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Nov 3rd 2006

NY Times: Documents from the non-existent Iraqi nuclear weapons program pose grave nuclear danger to world


But I thought that Iraq wasn’t doing anything on the nuclear front

10 Responses to “NY Times: Documents from the non-existent Iraqi nuclear weapons program pose grave nuclear danger to world”

  1. Dude,

    did you even read the article? They are talking about the documents from pre-1991! Oh right, anything that happened before 1991 is okay, because it was Reagan and Bush senior who were in power, and everything they did was holy and right….

  2. doug

    It doesn’t particularly matter when the documents are from. It’s that they exist and that Iraq was holding on to them. Of course, I’m sure they were there for historical/scholarly research purposes…Iraq would never have tried to build nukes…

  3. Dude,

    You’re not getting it. No one doubts Iraq was going for nukes before 1991.

  4. doug


    I think you are missing the irony of the Times article (the second IAEA sourced “November surprise” in as many elections).

    We are led to believe that these Iraqi nuclear documents would be dangerous (deadly!) in the hands of any rogue regime…except Iraq.

  5. Doug,

    sorry man, I grew up in California. Dude is just the way you say things there. 🙂

    Oh when will Republicans recall history accurately? Is that too much to ask for?

    New York Times reports about the closure of a Bush-approved website where documents from Iraq were placed. These documents were taken from Iraq. Some of the documents go into great detail about the nuclear program Saddam was aiming for back in the late 1980s. Remember, Saddam was just finishing a war with Iran and was looking for advantages for any future conflict with Iran. Israel had destroyed their previous nuclear plant back in 1981. If it were not for that attack, most assuredly, Iraq would have had nuclear weapons in the 1980s. I wonder what Reagan would have thought of that.

    When we kicked Saddam out of Kuwait in 1990-1991, we uncovered their nuclear program, and then through UN Inspectors dismantled the nuclear weapons program completely. The UN Inspectors did not do as good of a job with chemical weapons, because Iraq resisted throughout the 90s to UN inspections. But all UN inspectors and observers agree that Iraq’s nuclear program was defunct, inoperable, and nowhere near starting again by 2001.

    Now, when we invaded Iraq in 2003, we grabbed a whole bunch (thousands of pages) of documents that we thought might help us locate Saddam’s supposed WMD collection. Truth be told, the UN Inspectors actually did their job. Imagine that! No WMDs in Iraq, but plenty of evidence of Iraq’s previous WMDs and documents about nuclear programs from back in the 1980s.

    So what Bush wanted to do was set up a website where all these documents would be stored and hopefully get some help from people who speak Arabic in translating the thousands of pages, to see exactly what evidence there may be of Saddam’s WMD obsession.

    What the Bush people realized, however, is that some of these documents got very detailed about how to create a nuclear weapon. So they yanked the website off the air. Score one for the New York Times catching the Bush Administration from making yet another mistake.

    So, yeah, there’s nothing new here. Certainly nothing showing that Bush was right that Iraq had nuclear weapons in 2003 when he invaded Iraq.

  6. doug

    Certainly nothing showing that Bush was right that Iraq had nuclear weapons in 2003 when he invaded Iraq.

    You are correct. As I said, these documents were obviously kept for historical/scholarly research purposes and Iraq had no intention of ever trying to build a nuke.

  7. you still don’t get it. These documents are from the time when Iraq had every intention to build nukes, and the means and will to do so. That was before 1991. Those documents about nuclear technology are dated from pre-1991. Geez, what does it take for Republicans to see the truth!

  8. doug

    You are, again, correct. Which is why (as I said before) these Iraqi nuclear documents would be dangerous in the hands of any rogue regime, except Iraq.

  9. travis, for jim geraghty

    i think the following is dude’s doug’s argument. jim geraghty laid out the NYTimes’ hypocrisy pretty clearly:

    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.


    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.

    [E]very stop has been pulled [in the NYTimes article] to ensure [readers] will believe that posting these documents was a strategic blunder of the first order.

    But the story retains its own inherent contradiction: The information in these documents is so dangerous, that every step must be taken to ensure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands… except for topping the regime that actually has the documents.

    I’m still kinda blown away by this paragraph:

    Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990’s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq 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.

    Is this sentence referring to 1990, before the Persian Gulf War? Or 2002, months before the invasion of Iraq? Because “Iraq is a year away from building a nuclear bomb” was supposed to be a myth, a lie that Bush used to trick us into war.

    And yet here is the New York Times, saying that Iraq had a “how to manual” on how to build a nuclear bomb, and could have had a nuke in a year.

    In other news, it’s good to see that the New York Times is firmly against publicizing sensitive and classified information. Unless, of course, they’re the ones doing it.

    ONE LAST THOUGHT: So Iraq had all the know-how, all the plans, all the designs, “charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building.” Unless they were keeping these documents around as future material for paper airplanes, all this stuff constituted a plan of action for some point in the future; but to complete creating these weapons, they would have needed stuff. I don’t know an exact list of what they would have needed, but articles like this one give a good idea. Sounds like you need a firing mechanism (the right kind of firearm would suffice), some fairly common industrial equipment like a lathe, material for the bomb casing, some fairly common conventional explosives, all of which would have been easy to get in Iraq. Oh, and, of course, the nuclear material itself.

    They would have needed something like… um… you know… what’s that stuff called? Oh, that’s right.


    But we know Iraq would never make an effort to get yellowcake. Joe Wilson had tea with officials in Niger who said so.


  10. […] Dan, Nov 2006 [link] wow, you really did buy into Rove’s propaganda, didn’t you, travis. looks like there is still much work to do here in America. gullible […]