File under SchmoMentum: Another Republican talking point has bitten the dust, at least for now.
Now Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta smothered another one, at least for now. Apparently, Republicans can put down their military weapons, stop hyperventilating, stop frothing at the mouth, and start backing off of their accusations that President Obama (and Chuck Hagel, while we’re at it) is a big ol’ wuss, especially when it comes to Iran.
If you recall, Saxby Chambliss is one of the panicky GOP who think Iran is on the verge of having their very own nuke, and the U.S. better be ready to pounce. And by pounce, I mean attack. And by attack, I mean create a brand spankin’ new and enormous Middle East crisis. And by Middle East crisis, I mean world crisis.
“If your position is truly prevention and not containment, Chuck, what is the redline [on Iran], what is the point?” asked Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). “We know there’s some things happening over there right now that are very serious.”
Yes, we must take Iran very seriously and keep our ideas and options wide open, but let’s not revive this golden oldie quite yet, mmkay chickenhawks?
Panetta on Meet the Press:
Leon Panetta: What I’ve said, and I will say today, is that the intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development a nuclear weapon. They are developing and enriching uranium, they continue to do that…
Chuck Todd: Why do you believe they’re doing that?
Panetta: I think it’s a clear indication — They say they’re doing that to be able to do their own energy source. I think it is suspect that they continue to enrich uranium, because that is dangerous, and that violates international rules.
Todd: You believe that they are probably developing nuclear weapons, but you don’t, the intelligence doesn’t —
Panetta: No, I can’t — I can’t tell you they are in fact pursuing a weapon, because that’s what not intelligence says they’re doing right now.