Whose Sarin?

georgephillip

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Seymour Hersh has a new article alleging Obama's Syrian "red line" might actually have been more like a ripe cherry.

"Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August.

"In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts.

"Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack.

"In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.

"When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad."

Seymour M. Hersh · Whose sarin? · LRB 8 December 2013
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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"A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening.

"The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam."

Seymour M. Hersh · Whose sarin? · LRB 8 December 2013
 

P F Tinmore

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The Sarin gas false flag attack was being reported before it happened,
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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The Sarin gas false flag attack was being reported before it happened,
According to Hersh's Pentagon sources, 70,000 US boots on the ground in Syria would have been required to remove WMDs from Assad and rebel control. I still can't help wondering how conservatives would have responded to the same plan if Money Mitt had won last year?
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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It reminds me of WMD in iraq.
Apparently, some in the NSA agree with you:

"What happened here is that the NSA intelligence weenies started with an event – the use of sarin – and reached to find chatter that might relate,’ the former official said. ‘This does not lead to a high confidence assessment, unless you start with high confidence that Bashar Assad ordered it, and began looking for anything that supports that belief.’ The cherry-picking was similar to the process used to justify the Iraq war."

Seymour M. Hersh · Whose sarin? · LRB 8 December 2013
 

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