Source Pravda.Ru

US intelligence chief cuts access to Saddam-era documents that may have nuclear secrets

The United States' top intelligence official took down a government Web site with captured Saddam Hussein-era Iraqi documents, after questions were raised whether it provided too much information about making atomic bombs.

In a statement Thursday night, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said his office has suspended public access to the Web site "pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing."

The action came after The New York Times raised questions about the contents of the government site, called the "Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal." The Times' Web site reported Thursday night that weapons experts say documents posted on the government site in recent weeks provide dangerous detail about Iraq's covert nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

"While strict criteria had already been established to govern posted documents, the material currently on the Web site, as well as the procedures used to post new documents, will be carefully reviewed before the site becomes available again," said Negroponte's spokesman, Chad Kolton.

Pressed by Republican members of Congress, Negroponte's office last March ordered the unprecedented release of millions of pages of Iraqi documents, most of them in Arabic, collected by the U.S. government over more than a decade, reports AP.

Until this week, the information had been posted gradually on public Internet servers, run by the military. In announcing the postings, Negroponte's office said the U.S. government had made no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, their factual accuracy or the quality of any translations, when available.

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