John Negroponte, who as Director of National Intelligence oversaw the US Intelligence Community from 2005-07, gave a speech last night to a private audience at the Yale Club in New York City.
A friend of mine was in attendance and reported that, when discussing Israel’s characterization of Iran as an “existential threat,” Negroponte said: “You have to separate the wheat from the chaff, what’s bravado and what’s intended to motivate us.” (“Us” being the United States.)
From this I statement I think it’s fair to conclude that Negroponte believes that some of what the Israeli government says with regard to Iran is, or at least is possibly, merely bravado that they don’t intend to follow through on. The question then becomes, what bravado is he talking about? Because the only real bravado I hear coming out of Israel regarding Iran is Israel’s threat to unilaterally bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Negroponte didn’t directly come out and say he suspected the Israelis were just bluffing on that front, but in my book he came right up to the line.
Negroponte also said: “Despite what the media said, there was never any possibility of military action against Iran in the waning days of the Bush Administration.”