No, really, tell us about "the stakes" again

In an effort to prove Saddam Hussein had WMD, the Bush administration provides a public primer on how to build an atomic bomb.

Tim Grieve
November 3, 2006 8:27PM (UTC)

Last March, the Bush administration posted on the Web a mountain of documents recovered in Iraq in the hopes that amateur weapons hunters and war apologists would search through the cache and discover information about WMD that professional inspectors somehow missed. The administration took down the site Thursday night after the New York Times asked about complaints that the documents on the site constituted "a basic guide to building an atomic bomb."

The bomb-related documents -- posted to the site in recent weeks -- "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," the Times says. Among other things, the documents give "detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs."


We're sure that no one could have predicted this, except -- of course -- somebody did. As former White House chief of staff Andy Card said on the "Today" show this morning, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte warned the White House at the time that the Web site was established that "we don't know what's in these documents, so these are being put out at some risk, and that was a warning that he put out right when they first released the documents."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Iraq Iraq War Middle East War Room

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