“Sy Hersh: Syrian Facility Bombed by Israel not Nuclear”

Sy Hersh confirms: Syrian facility bombed by Israel was not nuclear (Click to see video of CNN interview with Hersh)

A Strike in the Dark
by Seymour M. Hersh

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Sunday February 3, 2008

After Israel bombed a Syrian military facility last September, the United States and Israel both claimed the target had been a Syrian nuclear facility under construction.

RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna was alone at the time in reporting that the actual target was a cache of North Korean No-Dong missiles, dating back to the 1990's, which Syria was convert for use as chemical warheads.

In a follow-up report, Alexandrovna added that Vice President Dick Cheney was suspected of being behind leaks to the press of misleading claims of a nuclear basis for the incident.

A third story in Alexandrovna's series reported that the US and Israel were refusing to cooperate with an attempted investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but that the IAEA had concluded on the basis of satellite imagery that the target was unlikely to have been nuclear.

However, the US/Israeli version continued to dominate most accounts of the incident. As recently as December, the Sunday Times was still insisting that "Israel's top-secret air raid on Syria in September destroyed a bomb factory assembling warheads fuelled by North Korean plutonium."

Now veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has weighed in on the matter. Hersh appeared on CNN's Late Edition on Sunday to discuss his upcoming article, "A Strike in the Dark," which will appear in the Feb. 11 issue of the New Yorker.

Hersh writes in that article, "Whatever was under construction, with North Korean help, it apparently had little to do with agriculture — or with nuclear reactors — but much to do with Syria's defense posture, and its military relationship with North Korea. And that, perhaps, was enough to silence the Syrian government after the September 6th bombing."

"This is a wonderful sort of a complicated story," Hersh told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Here Israel bombs another country, basically an act of war. … They don't say anything publicly about it. The Israeli great ally, the United States, says nothing. Syria doesn't say much about it. They complain, but they're very muted too. … Nobody talks about it."

Hersh went on to say that even though nobody was talking publicly, "there was tremendous sotto voce stuff. In other words, the Israeli government, the American government were leaking, telling newspaper people, particularly in America, but also in Europe, all sorts of wonderful, grandiose details about what happened."

Hersh finally concluded as a result of his investigation that "when you began to look at each part… they sort of fall apart." He is not even convinced the plant was even a chemical warfare facility but believes it may have been a missile plant. "Israel may indeed have some evidence that's overwhelming," Hersh stated. "But without that sort of evidence, what they've done is, they've simply bombed another country."

Hersh's best guess as to the motivation of the bombing was partly Israeli politics and partly that "it's a message for the Iranians that we're coming."

Comments (104)

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101. Shual said:

Another New Jersey Guy, you are asking amateurish questions.

You can not compare the “Wehrhafte Demokratie” of today with the 20ties. Germanies integration into the EU, NATO, the strict connection to the US can not be thrown over by a simple one-dimensional movement, cause germans are not one-dimensional any longer. Persons that are affected with antisemitism are not living [and voting] for antisemitc parties, cause there are more important matters. All systems are reacting very brave against defects, but you can not anticipate 100% perfection and democracy ALWAYS means different views that compete with each other. Populism is still working, but the last and several resuts of polls and discussions say that if you want to loose an election … you have to be a populist. As all countries Germany has to develop and there are ups and downs. But the direction is given from the system. NOT the SYSTEM, the DIRECTION is the core part of it. And thats the way we should look at arab countries. Jobs? Internal freedom? Culture? Education? I can not find any healthy arab that says that its good to nave no jobs, no internal freedom, etc. But [the same case with Israel] it has to develop and we belive that the DIRECTIONS can be shared. And sorry, but Qifa Naqbis “Our biggest problems”-list is the … same list in Germany. Or do you think that poor children that can not afford a decent meal in school in Germany or Israel are DIFFERENT from children in Egypt because of “democracy”? We share the same problems, but if we are only spend our time in creating virtual DIFFERENCES …

“Grandpa… my jewish friend wants to know what you as an arab did in the greaaat cyberwar….” – “Well, I was a famous differenciator.” – “What???” – “Err… forget it, child.”

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February 6th, 2008, 5:24 am


102. SimoHurtta said:

Your problem is that you believe that Israel would destroy a mosque that was in place 700 years. Israel is the leader in archeology in the middle east and would never do such a thing. You quote an obscure press release by ma’an and you tend to believe anything that is bad about Jews. Thank goodness the Jews have a country and do not need to count on the generosity of Europeans like you. You are a great example of why a Jewish state is neededed and why Jews could not assimilate into Europe.

Why AIG you are NOT yourself living in Israel? Why 30 – 40 percent of the Israeli Jewish youth want to move out of the country? It would be really interesting to know how many Israelis are in Israel and how many are de facto living permanently abroad? I have noticed that “secular Jews” like you with the most extreme opinions mostly live in USA, not in Israel. Why? It is easy “playing a lion” far from the front line. 🙂

By the way AIG in Finland are Jews and have been for a long time. Very few of them have moved to Israel. There has been no problems with them or to them for their religion. We have Jews in parliament and many other places. Most Finns do not even know their religion. Religion is no issue here. Jews like Muslims can even own land here and buy it without anybody asking the persons religion. And in ID card here we do not mention his/hers religion. Strange isn’t it AIG?

I believe the news. There are to many equal news of Israel and the occupied areas. Is it bad news for Jews? Hmmm it is bad news for the Zionist state not necessarily for Jews, if Jews in general, as I believe, do not approve such behaviour. If Jews approve destroying ancient temples of any other religion you are right AIG, it is bad news for Jews.

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February 6th, 2008, 5:51 am


103. annie said:

Alex, thank you for putting a brake on AIG’s attempts to destroy this blog. In every ME pro Arab blog you have one or two infiltrated mossad helpers who will try and highjack the blog and deflect it from its course.
For instance, on Drudge Retort (drudge.com), as soon as there is a topic concerning Israel you have a guy popping out of his box and drowning the site with his comments.
And go to angryarab.blogspot.com for some really vulgar attacks.

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February 6th, 2008, 6:34 am


104. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

As usual, each Arab wants democracy, but not in his own country. How hilarious is that? Ausama wants democracy but likes Asad because… Asad will bring democracy to OTHER Arab countries.
I have a solution. Why don’t the Egyptians take care of Asad and the Syrians can take care of Mubarak? That would work right?
Until each Arab is willing to take on his own dictator, this whole exercise is a farce.
In the end, the Arab world and especially Syria is caught in a paradox that it can’t get out of: It is weak because it lacks democracy, but if it goes for democracy it will be surrendering to American hegemony and it could also mean civil war.
And I see that the Syrians on this blog have a hard time dealing with these unappealing alternatives.
It is time to discuss these alternatives clearly and coherently and decide which direction to go.

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February 6th, 2008, 6:44 am


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