Syria reactor: CIA makes its case

Check out the presentation the CIA released today laying out their claims that the Syrian reactor destroyed by an Israeli air strike on September 6, 2007 was in fact built with support from North Korea and was intended for the production of weapons-grade nuclear material. Below is the embedded full version of the footage, courtesy of the BBC. Note the use of a 3D display program that looks very similar to Google Earth, down to the textured 3D buildings:

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The CIA certainly pulled out all the multimedia stops to convince in this presentation. It is certainly a lot more explicit than the presentation by Colin Powell to the UN before the start of the Iraq War. I’m half hoping that they’ll also release the 3D model of the reactor from the presentation as a downloadable Collada KML file — just because that would be a really cool and innovative way to press their case.

What about the credibility of this presentation? Obviously, Syria and North Korea call it a fabrication, and given the damaged credibility of the CIA from their shenanigans in the runup to the Gulf War, those denials will convince many. But the BBC’s commentators appear convinced by the evidence.

This topic was previously blogged on Ogle Earth here, here, here and here. Download a KML overlay of before-and-after imagery here. The location is now also viewable in high resolution in Google Maps/Earth, as of the last update. You still get to see the reactor before it was destroyed, from a Digital Globe image taken on August 18, 2007:

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7 thoughts on “Syria reactor: CIA makes its case”

  1. looks like Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has the “right” to possess nuclear weapons

  2. This doesn’t make any sense. The North Korean bombs are based on outdated Pakistani designs and the DPRK nuclear test suggests that it didn’t work as intended. For Syria, acquiring a few North Korean style bombs would be suicidal. Like asking Israel to attack. There’s a massive propaganda campaign going against Syria and Iran. So you should take any news report of Syrian nuclear bombs with a huge pinch of salt.

    Now, it is not totally impossible that North Korea really was involved on this. It may be that the building was related to North Korean missiles. The silence of Syrians suggests that they did something that West might see suspicious.

  3. @Ali…wonder why that is?

    I haven’t heard Israel threaten a nuclear first strike(meaning a non-response attack) against any country in the ME. Have you? Unlike Iran, which has said it would if and when it obtained the means to do so.

    Or even others who would love to have nukes and use them in a first strike. Beyond Israel too, there been threats made about Rome.

    Also, I don’t hear Israel threaten to kill all Muslims or teach in their “schools” how to hate and kill Muslims. Which is very different from what is said and done on the opposite side.

    Kinda reminds of all the belly aching about the US having nukes. I haven’t heard us say we would use them as a first strike option or even threaten other countries to do what we want or else we will target and nuke you. Note, we did threaten Pakistan not long after Sept11. Saying we would bomb them back into the stone ages if they didn’t agree to assist us. The bombing threat wasn’t made with nukes, just our conventional arms.

    I’ve been hearing those phrases(targeting and using nukes) drop out of Putins mouth the past year or so. Yet, where is the out cry? O’wait, it isn’t Bush or the US saying it. So it’s all ok? And as a side note, look up some old Warsaw documents about their battle plans in Europe. Guess what their first strike option was? It was nukes. After which they were to send in the conventional forces. They didn’t give a damn whether or not their soldiers became sick and/or die from entering the fresh nuclear blast zone(s).

    In the end, some countries are more responsible than others. The countries who are not responsible members shouldn’t have nukes, they can’t be trusted to behave correctly.

    I suspect Ali, you don’t give a damn one way or another so long as a country full of Jews are murdered.


  4. KoS: The US is so responsible about its nukes that it is the only country in the world to have used them against innocent civilians. And twice. They did it to show their might. The US just doesn’t give a fuck about other people. They can’t be trusted.

  5. I really don’t know how credible anything the U.S. has to say about weapons of mass destruction is anymore.

    The lying spree undertaken prior to the Iraq war is unforgivable to most Americans.

    Is this the truth or another fabrication? We just don’t know do we!

    I really don’t see why people don’t have any tolerance for each other anyway.

    More people have been killed,and wounded for life, over who’s GOD is GOD than any other reason in history.

    I think that the weapons of mass destruction are only the result of the real problem.

    the real problem is the “you will believe my way or else mentality” of the religious, and political leaders of the world.

  6. “More people have been killed,and wounded for life, over who’s GOD is GOD than any other reason in history.”

    Juvenile, ditto-headed baloney. The atheistic communist and Nazi regimes of the 20th century killed more people than all religious wars in history combined.

    “it is the only country in the world to have used them against innocent civilians. And twice. They did it to show their might.”

    Somehow I think we would get a different comment from the tens of thousands of soldiers who survived because we didn’t invade. Along with the entire populations of Korea and China.

  7. Sum1: Yes we did, in a time of war. We didn’t just for the hell of it or didn’t like the Japanese because they were of a different religion.

    We were at war at the time and it was decided it was better to kill more of the enemy than having them kill more of our people. That is war, minimize your deaths while maximize your enemies deaths. It worked, we ended the war in the Pacific and we didn’t have to send countless personnel to their deaths in a invasion of the Japanese mainland. Some estimates or intell suggested a million could die to invade Japan. Maybe that was a lie, so we could drop the bombs to show how big, mean and flex our muscles to the world. (Putting current mind-sets into past events)

    Have we used them since then? No, because, for one, we saw how destructive they can be. Two, we don’t target civilians in a time of war like we use to. Plus, we weren’t the only ones in history who have ever targeted civilians.

    Heard of the fire bombing of Dresden, Germany? Those weren’t nukes, but the damage was almost as bad and directed at civilians.

    You can’t compare then and now. The times and thinking are way different. People need to stop put current mind-sets into past events.

    And we don’t give a fuck about others? Who provides the most foreign humanitarian aid? It sure isn’t Iran, Russia, China or ??. Who did most of the heavy lifting not long after the major earthquake in Pakistan or after the tsunami in Indonesian?

    Keep hating. The US isn’t perfect or an angel, but we are not the Satan nut jobs like to make us out to be.

    Keep this in mind, if the US were to go isolate ourselves. Would the world be better or worst? I know, you think better. In reality, the world would become worse.

    And Beverly Hill…you are right we don’t know. How do you absolutely know we lied? You don’t. Just because we haven’t found, a so called, smoking gun, doesn’t mean there was a lie.

    Is it true WMD was spirited away to Syria and/or Lebanon? Is it true they are still buried somewhere in Iraq? Is it true Saddam played a great game of faking he had WMDs? We don’t know for sure to those questions and others.

    Plus, intell is no way, shape or form the absolute truth anyway. Intell always had and will always have issues.

    There is still alot of unknowns. A lot of missing pieces before calling it a lie.


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