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Our Government Is Intent on Not Knowing How Catastrophic an Attack on Iran Would Be


By Ben Armbruster

A measure requiring the office of the Director of National Intelligence to report to Congress on the consequences of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities will not be included in the FY2013 Intelligence Authorization Act.

The House voted in May to include the amendment calling for a report on the consequences of an Iran attack in its version of the intelligence authorization bill. It reads:

SEC. 307. REPORT ON CONSEQUENCES OF MILITARY STRIKE AGAINST IRAN.

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report containing an assessment of the consequences of a military strike against Iran.

But the version the Senate passed on Friday does not contain any language calling for such a report. And instead of merging the House and Senate intelligence authorization bills, the House is scheduled to vote on the Senate version without the Iran war consequences measure.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who led the push in the House to include the Iran war consequences amendment back in May, expressed disappointment the measure has not been included.

“While I am disappointed that our amendment will not be included in the final version of 2013 Intelligence Authorization Act,” Conyers said in a statement this afternoon, “the unanimous support for the report language in the House of Representatives shows that there is substantial bipartisan demand in Congress for a clear-sighted, realistic analysis of the very serious consequences that could result from a preemptive military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.”

Various experts and current and former U.S. and Israeli security officials have publicly warned about the consequences of attacking Iran, including the possibility of an “all out regional war” or a situation that would, in the words of former Bush administration CIA Director Michael Hayden, “guarantee that which we are trying to prevent — an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon.”

The House was expected to pass the Senate’s version of the intelligence bill today, but Republican leaders have postponed the vote.

“Although a report on the consequences of an attack on Iran will not be mandated by this law,” Conyers added, “I strongly encourage the Director of National Intelligence to proceed with this analysis and share it with Congress. The expertise and collective wisdom of our intelligence community is critically needed in this debate.”

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