An American military attack on Syria could begin as early as Thursday and will involve three days of missile strikes, according to "senior U.S. officials" talking to NBC News. The Washington Post has the bombing at "no more than two days," though long-range bombers could "possibly" join the missiles. "Factors weighing into the timing of any action include a desire to get it done before the president leaves for Russia next week," reports CNN, citing a "senior administration official."
The New York Times, quoting a Pentagon official, adds that "the initial target list has fewer than 50 sites, including air bases where Syria's Russian-made attack helicopters are deployed." The Times adds that "like several other military officials contacted for this report, the official agreed to discuss planning options only on condition of anonymity."
Thus do the legal and moral requirements of secret military operations lose out in this Administration to the imperatives of in-the-know spin and political gestures.
It's always possible that all of this leaking about when, how and for how long the U.S. will attack Syria is an elaborate head-fake, like Patton's ghost army on the eve of D-Day, poised for the assault on Calais. But based on this Administration's past behavior, such as the leaked bin Laden raid details, chances are most of this really is the war plan.
Which makes us wonder why the Administration even bothers to pursue the likes of Edward Snowden when it is giving away its plan of attack to anyone in Damascus with an Internet connection.
Remember when Scooter Libby just had to go to jail because he supposedly "leaked" the identity of a chair-warmer at the CIA? Because national security. Because lives in danger.
Now we just send Google Maps showing our targets to our enemies so they know when to start aiming their surface-to-air missiles that, oh, by the way, might just be the ones that were stolen from Benghazi last year.