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.’. . . .”
Jim Thompson, CIA officer who openly criticized the Agency’s policy in Asia disappeared from the face of the earth.
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Investigative journalist Lucy Komisar’s chapter on BCCI in a new book “A Game as Old as Empire.”
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