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Deja Vu

National security advisor Steve Hadley bids adieu with a public speech raising the alarm about a possible undisclosed North Korean uranium project. But Hadley cites just one of two dueling interpretations of some forensic data in a dispute between the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Energy Department. Straight-shooting nonprofileration pro David Albright calls Hadley "irresponsible and inflammatory."

That said, if a significant part of the intelligence establishment thinks this is true, the fact of dissent doesn't mean it isn't. A reminder that our intelligence, especially in a closed society like North Korea, is still very imperfect and the Obama team is going to have to make tough choices on that basis.

Update: On the specific point at issue here, a reader who knows this stuff wisely notes that when the dispute was over those infamous aluminum tubes, it was the Energy Department that got it right.

Also, to be clear and fair to Hadley, he didn't falsely present the intelligence as definitive but noted that "some" in the intel community see a hidden North Korean program.

--Michael Crowley