Monday, April 28, 2008

LA Times blog discovers fauxtography

But not the al-Reuters kind--the US government CIA kind:
Professor William Beeman at the University of Minnesota passed along a note today from "a colleague with a U.S. security clearance" about the mysterious Syrian site targeted in a Sept. 6 Israeli airstrike.

The note raises more questions about the evidence shown last week by U.S. intelligence officials to lawmakers in the House and Senate.
(Emphasis added) In other words, the CIA photoshopped the whole thing? What, we turned an innocent shed into a nuke site so Israel could risk a clandestine attack and destroy it, all coordinated with Turkey, only to say nothing about it for months while the injured party, Syria, rather than raise a massive ruckus at the UN, could also remain silent until just recently?

Maybe some background is in order...the initial reports also questioned the target until more information trickled out indicating that..
Independent experts have pinpointed what they believe to be the Euphrates River site in Syria that was bombed by Israel last month, and satellite imagery of the area shows buildings under construction roughly similar in design to a North Korean reactor capable of producing nuclear material for one bomb a year, the experts say.
It was an independent site, ISIS, that released the early photos. Zionists, probably.

But the blogger should have watched the video on his own blog, since it was obvious based on the spy photographs snapped of the site that it had windows. Who says the 3D image in question wasn't a computer-enhanced version based on both satellite photos (Google Earth type perspective) and still photos from ground level? Did they bother to ask anyone or was it too tempting to bend over backwards to bash America? Will Jeremiah weigh in soon? Will Obama?

Although it's probably not worth the time, the blogger raised some questions about the site, all which could be credibly answered by any ole internet yahoo such as myself..
1. Satellite photos of the alleged reactor building show no air defenses or anti-aircraft batteries such as the ones found around the Natanz nuclear site in central Iran.
Gee, wouldn't that sort of give it away? The jist of this was that it was secret, but satellites can see things from space. We already know about the North Korean and Iranian sites.
2. The satellite images do not show any military checkpoints on roads near the building.
This one's a little better but again, the last thing Syria would want to do would be to draw attention to this facility. It was a pretty desolate area, perhaps the checkpoints were distant.
3. Where are the power lines? The photos show neither electricity lines or substations.
Are these questions really coming from a college professor? Geez, if there were no electric lines that only means it wasn't a nuclear power facility under construction, therefore he must be saying the still photos are faked (just as Syria has said) because they show elements of a reactor. That means if the pictures are real, the facility wasn't a power station or harmless warehouse.
4. Here is a link to a photo of the North Korean facility that the Syrian site was based on. Look at all the buildings surrounding it. The Syrian site was just one building.
It was also under construction and parts of it were buried. Again, the Syrians are well aware of satellite recon and would not have wanted this signature to stand out, especially since Israeli has a few birds up there now. The skeptics simply must do better. Syria and Iran's silence has spoken volumes for months now.

By the way, that bit about the tipster being "a colleague with a security clearance" could mean he was anything from a high level CIA analyst to an Air Traffic Controller trainee.

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