Yea...but? Maybe its a Bush/Rove master stroke!!
"OK Mr. Schultzburger, we won't throw you and your editor in jail for revealing US Government secrets (terrorist wiretaps, secret prisons, +others) in exchange for your publishing a scoop that reveals how close Saddam really was to a nuke - four days before the 2006 mid-term elections. Do we have a deal?"
I can't figure out any other reason that the NY Times would bring up the subject prior to an election. After all, the majority of the U.S. has bought the canard that "Saddam wasn't even close to a nuke."