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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


More on the Israeli strike on Syria

An article in today's Washington Post returns to the recent Israeli strike on Syria. We're "informed" that independent experts have pinpointed a site which may be the site of the strike, and which shows buildings which are "roughly similar" to North Korean nuclear reactors.

For starters, who are these "experts"? David Albright and Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). And what do we know about these men? From the ISIS site, we learn that Albright, the President and founder, does have a Masters degree in Physics. The "Senior Research Analyst," Brannan, has a B.A. in Government. Well, that certainly qualifies you as an expert on nuclear reactors.

But back to the article. After the hype of the start, we finally start getting to some caveats halfway through the article. "I'm pretty convinced that Syria was trying to build a nuclear reactor," says Albright. "Pretty convinced"? And that warrants a front-page article? A few paragraphs later, we get some insight into that "pretty convinced": "Albright acknowledged the difficulties of proving what the site is, in part because the roof was put on at an early stage, blocking views of the foundation and obscuring any potential reactor components." And finally, well into the article (and the very last paragraph that made it into the San Jose Mercury News reprint), we read: "Some nuclear experts urged caution in interpreting the photos, noting that the type of reactor favored by North Korea has few distinguishing characteristics visible from the air..."You can look at North Korea's [reactor] buildings, and they look like nothing," said John E. Pike, a nuclear expert and director of GlobalSecurity.org. Not that Pike is necessarily any more reliable than Albright. His website doesn't mention his education, but does note "Pike began his career as a political consultant and science writer."

We may have located a site which Israel bombed which may contain a building which looks somewhat similar to a building with "few distinguishing characteristics." Page one material for sure.

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