March 3, 2006

Millions of documents

I have to agree with this editorial in OpinionJournal,

When the 9/11 Commission bullied Congress into creating the Directorate of National Intelligence, we doubted that another layer of bureaucracy on top of the CIA would fix much of anything. Our skepticism has since been largely reinforced--most recently by the DNI's reluctance to release what's contained in the millions of "exploitable" documents and other items captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These items--collected and examined in Qatar as part of what's known as the Harmony program--appear to contain information highly relevant to the ongoing debate over the war on terror. But nearly three years after Baghdad fell, we see no evidence that much of what deserves to be public will be anytime soon....

The question "what are they trying to hide" is probably not the first one we should ask. Most people in government have the basically leftish view that important things should be left to experts , and the little people should not pry into matters that may upset them, and cause them to vote for people who will upset apple-carts. Even if the material contains no bombshells at all, they instinctively won't want it in the public's hands. that's what we have to fight.

However, the question "what are they trying to hide" is probably the second question we should ask. The answer, probably lots! For instance, this:

....In another disclosure, The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes was told by about a dozen officials that Harmony documents describe in detail how Saddam trained thousands of Islamic radicals in the waning years of his regime. So much for the judgments of many in the intelligence community--including Paul Pillar, the latest ex-spook to go public with his antiwar message--that the secular Saddam would never consort with such religious types....

Ooops, don't want that news to get out.

Posted by John Weidner at March 3, 2006 12:44 PM
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