Friday, November 03, 2006

Smoking Gun Paragraph?

William J. Broad (or his editors) have confused a helluva lot of folks with this awkward paragraph in an otherwise great article in Friday's New York Times called U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer:

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.

As Captain Ed reads it:

That appears to indicate that by invading in 2003, we followed the best intelligence of the UN inspectors to head off the development of an Iraqi nuke.

Maybe if I change the subject matter, that paragraph will make a little bit more sense:

Among the dozens of memorable rap albums were ones by Tupac released in the 1990s and in 2002 for Interscope Records that featured unconventional hip-hop themes such as abortion and respecting women. Experts say that at the time, Tupac Shakur was the best rapper alive.

For those not in the know, Tupac was murdered in 1996, which happens to be five years after Iraq's plans to enrich enough uranium for at least one bomb was halted by Bush 41's Gulf War.

Captain Ed seems to be overlooking this key line from the second paragraph:

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.

Jim Geraghty at National Review is "blown away" by the confusing paragraph, but still tries to score points:

Is this sentence referring to 1990, before the Persian Gulf War? Or 2002, months before the invasion of Iraq? Because "Iraq is a year away from building a nuclear bomb" was supposed to be a myth, a lie that Bush used to trick us into war.

But as Joby Warrick reported in January, 2003 for one of the few "questioning" stories published in the Washington Post (front page, no less):

The IAEA spent seven years in the 1990s documenting and ultimately destroying all known vestiges of Iraq's nuclear weapons program, including its gas centrifuges.

Hopefully, by tomorrow, the Times editors will clear things up, and fix the "time" which comes after a sentence with two different periods.

Michelle Malkin doesn't seem to understand the difference between publishing "All The President's Men" and "The Anarchist's Cookbook," but that's to be expected.

I used to enjoy making fun of Captain Ed and his mates, but there's actually been some pretty decent, reality-based, against the grain blogging at Captain's Quarters the past nine months or so.

But how the hell does one explain this Captain Ed conclusion:

This is apparently the Times' November surprise, but it's a surprising one indeed. The Times has just authenticated the entire collection of memos, some of which give very detailed accounts of Iraqi ties to terrorist organizations.

Not sure how an article about "documents, roughly a dozen in number" written before 1991 "authenticated the entire collection" or why Captain Ed thinks that the Times journo are experts in this field:

On March 16, after the documents’ release was approved, Mr. Negroponte’s office issued a terse public announcement including a disclaimer that remained on the Web site: “The U.S. government has made no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, validity or factual accuracy of the information contained therein, or the quality of any translations, when available.”

Trusting the Times to authenticate documents is almost as silly as relying on Laurie Mylroie to link Qaeda to the Easter Bunny.


From "Counselor to President uses NY Times story to push 'Iraq had nuke program' meme:"

In an interview on MSNBC earlier this morning, Dan Bartlett, Counselor to the President, dismissed concerns about a U.S. government Website shut down because it may have revealed sensitive bomb building data, but insisted that the unauthenticated Iraqi documents online did show that "Saddam Hussein had the capability and was working towards a nuclear weapon program," which would bolster Bush's preemptive war strategy, RAW STORY has found.

Read my Raw Story article at this link.


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