Whither national intelligence?

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two congressmen are demanding to know why the director of national intelligence testified that Iran had no secret enrichment facilities.

Last week, U.S. Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) circulated a letter among lawmakers requesting that the director, Dennis Blair, explain written testimony submitted to Congress earlier this year suggesting that Iran had no such facilities. A National Intelligence Estimate in 2007 made similar conclusions.

"While we now know Iran built a secret underground uranium enrichment facility too small to be used for civilian purposes, Director Blair’s recent testimony and the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate suggested that such a facility did not yet exist," said Kirk, co-chair of the bipartisan House Iran Working Group. "The United States cannot afford another intelligence failure. Director Blair needs to explain these apparent disconnects within the Intelligence Community."

Two weeks ago the Obama Administration revealed the existence of a secret underground uranium enrichment facility in Iran.

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