In the case of Iran the intelligence community has decided to break with the conventions that made that possible.
Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, decided last month that the key judgments of NIEs should not, as a rule, be declassified and released.
But intelligence officials said an exception was made in this case because the last assessment of Iran's nuclear programme in 2005 has been influential in public debate about US policy toward Iran and needed to be updated to reflect the latest findings.
NIE = National intelligence estimates represent the most authoritative written judgments of all 16 US spy agencies.
16? Why do they need 16 spy agencies??
Anyway, there has been plenty of speculation that an invasion of Iran was going to be the next step - despite the crippling national debt and the inextricable morass of Iraq. So either this inspired production of what they must have known for some time is either a good excuse to back off - or a "pre-emptive strike" by the intelligence community before George dumps them in the brown stuff again. Your guess is as good as mine.
Note too how the spin credits GWB's "get tough" stance - and does not let the Iranians completely off the hook since they are still enriching uranium. For peaceful purposes - which they are entitled to do - but they still *could* make a bomb.
Just as every male is equipped to commit rape.