Friday, November 03, 2006

Can You Believe It?

The New York Times is expressing concern over the apparent disclosure of classified information. That's right, the same paper that dismissed worries about its expose on the NSA terrorist surveillance program and efforts to trace terrorists' financial dealings, now claims that the U.S. provided a "nuclear primer" to Iran, by posting captured Iraqi documents on the internet.

According to "experts" interviewed by the paper, the documents provide a "basic guide" for building a nuclear weapon, which could be useful to nations (like Iran) that are currently pursuing a nuclear capability. The nuclear information in question was developed by Iraqi nuclear scientists before the 1991 Gulf War, and was found in documents recovered after the liberation of Iraq in 2003. They nuclear documents were posted on a government-sponsored web site, the "Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal," earlier this year.

The Times' sudden interest in captured Iraqi documents is rather curious, since the paper has virtually ignored efforts to translate and analyze Saddam's files under the Harmony program. By the standards of the NYT, Harmony documents that offered new revelations about ongoing Iraqi chemical projects (just months before the U.S.-led invasion) simply weren't newsworthy (hat tip: Captain's Quarters). The Times also had no interest in documents that suggested possible ties between the former Iraqi regime and elements of Al Qaida. You may recall that the few MSM outlets who did report on these documents questioned their validity and/or the translation. But now that they're in the Times, well, they must be the gospel truth.

But posting the supposed nuclear primer is front-page stuff for the Times, particularly when concerns about the material come from their friends at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an organization the paper considers a bulwark of anti-proliferation efforts. Let's see, the IAEA doesn't have a dog in this fight, right? Never mind that the documents in question show how far Iraq's nuclear program had advanced under the nose of the IAEA, and highlight that agency's woeful record in tracking--and deterring--rogue nuclear programs. Little wonder that the IAEA is "upset" over these postings.

As for how much information the material might provide to Tehran or other rogue regimes, the Times never really answers that question. One expert interviewed by the paper said data in the formerly posted documents would be "useful," suggesting that the information is hardly a cookbook or holy grail for nuclear scientists. The NYT also ignores the issue of other sources that might provide the information to rogue states. Iran's nuclear program, for example, has extensive ties to Russia, which could (potentially) provide advanced data for nuclear research and weapons design. Ditto for Pakistan's A.Q. Kahn proliferation network, which passed nuclear information to virtually anyone who wanted it.

There's also the issue of just how useful Iraqi data from the late 80s/early 90s would be for Iranian or North Korean programs that are relatively advanced. Pyongyang's marginally successful test last month indicates that its program is well beyond what Saddam's scientists were able to achieve. It also quite possible that Tehran has moved beyond the technical level of the Iraqi program, given Iranian access to outside experts, and continuing research efforts.

But the real irony in all of this is the Times' sudden obsession with security leaks and potential disclosures. For a paper that has consistently undercut efforts to battle terrorism, the NYT's new concern about the potential disclosure of classified information is nothing less than sheer hypocrisy.


Mike H. said...

The Times is jealous because the government scooped them on the revelation of secrets. Give them time, they'll get over it when they get the next scoop.

rocketsbrain said...

Here's my two cents in a comment over at HotAir:



Excellent Thread!

See this comment I just posted in Allahpundit's thread.


The Death Knell of the MEME, "Bush Lied - People Died!"

I would encourage all to watch Ray Robison's Blog as this big story unfolds.

, Mark Echenlaub - Regime of Terror, and
href="">Scott Malensek
have been working on this story for a long time and no one has paid much attention. And of course don't overlook

href="">Iraqi Gen Sada
and his message he has been criss-crossing Americia with.

Finally this cesspool is finally is seeing the light of day, ironically, by the LL and the MSM in their delusional state with BDS.

Damn that Rove guy is one hell of a smart dude. The call has been placed in this game of Texas Hold'em.

Please remember this nuke info is not unk in the intel circles. It just boils down to who has the scienitific, engineering, manufacturing, and raw materials to carry this out.

The strategic threat to the US - North Korea, Iran, and to a lesser degree Syria. Don't forget our "alley" The House of Saud probably was a receipient of the AQ Kahn nuke info for sale.

Do you suppose there is any connection with the impressive US Naval presence in the vacinity of Iran?

The irony is that this was all going on right under the noses of the IAEA until Col. Kadhafi fell on his sword and rolled over on his nuke program.

According to John Loftus, if you believe him reliable, said the NORKS were "shiting brinks" when it became apparent the the US was going into Iraq. Why? Because they new their "ass" was "grass" as all of this arrangements would become apparent in the Saddam Docs.

Glenn Reynold's, Army of Davids, has come to fruition. Folks actually have been working on these docs that are now coming to light. The government did not have the resources or vetted translators to comb through these docs.

The death of the meme, "Bush Lied - People Died!" The rope they've been allowed to run with has finally drawn taught with a snap.

Coach Mark said...

Good points on the hypocrisy.

The Times has led the charge in exposing security secrets and then has the nerve to blast someone else for MAYBE doing it


the Times has been thoroughly dishonest in their "Bushlied" style reporting and now have the nerve to use contradictory evidence in a story only to attempt to undercut the administration. Give me a break.

cynical joe said...

I'd agree that the NYT is being hypocritical, but that doesn't mean that they're wrong in pointing out that posting nuke intel on the internet is a bad idea. I don't see the public good done by exposing this kind of knowledge to the public.