The Sixth Day of Christmas

six-lights-a-glowing.jpgThe sixth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me

six lights a glowing

Parcel Bomb in Paris

ap_paris_071206_ms.jpgThere are reports coming from Paris that a Parcel bomb has killed one person with others injured or in shock. This story is just breaking, more to come.

Apparently a package was left at a lawyer’s office and the secretary who opened it was killed in the blast.

From AP:

PARIS (AP) — A parcel bomb exploded in central Paris on Thursday, killing one person and seriously injuring another, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said several other people were suffering from shock. It did not say who might have been behind the bombing.

According to Earth times the bomb exploded at a building housing mostly law firms, including one founded by France’s current President, Sarkozy.

One person was killed and five were injured Thursday when a package exploded near the offices of a Paris law firm founded by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, France-Info radio reported Thursday. The victim and most of the injured worked for some of the law firms housed in the building in the elegant Eight Arrondissement in central Paris.
One of those firms was co-founded by Sarkozy in 1987 and bore his name until May 9 of this year, a week before he was sworn in as president.
No connection has yet been made between Sarkozy’s tie to the firm and the bombing.

In other news from France, unrelated at this time, two members of the Basque Tribal Nationalist group ETA were arrested by French authorities for shooting two Spanish police officers. from AFP:

MENDE, France (AFP) — Two suspected members of Basque separatist group ETA were arrested Wednesday over the weekend shooting of two Spanish policemen in southwest France, hours after the second officer died in hospital of his injuries.

The pair, a man and a woman, were carrying large amounts of cash and loaded guns but did not resist arrest at a bus stop in the remote village of Chateauneuf de Randon, a source close to the probe said.

Police had spotted the couple in the southern city of Rodez, tailing them as they went by taxi northwest to Mende, some 100 kilometres (65 miles) away, where they spent Tuesday night in a hotel before heading, again by taxi, to Chateauneuf, 30 kilometres (20 miles) further on.

“It was the couple the police had been hunting for three days,” the source said.

They were transferred to Paris late Wednesday, investigators said.

NIE Turnabout Based on Captured Notes

The New York Times details how the turnabout in assesssment of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons program came from one set of captured notes. The notes were from deliberations among Iranian military officials over nuclear programs, with some expressing regrets over the program being suspended in 2003.

This doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy — while they vetted the notes themselves in the CIA and had a red opposition team question the conclusion unsuccessfully, it’s still just one source, the conclusion is still based on human judgement from an agency that seems more political than analytical, and it’s still based on just one set of notes and some secondary corrobation from recorded conversations. The conversations could be the same military officials, and they could be misinformed either on purpose or out of ignorance.

The notes and the conversations could be a plant, or the notes and conversations could still be real and be wrong.  This doesn’t make me more comfortable about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, nor does it make it less likely that Iran could have nuclear capabilities in two years if they decided to unsuspend tomorrow.

Story at New York Times:

The notes included conversations and deliberations in which some of the military officials complained bitterly about what they termed a decision by their superiors in late 2003 to shut down a complex engineering effort to design nuclear weapons, including a warhead that could fit atop Iranian missiles.

The newly obtained notes contradicted public assertions by American intelligence officials that the nuclear weapons design effort was still active. But according to the intelligence and government officials, they give no hint of why Iran’s leadership decided to halt the covert effort.

Ultimately, the notes and deliberations were corroborated by other intelligence, the officials said, including intercepted conversations among Iranian officials, collected in recent months. It is not clear if those conversations involved the same officers and others whose deliberations were recounted in the notes, or if they included their superiors.

The American officials who described the highly classified operation, which led to one of the biggest reversals in the history of American nuclear intelligence, declined to describe how the notes were obtained.