Friday, November 03, 2006

You Can't Make This Stuff Up Category

"By now you may have seen the lead story in today's New York Times. It turns out that the Bush administration's unprecendented -- and apparently foolish beyond belief -- decision to agree to post thousands upon thousands of raw and in some cases unexamined or untranslated documents captured in the 2003 invasion of Iraq on the Internet had a very unintended consequence.

Some of the Baghdad papers, from before the first war in 1991, included the most detailed instructions for making a nuclear weapon ever placed on the Internet:

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.

Experts worry that the documents could have been very helpful to a rogue state trying to assemble a nuclear weapon.

Especially Iran:

Ray E. Kidder, a senior nuclear physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, an arms design center, said “some things in these documents would be helpful” to nations aspiring to develop nuclear weapons and should have remained secret.

A senior American intelligence official who deals routinely with atomic issues said the documents showed “where the Iraqis failed and how to get around the failures.” The documents, he added, could perhaps help Iran or other nations making a serious effort to develop nuclear arms, but probably not terrorists or poorly equipped states. The official, who requested anonymity because of his agency’s rules against public comment, called the papers “a road map that helps you get from point A to point B, but only if you already have a car.”

That's the story, but the backstory behind how this happened is even more remarkable, in a way.

It happened because after the White House invaded a Middle Eastern country based upon a web of lies about weapons of mass destruction and phony ties to al-Qaeda, the neoconservatives were desperate for any shred of evidence that might belatedly prove they were right after all, and enlisted their blogger backers to become amateur WMD Sherlock Holmes'.

It happened because a so-called "army of Davids" -- in reality, the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, the folks who never met a war in the Middle East they didn't like as long as there was someone else to enlist and take an IED blast for "the team" -- wanted to wage war on the homefront, from the pajama-clad safety of their Hewlitt Packards."

Read more of Will Bunch's take on this.

Thanks to This Modern World for the tip.

Essentially what is boils down to is that the neo-cons in and out of power, the true believers if you will, just knew that Saddam had WMD and just knew that Iraq had links to Al-Qaeda.

Of course it wasn't true but they just knew because Right Wing Authoritarians aren't wrong about anything.


1: Faulty reasoning — RWAs are more likely to:

* Make many incorrect inferences from evidence.
* Hold contradictory ideas leading them to ‘speak out of both sides of their mouths.’
* Uncritically accept that many problems are ‘our most serious problem.’
* Uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs.
* Uncritically trust people who tell them what they want to hear.
* Use many double standards in their thinking and judgements.

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