Friday, November 03, 2006

NYT Uncharacteristically Worries About US National Security

James Taranto does the perfect frisk of the monotonously irresponsible NYT today:
"The New York Times reports that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had a nuclear weapons program after all:

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.

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.

Our argument for liberating Iraq did not rest heavily on the question of weapons of mass destruction, but if yours did, you can now claim vindication. (Let's hope you didn't change your mind!)

What's even more astounding about this is that the Times is encouraging the removal from public view of material that might threaten American national security. How uncharacteristically responsible. Usually the paper itself publishes such material, heedless of the consequences. Is someone at the Times on vacation or something?

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