This is really starting to get silly.
This morning, a report in the WaPo said the information leading to the bombing of a Syrian facility in September came from satellite photos. By this evening, the story has changed.
A senior U.S. official told ABC News the Israelis first discovered a suspected Syrian nuclear facility early in the summer, and the Mossad — Israel's intelligence agency — managed to either co-opt one of the facility's workers or to insert a spy posing as an employee.As actual expert Dr. Jeffrey Lewis has pointed out, the "North Korean" design is actually a British one, is probably the design most easily copied from open-source details available in books and on the internet, and is still very difficult to assess exactly from photographs when in an advanced stage of contruction.
As a result, the Israelis obtained many detailed pictures of the facility from the ground.
...The official described the pictures as showing a big cylindrical structure, with very thick walls all well-reinforced. The photos show rebar hanging out of the cement used to reinforce the structure, which was still under construction.
There was also a secondary structure and a pump station, with trucks around it. "It was unmistakable what it was going to be. No doubt in my mind," the official told ABC News. But there was no fissionable material found because the facility was not yet operating.
The official said there was a larger structure just north of a small pump station; a nuclear reactor would need a constant source of water to keep it cool.
The official said the facility was a North Korean design in its construction, the technology present and the ability to put it all together.
It was North Korean "expertise," said the official, meaning the Syrians must have had "human" help from North Korea.
So basically these anonymous officials - called David Addington, Steven Hadley and Elliot Abrams - couldn't "assess" jack-sh*t about the building's origins even if it was a fully-functional reactor. But it wasn't - it was a building site that maybe someone should have mentioned their worries about to the IAEA. Nothing more and impossible to assess as anything more. And the Israelis bombed it while the Cheneyites held their glands for them.
Then some folk wonder why America can't get international co-operation they way it used to...
Update If you're following this story closely enough to cut through the BS, you'll want to read posts by Charles at Mercury Rising and by The Spook In The Machine. Both very thought provoking.