Monday, December 22, 2003

The Inside Story

I've recently become aware of George Washington University's National Security Archive. The archive actively pursues government information through the Freedom of Information Act, analyzes the data and makes archives of FOIA material available to the public. It's really great to be able to cut through the bullshit and see what the government actually knew and thought about some of these issues. Their Saddam Hussein report is particularly popular these days. There are some fascinating things in this report. You can see where the US government learns about Iraq's use of chemical weapons. You can see how the US largely ignores this issue in subsequent communications with the Iraqi government. You can see the administration skirting policy rules that barred the export of military equipment to Iraq. You can see the DIA favoring the sale of dual-use nuclear materials to Iraq. You can see the US's efforts to keep the UN's actions on the matter under control. It's an impressive bit of journalism. It certainly calls into question W's claim in the interview with Diane Sawyer that the invasion of Iraq was justified by Iraq's use of chemical weapons.

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