When the true believer is confronted with evidence that his beliefs are wrong, he doesn't change his beliefs - he ups the ante. For instance: everyone's favorite "ambassador" has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, in which he's looking to counter the damage from last week's revelations about the Administration's catastrophic blunders in Korea.
any reversal on actual facts, only an apparent shift in the "confidence level." My understanding is that the decrease in confidence stems from the absence of significant new or contemporary information about North Korea's activities. This lack of new information may be attributable to a loss of sensitive sources and methods, or it may be attributable to the effectiveness of President Bush's Proliferation Security Initiative, or its creative financial sanctions, in drying up North Korea's procurement activity.Of course, Bolton is deliberately missing the point: to have sacrificed a successful agreement and allowed North Korea to develop real plutonium nuclear weapons, on the basis of debatable evidence about an HEU program that either did not exist, or was embryonic compared to the plutonium program, was a criminally stupid blunder.
Why are senior officials suddenly saying that North Korea might not have an enriched-uranium program? No new information has come to light on the issue. They are saying this for one reason: President Bush recently agreed to a nuclear deal with the North Koreans; the deal says nothing about enriched uranium (it requires them only to freeze their plutonium-bomb program); so, in order to stave off the flood of criticism from Bush's conservative base, senior officials are saying that the enriched uranium was never a big deal to begin with.As Weisberg says, at this point the Administration's intelligence is so politicized as to be completely useless. Who knows if there was an HEU program or not? All we get is intelligence tailored to suit the daily political needs of the White House.