Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Iraq: Update on the Paper War

I've said from the outset of the release of the trove of Iraqi documents captured by U.S. troops that the Bush administration would have let us know long ago know if there were any smoking guns in them.

Conservative publications and bloggers are already declaring that there is evidence aplenty that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and close ties to terrorists groups based on their reading of the first several hundred documents -- which are nearly all in Arabic, mind you.

Not so, says a senior U.S. intelligence official:

Our view is there's nothing in here that changes what we know today. There is no smoking gun on W.M.D., Al Qaeda, those kinds of issues.
Says another:

If anyone in the intelligence community thought there was valid information in those documents that supported either of those questions — W.M.D. or Al Qaeda — they would have shouted them from the rooftops.


If you want to have a go at the documents, they're here. Meanwhile, the New York Times and Associated Press have more on the story -- or non story, depending upon your view -- here and here.

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