THE BLOG
05/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Heads Up... Incoming Propaganda on Nukes...

This may or may not be related to why the Wall Street Journal's top editor, Marcus Brauchli, quit yesterday, but it sure looks to be connected. The "this" that I am referring to is the propaganda piece published in the WSJ - now owned by propaganda magnate, R. Murdoch -  today on what went down in Syria last year:

"North Korea was helping Syria
build a
plutonium-producing nuclear reactor before Israel bombed the site last
September, the Bush administration is set to tell Congress.

The new information could increase the position of hard-liners in Congress and the administration who have argued against a deal being negotiated to dismantle North Korea's nuclear-weapons program. The hard-liners say Pyongyang hasn't provided enough assurances it will dismantle its atomic arsenal in return for economic and diplomatic incentives.

Neither Israel nor the U.S. has made public information about the strike in Syria, though speculation has been widespread that the targeted site was a nascent nuclear reactor. Some Republicans have charged that the U.S. is playing down the matter to avoid hurting talks with North Korea.

<snip>

This week, the Central Intelligence Agency is expected to begin briefing members of the Senate and House intelligence committees on the Israeli strike, according to congressional and administration officials. The briefings will be based in part on intelligence provided by the Israeli government, they said.       

The CIA is expected to say it believes North Korea was helping Syria develop a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor similar to the Yongbyon facility North Korea built north of Pyongyang, said an official familiar with the deliberations. It also is likely to say North Korean workers were active at the Syrian site at the time of the Israeli attack.      

It isn't clear what specific evidence the U.S. officials will present to support their allegations. They are likely to acknowledge uncertainty about whether the alleged Syrian reactor was designed solely to produce nuclear power for peaceful purposes or also to make fissile material for a nuclear weapon, according to the U.S. official.      

Syrian officials have denied that they have sought to develop a nuclear capability of any kind and say the Bush administration is hyping the issue as a means to pursue an aggressive policy against both Iran and Syria.      

"We have seen in the past that this administration doesn't require evidence, but will use false pretexts" to pursue its agenda, said Ahmed Salkini, a spokesman at the Syrian Embassy in Washington. "We hope the administration doesn't take a miscalculated step that could cause even more chaos in our region."'

The claims regarding a Syrian nuclear facility are patently false. How do I know? Because I was on the story for months.  It is not true that North Korea is helping Syria build a nuclear reactor. What is true, however, is that Syria has a chemical weapons program - that for some reason no one seems much interested in. But I suppose for the Cheney mechanism to move forward, introducing a whole new type of  WMD to the mix  might confuse the propaganda.

Furthermore, anyone from the CIA who testifies to Congress that Israel bombed a nuclear facility in Syria last year will be all-out lying. Let's go back to my first article on the bombing of Syria by the Israeli military:

"Israel did not strike a nuclear weapons facility in Syria on Sept.
6, instead striking a cache of North Korean missiles, current and
former intelligence officials say.

American intelligence sources familiar with key events leading up to the Israeli air raid tell RAW STORY
that what the Syrians actually had were North Korean No-Dong missiles,
possibly located at a site in either the city of Musalmiya in the
northern part of Syria or further south around the city of Hama.

While reports have alleged the US provided intelligence to Israel or
that Israel shared their intelligence with the US, sources interviewed
for this article believe that neither is accurate.

By most accounts of intelligence officials, both former and current,
Israel and the US both were well aware of the activities of North Korea
and Syria and their attempts to chemically weapon-ize the No-Dong
missile (above right). It therefore remains unclear why an intricate
story involving evidence of a Syrian nuclear weapons program and/or
enriched uranium was put out to press organizations.

The North Korean missiles  -- described as "legacy" by one source and "older generation" by another -- were not nuclear arms."

You want on the record sourcing kids? Here you go, from my same article:

"Vincent Cannistraro, Director of Intelligence Programs for the
National Security Council under President Ronald Reagan and Chief of
Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency's Counterterrorism Center
under President George H. W. Bush, said Sunday that what the Israelis
hit was "absolutely not a nuclear weapons facility."

"Syria has a small nuclear research facility and has had it for
several years," Cannistraro said. "It is not capable of enriching
uranium to weapons capability levels. Some Israelis speculated that the
Syrians had succeeded in doing just that, but according to the US
intelligence experts that is simply not true."'

Let's go to another article I did on this:

"Allegations that a Syrian envoy admitted during a United Nations
meeting Oct. 17 that an Israeli air strike hit a nuclear facility in
September are inaccurate and have raised the ire of some in the US
intelligence community, who see the Vice President's hand as allegedly
being behind the disinformation.

A United Nations press release discussing the General Assembly's
Disarmament Committee meeting mistranslated comments ascribed to an
unnamed Syrian diplomat as saying that Israel had on various occasions
"taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack
in Syria."

The UN has since gone through the tape recordings of the meeting and
found that there was no mention of the word "nuclear" at all. According
to the UN, the error was one of translation, involving several interpreters translating the same meeting.

Recent news articles, however, continue to make allegations and
suggest that a nuclear weapons facility was hit -- something that the
Syrian government has denied, the Israeli government has not officially
confirmed and US intelligence does not show.

<snip>

According to current and former intelligence sources, the US
intelligence community has seen no evidence of a nuclear facility being
hit.

US intelligence "found no radiation signatures after the bombing, so
there was no uranium or plutonium present," said one official, wishing
to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject.

"We don't have any independent intelligence that it was a nuclear
facility -- only the assertions by the Israelis and some ambiguous
satellite photography from them that shows a building, which the
Syrians admitted was a military facility."

Their statements come as officials claim
Syria has begun to 'disassemble' the site. An article today quotes
former Administration hawk and onetime Bush United Nations Ambassador
John Bolton, who links Syria's alleged action with Iran.

Israel has not spoken publicly about the air raid, other than to
confirm that it happened. The confirmation came nearly a month after
the Sept. 6 bombing, and provided only that "Israeli officials said the strike took place deep inside Syria."

Want a nuclear arms expert? You got one, from my same article:

'Radiation signatures' are just the particular type of radiation that some activity would give off," Dr. Ivan Oelrich, a nuclear weapons expert at the
Strategic Security Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told RAW STORY.
"For example, a nuclear bomb would produce a lot of radioactivity and a
nuclear reactor explosion would produce a lot of radioactivity but if
you measure it carefully so you can tell, not just that it is
radioactive, but exactly what particular isotopes are contributing,
then it is easy to tell the difference.

"If a reactor explodes or is blown up then I can, with careful
measurements of the particular types of radiation, tell what the fuel
was for the reactor and how long the reactor had been running when it
was hit," Oelrich added. "It gets complicated because you have to take
into account how different species are transported in the air, how fast
they decay, etc. but it can be done."

I don't have to remind everyone how the Bush administration had laundered pre-war intelligence on Iraq - or as we now know, pre-war propaganda on Iraq - through the media. So who is leaking this to the journal ahead of the testimony and why?

In addition to my concerns about the media-laundry of government propaganda, is the basic question of how an agency (CIA) currently running black propaganda ops against a country (Syria) can provide an honest analysis on the same country? See here

Why not have the State Department's INR do the Congressional briefing instead? How about military intelligence? Neither of these are actively engaged in running covert propaganda ops against the country they are asked to give their informed analysis of (although I may be mistaken on the DOD's activities since no Presidential Finding is needed to authorize DOD covert ops).

Finally, of the three countries appearing to be involved or target of the Israel-bombed-a-nuclear-facility-propaganda, that is to say, Israel, US, and Syria, only one country was cooperating with the IAEA in the organization's attempts to investigate. Now which country would that be? Again, from yet another article I wrote on this situation:

"The International Atomic Energy Agency - the United Nations nuclear watchdog - has not been able to conduct an investigation into the events surrounding the Sept. 6 Israeli bombing of a Syrian military installation because neither the Bush administration nor Israel are cooperating.

A diplomatic source close to the Vienna based IAEA told Raw Story that both the United States and Israel have been approached by the organization requesting supporting evidence of a nuclear reactor which media sources have cited, based on anonymous sources in both governments, as the reason for the Israeli strike.

The source also explained that the satellite footage, which the IAEA obtained through commercial channels for lack of any "credible evidence," does not show a nuclear reactor in the early construction phase.

Another source, close to the IAEA, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the topic, told RAW STORY last week that based on satellite imagery, evidence that "it was nuclear related is shaky" and pointed out that even basic security for such a facility - such as "security fences" - is missing.

Some IAEA experts have privately opined that the facility - located between the cities of Hama and Dayr az-Zawr in the Northeastern part of Syria - may have been "no more than a workshop for the pumice mining industry along the banks of the Euphrates."

Both individuals independently confirmed that the IAEA cannot conduct a formal investigation without the cooperation of either Israel or the United States, although both confirmed that the Syrian government is cooperating.

An IAEA spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment."

But you need not rely on my reporting if you do not wish to. There is another reporter who closely worked this story. I give you Sy Hersh's excellent article on this situation. He can tell you in his own words:

And before Hersh published his report, I was up against the Murdoch-owned machine and their obedient media followers in the press all alone - as I appear to be again now. Where is the rest of the media? Why is this laundering being allowed to happen?

So is it going to be me and Hersh against WSJ and the Cheney machine? If so, I suggest you choose sides quickly because I am not about to sit around quietly while this administration fabricates another reason for yet another war. If this administration wants to talk about chemical weapons, then that would be honest. But for some reason, they just really want to play the "nukelar" propaganda over and over and over.