NIE Timeline, Take Three
This is a compilation of the several timelines I–and others–have done so far on the NIE.
November 2006: NIE "completed"
January 5, 2007: John Negroponte resigns as DNI, reportedly because of fight over NIE; Negroponte would move to become a top official at State
January 11: US takes six Iranians in custody after a raid on a diplomatic building in Irbil, Iraq
February 2007: NIE completed; Cheney objecting to content
February 7: Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Ali Reza Asgari arrives in Turkey; he disappears there, and is presumed to have defected or been kidnapped; in March he was reported to be cooperating with western intelligence
April 26: Thomas Fingar announces NIE will be delayed due to Ahmadinejad’s demagoguery
May 12: Cheney meets with Saudi Arabia
July 2007: Intelligence community intercepts communications that verify claim Iran’s nuclear program remains suspended; Senior Administration Officials briefed
August 2007: Bush claims he learned new intelligence exists
They have expressed their desire to be able to enrich uranium, which we believe is a step toward having a nuclear weapons program. That, in itself, coupled with their stated foreign policy, is very dangerous for world stability. . . . It’s a very troubling nation right now.
August 29-30: Six nuclear warheads "accidentally" get flown from Minot AFB to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana
September 6: Israel strikes site in Syria
October 2007: BushCo considers spiking the NIE
October 14: Putin meets with Germany’s Angela Merkel; news reports of assassination attempt planned in Iran
October 16: From Iran, Putin says an attack on Iran is an attack on Russia
October 17: Bush makes World War III comments
October 19: Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan
October 24: McConnell writes memo outlining conditions for declassifying NIEs
October 27: David Shedd reveals Mike McConnell has made it harder to declassify NIE judgments–leading most observers to believe the Iran NIE would not be released
November 3: Pervez Musharraf declares martial law
November 9: The US releases prisoners captured in Irbil in January
November 13: McConnell says NIE will be done "in about a month" but that judgments will not be released; he also says he would resign if results were "cherry picked"
November 16: At OPEC, the Saudi Foreign Minister refuses to make a public statement about ditching the dollar–but he says the economic ministers should discuss it
November 22: Mohammed el Baradei states Iran is cooperating, though IAEA still has questions about its nuclear program
November 23: The Saudis confirm attendance at Annapolis Conference; on the same day, they send the conservative Nawaz Sharif back to Pakistan to contest elections
November 25: Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan
November 26: Syria confirms attendance at Annapolis Conference
November 26: Per Seymour Hersh, Bush tells Ehud Olmert what’s in the NIE.
November 27: The Annapolis Peace Conference
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; Iranian nuclear negotiator Saaed Jalili tells Javier Solana that all previous negotiations are meaningless (h/t Danger Room)
December 1: Mohammed el Baradei states that bombing Iran would ensure it gets the bomb more quickly
December 3: Unexpected public release of NIE showing Iran has given up nuke program; Nawaz Sharif barred from participating in election
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
Let me know what I’m missing. Eventually, I’ll load this as a permanent timeline page–once I figure out how to do that.