The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, November 03, 2006

Your right-wing blogosphere: Angrily getting it wrong since Day One

In response to the revelation that the federal government published a cache of documents captured in Iraq on the Internet-- without knowing the contents. As it happens, included in the mix was handy information on constructing a nuclear bomb.

Enter the online reactionary community, who had a natural reaction to such dangerous incompetence: celebrated. It's a victory for the White House! It justifies the Iraq invasion! It proves that the New York Times is a hotbed of Bolshevism!

Today, the New York Times reported that the online Iraq document dump did contain something of interest: "detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war." (My italics.) Experts say these documents could prove extremely helpful to anyone out there trying to figure out how to make a homemade bomb.

Oops. The entire file -- relevant documents having no doubt already been copied to hard drives of bomb-making students everywhere -- has now been pulled from the Net.

So the right's efforts to score political points have resulted in dangerously detailed nuke-building information being broadcast over the entire Internet. Instead of feeling chagrined, the conservative blogosphere is instead dancing a bizarre victory jig this morning: The presence of bomb recipes, the cry goes, proves that Saddam had dangerous nuclear information after all!

But no one ever argued that Saddam didn't have dangerous information about how to build nuclear weapons. The whole point of the U.S.-backed and U.N.-operated anti-proliferation regime was to prevent him from using that information to build bombs. We now know that that program successfully hobbled Saddam's WMD ambitions -- until the Bush administration decided to dismantle it in favor of a regime-changing invasion.