Wednesday, July 5, 2017

914 Syria 2013 gas attack was fabricated; US media refused to publish Seymour Hersh expose

Syria 2013 gas attack was fabricated; US media refused to publish
Seymour Hersh expose

Newsletter published on 7 April 2017

If you're winning the war against the rebels, why use gas & cross
Obama's "red line", inviting airstrikes? - Peter M. Also see item 9, by
Eamonn Fingleton

I sent out this newsletter on October 18, 2015. Below, I just include a
few lines of most articles (enough for you to pursue further); but some
are covered in detail.

(1) US says Assad used chemical weapons, but was winning the war against
the rebels (NYT June 2013)
(2) UK Home Secretary Theresa May cites Chemical Weapons attack by Assad
(Oct 2015)
(3) Obama asserts Assad launched Chemical Weapons attack on Aug 21, 2013
(Oct 2015)
(4) Intercepted phone calls prove Syrian Army used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies
say (Foreign Policy, Aug 27, 2013)
(5) Intelligence report on Aug 21, 2013 Chemical Weapons attack came
from Israel - Gareth Porter
(6) Phone call was intercepted by Mossad, not CIA
(7) WSJ touts "Israeli intelligence indicating movement of Syrian
chemical weapons"
(8) US claims about Syria Chemical Weapons are based on intelligence
supplied by Mossad
(9) Eamonn Fingleton: Aug 21 gas attack was False Flag, because Assad
was winning the Civil War (Sept 1, 2013)
(10) UN debate stalls US attack on Syria (Aug 29, 2013)
(11) UK parliament votes against Syria war plan, mindful of Iraq WMD
deception (Aug 29, 2013)
(12) Geoffrey Robertson, a former UN judge, calls for the Bombing of
Syria (Aug 30, 2013)
(13) G20 leaders speak out against US-led strike on Syria (Sept 6, 2013)
(14) G20 leaders reject attack on Syria over Chemical Weapons; Assad was
framed (Sept 8, 2013)
(15) AIPAC to lobby Congress for Syria strike (Israel News, Sept 6, 2013)
(16) Obama "red line" would use Chemical Weapons as a Causus Belli; but
  Congress defied AIPAC (Sept 14, 2013)
(17) US Media refused to publish Seymour Hersh expose of US lies on Aug.
21 Syrian gas attack
(18) British Lab showed Aug. 21 Sarin was not Assad's but Al Nusra's -
Seymour Hersh, LRB
(19) Sarin nerve gas was used by Syrian rebels, not Assad - U.N.
official (Washington Times, May 6, 2013)
(20) UN commissioner says evidence indicates Syria rebels 'used sarin'
(BBC, May 6, 2013)
(21) Obama authorizes CIA to arm Syrian rebels, citing Assad use of
Chemical weapons (WSJ, June 14, 2013)
(22) Daily Mail publishes leaked emails from defense contractor on False
Flag chemical weapons attack in Syria (Jan 2013)
(23) Hacked emails reveal ‘Washington-approved' plan to stage chemical
weapons attack in Syria
(24) A Look into the Britam Defence Data Leak Files - cyberwarnews.info
(25) Britam Defence is British private military company, operates mainly
  in the Middle East

(1) US says Assad used chemical weapons, but was winning the war against
the rebels (NYT June 2013)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/world/middleeast/syria-chemical-weapons.html
MIDDLE EAST

U.S. Is Said to Plan to Send Weapons to Syrian Rebels

By MARK MAZZETTI, MICHAEL R. GORDON and MARK LANDLERJUNE 13, 2013

(2) UK Home Secretary Theresa May cites Chemical Weapons attack by Assad
(Oct 2015)


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-s-speech-to-the-conservative-party-conference-in-full-a6681901.html

Theresa May's speech to the Conservative Party Conference – in full

May was speaking on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference
in Manchester

Tuesday 6 October 2015 12:21 BST

(3) Obama asserts Assad launched Chemical Weapons attack on Aug 21, 2013
(Oct 2015)

http://mycatbirdseat.com/2015/10/showdown-at-the-un-corral-raimondo/

Showdown at the UN Corral

Were these US-funded Good Guys (in Syria) always Bad Guys in an
ill-fitting disguise?

by Justin Raimondo

My Catbird Seat

Oct 2, 2015

(4) Intercepted phone calls prove Syrian Army used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies
say (Foreign Policy, Aug 27, 2013)


http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/27/exclusive-intercepted-calls-prove-syrian-army-used-nerve-gas-u-s-spies-say/

Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S.
Spies Say

By Noah Shachtman

August 27, 2013 - 8:54 pm

(5) Intelligence report on Aug 21, 2013 Chemical Weapons attack came
from Israel - Gareth Porter


From: Paul de Burgh-Day <pdeburgh@harboursat.com.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 14:47:28 +1000
Subject: Gareth Porter: How Intelligence Was Twisted to Support an
Attack on Syria

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36096.htm

How Intelligence Was Twisted to Support an Attack on Syria

By Gareth Porter

September 04, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "Truthout"

(6) Phone call was intercepted by Mossad, not CIA
From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:10:26 -0400

The Israeli intimate involvement in instigating aggression against Syria
the pretext for attack on Syria provided by Israeli intelligence services.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013

FM: John Whitbeck <From: jvwhitbeck@gmail.com>

Further to my message of Monday (below), the official American
assessment of who was responsible for the apparent use of chemical
weapons in Syria has now escalated from "very little doubt" to, in a
text read by Vice President Joe Biden, "no doubt" that it was the Syrian
government.

What evidence could have been gathered prior to the forensic
examinations by the UN inspectors on the ground to provoke this change
to absolute certainty?

The answer may be found in an article published yesterday in the
prominent Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth ("American Operation,
Israeli Intelligence"), which reports that "the IDF’s 8200 intelligence
unit was listening to the Syrian leadership during the lethal chemical
weapons attack last week in which hundreds were killed, and it was
Israel that relayed the incriminating information to the West", that
three Israeli generals arrived in Washington on Monday "to show their
counterparts the most updated intelligence" and that "the source of most
of the information that the US has about Syria is Israeli, as is the
information about the targets for a possible attack."

As is almost always the case with the United States and its European
acolytes, what Israel wants, Israel gets.

Those who do not rely exclusively on Israeli intelligence as a source of
evidence may be interested in a brief paragraph buried in a lengthy New
York Times report published yesterday in the International Herald
Tribune ("Like ‘watching a horror movie’"): "Near the attack sites,
activists found spent rockets that appeared to have been homemade and
suspected that they had delivered the gas. Mr. Salahideen [previously
identified as "a reporter for the opposition’s Alaan television
network"] said he did not think the small rockets could carry the amount
of gas needed to kill so many people and guessed that government forces
had fired the rockets to make it easier to blame the rebels, who often
fire improvised rockets at government targets."

(7) WSJ touts "Israeli intelligence indicating movement of Syrian
chemical weapons"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324906304579039342815115978.html

August 27, 2013, 8:27 p.m. ET

U.S., Allies Prepare to Act as Syria Intelligence Mounts

Evidence Includes Satellite Images, Intercepted Communications

By ADAM ENTOUS, SAM DAGHER and SIOBHAN GORMAN CONNECT

(8) US claims about Syria Chemical Weapons are based on intelligence
supplied by Mossad

From: Paul de Burgh-Day <pdeburgh@harboursat.com.au> Date: Thu, 29 Aug
2013 09:48:54 +1000

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/cofirmed-us-claims-against-syria-there.html

CONFIRMED: US Claims Against Syria - There is no Evidence

By Tony Cartalucci

August 28, 2013

(9) Eamonn Fingleton: Aug 21 gas attack was False Flag, because Assad
was winning the Civil War (Sept 1, 2013)


http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2013/09/01/obamas-syria-fiasco-who-clipped-his-wings/

Obama's Syria Blink: Who Clipped His Wings?

Eamonn Fingleton

9/01/2013 @ 12:18PM

[...] The irony in all this is that whoever used chemical weapons at
Ghouta, it almost certainly was not Assad. As Vladimir Putin has pointed
out, all the evidence is that the Ghouta atrocity was a false-flag.
Assad has had everything to lose and nothing to gain from using chemical
weapons. He is close to winning the war, so the last thing he wants is
to provide the United States with a pretext for regime change. [...]

(10) UN debate stalls US attack on Syria (Aug 29, 2013)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-03-290813.html

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Aug 29, '13

(11) UK parliament votes against Syria war plan, mindful of Iraq WMD
deception (Aug 29, 2013)


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/30/us-syria-crisis-britain-idUSBRE97R1BD20130830

Iraq war ghosts end UK plans to take part in Syria action

By Andrew Osborn and Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON | Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07pm EDT

(12) Geoffrey Robertson, a former UN judge, calls for the Bombing of
Syria (Aug 30, 2013)


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/30/three-key-questions-on-syria-from-geoffrey-robertson.html

Three Key Questions on Syria

by Geoffrey Robertson Aug 30, 2013 3:15 PM EDT

(13) G20 leaders speak out against US-led strike on Syria (Sept 6, 2013)

http://rt.com/news/g20-against-syria-strike-527

G20 Syria divide: World's largest nations speak out against US-led strike

Published time: September 06, 2013 22:47
Edited time: September 07, 2013 13:34

(14) G20 leaders reject attack on Syria over Chemical Weapons; Assad was
framed (Sept 8, 2013)


From: Paul de Burgh-Day <pdeburgh@harboursat.com.au>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 10:46:45 +1000

The West Dethroned

By Paul Craig Roberts

"The European race’s last three hundred years of evolutionary progress
have all come down to nothing but four words: selfishness, slaughter,
shamelessness and corruption."
  Yan Fu

September 08, 2013  Information Clearing House

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36164.htm

[...] The "New American Century" proclaimed by the neoconservatives came
to an abrupt end on September 6 at the G20 meeting in Russia. The
leaders of most of the world’s peoples told Obama that they do not
believe him and that it is a violation of international law if the US
government attacks Syria without UN authorization.

Putin told the assembled world leaders that the chemical weapons attack
was "a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help
from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one."
In other words, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Washington--the axis of evil.

China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Argentina joined
Putin in affirming that a leader who commits military aggression without
the approval of the UN Security Council puts himself "outside of law." [...]

Washington represents Israel and a handful of powerful organized private
interests. Washington represents no one else. Washington is a plague
upon the American people and a plague upon the world.

(15) AIPAC to lobby Congress for Syria strike (Israel News, Sept 6, 2013)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4426658,00.html

AIPAC to lobby Congress for Syria strike

American Israeli Political Activity Committee to attempt to persuade
Congress to vote in favor of attack, as constituents urge Congress to
vote against intervention

Yitzhak Benhorin

Israel News
Published: 09.06.13, 21:16

WASHINGTON – Though US Congress is pressured by the American public to
vote against a US military intervention in Syria, Israel’s most ardent
supporters in AIPAC urge Congress representatives to vote in favor of an
intervention. [...]

(16) Obama "red line" would use Chemical Weapons as a Causus Belli; but
  Congress defied AIPAC (Sept 14, 2013)

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/09/a-short-history-of-the-war-on-syria-2006-2014.html

September 14, 2013

A Short History Of The War On Syria - 2006-2014

[...] In late 2006 the United States started to finance an external
opposition to Syria's ruling Baath party. Those exiles were largely
members of the Muslim Brotherhood which had been evicted from Syria
after their bloody uprising against the Syrian state between 1976 and
1982 had failed. In 2007 a plan for regime change in Syria was agreed
upon between the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The aim was to
destroy the "resistance" alliance of Hizbullah, Syria and Iran:

     To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush
Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in
the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with
Saudi Arabia's government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations
that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is
backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations
aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has
been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant
vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

By 2011 three years of drought, caused by global warming and Turkey's
upstream dams and irrigation projects, had weakened the Syrian economy.
Large parts of the poor rural population lost their means of living and
moved into the cities. They provided the fertile ground needed to launch
an uprising against the Syrian state.

The U.S. part in the plan was to provide the media and "global opinion"
cover for the insurgency. To that purpose it used the tool from its
"color revolution" tool box. "Citizen journalists" were recruited,
trained and provided with the video and communication equipment needed
for media propagandizing. Others were trained in organizing "peaceful
civil demonstrations". The Saudis took care of the darker part of the
plan. They financed and armed rebel groups, often related to the exiled
Muslim Brotherhood, which had the task to instigate a wider insurgency
by taking on government forces as well as the peaceful demonstrators.A
main part of the scheme was the introduction of a sectarian view that
would split the largely secular Syria into several constituencies.

A local disturbance in Deraa near the Jordanian border was used to
launch the uprising. Peaceful demonstration were held but soon shots
were fired towards the police as well as towards the demonstrators.
Inevitably both sides escalated. Groups armed by the Saudis target the
government forces. Having colleagues killed and wounded the government
forces retaliated against the demonstrators. Some of those took up arms
themselves and fought the government. [...]Posted by b on September 14,
2013 at 01:15 PM |

(17) US Media refused to publish Seymour Hersh expose of US lies on Aug.
21 Syrian gas attack


http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/04/08/hrsh-a08.html

Media blacks out Seymour Hersh expose of US lies on Syrian gas attack

By Patrick Martin

8 April 2014

Nearly two days after the London Review of Books published a lengthy
exposé by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh detailing
efforts by the Turkish government to stage a provocation to bring the US
military directly into the civil war in Syria, the US media has blacked
out the report. [...]

The Syrian government denied responsibility for the Ghouta attack and
blamed the "rebels," who had every reason to carry out the action, which
coincided with the arrival of United Nations weapons inspectors in
Damascus to investigate previous gas attacks. At the time of the attack,
Syrian government forces were retaking areas previously held by the
US-backed opposition, which was in disarray and on the point of
collapse. It desperately needed a supposed government atrocity to
provide a pretext for direct US military intervention against the Assad
regime.

Hersh’s report substantiates the Syrian government’s claims, using
documents and accounts from US intelligence and military sources. It
also provides evidence that President Obama, Secretary of State John
Kerry and other US officials knowingly lied to the American people when
they insisted that only the Assad regime could have carried out the
Ghouta attack and that US intelligence agencies had proof that Syrian
government forces were responsible. (See: New exposé by Seymour Hersh:
Turkey staged gas attack to provoke US war on Syria)

Last December, Hersh published an initial account of the Ghouta attack,
which noted the discrepancies and contradictions in the official US
accounts and exposed media propaganda such as the now-retracted claim by
the New York Times that its own technical analysis of the attack proved
that only the Syrian military could have fired the gas shells. Hersh’s
conclusion at that time, reflected in the headline "Whose Sarin?" was
that it was still unclear who was responsible for the gas attack.

The latest account provides an important new finding—that the Turkish
government worked with the al-Nusra Front to engineer the gas attack and
blame it on Assad in order to provide a means for the Obama
administration to override popular opposition to another US war in the
Middle East and launch military action in Syria.

A former intelligence official told Hersh, "We now know it was a covert
action planned by Erdogan’s people to push Obama over the red line …
They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus … The deal was
to do something spectacular."

Hersh has been unable to get his reports published by major American
media outlets. Both of his Syrian exposés appeared in the online edition
of the London Review of Books, not in the New Yorker, where he was
published for many years, or any daily newspaper.

Since the new article was posted early Sunday morning, there has been
total silence in the mainstream US press. The New York Times and
Washington Post, the two leading dailies, said nothing. The Times
published a long account Monday of fighting in Syria with no mention of
Hersh’s report.

The main British dailies have also been silent. The Guardian, in
addition to censoring Hersh, published a long account of a
self-justifying interview on BBC Radio 4 by the notorious liar and war
criminal Tony Blair, the former prime minister, defending the Iraq war
and advocating military action in Syria.

The article, written by the newspaper’s chief political correspondent
Nicholas Watt, goes so far as to note Blair’s argument that the use of
sarin gas at Ghouta was sufficient reason to attack Syria, without
referencing Hersh’s exposure of this attack as a provocation, published
just 24 hours earlier. The cover-up is conscious and deliberate. [...]

(18) British Lab showed Aug. 21 Sarin was not Assad's but Al Nusra's -
Seymour Hersh, LRB

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

Vol. 36 No. 8 · 17 April 2014
pages 21-24 | 5870 words

The Red Line and the Rat Line

Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdogan and the Syrian rebels

In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya
without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack
on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air
strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing
the 'red line' he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.[*]
Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he
announced that he would seek congressional approval for the
intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for
hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad's offer
to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did
Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing
into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the
administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and
military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and
potentially disastrous.

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.
The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint
chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a
far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria's infrastructure could
lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American
officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in
their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack.

For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders
and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria's
neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan was known to
be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel
opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. 'We knew there were
some in the Turkish government,' a former senior US intelligence
official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, 'who believed
they could get Assad's nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack
inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.'

The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration's public claims
that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. 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'. (According to a Defense
Department consultant, US intelligence has long known that al-Qaida
experimented with chemical weapons, and has a video of one of its gas
experiments with dogs.) The DIA paper went on: 'Previous IC
[intelligence community] focus had been almost entirely on Syrian CW
[chemical weapons] stockpiles; now we see ANF attempting to make its own
CW … Al-Nusrah Front's relative freedom of operation within Syria leads
us to assess the group's CW aspirations will be difficult to disrupt in
the future.' The paper drew on classified intelligence from numerous
agencies: 'Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators,' it said, 'were
attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely
for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria.' (Asked
about the DIA paper, a spokesperson for the director of national
intelligence said: 'No such paper was ever requested or produced by
intelligence community analysts.')

Last May, more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in
southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms
of sarin. In a 130-page indictment the group was accused of attempting
to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars, and chemical
precursors for sarin. Five of those arrested were freed after a brief
detention. The others, including the ringleader, Haytham Qassab, for
whom the prosecutor requested a prison sentence of 25 years, were
released pending trial. In the meantime the Turkish press has been rife
with speculation that the Erdogan administration has been covering up
the extent of its involvement with the rebels. In a news conference last
summer, Aydin Sezgin, Turkey's ambassador to Moscow, dismissed the
arrests and claimed to reporters that the recovered 'sarin' was merely
'anti-freeze'.

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.'

In the months before the attacks began, a former senior Defense
Department official told me, the DIA was circulating a daily classified
report known as SYRUP on all intelligence related to the Syrian
conflict, including material on chemical weapons. But in the spring,
distribution of the part of the report concerning chemical weapons was
severely curtailed on the orders of Denis McDonough, the White House
chief of staff. 'Something was in there that triggered a shit fit by
McDonough,' the former Defense Department official said. 'One day it was
a huge deal, and then, after the March and April sarin attacks' – he
snapped his fingers – 'it's no longer there.' The decision to restrict
distribution was made as the joint chiefs ordered intensive contingency
planning for a possible ground invasion of Syria whose primary objective
would be the elimination of chemical weapons.

The former intelligence official said that many in the US national
security establishment had long been troubled by the president's red
line: 'The joint chiefs asked the White House, "What does red line mean?
How does that translate into military orders? Troops on the ground?
Massive strike? Limited strike?" They tasked military intelligence to
study how we could carry out the threat. They learned nothing more about
the president's reasoning.'

In the aftermath of the 21 August attack Obama ordered the Pentagon to
draw up targets for bombing. Early in the process, the former
intelligence official said, 'the White House rejected 35 target sets
provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently "painful"
to the Assad regime.' The original targets included only military sites
and nothing by way of civilian infrastructure. Under White House
pressure, the US attack plan evolved into 'a monster strike': two wings
of B-52 bombers were shifted to airbases close to Syria, and navy
submarines and ships equipped with Tomahawk missiles were deployed.
'Every day the target list was getting longer,' the former intelligence
official told me. 'The Pentagon planners said we can't use only
Tomahawks to strike at Syria's missile sites because their warheads are
buried too far below ground, so the two B-52 air wings with two-thousand
pound bombs were assigned to the mission. Then we'll need standby
search-and-rescue teams to recover downed pilots and drones for target
selection. It became huge.' The new target list was meant to 'completely
eradicate any military capabilities Assad had', the former intelligence
official said. The core targets included electric power grids, oil and
gas depots, all known logistic and weapons depots, all known command and
control facilities, and all known military and intelligence buildings.

Britain and France were both to play a part. On 29 August, the day
Parliament voted against Cameron's bid to join the intervention, the
Guardian reported that he had already ordered six RAF Typhoon fighter
jets to be deployed to Cyprus, and had volunteered a submarine capable
of launching Tomahawk missiles. The French air force – a crucial player
in the 2011 strikes on Libya – was deeply committed, according to an
account in Le Nouvel Observateur; François Hollande had ordered several
Rafale fighter-bombers to join the American assault. Their targets were
reported to be in western Syria.

By the last days of August the president had given the Joint Chiefs a
fixed deadline for the launch. 'H hour was to begin no later than Monday
morning [2 September], a massive assault to neutralise Assad,' the
former intelligence official said. So it was a surprise to many when
during a speech in the White House Rose Garden on 31 August Obama said
that the attack would be put on hold, and he would turn to Congress and
put it to a vote.

At this stage, Obama's premise – that only the Syrian army was capable
of deploying sarin – was unravelling. Within a few days of the 21 August
attack, the former intelligence official told me, Russian military
intelligence operatives had recovered samples of the chemical agent from
Ghouta. They analysed it and passed it on to British military
intelligence; this was the material sent to Porton Down. (A spokesperson
for Porton Down said: 'Many of the samples analysed in the UK tested
positive for the nerve agent sarin.' MI6 said that it doesn't comment on
intelligence matters.)

The former intelligence official said the Russian who delivered the
sample to the UK was 'a good source – someone with access, knowledge and
a record of being trustworthy'. After the first reported uses of
chemical weapons in Syria last year, American and allied intelligence
agencies 'made an effort to find the answer as to what if anything, was
used – and its source', the former intelligence official said. 'We use
data exchanged as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The DIA's
baseline consisted of knowing the composition of each batch of
Soviet-manufactured chemical weapons. But we didn't know which batches
the Assad government currently had in its arsenal. Within days of the
Damascus incident we asked a source in the Syrian government to give us
a list of the batches the government currently had. This is why we could
confirm the difference so quickly.'

The process hadn't worked as smoothly in the spring, the former
intelligence official said, because the studies done by Western
intelligence 'were inconclusive as to the type of gas it was. The word
"sarin" didn't come up. There was a great deal of discussion about this,
but since no one could conclude what gas it was, you could not say that
Assad had crossed the president's red line.' By 21 August, the former
intelligence official went on, 'the Syrian opposition clearly had
learned from this and announced that "sarin" from the Syrian army had
been used, before any analysis could be made, and the press and White
House jumped at it. Since it now was sarin, "It had to be Assad."'

The UK defence staff who relayed the Porton Down findings to the joint
chiefs were sending the Americans a message, the former intelligence
official said: 'We're being set up here.' (This account made sense of a
terse message a senior official in the CIA sent in late August: 'It was
not the result of the current regime. UK & US know this.') By then the
attack was a few days away and American, British and French planes,
ships and submarines were at the ready. [...]

Obama's move for congressional approval quickly became a dead end.
'Congress was not going to let this go by,' the former intelligence
official said. 'Congress made it known that, unlike the authorisation
for the Iraq war, there would be substantive hearings.' At this point,
there was a sense of desperation in the White House, the former
intelligence official said. 'And so out comes Plan B. Call off the
bombing strike and Assad would agree to unilaterally sign the chemical
warfare treaty and agree to the destruction of all of chemical weapons
under UN supervision.' [...] *

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar
in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The
Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating
what the CIA calls a 'rat line', a back channel highway into Syria. The
rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and
ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border
to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the
weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI
spokesperson said: 'The idea that the United States was providing
weapons from Libya to anyone is false.')

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the
assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate
and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the
death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. [...]

Washington abruptly ended the CIA's role in the transfer of arms from
Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going.
'The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were
relaying to the jihadists,' the former intelligence official said.
Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile
launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian
rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post
reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was
almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter.
'The Obama administration,' Warrick wrote, 'has steadfastly opposed
arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the
weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot
down commercial aircraft.' Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials
fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst
speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian
military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that
the rebels' possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence
of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control. [...]

4 April

[*] Seymour M. Hersh first wrote about the sarin attack in the LRB of 19
December 2013.

(19) Sarin nerve gas was used by Syrian rebels, not Assad - U.N.
official (Washington Times, May 6, 2013)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi/

Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official

By Shaun Waterman - The Washington Times - Monday, May 6, 2013

Testimony from victims strongly suggests it was the rebels, not the
Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas during a recent incident in
the revolution-wracked nation, a senior U.N. diplomat said Monday.

Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International
Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV there were "strong,
concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof," that rebels
seeking to oust Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad had used the nerve agent.

But she said her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian
government forces using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she
added that more investigation was needed.

(20) UN commissioner says evidence indicates Syria rebels 'used sarin'
(BBC, May 6, 2013)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-22424188

UN's Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels 'used sarin'

BBC, 6 May 2013

Testimony from victims of the conflict in Syria suggests rebels have
used the nerve agent, sarin, a leading member of a UN commission of
inquiry has said.

Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV that there were "strong, concrete
suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof".

(21) Obama authorizes CIA to arm Syrian rebels, citing Assad use of
Chemical weapons (WSJ, June 14, 2013)


http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324188604578543820387158806?mobile=y

US to arm Syrian rebels

The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2013

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama authorized his administration to
provide arms to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
officials said Thursday, a major policy shift after the White House said
it had confirmed that Damascus used chemical weapons in the country's
civil war.

The classified order directing the Central Intelligence Agency to
coordinate arming the rebels in concert with its allies reverses a
long-standing policy that limited the U.S. to providing nonlethal support.

The White House declined to comment on the authorization, saying only
that Mr. Obama had decided to ramp up "military support" to moderate
rebels both in "scope and scale."

U.S. officials also told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that the
U.S. military proposal for arming the rebels also calls for a limited
no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by U.S. and allied
planes on Jordanian territory to protect Syrian refugees and rebels who
would train there.

Such a move, if the White House goes ahead, would represent a
significantly bigger U.S. engagement in Syria's civil war. [...]

(22) Daily Mail publishes leaked emails from defense contractor on False
Flag chemical weapons attack in Syria (Jan 2013)


http://web.archive.org/web/20130129213824/http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270219/U-S-planned-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-Syria-blame-Assad.html

U.S. 'backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it
on Assad's regime'

Leaked emails from defense contractor refers to chemical weapons saying
'the idea is approved by Washington'

Obama issued warning to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that
use of chemical warfare was 'totally unacceptable'

By LOUISE BOYLE

Daily Mail

PUBLISHED: 14:16 EST, 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:16 EST, 29 January 2013

Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green
light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on
Assad's regime and in turn, spur international military action in the
devastated country.

A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two
senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a
scheme 'approved by Washington' is outlined explaining that Qatar would
fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.

Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last
month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons
against its own people.

According to Infowars.com, the December 25 email was sent from Britam's
Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip
Doughty.

It reads: 'Phil... We've got a new offer. It's about Syria again.
Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved
by Washington.

'We'll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya
similar to those that Assad should have.

'They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak
Russian and make a video record.

'Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are
enormous. Your opinion?

'Kind regards, David.'

Britam Defence had not yet returned a request for comment to MailOnline.

The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior
executives resumés and copies of passports via an unprotected company
server, according to Cyber War News.

Dave Goulding's Linkedin profile lists him as Business Development
Director at Britam Defence Ltd in Security and Investigations. A
business networking profile for Phil Doughty lists him as Chief
Operationg Officer for Britam, United Arab Emirates, Security and
Investigations.

The U.S. State Department had not returned a request for comment on the
alleged emails to MailOnline today at time of publication. [...] ==

Here is a copy of the leaked document - SAVE it and PRINT it:
http://web.archive.org/web/20130224162322/http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/01/29/article-2270219-173CAE5E000005DC-457_634x269_popup.jpg

In case the above link does not work, I have uploaded a copy to
http://mailstar.net/bulletins/Syria-Chemical-frame-Assad.jpg

(23) Hacked emails reveal ‘Washington-approved' plan to stage chemical
weapons attack in Syria


http://www.hangthebankers.com/hacked-emails-reveal-washington-approved-plan-to-stage-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria/

Hacked emails reveal ‘Washington-approved' plan to stage chemical
weapons attack in Syria

January 29, 2013

Alleged hacked emails from defense contractor Britam reveal a plan
"approved by Washington" and funded by Qatar to stage a chemical weapons
attack in Syria and blame it on the Assad regime, fulfilling what the
Obama administration has made clear is a "red line" that would mandate
US military intervention.

The leaked emails, obtained by a hacker in Malaysia, feature an exchange
(click here for screenshot) between Britam Defence's Business
Development Director David Goulding and the company's founder Philip
Doughty;

     Phil

     We've got a new offer. It's about Syria again. Qataris propose an
attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.

     We'll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from
Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy
our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.

     Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are
enormous. Your opinion?

     Kind regards     David

The fact that the plan involves delivering a CW (chemical weapon) that
is "similar to those Assad should have," clearly suggests that the idea
is to stage a false flag chemical weapons attack that could be blamed on
Assad by Gulf states like Qatar and NATO powers.

If the claim that such as plot was "approved by Washington" can be
verified, then the Obama administration is complicit in a war crime.

According to Cyber War News, which details the process of how the emails
were hacked and includes screenshots of the leaked documents, the hack
also uncovered, "extremely personal information," including copies of
passports of Britam employees, some of whom appeared to be mercenaries.

A full list of all the hacked documents can be found here. One software
systems administrator who analyzed the ‘header' details from the email
in question concluded, "I have to admit that the email does indeed look
genuine….all these facts check out. So with Mythbusters objectivity I
have to call this one plausible."

Online business profiles confirm that both David Goulding and Philip
Doughty work for Britam Defence.

Last year, reports began to circulate that that US-backed rebel fighters
in Syria had been given gas masks and were willing to stage a chemical
weapons attack which would then be blamed on the Assad regime to grease
the skids for NATO military intervention.

Soon after in August, President Barack Obama warned that the use or even
transportation of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would represent a
"red line" that would precipitate military intervention. French
President Francois Hollande followed suit, stating that the use of such
weapons "Would be a legitimate reason for direct intervention."

At around the same time, a source told Syrian news channel Addounia that
a Saudi company had fitted 1400 ambulance vehicles with anti-gas &
anti-chemical filtering systems at a cost of $97,000 dollars each, in
preparation for a chemical weapons attack carried out by FSA rebels
using mortar rounds. A further 400 vehicles were prepared as troop carriers.

The attack would be blamed on the Syrian Army and exploited as an excuse
for a military assault. A March 2012 Brookings Institution report
entitled Saving Syria: Assessing Options For Regime Change outlined this
very scenario – where a manufactured humanitarian crisis would be cited
as justification for an attack. [...]

(24) A Look into the Britam Defence Data Leak Files - cyberwarnews.info

http://www.cyberwarnews.info/reports/a-look-into-the-britam-defence-data-leak-files/

A Look into the Britam Defence Data Leak Files

Published January 26th, 2013

By Lee J

A few days ago we did a report that a British based defence company,
Britam Defence had been leaked and confidential files had been published
online. [...]

After spending some time going over this stuff i have found the only
folder really needed was arch33 which contains all leaked data and gives
better insight in to the operations and company's Britam is working with.

The emails in this leak and files and information mainly trace back to
two Britam defence administration, one of which is the founder and
dynamic director, Philip doughty and his Business Development Director
David Goulding.

Extremely personal information such as a self complied C.V, copy's of
passports and more have been leaked from David and Philip as well as
emails and other plans.

 From a lot of the documents its very clear that britam is working
closely and even offering types of training programs to the National
Saudi Gaurd and some of its internal departments and specialist groups.
[...]

(25) Britam Defence is British private military company, operates mainly
  in the Middle East


http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2013/01/24/britam-defence-hacked-confidential-documents-leaked-site-offline/

Britam defence hacked, confidential documents leaked, site offline

Published January 24th, 2013 By Lee J

A British defence company has been breached and as a result a heap of
documents have been published online and now the site has gone offline.

The attack is on britam defence (http://www.britamdefence.com/) and has
been claimed by a hacker using the handle JAsIrX who uploaded the leaked
information to various file sharing websites and released it via a
single pastebin post with the a message about the release (see bottom).

The documents come in 6 parts and total over 423MB compress zip files
and inside the compress files appears to be a common layout of three
main folders named !!Syria, Iran and Iraq.

Inside these appear to be documents like passports, incident reports
about drunk employees which are labelled private and confidential as well.

A quick look into the files shows shocking plans for chemical warfare
attacks where they have planned to lure victims to kill zones. The file
can be found in the Iran folder under OPLAN (Ruhayyat) 1433H-1.doc. [...]

     Britam Defence is British private military company, operates mainly
in the Middle East. It killed Arabs in Iraq and plans to invade in Iran
and Syria.
     Look through leaked documents carefully. CW means chemical weapon,
g-shell is short for a gas shell I guess.

     Help to distribute this info and let other people know about the
threats.
     Thank all

Source: Pastebin.com [...]

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