The American War Brief Is Extremely Weak
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 10:54
The White House released a 4-page document setting forth its case for use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.
But as shown below, the case is extremely weak (government’s claim in quotes, followed by rebuttal evidence).
But McClatchy notes:
Next, the government says:
Reports on the ground are contradictory, with some claiming that the rebels used the chemical weapons. See this and this. Indeed, government officials have admitted that they’re not sure who used chemical weapons.
More importantly the U.S. government claimed it had unimpeachable sources regarding Iraq’s WMDs … and that turned out to be wholly fabricated.
Moreover, Dan Kaszeta – a former Chemical Officer in the United States Army, and one of the foremost experts in chemical and biological weapons – said in a recent interview that there can be false positives for Sarin, especially, when tests are done in the field (pesticides or other chemical agents can trigger a false positive for sarin.)
The bottom lines is that – even though the U.S. has done everything it can to derail a UN weapons inspection – we have to wait to see what the UN tests reveal.
The rebels absolutely had had access to chemical weapons. While the American government claims that the opposition has not used chemical weapons, many other sources – including the United Nations, Haaretz, and Turkish state newspaper Zaman - disagree.
The types of munitions which were apparently used to deliver the chemical weapon attack are an odd, do-it-yourself type of rocket. The rebels could have made these.
This is not evidence. This is a conclusory opinion without any support. (To give an analogy, this would be like claiming Saddam was using weapons of mass destruction right before the Iraq war started because he didn’t like short people … without refuting the actual fact that Saddam didn’t have any WMDs.)
Gareth Porter notes:
Moreover, American intelligence sources have repeatedly been caught lying. During the run-up to the Iraq war, the government entirely bypassed the normal intelligence-vetting process, so that bogus claims could be trumpeted without the normal checks and balances from conscientious intelligence analysts. Israeli intelligence – which appears to have played a part in the Syria war brief – has been equally bad.
Former top CIA intelligence officers confirm that the intelligence has been grossly politicized to justify war against Syria.
This is an oddly-worded – and carefully crafted – statement. Assad has repeatedly warned that the rebels might steal chemical weapons and use them on civilians. The utilization of gas masks could have been a preventative measure because the Syrian government had received word that the rebels might carry out a chemical attack. More information is necessary.
The area in which attacks occurred was heavily contested by the both government and the rebels, and both sides were in and out of the area. 90 minutes before the first attack is an eternity when fighting a war on a heavily-contested battlefield … and could have been plenty of time for rebels to slip in and fire off chemical weapons.
As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes:
The government next turns to social media:
No one contests that some kind of chemical agent was used. The question is exactly what type of chemical it was and – more importantly – who used it.
Moreover, the rebels were making propaganda videos for years … and they’ve gotten more sophisticated recently. More information is needed.
Another conclusory opinion without evidence. More importantly, it is a red herring. No one is saying that the tragic and horrific deaths were faked.
The question is when and where they occurred, and who caused them. For example, one of the world’s leading experts on chemical weapons points out that it is difficult to know where the videos were taken:
The government then expands on allegedly intercepted intelligence:
And the U.S. and Israel have admitted that they have carried out false flag deceptions (as have Muslim countries such as Indonesia; but to our knowledge, Syria has never been busted in a false flag.)
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting writes:
David Swanson notes that American officials mischaracterized the communications to justify the Iraq war:
The government then makes a throw-away argument:
This is another red herring. If the Syrian government believed that the rebels had used chemical weapons on civilians, they may have increased artillery fire to flush out the rebels to prevent further chemical attacks. Again, further information is needed.
Indeed, Congressman Justin Amash says:
And see these further details refuting the government’s argument for war.