Walter E. Williams

Military intelligence will probably always be an inexact science. Let?s go back to President Roosevelt?s administration. By mid-1940, the "evidence" became so promising about Germany?s nuclear-weapons program that British and American scientists judged it imprudent to continue to publish new results. Further research in the United States and Britain was done in secret to prevent German scientists from using the findings to develop an atomic bomb of their own for use in the war then underway.

The frightening possibility that Germany might succeed in providing Hitler with a nuclear weapon was one of the driving forces for the U.S. Manhattan Project. It was also the reason for some of the strategic targeting during World War II, including heavy water facilities in Nazi-occupied Norway.

When World War II ended, it was discovered that Germany wasn?t nearly as close to developing an atomic bomb as intelligence experts had thought. Fortunately, back during that time, we didn?t have today?s hustling politicians and gullible public around to criticize either our war strategy or the atomic bombing of Japan. Back then, Americans were thankful we got the bomb first and used it to end the war.

Listening to today?s politicians and what goes for informed media commentary, George Bush should have waited for unambiguous proof that a megalomaniac tyrant like Saddam Hussein had nuclear-chemical-biological weapons. I?m wondering if that unambiguous proof sufficient for America?s political hustlers and gullible public would have been a mushroom cloud over one of our cities or millions of Americans suffering and dying from chemical or biological toxins.

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
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