So, have events consigned this front-page Washington Post story to oblivion?
In November 2001, when the Bush administration was absorbed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, intelligence analysts at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory completed a highly classified report and sent it to Washington. The report concluded that North Korea had begun construction of a plant to enrich uranium that could be used in nuclear weapons, according to administration and congressional sources....
Although the report was hand-delivered to senior Bush administration officials, "no one focused on it because of 9/11," according to an official at Livermore, one of the nation's two nuclear weapons laboratories. An informed member of Congress offered the same conclusion.
The findings of the Livermore report were confirmed in a June 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, a major assessment by the CIA and all other intelligence agencies. These reports are part of a complex and hidden trail of intelligence about the North Korean effort that has raised questions about why the Bush administration waited until early October 2002 to confront officials in the capital, Pyongyang, with the intelligence -- and to go public several weeks later -- when details had been accumulating for more than two years.
The North Korean drive to enrich uranium came as the Bush administration was trying to build support for military action against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on grounds he was hiding a program of weapons of mass destruction and would be more dangerous if he obtained nuclear weapons....
Oh, and by the way, North Korea was being helped by Pakistani scientists, according to the report.
So the Bushies hid what they knew from intelligence committees in Congress -- and let this problem worsen -- because they were hell-bent on making Saddam Target One.
Nice work, President Monomania.