Monday, January 14, 2008


Bush Privately Lauds Israeli Attack on Syria - Barbara Opall-Rome and Vago Muradian (Defense News)
On Jan. 9, in one of the most extensive, face-to-face security discussions since an Israel Air Force attack on a Syrian nuclear reactor on Sep. 6, U.S. President George W. Bush privately commended his Israeli host on what was described as an important preventive action, according to an Israeli official briefed on the exchange. The official said he understood the U.S. president's comments as endorsement of the pre-emptive necessity of the Syrian strike.  "That problem appears to be solved for the time being," the official said of the Syrian nuclear threat.

SEE ALSO: Bush, in Private, Disowns the NIE - Michael Hirsh
The National Intelligence Estimate, made public Dec. 3, embarrassed the administration by concluding that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. But in private conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week, the president all but disowned the document, said a senior administration official who accompanied Bush on his trip to the Mideast. "He told the Israelis that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that [the NIE's] conclusions don't reflect his own views." Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said in Jerusalem that Bush had only said to Olmert privately what he's already said publicly, which is that he believes Iran remains "a threat" no matter what the NIE says. (Newsweek)

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