Tuesday, April 8, 2014

About That Gas Attack in Syria...

Don't you just love it when one of the world's top investigative reporters blows the official story of last August's 'Syrian government' gas attack clear out of the water, but NO Australian corporate media outlet, despite having dined out on it for months afterwards, bothers to report on his findings?

Here's an edited excerpt from Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo's column on Seymour Hersh's report, The Red Line & the Rat Line, in the London Review of Books (6/4/14), which reveals that the gas attack which almost triggered a full-scale US military operation against the Asad regime was a false flag incident engineered by the Turks:

"Now we learn from Hersh, citing senior intelligence officials, that even as US officials were proclaiming that only the Syrian government had the capability to deploy chemical weapons, and specifically sarin,Western intelligence agencies and the Pentagon knew better... [T]he Russians secured samples days after the late August incident, concluding that the sarin wasn't military grade and the means of delivery appeared makeshift.

"Hersh takes the story further, relating that the Russians sent the samples to the British, who confirmed their analysis. At which point the joint chiefs led by anti-interventionist Gen. Jack Dempsey... went to the President 'with a more serious worry: that the attack sought by the White House would be an unjustified act of aggression. It was the joint chiefs,' reports Hersh, citing former intelligence officials, 'who led Obama to change course.' In a laugh-out-loud moment, Hersh writes: 'The official White House explanation for the turnabout - the story the presscorp told - was that the president... suddenly decided to seek approval from a bitterly divided Congress with which he'd been in conflict for years. The former Defence Department official told me that the White House provided a different explanation to members of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon: the bombing had been called off because there was intelligence 'that the Middle East would go up in smoke' if it was carried out.'

"So they lied to everyone, perhaps even to themselves. Because neither of these explanations even approaches the truth - which is that the President, even after being confronted with evidence he'd been hoaxed, decided to try to rope everyone into the lie. Rather than call the whole thing off, the White House did a good imitation of observing the democratic process - all the while asserting in testimony before Congress that the Assad regime had 'gassed their own people' and that the rebels were the victims rather than the perpetrators. Indeed, they assert the same nonsense even to this day, as indicated by the terse denials included in Hersh's piece. Yet they were (and are) lying through their teeth, reports Hersh, without coming right out and saying so. Citing a former intelligence official, he says US intelligence analysts suspected the Turks, and goes on to relate how: 'As intercepts and other data related to the 21 August attacks were gathered, the intelligence community saw evidence to support its suspicions. 'We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdogan's people to push Obama over the red line,' the former intelligence official said. 'They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors' - who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas - 'were there. The deal was to do something spectacular. Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey - that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.'

"It also turns out that the international Surveillance State has its uses, because, according to Hersh's source, we 'intercepted conversations in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Principal evidence came from the Turkish post-attack joy and backslapping in numerous intercepts. Operations are always so super-secret in the planning but that all flies out the window when it comes to crowing afterwards. There is no greater vulnerability than in the perpetrators claiming credit for success.' Erdogan's problems in Syria would soon be over: 'Off goes the gas and Obama will say red line and America is going to attack Syria, or at least that was the idea. But it did not work out that way'." (Who was behind the Syrian 'false flag' attack? 6/4/14)

The above is merely an extract. You can read the rest of Raimondo's report at antiwar.com, or Hersh's original at lrb.co.uk. And while you're at it, check out Did Obama's 'rebels' in Syria kidnap children from Latakia and murder them in Ghouta chemical attack to justify US bombing of Syria? thelemniscat.wordpress.com, 27/3/14. Citizen journalism at its best. Finally, my own earlier post, Something Dangerous (11/9/13), long ago cast doubt on the official version.

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