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.’. . . .”
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  of Sulayman Al-Alwan, the Wahhabi cleric who oversaw what his Muslim critics have called a ‘terrorist factory ’ 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.