Syria caught with hand in cookie jar?

I’m growing more convinced that Syria was up to something, possibly an embryonic nuclear program. This huge New York Times story by William Broad and Mark Mazzetti advances what we know considerably: New commercial satellite photos show that a Syrian site believed to have been attacked by Israel last month no longer bears any obvious ...

598496_071025_syria_05.jpg
598496_071025_syria_05.jpg

I'm growing more convinced that Syria was up to something, possibly an embryonic nuclear program. This huge New York Times story by William Broad and Mark Mazzetti advances what we know considerably:

New commercial satellite photos show that a Syrian site believed to have been attacked by Israel last month no longer bears any obvious traces of what some analysts said appeared to have been a partly built nuclear reactor.

Two photos, taken Wednesday from space by rival companies, show the site near the Euphrates River to have been wiped clean since August, when imagery showed a tall square building there measuring about 150 feet on a side.

I’m growing more convinced that Syria was up to something, possibly an embryonic nuclear program. This huge New York Times story by William Broad and Mark Mazzetti advances what we know considerably:

New commercial satellite photos show that a Syrian site believed to have been attacked by Israel last month no longer bears any obvious traces of what some analysts said appeared to have been a partly built nuclear reactor.

Two photos, taken Wednesday from space by rival companies, show the site near the Euphrates River to have been wiped clean since August, when imagery showed a tall square building there measuring about 150 feet on a side.

Jeffrey Lewis raises some important points, though:

  • The people leaking are those dissatisfied with US policy. “A sharp debate is under way in the Bush administration,” Mazetti and Helen Cooper reported, about “whether intelligence that Israel presented months ago to the White House … was conclusive enough to justify military action by Israel and a possible rethinking of American policy toward the two nations.” Obviously, that rethinking hasn’t happened yet. The people who lost that debate are leaking national security information, appealing to the press. That is precisely why Hoekstra (R-MI) and Ros-Lehtinen called for more information — this is about North Korea, not Syria.
  • We haven’t heard from the people who, as Mazetti and Cooper reported, were “cautious about fully endorsing Israeli warnings” or “remain unconvinced that a nascent Syrian nuclear program could pose an immediate threat.” They might have important information to add, were they willing to leak it.

Look for clues in tomorrow and this weekend’s papers, when we may find out if the cautious types are going to push back against this story.

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