I have a somewhat different take than some about David Sanger's and Mark Mazzetti's piece entitled "Analysts find Israel Struck a nuclear project inside Syria" in today's NY Times.
Rather than illuminating anything, as some in the blogosphere have suggested, I think it actually muddies things quite a bit.
In the first place, nowhere does this article identify who these so-called "analysts" are. Not even a general description, like "high placed officials at the Pentagon" for example. Nor does it explain why the so-called "analysts" are not identified by name -- e.g., "they wished to remain anonymous because of the classified nature of the subject." None of that. Nothing whatsoever to disclose anything about these "analysts."
Second, other recent articles (and even this one) tell us there was disagreement withing the government about the intelligence information on which this was bases. Presumably, many in the government didn't believe the Israeli data proved this was a nuclear project.
Third, we know from inference, if nothing else, that the side inside the government promoting the Israeli strike had to be the Cheney side fighting, once again, against the evil commies at the State Department. (Isn't it strange that Rice begins to look good, if only by comparison to Cheney?)
Fourth, we know that Cheney frequently leaks information to the press to tip a story in his favor.
So, here's the way I connect the dots. This was a deliberate, but disguised, leak from the Cheney side of the house to stir the pot against Syria and North Korea (Cheney is reportedly really pissed that Condi struck a deal with the Koreans). Frankly, I don't think this leak adds one iota to what we know about the strike. It's likely to have just as much substance to it as Cheney's claim that he knew the Iraqis were harboring al Qaeda terrorists in their midst. I'm a skeptic, and I wish the NY Times
reporters were a bit more skeptical. They report this as if it were a fact -- no qualifiers whatsoever.