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A New York Times Report Tomorrow will Say that Posted Iraq Nuke Documents May Have Helped Iran

According to Drudge, the New York Times is set to publish a report tomorrow asserting that the US government inadvertently helped Iran further its nuclear program by posting the Iraqi nuke documents online:

NYT REPORTING FRIDAY, SOURCES SAY: U.S. POSTING OF IRAQ NUKE DOCS ON WEB COULD HAVE HELPED IRAN...


Federal government set up Web site -- Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal -- to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war; detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research; a 'basic guide to building an atom bomb'... Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency fear the information could help Iran develop nuclear arms... contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that the nuclear experts say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums...

Website now shut... Developing...

If this posted information was that helpful to Iran, that would mean that Saddam was further along in his nuclear program than people may have thought.

Allahpundit seems to be thinking the same thing and also wonders why the IAEA is so worried that Iran would use bomb making information if its nuclear program was supposedly "peaceful."

Update: Here's the article. And note that the Times puts the blame directly on the Republicans in Congress just five days out of the midterm elections.

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 said they hoped to "leverage the Internet" to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.


[snip]

The director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, had resisted setting up the Web site, which some intelligence officials felt implicitly raised questions about the competence and judgment of government analysts. But President Bush approved the site's creation after Congressional Republicans proposed legislation to force the documents' release.

And it looks like Iraq in fact was much closer to building a nuclear bomb than originally thought:

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.

Ace is unimpressed:

Iran doesn't need any advice about building a bomb. The basics of it are well known. And the A.Q. Khan network acted as a nuclear Johnny Appleseed throughout the Islamic world (and NK, too!).


So, there's your "huge" story:

Iraq had advanced plans to build a bomb (but it was no threat to build a bomb!) and Bush is horrible because he let those plans be posted on line, which Iran may use to build a bomb (but we also don't have to worry about them building a bomb, so don't get any tricky ideas about bombing them!).

Update II: This story is taking a turn I'm certain the New York Times did not expect. Jim Geraghty explains and hits this nail squarely on the head:

I'm sorry, did the New York Times just put on the front page that IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB?


What? Wait a minute. The entire mantra of the war critics has been "no WMDs, no WMDs, no threat, no threat", for the past three years solid. Now we're being told that the Bush administration erred by making public information that could help any nation build an atomic bomb.

Let's go back and clarify: IRAQ HAD NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANS SO ADVANCED AND DETAILED THAT ANY COUNTRY COULD HAVE USED THEM.

I think the Times editors are counting on this being spun as a "Boy, did Bush screw up" meme; the problem is, to do it, they have to knock down the "there was no threat in Iraq" meme, once and for all. Because obviously, Saddam could have sold this information to anybody, any other state, or any well-funded terrorist group that had publicly pledged to kill millions of Americans and had expressed interest in nuclear arms. You know, like, oh... al-Qaeda.

The New York Times just tore the heart out of the antiwar argument, and they are apparently completely oblivous to it.

The antiwar crowd is going to have to argue that the information somehow wasn't dangerous in the hands of Saddam Hussein, but was dangerous posted on the Internet. It doesn't work. It can't be both no threat to America and yet also somehow a threat to America once it's in the hands of Iran. Game, set, and match.

My oh my, this is getting quite interesting.

Update III: Blue Crab Boulevard is also weighing in:

While I am not an expert on nuclear weapons, per se, I have a fair bit of knowledge about them and have an extensive background in the nuclear energy field. I can say, with certainty, that you do not learn helpful information in developing technology by looking at someone who is not as far along as you are. That means Iraq was further along than Iran.


Let me put this another way: You cannot simultaneously hold the position that Saddam did not have WMD programs and that he had advanced knowledge of nuclear weapons that would be of use to Iran. You cannot simultaneously believe Iran has a peaceful nuclear program and a need for advanced knowledge of nuclear weapons.

Update IV: The New York Times has a history of springing Iraq surprises just before an election. Remember this?:

Yesterday, the New York Times did a fine service for the Kerry campaign by publishing a carefully timed hit piece describing how tons of explosives have gone missing from a site in Iraq.


This morning, the story is imploding, with NBC News leading the charge to point out that the explosives were already gone when U.S. troops arrived just a day after the fall of Baghdad. (Bizarrely, CNN has this as their lead story online, and it is nowhere to be found on MSNBC's front page. Update: Here's the MSNBC story.).

Hat tip: Ian.


Comments (28)

I'd also like to know if th... (Below threshold)
ReadyFirst:

I'd also like to know if the design information was so sensitive why does the NYT wait until October to tell everyone in a media hit piece instead of making the proper authorities aware of the information immediately. A cheap shot at best and an incredibly dangerous game to play at worst.

if Saddam had this informat... (Below threshold)
jp:

if Saddam had this information, rest assured Iran already does.

This can't be any worse tha... (Below threshold)
Mike:

This can't be any worse than the Clinton Administration's botched attempt to give Iran a fake nuclear bomb blueprint. The Russian scientist involved in the mission spotted the flaws in the plans, contacted the Iranians with the information, and was paid off by the Iranians after he corrected them. But what I can't understand is why peaceful Iran would want a nuclear bomb blueprint in the first place?

Well, I do remember that, r... (Below threshold)

Well, I do remember that, right after the fall of Baghdad, they found a single example of a uranium-separation centrifuge buried in the backyard of an Iraqi scientist. The picture was online for a few days, then suddenly taken down because apparently it showed details of the centrifuge (the bearing, perhaps?) that would be helpful to other nimrods trying to make high-speed centrifuges.

Of course they know that th... (Below threshold)
sammy small:

Of course they know that the docs helped Iran because they have a reporter embeded with the Iranian scientists who told them this.

/sarcasm

The MSM will go to extremes to interpret any story in a negative slant for this administration. It won't stop till Dems own the government again.

Just take a look at the story today lamenting the lack of economic growth while labor costs rise. Instead of touting the increased earning power of workers, they continue to paint doom and gloom. It has become a game to take good news and turn it into something negative. I have to laugh at how obvious it has become.

So this means that Saddam w... (Below threshold)
archtop:

So this means that Saddam was a threat after all? That he was on the verge of getting Nukes? And I thought the WMD story was all a lie! Thank you, NY Times!!

Why is the NYT's shooting d... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Why is the NYT's shooting down the dimwit's rant for years that the 'nice old man Saddam' was no danger to anyone and would never build WMD, only medical devices to save the world from disease.

Iran didn't need or want some crude backward developed nuclear device. They got the plans for the most up to date nuclear technology from Slick and Algore.

LMAO

All this Nuke stuff was bef... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

All this Nuke stuff was before the gulf war in 1991(as stated in the article)...as has been shown Iraq was not activly pursuing their nuke program in 2003....the only part of this that is newsworthy is that our govt made information avaliable to terrorists....gee didn't Congress just pass and our President sign some law dealing with aiding the enemy?

By the way, doesn't Saddam ... (Below threshold)
archtop:

By the way, doesn't Saddam get his verdict on Sunday? I wonder how the MSM will spin that?

heh- Looks like the Republi... (Below threshold)
Paul:

heh- Looks like the Republican in Congress where right.... There was WMD proof in those doc.

Thanks NY Times.

"But in recent weeks, the s... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"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. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb."

Pre 1991, the kind of stuff that was suppressed under the UN agreement. Our idiot President, just gave nuke secrets to the terrorists! Wasn't that why he invaded Iraq in the first place?

So, what does that make Bush?

I read the entire NYT artic... (Below threshold)
archtop:

I read the entire NYT article and what struck me was that, not only was Saddam close to getting Nukes, but apparently there was some sensitive Iraqi germ warfare and chemical WMD info on there as well!! And not just pre-1991, as far as I could discern from the article. Moreover, the article indicated that the information, though sensitive, would not likely help anyone without a nuke weapons infrastructure already. And that doesn't count Iran, since they are only building peaceful nukes for electric power generation...right?

But even if, as some suggest, Saddam was "not pursuing their nuke weapons program in 2003," this shows that he certainly had the technology and could have shared it with our enemies at any time (probably did).

But, hey, Iraq was no threat!

I can't believe the Republi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I can't believe the Republicans in Congress are this self-centered -- wow. And of course the White House went along with it - morons!

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 said they hoped to "leverage the Internet" to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

[snip]

The director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, had resisted setting up the Web site, which some intelligence officials felt implicitly raised questions about the competence and judgment of government analysts. But President Bush approved the site's creation after Congressional Republicans proposed legislation to force the documents' release.

The asshole Republican congress critters, trying to protect their high-paid jobs, gave secrets away to Iran.

Republicans don't work for the american people, they work for themselves and themselves alone. It's time to flush the toilet on the Republican congress.

Sorry Lee - This story just... (Below threshold)
archtop:

Sorry Lee - This story just help blow the whole "No WMDs in Iraq" meme to smithereens....Thank you, NY Times!!

BarneyG2000 , why would th... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

BarneyG2000 , why would the terrorists (Iran) want the plans for a crude nuclear device after Slick and Algore gave (actually sold) them the plans for the most up to date nuclear technology in the world. Or are you saying Saddam was ahead of the U.S. in development of nuclear weapons. Can't have it both ways, pick one.

They (Slick and Algore) then turned around and traded the worlds most up to date missile guidance system to the Chinese for a few dollars in 'campaign' contributions. Got caught and returned the money but avoided a long prison sentence the should have been awarded for they're stupidity.

Bush is Bad,So is Ru... (Below threshold)
epador:


Bush is Bad,So is Rush,so said Haughti-Lee
Dems are Grate,Don't be Late,Vote often and Ear-Lee

As the blackbird in the spring, 'neath the willow tree,
Sat and piped, I heard him sing, sing out Pain Full Lee.
Our ol' Lee, Oral Lee, blogs with leaden thoughts,
Rehashing the contorted words of good ol' Kos's bots.

On his cheek the Mud still wet, 'twas splattered when he keyed;
In his eyes the mon'tor glowed and RSS did feed.

When its time to spam Wizbang, do it Ora-Lee;
For you know the other way, is more Pain Full Lee.

Yet if these blue guys* I do see, ask them to depart;
For to me, sweet Our ol' Lee, is sunshine to their fart.

*[More Ego, Field Negro, Barney2Go]

[apologies to Alan Sherman, WW Fosdick and George R Poulton]

I'm honored, epador -- than... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I'm honored, epador -- thanks!

But this is going to make Jay Tea really jealous -- make up a song for him too so he doesn't pout all day tomorrow.

Make sure you get word "duck" in the poem there somewhere - rhyming should be easy from there.

If this is being reported b... (Below threshold)
charles martel:

If this is being reported by the same New York Times I've come to know and hate.... can it really be anything good?

Good lord, epador, I think ... (Below threshold)

Good lord, epador, I think I OWN that Allen Sherman song -- ON VINYL.

And I think I'll take up your and Lee's challenge:

A troll quite down on his luck,
On one note was constantly stuck.
He haunted Wizbang!
With harangue after harangue,
Able only to keep flinging muck.

His rants had only one theme:
Everything's a Rethuglican scheme.
Though often proven wrong,
He'd just fire up his bong,
And spin another paranoid dream.

But unlike the other dumb schmucks,
He wasn't paid the big bucks.
Soros' money only goes
For those who step on the toes
Of the really high muck-a-mucks.

Count 'em, Lee -- SIX rhymes for "duck."

J.

Not only does the NYT story... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Not only does the NYT story require you to believe Iraq had a Nuclear Weapons Program, it requires you to believe Iran has one as well. Laying the groundwork for a military action against Iran.

That must have be one rushed hitpiece.

Love the limericks, Jay Tea... (Below threshold)

Love the limericks, Jay Tea. You're a man of many talents.

"As far as I'm concerned... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"As far as I'm concerned, at Gitmo they can hook that EE8 phone to his balls and crank away. (Trust me, I've seen it done and they will tell you anything you want to know, and NO they don't make things up, because they know that if they lie, you'll be back.)"

Jay Tea wants a copy of any videotapes you might have, at your earliest convenience, USMC. He asks that your send it overnight, collect.

FinalLee my awkward art ins... (Below threshold)
epador:

FinalLee my awkward art inspires some real finesse!

Well Done JT
Which Rhymes with Lee
and not with duck or fart!

Although liberals used the ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Although liberals used the Duelfer Report to "prove" that Saddam had no WMD, the actual text of the report clearly stated that Saddam Hussein kept scientists, laboratory equipment, and chemical reagents at his disposal, and planned to resume biological and chemical weapons production -- and nuclear research -- as soon as UN sanctions were lifted.

You might also recall that he was using Oil For Food money to bribe the French and the Russians into pushing the UN to lift the sanctions.

I also believe that Saddam's crazed obsession to destroy Iran would have been pushed over the edge by their nascient nuclear program, thus guaranteeing a nuclear arms race between the two nations. Makes you feel a whole lot safer, doesn't it?

Reminds me of Lee. Oblivio... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Reminds me of Lee. Obliviouly, he often manages to knock down his own "memes."

Why the hoopla over who vei... (Below threshold)
DJ:

Why the hoopla over who veiwed what.. if the NYT wants to make a case (or the portal op's want to refute) they should pull the web servers hosting the questionable pages access logs for the year, and show which hosts viewed the document(s) in question. Just because something "could" have happpened, doesn't mean something "did" happen. In an acusation like this, the burden of proof rests with the NYT.

What would be humorous would be if the access logs for the questionable information only showed hits originating from 199.239.x.x as being the only viewers.

Wheres the backlash for the search engines for potentially caching this kind of stuff?

From The Times article:</... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

From The Times article:

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 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. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Hmmmm... Stateside-deferred Wingngut asshat blogger pussies persuade republican congressmen to put out information hoping to find a "Smoking Gun". Yet the Pantload Media never payed any mind to the 1990's era HOW TO BUILD AND ATOM BOMB manual.


Wingnuts. Barely smart enough to breathe.

Pity.

Jay runs a quite interestin... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Jay runs a quite interesting blog.
His posters are stuck in a fog.
The truth they all fear,
They sputter and sneer,
And sit there with mouths all agog.

(Hey, at least I can use proper cadence.)




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