SYRIA UPDATE….The New York Times has a bit of further reporting on that Israeli airstrike in northern Syria last month. It turns out that even the White House isn’t sure whether the Syrian target was a nuclear weapons development site:
The debate has fractured along now-familiar fault lines, with Vice President Dick Cheney and conservative hawks in the administration portraying the Israeli intelligence as credible and arguing that it should cause the United States to reconsider its diplomatic overtures to Syria and North Korea.
By contrast, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her allies within the administration have said they do not believe that the intelligence presented so far merits any change in the American diplomatic approach.
….Besides Ms. Rice, officials said that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was cautious about fully endorsing Israeli warnings that Syria was on a path that could lead to a nuclear weapon. Others in the Bush administration remain unconvinced that a nascent Syrian nuclear program could pose an immediate threat.
This is really the damnedest thing. But one thing is sure: the Israeli evidence must have been pretty far from a smoking gun if there’s this much confusion even among the top mucky mucks. Very peculiar.