Remembering Clinton and Obama on Israeli Bombing of Syria

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Seymour Hersh has written a new article about Israel’s bombing of Syria last September. Laura Rozen may have more to say about it, but it seems inconclusive. No one—Israeli, Syrian, or American—has a convincing explanation of what happened. But certainly there doesn’t appear to be strong evidence Syria truly was, as Israel claimed, building a nuclear reactor. Moreover, the hazy evidence, long links of supposition, and hints of other agendas are strongly reminiscent of the Iraq/WMD story.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to remember what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were saying about the bombing soon afterward, at the September 27 MSNBC debate. Here’s Clinton:

CLINTON: [W]e don’t have as much information as we wish we did. But what we think we know is that with North Korean help, both financial and technical and material, the Syrians apparently were putting together, and perhaps over some period of years, a nuclear facility, and the Israelis took it out. I strongly support that…there was evidence of a North Korea freighter coming in with supplies. There was intelligence and other kinds of verification.

And here’s Obama:

OBAMA: Now, we don’t know exactly what happened with respect to Syria. We’ve gotten general reports, but we don’t know all the specifics. We got general reports in the run-up to the Iraq war that proved erroneous, and a lot of people voted for that war as a consequence.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate