The Syria strike: It was nukes

ABC News has an exclusive today that says the Syria strike was a nuclear facility, and that the U.S. stopped Israel from striking earlier.

The September Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear site in Syria had been in the works for months, ABC News has learned, and was delayed only at the strong urging of the United States.

In early July the Israelis presented the United States with satellite imagery that they said showed a nuclear facility in Syria. They had additional evidence that they said showed that some of the technology was supplied by North Korea.

One U.S. official told ABC’s Martha Raddatz the material was “jaw dropping” because it raised questions as to why U.S. intelligence had not previously picked up on the facility.

Yeah, that would be the same intelligence that didn’t pick up on al Qaeda and 9/11. Good to know they’re just as crappy now as they were then. I feel so safe. Not.

Officials said that the facility had likely been there for months if not years.

“Israel tends to be very thorough about its intelligence coverage, particularly when it takes a major military step, so they would not have acted without data from several sources,” said ABC military consultant Tony Cordesman.

A senior U.S. official said the Israelis planned to strike during the week of July 14 and in secret high-level meetings American officials argued over how to respond to the intelligence.

Some in the administration supported the Israeli action, but others, notably Sect. of State Condoleeza Rice did not. One senior official said the U.S. convinced the Israelis to “confront Syria before attacking.”

Officials said they were concerned about the impact an attack on Syria would have on the region. And given the profound consequences of the flawed intelligence in Iraq, the U.S. wanted to be absolutely certain the intelligence was accurate.

Gee, good idea. Let Syria know you know about their secret nuclear weapons site, so they can move it and hide it somewhere else.

If you want to see the recap of what’s been going on with Syria this year, click here. That’s the last 30 or so posts including a Syria tag. All of the military analysis is predicated on the fact that the Syrians would use conventional weapons, as well as possibly chemical and biological agents. In the meantime, Syria is working with North Korea (doubtless funded by Iran) to hopscotch over the little details of developing scientific knowledge yourself—which takes decades—to simply buy instant Israeli destruction. Thanks so much, effing Pakistan, and France, for helping spread nuclear technology beyond the original five nations. Now Russia is working with Iran to do the same, and Iran is working on an ICBM that can reach the U.S. Europe is already within reach.

And watch: From the left and from the Israel-haters, they will insist that Israel’s intelligence was cooked. This, in spite of North Korea’s reaction, and in spite of the fact that Syria has had nothing to say, and has not demanded a UN investigation, or a Security Council or General Assembly resolution condemning the raid.

That silence speaks volumes.

It was nukes.

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41 Responses to The Syria strike: It was nukes

  1. Brett says:

    Rice wanted to blow the intelligence to the Syrians? Where’s our bodyguard of lies?

    Now that Syria and North Korea are fingered, can we doubt that this facility has some pre-war connection to Saddam Hussein?

  2. F says:

    Yes, we should all sleep better knowing that our intelligence services — the same bunch of bunglers who screwed up so badly on WMD and 9/11 — questioned Israel’s analysis and proposed air strike. Let us also reflect on Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria, probably at around the same time (April) that Israel was collecting the initial reporting. Another good reason for lawmakers who don’t have full access to intelligence matters to be discouraged from undertaking their own shuttle diplomacy. I share your thought, Meryl, that Syria’s silence says more than all the satellite photos and humint reports we have. Scary stuff. F

  3. John Steele says:

    CIA. Our Motto: Getting it wrong since 1947. This is one of those mornings when I hoping that the CIA is just the comedy front for the ACTUAL intelligence organization — then I wake up. The most successful clandestine opertion they have run in the past 20 years is the one ongoing against the current US administration.

  4. justanordinaryamerican says:

    You know, the most interesting aspect of this story is just how wrong the “we must be cautious” clan is.

    Following the airstrike … what has been the response? Has the Arab street erupted? Have other Muslim nations in the region banded together in any way beyond weak condemnations you can find on any Arab satellite channel daily?

    People at State don’t want to do anything … because doing something causes other things to happen, and since they can’t predict what will happen because of the lack of any intelligence, they just don’t want to do anything.

    That sort of facile leadership is easier, I guess, if you’re just trying to skate another year or so until you can hand over the Middle East to the Democrats to screw up, but the Israelis aren’t putting their security into the hands of the US State Department.

    I’m quite certain that they made it clear to Condi Rice that they were informing the US of their intentions so as to minimize confusion and coordinate their efforts.

    When Syria (through its Lebanese arm) are lobbing random missiles onto your soil … I bet it forces the concentration (and determination) in a way that the folks biding their time in Foggy Bottom just can’t appreciate.

  5. ScottG says:

    Gee, the State Department again. Our enemies thank you for your help….

  6. Trump says:

    “Yeah, that would be the same intelligence that didn’t pick up on al Qaeda and 9/11. Good to know they’re just as crappy now as they were then. I feel so safe. Not”

    They’re too busy fighting against Bush admin. policies to actually- you know- do their jobs and mundane stuff like that.

  7. Vinny Vidivici says:

    And how did Pakistan and North Korea end up with this stuff? Look east.

  8. Cynthia says:

    Hey, why don’t we just shut down the CIA once and for all, save tons of money, and outsource our intelligence ops to the Israelis, Brits, French & Germans? They all seem to be way better at it than we are.

  9. redherkey says:

    I don’t understand how this can be! After all, we did everything right. We didn’t attack Syria, but instead respected its autonomy. We tried to be friends too, sending one of our highest ranking leaders, Speaker Pelosi, and her counterpart Rep. Kucinich to visit with the Syrian leadership and extend our friendship.

    This is truly terrible news if it suggests that strategic weakness, offering friendship and inaction all fail to prevent a rogue dictatorship from obtaining nukes to wipe out democracies. What are we to do?

  10. JayDee says:

    The administration hesitated because it knew the left would accuse it of being ‘trigger happy’ if it went ahead in a timely manner. Essentially, it was worried about all those things that the Democrats have accused it of failing to care about. So, here you have an example of how the ongoing attacks from the left are harming national and international security. And watch what the consequence will be: “count down to Democrats accusing the administration of not acting fast enough… three.. two.. one..”.

    Damned if you do… etc.

  11. Glenn called you a “tart”!

    But yes, your remarks are spot-on.

  12. OregonMuse says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Rice’s tenure as SecState has been a disappointment, esp. in regard to the Mideast. She seems to have adopted, from the very beginning, the “cycle of violence” view where everything Israel does to defend itself is an “overreaction” and any situation brought about by Palestinian attacks can be ameliorated by Israel making actual concessions in exchange for promises that the Palestinian Arabs will behave themselves. Which, naturally, are broken before the kleig lights are turned off.

    I just get so tired of that crap. I wish Bush would yank Rice and replace her with Josh Bolton. Now THERE would be a good SecState!

  13. pilsener says:

    Meryl’s analysis and comments strike me as correct. IF SO – what are we to make of the administration’s failure to say anything on the record since the attack.

    If it WAS nukes, don’t the American people deserve to know? Shouldn’t the Democrats like Pelosi and Kucinich who made nice with Assad be shown reality? Shouldn’t the Diane Sawyers of the world have their abject shallowness revealed?

  14. sherlock says:

    The State Dept., CIA, FBI, etc. have were completely infiltrated long ago by people who think that the world would be better off if American power were dissapated, and the eunuchs they have in turn recruited behind them.

    The few clear-headed people like Bush, Cheney, and Rice have been hobbled by the enemy media to the point that they are hesitant to use our power for good purposes, because they quite rightly understand that they will be prevented from mustering any public or political support.

  15. John Blake says:

    This goes beyond incompetence. Just as Clinton holdovers in the CIA stabbed Scooter Libby, Bush’s National Security Advisor, in the back with their treacherous Plame narrative, so we suspect that State Department anti-Semites, closet racists, actively foster threats to Israel’s survival.

    Rice strikes us as honorably intentioned, but lost in State’s Sargasso Sea of bureaucratic saboteurs.
    Since when has the CIA reported one valid piece of grass-roots intelligence to any President (“we had no assets in Saddam’s Iraq because no-one spoke Arabic [!]”), or State advised anything but blind “consensus” akin to the UN’s defeatist embrace of vile dictatorships?

    Always the response to advocating Democracy, Freedom, entrepreneurial self-help via limited, representative Constitutional government is: You’re so naive. And so our neo-Coms walk open-eyed to slavery. Hollow men, stuffed men, cite an absolving nihilism for which brutal and profoundly stupid Islam is the perfect proxy.

  16. Jim Wilkinson says:

    There is also the theory that Saddam’s WMD were spirited out of Iraq and into Syria during the lead up to the US’s invasion.
    Not that I want to fire up the WMD/No WMD debate again, but IF there were any (that weren’t expended upon the Kurds) materials moved to Syria, this could have been the storage site. NK’s involvement? Perhaps they had sent techs to help the Dorktator activate/weaponize these materials.

  17. Half Canadian says:

    How about that Jewish lobby, eh? They really have those Yanks on a leash.
    /sarcasm

  18. Letalis Maximus, Esq. says:

    JFK asked the question over 40 years ago: “Why is it that nobody at the Pentagon has any brains, and nobody at State has any balls?”

    The more things change…yada yada yada.

  19. whammer says:

    The US looks pretty pathetic in this. Luckily the Israeli’s had the stuff to act. Wait… I thought we controlled Israel, or that they controlled us, one of them. I’m so confused.

  20. Lindsay says:

    For my part I’m impressed tht the State Department knew about this for over two months and did not leak it! An improvement, I think.

  21. Nahanni says:

    Jim,

    As much as could be moved was moved to Syria during the time the Democrats had us groveling to the U.N. The Russians who were sent to help were given medals by Saddam before the invasion. They moved it overland to Syria because it was the easiest way to get it out without being easily detected. A bunch of semi’s driving a couple hundred miles is a bit less conspicuous then a Russian airlift.

    Syria became rather nervous about having all that stuff in their country because they knew it wouldn’t take much for the U.S. to keep on rolling right into Syria so they sent some of it to be warehoused in Sudan. Sudan told the Syrians to either get the stuff out of their country or they were going to turn the lot over to the US and tell them where it came from. All of this was reported on-not in the American MSM because it didn’t fit the Democrats and their islamofascist allies agenda.

    Now, I wonder exactly what Nancy Pelosi and Bandar Assad discussed when she flew to Syria. She was probably doing her duty as an ally of the Islamofascists and warning them that the US and Israel knew about their stuff and to move it asap.

  22. Amjad says:

    Israel has 200 nuclear bomb!

  23. Yes, and Israel has had them for decades and never used them, nor even threatened to use them. Your point is?

  24. I’m sure Amjad will point out that Pakistan has nuclear weapons but has never used them.

    All they’ve done is share the technology to make them with more radical Islamic states and North Korea to accelerate their nuclear weapons projects.

  25. Pat says:

    For me, the most jaw-dropping sentence of the report is this one: “[U.S.] Officials said they were concerned about the impact an attack on Syria would have on the region.”

    Well, now we know, don’t we? Syria and the other Islamofascist regimes in the region are crapping their pants. They have received a clear message, and the message is this: If you build WMDs, Israel WILL find out about it and blow them up. And there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop the Israeli forces. All that money you spent on “state-of-the-art” Russian air defense technology? Wasted, because Russian technology is JUNK.

    Okay, State Department bureaucrats, please explain to why we in the U.S. should not be CELEBRATING this development. What the HELL were you so “concerned” about?

    I will say, though, that there’s one aspect of this that does not make me happy. Now that ABC has broken the story, another message has been sent, and here it is: Israel did this without any support from its pathetic “ally” the United States, which was so paralyzed by incompetence and cowardice in the CIA and State Department that it proved to be a liability. Not only did the U.S. provide no assistance whatsoever, it actively tried to interfere.

    To sum up, the two messages that have just been sent to the Islamofascists are:

    1. Israel is strong, competent, decisive, and will kick your ass.
    2. The United States is weak, cowardly, indecisive, and will not defend its own interests.

  26. Ben says:

    Meryl Yourish wrote: “Yes, and Israel has had them for decades and never used them, nor even threatened to use them. Your point is?”

    Officially Israel doesn’t admit it has nukes and thus it hasn’t officially threatened anyone with them. Although it has leaked to the UK-based Times (the same newspaper that had early leaks about this attack) that it has been training for a nuclear attack on Iran.

    The leaked nuclear attack plans:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article1290331.ece

    The later leaked attack on Syria:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2512380.ece

    So far we have no evidence of what was hit in this attack. Lots of leaks and speculation though.

  27. Ben, you are quoting Uzi Mahnaimi, who has been widely discredited by many actual journalists. He’s a hack who has found a partner in crime to give him more credibility, but he is the “reporter” who spread the lie that Israel was developing an “ethnic bomb” that would target Arabs and not Israelis. That article is still cited on anti-Israel sites.

    I have written about him more than once, but this post has the links by people who did far more research than I.

    No, we have no evidence of what was hit in the attack. But it’s strange that North Korea objected so quickly and vehemently, and that Syria has not called for a UN investigation/reprimand of an attack on their nation by their arch-enemy. This, from the region that calls for UN investigations of Israel when Hamas ordnance blows up and kills Palestinians in a weapons-filled Hamas parade in Gaza with no Israeli soldiers in sight.

    As I said, the silence speaks volumes.

  28. Ben says:

    Meryl Yourish wrote: “Ben, you are quoting Uzi Mahnaimi, who has been widely discredited by many actual journalists.”

    I am not familiar with Mahnaimi’s reputation in these ciricles. But if Israel was to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities on its own, it would have to follow pretty much the plan outlined by Uzi Mahnaimi. Nuclear bunker busters would be required. Thus that scenario is basically the one that anyone pushing Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear program is implicitly advocating. The story is written in a sensation way but the logistics of that scenario are also grounded in reality.

    Meryl Yourish wrote: “As I said, the silence speaks volumes.”

    Huh? See here:

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Security/12023.htm

  29. iconoclast says:

    The only reason for concern–if you are a Democrat, of course–is that one of the endless parade of fools and poltroons from our “loyal opposition’ kissing the rear end of Assad might be in Syria during the attack.

  30. Ben, if you are not familiar with the facts, and there is a link that says you can access the facts of a case, it follows that you should click the link and read what other journalists and analysts think of Uzi Mahnaimi’s bullshit.

    I did just such a thing for your links, and discovered that, besides your over-reliance on a known hack and liar, you quote a month-old article saying that Syria is going to file a complaint with the UN.

    As far as I know, they did not. If you have evidence to the contrary, please, tell me.

    But here, let me make it easier for you: Post about nuclear attack discredited.

    Based on that, and what else we know about Mahnaimi, I wouldn’t keep using him as a reliable source.

    Telling me that his article is right because if there were to be an attack on Iran, those are the tactics that would be followed is, well, meaningless. I am presenting you with evidence that he makes shit up on a regular basis. You’re saying that even if he makes shit up, he’s at least following the right gameplan.

    Ah, no. Facts is facts, and Uzi hasn’t got the facts. Find me a better source, and we can talk.

  31. section9 says:

    The ABC News story is only telling you half of what went on. Rice was cautious for a couple of reasons.

    She was burned by the CIA before, and I suspect that she didn’t want the Israelis to end up bombing a “baby milk factory”. If the Mossad says it, it must be so, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Agency had a hand in the intelligence, which would give Rice pause.

    The CIA’s reputation is that pathetically low over here, because it deserves to be. They literally couldn’t put the hearse in the right place in a two-car funeral.

    Further, in Rice’s defense, she has just finished the Six Party negotiations with the North Koreans. The notion of highlighting Kim’s arms smuggling ran the risk of backing Kim up and forcing him to walk away from the table. The Israelis were quiet about it, as it turns out, and Kim got to walk away from the deal with his cash that the Iranians gave him for the atomic transaction.

    Oh yeah, that’s the last part. This was never intended for Syria. They were the middleman, collecting a finder’s fee. There’s a lot to this story that you folks are eating up like gullible rubes, which is what happens with planned leaks like this.

    What a bunch of suckers, falling for the good cop/bad cop routine again. Oh well, it all turned out for the best.

  32. Section9, normally I wouldn’t approve a comment that is insulting, well, everyone, but that line about the funeral was a laugh-out-loud line. It almost redeems you.

    Almost.

    Kindly do not insult my commenters.

  33. Long_Rifle says:

    “Further, in Rice’s defense, she has just finished the Six Party negotiations with the North Koreans. The notion of highlighting Kim’s arms smuggling ran the risk of backing Kim up and forcing him to walk away from the table. The Israelis were quiet about it, as it turns out, and Kim got to walk away from the deal with his cash that the Iranians gave him for the atomic transaction.”

    Ummm….

    Why the hell should the US be in negotiations with a country that is ARMING terrorists?

    And why should that same country be ALLOWED to get away with it?

    We SHOULD have backed him into a wall.

    And when he walked away we should have too, with a reminder that they got caught this time, and maybe next time North Korea won’t get off so easy….

  34. Yes but now he has the money that can no longer be used to fund the terrorists around Israel, and Syria does not have the weapons that they paid for. I don’t think that North Korea would restock Syria for free. THus, Syria winds up losing both the money and the arms.

  35. M. Simon says:

    You are forgetting the story from a while ago about the US arming Israel with bunker busters.

    From our friends at LGF.

  36. M. Simon says:

    Debka says $1.2 billion worth of munitions including bunker busters.

  37. Lil Mamzer says:

    What worries me is that the IAF may lose some pilots in action over Iran.

    Can anyone tell me why the IAF couldn’t use Shavit missiles launched from Israel in lieu of sending F-15s? I would imagine they could be targeted with JDAM-like precision, and the at terminal velocity should have more than enough kinetic energy to penetrate bunkers at least as well as the aircraft-delivered munitions.

    And no Israeli pilots would be at risk in action.

  38. Jack says:

    This is just one salvo in a much larger battle.

  39. Letalis Maximus, Esq. cited JFK and asked : “Why is it that nobody at the Pentagon has any brains, and nobody at State has any balls?”

    The way I see it, that’s the way things should be. It’s carrot-and-stick diplomacy. The State Department negotiates and promises good things to those who comply, the Pentagon threatens destruction to those who refuse to comply.

    The problem we have is that this only works when you have a president who knows the right time and place for each one. You can’t allow either organization to dictate policy. (And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t let either organization speak to Congress or to the press if they can’t be trusted to support the Administration’s official policy, whatever that policy might be.)

    Ben wrote: “if Israel was to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities on its own … Nuclear bunker busters would be required.”

    In case you were unaware, the US is developing non-nuclear mega-bombs. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Israel has similar programs, nor would I be surprised if we’re sharing the tech.

  40. Charley says:

    There is little doubt that whatever was bombed was something very “important” to these countries. however, in all the speculation about what was bombed, I’ve read nothing about what may have happened with the resultant bomb scattered debrie. If the destroyed target was something nuclear then the result would have been something like a dirty bomb. And, if it was something biological it would have certainly created a polluted zone. I would expect that either of these would leave a fairly large danger zone that should be evident from how Syria is handeling the area. I’ve read nothing discussing the incident along those lines. Just wondering if I’m missing something.

  41. lilmamzer says:

    I would expect that either of these would leave a fairly large danger zone that should be evident from how Syria is handeling the area.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Baathist regime never lifted a finger to clean up any resultant contamination. Protecting the environment is probably way down on its list of priorities………

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