The New York Times’ David Sanger reports that President Bush rebuffed a secret Israeli request last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs to attack Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz. Sanger suggests one possibility for Israel’s request was to “goad the White House into more decisive action”:
The White House denied that request outright, American officials said, and the Israelis backed off their plans, at least temporarily. But the tense exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, a major covert program that Mr. Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Barack Obama.
Matt Yglesias writes, “Seems like Bush did the right thing by saying no.” The story comes at a time when the Bush administration is being criticized for its silence regarding the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“Several thousand protesters descended on the White House Saturday in support of Palestinians in war-ravaged Gaza, as other protests took place across Canada and in the Mexican capital.”