Interesting article today in the NY Times, dealing with the on-going release of 48,000 boxes of previously classified, pre-war documents – only lightly skimmed by intelligence agencies – from the files of Saddam’s regime. The effort is sponsored by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and is designed to let Glen(n)’s “Army of Davids” go to work doing the heavy lifting of translating them. This is work that the national intelligence agencies – more interested in shooting alligators closer to the canoe than in going over “ancient” history – haven’t the resources to attempt.
“(N)ow, an unusual experiment in public access is giving anyone with a computer a chance to play intelligence analyst and second-guess the government.
Under pressure from Congressional Republicans, the director of national intelligence has begun a yearlong process of posting on the Web 48,000 boxes of Arabic-language Iraqi documents captured by American troops.
And who is answering this challenge?
“As an historian, I’m glad to have the material out there,” said John Prados, who has written books on national security, including one that accuses the administration of distorting prewar intelligence. He said the records were likely to shed new light on the Iraqi dictatorship. Some of the documents, also included in a new study by the United States military, already have caused a stir by suggesting that Russian officials passed American war plans to Mr. Hussein’s government as the invasion began.
But Mr. Prados said the document release “can’t be divorced from the political context.”
“The administration is under fire for going to war when there was no threat