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Former U.N. inspector David Albright, now with the Institute for Science and International Security, followed the pack of doubters. A report by Mr. Albright in February 2007 compared the intelligence on North Korean uranium efforts to earlier intelligence failures on Iraq’s unconventional arms. Mr. Albright concluded at the time that “the analysis about North Korea’s program also appears to be flawed.”

Mrs. Clinton, in the Fox interview, confirmed that intelligence on the issue was poor. She said the North Koreans had the “ambition” to produce highly enriched uranium but whether they have or not, “I don’t know that, and nobody else does, either.”

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Monday in Bolivia that while the uranium program was known, “I hadn’t known about this specific facility before.”

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said any failures “belong to North Korea.”

“They bear sole responsibility for the fact that they are the most isolated and sanctioned country in the world, and unable and unwilling to feed their people and care for their people,” he said. “The United States, working with many other countries, has offered North Korea clear choices with real benefits. North Korea’s leaders understand these choices but have consistently chosen the wrong options.”

A U.S. intelligence official said: “Suggestions of an intelligence failure are simply wrong. American intelligence agencies have known about North Korea’s uranium enrichment activities for years.”

U.S. intelligence agencies, funded at more than $50 billion a year have made monitoring foreign nuclear programs among their highest priorities.

It is not clear whether Congress‘ intelligence and foreign affairs oversight panels will investigate the failures, although newly empowered House Republicans have promised more investigations now that they are the majority.

Thanksgiving message

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered the annual Thanksgiving Day message on Wednesday, telling armed forces personnel and their families that he is deeply grateful for their commitment and sacrifice.

“Sadly, there are families for whom the Thanksgiving table will never be made whole again,” Adm. Mullen said. “For those families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice, we are mindful of your loss and our solemn obligation to stand by you. We also remember that other families have seen their warriors return with wounds, both visible and invisible. Theirs will also be a particularly poignant holiday, and I ask every American to keep them — and our wounded warriors — in your thoughts and prayers.”

Regardless of the challenges, “we must never lose sight of the fact that Thanksgiving celebrates the blessings our nation harvests through the hardships we endure together,” he said.

“From colonists seeking a better life in the New World to today’s efforts to secure a better future for our children and grandchildren, Americans have always weathered the tough times with determination and a conviction that brighter days remain ahead.”


The Army has responded to the post-WikiLeaks security crackdown by setting up a military video website called milTube.

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