Not for the first time, the IAEA is teaming up with the New York Times to embarrass Bush on the even of an election. I seem to recall that the International Atomic Energy Agency (a United Nations Agency known by the acronymn "IAEA") had previously tried an election eve gambit (also with the cooperation of the NYT) . Specifically, the IAEA claimed that negligence on the part of the US led to the looting of tons of high explosive in Iraq. Supposedly, under US guard, these explosives had gone missing. The Pentagon was later able to deflate this "expose" by showing that the Hussein regime had already moved this stockpile of explosives before the invasion by coalition forces.
Back then, the UN was accused of meddling in the US Presidential election; now it and its partner The New York Times is once again attempting to influence American elections by casting aspersions on the competency of a Republican Administration.
U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Guide
By WILLIAM J. BROAD
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.
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.'
Certainly there's no love lost beween the Bush Administration and Mohammed El—Baradei, the feckless leader of the IAEA, that the Administration had hoped to replace after his term expired. The New York Times, true to form, has used its franchise for partisan purposes.
Ed Lasky 11 2 06
Update: Clarice Feldman adds,
It does seem to be stretching things.
In January of this year, the NYT's own James Risen reported that under Clinton , in 2000, the CIA provided Iran with plans for a nuclear bomb. The article is not available longer there or at the LA Times site where it was first reported but you can read it here:
VIENNA: The CIA, using a double—agent Russian scientist, may have handed a blueprint for a nuclear bomb to Iran.
State of War by James Risen, the New York Times reporter who exposed the Bush administration's controversial domestic spying operation, claims the plans contained fatal flaws designed to derail Tehran's nuclear drive.
But the deliberate errors were so rudimentary they would have been easily fixed by sophisticated Russian nuclear scientists, the book said.
The operation, which took place during the Clinton administration in early 2000, was codenamed Operation Merlin and "may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA," according to Risen.
Boris at JOM points out something else useful..
Iraq must have been rather closer to a nuke than the MSM has admitted. More of an "imminent" threat.
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
Ed Morrissey of Captain's Qaurters sees
the NYT has just authenticated the docs.
"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. [snip]
That appears to indicate that by invading in 2003, we followed the best intelligence of the UN inspectors to head off the development of an Iraqi nuke. This intelligence put Saddam far ahead of Iran in the nuclear pursuit, and made it much more urgent to take some definitive action against Saddam before he could build and deploy it. And bear in mind that this intelligence came from the UN, and not from the United States. The inspectors themselves developed it, and they meant to keep it secret. The FMSO site blew their cover, and they're very unhappy about it.
What other highlights has the Times now authenticated? We have plenty:
* 2001 IIS memo directing its agents to test mass grave sites in southern Iraq for radiation, and to use "trusted news agencies" to leak rumors about the lack of credibility of Coalition reporting on the subject. They specify CNN.
* The Blessed July operation, in which Saddam's sons planned a series of assassinations in London, Iran, and southern Iraq
* Saddam's early contacts with Osama bin Laden and al—Qaeda from 1994—7
* UNMOVIC knew of a renewed effort to make ricin from castor beans in 2002, but never reported it
* The continued development of delivery mechanisms for biological and chemical weapons by the notorious "Dr. Germ" in 2002
Actually, we have much, much more. All of these documents underscore the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and show that his regime continued their work on banned weapons programs. We have made this case over and over again, but some people refused to believe the documents were genuine. Now we have no less of an authority than the New York Times to verify that the IIS documentation is not only genuine, but presents a powerful argument for the military action to remove Saddam from power.
The Times wanted readers to cluck their tongues at the Bush administration for releasing the documents, although Congress actually did that. However, the net result should be a complete re—evaluation of the threat Saddam posed by critics of the war. Let's see if the Times figures this out for themselves."
Update: Douglas Hanson adds,
That the IAEA, which really exists to help level the nuclear playing field for rogue states and their despotic rulers, would stoop to another pre—election gambit is only part of the story. Technically speaking, the update from Jim Geraghty at NRO
drops its own bombshell on the entire WMD issue: the documents reveal that Saddam had an active nuclear weapons program and had the plans to build a bomb. Not to mention plenty of raw materials
And according to the IAEA, the plans posted on the Iraqi documents portal were not amateur plans that populate the internet these days. In other words, instead of another pre—election surprise, the IAEA has unwittingly confirm the real scope of Iraq's nuke program.
In fact, this mirrors my views when I appeared
on the Rick Moran Radio Show last August. My opinion was that chemical and biological weapons were a very real threat, but that the real attention getter and on the world stage was nuclear weapons. There are several limitations to employment of chemical weapons, and biological weapons in some cases provide a reaction time to counter their effects. But once a nuke goes off, the death and destruction is immediate, and there are no mitigating counter—measures. Also, the global strategic landscape changes dramatically beyond the tactical and operational battlefields. So, the real reason to go after WMD: destroy or neutralize Saddam's atomic weapon capability.
As the documents show, this is another instance where GW's pre—emptive strike policy has been proven out, despite the MSM's phony narrative of "no WMDs."
Update: Ray Robison adds:
Now that the NYT has confirmed these docs as authentic, I think a reminder would be helpful. Everybody is doing a document roundup of what has been out there and seems to have forgotten the only ones really analysed by the MSM