WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Muted Republican reaction to news that nuclear weapons information was posted on a government Web site has been slammedby non-proliferation experts.
The New York Times reported Friday that officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency objected to U.S. government officials putting up about a dozen Iraqi documents, containing "charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building" from Iraq's pre-1991 nuclear program captured in the invasion of Iraq.
The Web site was established in March to make public Iraqi documents seized following the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime. According to the Times, its birth was the result of Republican congressional pressure to help make the case that Iran had an active program to develop weapons of mass destruction -- a key rationale for the 2003 invasion, since debunked by a massive and fruitless search.
"This is a classic, textbook example of the dangers of politicizing national intelligence issues," said Joe Cirincione senior vice president for national security and international policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington.
"In their zeal to promote the idea Saddam Hussein in fact did have (WMD), congressional proponents of the war ... have put up documents on the internet that could give terrorists and states hostile to the United States the very instructions they need to build nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," he said.
"If Democrats had done that there would be mobs carrying torches in the streets tonight. The Democrats would be accused of treason and there would be calls for resignation," Cirincione told reporters Friday.
The office of the U.S. director of national intelligence pulled the Web site down and is reviewing the documents for sensitive material.