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Growing Obfuscation of the Bombing of Syria

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Back on November 6th, I explored the convoluted information (or disinformation) regarding the September 6, 2007 bombing of Syria in Who Bombed Syria? Did Syria Get Bombed?. Well Gareth Porter has returned to the topic with new information that Israel's Syrian Airstrike Was Aimed at Iran. ... OK ... If nothing else, this story is getting more convoluted as more information and disinformation comes trudging to the surface. If Porter's sources and analysis is correct, the bombing of Syria's "nuclear facility" (which by current information was not a nuclear facility) was not about Syria but Iran. In fact, it was a consequence of a dispute within the Bush administration between Cheney and Rice regarding the decision to start talking with North Korea. Rice (apparently) pushed for loosening up towards North Korea and Cheney opposed it. Likewise, the effort to open some line of dialog with Iran was rebuffed by Cheney and his alliance. So why Syria? And how does that send a message to Iran? Apparently because of the rumor(?) that North Korea was supplying nuclear weapons capabilities to Syria (and Iran), and that Iran is purportedly also supporting Syria's (alleged) nuclear program. So the story gets crazier and crazier. Israel (purportedly) agrees to preemptively bomb Syria (with US airforce backup) because Cheney has a dispute with Rice over policy. Or that the U.S. preemptively bombs a site in Syria with Israeli backing. Or that there was no nuclear facility (which seems to be the case) and the top secret mission (which is leaked and counter-leaked by sources within the administration) was a "test run" to show Iran that Israel (or the U.S.) were willing to use tactical nukes against another nation preemptively. This whole thing stinks to high heaven. It is remarkable that Cheney and Rice would be at odds as they were both in the inner circle (as Powell never was). However, what is with the so-called leaks, and contradictory leaks? Exactly who is to be kept guessing here, and why is the guessing supposed to be public? Who is leaking and why? While Porter doesn't name any names, some of the leaks have been named (maybe). According to Olivier Guitta at the Middle East Times, some of those leaks are coming from "ranking Republicans on the House Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Peter Hoekstra, who were briefed on the Israeli strike and sworn to secrecy. They wrote an op-ed in the October 20 Wall Street Journal clearly underlining the seriousness of the situation regarding both the North Korean and Iranian involvement in the Syrian arms program." So the cabal around this top secret "we did it they did it" extends beyond the White House to Republicans who are willing to carry the administration's (or Cheney's) water. This whole endeavor is beyond bizarre. It borders on the illegal, or one would think so. Someone had to approve the airstrike on Syria -whether U.S. planes were the actors or protectors. Who was that? Cheney? Bush? The only one who would be able to approve such an action (as far as I know) would be Bush. While Bush "delegated" some significant powers to Rumsfeld when he was Secretary of Defense, somehow it seems unlikely that Gates would have the authority to make such a strike, and I am pretty sure that the Vice President doesn't have the legal authority to order such an action either. If this is not already on somebody's dance card for investigation, it definitely should be.


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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.

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