The idea is that the right-wing allies would translate the documents and find out where in the hell that sneaky Saddam Hussein had hidden the WMD. It didn't quite work out that way. Today's New York Times reports that there was indeed an old document from before the first Gulf War that would provide valuable information, if you were a rogue nation looking to acquire a nuclear bomb. From the New York Times:
Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.
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. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.
Only a truly moronic group of people would tout putting out this kind of information, in Arabic no less with an Arabic nation currently trying to build such a device, as triumph. The Bush administration is out in full force today, doing just that. You see, this proves that Saddam Hussein had an active WMD program and the mushroom cloud was right around the corner. Only it doesn't.
These are old documents and no serious person today believes that Hussein had an active WMD program when we attacked them in 2003. I do find the timing of the release of these documents curious though, perhaps this is the October surprise Karl Rove has been boasting of. I wouldn't put it past them, you know, risking giving Iran the know how to build a nuclear weapon just to win a few more lousy House seats. Given their past, it just isn't too big of a leap of faith.