Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Chemical Weapons' is associated with 7 posts.

FTR #965 Are We Going to Have a Third World War?

Recent developments are suggestive of the ominous possibility of an imminent Third World War. We present some new information and recap and further analyze stories covered in previous programs in order to underscore and highlight the potential devastation of these events.

As the furor (“fuehrer”?) surrounding the potentially lethal political hoax known as “Russia-gate” gains momentum, it should be noted that the point man for the Trump business interests in their dealings with Russia is Felix Sater. A Russian-born immigrant, Sater is a professional criminal and a convicted felon with historical links to the Mafia. Beyond that, and more importantly, Sater is an FBI informant and a CIA contract agent: “. . . . There is every indication that the extraordinarily lenient treatment resulted from Sater playing a get-out-of-jail free card. Shortly before his secret guilty plea, Sater became a freelance operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his fellow stock swindlers, Salvatore Lauria, wrote a book about it. The Scorpion and the Frog is described on its cover as ‘the true story of one man’s fraudulent rise and fall in the Wall Street of the nineties.’ According to Lauria–and the court files that have been unsealed–Sater helped the CIA buy small missiles before they got to terrorists. He also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .”

Sater was active on behalf of the Trumps in the fall of 2015: “. . . . Sater worked on a plan for a Trump Tower in Moscow as recently as the fall of 2015, but he said that had come to a halt because of Trump’s presidential campaign. . . .”

Sater was initiating contact between the Russians and “Team Trump” in January of this year: “ . . . . Nevertheless, in late January, Sater and a Ukrainian lawmaker reportedly met with Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, at a New York hotel. According to the [New York] Times, they discussed a plan that involved the U.S. lifting sanctions against Russia, and Cohen said he hand-delivered the plan in a sealed envelope to then-national security advisor Michael Flynn. Cohen later denied delivering the envelope to anyone in the White House, according to the Washington Post. . . .”

A stunning development concerns extreme reticence on the part of the U.S. intelligence community:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence had an “interesting” response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding the release of the classified report given to President Obama back in January purporting to show the Russian government was behind the hacks. According to the ODNI, the requested document would present a risk to human intelligence sources by revealing the comparative weight given to human vs technical evidence, risking US sources and methods. But the ODNI went further, suggesting that even releasing a fully redacted document would present similar risks!

It is NOT easy to see the ODNI’s reluctance to release even a fully-redacted copy of the report as anything but disingenuous. In the context of potentially devastating deterioration of Russian/U.S. relations over Syria, Ukraine, and the Russian “election-hacking” uproar, the ODNI’s behavior cannot be anything but disquieting:

” . . . . The intelligence official argued that a redacted version of the original report would allow a trained eye to assess ‘comparative weight’ of human intelligence and signals intelligence reporting included in the compendium. Release of some of the information the privacy-focused organization wants made public ‘could prove fatal to U.S. human intelligence sources,’ [Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration Edward] Gistaro warned.

Gistaro also appears to argue that even if officials blacked out the whole report, highly classified information would be at risk.

‘I agree with the [National Intelligence Council] that a heavily or even fully redacted version of the classified report can not be publicly released without jeopardizing national security information properly classified as SECRET or TOP SECRET,’ he wrote. . . . ‘The ODNI should release the complete report to EPIC so that the public and the Congress can understand the full extent of the Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election,’ EPIC’s Marc Rotenberg told POLITICO Tuesday. ‘It is already clear that government secrecy is frustrating meaningful oversight. The FBI, for example, will not even identify the states that were targeted by Russia.’ . . . ”

With the high-profile hacks being attributed–almost certainly falsely–to Russia, there are ominous developments taking place that may well lead to a Third World War. During the closing days of his Presidency, Obama authorized the planting of cyber weapons on Russian computer networks. Obama did this after talking with Putin on the Hot Line, established to prevent a Third World War. Putin denied interfering in the U.S. election.

The conclusion that Russia hacked the U.S. election on Putin’s orders appears to have been based on a CIA source in the Kremlin. Even when that intelligence was delivered, other agencies weren’t ready to accept the CIA’s conclusion and it took intelligence from another nation (not named) to provide the final intelligence tipping point that led to a broad-based conclusion the not only was the Russian government behind the cyberattacks but that Vladimir Putin himself ordered it.

That ally’s intelligence is described as “the most critical technical intelligence on Russia,” however the NSA still wasn’t convinced based on what sounds like a lack of confidence in that source. Thus, it looks like a CIA Kremlin source and an unnamed foreign intelligence agency with questionable credentials are the basis of what appears to be a likely future full-scale US/Russian cyberwar.

Of paramount significance is the fact that IF, on Putin’s orders (and we are to believe such) Russia continued to hack U.S. computer systems to influence the election, Putin would have to have gone utterly mad. Those hacks would have precluded any rapprochement between Russia and the United States under a President Trump. There is no indication that Putin went off the deep end.

Also auguring a possible Third World War are two developments in Syria. Seymour Hersh published an article in “Die Welt” revealing that, not only was the April 4 alleged Sarin attack NOT a chemical weapons attack but there was widespread knowledge of this in American military and intelligence circles.

What did the intelligence community know about the attack? The Russian and Syrian air force had informed the US in advance of that airstrike that they had intelligence that top level leaders of Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra were meeting in that building and they informed of the US of the attack plan in advance of the attack and that it was on a “high-value” target. And the attack involved the unusual use of a guided bomb and Syria’s top pilots. ” . . . . Russian and Syrian intelligence officials, who coordinate operations closely with the American command posts, made it clear that the planned strike on Khan Sheikhoun was special because of the high-value target. ‘It was a red-hot change. The mission was out of the ordinary – scrub the sked,’ the senior adviser told me. ‘Every operations officer in the region’ – in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, CIA and NSA – ‘had to know there was something going on. The Russians gave the Syrian Air Force a guided bomb and that was a rarity. They’re skimpy with their guided bombs and rarely share them with the Syrian Air Force. And the Syrians assigned their best pilot to the mission, with the best wingman.’ The advance intelligence on the target, as supplied by the Russians, was given the highest possible score inside the American community. . . .”

Following the attack, US intelligence concluded that there was no sarin gas attack, Assad wouldn’t have been that politically suicidal. The symptoms of chemical poisoning following the bombing was likely due to a mixture of chlorine, fertilizers, and other chemicals stored in the building that was targeted by the Syrian airforce created by secondary explosions from the initial bombing. ” . . . ‘This was not a chemical weapons strike,’ the adviser said. ‘That’s a fairy tale. . . .”

The symptoms of chemical poisoning following the bombing was likely due to a mixture of chlorine, fertilizers, and other chemicals stored in the building that was targeted by the Syrian airforce created by secondary explosions from the initial bombing. ” . . . . A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground. . . .”

The behavior of the Trump administration was not only in direct conflict with intelligence on the attack, but reinforced propaganda by some of the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists the West has been using as proxy warriors in Syria and elsewhere: ” . . . . ‘The Salafists and jihadists got everything they wanted out of their hyped-up Syrian nerve gas ploy,’ the senior adviser to the U.S. intelligence community told me, referring to the flare up of tensions between Syria, Russia and America. ‘The issue is, what if there’s another false flag sarin attack credited to hated Syria? Trump has upped the ante and painted himself into a corner with his decision to bomb. And do not think these guys are not planning the next faked attack. Trump will have no choice but to bomb again, and harder. He’s incapable of saying he made a mistake.’ . . .”

Program Highlights Include: Review of a Trump administration warning of another supposed, impending “Syrian chemical weapons strike”–a warning that has since been retracted; discussion of brilliant Nazi hacker Andrew Auerenheimer’s orchestration of an “Alt-right” online intimidation campaign against CNN employees; Auerenheimer’s current residence in Ukraine; the ominous possibility of the activation/manipulation of the NSA cyber-weapons installed on Russian computer networks by a third party (perhaps someone with the capabilities of the brilliant Auerenheimer); review of the observations by a German professor–opposed to Nazism/Hitler–who described the essence of what it was like, subjectively, to live through the rise of Hitler–his observation presented in the context of the ODNI’s decision not to release even a fully-redacted version of the intelligence report on “Russian meddling” in the U.S. election: ” . . . . . . . . What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret, to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand because of nationality security, so dangerous that even if the people the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. . . .”


FTR #955 Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack? Not So Fast, Part 2

Supplementing FTR #954, this broadcast continues analysis of the alleged Assad government chemical weapons attack. Key points of discussion include:

1. Further analysis by MIT expert Theodore Postol, who sees the photographic evidence alleged to support the Trump administration’s allegations as questionable. ” . . . ‘This addendum provides data that unambiguously shows that the assumption in the WHR that there was no tampering with the alleged site of the sarin release is not correct. This egregious error raises questions about every other claim in the WHR. … The implication of this observation is clear – the WHR was not reviewed and released by any competent intelligence expert unless they were motivated by factors other than concerns about the accuracy of the report. . . .”

2. Particularly suspicious (laughable?) is a picture showing personnel examining the purported sarin attack site with woefully inadequate protective clothing. ” . . . . ‘If there were any sarin present at this location when this photograph was taken everybody in the photograph would have received a lethal or debilitating dose of sarin. The fact that these people were dressed so inadequately either suggests a complete ignorance of the basic measures needed to protect an individual from sarin poisoning, or that they knew that the site was not seriously contaminated. This is the crater that is the centerpiece evidence provided in the WHR for a sarin attack delivered by a Syrian aircraft.’ . . . . ”

3. Questionable analysis in the alleged chlorine gas attacks also attributed to the al-Assad regime. ” . . . In one of the chlorine cases, however, Syrian eyewitnesses came forward to testify that the rebels had staged the alleged attack so it could be blamed on the government. In that incident, the U.N. team reached no conclusion as to what had really happened, but neither did the investigators – now alerted to the rebels’ tactic of staging chemical attacks – apply any additional skepticism to the other cases. In one case, the rebels and their supporters also claimed to know that an alleged ‘barrel bomb’ contained a canister of chlorine because of the sound that it made while descending. There was no explanation for how that sort of detection was even possible. . . .”

4. A British doctor who was a focal point of PR coverage of the alleged sarin attack has a jihadist background. ” . . . . A British doctor who documented a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was considered a ‘committed jihadist’ by MI6 and was struck off the General Medical Council in 2016. Shajul Islam, 31, posted several videos on Twitter in the aftermath of the Tuesday’s (4 April) attack where he appeared to be treating patients in Khan Sheikhoun. He appeared on several television networks such as NBC to discuss what he saw, but it has now emerged Islam was previously charged on terror offences in the UK. . . .”

4. The underlying strategic reason for some of the Trump/Russian interface, one that dovetails with the Syrian provocation/escalation: ” . . . . The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective . . . .”

5. George W. Bush administration officials are confident another terrorist attack is coming appear to be concerned that the Trump could use terror to grab and abuse executive powers. We present some of their thoughts against the background of our discussion in FTR #953 about Bernie Sanders’ paving the way for Muslim Brotherhood-linked elements: ” . . . . ‘We can assume there will be another terrorist attack in the U.S. If the executive order is in place, he will point to the attack as support for the executive order and the need to expand it to other countries with bad dudes (Muslims). If the executive order has been struck down, Trump will blame judges and Democrats for the attack. . . .’We both wholly believe that Trump needs a bogeyman. But, more importantly, he needs distraction and a blame source. In terrorists, he has his bogeyman. In his control of the prevailing press narrative via tweet, he has distraction. And, in the judiciary, he has a source of blame for why his way was right from the beginning.’ . . . . ‘I am fully confident that an attack is exactly what he wants and needs.’ . . . .”

Whereas the Syrian alleged sarin incident appears to have been effected by some of the West’s al-Qaeda surrogates in the conflict, past provocations have involved more direct involvement by elements of the intelligence community. In May of 1963, with then South Vietnamese president Diem pushing for a reduction in U.S. forces in Vietnam (against American wishes), a bombing occurred at a Hue radio station that was the focal point of Buddhist protests of the government’s policy toward Buddhists. The authorship of that attack and a 1952 Saigon bombing, was not the Vietcong.

Key points of analysis:

1. The May, 1963 attack in Hue: “ . . . . As Dang Sy and his security officers were approaching the area in armored cars about fifty meters away, two powerful explosions blasted the people on the veranda of the station, killing seven on the spot and fatally wounding a child. At least fifteen others were injured. . . .”

2. Forensic analysis of the wounds of the victims: “ . . . Dr. Le Khac Quyen, the hospital director at Hue, said after examining the victims’ bodies that he had never seen such injuries. The bodies had been decapitated. He found no metal in the corpses, only holes. There were no wounds below the chest. In his official finding, Dr. Quyen ruled that ‘the death of the people was caused by an explosion which took place in mid-air, blowing off their heads and mutilating their bodies.’ . . . ”

3. Dr. Quyen’s conclusions about the source of the victims’ wounds in the 1963 attack: “ . . . . The absence of any metal in the bodies or on the radio station’s veranda pointed to powerful plastic bombs as the source of the explosions. . . .”

4. Analysis of the 1952 bombing in Saigon: “ . . . . Who did possess such powerful plastic bombs? An answer is provided by Graham Greene’s prophetic novel The Quiet American, based on historical events that occurred in Saigon eleven years before the bombing in Hue. Greene was in Saigon on January 9, 1952, when two bombs exploded in the city’s center, killing ten and injuring many more. A picture of the scene, showing a man with his legs blown off, appeared in Life magazine as the ‘Picture of the Week.’ The Life caption said the Saigon bombs had been ‘planted by Viet Minh Communists’ and ‘signaled general intensification of the Viet Minh violence.’ In like manner, the New York Times headlined: ‘Reds’ Time Bombs Rip Saigon Center.’ . . .”

5. In the 1952 bombing, the operational coordination between U.S. media outlets and the perpetrators of the attack is noteworthy for our purposes: “ . . . . General The’s bombing material, a U.S. plastic, had been supplied to him by his sponsor, the Central Intelligence Agency. Greene observed in his memoir, Ways of Escape, it was no coincidence that ‘the Life photographer at the moment of the explosion was so well placed that he was able to take an astonishing and horrifying photograph which showed the body of a trishaw driver still upright after his legs had been blown off.’ The CIA had set the scene, alerting the Life photographer and Times reporter so they could convey the terrorist bombing as the work of ‘Viet Minh Communists’ to a mass audience. . . .”

6. South Vietnamese investigation of the May, 1963 attack, arrived at a conclusion similar to Graham Greene’s discovery in the 1952 attack: “ . . . . According to an investigation carried by the Catholic newspaper Hoa Binh. . . . a Captain Scott . . . . had come to Hue from Da Nang on May 7, 1963. He admitted he was the American agent responsible for the bombing at the radio station the next day. He said he used ‘an explosive that was still secret and known only to certain people in the Central Intelligence Agency, a charge no larger than a matchbox with a timing device.’. . . .”


FTR #954 Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack? Not So Fast

In the wake of the alleged sarin attack by Bashar al-Assad’s government and the cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base by the U.S., we examine some of the relevant issues in the crisis, including and especially intelligence evaluations sharply divergent from the official version:

a). We begin with analysis of the area (Idlib) where the alleged Syrian government sarin attack took place. It is dominated by the Al-Nusra Front, the name given to Al-Qaeda in Iraq when it operates in Syria. Note that the top cleric in the Al-Qaeda held area is Abdullah Muhaysini, a Saudi cleric: ” . . . . who was a student [25] of Sulayman Al-Alwan, the Wahhabi cleric who oversaw what his Muslim critics have called a ‘terrorist factory [26]’ in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qassim Province. Al-Alwan was also the instructor of the 9/11 hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari. . . .”

b.) Saddam and bin Laden worked out an arrangement in which Iraq—in order to provide for a payback capability if the U.S. ousted him—gave information about WMD’s to bin Laden’s people. Al Qaeda, in turn, was to act as a back-up unit for Saddam’s Iraq, striking at the United States if it knocked out Saddam. ” . . . . According to Arab sources, in anticipation of a foreseeable reversal of alliances in Kabul, bin Laden had been in discreet contact since September 2000 with associates of Oudai Hussein. . . . Bin Laden and the Iraqis are said to have exchanged information about chemical and biological weapons, despite the opposition of some of the Baghdad leadership, including Tarik Aziz. . . .”

c). Robert Parry notes in Consortium News that elements in the U.S. intelligence community do not agree with the Trump administration’s assessment of the situation. ” . . . . Alarm within the U.S. intelligence community about Trump’s hasty decision to attack Syria reverberated from the Middle East back to Washington, where former CIA officer Philip Giraldi reported hearing from his intelligence contacts in the field that they were shocked at how the new poison-gas story was being distorted by Trump and the mainstream U.S. news media. Giraldi told Scott Horton’s Webcast: ‘I’m hearing from sources on the ground in the Middle East, people who are intimately familiar with the intelligence that is available who are saying that the essential narrative that we’re all hearing about the Syrian government or the Russians using chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a sham.’ . . .”

d.) Parry also notes that some analysts are reporting a strike by a drone launched from a joint Saudi-Israeli base that supports Syrian rebels. ” . . . Despite some technical difficulties in tracing its flight path, analysts eventually came to believe that the flight was launched in Jordan from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels, the source said, adding that the suspected reason for the poison gas was to create an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad. . . .”

e.) Parry concludes one of his articles with a scathing analysis of the Trump administration’s claims by a MIT researcher: ” . . . . In a separate analysis of the four-page dossier, Theodore Postol, a national security specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, concluded that the White House claims were clearly bogus, writing: ‘I have reviewed the document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria at roughly 6 to 7 a.m. on April 4, 2017. In fact, a main piece of evidence that is cited in the document points to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft, on the morning of April 4. This conclusion is based on an assumption made by the White House when it cited the source of the sarin release and the photographs of that source. My own assessment, is that the source was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House.’ . . . ”

f.) Detailed analysis of an August, 2013 sarin attack, originally thought to have been perpetrated by Bashar Al-Assad, was presented by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books. The sarin turns out not to have come from Syrian government stockpiles. “. . . . Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. . . .”

g.) Al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda), on the other hand, was producing Sarin and looking to ramp up production through a supply pipeline running through Turkey. ” . . . . The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’. . . .”

h.) The 2013 conclusions of general Martin Dempsey are worth examining in the context of the current crisis: ” . . . . From the beginning of the crisis, the former intelligence official said, the joint chiefs had been skeptical of the administration’s argument that it had the facts to back up its belief in Assad’s guilt. They pressed the DIA and other agencies for more substantial evidence. ‘There was no way they thought Syria would use nerve gas at that stage, because Assad was winning the war,’ the former intelligence official said. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

1. Review of the corporatist economic foundation of Muslim Brotherhood developmental theory. “. . . . The Muslim Brotherhood hails 14th century philosopher Ibn Khaldun as its economic guide. Anticipating supply-side economics, Khaldun argued that cutting taxes raises production and tax revenues . . . The World Bank has called Ibn Khaldun the first advocate of privatization. . . .”

2. Review of Graham E. Fuller’s support for the economic values of the Muslim Brotherhood and his strange support for Bernie Sanders, whose values are the opposite of those espoused by Fuller.

3. The fact that war in the Middle East raises oil prices–this to be seen against the background of Rex Tillerson being Secretary of State (previously CEO of Exxon/Mobil). ” . . . . For investors like Mr. Abdullah, conflict in the Middle East means one thing: higher oil prices. ‘It’s always good for us,’ he says. . . .”

4. Robert Parry’s view that the omission of CIA director Mike Pompeo and other top U.S. intelligence officials from a photo of Trump’s top advisors is indicative of dissent within the intelligence community from the official version of the attack.


Curveball II: Is the BND (German Intelligence) Gaming the Syrian Civil War? (Another Good Reason NOT to Intervene in Syria)

BND, the German intelligence service claims they can confirm Assad’s use of chemical weapons. BND operates a communications intelligence-gathering ship off the coast in that area (pictured at right.) Previously, BND handled “Curveball,” a key source of disinformation about the Iraq war. Prince Bandar is alleged to have armed the rebels with chemical weapons. The political developments are benefiting Germany and the Underground Reich.


A Very Good Reason NOT to Attack Syria: “Bandar Bush” at Epicenter of U.S. Syrian Operation

Among the reasons why we view the proposed Syrian military adventure with the most jaundiced of eyes concerns the fact that none other than Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia (shown at right) is the single most important coordinator of aid to the rebels. Nicknamed “Bandar Bush,” because he is so close to the Bush family, Bandar Bush was deeply involved in the push for the invasion of Iraq, which is a damned poor recommendation for taking military action in Syria. Bandar Bush been involved in some of the dirtiest operations of the last quarter century, including the Iran-Contra affair and 9/11.


Is there a Doctor in the Haus? (“Paging Dr. Mengele”)

“Angel of Death” Josef Mengele, known for his work at Auschwitz, found postwar success working for the Paraguayan Army Medical Corps. When the U.S. began experimenting with chemical agents for use in Vietnam, Mengele successfully treated soldiers accidentally sprayed with toxins.


FTR #148 “Truth Dashed to Earth . . . .”

CNN producer April Oliver discusses her dismissal and official discrediting following her investigative work on “Operation Tailwind” code-name for alleged use of nerve gas by American commandos in Vietnam War.