Video: Syria’s nuke reactor at al-Kibar

posted at 9:35 pm on April 28, 2008 by Allahpundit

Here’s the video briefing prepared by the feds last week for Congress, in two parts. The LA Times is the first out of the box in calling shenanigans, espying nefarious fauxtographic manipulation by the CIA. Hey, guys? Half the video is CGI and computer graphics. Of course the image is enhanced. As for the second example they offer, in which the reactor magically changes from a rectangle to a square, I’m guessing that’s either a slight difference in the angle at which the two shots were taken or a cave-in towards the center in the lower image, which was obviously taken some time after the upper one. All theories are welcome, but if you’re inclined to accuse them of photoshopping, kindly explain why they would have ‘shopped one image but not the other.

There are genuine questions being raised about the reactor, though. Michael Hayden claims that it was similar in size and sophistication to the NorK reactor at Yongbyon that it was apparently modeled on, which would have meant one or two plutonium bombs a year once they got it online. But read this post at Arms Control Wonk using the feds’ own photographic evidence for a rebuttal. Yongbyon appears to have many more fuel rods than al-Kibar did, which means it’s hard to see how Syria could have churned out the same amount of plutonium at the same rate. But note: “On the other hand, maybe there are design differences in the size of the channels or the rods that we aren’t taking into account.” Stay tuned.

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Better safe than sorry I say, so blow it up. I’m certainly no expert, but you have to consider who we’re dealing with here.

SouthernGent on April 28, 2008 at 9:43 PM

LA Times: Syrian Reactor Turns Out to Be Baby Duck and Kitten Factory.

Pulizter here we come…

danking70 on April 28, 2008 at 9:51 PM

You sure its not another ice cream truck where that dummy Colin Powell can go before the UN and make a total fool of himself, again?

muyoso on April 28, 2008 at 9:52 PM

I guess if they could only make one nuclear bomb once every two or three years instead of one bomb a year, it’s ok.

Wha? How many nuclear bombs in the hands of Syria are too many? I’d say any number higher than zero.

Asher on April 28, 2008 at 9:53 PM

SouthernGent on April 28, 2008 at 9:43 PM

Exactly, I don’t give a rats ass about what the site was. We didn’t task it, the IDF did, well done at that! Exit question: does anyone really think we’re going to be privy to the real deal on this?

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 9:55 PM

The difference between the “rectangle” and “square” pictures is because the angular difference in the shots. Specifically, the “square” image is taken at a slight oblique angle looking down the long axis of the building. You can tell because you can see the sides of some of the remaining walls that are standing.

Personally, so many of these lame criticisms smack of 9/11 trutherism – I think we may need a new catchphrase for this.

NPP on April 28, 2008 at 9:56 PM

Yeah, the left is all over this being faked images, Inside Job conspiracy, and other fevered dreams of Jewish run Bushitler neoconservative cabals.

I think they missed the part that it wasn’t America who bombed the reactor in the first place, but, whatever, details are for schmucks.

Seriously though, it’s a very disturbing to me that so many Americans, when given a choice between the official versions of the US and one of its strategic adversaries, will always choose our enemy’s version of events. I know the Bush Lied People Died meme is with us for at least a generation, but one would think that people would at least think twice about accepting Syria’s version of events.

Nessuno on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

It’s fine to know about and destroy the Syrian nuclear reactor, but what about the hard-to-reach target, i.e. Iran nuclear reactors?

Here’s what will never happen: Iran’s nukes will be untouchable.

Why?

Because George W. Bush threw America forever -at least for the next 150 years- in an inextricable mess.

America or Israel will not dare hit Iran because of the U.S. troops who are planted forever in Iraq.

It might have been the right decision, but it had the wrong timing. There was no planning of anything: From the Intelligence to the Military.

There is a difference between the good intention and carrying on the mission.

Unless the good intention is accompanied with good planning, the mission will fail.

America screwed up in Iraq and we don’t have the humility to admit our failed arrogance.

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

I wonder if they have ID’d the dead North Koreans…

Zorro on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Come one you guys. If it had been a Nuke factory, Mr. No Chin would have told Pelosi al-Syria about it! Talking with people means no bad things happen.

VolMagic on April 28, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Nah.

VolMagic on April 28, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Nessuno on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Maybe we should ask Pelosi and Reid for a public comment, I’m sure they were briefed and know what was accomplished is truly in the best interests of the United States.

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 10:05 PM

It is nice to know Saddam is not around to offer any assistance.

infidel on April 28, 2008 at 10:06 PM

I remember this facility being discussed around the time of the Lebanon war 2 years ago and using Google Earth to hunt around for it.

Connie on April 28, 2008 at 10:06 PM

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Nah.

VolMagic on April 28, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Yeah.

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:07 PM

Personally, so many of these lame criticisms smack of 9/11 trutherism – I think we may need a new catchphrase for this.

What did you think of the Arms Control Wonk post, NPP?

Allahpundit on April 28, 2008 at 10:08 PM

Blow-n shit up in Syria is a good thing, esp. if it was a weapons factory or anything nuclear!

Wish we’d blow up some more shit in Syria.

Once again, the American left gets their panties all up in a roar because big bad America blew up something inside a terrorist nation. Must defend those terrorists!

Gosh, I really can’t stand Liberals.

Keemo on April 28, 2008 at 10:08 PM

No mention of Israel in the report. Hmmmmmmm – Must have been divine intervention!!!!!

Early reports that I read said that the Israelis had commandos in the area prior to the bombing that had compiled a well documented case that many Koreans were present at the site.

Baruch Hashem!

Go Israel!

iam7545 on April 28, 2008 at 10:09 PM

Yeah, 10 Dead North Korean nuke specialists sorta sums up that column. The moonbats can go … whatever moonbats do.

dogsoldier on April 28, 2008 at 10:10 PM

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Are you serious? Saddam offered us a legitimate reason/excuse to achieve the strategic goal of placing an extremely lethal and terrifying capability on Iran’s doorstep. If anyone’s troops, infrastructure and way of life is in harms ways, its is the Iranians. Please understand the merits of forward deployment, area and operations denial and the tried and true “in your face” methodology that forces an enemy to dance to your song!

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 10:18 PM

What did you think of the Arms Control Wonk post, NPP?

Allahpundit on April 28, 2008 at 10:08 PM

It’s good – I follow that site closely and it’s always good over there with a lot of real experts and brain power. While the questions and inconsistencies between Yongbyon and Al Kibar are interesting from an academic perspective, IMO they’re ultimately immaterial to acknowledging the elephant in the room – a covert nuclear reactor in Syria that is ill-suited to any purpose but plutonium production. No one with any expertise in such matters believes it’s anything but a reactor and Syria’s conduct both before and after the facility was destroyed is quite telling and damning confirmation. So yes, if the Al Kibar core was smaller than Yongbyon – even half the size – that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. And all these nitnoid accusations about square this, rectangle that are simply attempts to throw sand in our eyes and sow unwarranted suspicion on the fact that Al Kibar WAS a reactor.

NPP on April 28, 2008 at 10:27 PM

How about giving the Israelis the coordinates for the LA Times. Lots of toxic material being produced there also.

peacenprosperity on April 28, 2008 at 10:28 PM

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Are you serious? Saddam offered us a legitimate reason/excuse to achieve the strategic goal of placing an extremely lethal and terrifying capability on Iran’s doorstep. If anyone’s troops, infrastructure and way of life is in harms ways, its is the Iranians. Please understand the merits of forward deployment, area and operations denial and the tried and true “in your face” methodology that forces an enemy to dance to your song!

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 10:18 PM

This could be true in Chess or video games, but the real world doesn’t function like that.

We are talking about lives of American soldiers in the face of a rogue extremist Islamic nation with nuclear capabilities.

To quote you: “Please understand.”

As for Saddam, well, all I can tell you is:

The Intelligence Community screwed up, Bush picked up the wrong time and the Military had no plans whatsoever for “after the invasion.”

Remember, this is not a game.

Iran is damn serious and they don’t give a damn about their losses as long as they can kill thousands of American soldiers.

I don’t know what the hell they teach them at Military and Intelligence schools.

Do I have to do everything myself?

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Real world? Do I have to do the math for you? Iranain military capabilities vs. the United States. You flunk!

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 10:33 PM

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Real world? Do I have to do the math for you? Iranain military capabilities vs. the United States. You flunk!

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 10:33 PM

Ok, now I know whom I’m talking to.

Thank you for the information.

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:36 PM

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:36 PM

I believe we are on the same side. At your leisure, look into the one of the US Navy’s less publicized “value” upgrades of existing capabilities. The USS Ohio was recently re-designated a SSGN vs. its original SSBN, (now a cruise missile platform w/154 bad boys vs. original sea launched ICBM platform). The navy plans to reconfigure 4 Tridents as such. This 1 boat can effectively deter and if needed destroy most of Iran’s offensive capability w/o playing the nuke card. I agree Iraq has been more than problematic, but the need for the United States to project multiple offensive scenarios to the Iranians is a critical part of keeping them in check.

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 10:55 PM

SouthernGent on April 28, 2008 at 9:43 PM

Exactly, I don’t give a rats ass about what the site was. We didn’t task it, the IDF did, well done at that! Exit question: does anyone really think we’re going to be privy to the real deal on this?

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 9:55 PM

Awww c’mon you guys…it really only was a giant BBQ grill used for baking pita bread…for the kittens.

Mo ElBaradei

/sarc

91Veteran on April 28, 2008 at 11:00 PM

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 10:55 PM

You still don’t get it.

Read again my previous comments and you’ll find my answer.

I have to go now. Too much spinning here.

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 11:01 PM

Didn’t they rename the site al-Kaboom?

Captain America on April 28, 2008 at 11:04 PM

91Veteran on April 28, 2008 at 11:00 PM

Falafels anyone?

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 11:05 PM

Because George W. Bush threw America forever -at least for the next 150 years- in an inextricable mess.

America or Israel will not dare hit Iran because of the U.S. troops who are planted forever in Iraq.

It might have been the right decision, but it had the wrong timing. There was no planning of anything: From the Intelligence to the Military.

There is a difference between the good intention and carrying on the mission.

Unless the good intention is accompanied with good planning, the mission will fail.

America screwed up in Iraq and we don’t have the humility to admit our failed arrogance.

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM

You’re right IC…it’s all the eeeevilllll Boooooooosh’s fault.

Geeze…rub a couple of brain cells together before posting.

Your comment suggests Ammadinnerjacket decided the day Bush was sworn in that he wanted nukes, and started building.

It ignores the fact that Iran has been run by radicals since 1979…and who do we thank for that?

It ignores AQ Khan, and a number of others, including the Russians, who have been helping Iran for years…while being ignored by the rest of the world.

It ignores the buffoons from the UN who should have been putting the screws to Iran for years, but continued ignoring the problem in the face of hard evidence.

It ignores North Korean involvement in this.

It suggests the leftist whine about Bush being a cowboy on Iraq, while expecting him to act like a cowboy on Iran.

As for US troops being in Iraq and them being a deterrent to hitting Iran, if this were the case, why was the Syrian facility hit then?

91Veteran on April 28, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Here’s what will never happen: Iran’s nukes will be untouchable.

I guess my thinking is just to linear to grasp the meaning of this statement. I get the reality of a nuclear capable Iran, I get the reality of allowing a Mahdi regime the ability to carry out its most hallowed desire, I get the costs in lives that confronting Iran now vs. a knee jerk response after their first strike will be. I know we can not run away, I know they have been waging war against us for 30 years, I know the clock is ticking. Sleep well.

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 11:29 PM

Nuclear Bombs don’t kill people, jihadis kill people… with nuclear bombs, if they can get them.

Monkeys shouldn’t have hand grenades and Islamists shouldn’t have WMD’s.

For exactly the same reasons.

profitsbeard on April 28, 2008 at 11:33 PM

I don’t know what the hell they teach them at Military and Intelligence schools.

Do I have to do everything myself?

Indy Conservative on April 28, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Well since you seem to know how everything should go, maybe you should join the CIA or run for President or something.

Or maybe you should just shut the h$ll up.

mjk on April 28, 2008 at 11:38 PM

Monkeys shouldn’t have hand grenades and Islamists shouldn’t have WMD’s.

I’d put my money on the primates!

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 11:38 PM

I’d put my money on the primates!

…and I’d loose, terrifying when I thought about it, thats exactly the calculus the Islamist want. Humanity has a better chance of surviving monkeys with hand grenades….damn!

dmann on April 28, 2008 at 11:45 PM

Exit Question: This completely obliterates the “Saddam sent his nukes to Syria” argument. Where did Iraq’s nuke equipment go?

faraway on April 28, 2008 at 11:49 PM

faraway on April 28, 2008 at 11:49 PM

This has always been a topic of widely differing opinions, the actual equipment is less important than the designs, brains and cash needed for these types of programs. The same concerns are presented by the technology needed for Biological and Chemical weapons, the physical components are usually the easiest to replace.

dmann on April 29, 2008 at 12:11 AM

Everybody knows that fire can not melt steel.

Johan Klaus on April 29, 2008 at 12:23 AM

Or maybe you should just shut the h$ll up.

mjk on April 28, 2008 at 11:38 PM

Nooooo – no one should have to shut up, not in America, not on HA. And, without Indy, it would be way more boring. He’s a good guy. You just don’t understand him, not only you mjk.

Entelechy on April 29, 2008 at 1:15 AM

I think some people are seeing the extreme rectangle of the pump house and that’s primed them to exaggerate the rectangle of the subsequent photos of the reactor buidling. Others are just 9-11 troother mentalities.

aikidoka on April 29, 2008 at 1:25 AM

Yongbyon appears to have many more fuel rods than al-Kibar did, which means it’s hard to see how Syria could have churned out the same amount of plutonium at the same rate

Or, they weren’t expecting a need to produce as much.

jasnell on April 29, 2008 at 2:30 AM

In regards to some of the commenters in the linked article…Hey, I have a government security clearance too. That don’t mean squat. Just cuz you have a security clearance doesn’t mean you know a damned thing about stuff you don’t “have a need to know” about. There isn’t always a conspiracy in everything you see.

Big John on April 29, 2008 at 2:39 AM

RE: Indy Conservative

Overall, you sometimes make good points. With that said, you really don’t strike me as a conservative at all. You appear more like a well dressed troll in conservative clothing. I can’t remember the last time you really said something that was truly supportive of the conservative values. Just sayin’.

Big John on April 29, 2008 at 2:47 AM

Entelechy on April 29, 2008 at 1:15 AM

Well said!

OldEnglish on April 29, 2008 at 3:07 AM

Personally, so many of these lame criticisms smack of 9/11 trutherism – I think we may need a new catchphrase for this.
NPP on April 28, 2008 at 9:56 PM

I think even the cretinous 9/11 denyers usually try to stick with technical points the average third-grader might not know about. But the criticisms the NYT resorted to reminded me of what people who deny the moon landings say.

I suppose it’s remotely possible that the dumbest people in the country might not realize why aerial (or satellite) reconnaissance photos are ALWAYS digitally enhanced. But for crying out loud, even the average moonbat art school dropout has heard of the concept of PERSPECTIVE!

…Well, visual perspective at any rate.

logis on April 29, 2008 at 5:54 AM

I can add this little treasure to this debate…. The Military Intelligence Corps has a motto of “To know, find, and never lose the enemy”. Its been a while, probably got it wrong. But MI did not normally play any role in post planning beyond the intelligence aspects. Let the engineers and politicians clean up the mess. We’re busy tracking the enemy…

Paladium on April 29, 2008 at 6:29 AM

Two key sentences I wrote above should summarize lengthy replies:

1 – America or Israel will not dare hit Iran because of the U.S. troops who are planted forever in Iraq.

2 – America screwed up in Iraq and we don’t have the humility to admit our failed arrogance.

As for those who still think I’m like John McCain hiding in conservative clothes, well maybe you should read again sentence number two, because taking it generically, it can open your eyes to seeing the world as it is, not as you think it is.

Word of the day:

To be honest with oneself is the greatest of all virtues.

P.S.

‘Entelechy’ and ‘OldEnglish,’ you are invited to my Chinese Buffet banquet in Heaven.

Indy Conservative on April 29, 2008 at 6:34 AM

Here ya go…the LAT piece thoroughly Fisked.

flipflop on April 29, 2008 at 7:07 AM

The water pipelines are the smoking gun.

percysunshine on April 29, 2008 at 7:51 AM

Indy Conservative on April 29, 2008 at 6:34 AM

Quite frankly, you’re a nutter.

Keemo on April 29, 2008 at 7:56 AM

The Iranians would not want to put a Milk Factory (without cows)or other legitimate business in the middle of town.

Also placing such important public facilities in remote locations seems logical for a lunatic.

My vote is to place it on the target list.

MSGTAS on April 29, 2008 at 8:59 AM

Anything that resembles a reactor, blow it up…even if it has Golden Arches out front, take it out.

right2bright on April 29, 2008 at 10:16 AM

http://wbeeman.blogspot.com/

have at it. Good day

yakwill83 on April 29, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Quite frankly, you’re a nutter.

Keemo on April 29, 2008 at 7:56 AM

Keemo, how did you recognize that? :)

It would be so boring if we’d all agree with each other, always. No progress ever came of all singing kumbaya together…

Entelechy on April 29, 2008 at 11:01 AM

No worries of that happening here Entelechy… Hell, I love my wife and admire her free thinking a great deal; do I agree with her all of the time, of coarse not. Do I consider her a nutter because I don’t agree with her 100% (or even 70%) of the time; of coarse not.

Then we have Indy; now there is a nutter:)
A nice nutter, but a nutter none the less.

Keemo on April 29, 2008 at 5:51 PM