This is wrong.
OBviously, I was referring to the NIE itself as a remarkable moment of candor for the United States. I thought that Bush’s reaction to it was, literally, incredible. As in, not to be believed–which was made completely clear in my cover story. Again, here’s the link to that story and here is my actual evaluation of Bush’s utter failure to respond intelligently to the report:
The NIE represented another promising opportunity missed. Imagine if the President had said, “This report means we don’t want war. We want to talk, and everything — including lifting of the economic sanctions and our acknowledgment that you are a major regional power — is on the table so long as you put everything on the table too. That means not only your uranium-enrichment program but also your support for terrorist organizations.” How could Iran have said no to that?
But that would have required some other President. This President appears to lack the desire, creativity and patience to engage in the most important diplomacy that a nation can face — with its enemies — over issues that could mean the difference between war and peace.