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 had said they hoped to "leverage the Internet" to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.Of course, now in hindsight, this wont be good enough. Unlike at the start of the war when some 80% supported invading Iraq this would have met the threshold of threat to America. Bush critics, who have watched too much 24 wouldn't be satisfied now unless we found some sort of WMD with a timer ticking close to zero.
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. . . .
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.
For those who cared only about WMD--some vindication. But as we said, for us, this was only a little vindication. Our rationale for going to war included more than just WMD.
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