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Republicans Aiding Insurgents, by.....

…setting up a web site with “charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about [nuclear] bomb building”, including “detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives” — information that goes “beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums”. Conveniently, most of the documents on the site were in Arabic.

Why on earth would anyone set up such a web site? Would you believe that it was done for makedly partisan political purposes?

Incredibly, this massive disclosure of material which should have been kept secret was initiated by a group of Republicans. I'll be fair and note that even Bush apparently thought this was a bad idea - although he eventually went along. It appears to have been pushed through by (unnamed) right-wing "dead enders" - wingnuts that refused to believe that the search for WMD found nothing, that really, we just needed to look a little harder still, and we'd find that elusive evidence.

The campaign for the online archive was mounted by conservative publications and politicians, who said that the nation’s spy agencies had failed adequately to analyze the 48,000 boxes of documents seized since the March 2003 invasion. With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents — most of them in Arabic — would reinvigorate the search for clues that Mr. Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion.

The web site is now down, after inquiries were made about complaints from arms-control experts - but it had been up since March. The most sensitive documents were "detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war." Let me repeat that just so it doesn't get missed: the documents released included Iraqi nuclear research dating from before the first Gulf war - the program that Gulf II showed had indeed been dismantled.

And in an all-to-familar pattern - just like Foley, just like Katrina, just like 9/11 - there were bright red blinking warning signs that something was wrong here - signs that were completely ignored. Previous complaints about the web site "didn't sound like a big deal", said Rep. Hoekstra (R-Michigan), the House Intelligence Comittee Chair. These complaints included one from United Nations arms-control officials that the site contained "information on how to make tabun and sarin", complaints from the IAEI (whose technical experts were "shocked"), and a warning from Negroponte that there was "some risk".

Posted by William Cohen at November 3, 2006 11:41 AM
Comments
Comment #193085

William,

I thought gay marriage, flag burning and michael Moore were aiding the terrorists?
I thought any fact based criticism of the GOP and G.W. is aiding the terrorists?
I enjoyed your post.
“Stay the course” William

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 3, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #193098

Just when you think it cannot get any worse, you find that Republicans are posting instructions in Arabic online on how to build nuclear weapons…. These guys have to go.

Also:

“There’s news out of Iraq that the U.S. military has lost track of tens of thousands of weapons purchased for Iraqi security forces — and failed to record serial numbers for about 370,000 weapons. Hillary Wicai reports.”

I like how in the Red column there’s a post about how “Dems are for the terrorists” with no evidence or points to back it up. I mean, even if someone really were a spy for Osama could they do more damage than Bush has done just from plain idiocy over and over again?

Posted by: Max at November 3, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #193100

Great post, William - chilling as it is. Thank you for providing us with the facts instead of the hyperbole being spouted over on the red side by Sicilian Eagle.

Posted by: Darth Independent at November 3, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #193104

Here’s a leaked document showing how the military really feels the Iraq war is going.

Posted by: Max at November 3, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #193122

I objected to this sort of stuff in the Red Column, and I object to it here. Write an article about the facts as we know them, but avoid the shrill headlines.

Posted by: Trent at November 3, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #193133

I objected to this sort of stuff in the Red Column, and I object to it here. Write an article about the facts as we know them, but avoid the shrill headlines.

I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until next wednesday. People are a little preoccupied now.

Posted by: Steve K at November 3, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #193141

Very disturbing news. WHY on earth would they do such a thing?!
Max, thanks for the link to that story.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 3, 2006 3:51 PM
Comment #193163

“I objected to this sort of stuff in the Red Column, and I object to it here. Write an article about the facts as we know them, but avoid the shrill headlines.”

The facts as we know them are these:

The Republican chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence committees created a public web site containing detailed information about building nuclear bombs. In Arabic.
Then they ignored warnings and complaints from arms-control experts and intelligence officials, and left the stuff up for months, until they started to get bad publicity about it.

If that’s not helping the insurgents, I don’t know what is. It’s certainly not what I want my taxes spent on, I’ll tell you that much.

And I wasn’t trying to be shrill - yes, I was poking fun at SE but I didn’t use any exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: William Cohen at November 3, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #193169

Another comment on the story, from DailyKos:

Ask yourself this. Would the administration have actually released these, had they known or even suspected that such information was in them?

If the answer is no, that tends to demonstrate the salient point — that the administration presumed there was nothing damning to find in these documents, but released them as political ploy to momentarily shut their critics up.

If the answer is yes — that they thought there were important, sensitive documents buried here, documents that dealt with nerve gas and nuclear weapons — then doesn’t that say something worse, that they were willing to release all those documents to the public (and to other nations) without even a cursory vetting, after pressure from GOP groups?

Once again, we’re faced with only two possible choices. Either the Bush administration sabotaged national security through incompetence — or via partisan malice.

Posted by: William Cohen at November 3, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #193192

William,

I agree that your factually based article is nothing like SE’s piece of hysteria, but because I value civil discourse, I still wince at the title, which, of course, is inflammatory. And I realize it’s mocking SE’s title, but such nuances are easy to overlook in the heat of an election.

At any rate, I couldn’t very gripe over there and not say something here :)

Posted by: Trent at November 3, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #193199

I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned what to me is the most fascinating part of this story.

From the NYTimes article linked to in the orignal post:

Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

I guess Hussein isn’t gonna building any atom bombs now, is he? And who do we have to thank for that?

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 3, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #193203

“Either the Bush administration sabotaged national security through incompetence — or via partisan malice.”

Just for stupid people like me, does this mean Bush & Co. are either (1) incompetent, or (2) malicious at the cost of all Americans?

Could it possibly be?

Bush said in Iowa today, “the Democrats said that those tax cuts would cause the federal deficit to explode. Well, the facts are in.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/11/20061103-8.html

Well, yes they are Mr. President. And our National Debt and the interest associated with it now eat up about 62% of our GDP. Look yourself:

http://www.lafn.org/politics/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html#

Mr. President, you,ve incresed the National debt from $18 Billion dollars to $574 Billion dollars.

Now, more of our neighbors and friends think that Bush policy threatens world peace:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2006/11/03/poll_bush_policy_threatens_world_peace/?rss_id=Boston.com+%2F+News

And this all occured under the “rubber stamp” GOP Congress.

If you vote Republican you’re voting to pass huge debts on to our children and grandchildren. If you vote Republican you’re voting for an America that bases policy on a political agenda that includes fear as it’s primary tool.

We can’t defeat terrorism by placing 140,000 American troops under the control of an Iraqi Dawaa party member. But that’s exactly what Bush is doing.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 8:39 PM
Comment #193204

Neo-Con Pilsner,

Was he closer than Iran? Or N. Korea?

Why invade? We had UN inspectors there. Hans Blix virtually begged for more time.

Further more, it’s not at all odd for the government to completely black out parts of a report that pose any risk, so even based on your assumption, the Bush administration released potentially dangerous info for political reasons.

Very sad, and very sick. Oh, and very unamerican if not altogether treasoness.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #193208

William

Looks loke my piece over on the other side made Watchblog history!!!

A Blue Column Copycat piece, plus I get to be blasted here too!!

God…I love it… :)

Posted by: sicilianeagle at November 3, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #193217

Max,

Thanks for the link. That had slipped by the radar.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #193223

KansasDem, the administration did not “release” anything they thought was dangerous.

They released masses of captured Iraqi documents which the pitiful state of our intelligence services (thank you very much, George Tenet) did not allow to be sufficiently analyzed.

If anything, the administration foolishly bought into the left’s idea that there was nothing dangerous after all about Iraq’s WMD programs, and that it would therefore be all right to make these unexamined documents public.

And now we find out—wow!—that Saddam Hussein had detailed plans to make an atom bomb. Couple that with the now competely proven fact (Joe Wilson’s utterly debunked lies to the contrary), that Iraq was recently and actively seeking materials to create weapons, and we can be very grateful that the threat Hussein posed has been removed.

Stay tuned, though, for North Korea and Iran. Things are still very much in motion on those fronts and the final cards have yet to be played.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 3, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #193224

“A Blue Column Copycat piece”

Hardly SE. Some of us feel no need to drink the Red Kool-Aid to arrive at a conclusion.

If I were William I’d take that as an insult. I honestly thought you were above that.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #193228

——William Cohen—- Excellent article. This reminds
me of the 35 acres covered with piles of weapons,
which were not destroyed, an the three large bunkers
full of c-4 explosives found by ABC news which were
never destroyed or moved. I guess we could not
have attacked Iraq if they had no weapons? I simply
can’t except ignorance as an excuse in any of these
blunders!

Posted by: DAVID at November 3, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #193231

Neo-Con Pilsner,

Why then were they so hasty at removing it from public view.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #193239

Just for the record (before it disappears too):

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/security_internet_iraq_dc

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #193240

neoconservatism is an oxymoron.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 3, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #193243

Diogenes,

Actually a true oxymoron is “civil libertarianism”.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #193244

Neo-con Pilsner,

“They released masses of captured Iraqi documents which the pitiful state of our intelligence services (thank you very much, George Tenet) did not allow to be sufficiently analyzed.”

Gee, Tenet has been gone a full year.

Don’t ya think the CIA might have had just one person qualified to look these documents over, BEFORE they were released.

Dumb as box of rocks.

Sorry, I forgot, it must have been Clinton’s fault.

Posted by: Rocky at November 4, 2006 12:12 AM
Comment #193251

Interesting.

I saw where someone said that Saddam was only about a year away from a workable nuke design for a SCUD.

Didn’t see that in the NYT though.

Posted by: Ynot at November 4, 2006 2:16 AM
Comment #193278


The web site was put up in an effort to convince the American People that Sadam had WMD’s in 2003 prior to the war. They wanted to discredit critics who were saying that Bush lied about WMD’s. The republicans could prove neither on their web site because almost all of the material is pre-1991 Gulf War documents.

What the republicans were able to do was cause a serious breach in security protocal.

Of course, they will say it is Clintons fault. The republicans are so stupid it would be laughable if it didn’t have such negative consequences for our nation.

Posted by: jlw at November 4, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #193279


Max: Thanks for the link. I noticed that on the left is peace and on the right is chaos. It is so sad, what has happened to Iraq, our troops and our nation.

Posted by: jlw at November 4, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #193285

Neocon - thanks for raising this issue, which a number of conservatives have fastened on - perhaps I should say “grasped at”:


Comment #193199

I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned what to me is the most fascinating part of this story.

From the NYTimes article linked to in the orignal post:

Mr. Hussein�€™s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

I guess Hussein isn’t gonna building any atom bombs now, is he? And who do we have to thank for that?

We have to thank George Bush - George H. W. Bush, that is, who invaded Iraq and dismanted Hussein’s nuclear program in the 1990’s. The full context is “Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.”

The natural reading of this sentence is that “the time” refers to “after the Persian Gulf war”, i.e., the 1990’s….after all, that reading is consistent with what we already know. You could interpret this instead to say “the time” is 2002, as some Red-Teamers are trying to do. But we know that’s not true - there were no WMD found in Iraq after Gulf II. It’s ridiculous to assume that NYT would say there were, without supporting evidence, buried in the background section of an article. The only plausible assumption is that the two bold-faced sections above refer to the same time - fifteen years ago.

Posted by: William Cohen at November 4, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #193331

Complete information for building a nuclear bomb has been available in public libraries since the early 50’s. I remember a news story from the late 70’s or early 80’s about a kid building one for a high school science project. He got the plans from books in his local library. He made the parts from materials he scrounged in a junk yard and bought from Radio Shack. The gov’t scientists who checked it out said all it needed was uranium and it would have worked.

Posted by: traveller at November 4, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #193363

traveller,

Yes, the information is out there. Design isn’t the problem.

Posted by: Trent at November 4, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #193365

—Since most all these documents were written in
Arabic, so we might assume they may have been
released in order to track all those who went
to that web. site??? The story put out was, they
thought the more people that read them, an report
back their findings would be a good thing. What a
joke!! How many Americans read Arabic? This story
will get buried an not heard about again, at least
not on paper, or news if you get my drift!

Posted by: DAVID at November 4, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #193445

Traveller says: “Complete information for building a nuclear bomb has been available in public libraries since the early 50’s.” True enough - at some level of detail. However:

The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums.

But your science project story sounds like an urban legend to me. Any links for that?

Posted by: William Cohen at November 5, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #193456

William Cohen,

It’s true enough at a level of detail sufficient for the Soviet Union to begin their nuclear weapons program and build their first nuclear bombs entirely from information they obtained from American libraries, most notably the Library of Congress.

Posted by: traveller at November 5, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #193669

Everyone,

How to build a nuclear weapon is common knowledge that you can get from a college text.

A quantum molecular physics textbook I picked up, tells you the methods, materials and means in constructing nuclear weapons.

The ‘special technology’ behind an atomic bomb isn’t the sience of construction it is the sience of how to obtain the materials from nature and then in which way to refine it.

If you can all recall your Chemistry 101 classes, every substance can be refined infinitely.

The combinations of electron, proton, nuetrons, atomic masses, etc…, that is the ‘secret’ knowledge. It takes all the chemical, biological, and physical science knowledge of a 1st world PhD degree AND the engenuity of a truely ingenius individual to ‘develope’ that knowledge.

Even if you already have the blueprints.

So the whole idea of Republicans aiding terrorism is just silly.

So is the whole idea of the Democrats aidin terrorism, that is silly too.

In fact, the idea of any American entity aiding terrorism is siily, if terrorism became successful by any means every entity that is American would loose.

There is nothing to gain from a group of individuals have nothing more than faith, an ‘idea’ is all they have.

That is not profitable by any means.

Unless your a televised evangelist with a moral misperception, the Jewish church, the Catholic church, etc… and even then you would have been better off taking advantage of the new communications market in India.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 6, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #193671

Bryan AJ-

Interesting and highly logical viewpoint…and one not often expressed. I watched the towers collapse from about 30 blocks away, so I am still a bit on the fence about the best way to spend “security” money. I half want to put a layer of security on everything, while the other half is wondering why my first half has gone insane.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 6, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #193672

William,

Do you realize the irony…

of having posted a link to a site that provides all the neccessary information for some one as simple as a student, such as myself, to maufacture Sarin in my chemistry lab, while complaining that some one else did the same.

Nothing wrong with it, it is just funny.

Fact is folk, ALL knowledge that is known is easily obtained if one looks for it. All they really need is some money to buy the books it is written in.

If your near a community college, you can go to the bookstore and buy the previous text fro any class for around $2, just thought you should know.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 6, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #193674

William,

Do you realize the irony…

of having posted a link to a site that provides all the neccessary information for some one as simple as a student, such as myself, to maufacture Sarin in my chemistry lab, while complaining that some one else did the same.

Nothing wrong with it, it is just funny.

Fact is folk, ALL knowledge that is known is easily obtained if one looks for it. All they really need is some money to buy the books it is written in.

If your near a community college, you can go to the bookstore and buy the previous text fro any class for around $2, just thought you should know.

Also, I just got done looking to such site and it turns out that what was on the PENTAGON site was never confirmed. The only thing any one knows for sure is that what was posted was found in Iraqi weapon developement research centers.

So I also don’t see how telling them what they aleady know would really hurt anything.

Everyone in this whole country needs to stop jumping to conclusions based on the “so-n-so told so-n-so who told so-no-so that this happened”.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 6, 2006 5:27 PM
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