My partner-in-blogging has discussed the New York Times story. I, too, will add some thoughts - and give out some well-deserved praise.
Blogger jveritas, who has been doing yeoman's work translating a very small fraction of the documents recovered during the liberation of Iraq, has responded to the New York Times article.
At the very least, these documents should lift a huge burden from the shoulders of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Particularly the New York Times article. The worst you can say about our intelligence on these programs was that it had taken a worst-case scenario in light of discovering how far along Saddam had been in acquiring nukes in 1991 (which they had been pretty far off on).
Secretary Powell is a good man and a great American. In both his Army career and his tenture as Secretary of State, I believe he did the best job he possibly could have. I have had disagreements with him in the past, most notably over his decision to blacklist the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (or AUC) and his position on interrogations and military tribunals for terrorists (also see here for more thoughts on the issue). That said, I believe he is a person dedicated to the United States of America, and that he deserves everyone's respect for his service to this country. I also believe he has taken grossly unfair criticism over his actions during the run-up to the liberation of Iraq and for his actions and conduct in the investigation of the alleged leak of Valerie Plame's name from many conservatives.
Right now, I cannot find the words to provide the proper praise for jveritas and what he has done. His work at http://www.iraqdocs.blogspot.com has been invaluable to this country. The blogosphere enables one person to make a difference. In this case, jveritas has done just that, and he deserves praise from all for what he has done. The lies of the anti-war movement would have gone unrefuted had it not been for his efforts. That alone has probably done more to win the war on terror than we will ever know.
One other thing... the New York Times earlier held this release in contempt, scoffing at the notion any sort of evidence backing up the rationale for war could be found in these documents. It's a very interesting about-face, don't you think?