Roger L. Simon

Silence at the Pentagon

UDATE: I was wrong. Mea culpa. A whole group of new documents seem to have been released. Many of the new documents are actually collections of photographs showing Saddam with various dignitaries. These photos may be in and of themselves revealing.

MORE: Power Line spoke with Senator Rick Santorum today, who echoed some of my misgivings below. Perhaps pressure is helping force these documents out into the air. Let’s keep it up.


The first release by the Pentagon of the myriad Saddam-era documents and media captured during Operation Iraqi Freedom seems to have ground to a halt as abruptly as it started. The last update of the Foreign Military Studies Office Joint Reserve Intelligence Center website was on the March 17. This suggests dissension within the government. Who are the likely culprits in this snafu? The CIA, always anxious to protect its interests, and overly-cautious lawyers come to mind, but there are undoubtedly others. Nevertheless, not to release these documents is ultimately self-destructive and actually naive. The Adminstration has already shown itself to be incompetent in the area of public relations and this only underscores that perception. The release of these documents could achieve tremendous things in changing public understanding of the Saddam regime, its ties to terrorism, its interest in WMDs and, ultimately, the public’s feelings about the war itself and the salvation of Iraq. At the moment this appears to be being blocked by bureaucrats – the same ones, I wouldn’t be surprised, who are likely to be whispering anonymously in the ears of our media. Let’s hope the winds shift again toward full disclosure and that the rest of the documents be released for translation. We’re ready.