May 28, 2008

Hadyen Perpetuates Syrian Reactor Story

Are we to believe the statements below attributed by the Associated Press to CIA Director Michael Hayden? He's the same guy that had to be corrected by Jonathan Landay of Knight Ridder on the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment's requirement of "probable cause" to receive a warrant for a search or seizure.

According to FAIR, On MSNBC's Countdown (1/24/06), host Keith Olbermann played video of the exchange, followed by a reading of the Fourth Amendment.
"It's hard to tell which is more frightening for those of you in favor of continuing the democracy, the mistake itself, or the general's insistence that it was not a mistake," Olbermann commented. "Well, maybe they have a different Constitution over there at the NSA."

Hayden's Statement:

Even without Israeli intelligence, the CIA would have known by last July that a building in Syria's western desert was meant to be a secret nuclear reactor when a pipe system from the Euphrates River to the building was constructed.

"That was a powerful cooling system going to a building with no visible heat source,"

Hayden said. Israeli jets destroyed the building in August 2007, although Syria has denied it was a nuclear facility.

North Korea's arms trade — helping Syria build a nuclear reactor, or selling missile technology to Iran — is motivated by cash.

"It's a starved economy, with very, very few sources of foreign exchange," "This is one of the ones where they can actually turn a profit."

Sounds plausible, of course, but Symour Hirsch and others seriously question the validity of this story. Reporting about five months after the Israeli bombing, Hirsh wrote in the New Yorker:

In three months of reporting for this article, I was repeatedly told by current and former intelligence, diplomatic, and congressional officials that they were not aware of any solid evidence of ongoing nuclear-weapons programs in Syria.

He continues to explain away the a key piece of so-called "evidence" of Korean involvement...

there is evidence that the [ship the] Al Hamed could not have been carrying sensitive cargo—or any cargo—from North Korea. International shipping is carefully monitored by Lloyd’s Marine Intelligence Unit, which relies on a network of agents as well as on port logs and other records.

According to Marine Intelligence Unit records, the Al Hamed, which was built in 1965, had been operating for years in the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, with no indication of any recent visits to North Korea. The records show that the Al Hamed arrived at Tartus on September 3rd—the ship’s fifth visit to Syria in five months.

But, don't take Hirch's word.

Referring to the building that was bombed, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations group responsible for monitoring compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, said,

Our experts who have carefully analyzed the satellite imagery say it is unlikely that this building was a nuclear facility.


Associated Press, CIA watching for al-Qaida 'succession crisis', May 28, 2008.

Fair and Accuracy in Reporting, FAIR, Probable Cause for Alarm, Media Ignores Ex-NSA's chief's of ignorance of the Constitution, January 27, 2006.


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