Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation

More than two dozen ex-U.S. intelligence officials urge President Trump to rethink his claims blaming the Syrian government for the chemical deaths in Idlib and to pull back from his dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)*

SUBJECT: Syria: Was It Really “A Chemical Weapons Attack”?

1 – We write to give you an unambiguous warning of the threat of armed hostilities with Russia – with the risk of escalation to nuclear war. The threat has grown after the cruise missile attack on Syria in retaliation for what you claimed was a “chemical weapons attack” on April 4 on Syrian civilians in southern Idlib Province.

President Trump at a news conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on April 5, 2017, at which the President commented on crisis in Syria. (Screen shot from whitehouse.gov)

2 – Our U.S. Army contacts in the area have told us this is not what happened. There was no Syrian “chemical weapons attack.” Instead, a Syrian aircraft bombed an al-Qaeda-in-Syria ammunition depot that turned out to be full of noxious chemicals and a strong wind blew the chemical-laden cloud over a nearby village where many consequently died.

3 – This is what the Russians and Syrians have been saying and – more important –what they appear to believe happened.

4 – Do we conclude that the White House has been giving our generals dictation; that they are mouthing what they have been told to say?

5 – After Putin persuaded Assad in 2013 to give up his chemical weapons, the U.S. Army destroyed 600 metric tons of Syria’s CW stockpile in just six weeks. The mandate of the U.N.’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW-UN) was to ensure that all were destroyed – like the mandate for the U.N. inspectors for Iraq regarding WMD. The U.N. inspectors’ findings on WMD were the truth. Rumsfeld and his generals lied and this seems to be happening again. The stakes are even higher now; the importance of a relationship of trust with Russia’s leaders cannot be overstated.

6 – In September 2013, after Putin persuaded Assad to relinquish his chemical weapons (giving Obama a way out of a tough dilemma), the Russian President wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he said: “My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this.”

Détente Nipped in the Bud

7 – Three-plus years later, on April 4, 2017, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev spoke of “absolute mistrust,” which he characterized as “sad for our now completely ruined relations [but] good news for terrorists.” Not only sad, in our view, but totally unnecessary – worse still, dangerous.

8 – With Moscow’s cancellation of the agreement to de-conflict flight activity over Syria, the clock has been turned back six months to the situation last September/October when 11 months of tough negotiation brought a ceasefire agreement. U.S. Air Force attacks on fixed Syrian army positions on Sept. 17, 2016, killing about 70 and wounding another 100, scuttled the fledgling ceasefire agreement approved by Obama and Putin a week before. Trust evaporated.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2017. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ford Williams)

9 – On Sept 26, 2016, Foreign Minister Lavrov lamented: “My good friend John Kerry … is under fierce criticism from the US military machine, [which] apparently does not really listen to the Commander in Chief.” Lavrov criticized JCS Chairman Joseph Dunford for telling Congress that he opposed sharing intelligence with Russia on Syria, “after the [ceasefire] agreement, concluded on direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama, had stipulated that the two sides would share intelligence. … It is difficult to work with such partners. …”

10 – On Oct. 1, 2016, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova warned, “If the US launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian Army, it would cause a terrible, tectonic shift not only in the country, but in the entire region.”

11 – On Oct 6, 2016, Russian defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov cautioned that Russia was prepared to shoot down unidentified aircraft – including any stealth aircraft – over Syria. Konashenkov made a point of adding that Russian air defenses “will not have time to identify the origin” of the aircraft.

12 – On Oct 27, 2016, Putin publicly lamented, “My personal agreements with the President of the United States have not produced results,” and complained about “people in Washington ready to do everything possible to prevent these agreements from being implemented in practice.” Referring to Syria, Putin decried the lack of a “common front against terrorism after such lengthy negotiations, enormous effort, and difficult compromises.”

13 – Thus, the unnecessarily precarious state into which U.S.-Russian relations have now sunk – from “growing trust” to “absolute mistrust.” To be sure, many welcome the high tension, which – admittedly – is super for the arms business.

14 – We believe it of transcendent importance to prevent relations with Russia from falling into a state of complete disrepair. Secretary Tillerson’s visit to Moscow this week offers an opportunity to stanch the damage, but there is also a danger that it could increase the acrimony – particularly if Secretary Tillerson is not familiar with the brief history set down above.

15 – Surely it is time to deal with Russia on the basis of facts, not allegations based largely on dubious evidence – from “social media,” for example. While many would view this time of high tension as ruling out a summit, we suggest the opposite may be true. You might consider instructing Secretary Tillerson to begin arrangements for an early summit with President Putin.

* Background on Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a list of whose issuances can be found at https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/.

A handful of CIA veterans established VIPS in January 2003 after concluding that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had ordered our former colleagues to manufacture intelligence to “justify” an unnecessary war with Iraq. At the time we chose to assume that President George W. Bush was not fully aware of this.

We issued our first Memorandum for the President on the afternoon of Feb. 5, 2003, after Colin Powell’s ill-begotten speech at the United Nations. Addressing President Bush, we closed with these words:

No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is “irrefutable” or “undeniable” [adjectives Powell applied to his charges against Saddam Hussein]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.

Respectfully, we offer the same advice to you, President Trump.

*  *  *

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Eugene D. Betit, Intelligence Analyst, DIA, Soviet FAO, (US Army, ret.)

William Binney, Technical Director, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer and former Office Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, (ret.)

Thomas Drake, Senior Executive Service, NSA (former)

Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security, (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Robert Furukawa, Capt, CEC, USN-R, (ret.)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq and Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Larry C. Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (Ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)

John Brady Kiesling, Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst and counterterrorism officer, and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Lisa Ling, TSgt USAF (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East, CIA and National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Torin Nelson, former Intelligence Officer/Interrogator, Department of the Army

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, and former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA

Sarah G. Wilton, Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret), DIA (ret.)

Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat

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109 comments for “Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation

  1. Skip Scott
    April 11, 2017 at 8:21 am

    In a much better world, these people would have the ear of the president. I applaud their efforts, and I pray that someone delivers this message to Trump. I also hope that some of the people still employed in the intelligence services that have an ounce of integrity will come forward and expose the lies of the deep state. We need more whistleblowers now!

    • April 11, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Delivering the message to the American people should be a priority at this point in time. There are enough government spooks tapping into Consortiumnews to be able to tell the president, and they are choosing not to. It is time to reach out to the people who are destined to pay the ultimate price for this cynically calculated ‘misadventure’.

      • April 11, 2017 at 11:29 am

        I agree. How do you propose to do the reaching out?

        • April 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

          Well, a lot more Consortium readers and commenters could comment on other sites and leave links. In the United States people could get out on the streets and protest. So far, protests seem to be minimal – or maybe minimally reported – whichever, it all starts to get pointless if we have to be told what to do.

          At 68 I have taken part in demonstrations in the UK since the 1970s. The last demonstration I attended as part of Los indignados – Spain’s precursor to the Occupy movement – was just a few years ago. I know it didn’t get anywhere, but then what did you do? (@Garrett – The question is meant generally rather than directed at you personally).

          Though I haven’t worked much on it of late – for various reasons – articles on my blog have been republished on Russia Insider, Off-Guardian, BSN and a host of other web sites, many of them I have linked to Consortiumnews articles. Need I go on?

    • Bill Bodden
      April 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      In a much better world, these people would have the ear of the president.

      Perhaps the VIPS group should have addressed their letter to Ivanka Trump or, at least, copied her. “Eric Trump says his ‘heartbroken and outraged’ sister Ivanka helped persuade their father to strike Syria” by Eliza Relman – http://www.businessinsider.com/ivanka-trump-helped-convince-her-father-to-strike-syria-eric-trump-says-2017-4

      I wonder if Ivanka was equally heartbroken when Israel’s Operation Protective Edge slaughtered hundred of Palestinian children in Gaza.

      • Robbo
        April 12, 2017 at 6:41 pm

        Wonder if she was heartbroken about the kids that were blown to bits by Dads Tomahawks.

        • Pam
          April 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm

          Thank you! I wonder why no one seems to notice it is turning into genocide! I am afraid that plays into Trump agenda.

      • ikkie dawood
        April 13, 2017 at 4:54 am

        Absolutely agree with you. They forget Sabra & Shatila massacre by the Israelis and other daily atrocities committed by both the US and Israel in Mosul, Yemen, Syria. Both crooked including the middle east arab rogues who side with the west and ISIS . Ivanka Trump and Trump himself is heartbroken by the photos of CW in Idlib and yet refuse entry to poor syrians in US. What about the invasion of iraq and American atrocities. Its a shame that American citizens do not do anything about the US Military and congress blunders on foreign policy….. And now two super powers do not trust each other…to the point of world war 3. So sad. You people must stand up not sleep.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 11, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Obviously Skip these newly recruited Neocon’s won’t read this excellent VIPS report and take from it what you and us others here take from it. There is too much Sanity to this report, and to these NeoNutJobs there’s more profit in chaos, and war.

      I couldn’t agree with you more though, as I too hope that the whistleblowers can come forward in mass, and really do some damage to these Neocon’s plan.

  2. Realist
    April 11, 2017 at 8:25 am

    This is not what the neocons want to hear. They want war. They browbeat Trump for three months, accusing him of being “Putin’s Puppet.” He finally relented and did what they wanted in response to the false flag or “misinterpreted” event. In return they have praised his actions to high heaven. He is basking in adulation from Dems, GOPers, Deep State creatures, MIC types and “intelligence” agency spooks. His fragile ego is being massaged. He is in a place where he loves being. Neither he nor his neocon string-pullers are going to change a thing.

    In fact, from what I read in international newspapers, they are planning what can only turn into a two-front world war with Russia (starting in Syria) and China (starting in North Korea). Trump is so simplistic and predictable that he is looking for his next fix of accolades from attacking North Korea with missiles and invading the country with special forces. It’s all planned as per his conferences with his generals according to accounts. Sources also say that his generals (McMaster, Mattis and Petraeus) are planning a ground invasion of Syria using 150,000 American troops in an Iraq redux mission. What VIPS call for is perfectly logical and appropriate. So, don’t expect it from the Washington regime, no matter who sits in the White House.

    • Kiza
      April 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I agree.

      Let me paraphrase Albert Einstein with a reality twist: I do not know what the WW3 will be fought with, but I know that there will be no World to fight WW4 (not even with sticks and stones), unless we are talking about the war of the cockroach world.

    • Sam F
      April 11, 2017 at 9:40 am

      True, but there is a solution in that Russia and China can and should now attack US “allies” used against them, as the US does their allies.

      Russia should now simply claim that Israel has crossed red lines in attacking Syria, and take out whatever bases they want in Israel, and take out Israel if there is any retaliation.. Let us see who is allowed to attack whose puppet.

      Russia should ship ISIS and perhaps AlQaeda down to the Golan or Jordan or Egypt to attack Israel. That seems an easier way to get them out of Syria and Iraq.

    • Sam F
      April 12, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Russian reprisals against Israel are quite justified by the recent attack by Israel near Palmyra, and earlier attacks. Apparently Israel is a major supporter of ISIS itself, in addition to bribing US politicians to pursue Mideast wars to support Israeli land theft.

      As reported in NEO, the 3/1/17 Israeli attack provided “support for ISIS fighters under attack by the Syrian Army” using its “Iron Dome” missile system, showing that the system was “not intended for defense.” The attack “may have brought about the downing of an Israeli F15E aircraft by Syrian air defense missiles.”

      The NEO article is at http://journal-neo.org/2017/04/12/blitzkrieg-when-air-defense-means-aggression/.

  3. James lake
    April 11, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Well done – thank you speaking out.

  4. Fabrizio
    April 11, 2017 at 8:50 am

    If only this article could have any impact on the military complex.

    • Bill Bodden
      April 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Never happen. The military-industrial complex follows the buck – not VIPS or other sane people.

  5. Marko
    April 11, 2017 at 8:52 am

    John McCain being fitted for orange jump suit ? ( Be still , my beating heart….)

    ” Special Report Robert Steele – Inside Source Says Brennan & McCain Responsible for Syrian False Flag ”
    Victurus Libertas

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8n6VCL5D7A

    • Realist
      April 11, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Unfortunately, John McCain is considered a beloved celebrity in the United States and what he has to say about the military akin to sage wisdom. It made me so angry last night to see him used several times for background quotes on the National Geographic Channel’s series on the origins of civilisation, the latest episode dealing with the rise of group aggression and military conflict. I was moved to yell at the TV everytime he appeared. I cannot believe that NGEO would be so partisan and provocative!

      • April 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        “Realist”, unfortunately, National Geographic was sold to Fox: http://gizmodo.com/national-geographic-is-now-owned-by-a-climate-denier-1729683793
        As truthtellers are muzzled by corporate power and imperialism, the noose tightens on democracy and on the future of the planet and our species.

      • Sam F
        April 11, 2017 at 6:49 pm

        National Geographic was gradually taken over by zionists from the 1990s to 2005 or so when I dropped the subscription.

      • manorrborn
        April 11, 2017 at 9:11 pm

        Possibly because it’s now owned by Rupert Murdoch.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 12, 2017 at 1:01 am

        Realist

        I had the same problem watching Tucker Carlson interview Lindsey Graham. Everytime Graham opened his mouth another contorted version of some true would come out of him, making me wish Big-Pharma would develop a pill for me to go brain stupid with when listening to the likes of Senator Lindsey, but then I come here to consortiumnews and get my head back to normal.

        McCain should have been done and gone back with the Keating Five scandal, but America’s media always makes sure to edit that out about people like McCain. Context and historical bio’s are conveniently left out for a certain few, while condemnation and conviction for another some may be rested on the hearsay, or even less.

        If our mass communication systems of our society were working well and in a healthy manner everyone of those Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity whose name appears as signees would be the VIPS who would be constant regulars on Sunday morning political talk shows, but they are not. This says it all. What else do you need to know?

        • Skip Scott
          April 12, 2017 at 7:19 am

          According to Wayne Madsen the Deep State has the goods on McCain as being responsible for the Forrestal disaster and being known as “song bird” while in the Hanoi Hilton. He will march to Deep State’s drum for as long as he lives, acting as their MSM mouthpiece. Actually, I think he’s such a scumbag that he does so quite willingly, and believes his own BS. The man is insane. Same for Lindsey, except the Deep State has him by the cajones for being a closeted gay from the South.

      • Dave P.
        April 12, 2017 at 2:29 am

        Realist: We have to remember Paul Wolfowitz, during 1990’s outlining his doctrine : We (will) create Reality. We live in ” The End Of History” era now – doctrine developed by Neocons. McCain on National Geographic Channel program series, It does not surprise me. NGC is a branch of Ministry of Truth now.

    • Marko
      April 12, 2017 at 12:02 am

      Steele has updated statements made in his video with this :

      Phi Beta Iota: It is now known that the most recent false flag chemical attack was staged by the White Helmets and rebels with funding from Saudi Arabia and Israel organized by Senator John McCain, former CIA Director John Brennan, and National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster.

  6. Paul G.
    April 11, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Outstanding, it so wonderful to see courage, maturity and intelligence to counter the dismal swamp of stupidity and conformity that arises out of the beltway and the MSM.

  7. April 11, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I think this sort of thing is important because it offers the rest of us a “place” to rally around. Washington is, however, a place were power is asserted and all power as Mao noted comes out of a barrel of a gun and the War Party owns most of the guns both literally and metaphorically in the Washington milieu. The money people want an assertive Empire with permanent War to control populations, particularly in the U.S. It always works–there is no longer a need for success in warfare just its continuation without end. As long as the American people worship the military (and they do) the War Party will be dominant. The best the realists and their semi-allies in the “alt” community is to force the U.S. to drag its feet on wider war as Obama did. The POTUS does not have the power to determine foreign policy–that policy is presented to the President as a done-deal depending on the internal power struggles within the Deep State. It does not matter who is President or how the White House is staffed–if we can’t see that now we will never see it.

  8. Hangemall123
    April 11, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Why is the administration and the news media ignoring this? Because they are not interested in the truth, only their agenda of regime change.

  9. April 11, 2017 at 9:08 am

    What an impressive list of experts. Thank you for publishing!

    Judging from social media responses, the American people have once again been conned by the Washington Establishment and their media scullions. Trump’s ego is the size of Texas and he’s been played very well by those who’ve been screwing over the American people for decades.

  10. April 11, 2017 at 9:18 am

    More war is not what Trump voters voted for.

    • Skip Scott
      April 11, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Looks like alot of people did get fooled again.

      • DannyWeil
        April 11, 2017 at 10:49 am

        Hope and Change from the right. Time for Hope and Change from a reals left.

        • Georges Lechner
          April 12, 2017 at 6:16 am

          Are you suggesting we should reelect Obama?

          • Skip Scott
            April 12, 2017 at 7:21 am

            I think what we mean is that the “Hope & Change” message from either party is complete BS.

  11. Truth First
    April 11, 2017 at 9:24 am

    The mainstream media will not provide this info to the public. Unfortunately most of the public do not read Consortium News so it is up to us to spread the word.

    Forward this to everyone on your email list and ask them to do the same.

    It might help.

  12. April 11, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for standing up with your wisdom and experience. We need you more than ever now.

  13. Sam F
    April 11, 2017 at 9:33 am

    This is a very appropriate and much needed statement from a very credible group, which should strengthen any elements in the Trump administration that may seek sanity despite the warmongers in the swamp of DC.

    Mr. Trump would be well advised to drain the swamp: he is the only one who can do this, and this is the only way it can be done:

    1. During a period of investigations, purge the military of all disloyal zionist and warmongering elements, and ban AIPAC and Saudi PACs as foreign agents;

    2. After a period of investigation, seize the mass media and temporarily turn them over to committees at the universities, pending legislation to require their funding by small individual contributions, and requiring broad balance at all levels of their organization;

    3. After a period of investigation, imprison the zionist and other foreign-influenced members of Congress, and hold new elections, for which the mass media are required to provide coverage without charge. Repeat until Congress passes amendments to require election funding by small individual contributions;

    • mike k
      April 11, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Sam, I suspect that you are a believer in multiple universes, like myself. (lol) I sometimes go to one where Trump and people like him listen to the voices of peace and reason, just to take a vacation from this failed soap opera we are all trapped in. Folks like us need positive dreams to help us deal with the nightmares of daily life on Earth 2017.

      • Sam F
        April 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm

        I entertain multiple hypotheses, the most optimistic and pessimistic of which are seldom true, so I spend little time with them. Indeed dreams are necessary to explore possibilities.

        The scenario of executive overreach is very desirable, as the only short term alternative is violence in some form, and the long-term reforms require at least isolation/embargo of the US by its enemies. So Trump’s nonconformism offers a faint hope, although I have insufficient evidence of benevolence and understanding.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 12, 2017 at 1:37 am

        Picture a America that wouldn’t politically sabotage and out maneuver a Wallace or Sanders candidacy within their own political party. For a brief moment imagine a America that would have had a loyal and trusted military and security apparatus which would have gotten behind a JFK, or MLK. Try as much as possible, even if it means you have to squint your eyes until it hurts too bad, and think of a John & Lindsey tag team advocating for detente and peace. Lastly since I don’t want to take of too much of your time, but try as you may to dream of a media who would be untouchable as it is for your reaching for the moon, and as trustworthy were your grandma’s who sat with you when you were young, for that you could believe in what our media reports.

        Here’s a neat thing to do. Go back into consortiumnews archive and read some old essays and then read the comment section, and then see how well and how much a lot of our comments had held up under the test of time. It’s kind of cool, because it’s like reading a history book while you page through your daily diary and seeing what you thought at that time and moment. A lot of the articles and comments from the past read more like predictions than talking about current events of that time gone by.

  14. mike k
    April 11, 2017 at 10:18 am

    What these ex-analysts say is just the simple truth. What does this tell us about those who cannot hear and understand what they are saying? That those deaf and blind people are operating in a fog of lies and delusions that prevent them from making rational decisions. Isn’t that the definition of mental illness and insanity?

  15. mike k
    April 11, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Trump and his crew of billionaire babies live in a world where all there fantasies about themselves have to be true and confirmed by those around them. They make their own reality, that is, there own dream world, in which they are omnipotent, then throw a tantrum if anyone does not agree to their fantasies. They are classic spoiled rich kids who must have their way no matter who may be hurt by their selfish behavior.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Very good description.

    • Beard681
      April 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      Not sure how bombing anybody is “selfish” behavior. It is an exhibition of the pure power of government. Trump is driven by the political winds which are driven by the media, the self interest of the internal security apparatus (which feeds the media propaganda). and the elites that fund both political parties.

      This is how bombing Syria becomes a “slam dunk”. It is something that both the CIA, Pentagon, NYTimes, WaPO, CNN, Koch brothers and Soros can agree on. When there is that level of alignment “resistance is futile”.

  16. mike k
    April 11, 2017 at 10:36 am

    The Trumpies try hard to pretend to be adults, but they can’t really pull it off, and pout and throw tantrums when they stumble trying to play roles they really have no qualifications for. Trump is trying to play act being president, and stumbling over his poorly understood lines and blundering into the other actors, and tripping over the scenery….. Tillerson is really farcical trying to play secretary of state, he just doesn’t have a clue….

    • DannyWeil
      April 11, 2017 at 10:48 am

      The Clapper family with guns and weapons

  17. Marko
    April 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

    A group called Rootclaim has some interesting crowd-sourced investigations where they compile the evidence and derive probabilities for competing explanations. They’ve done the Ghouta sarin attack , in which they ended up with a high probability ( 92% ) of rebel culpability , and the MH17 shoot-down , in which they blamed the DPR separatists , again with high probability ( 95% – can’t say they have any pro-Russia bias , that’s for sure ).

    They’re working on the Khan Sheikhoun gas attack but it’s in the early stages. At this point , they’re assigning about a 60% probability to the anti-Assad rebels false-flag scenario :

    https://www.rootclaim.com/claims/what-caused-the-chemical-calamity-in-khan-sheikhoun-syria-on-april-4-2017-18448

    I’ll be interested to see how their analysis evolves as more data comes in.

  18. DannyWeil
    April 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Trump does not care what anyone thinks unless it is to capitalize on them. Of course I am glad the letter was written but Trump will put it into the round file. However if more and more military high rollers come out against this man, then perhaps they could be rallied to fight the system itself.

  19. April 11, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Thank You VIPS for your voice of SANITY!!

    We now (April 11, 2017) know that Prime Minister Medvedev of Russia, America’s strongest ally in the Kremlin (and, like you a voice of reason) has concluded the US/Russian trust relationship completely abolished. Can you imagine what the war hawks behind the Kremlin walls are saying?

    Why is it that the truly influential voices in Washington don’t require actual proof before jumping to conclusions that threaten world war/peace? Is it just because these conclusions are “forced” upon them by past practice of an enemy, or, perhaps because they are following their own holier than thou narrative of American exceptionalism, military strength, invincibility, and hegemony while Russia consists of untrustworthy thugs that need to be spanked – like we did to President Bashir al Assad over the past week end, and Saddam Hussein and Mohamar Qaddafi before him. Please wake up America. Grave injustices are being done in your name!

  20. Zim
    April 11, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Thanks VIPS. Memo widely shared.

  21. D5-5
    April 11, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I think it’s worthwhile to re-visit and re-post from remarks Robert Parry shared yesterday re Trump on his knees, quoting neocon Kagan from Sunday’s Washington Post.

    If we want to hear the voice of “the deep state” I believe this is it, and we could also see these comments as primary in further developments in Syria that Trump is being submerged into.

    Also note that today Putin is indicating Russia expects more false flag efforts to follow soon, possibly right in Damascus.

    Robert Kagan:

    “Trump of course greatly exacerbated these problems during his campaign, with all the strong rhetoric aimed at allies. Now he has taken an important first step in repairing the damage, but this will not be the end of the story. America’s adversaries are not going to be convinced by one missile strike that the United States is back in the business of projecting power to defend its interests and the world order . . .”

    (This language supports plans underway for further attacks upcoming.)

    “The testing of Trump’s resolve actually begins now. If the United States backs down in the face of these challenges, the missile strike, though a worthy action in itself, may end up reinforcing the world’s impression that the United States does not have the stomach for confrontation.”

    (This “does not have the stomach for” jingoism is a bare-faced taunting that otherwise the US is “weak” suggesting if you don’t agree you too are weak.)

    “Instead of being a one time event, the missile strike needs to be the opening move in a comprehensive political, diplomatic and military strategy to re-balance the situation in Syria in America’s favor.”

    (“Opening move” underscores and sets up in advance more violence is about to be unleashed.)

    “Thursday’s action needs to be just the opening salvo in a broader campaign not only to protect the Syrian people from the brutality of the Assad regime but also to reverse the downward spiral of US power and influence in the Middle East and throughout the world. A single missile strike unfortunately cannot undo the damage done by the Obama administration over the past six years.”

    (Red-flag waving self-righteousness here on “reversing the downward spiral” etc. references one world full spectrum dominance thinking over the last decades.)

    “The United States’ commitment to such a course will have to be clear enough to deter the Russians from attempting to disrupt it. This in turn will require moving sufficient assets to the region so that neither Russia nor Iran will be tempted to escalate the conflict to a crisis, and be sure that the American forces will be ready if they do . . .”

    (“moving sufficient asserts to the region” has been taking place, continues, with now reports of heavy camouflaged military equipment, special forces, and McMaster calling for 150,000 troops in the region.)

    “Let’s hope that the Trump administration is prepared for the next move. If it is, then there is a real chance of reversing the course of global retreat that Obama began. A strong response in Syria will make it clear to the likes of Putin, Xi Jinping, Ayatollah Khamenei and Kim Jong Un that the days of American passivity are over.”

    (The man’s arrogance that US “passivity” over the last years has been insufficient in dominating, despite all the damage done and continuing, underscores the dangerous lack of sanity this man and those he represents are bringing to the moment.)

    • mike k
      April 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Hearing this madman rant his plans for world domination makes me feel angry, and afraid. How can he put forth this evil insane plan in a major publication reaching millions of people and not be immediately jailed and hospitalized as a dangerous maniac? It’s the masses of people that don’t bat an eye towards such madness, or even support it, that scares me the most. And the sinking feeling I get is because of the seeming impossibility of reaching these people and helping them wake up to the grave danger the Kagans and their ilk are putting us all in.

      • Dave P.
        April 11, 2017 at 6:24 pm

        mike k: You are expressing the feelings of many of us. I lay awake troubled many a night these days thinking how come the World has come to where the destiny of the entire Humanity on this planet is in the hands of a few dens of these corrupt, inhumane, vicious people – the dens located in Washington D.C., and in New York and It’s suburbs in Connecticut and around. Just in 1960’s, when the whole world was breaking forth into freedom. Most Asian Nations (Colonies) had become independent, and most in Africa were heading in this direction. And there were great World Leaders. On Campuses of the Universities in U.S., there were discussions of ideas of all sorts. There was so much promise for a brighter life on Earth.

        And look now. What kind of Monsters are these people running the country, just about every branch of the government. You look at Western Europe, it is the same.

        I read somewhere that twenty five page Intelligence Report (of sixteen Intelligent Agencies) which came out in January devoted five or six pages discussing how RT and Sputnik News influenced the American Election. I bet more than ninety Eight percent of Americans had never heard of it. I heard of Sputnik news in November last year when all this commotion broke up. There is no RT TV channel in Los Angeles Area. I accidentally came to know RT (on Youtube) three years ago during Crimea Crisis. And in my life, I had read most of the Russian Literature, and it’s History.

        EU parliament, British Parliament considering laws to ban RT and Sputnik News. Here Senator Sheehan wants to introduce a bill banning RT which serves only two or three areas perhaps in the Country.

        And go to India or Elsewhere in the world, you have CNN, NBC, and all of that. And it is probably true of Russia too – CNN and many other channels.

        And here they say that RT and Sputnik News has affected the feeble minds of it’s citizens.

        West was always was preaching to the World about it’s Free Press. Free Media, and all that. And still is preaching.

        It is for Whole World to see now that it was a big Lie. It seems to me that we are going back to the Dark Ages Period.

        • Eddie
          April 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm

          Dave – I identify with a lot of what you’re feeling. I came of political age in the 60’s and — while it had some frivolousness — it had the feeling that things WERE improving, there WERE inclinations and movements in positive directions (albeit with some major problems — JFK assassination, SE Asia wars, Cold War, etc). Now it seems that we’re slowly declining domestically (well camouflaged by all our technology & entertainment) and we’re dramatically declining internationally, with potential nuclear war becoming a significant risk, unmitigated climate change inevitably continuing and of course population growth continuing because ‘it creates markets’. I keep coming back to the apocalyptic Dylan title “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” with fewer and fewer escape routes…

    • April 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you once again to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity – maximum emphasis on sanity – for sharing the total yet greatly worrying truth. This timely, painfully important information must become disseminated by everyone, everywhere on this Earth.
      ***
      U.N. Ambasador Nikki Haley told CNN’s Jake Tapper recently the Trump administration had the “evidence” proving the Syrian government carried out the chemical tragedy in Idlib, and that President Donald Trump had seen the “evidence” himself.

      She went on to describe the “evidence” to Tapper as “…naturally classified”, then suggesting at some undecided point in the future the “evidence” will become de-classified, and therefore available for all Americans to see. Perhaps Ms. Haley’s description of the so-called “evidence” would have been more accurate if she had stated : “…classified – naturally”. Will the evidence become provided to officials at the United Nations in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for their examination?

      Thank you to D5-5 as well for providing the clear, sharp contrast between sanity and warmonger madness, between worldviews where one urges peace and another urging war.

      ““Instead of being a one time event, the missile strike needs to be the opening move in a comprehensive political, diplomatic and military strategy to re-balance the situation in Syria in America’s favor.”

      It seems clear Robert Kagan has no interest in “re-balancing the situation in Syria” in favor of the actual people who live in that nation. Somehow, the people of Syria don’t fit into Kagan’s “vision thing”… One’s initial and honest response after reading Kagan’s words was imagining him in very close proximity, then immediately strangling the man to death for the good of humanity.

      Donald Trump’s action in striking Syria clearly broke international law under provisions of the United Nations Charter. The constitutionality of the action with regard to U.S. law is more complex, falling outside the limits of 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, limited to military operations against terrorists responsible for 9/11 – but apparently the Trump administration is using another 1970’s law’s language allowing the strike on Syria for vital national interests.

      It might be argued that destroying other nations is no way to generate goodwill, win friends, and positively influence people around the Earth. Destroying other nations does not correspond to anyone’s interest – except people like Robert Kagan and his worldview-sharing associates.

      Blessed are the peacemakers.

      Thank you to

      • Realist
        April 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm

        Just peruse the top page of the NYT website today.

        The two most dangerous pieces of propaganda and sabre rattling are titled “White House Accuses Russia of Cover-up in Syria Attack” and “Tillerson Warns Russia to Stop Supporting Assad.”

        The gist of the first articles is…”A declassified report says Russia tried to confuse the world community about the Syrian government’s culpability in last week’s chemical weapons attack.
        Officials said they could not comment on the possibility that the Russian government knew in advance of Syria’s plan to carry out the attack.”

        This is nothing but pure propaganda, a willful dissemination of a false narrative, and a beating of the war drums to start a conflict that will end civilisation. There is no middle ground, no half measures, no pretense at objectivety, fairness, honesty or a desire for peace. These cutthroat tools of the secret government want war with Russia and they want it now.

        Every article written by Robert Parry belongs on their editorial page as an answer to all the vicious warmongering lies they dispense, but one cannot even get a post published on their readers’ forum if it contradicts the anti-Russian, pro-war narrative they incessantly push. Parry’s article is the one the world should be reading, but most of the human sheep only get to see the lies and warmongering rhetoric of the haughty and paranoid establishment. The American media pushes the world to the brink of a universal conflagration and the people who prefer to live cannot get a hearing. The Times is outrageous, just as is the imperious government whose every whim it serves.

        • Dave P.
          April 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

          There is no free press (NYT, Los Angeles Times etc.) left after 2001. These are propaganda sheets to promote NeoCon Agenda of Wars. The same is true of Newspapers like The Guardian in U.K.

          There is no Free Media left in U.S. except the alternative sites like this one. And to a large extent, it is true of Europe as well. If we still believe that there is such thing as Free Media, we are living in illusions.

          • Realist
            April 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm

            My main point was not that the American media are strictly propaganda organs, I think everyone but most Americans knows that, but meant to be that the U.S. government is now using the propaganda press to directly accuse Russia of war crimes (of being complicit in Syria’s “gassing its own people”–which we know is bullshit) and basically ordering Russia to stand down and abandon the Syrian government, I suppose so that the radical jihadist headchoppers can come to power.

            This is a direct accusation by our government which is then giving orders, and all on the basis of lies being propagated in the puppet American press. This is as dangerous as it gets. The only step left in the escalation process is an ultimatum by Trump to Putin to clear out of Syria which will mean war when Putin refuses to cut and run like an American vassal. Trump already has Tillerson saying this, the only step left is for Trump himself to throw down the gauntlet.

            Either the media and most American citizens are oblivious to what is happening or so thick that they don’t understand the consequences. Nobody is even asking the American people if they are prepared to die so ISIS can control Syria. Moreover, most Americans are so naively jingoistic (if you believe what they post on-line) that they figure, “bring it on,” our great American military juggernaut will mop the floor with Russia inside of an hour and then I can go watch it on TV on the 11 O’Clock news while I snack on some microwaved popcorn. I guess they figure we have been “winning” all these foreign military adventures and they have no government services or reliable infrastructure because of waste and fraud, not squandering their tax dollars on carnage.

          • Dave P.
            April 12, 2017 at 1:00 am

            Realist: I understand your point. The World beyond the U.S and E.U. borders knows that the Assad’s Government did not do it. It is just a pretext to launch an operation by U.S. for regime change. I saw on YouTube Nickey Haley, In the U.N. Security Council, showing the pictures of dead babies and blurting all this garbage from her mouth, and this representative from Africa was kind of frowning looking the other way. They all knew that these are all lies.

            This Nickey Haley just belongs that evil group of people sitting on the table around Trump. She is dishonest, uneducated,, slippery, frivolous, selfish and inhumane humanbeing. She has no depth or feelings like people who care for others. I understand her better; I know more of her cultural background, kind of home she grew up in.

  22. ltr
    April 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Impressive.

  23. Michael
    April 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Excellent article and advice.
    Now that N Korea has raised the nuclear threat, Tillerson needs to take pause and assess who he is dealing with, ie not Putin or Iran.

  24. Vesuvius
    April 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    “5 – After Putin persuaded Assad in 2013 to give up his chemical weapons, the U.S. Army destroyed 600 metric tons of Syria’s CW stockpile in just six weeks. The mandate of the U.N.’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW-UN) was to ensure that all were destroyed – like the mandate for the U.N. inspectors for Iraq regarding WMD. The U.N. inspectors’ findings on WMD were the truth. Rumsfeld and his generals lied and this seems to be happening again. The stakes are even higher now; the importance of a relationship of trust with Russia’s leaders cannot be overstated.”

    Something is wrong here; Donald Rumsfeld resigned from the DOD in late 2006. Secretary of Defence in 2013 was Leon Panetta, later Chuck Hagel, and in 2016 Ash Carter.

  25. April 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Good Article:
    Based on overwhelming evidence we know that wars were planned on various countries. I believe we should be rounding up a number of past and present world “leaders” and charging them with war crimes. Instead we protect them, when we should be arresting them.
    See info at link below
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2015/06/the-gang-of-7g7-instead-of-protecting.html

  26. April 11, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Could it be that the war criminals are in Washington, D.C. and not in Damascus, Syria? 45s least problem may be threats of impeachment.

  27. Susan Sunflower
    April 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    CBS poll says support for Trump’s strike on Syria is 57% (40% among Dems 84% among Republicans, 52% among independents) … but 69% say congressional approval necessary (25% say unnecessary)
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-poll-shows-divergence-in-americans-opinion-of-us-strike-vs-syria/
    reports of vast popular support for this aggression seems to have been exaggerated.

    for reference, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 peaked at 72% (after months of “manufacturing consent” with opposition at in the high 30’s)
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/8038/seventytwo-percent-americans-support-war-against-iraq.aspx

    So current popularity far from unanimous (even if majority) with opposition (to a one-off done deal) at a disappointing at 36%.

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      to clarify, popularity surged on the eve of the invasion … strong opposition fell to 17% … opposition and doubters fell away.

  28. Abe
    April 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Previous memoranda from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have addressed the “Government Assessment” political documents employed by the White House:

    “Is Syria a Trap?” (6 September 2013)

    “Sarin Attack at Ghouta on Aug. 21, 2013” (22 December 2015)

    “Releasing an Intelligence Report on Shoot-Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17” (22 July 2015)

    Of urgent concern is the body of information used to manufacture such documents. The United States Government’s assessments appear to have relied primarily on videos, social media reports and journalist accounts.

    Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is defined by both the U.S. Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), as “produced from publicly available information that is collected, exploited, and disseminated in a timely manner to an appropriate audience for the purpose of addressing a specific intelligence requirement.”

    The US Intelligence Community’s open-source activities (known as the National Open Source Enterprise) are dictated by Intelligence Community Directive 301 promulgated by the Director of National Intelligence.

    The “Government Assessment” political documents employed by the White House in August 2013 and July 2014 appear to have relied on an extra-governmental species of “open source intelligence” largely supplied by bloggers based in the United Kingdom.

    Assessments of chemical use in Syria in 2013 (Brown Moses blog) and the downing of Flight MH17 and its aftermath in 2014 (Bellingcat blog) were supplied by UK citizen Eliot Higgins of Leicester. Higgins collaborator Dan Kaszeta, a US-UK dual based in London, provided supplemental assessment of chemical use in Syria for both the Brown Moses and Bellingcat blogs.

    Since 2013, self-appointed “chemical weapons expert” Kaszeta and “citizen investigative journalist” Higgins have continued to make claims about “chemical attacks” in Syria.

    Immediately following the the alleged chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun in Syria, Kaszeta was cited as a go-to “expert” by the BBC, UK Guardian, CNN, Time magazine, NPR, Germany’s Die Welt and Deutsche Welle, Business Insider, Popular Science, Asia Times and other media outlets.

    Not content with merely quoting Kaszeta, BBC News online went so far as to publish an essay authored by Kaszeta titled “Syria ‘chemical attack’: What can forensics tell us?”

    At the end of his BBC News essay, in a furtive effort to quickly “tie the whole narrative together”, Kaszata mentioned that “In 2013, the chemical hexamine, used as an additive, was a critical piece of information linking the Ghouta attack to the government of President Assad.” This intriguing tidbit links to a December 2013 New York Times article quoting Kaszeta’s own claims about the “very damning evidence” of hexamine.

    However, Kaszeta’s claims about hexamine were already debunked in 2014.
    http://whoghouta.blogspot.com/2014/04/hexamine-again.html

    Kaszeta continues to claim that Hexamine was used in the 2013 Ghouta attack, despite the evidence that Hexamine is not soluble in alcohols, making it ineffective for this purpose.

    Accurate analysis of all primary and secondary evidence relating to the 21 August 2013 chemical attack at Ghouta indicate it was carried out by opposition forces.

    The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is responsible for gathering and analyzing the intelligence necessary to conduct foreign relations and national security activities.

    The ability of the President and the Secretary of Defense to understand and respond to specific threats as quickly as possible is severely compromised by the production of “Government Assessment” documents based on inaccurate information.

    Fake “open source intelligence” supplied by UK-based possible deception operatives obviously represents a grave national security concern for the United States.

    VIPS are encouraged to draft a follow-up memorandum for the President that specifically addresses this issue.

    • Abe
      April 11, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      There are three issues with commenter Frank White’s remarks concerning the VIPS memorandum:

      1/ The VIPS are not presenting hearsay evidence. U.S. Army contacts in the area can be verified by the Department of Defense. The President is obligated to consult the Intelligence Community before taking further action that could jeopardize the national security of the United States.

      The VIPS are reminding the President that the U.S. military has access to vital intelligence on the ground. They are urging the President to deal with the situation “on the basis of facts, not allegations based largely on dubious evidence – from ‘social media,’ for example”.

      2/ Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency quoted health minister Recep Akdag as saying hat isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA) “has been identified in the blood and urine tests conducted on samples taken from the victims exposed to chemical warfare in Idlib”. Contrary to Akdag’s assertion, this information does not constitute “concrete evidence” that the chemical weapon Sarin was used in the attack.

      NATO-member state Turkey is a known supporter of Western-backed opposition groups in Syria, including Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra Front terrorist forces associated with the 2013 Ghouta attack and other incidents in Syria. At the time of the attack, the town was under the control of Al Nusra (rebranded on 28 January 2017 as Tahrir al-Sham).

      3/ The UK Guardian report of an April 6 visit by its journalists to the site hardly constitutes a “crushing blow”. The report states that “the contamination area radiated from a hole in a road”. An accompanying photo allegedly depicts a bomb impact crater.

      However, an earlier April 5 Guardian report shows what appears to be a shallow pothole and an unidentified man with no protective gear https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/05/syria-chemical-weapons-attack-what-we-know-khan-sheikhun#img-1

      Despite Western mainstream media claims that results of the tests in Turkey will support the charges by Western powers that the Assad regime deployed sarin, the allegations most definitely have not been “independently confirmed”.

  29. Ann Ruthsdottir
    April 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    The White Helmets, without wearing any protective clothing, were handling victims of the “Gas Attack” with their bare hands. IF it were a “Gas Attack”, they would now all be either very sick of dead from this exposure.

  30. elmerfudzie
    April 11, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    In my opinion, this missile attack was a prelude to a new narrative that begins now, something likened to… we got it wrong the first time but now, (some time in the near future), we are fully justified for this second attack..Again, as I’ve stated recently in a CONSORTIUMNEWS commentary: The general public fails to understand just how easy it is to manufacture nerve and related chemical warfare agents. For example; sarin, tabun, soman, phosgene, lewisite, et cetra all can be prepared by using common household chemicals some of which are still used as agricultural fumigants. For example; those Ag products, use in grain bins or storage bins. Two semesters of college level organic chemistry can sufficiently educate a person on how to manufacture not only CW agents but illicit drugs and high explosives as well. This type of lab can be set up in a residential basement. These facts are self evident, to wit, meth labs, terror attacks in the subway system in Japan (nerve agent) and alleged explosives made in an apartment housing complex, prior to the 2005 London 77 bombings. Sergei Popov, a bio-weapons expert and researcher in the former CCCP, explained (on youtube), how miniaturized culture growing instrumentation is so advanced that it can be set up in a basement to produce high quality and bulk quantities of known (naturally occurring) and unknown (genetically altered) micro-organisms. Again, a few semesters of college level microbiology can prepare an individual sufficiently to create and disperse bio weapon s in a major city. Finally, the educational level of the world, in particular, a desperate and poorer world, now MAY translate into the spawning of a thousand new “little Hitler’s” giving all the rest of us -hell. The elites and well informed of the Western Occident Worlds saw this shift in power coming a long time ago, such as remarks by Jay or David Rockefeller? quote ” creating the internet was a mistake”…In response, the oligarchs planned well, with both proven and novel techniques; examples are many; false flagging, concocted tricks like Assanging, framing, wiretapping, all forced upon the citizenry at large, through misusing the powers of our legislative and judicial branches of government. These were fortified by ratifying the Patriot and NDA acts. Acting out of their fears of a well educated and resourceful America, these same elite, cream of the one per-centers, began constructing air fields in their back yards as a means for quick departure from the rabble! those masses, who now realize what tricks, deceptions, manipulations of the economy they have been applying. Those meaningless mantras, that began at the behest of Maurice Strong’s ilk, the “globalist-control agendas” masked as “green technology”, “conservation” ,”global warming”, “terrorism” and anything that leaves the rest of us in a perpetual state of panic, infighting, misinformation and fear.

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      and the new york times is reporting an administrative “no comment” to questions that the Russians/Syrians had advanced knowledge of what was in that shed. … the alleged surveillence drone (“proving they had advanced knowledge” and deliberately targeted the hospital to destroy evidence of Syria’s chemical attack) is till working it’s way up to the “no comment” level of mass MSM distribution …
      This is following the model of Trump/Putin intersections endlessly branching / metastasizing accusations tree diagram — all without investigation …

    • Marko
      April 11, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      You’re absolutely right about the widely-reported claims that CWs must have come from pre-existing stockpiles , pointing the finger – conveniently – at Assad. It’s merely a distraction , and it needs to be exposed as such.

      Additionally , I think all of these patriotic whistleblowers may be walking into a trap by not posing the various possible ways that this false-flag event could have been executed. By insisting ” chlorine not sarin ” or ” bombs released rebel stockpiles of noxious agents ” , they are prone to have egg on their faces if , for example , an investigation reveals that sarin victims came from areas not associated with any sort of weapon storage depot.

      Here’s a comment I made on Pat Lang’s site. Lang suggested a few days ago that a big reveal was coming , in which the American people would learn the truth. If what we’ve heard so far constitutes the reveal , I’m afraid the wag-the-dog crowd has won , again :

      “If this was a planned false-flag event , there could be two separate components of this attack. One in which chlorine was released during the bombing by Syrian jets of known rebel weapon stockpiles. The chlorine may have always been there or could have been placed there because of advance knowledge of the Syrian targets ( quite possible , if not likely , given the capabilities of anti-Assad state actors , including the U.S , Israel , etc. ).

      The second component is the generation of some sarin victims. This could have been done using captives , and would have required tiny quantities of sarin if performed efficiently. Alternatively , using larger quantities , one or a few rockets could have delivered the sarin to residential areas at the time of the bombing raid.

      This may seem like it’s beyond the capabilities of a bunch of head-choppers acting alone. It may well be , but I seriously doubt they acted alone. ”

      http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/mcmaster-and-russia.html#comment-6a00d8341c72e153ef01b8d276d020970c

  31. John Doe II
    April 11, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Can US Warplanes Evade Russian Air Defenses… ?
    ( Are we overdue for a humbling experience? )

    http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/04/can-us-warplanes-evade-russian-air-defenses-we-may-soon-find-out-syria/136867/?oref=d-dontmiss

  32. April 11, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t understand why the VIPS don’t take out a full-page ad in the NYT and print their memo there. It would garner much more attention and make it more difficult for the administration in office to simply ignore the memos, which they obviously do – assuming they even get to a person who matters.

    Considering the number of signatories to this letter, they could divide up the cost of the ad and make it happen.

    • Beard681
      April 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      That takes money. You think George Soros or the Koch brothers would make a donation? DO you think the NYTimes would even accept the ad? There is nothing that stops them from refusing an ad they don’t agree with.

  33. April 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    There appears to be three problems with the VIPS’ “noxious chemicals” claim:

    1/ It is based on hearsay evidence provided by “U.S. Army contacts in the area.” Since the contacts are not identified, presumably they chose to remain anonymous; Absent their names, this hearsay evidence does not carry the same weight as verified testimony.

    2/ A story in today’s Guardian reports: “Traces of sarin gas have been detected in blood and urine samples from victims wounded in the town of Khan Sheikhun in Syria, giving ‘concrete evidence’ of its use in the attack, Turkey’s health minister has said.”

    3/ The Guardian’s article deals a second crushing blow to the VIP’s account: “A visit by the Guardian to the site of the chemical attack on Thursday found no evidence to back the Russian claim, and instead found an empty, abandoned warehouse and grain silos that were empty except for soil and animal feed.” (Source URL: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/11/turkey-says-sarin-gas-was-used-at-syria-chemical-attack )

    Unless these conflicting accounts can be independently confirmed, the VIPS’ account will likely be dismissed.

    • Beard681
      April 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Turkey? The country that just arrested thousands of journalists in a post coup crackdown? Warehouse? The bodies were shown to be in a quarry with dug out chambers for storing equipment.

  34. April 11, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Listen to these good ecpericed people who you should trust. Do not lose the trust of the American people who supported you.Act decidevily and sign off on Glass Steagall before it is too late. Dont try and bignote yourself

  35. art
    April 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    It’s good to see Thomas Drake as one of the VIPS. He was demonized by Bush and persecuted by obama. As a whistle-blower at the NSA his files were purged and I believe he avoided prison time but they tried to destroy his livelihood.
    I believe that President Trump played the false flag chem attack by firing missiles at the empty air base and warned Assad and Putin what he was going to do. This action sure changed the narrative the Trump is a puppet of Putin and left the liberal press and dems scratching their heads as to how to further demonize the President. Also was a show of force to China et – al that Trump is not to be messed with.
    Too many people don’t give President Donald J. Trump enough credit for thinking steps ahead of the game.

  36. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    April 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    The real tragedy that I see is that this very “memo” was sent to G.W. Bush before the Iraq invasion over 14 years ago and see where we are now. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is “insanity”………………….

    Now, the lunatics in D.C. and Jerusalem are running the world and the rest of humanity are just reacting. That is NOT a plan. Those lunatics are like a drunk driver of a massive killing machine and must be stopped…………..The so called “Left” is so divided and useless to start with and the whole political theater is no more than a “show”……..no substance………The system is the system and the only thing that changes is the ACTORS……………..The UN and Security Council are models of dictatorship not democracy and the world needs a new and truly representative WORLD SYSTEM………..Veto power needs to be done away with……….it is about time for a true people’s movement but people need leaders…………..why don’t the Sane Intelligence Professionals run for offices at whatever level they see themselves fit?! Standing on the outside writing a “memo” and thinking that it will alter Trump’s opinion is in itself kind of INSANE……..I will also keep repeating it. PUT THE BANKERS OUT OF BUSINESS……

  37. April 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    The motive for Russia to cancel the cooperation agreement was not the airstrike on the airbase. That is irrelevant to the agreement.

    The motive is that the US leaked details of the attack to the terrorists beforehand. The Al Nusrah terrorists were tipped off about the bombing and allowed to stage casualties. Al Nusrah is a CIA “asset” and proxy.

    https://twitter.com/WithinSyriaBlog/status/849240804556242944

  38. CitizenOne
    April 11, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Our media totally sucks. We have the worst media in the World. I get it. We are newbies. We have never witnessed first hand the destruction of our nation. Unlike Europe and Russia which have centuries of it including the horrors of the 20th century in Europe where horrified citizens witnessed the destruction of their nations.

    We simply are not skeptics. We believe what we are told by the media. We are suckers and are turkeys ripe for plucking. Trump is a wild card. He is either a pathological liar or he believes in conspiracy theories or is merely a manipulative opportunist or is just trying to rescue himself from the onslaught of Washington as it tries to corral him into a corner or he is all of the above. It really does not matter what his problems are. But what is paramount is the decisions he might make. Right now he seems to be veering off path and falling prey to the insider Washington establishment that put him in the vice grip of Russia Gate.

    When almost every single major media outlet is assigning blame for everything including the election and the chemical attack in Syria on the Russians it is time for a skeptical view to say wait a minute. But Trump seems to be on a roll and he is being rewarded through praise from every major media outlet and all the democrats and republicans including Hillary Clinton who he ran against for saying lets not wait a moment. Lets act on instinct and launch attacks on the spur of the moment based on the intelligence he is receiving from insider Washington sources.

    Where is the Trump who said he would drain the swamp? Where is the Trump who called Obama’s plan to attack Syria reckless?

    Trumps sudden reversal as an opponent of the media and an opponent of war mongering and an opponent of the media stems from the fact that they mounted a unified campaign to bring him to heel for the masters of the foreign policy for making war.

    This is a dangerous turn and we know that Trump can become a useful idiot for the establishment if he sees an advantage in it.

    Great article but I do not think that a guy who made a living on Fox News as the Father of Birtherism for years is tightly linked to reality. I doubt that a guy who has lied for years will suddenly stand up to defend the truth.

    Perhaps this is the greatest crime ever committed by the media. They embezzled billions of dollars from the republican Super PACs by providing their paper tiger with billions in free advertising knowing that they would end up with a useful idiot whom they could corral int doing their bidding by squeezing him and pillory him in the press for being a Manchurian Candidate and bring him to heel to do their bidding.

    Now they have him in their grip. They have forced him into a confrontation with Russia which suits their interests since they will see only profits from war. He is being pushed into a geopolitical conflict of their own making and he is taking the bait.

    Obama and Hillary are also to blame for their flaccid non opposition to the forces clamoring for war. They were war mongers and set the stage by being compliant in the hopes of favorable media coverage which never materialized. They set the stage in Ukraine and Syria for a collision with Russia. All the media had to do was to turn Trump to the dark side.

    They have done that. That is why I think our media sucks more than any other media in the World.

  39. Slavica
    April 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    If trump wanted to hear what normal, every day Americans want or care about (after they helped him being elected) he should have never filled his cabinet with bunch of neocons, bankers, and generals. ) Here comes handy a paragraph from The Saker:

    “I mostly liked Flynn. I had no use for Bannon at all. But the fact is that they were not my best friends, they were Trump’s best friends. And instead of standing up for them, he sacrificed them to the always bloodthirsty Neocons in the hope of appeasing them. This is what I wrote about this stupid and deeply immoral betrayal the day it happened:
    Remember how Obama showed his true face when he hypocritically denounced his friend and pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.? Today, Trump has shown us his true face. Instead of refusing Flynn’s resignation and instead of firing those who dared cook up these ridiculous accusations against Flynn, Trump accepted the resignation. This is not only an act of abject cowardice, it is also an amazingly stupid and self-defeating betrayal because now Trump will be alone, completely alone, facing the likes of Mattis and Pence – hard Cold Warrior types, ideological to the core, folks who want war and simply don’t care about reality.
    And now Trump has betrayed HIMSELF by turning against everything he, himself, stood for. This is almost Shakespearean in its pathetic and tragic aspects!
    During his campaign Trump made a lot of excellent promises and he did inspire millions of Americans to support him. I personally believe that he was sincere in his intentions, and I don’t buy the “it was all an act” theory at all. Just look at the total panic of the Neocons at the prospects of a Trump victory and tell me this was all fake. No, I think that Trump was sincere. But when confronted with the ruthless opposition of the Neocons and the US deep state, Trump snapped and instantly broke because he is clearly completely spineless and has the ethics and morals of a trailer park prostitute.
    So what we really have is a sad and pathetic version of Obama. A kind of Obama 2.0 if you want. The man inspired millions, he promised change you can believe in, and he delivered absolutely nothing except for an abject subservience to the real masters and owners of the United States: the Neocons and the deep state.”
    I wish anything decent or sane can reach this man any longer, let alone a letter from the veterans.
    Wasn’t Trump (as a president) that one who did not have the time to come and meet the group of veterans which visited White House, back in February, but sent some of his staffers?

    http://thesaker.is/a-multi-level-analysis-of-the-us-cruise-missile-attack-on-syria-and-its-consequences/

  40. Joe
    April 11, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Except bombing a spin depot BURNS IT, doesn’t disperse it.

    And get rid of Scott Ritter and Gravel, You have NO CREDIBILITY with those two in your group.

    • Marko
      April 11, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      A ridiculous claim , intended to distract and gaslight. Line up sarin containers over a distance twice as large as the damage area of a bomb blast. Drop the bomb on the first container in line. It’s completely vaporized and consumed in the fiery blast , rendering it harmless. The same is true of nearby containers. Further down the line , however , some containers are merely punctured by shrapnel , the sarin is released and is carried away by the wind. Still further down the line , some containers are untouched.

      This ain’t brain surgery. Give the readers here more credit.

  41. Joe
    April 11, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    “Except bombing a warehouse storing SARIN BURNS IT, doesn’t disperse it”

    /fixed

  42. Robert vernon
    April 12, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Just a simple thank you hopefully the message will get through

  43. Liam
    April 12, 2017 at 7:29 am

    If Trump really cares about babies so much, maybe he can ask John McCain why’s he financing the head chopping White Helmet terrorists that actually conducted the false flag attack. https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/04/10/false-flagger-al-nusra-front-terrorist-reporter-hadi-abdallah-first-responder-to-chemical-massacre-in-idlib-syria-on-april-4th-2017/

    False Flagger: Al-Nusra Front Terrorist ‘Reporter’ Hadi Abdallah First Responder to Chemical Massacre in Idlib, Syria on April 4th, 2017

  44. Del
    April 12, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Sanity is a scarcity these days. Thank you and may this be shared wide and far.

  45. Annie Anonymous
    April 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    A million thanks to the VIPS and all the other good people who have or will share this information with others on as large of a scale as is possible. The truth is setting us free from big lies, but as many know the corporate “news” agencies are servants for the ruling elite, and for information like this to do any good, it has to be spread around. As Thom Hartmann says regularly, “Democracy is NOT a spectator sport…it begins with you.” and we’re all “it”.

  46. Steven Mark Hayden
    April 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Well said. If a USA President can determine facts without a trial and determine that foreign military members deserve death without a trial …………..then that is equivalent to declaration of war. If only 23 of 59 Tomahawks reached the target due to EMP , then someone is lying. Things are not looking well for peace. If DPRK is evacuating Pyongyang ….something big is going down. God ,fate, and destiny favor the just not the unjust. The follower of Truth who is faithful unto death shall inherit a crown of righteousness.

  47. John M
    April 12, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    They provide no evidence for point #2 except anonymous sources. VIPS made the same dubious claim for the 2013 CW attack.

  48. Chris P
    April 12, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Well said. Too bad the bought and paid for media won’t be reporting this any time soon

  49. Bill from Brighton
    April 12, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Let us start from the premise that Donald Trump is not the wack job his detractors would have America believe. Has he earned such consideration?

    Well, at age 70 he became POTUS, but as early as late in the Reagan administration he began musings that the idea was not out of the question. Why was that? He began to assert there had not been, nor were there at the time, politicians making noises about running for President who were fundamentally motivated by what they truly believed were policies that were best for America and for all of the American people.

    Subsequent administrations appeared to affirm his resolve. After a couple of false starts (were they really?) he went all in after accomplishing much in life on his own terms to which few could ever lay claim. Turned out he was a Black Swan of the first order. Anyone who thinks it was luck, or outside influences, or any of the many other claims that he flummoxed his way to the Oval Office would, in my opinion, be deluding themselves.

    Despite real successes from day one of his term, Trump was outflanked time and again by political enemies and erstwhile friends. Even Senator McCain had the audacity to make a trip to Syria to glad hand local terrorists. Then out of the blue, Assad is widely accused of having once again committed the worst of all possible atrocities against his own. At a time when it was becoming abundantly clear his army and that of his major ally were actually getting an upper hand.

    Of the myriad of options open to Trump in the context of his first 80 days or so, what does a rational President do? Would it be out of the question then that his outrageous and allegedly illegal bombing order, combined with the incredulous affirmation of the Obama/Clinton demonization of Assad, are in themselves false flags?

  50. vkfriendly
    April 12, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you for your position, there are people in America with a cold head and an open heart. Russia is constantly being made a terrible morde in the eyes of the whole world.null

  51. Thomas
    April 13, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Never have I witnessed such stupidity by the now President Trump by believing Assad responsible for these Chemical attacks. He had i reason to.
    Worst of all when the news claims that he was influenced by his daughter.
    Russia is not responsible either and they will never abandon loyalty to Assad who is the only legitimate cleric president who is protecting Christians from ISIS and other rebels.

  52. Thomas
    April 13, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Good article and well presented by this group
    Let’s hope these neocons listen!

  53. Tom Carlstrom
    April 13, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Can you send me the party affiliation of and donations to political parties made by the people who signed this message?

  54. JimmyBean
    April 13, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Good Afternoon,

    Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation- This is the best collection of “truth” and sound logic I have seen since this whole situation broke out and am totally in agreement with each and every statement you have made within this memorandum.

    We hope that President Trump gets to read it before the “Deep State” get its way and starts an armed conflict in the Middle East.

    With that being said, will it not always be the aim of the Sunni Muslims/US foreign policy to depose the Alawite Muslims, Shia Muslims and Christians in Syria? This can never be good for any of the many religions in the area.

    It is time in this world’s short human history to eradicate it of hate, apathy and destruction and destroy the true enemy- ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, all their affiliates globally.

  55. RussG553
    April 13, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Perfectly written letter.

  56. Tom Carlstrom
    April 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Is Putin a bad guy?

  57. April 15, 2017 at 2:21 am
  58. Dorothy Lazier
    April 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Trump is acting as impulsively as a 4year old child. He is a disgrace to the country and a huge danger.
    love,
    Dorothy

  59. David J
    April 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

    What facts support this version of the story?

    The Syrian government claimed it was US warplanes that attacked the factory. Then they claimed the photos were a hoax, perpetuated by child actors to give the US a provocation to take action. So now you’re saying it was Syrian warplanes that bombed a factory? Where do these facts come from?

    Why do you use the term “noxious chemicals” to make it seem like the US reacted to nothing? The Turkish medical examiner confirmed the states of the bodies was consistent with a nerve agent like Sarin gas, and even Assad’s regime claimed they were chemical weapons from a terrorist chemical weapons cache. Do you agree chemical weapons were released, or are you trying to say those are lies too?

    As written, this article does not come across as very plausible.

  60. Alessandra Nucci
    April 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Sure hope the President is listening

  61. ger
    April 17, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    to the stellene volandes and her magazine another editor from more magazine jonny lichtenstein got involved in dirty coraption business with crazy cbs anchor otis livingston to rob town coutry magazine employees bank accounts. never trust jonny lichtenstein and otis livingston they bouth belongs in jail.

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