- Nov 22, 2003
This could be a problem for either side, depends if admin. reacts just like this:
Shocker: New York Times Confirms Iraqi Nuclear Weapons Program
11/02 10:39 PM
When I saw the headline on Drudge earlier tonight, that the New York Times had a big story coming out tomorrow that had something to do with Iraq and WMDs, I was ready for an October November Surprise.
Well, Drudge is giving us the scoop. And if it's meant to be a slam-Bush story, I think the Times team may have overthunk this:
U.S. POSTING OF IRAQ NUKE DOCS ON WEB COULD HAVE HELPED IRAN...
NYT REPORTING FRIDAY, SOURCES SAY: 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...
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.