Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mystery Box

I posted this piece on The Brain Police blog last night. Since then I read a poll stating that 53% of the polled public would like to see Iran bombed. Why? Because the notion has been drummed into their heads by repititous drumbeat of the media in lockstep with the propaganda dished out by the Bush Administration. I would be willing to bet that most of the same 53%, if asked to find Iran on a map, would probably pick Tasmania or Italy. This is a piece about how we get our bad propaganda and how it is used to shape popular opinion:

"In the intelligence community, a disinformation operation is a calculated attempt to convince an audience that falsehoods about an adversary are true, either to discredit him or, in an extreme case, to justify military action. When such a campaign is properly conducted, information is leaked to numerous outlets over a period of time, creating the impression of a media consensus that the story is true, as each new report validates earlier ones.
The [news] pieces [on the target of the Israeli air attack in Syria] have a common thread: they rely entirely on information provided by Israeli sources without independent corroboration. And the ongoing play they are getting in the international media, without much critical commentary and without direct attribution to Israel, mark them as classic disinformation."

This was a quote from a piece by former CIA Officer, Phillip Giraldi in the American Conservative. He believes that the Syrian Nuclear Reactor Story had all the hallmarks of a classic disinformation campaign.
The alleged Syrian reactor was noted for the last 4 years, it had been looked at by the intelligence community and it was old news. What was released as far as justification for the bombing was the original conjecture that it its shape resembles the North Korean Yongbyon reactor building, which was a larger box with smaller boxes stacked on it. The mysterious Syrian building had a faint square on the top where it was thought another structure was going to be built, but after 4 years, the faint square remained just that.
Global Security's John Pike refers the site as being in the middle of nowhere and the photos provided to the press reveal what looks to be a barren location, but you only have to look at Google Earth to see it is smack dab in the middle of Syrias most dense farm region.
This is stranger still, as photos show absolutely no defense or security perimeter around the building. The Syrians would have to be pretty layed back and lax about security to leave their "Nuclear Research Complex" in such an open and casual condition.
What do we know about the box at this point? We know in 2003 it appeared, visible from space. It disappeared last month. It's not there and we know the site was bombed by the Israelis and was probably cleaned after the bombing and the building was destroyed.
Do we have evidence that Syria was building a reactor? No. Were any reporters pursuing the story before the bombing? No.
The only evidence came from journalists schmoozing with John Bolton and his buddies.
The IAEA Director, Mohamed ElBaradei is angry about the bomb first, ask questions later approach of the Israelis because it only fosters suspicion and undermines the role of the IAEA inspectors and their role in investigating and verifying nuclear activity. He also stated that Bolton had been making comments for years about Syrias Nuclear Activity, but the IAEA had never had any evidence to back it up.
Perhaps then, the real target of the Israeli strike wasn't a clandestine nuclear program in Syria, it was the IAEA inspection process itself. A very troubling road block in the neo con march to Tehran!

This post was cross posted by Microdot on The Brain Police Oct.30,2007

Lefty Blogs