18.) The media blackout of Seymour Hersh’s exposé on US missile strike against Syria
By Bill Van Auken
A full week has passed since the publication by a major German newspaper of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s thoroughgoing debunking of the false claim of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on April 4. The supposed atrocity by the regime of Bashar al-Assad was used to justify the April 6 US cruise missile strike on the al-Shayat air base. At least nine civilians, including four children, died when 59 Tomahawk missiles rained down on the base in western Syria.
Since the German daily Die Welt published Hersh’s article, titled “Trump’s Red Line,” on June 25, its contents have been subjected to a total blackout by the major newspapers and broadcast and cable news networks in the United States.
Hersh’s account makes clear that, not only was there no objective evidence to back up Washington’s charges of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the fact that there was no such attack was known to the US military and intelligence apparatus even before the cruise missile strike was ordered.
“The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives,” Hersh wrote. “Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all US, allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.”
Basing himself on sources within the US intelligence apparatus who spoke on condition of anonymity, as well as access to “transcripts of real-time communications, immediately following the Syrian attack on April 4,” Hersh establishes that a Syrian government plane dropped a conventional 500-pound bomb, not a chemical weapon, on the site of the meeting, which included “representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra.”
The target was a cinder block building that served as a “command and control center” for the so-called “rebels,” who used its basement to store “rockets, weapons and ammunition,” as well as chlorine, fertilizers and insecticides, Hersh reports.
“A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the US 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,” he continues.
“Did the Syrians plan the attack on Khan Sheikhoun? Absolutely,” a senior adviser to US intelligence told Hersh. “Do we have intercepts to prove it? Absolutely. Did they plan to use sarin? No. But the president did not say: ‘We have a problem and let’s look into it.’ He wanted to bomb the shit out of Syria.”
The newsworthiness and political import of Hersh’s piece was underscored just one day after its publication by an ominous and unsubstantiated statement issued by the White House. Washington, it claimed, had “identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.” If Syrian President Assad “conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons,” the White House statement continued, “he and his military will pay a heavy price.”
This was followed by an even more sweeping threat from the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who added: “The goal is at this point not just to send Assad a message, but to send Russia and Iran a message… That if this happens again, we are putting you on notice.”
Thus, any allegation of a chemical weapons attack in Syria could serve as justification for the US to go to war against Iran and a nuclear-armed Russia. The US media dutifully reported the White House claims of an imminent chemical weapons attack as unquestionably true.
One could be forgiven for thinking that in the context of a war threat that could drag the American people and all of humanity into a nuclear conflagration, extensive and convincing evidence that the entire premise for this threat was a pack of lies would at the very least be acknowledged and subjected to a critical examination by the major media.
To believe this, however, one would have to be unfamiliar with the modus operandi of what passes for the “Fourth Estate” in the United States over the past quarter-century of interrupted US wars of aggression. Again and again, the US media has parroted the phony “human rights” pretexts for wars from Yugoslavia, to Iraq, Libya and Syria, all waged in pursuit of US imperialist geostrategic interests. Led by the New York Times, in the run-up to the criminal US invasion of Iraq in 2003 the American media not only repeated the Bush administration’s lies about “weapons of mass destruction,” but helped embellish them. They are fully complicit in war crimes that have claimed over a million lives.
Hersh himself calls attention in the article to the criminal role played by the American media. “Trump, who had campaigned as someone who advocated making peace with Assad, was bombing Syria 11 weeks after taking office, and was hailed for doing so by Republicans, Democrats and the media alike,” he writes. “One prominent TV anchorman, Brian Williams of MSNBC, used the word ‘beautiful’ to describe the images of the Tomahawks being launched at sea. Speaking on CNN, Fareed Zakaria said: ‘I think Donald Trump became president of the United States.’ A review of the top 100 American newspapers showed that 39 of them published editorials supporting the bombing in its aftermath, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.”
In 1969, Hersh broke the story of the My Lai massacre in which US troops slaughtered over 100 Vietnamese men, women and children—a story the US media at first refused to touch. He was also among the first to expose the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in 2004. And he exposed the Obama administration’s lies about the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as the fabricated claims of a Syrian chemical weapons attack in 2013 that brought the US to the brink of another war.
At 80, he continues to practice aggressive investigative journalism aimed at exposing the lies of the American government, even as the corporate media has been turned ever more openly into a propaganda instrument for the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA. It functions to spread government lies while blocking information from reaching the public that runs counter to the geostrategic intrigues of US imperialism and exposes its crimes.
As the “mainstream” media has assumed the role of mouthpiece and stenographer for the capitalist state and its military and intelligence apparatus, its journalistic standards have continued to plummet, a tendency highlighted by last week’s walkout by hundreds of New York Times workers in protest over the drive by the flagship of the capitalist press to “streamline” its editing process through the destruction of dozens of copy editors’ jobs.
One result of the media’s slavish subordination to the government and Wall Street has been the effective blacklisting of Hersh, who used to write regularly for the New Yorker magazine. Even the UK’s London Review of Books, whose editors first accepted and paid for his article on the Khan Sheikhoun incident, ultimately refused to publish it, telling the journalist they feared being accused of accepting “the view of the Syrian and Russian governments.”
The fact that his article came out in Die Welt, part of the right-wing Springer publishing house, is revealing. It no doubt reflects the growing tensions between the US and Germany, which is pursuing an imperialist foreign and military policy that is increasingly at odds with that of Washington.
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16.) NATO's War Crimes
The EU has previously sanctioned the Syrian government, saying it is responsible for the violence in the country. In 2014, Brussels aided the insurgency by lifting an embargo on oil exports from Syrian areas under the control of anti-government militants, whose dominant faction is the IS terror group. Thus, in a very real way, the EU has fueled the conflict in Syria by aiding and abetting illegally armed militants.
The US, European powers and their regional allies have been involved in trying to destroy a sovereign country through covertly supporting an array of illegally armed mercenary networks.A central part of the charade is how NATO member and EU aspirant Turkey has been involved in smuggling oil and weapons across the Syrian border.
The Pentagon nominated China and Russia as primary “national security threats”. This is while the US ratchets up gratuitous tensions with both countries in the South China Sea and through NATO expansion around Russian territory. NATO’s enlisting of former Soviet country Montenegro in the Balkans as its newest member is further testimony to the relentless expansion of the US-led military alliance since the end of the Cold War nearly 25 years ago – in flagrant contradiction of past agreements with Moscow not to let NATO encroach on Russian interests.
The US has made several provocative military intrusions on China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, the latest one being a B-52 bomber that “accidentally” made a flyover.
There's a full outward degeneration of American politics, whereby demagoguery, racism and fascism have entered into mainstream public discourse. This is while US police violence against African-Americans and other minorities reaches epidemic proportions; and federal state powers of surveillance and arrest continued to erode civil rights.
Seventy years after the defeat of fascism in Europe, once again the battle against barbarism, rogue states and state-sponsored terrorism is very much extant today.
17.) The IAEA said it had concluded there was no evidence of any Iranian activity to build a nuclear bomb. That means 10 years of Western claims against Iran have been trumped-up and the rationale for crippling Western-imposed economic sanctions on Iran is likewise null and void. So when are Washington and its European allies going to compensate Iran with billions of dollars for damage inflicted for no legal reason on its economy and nation’s health?
15.) This is World War III
The “Siberian Tiger” Special Forces and “Night Tiger” Special Forces Units were given authorization to be deployed by China’s People’s Congress (NPC) on Sunday, after China passed its first anti-terrorism law allowing their army to take part in anti-terror missions abroad.
Whatdoesitmean.com reports: Most critical to China in entering this war, this report continues, is the “grave” national security threat it faces from both the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) and Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT)—and as, perhaps, best described by the noted award winning American military-intelligence journalist Seymour M. Hersh who in his latest article warned of this threat by stating:
“China, an ally of [Syrian leader] Assad has committed more than $30 billion to postwar reconstruction in Syria. China, too, is worried about the Islamic State. China regards the Syrian crisis from three perspectives: international law and legitimacy; global strategic positioning; and the activities of jihadist Uighurs, from Xinjiang province in China’s far west.
Xinjiang borders eight nations – Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – and, in China’s view, serves as a funnel for terrorism around the world and within China.
Many Uighur fighters now in Syria are known to be members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement—an often violent separatist organization that seeks to establish an Islamist Uighur state in Xinjiang.
The fact that they have been aided by Turkish intelligence to move from China into Syria through Turkey has caused a tremendous amount of tension between the Chinese and Turkish intelligence and China is concerned that the Turkish role of supporting the Uighur fighters in Syria may be extended in the future to support Turkey’s agenda in Xinjiang.”
Though the US corporate-propaganda media continues to blackball from the American people Hersh’s “bombshell” article, this report notes, 2015 became the year Russia exposed the barbaric nature of Western powers—from their criminal conspiracy for regime change in Syria, to aggression against Yemen, Iran, Russia, China and any country that does not toe the line—and has, also, exposed for the entire world to see that the Obama regimes fight against the Islamic State has all been pretended.
US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard warned the American public that not only is the Obama regime lying to them, they may end up inadvertently starting World War III.
Echoing Congresswoman Gabbard’s fears, this report further notes, is billionaire investor George Soros, who warned that China might use the Levant War to mask its mounting economic problems and stated “should the external conflict escalate into a military confrontation with an ally of the United States such as Turkey or Japan, it is not an exaggeration to say that we would be on the threshold of a third world war.”
So as President Putin’s special envoy, Alexander Lavrentyev, continues today visiting and informing various Middle East nations of Russia’s new alliance with China against Turkey and the Islamic State, this report concludes, it is, also, preparing for the worst—and which is why the Western Military District, equipped with Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems, was put on alert just hours ago.
14.) The real goal is Iran, Russia, China
President Donald Trump gave the CIA approval to launch covert "black" operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed.
Trump signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.
Under the plan, pressure will be brought to bear on the Iranian economy by manipulating the country's currency and international financial transactions.
Security officials in Washington disclosed that Teheran has been sold defective parts on the black market in a bid to delay and disrupt its uranium enrichment program, the precursor to building a nuclear weapon.
A security source in the US told The Sunday Telegraph that the presidential directive, known as a "non-lethal presidential finding", gave the CIA the right to collect intelligence on home soil using enhanced interrogation methods, an area that is usually the preserve of the FBI, from the many Iranian exiles and emigrés within the US.
"Iranians in America have links with their families at home, and they are a good two-way source of information," he said.
The CIA was also allowed to supply communications equipment which would enable opposition groups in Iran to work together and bypass internet censorship by the clerical regime.
The CIA is giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan.
Iranian officials say they captured 10 members of Jundullah, carrying $500,000 in cash along with "maps of sensitive areas" and "modern spy equipment".
Mark Fitzpatrick, a former senior State Department official now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said industrial sabotage was the favored way to combat Iran's nuclear program "without military action, without fingerprints on the operation."
He added: "One way to sabotage a program is to make minor modifications in some of the components Iran obtains on the black market."
Components and blueprints obtained by Iranian intelligence agents in Europe, and shipped home using the diplomatic bag from the Iranian consulate in Frankfurt, have been blamed for an explosion that destroyed 50 nuclear centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear plant.
The White House National Security Council and CIA refused to comment on intelligence matters.
7.) Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS
Syria: What the Media Isn't Telling
By Christopher R Rice
Please share this information.
1.) Iran and Saudi Arabia's cold war is making the Middle East even more dangerous
It's amazing Prince Saud managed to ask his question with straight face. Saudi Arabia was also taking sides, providing large numbers of weapons to rebels in Syria, some of them Islamist extremists who have contributed to the conflict's downward spiral. Syria had become more than just a civil war: it was a proxy conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, both of which were escalating the war in their effort to combat each other.
Over the past decade, the Saudis and Iranians have supported opposing political parties, funded opposing armies, and directly waged war against one another's proxies in Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. While they did not create the crises in those places, they have exacerbated them considerably.
Read more: https://www.vox.com/2015/3/30/8314513/saudi-arabia-iran
2.) How Turkey exports ISIS oil to the world: The scientific evidence
As part of our continuing effort to track and document the ISIS oil trade, we present the following excerpts from a study by George Kiourktsoglou, Visiting Lecturer, University of Greenwich, London and Dr Alec D Coutroubis, Principal Lecturer, University of Greenwich, London. The paper, entitled “ISIS Gateway To Global Crude Oil Markets,” looks at tanker charter rates from the port of Ceyhan in an effort to determine if Islamic State crude is being shipped from Southeast Turkey.
“Turkey has played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country. Last summer, Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an MP from the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million—that was over a year ago. By now, this implies that Turkey has facilitated over $1 billion worth of black market ISIS oil sales to date.”
Read more: https://www.intellihub.com/how-turkey-exports-isis-oil-to-the-world-the-scientific-evidence/
3.) Chemical attacks in Syria in 2012 and 2017 committed against Syrian civilians were not carried out by Assad's forces as the West claims but by Turkish forces.
The Red Line and the Rat Line
The DIA paper took the arrests as evidence that al-Nusra was expanding its access to chemical weapons. It said Qassab had ‘self-identified’ as a member of al-Nusra, and that he was directly connected to Abd-al-Ghani, the ‘ANF emir for military manufacturing’. Qassab and his associate Khalid Ousta worked with Halit Unalkaya, an employee of a Turkish firm called Zirve Export, who provided ‘price quotes for bulk quantities of sarin precursors’. Abd-al-Ghani’s plan was for two associates to ‘perfect a process for making sarin, then go to Syria to train others to begin large scale production at an unidentified lab in Syria’. The DIA paper said that one of his operatives had purchased a precursor on the ‘Baghdad chemical market’, which ‘has supported at least seven CW efforts since 2004’.
A series of chemical weapon attacks in March and April 2013 was investigated over the next few months by a special UN mission to Syria. A person with close knowledge of the UN’s activity in Syria told me that there was evidence linking the Syrian opposition to the first gas attack, on 19 March in Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo. In its final report in December, the mission said that at least 19 civilians and one Syrian soldier were among the fatalities, along with scores of injured. It had no mandate to assign responsibility for the attack, but the person with knowledge of the UN’s activities said: ‘Investigators interviewed the people who were there, including the doctors who treated the victims. It was clear that the rebels used the gas. It did not come out in public because no one wanted to know.’
Read more: http://www.voltairenet.org/article183223.html
MIT expert claims latest chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged
False Flag: How the U.S. Armed Syrian Rebels to Set Up an Excuse to Attack Assad
Read more: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-08/false-flag-how-us-armed-syrian-rebels-set-excuse-attack-assad
LiveLeak Chemical Attack in Syria FAKED
4.) The US Government Sent Blackwater Veteran To Syria to stage chemical attack
The former director of the security firm Blackwater aided the Libyan opposition and was subsequently sent to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey at the request of a U.S. Government committee, according to published Stratfor emails and reported by Al-Akhbar English.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/leaked-stratfor-emails-us-government-sent-blackwater-veteran-to-fight-with-rebels-in-libya-and-syria-2012-3
5.) The Dirty War on Syria
The Saudis and Israel hope to benefit by breaking the central link in the Axis of Resistance, isolating Palestine and Hezbollah from Iran.
That is why they back all the sectarian mercenary groups, whatever their names. Unfortunately for them, and despite all the slaughter, they have helped drive Iraq into that same Axis of Resistance.
Turkish Prime Minister claimed “Turkey will not allow cooperation with terrorist organizations in Syria”; what’s your take on his remark?
This is simply double-speak. The current government of Turkey remains a key sponsor of the terrorism in both Syria and Iraq.
Russia helped expose that, particularly clearly, late last year, when they charted the DAESH oil traffic into Turkey, and the free flow of terrorists across the border into Syria. The world knows that the Erdogan government backs terrorists in Syria.
At Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dirty-War-Syria-Tim-Anderson/dp/0973714786
6.) CIA secretly trained ISIS fighters in Jordan in 2012
Former President Obama signed an Executive Order on Syria in early 2012 [just as he had done for Libya in early 2011], that legally covered the CIA and other U.S. agencies that otherwise would have been in violation of aiding and abetting the enemy in time of war and providing material support to terrorism.
Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all pledged financial and material assistance to fighters, all of whom are non-Syrian fighters, many of whom are fighting as members of al-Qaida, Salafi and radical Jihadi (ISIS) organizations. Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.
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8.) Clinton Email Claims Saudi, Qatari Support for ISIS
“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” the email says.
“The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure,” it adds.
Read more: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/state-dept-wont-comment-clinton-email-claim-saudi-qatari-support
9.) Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions
Hackers have claimed that a number of Islamic State supporters' social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions.
A group of four young computer experts who call themselves VandaSec have unearthed evidence indicating that at least three ISIS-supporting accounts can be traced back to the DWP.
Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/hackers-trace-isis-twitter-accounts-7010417?id=not_jtrig
10.) ISIS is a CIA Death Squad
11.) Saudi prince busted with two tons of ISIS drug and cocaine on his private plane: officials
12.) Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government
FAIR has noted before how America’s well-documented clandestine activities in Syria have been routinely ignored when the corporate media discuss the Obama administration’s “hands-off” approach to the four-and-a-half-year-long conflict. This past week, two pieces—one in the New York Times detailing the “finger pointing” over Obama’s “failed” Syria policy, and a Vox “explainer” of the Syrian civil war—did one better: They didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so.
First, let’s establish what we do know. Based on multiple reports over the past three-and-a-half years, we know that the Central Intelligence Agency set up a secret program of arming, funding and training anti-Assad forces. This has been reported by major outlets, including the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and, most recently, the Washington Post, which—partly thanks to the Snowden revelations—detailed a program that trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA’s official annual budget.
13.) BREAKING: China Sends Warships & 1000 Marines to Syria, Accuses the U.S. of lying About Syria And Ignoring International Laws
China is accusing the U.S. of lying about Syria. They say the U.S. has made a mess of Iraq and Afghanistan. They wrote it was the Rebels that committed the chemical attack and the U.S is ignoring that fact as they want war for political reasons.
The Chinese will be arriving in the coming weeks," a Syrian army official told Lebanon-based news website - Al-Masdar Al-'Arabi.
However, according to Israeli military news website - DEBKAfile, the aircraft carrier, Liaoning-CV-16, is already docked at the Syrian port of Tartus, accompanied by a guided missile cruiser.
A CNN report on Sunday confirmed that Iraq has agreed to share military intelligence with Russia and Syria to fight Isis.
Similarly Iran, last week dispatched 1,000 soldiers to Syria. Iran has claimed that it has deployed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to assist the Hezbollah in Zabadani.