Gov. Mike Huckabee did not know about the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran when asked about it on Wednesday. It had caused a furor in Washington because it concluded that Iran had halted any weapons-related experiments in 2003.
It is not such a big scandal that Huckabee hadn’t heard the news. When you are traveling and out among people, often you don’t, until you get back to the hotel that night. I can testify to that myself.
What is the scandal is that Huckabee had been briefed by someone to opposite conclusions from those of the NIE and had swallowed it hook line and sinker.
He told a reporter for Politico.com:
‘ I don’t know where the intelligence is coming from that says they have suspended the program or how credible that is versus the view that they actually are expanding it. … And I’ve heard, the last two weeks, supposed reports that they are accelerating it and it could be having a reactor in a much shorter period of time than originally been thought.
So here’s what is troubling. Huckabee puts what he’s “heard” above the findings of the 16 US intelligence agencies. And, he seems to be confused that the problem with Iran is that it is building nuclear reactors. Reactors can be used for peaceful energy generation. It is if they were building a bomb that anyone should be concerned. The reactors at Bushehr cannot easily be put to bomb making purposes.
So yes, he could get behind on the news. But he doesn’t a) show good judgment in valuing right wing political gossip over an extensively vetted professional intelligence report (which is corroborated by the International Atomic Energy Agency). And b) he doesn’t seem very well informed about the nuclear issue.
Not ready for prime time.