From the Friday New York Times, we learn that some of the captured Iraqi documents, recently made available for public scrutiny on the Internet, contained technical details of atomic weapons production whose availability on-line alarmed arms control officials.
The Times published all this as an indictment of the public release of captured Iraqi documents.
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…
Some intelligence officials feared that individual documents, translated and interpreted by amateurs, would be used out of context to second-guess the intelligence agencies’ view that Mr. Hussein did not have unconventional weapons or substantive ties to Al Qaeda. Reviewing the documents for release would add an unnecessary burden on busy intelligence analysts, they argued.
But the Times overlooks the fact that this kind of detailed technical information about an Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Program specifically confirms the Bush Administration’s causus belli, against which elite media (like the Times), and the most influential sectors of the Intelligence Community have so successfully waged a campaign of denial.
Does not the very existence of documents providing factual information of the highest relevance to the most vital public debate of the last three years, concealed by powerful elements of the Intelligence Community, perhaps prejudiced on policy issues, or possibly motivated (as some suspect) by partisanship, demand “second-guessing?”
Hat tip to Matt Drudge.