Post war Afghanistan and Iraq documents to be released

Most of them, anyway. Finally, says Stephen Hayes:

The Bush administration has decided to release most of the documents captured in post-war Afghanistan and Iraq. The details of the document release are still being worked out, according to officials with knowledge of the discussions. Those details are critical. At issue are things like the timeframe for releasing the documents, the mechanism for scrubbing documents for sensitive information, and most important, the criteria for withholding documents from the public. But some of the captured files should be available to the public and journalists within weeks if not days.

President George W. Bush has made clear in recent weeks his displeasure with the delays in getting the information out to the American public. On February 16, one day after ABC News broadcast excerpts of recordings featuring Saddam Hussein and his war cabinet, Bush met with congressional Republicans and several senior national security officials and said three times that the documents should be released. “This stuff ought to be out,” he told National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley. “Put this stuff out.” It seems Bush will soon get his wish.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who has been steadfast in his resolve to see these documents released, said today that “this is a bold decision in favor of openness that will go a long way towards improving our understanding of prewar Iraq . . . By placing these documents online and allowing the public the opportunity to review them, we can cut years off the time it will take to
gain knowledge from this potential treasure trove of information.”

Hadley and John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), informed House Intelligence Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra on Saturday. The three men all attended the white-tie Gridiron Club dinner, a mainstay of the Washington establishment in which journalists and politicians poke fun at one another and themselves in a series of songs and skits.


No one can say with any certainty what will come from the document release. Intelligence officials with knowledge of the exploitation process estimate that less than 4 percent of the overall document collection has been fully exploited. It’s reasonable to assume that documents in the collection will provide support to both supporters of the war in Iraq and critics. Summaries of the exploited materials, listed in a U.S. government database known as HARMONY, suggest that the new material will at least complicate the overly simplified conventional wisdom that the former Iraqi regime posed no real threat.

Hats off to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI 2nd Congressional District) for his perseverance on pushing to get these documents released (something Stephen Hayes has diligently pushed for as well in spite of the red tape he’s encountered along the way). And once they become available, rest assured that the tenacious Mr. Hayes will thoroughly examine them and no doubt keep his readers posted as to what information they contain.

The “Bush lied, people died!!!!!!!!!” (emphasis theirs) crowd (which includes the anti-war left and their pals in the MSM) want you to believe the conclusions on Saddam and his WMDs and ties to Al Qaeda contained within the 9-11 report were definitive. We know better.

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