Saturday, October 27, 2007
Now that administration hawks have established (in the popular imagination) a Syrian-North Korean proliferation link, it looks like the "Rice-Gates-Keep Cheney Away From The Launch Codes" faction has decided to push back. The NY Times is reporting the release of another satellite image of the alleged Syrian nuclear site, this one dating back to 2003, showing that the building believed to be a nuclear reactor was already under construction back then:
A dispute has broken out between conservatives and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the administrationís pursuit of diplomacy with North Korea in the face of intelligence that North Korea might have helped Syria design a nuclear reactor.
The new image may give ammunition to those in the administration, including Ms. Rice, who call for diplomacy. If North Korea started its Syrian aid long ago, the officials could argue that the assistance was historical, not current, and that diplomacy should move ahead.
For whatever it's worth, the outfit that released the image, GeoEye, is based in Dulles, Va, a stone's throw from CIA headquarters in Langley. Its Board of Directors includes a former career CIA operative, and a Reagan-era Lt. General who worked on the SDI program. Not unusual for the private sector satellite imagery racket, I'm sure, but enough to make me wonder whether there aren't any backroom agendas being played out here. Hmmm... You think?