Saddam Was Close To Having Nuke

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BAM - What a pre-election surprise!

Iraq was close to developing an atom bomb. If not for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the world would be a MUCH more dangerous place about now.

Thanks to the New York Times for breaking the story, and thanks to the Captain for actually reporting it.

This intelligence put Saddam far ahead of Iran in the nuclear pursuit, and made it much more urgent to take some definitive action against Saddam before he could build and deploy it. And bear in mind that this intelligence came from the UN, and not from the United States.

UPDATE: Read Michelle's take.

UPDATE II: Also, Ace's.

UPDATE III: Great detail from Charles (what would you expect?)

They have found evidence of Saddam trying to contribute pilots to a "plot" which was supposed to attack the U.S. sometime in 2001, which could well have been 9/11 or the suspected follow-up attack.

They have found documents detailing cheating on weapons inspections, on hiding weapons and weapons components, of transfering weapons around the country and burying them in deserts, and a lot of other things that puts the lie to the democrat spin that Saddam was no danger to us...

Well, after years of listening to Democrats ridiculing the administration about "mushroom clouds" and "false claims of WMD programs", the New York Times, the liberal's paper of record, now says Saddam might have been within a YEAR of having a bomb in 2002.

Thank GOD for President Bush. Maybe I will have to thank God that I was not President, because I opposed the war.

UPDATE IV: Big media has picked up the story.

I'm sorry, did the New York Times just put on the front page that IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB?

What? Wait a minute. The entire mantra of the war critics has been "no WMDs, no WMDs, no threat, no threat", for the past three years solid. Now we're being told that the Bush administration erred by making public information that could help any nation build an atomic bomb.


I think the Times editors are counting on this being spun as a "Boy, did Bush screw up" meme; the problem is, to do it, they have to knock down the "there was no threat in Iraq" meme, once and for all. Because obviously, Saddam could have sold this information to anybody, any other state, or any well-funded terrorist group that had publicly pledged to kill millions of Americans and had expressed interest in nuclear arms. You know, like, oh... al-Qaeda.

The New York Times just tore the heart out of the antiwar argument, and they are apparently completely oblivous to it.

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zimzo said:

Did you actually read the article, Joe, or just the right-wing fulminating about it. You seem to have missed the point. The documents showed that Iraq was working on a nuclear weapon before the 1991 Persian Gulf War not afterward

"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."

What's more the incredibly incompetent Bush Administration by posting the documents online gave away nuclear secrets to Iran!:

"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."

This is indeed a blockbuster story but it just demonstrates how dangerous the screw-ups in the Bush Administration has made the world and offers not one scintilla worth of justification for the second Iraq War since all evidence shows Hussein had already abandoned the nuclear program after the first Gulf War.

Jeez, Zimzo, you seem to be quite informed on this topic. You don't seem to be overly excited. Good. It appears the Iraq government was on the verge of having nukes. Would you care to discuss THAT issue, or do you just want to talk nonsense?

Also, if the Saddam Hussein regime had nukes, would you think that was a bad thing? We would like to know.

zimzo said:

They were possibly on the verge of having nuclear weapons back in 1991! In 2003 they weren't on the verge of anything.

zimzo said:

And just to emphasize the main point of this story, which you apparently missed or are desperately trying to spin away: THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION GAVE AWAY NUCLEAR SECRETS TO IRAN!

e-tranger said:

Ok, I take it from the back and forth in the comments that the original post was not intended as satire.

If memory serves, Iraq had a budding nuke program that was effectively decimated by (i) the Iraeli bombing of the Osirak reactor in the early '80s; and (ii) bombing etc. during the first Gulf War and subsequent sanctions.

If the US had, as a resulting of invading Iraq, discovered a serious nuke program of some sort, the incumbent's judgement would have been vindicated.

We did not -- Hans Blix was right -- and we're still wiping the egg from our faces.

It's astonishing the shamelessness with which the linked-to bloggers will seize on any scrap, no matter how irrelevant, to justify their shrill advocacy, back in the day, of our present catastrophe in Iraq.

At minimum, the documents show the invasion of Iraq was justified.

"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."

"European diplomats said this week that some of those nuclear documents on the Web site were identical to the ones presented to the United Nations Security Council in late 2002, as America got ready to invade Iraq. But unlike those on the Web site, the papers given to the Security Council had been extensively edited, to remove sensitive information on unconventional arms."

zimzo said:

At the maximum they show the 1991 invasion of Iraq was justified. That invasion destroyed Iraq's nuclear capability. They don't prove anything at all about the second Iraq war. The main point of the story, which you insist on missing, is that the Bush Administration, whose incompetence seems to know no limits, gave away atomic secrets to Iran and the terrorists, making us all alot less safe. And they committed this imbecilic act after buckling under to pressure from dimwitted right-wing bloggers and and cretinous Republican legislators like Rick Santorum and John Hoekstra. All the more reason why we should turn these idiots out of office on Tuesday.

I knew I shouldn't have been pressuring the Bush administration to share nuclear secrets with the mullahs, yet I did so anyway. Shame on me.

Jack said:

I strongly suspect the mullahs are paying good money to Soviet nuclear weapons experts, and are well beyond the 15-year-old Iraqi design.

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