A surprise could also come from the opposite direction — as a result of overestimating the other side’s capabilities and intentions; in Iran’s case, that could lead to a premature Israeli attack. Could that happen? It did — to America when it relied on faulty intelligence to justify its invasion of Iraq in 2003, claiming that it knew Saddam Hussein was hiding unconventional weapons.
-Ronen Bergman in the TimesThis now ordinary phrasing, that America "relied on faulty intelligence to justify its invasion of Iraq," is taken in some circles (like the Times) to mean that so-called faulty intelligence was the reason that America invaded Iraq, but it is taken in more literate circles to mean what it more literally says, which is that it was used to, well, to justify the invasion, which would have happened regardless--to justify it irrespective of any actual reason for invading. And if you believe the latter, you probably also believe that the faults in that faulty intelligence were effectively the result of the predetermined outcome, that the intelligence was, what is the word, massaged to fit the demands of the marketing campaign.
So anyway, then Bergman says:
This year, an equally fateful decision may well rely on the quality of available intelligence. So, caution is in order: Relying on intelligence as the chief touchstone for decisions about whether and when to attack creates a wide opening for misunderstandings, divergent interpretations and vulnerabilities to parties with an interest in either attack or delay.
Both Israel and America should acknowledge that scraps of information cannot serve as the basis for action against Iran, and they should find new criteria for such a decision.But, you know, we all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again, and by that destiny to perform an act whereof what's past is prologue, what to come in yours and my discharge, as someone once said . . . destiny, in other words, determines its own antecedents. There is no good or bad intelligence, no true or false determination in this little causal loop. The Enterprise has already entered the spacial rift. Data's cat has turned into a kitten. The intelligence will reveal the predetermined outcome. If we are set to invade Iran, it will say one thing; if not, not. But the fact that it appears to precede whatever occurs next is an in all cases an illusion.