This morning on NBC, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card excused the Bush administration’s role in posting nuclear weapons secrets on a public web site, and instead blamed the New York Times for having “advertised” the secrets “to the world.”
Card said “it’s important that we recognize the government is doing the right thing” and claimed the government “acted very quickly” to remove the nuclear secrets.
According to the Times, the nuclear secrets have been available for weeks despite an incident last spring when information on how to make tabun and sarin nerve agents had to be removed from the site. Moreover, U.S. officials were warned last week by the International Atomic Energy Association that the information available “could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms.” The web site wasn’t removed until last night, after the Times began its inquiry.
LAUER: What do you make of this? Who’s gonna get the blame for this?
CARD: Well, you know, this is one of those things that John Negroponte warned us that we don’t know what’s in these documents, so these are being put out at some risk. And that was a warning he put out right when they first released the documents. We pulled them down, and I think the government has acted very quickly, and we’ve pulled them down. I’m a little bit concerned that the New York Times has advertised them to the world, so that more people might see them…
LAUER: What about the timing? Four days before, five days before a mid-term election this report comes out. Do you question the timing of this report?
CARD: Well, I think most things that happen just before an election are designed by someone to have an impact on the election. But I actually think it’s important that we recognize the government is doing the right thing. They shut the website down. They’re not providing information.