nuclear arms, few are willing to accept the United States’ weapons intelligence without question.

"I can fabricate that data," a senior European diplomat said of the documents. "It looks beautiful, but is open to doubt."

And, in what is sure to cause many neo-cons’ head to simultaneously explode, the one country that does believe our intelligence regarding Iran is — wait for it — France:

As a measure of the skepticism the Bush administration faces, officials said the American ambassador to the international atomic agency, Gregory L. Schulte, was urging other countries to consult with his French counterpart. "On Iraq we disagreed, and on Iran we completely agree," a senior State Department official said. "That gets attention."