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I wouldn't even know - and I spent three years in the CIA - I wouldn't even know how you'd start a covert action program in a place like Iran. It would be extraordinarily difficult.
I think the real target of al-Qaeda is Saudi Arabia by the way. They hate us and we're a vehicle to get at Saudi Arabia. I think Osama bin Laden really wants to topple that regime and have his people move in, but that's a whole other story.
But at the same time, I think we recognize we can't impose democracy from without, particularly American-style democracy. We need to work with those elements in the region that are moving towards a reformed process and there are a number of them.
And we ought to work our diplomacy first and I think it's a reason it's going to respond increasingly to our diplomacy particularly with the president's direct involvement in the peace process, and I think that's extraordinarily important.
And I argued with that intelligence estimate and I think it is a responsibility of policymakers to use their best judgment on the basis of the intelligence they've received.
I can remember when I was National Security Adviser, the intelligence community told us... they put out an intelligence report saying that Iran would never back off from attacks on shipping in the Gulf if we use force.
My understanding is that what was provided was general order of battle information, not operational intelligence. I certainly have no knowledge of US participation in preparing battle and strike packages and doubt strongly that that occurred.
Intelligence is not a science.
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