Friday, November 03, 2006

NYT confirms Iraq was working on Atom Bomb

NYT reported Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein. But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

So the New York Times is confirming that the documents were true, and that Saddam was very close to building an Atom Bomb. What does this do to the liberal argument "No WMD, No Treat"
The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
Is this the only site on the internet with those instructions?
Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.” Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms,
Do they think Saddam had more up to date info than A.Q. Khan gave Iran and North Korea?
had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.
European diplomats shock easily, especailly on condition of anonymity.
Jim Geraghty blogged I'm still kinda blown away by this paragraph:
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990’s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.
Is this sentence referring to 1990, before the Persian Gulf War? Or 2002, months before the invasion of Iraq? Because "Iraq is a year away from building a nuclear bomb" was supposed to be a myth, a lie that Bush used to trick us into war. And yet here is the New York Times, saying that Iraq had a "how to manual" on how to build a nuclear bomb, and could have had a nuke in a year. In other news, it's good to see that the New York Times is firmly against publicizing sensitive and classified information. Unless, of course, they're the ones doing it....

They would have needed something like... um... you know... what's that stuff called? Oh, that's right. Yellowcake. But we know Iraq would never make an effort to get yellowcake. Joe Wilson had tea with officials in Niger who said so.

Glenn Reynolds blogged Kind of undercuts that whole "Bush lied about WMD" thing. Reader Eric Anondson emails: "It surely must have been a Rovian plot to somehow get the Times to admit that Iraq has a nuclear weapons program on the verge of an atomic bomb by as early as 2003... and right before an election where the Iraq War is listed as the top election concern among likely voters." (Actually, it was 1991, I believe, but this does underscore why WMD fears were reasonable, especially as Saddam was trying to restart things).

CQ blogged This is apparently the Times' November surprise, but it's a surprising one indeed. The Times has just authenticated the entire collection of memos, some of which give very detailed accounts of Iraqi ties to terrorist organizations. Just this past Monday, I posted a memo which showed that the Saddam regime actively coordinated with Palestinian terrorists in the PFLP as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. On September 20th, I reposted a translation of an IIS memo written four days after 9/11 that worried the US would discover Iraq's ties to Osama bin Laden. It doesn't end there with the Times, either. In a revelation buried far beneath the jump, the Times acknowledges that the UN also believed Saddam to be nearing development of nuclear weapons:

Tigerhawk blogged Wait a minute. Iraq had WMD programs?!? Iraq was "on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away"? You're 'shittin' me! And here I thought Bush lied. Seems that the New York Times owes Judith Miller an apology. Or at least a hat tip.

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