(Update from AJ: Some statements are starting to roll in, and both reporters and elected officials seem to understand what a debacle this is. Sherrod Brown has the best statement thus far, saying, in part, "The news that [Senator DeWine, who is on Senate Intel] did nothing to prevent the publication of information that could help terrorists create a nuclear weapon makes me question his judgment. There's nothing intelligent about posting materials on the Internet that could aid terrorists . . ." Kudos to the Brown campaign for understanding and addressing the issue so adroitly.)
(NOTE FROM JOHN: It's ironic that Hoekstra is investigating Democrats on the committee when he himself is now responsible for one of the greatest breaches of national security since the Rosenbergs.)
As you already know, last spring, the Bush administration posted untranslated documents collected from Saddam's regime online for all to see. These documents were supposedly screened, but after Iraq, Katrina, Mark Foley, contractor fraud, Valerie Plame, and the rest, it's pretty clear that oversight isn't the biggest deal in today's Republican party.
According to the Times,
[T]he site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.The nuclear program was eliminated by the Gulf War, but documents remained. Who demanded their release? None other than House Intelligence Committee Chariman Pete Hoekstra, who sang the praises of "leveraging the internet," i.e., throwing a political bone to right-wing bloggers who would invent connections between Saddam and al Qaeda, in this op-ed:
The proposed approach will be a transparent process rather than one mired in secrecy. It will allow us to leverage the Internet to enable a mass examination as opposed to limiting it to a few exclusive elites. What would have once taken years and decades may now be done in real time.He was right, just in a way that cripples national security: What would have once taken years and decades -- terrorists getting a "basic guide to building an atom bomb" -- may now be done in real time, thanks to politically-motivated Congressional Republicans.