OH, MY, SO CLOSE TO THE ELECTION
So national-security proponent president George W. Bush overruled his National Director of Intelligence, John Negroponte, in ordering the publication on the internet of captured Iraqi documents from before the first Gulf War that included a guidebook for building a nuclear weapon. It's been there for a couple of months for any terrorist to access. And why did he do this? At the urging of Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra (D-MI) and Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), who head the Congressional Intelligence Committees, who were holding out hope for evidence of the never-found Iraqi WMD.
On Keith Olbermann's Countdown tonight, Joseph Cinicione, nuclear weapons and proliferation expert, called this a "textbook" example of the politicization of intelligence. "This is a classic case of Congressional zealots" who have caused "real harm" to the interests of the United States. "It is a myth that you can go on the internet and get a design of a nuclear weapon," he said. It was the IAEA that protested this information being made public when they saw it in September. It wasn't pulled down by the administration until yesterday, after the New York Times published a story about it. "It's their [Congressmen Hoekstra and Roberts] zealotry that has caused the problem, not the media."
And despite the outcry from intelligence and weapons experts, our Secretary of State used the controversy to continue to foster the belief that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat, while fully aware that the referenced documents were 15 years old and dated from before the first Gulf War:
Yet in an interview on the ``Laura Ingraham Show,'' she also cited the documents in arguing that Saddam was a threat. ``The interesting thing is that there clearly were an awful lot of nuclear documents floating around Iraq, which suggest that this is someone who'd not given up on his ambitions,'' Rice said.
Earlier in the evening, on Hardball, chief weapons inspector David Kaye noted that just because the pages had been taken down from the Internet didn't mean that they weren't still accessible. As any of us who are knowledgeable in the operations of the Internet know, there are a number of sites that archive web pages and sites and make them available long after the sites have been "removed." Just last week I was able, for a presentation I had to make, to pull up company websites from as far back as 1996, 1998 and 2000 that have long been removed from general viewing. Kaye did say that Saddam had "postponed" his nuclear ambitions until sanctions were lifted (as Colin Powell noted, THEY WERE OBVIOUSLY WORKING). Chris asked him, "So Sadda, wasn't an imminent threat?" Kaye agreed, he was not.
In addition, Keith reported that the Military Times Media Group will issue an editorial in the Air Force Times, the Army Times, the Navy Times, etc. that calls for the dismissal of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.
UPDATE: Here's that editorial.
Tags: nuclear weapon, Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Internet