More NYT ‘Spin’ on the Syria-Sarin Case

Exclusive: The New York Times is at it again with another slanted report on the April 4 chemical weapons incident in Syria, applying ridicule rather than reason to prevent a real evaluation of this war-or-peace moment, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

In blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the April 4 chemical incident in Khan Sheikhoun, The New York Times and other Western news outlets have made a big deal out of discrepancies in the timing and other details provided by the Syrian and Russian governments.

A photo of the crater containing the alleged canister that supposedly disbursed sarin in Khan Sheikdoun, Syria, on April 4, 2017.

The Times and the others also have chided anyone who notes that Assad had no logical reason to undertake a sarin attack since his forces were making solid gains and he had just learned that the Trump administration was dropping the longstanding U.S. goal of “regime change” in Syria.

To those of us outside the mainstream media bubble, there seemed to be little or no military advantage to be gained. Instead,Assad would be risking more international intervention, which has ripped his country apart for the past six years. But the Times and other major outlets dismissed our logic by arguing that Assad was simply announcing his impunity in some particularly brutal Arab-sort-of-way.

However, neither the value that the Times and others placed on the Russian-Syrian timing discrepancies nor the strange explanation of Assad’s motive made any sense. After all, if Assad were making some bizarre public declaration of his impunity, why would he then deny that his forces were responsible for the chemical attack? Wouldn’t he simply say, “yes, I did it and I don’t care what anyone thinks”? Isn’t that what impunity means: that you do whatever you want knowing that no one can hold you accountable? Instead, Assad has consistently denied ordering the attack.

The gotcha observation about the time element of the bombings fails the logic test, too. Why would Syria and Russia say Syrian warplanes carried out a conventional attack on Khan Sheikhoun around noon if the actual attack occurred around 6 a.m., as it apparently did? There was nothing to be gained for them by having the timing off by six hours, since the point that Syria and Russia were making was that there were indeed airstrikes but that they were conventional bombs that may have unintentionally struck an Al Qaeda depot holding chemical weapons and thus released them. The timing element was immaterial to that point.

What this apparent timing error suggests is confusion, not “spin,” as the Times insists in a tendentious April 27 video by Malachy Browne, Natalie Reneau and Mark Scheffler, entitled “How Syria and Russia Spun a Chemical Strike.”

The Syrians and Russians appeared perplexed by what had happened. Their officials understood that a conventional airstrike had been carried out and stated what they believed the time was. The time discrepancy either meant the Syrian air-wing commander had dispatched warplanes earlier than expected or that some other entity carried out the 6 a.m. strike. But the Syrians and the Russians would seem to have no reason to lie about this detail.

The Times also makes a big deal out of Assad denying that the attack took place — and the video then shows some bombs exploding. But that is just the Times deceiving people. Assad is not denying that a bombing raid took place; he’s denying his military’s deployment of chemical weapons.

Intervention by Air

Another false assumption pervading the Western accounts on this and other chemical incidents in Syria is that only the Syrian government and its Russian allies have control of the skies. That is clearly not true. Various military forces, including those of the U.S. and its allies, as well as Israel and – to some degree – the rebels have air capabilities in Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to Syrian accounts, the rebels have captured some government helicopters and apparently used one in what United Nations investigators were told by multiple eyewitnesses was a staged chemical-weapons attack in 2014 with the goal of sticking the blame on the Syrian regime.

Further, the U.S. and its allies have been conducting airstrikes across much of Syria in campaigns against Islamic State and Al Qaeda-linked terror groups, which have been supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Sunni-led sheikdoms. Turkey has been active, too, with strikes against Kurdish forces. And Israel has hit repeatedly at Syrian targets to promote what it regards as its interests, including destruction of Iranian weapons believed headed to the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah.

Some – if not all – of these entities had a far stronger motive to create a chemical-weapons incident in Syria on April 4 than the Syrian government did. At the end of March, the Trump administration announced that it was no longer a U.S. priority to overthrow the Assad government, an announcement that upset several of the countries involved in the Syrian conflict, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel.

All of them – having committed resources and prestige to achieve “regime change” in Syria – had motive to overturn President Trump’s pronouncement. (Israel has had “regime change” in Syria at the top of its to-do list since at least the mid-1990s.) How better to keep that hope alive than to stage another chemical-weapons attack and blame it on Assad?(Another sarin attack in August 2013 also now appears to have been a staged incident by Al Qaeda that killed hundreds while almost tricking President Obama into ordering a massive U.S. military strike on government forces.)

Shortly after the incident at Khan Sheikhoun, I was told by an intelligence source that U.S. satellite imagery had picked up what looked like a drone in the vicinity at around the time that the poison gas was released. Despite some technical difficulties in tracking its route, the source said the analysts believed that it may have come from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base in Jordan, used to assist the rebels.

There are also other combinations of factors that should have been carefully evaluated before President Trump jumped to his Assad-did-it conclusion and fired off 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase on April 6, but they weren’t given serious thought in the rush to blame Assad.

For instance, Al Qaeda’s clever propagandists could have again staged a chemical attack on the ground by creating a crater in the road and inserting what was purported to be a chemical-weapons canister. The Times and others have noted that the crater was not visible in earlier satellite images but that observation doesn’t mean the crater had to be created by an aerial bomb; a ground explosion or simple digging could have done the trick – with the crushed canister inserted later.

Dubious Narrative

The canister-in-the-crater story struck MIT’s technology and national security expert Theodore Postol as particularly odd because on-scene photos showed people climbing into the supposedly sarin-saturated crater wearing minimal protection and not keeling over dead. Postol also said the canister appeared to have been crushed rather than exploded.

Photograph of men in Khan Sheikdoun in Syria, allegedly inside a crater where a sarin-gas bomb landed.

There is also the possibility that some third party with access to sarin or other powerful chemical weapons could have delivered the poison gas by air – possibly from that drone – with the rebels either coordinating with that delivery before the fact or reacting to the opportunity after the fact.

The hard truth is that intelligence services from a number of countries could fit the bill in terms of producing sarin or some similar substance that could mimic what Syria once had in its arsenal, although those chemical weapons were supposedly destroyed in 2014 as part of an agreement hammered out by Russia and the United States.

And there are plenty of ruthless intelligence operatives on all sides who would have found the deaths of 80 or so people acceptable collateral damage to advance a geopolitical priority. The timing, so close to the Trump administration’s major announcement that Assad no longer had to go, would have represented a logical motive for such a ruse.

The other problem in assessing what has or hasn’t happened in Syria over the past six years is that all sides, but particularly those seeking “regime change,” have deployed sophisticated propaganda operations to the combat zone.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

Anti-regime activists – financed and supplied by the West and the Gulf States – understand the emotional value of showing dying children. These propagandists have regular and uncritical access to major Western media outlets, from the hipsters at VICE to the neocons and liberal-interventionists at The New York Times.

In other words, what is still desperately needed in this latest chapter of the Syrian tragedy is some honest broker who could conduct a serious investigation that isn’t contaminated by all the previous propaganda-infused narratives. But the chances of finding that person or group are slim to none.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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144 comments for “More NYT ‘Spin’ on the Syria-Sarin Case

  1. April 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    thank you, again…almost wretched at watching parts of that dreadfully stupid nyt “evidence” that syria and russia were engaging in the very mind managing consciousness control that is the business of major media here at freedom central, where the master race of self chosen people live…you perform a vital service.

    fs

    • Erik G
      April 28, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Yes, it is vital, another essential counterpoint to the mass media propaganda.

      Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
      https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

      Although the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

      • Eric Downey
        April 30, 2017 at 1:47 am

        Done.

    • lon
      April 29, 2017 at 12:44 am

      Are you blind? This story has so many blatant errors in easy English. DUH!!!

      • john wilson
        April 29, 2017 at 4:43 am

        The real puzzle with the NYT and other news outlets who put forward these absurd stories and conclusions, is do they really believe it as individuals?! When they are alone with their thoughts what are they really thinking? These journalists are generally speaking educated men and women, probably with a degree in journalism or English, So do they have an in built blind spot about whats obvious, or is it just one great big group think conspiracy? I have said before on these forums, that people who go into politics and government start out with apparently independent minds, but change instantly when they are actually there. It seems to be the same with journalists. Maybe they are inoculated against independent thought when they first ‘join up’. Its inconceivable to that the majority of people in government and the media are completely unable to see what’s staring them in the face and obvious.

        • Koen
          April 29, 2017 at 10:07 am

          I would *love* to read a psychological / sociological analysis of these thought & social processes.

        • Dave P.
          April 29, 2017 at 10:38 pm

          John, You raised a very interesting question. “. . ..do they really believe it as individuals? When they are alone with their thoughts what they are they really thinking?” I used to ponder about this this question a lot.

          During the Iraq War when Condoleezza Rice and Collin Powell were blurting out all this Garbage of lies at The U.N.O. and other places, I asked a Scientist friend of ours the same question. Do these people really believe in what they are saying? What kind of People are these in their lives? He said right out: They are what you see on the TV, they are real, they become like that.

          People on the farms, whether they were rich or poor were free to think and make up their own minds, and do their own thing The modern man is kind of a slave of the Corporations. Yes, he has the freedom to move. But where does he move to – another Corporation. In the end he has to accept his condition or else he will be in constant conflict with himself, and may not be able to function productively.

          Journalists are exactly in the same condition, no different than other workers. They are making a living working for a corporation or Organization and do what product the Corporation wants him to sell. So, one has to look at who are the owners of these Corporations, and their agenda. And in the end they become like that – good salesmen of that agenda.

          Eric Fromm in the Afterword of the George Orwell’s book “1984” gives a very good example of salesman working for a company. To the salesman the quality of the product of the company is the Truth at that moment. When he leaves that company and joins the other company who is competitor of the previous company. To the salesman, the quality of the product of the new company he has joined is the Truth then.

          These Clintons, Obamas, Cheneys are not fakes. In constant pursuit of Power, Fame, and Wealth, they have become like that. They are far removed from the World of electorate they deceive, and fool all the time. The very thought that these NeoCons, Military Brass, Politicians are as we see them from their actions, is very frightening.

        • April 30, 2017 at 1:35 am

          Maybe because for us, solving the presented conundrum is more important than who wins fallout. And those who are wrapped up and invested in winning and WHO wins… They have no interest in the veracity of the conclusion, opart from how it contributes to their side prevailing…!!

        • Sam F
          April 30, 2017 at 7:31 am

          Those of us who seek to be rational and just err in assuming that wrongdoers have any such concern. The selfish person without sympathy makes a lifelong study of that which is persuasive and effective rather than that which is rational and just. They know that ethics is an obstacle to promotion, and consider the ethical to be “losers.” They are well aware that, as H.L. Mencken put it (approx.) “The average man avoids truth [because] it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn’t pay.”

          Oligarchy can rely upon a combination of fearmongering and mass media repetition of nonsense and exclusion of criticism. They also rely upon suppression of dialogue in the primary workplace venues of discourse, and threats to employment security. And of course oligarchy has the rewards that support the duopoly racketeers and their supporters. Most know that the path to wealth and power is adoption of the very rationales that enslave them.

          So there are plenty of recruits for oligarchy mass media among the enslaved conforming population, and they well know how to control their own kind.

        • tjoe
          May 1, 2017 at 7:27 am

          Try being honest and against corruption at the masters level in Public Administration or law…Honest people need not apply….won’t pass the gatekeeper classes.

        • Jim
          May 1, 2017 at 8:42 am

          Good questions John. This is an under-reported story. How does this happen? Are they all given a script and told to follow; or shown the exit? A report showed that right before the invasion of Iraq, some 300 op-ed pieces were written about the upcoming invasion, and just 3 were anti-war. How could this be; unless it is somehow orchestrated?

          I wish we would get more analysis of this; instead of copious amounts of articles of what the media does. We know that already; we read and listen to it everyday. The How’s and Why’s need to researched.

        • Jeff Davis
          May 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm

          On one hand they — pols and presstitutes — derive a very substantial income from propagandizing for their paymasters. The “stick” accompanying this carrot is that, should they dare to object — dare to stand up for the truth — they almost certainly face immediate termination followed by blacklisting/unemployability.

          But before getting all smugly self-righteous, consider the old saying: “Every man has his price.” For example, Rachel Maddow gets $30,000 a ***DAY***. What would you do for $30,000 a day?

      • Sam F
        April 29, 2017 at 5:58 am

        Apparently ‘Lon’ is referring to this article not the NYT article, and cannot support his deprecation.

      • April 30, 2017 at 1:20 am

        Would you please list for US the most egregious errors that you observed for OUR edification… We would greatly appreciate you sharing your discoveries.

        We will be greatly appreciative for your help.. Thank You very much for your imput Ion..

    • Kiza
      April 29, 2017 at 10:34 am

      I wonder how many people here realise the high level of similarity between propaganda re Syrian “civil war” and propaganda re. Bosnian “civil war” of 1992. In both wars the Radical if not Fundamentalist Muslims were the US darlings and lovingly called “moderate”. Although there were no chemical weapons in Bosnia to make such claims, the propaganda was almost identical. For example, in Bosnia they used blond children as victims, in Syria they used blond children (victims of the gas attack that Ivanka cried about). There are tens of other similar examples.

      The only propaganda meme missing from Syria yet is the rape one, which has been utilised in Bosnia and in Libya quite heavily (the Serbs raped 300,000 Muslim women out of the population of 900,000 and Ghadafi distributed Viagra pills to his soldiers to help with rapes).

      There must be a manual somewhere on how to run this regime change war propaganda 101. Why change something when it works? The people’s memory is so short, just change the name of the country and blast away through the MSM channels.

      • Antiwar7
        April 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm

        Yes, there probably is a manual about that. Would be great if it was leaked.

        • Jeff Davis
          May 1, 2017 at 4:05 pm

          Oded Yinon Plan

          • Kiza
            May 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm

            Jeff, OYP is a top level strategic plan, not a how-to-do manual for propaganda. They appear to have these propaganda templates, in which they just change the date, the name of the country and maybe a few other minor details and then distribute through propaganda channels. Each propaganda template serves a defined population segment, for example the template on rapes serves the feminist and divorced women segment (the men-haters) and so on.

    • Hank
      May 2, 2017 at 10:04 am

      All this “evidence” that the media/government tries to force down American’s ignorant throats and there is not ONE question as to how a man with Assad’s leadership skills would do something so stupid as to hand an “excuse” for MORE foreign intervention in his nation! The answer, of course, is that he wouldn’t. At this point in time, any American who STILL believes the easily-disproved lies of the establishment is unknowingly a traitor to this nation for allowing themselves to be so pathetically ignorant and accepting of all the media/government’s lies! America’s foreign AND domestic policies are based on blatant lies and unproven assertions!

    • Hank
      May 2, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Let’s face it people- ALL of the major media outlets AND the government that it reports are LIARS. And these lies keep getting dispensed because USA “leaders” peddling them know that they can fool a dumbed-down American population time and again!

  2. Paul
    April 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    This: “And there are plenty of ruthless intelligence operatives on all sides who would have found the deaths of 80 or so people acceptable collateral damage to advance a geopolitical priority. The timing, so close to the Trump administration’s major announcement that Assad no longer had to go, would have represented a logical motive for such a ruse.”

    And it it’s not just that Assad had no motive for this attack. He had an overwhelming disincentive to stage such an attack! This alone should suffice to demonstrate the vapidity of the NYTs narrative. And all of this is so obvious. Yet honest journalists such as Robert Parry are forced, repeatedly, to try to prove that water is wet. Is it mass ignorance that is to blame, or mass cowardice?

    • April 28, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      “… try to prove that water is wet.”

      lolz!
      As funny as that is, it is sad how well indoctrinated society is.

      • April 30, 2017 at 1:46 am

        Like the torture memos the bush folks circulated about claiming that, unless there was great and permanent bodily injury, it wasn’t torture. Just “harsh”.

        I employ the mother measure. If someone did it to your mother, wold you call it harsh or torture…

    • April 28, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Mass propaganda brainwashing by the most skillfull brainwashers on Earth.

      • john wilson
        April 29, 2017 at 4:49 am

        You are right of course Garrrett, but what does that say about the few of us on these kinds of forums who are clearly not brainwashed? How did we escape brainwashing bath time? Is it that out brains are wired differently? As I have posted above, I just can’t get my head around this conundrum.

        • Kiza
          April 29, 2017 at 9:32 am

          Hello John, my explanation is that we are the minority which is interested in finding out the real truth. This is why we bother to come online and read more opinions then the single one promoted by all MSM. It is not hard at all to come online and read opinions from both sides. But most people just do not care to know the truth and even reject the truth if we try to tell them. Another segment of people only believes what comes from authoritative sources such as MSM – if it is not on TV then it has not happened or it has not happened any other way then what TV says.

          The fundamental flaw is that most education teaches children to respect authority instead of encouraging their critical thinking.

        • April 29, 2017 at 11:10 am

          This is why most people just do not care to know the truth and even reject the truth if one try to tell them.

          http://stormcloudsgathering.com/how-to-stop-ww3/

          • April 29, 2017 at 11:47 am

            interesting article….thanks

          • backwardsevolution
            April 29, 2017 at 12:39 pm

            Common Tater – there is a huge divide in the country, a gigantic split, no doubt manufactured by the Deep State. But I see it like this: the progressive Left are aligned with the neocons/neoliberals. Then there’s everybody else.

            When did the Left start wanting war? They’re out protesting, smashing up Berkeley, but they’re not protesting war. Why not? Because, without even realizing it, they’re in league with the neocons/neoliberals.

            One-half of the country IS getting it. They do realize that you can’t demand a decent wage if borders are wide open. They do realize that their jobs have been offshored, and they also realize that war with another nuclear power could end their lives. They don’t believe the story behind 9/11, and they don’t trust their government (they wanted the “swamp” drained).

            The elite have made sure that there are enough vested interests out there, each vying for their own particular cause (bathrooms, for instance), that they can’t see the forest for the trees. Perfect.

          • Sam F
            April 29, 2017 at 1:17 pm

            backwardsevolution, I would suggest that much of the progressive left media has simply been commandeered by the oligarchy, and their readers deluded to support rightwing policies. Most of the right and left are less concerned with truth than personal interests, and so easily deluded.

            I do not count the irrational among the progressives, even when they vote that way. They will vote their interests only when the mass media are freed of oligarchy control.

          • April 29, 2017 at 2:16 pm

            It is necessary to stop labeling in order to stop this war.
            The divide begins with the label, and it alienates one group from the other.
            At the moment there are those who have removed the veil placed in front of their eyes, and those who have not yet realized the veil exists.
            Battle lines are drawn when those who believe their freedoms are under attack, are labeled as neocons, neolibs, or progressives, conservatives, left, and right. If those lines are removed, there will remain one common cause, taking back the state from the corporations.

    • Dave P.
      April 29, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Paul, It all makes perfect sense what you are saying.But we have to go back and watch Trump’s interviews with journalists during the last seven six or seven years, we will find out lot more about his strategy. In one of the interviews he said that you see how Putin has out-maneuvered Obama and his team at every step. This briefing by Tillerson that Assad does not have to go, and then this Sarin gas incident staging and Missiles attack is part of Trump’s strategy. Tillerson was lying when he talked about Assad does not have to go.

      Saying some thing like ‘Assad has not to go’ and doing the opposite is part of this Trump and his team’s strategy. They are trying to keep Russians unbalanced. U.S. as a Nation is not beholden to any International Law. They do whatever they want to do and all the E.U. Vassal States are behind them. MSM – NYT, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and the rest – and NeoCon infested Think Tanks, MIC, are accomplices in it. For the World, it is a law of the jungle now.

      As many people in the Comments section have pointed out before, all media – Newspapers, magazines, TV networks, Movie Studios, and all that – are controlled by a few oligarchs? A media under such complete control stands the First Amendment freedom of the press on its head. Fighting for True Freedom of the Press is the real issue of our time. At the birth of the Nation, it’s leaders knew that press freedom was essential for the new Republic. Our media freedom has been completely eroded by unbridled capitalism, now in it’s extreme form of Global Neo-Liberalism.

      Nothing will work until Control of Media by the Oligarches is dismantled and the battle for Freedom of Press is won by the Masses.

    • Jeff Davis
      May 1, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      “And it it’s not just that Assad had no motive for this attack. He had an overwhelming disincentive to stage such an attack! This alone should suffice to demonstrate the vapidity of the NYTs narrative. And all of this is so obvious. Yet honest journalists such as Robert Parry are forced, repeatedly, to try to prove that water is wet.”

      I keep waiting for some panelist on CNN, msnbc, or Fox,… or any major or minor media outlet for that matter — even RT — to just state the obvious bluntly as fact, that it was a false flag. Not: “likely”, “probably”, “logically”, “perhaps”, “apparently”, “It may very well be”, etc… you know, without weasley “wiggle” word equivocations, asserting with certainty that this was a false flag. The fact that the “investigation” has not yet been conducted —
      and never will be — is irrelevant, because the evidence is already there in the phony “evidence” provided by the White House and the US “intelligence” community, and the phony “evidence” provided by the CIA’s Syrian al Qaeda regime-change “media specialists”.

      But instead of putting the propagandists on the defensive, and forcing them to humiliate themselves trying to justify their self-evident bs, the propagandists bullhorn their lie out there first, getting it “halfway round the world”, before the truth tellers “get their boots on”. Every discussion of this “fakenews” journalistic criminality should start with: “This latest false flag from the CIA and al Qaeda, is yet another demonstration of the central role played by psyops, ie “perception management”, in the CIA’s continuing effort at regime change in Syria.”

      I despise the CIA, but they’re just doing what comes natural to them: leopard/spots. And doing it passably well. The truth-tellers on the other hand totally suck at their job of pushback.

  3. mike k
    April 28, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    If there is still a human society fifty years from now these establishment lies will still be told. It is inconceivable that these people would ever admit being wrong about anything.

    • mike k
      April 28, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      The Master Race of White Americans must be presented as perfect, never making a mistake and always speaking truth. Those who question that must be silenced or eliminated.

      • Beard681
        May 1, 2017 at 9:37 am

        Obama? Colin Powell? Rice? To just name a few war makers/liars.

  4. Marko
    April 28, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    The timing problem is troubling. The airstrike mushroom clouds in the video are pretty clearly illuminated by early-morning sun. Then we have the flight track provided by U.S. intel that shows a Syrian jet in the area at ~6:30 AM. Yet the Syrians and Russians insist their airstrike was ~11:30 or so. Something seems out of whack.

    The airstrike video was reportedly made by a drone from a Turkish news station ( HQ in Gaziantep , aka takfiri central ) that just happened to be in the perfect position to record the airstrike , but not to actually film any aircraft. I guess this drone would be too small to be the one seen on satellite images.

    A couple of possibilities : 1) The Syrian jet tracked by radar at 6:30 AM was just doing recon for the late-morning bombing run. 2) The mushroom clouds were not from bombs , but from artillery , by either the Syrians , as part of routine battlefield activities , or by the rebels , as part of their very special false-flag activities , or 3) The mushroom clouds were caused by rebel-placed remote-detonated explosives , set up so that they could be detonated whenever a Syrian aircraft was in the vicinity , which would then also trigger the release of the sarin ( by explosion , rocket , whatever ) , and/or the release of the warehoused gassed or drugged victims ( i.e. captives ) for delivery to crisis scenes.

    • FobosDeimos
      April 28, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      As I said elsewhere, and as Parry himself correctly points out, at this point the propaganda coming out of all sides involved is prevalent. To me, it seems impossible to rule anything out. On April 4,5 and 6 there were not only timing discrepancies between the Syrian and the Russian accounts. The Syrians simply said that the attack did not happen; that it was a charade and that there were no deaths, let alone by gas poisoning. Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that the Syrian Air Force had indeed attacked the area, had hit a terrorist warehouse storing CW and that the gas was carried away to Khan Sheykhoun, with the result of civilians being killed by such gas. The NYT is certainly nothing but a propaganda mouthpiece, but the facts remain very murky.

      • Abe
        April 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

        FobosDeimos repeats false allegations about “discrepancies between the Syrian and the Russian accounts”
        See comments at https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/14/did-al-qaeda-fool-the-white-house-again/ for detailed rebuttal

      • Gregory Herr
        April 28, 2017 at 11:37 pm

        I think you may be over-stretching this discrepancy thing. Syria did not deny the arms depot attack, the U.S. was notified of the operation per U.S.-Russian agreement, and Assad’s comments about the whole thing being a hoax refers generally to the idea of the SAA using chemical weapons and specifically to the “rescue” video.
        Yes, the facts are murky because the area is under control of terrorists. But the video and pictorial “evidence”, not to mention anything else that amounts to viable corroboration, is as ridiculously suspect as the White Helmets themselves. Perhaps the warehouse strike did inadvertently cause some chemical poisoning in the area while at the same time, the video “evidence” was a separate perpetration of fraud.

      • Kiza
        April 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

        “The Syrians simply said that the attack did not happen” Would you please care to provide a reference/link to this Syrian Government claim from any source, even MSM. Or are you shooting fog from your behind as always?

        • FobosDeimos
          April 29, 2017 at 12:52 pm

          This is from Sana, the official Syrian news agency. Look at how the government line is reflected in the headline. Buried within Assad’s answer to question # 12 is a reference to the Syrian Air Force attack having taken place at 11:30 AM, not 6:30 AM, which is when the reports on the killings started to circulate. Then he turns to his explanation that the whole thing was fabricated, as the headline reflects.

          http://sana.sy/en/?p=104753

          • Kiza
            April 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm

            I love your logic – if one side claims that the attack happened at a different time than your side claims – then this other side claims that the attack never happened. You are already a legend here at CN, the fog of war generator.

    • April 28, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      I am having a timing problem also…but it is on the US side…from the time Defense Int. would have “learned” about the incident, to the time Donald Dump gave the go ahead…there isnt time to find flight paths and load targeting , blah blah for 59 cruise missles…something smells here as well….

      • Gregory Herr
        April 29, 2017 at 12:17 am

        I don’t know anything about the logistics and/or preparation required for the Tomahawk “mission”, but think you raise a perhaps very telling point. Of course I think it was a planned setup, and understanding the plausibility or non-plausibility of how events timed out might go a long way towards empirical substantiation of our suspicions.

    • Sam F
      April 28, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Perhaps the 60th cruise missile was fired first at Khan Shaykun, with a surprise payload. Or by our own drone. Or Amazon.
      This results in great confidence as to the chemical agent, no inspections needed, and just a bit more of the old collateral damage.

      • Kiza
        April 29, 2017 at 9:51 am

        Apparently, the 60th missile failed to get out of the launch tube – it was a dud. But this is kept hush hush by the MSM because it would not reflect well on US MIC. This is why a strange number of 59, not because Trump is a fan of primary numbers in mathematics.

        Perhaps this also supports Derek’s point that the cruise missile launch was prepared in advance to the “gas attack”, because they could not quickly substitute the failed missile with another one. Under nonkinetic action conditions (low alert status) it probably takes around 24 hours to prepare a cruise missile for a launch. And I doubt that the two ships shot all the missiles they had in storage, that would have been careless.

        • April 29, 2017 at 11:00 am

          The preparation time was brought up by a colonel in russian missile battery, originally….i felt it was a valid point for further analysis…i am also wondering what happened to the initial evidence that there was a weaponized drone in the area that was operated out of jordan…does anyone have any further info on this? regards D

          PS…it also seems the russian military closed the communications channel with the US because they felt the attack information was used to stage/time the chemical “incident”…

          • Kiza
            April 29, 2017 at 7:36 pm

            Yes, this is the second known instance when the CIA has utilised the exchange of information between the US and Russian militaries to perform its tricks. The first time was when it shot down one SU24 bomber over Northern Syria using two Turkish fighter planes and a Saudi AWACS.

        • Sam F
          April 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm

          Interesting; I meant to suggest that any prior US cruise missile or other US system may have delivered the CW incident.

          • Arjuna
            April 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm

            Too much paranoia. Too much of a discoverable US footprint.
            I believe that Nusra did it, with Mossad’s and GID’s help and Langley’s acquiescence.
            I’d focus on the missing captives who I think became some of the casualties.

          • Kiza
            April 29, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            Probably this is all we need to know – another slip of tongue by an Israeli high level (former) official. When one feels that one rules the World, one becomes a bit careless: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-28/isis-apologized-israel-attacking-idf-soldiers.

          • Sam F
            April 30, 2017 at 8:52 am

            Arjuna, there is no paranoia in suggesting other feasible sources: we should consider more-direct US false-flags as well. False-flagged or non-identifiable US equipment can deliver a device even more carefully false-flagged, such as a captured dud rocket with CW simulating another provenance or captured. Could be that the US/UN retained some CW supposedly destroyed by Syria, or simply analyzed it and simulated it later for false-flags. I would be much surprised if the US had no such technology and plans, when we have been shown to have means of simulating hacking attacks by other nations.

    • Koen
      April 29, 2017 at 10:10 am

      How much info do we have about the Syrian jet tracked by radar at 6:30 AM? Has this evidence been released or is it just said to exist?

      but yeah, even then your possibility #3 is still a real one.

    • Brewer
      April 29, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Sunrise on 4th April in that area was 6.13am. The White helmet’s film on the so-called chemical attack was delivered to Al Jazeera at 6.30am. (earliest report) or 8.00am. (latest report).
      In either case, the elevation of the sun in the film proves conclusively that the video could not have been shot that day.
      I continue to be amazed that this discrepancy has not been noticed by all and sundry.

  5. Abe
    April 28, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    The 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun incident in an Al Qaeda controlled area of Idlib was obviously perpetrated for maximum propaganda effect to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, that entered into force and becoming binding international law on 29 April 1997.

    Disinformation produced by fake “chemical weapons expert” Dan Kaszeta and fake “citizen investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins of the UK-based Bellingcat blog made its way into the 11 April 2017 Trump White House’s “assessment” of the Khan Shakhun incident.

    Kaszeta is now backing evidence free “Israeli intelligence” claims about Syria.

    A 19 April 2017 Israeli “assessment” presented by anonymous military officials included evidence free claims that Syrian military commanders has ordered the Khan Shaukun attack with President Assad’s knowledge and “estimates” that Syria still has “between one and three tons” of chemical weapons.

    The Associated Press report on the Israeli military briefing included an interview with Kaszeta, who said the Israeli estimate appeared to be “conservative”. Kaszeta claimed that “One ton of sarin could easily be used to perpetrate an attack on the scale of the 2013 attack. It could also be used for roughly 10 attacks of a similar size to the recent Khan Sheikhoun attack”.

    Back in 2013, Kaszeta backed similar evidence free claims by Israeli defense officials.

    The U.S. Intelligence Community 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.

    Of urgent concern is the body of information used to manufacture “Government Assessment” documents. The United States Government’s assessment of the Khan Shaykhun chemical incident relied heavily on “videos”, “social media reports” and “journalist accounts” from Bellingcat.

    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.”

    OSINT is intelligence collected from publicly available sources. In the Intelligence Community, the term “open” refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources).

    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 Higgins of Leicester.

    Higgins’ collaborator Kaszeta, a US-UK dual national based in London, provided additional claims of “chemical attacks” in Syria for both the Brown Moses and Bellingcat blogs.

    Since 2013, Kaszeta and Higgins have continued to make ever more dramatic claims about “chemical attacks” in Syria.

    Following the the 4 April 2017 chemical incident at Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, Kaszeta was cited as a go-to “expert” by the BBC, UK Guardian, CNN, Time magazine, Washngton Post. NPR, Germany’s Die Welt and Deutsche Welle, Business Insider, Popular Science, Asia Times and the Associated Press.

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

    Analysis of all primary and secondary evidence relating to the 21 August 2013 chemical incident at Ghouta indicates it was carried out by Al Qaeda terrorist forces (Al Nusra Front or Jabhat al Nusra, also known as the Jabhat Fateh al Sham).

    Analysis of evidence relating to the 4 April 2017 chemical incident at Khan Shaykhun indicates it was carried out by Al Qaeda terrorist forces (Hay’at Tahrir al Sham, the latest rebranding of Al Nusra).

    Higgins and Kaszeta have vigorously backed the narrative of an air-dropped chemical bomb in Idlib. However, none of Kaszeta’s articles on Bellingcat, nor any of the numerous citations of Kaszeta by mainstream media, address the complete absence of evidence of an aerial bomb.

    The alleged “Sarin bomb” hole in the road in Idlib has been photographed numerous times from multiple angles. The size, depth and shape of the hole are clear evidence that it was not produced by a falling object such as an air-dropped bomb.

    MIT physicist Theodore A. Postol reviewed the White House report on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib, Syria. He noted that the only source the cited as evidence of Syrian government responsibility for the attack was the crater on a road in Khan Shaykhun.

    Postol concluded that the US government failed to provide evidence that it had any concrete knowledge that the Syrian government was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun on April 4, 2017.

    Postol accurately identified the amateurish nature of the White House report:

    “No competent analyst would assume that the crater cited as the source of the sarin attack was unambiguously an indication that the munition came from an aircraft. No competent analyst would assume that the photograph of the carcass of the sarin canister was in fact a sarin canister. Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real. No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it. All of these highly amateurish mistakes indicate that this White House report… was not properly vetted by the intelligence community as claimed.’

    Postol concluded:

    “I have worked with the intelligence community in the past, and I have grave concerns about the politicization of intelligence that seems to be occurring with more frequency in recent times – but I know that the intelligence community has highly capable analysts in it. And if those analysts were properly consulted about the claims in the White House document they would have not approved the document going forward.

    “We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report.”

    Postol recently told The Nation, “What I think is now crystal clear is that the White House report was fabricated and it certainly did not follow the procedures it claimed to employ.” He added, “My best guess at the moment is that this was an extremely clumsy and ill-conceived attempt to cover up the fact that Trump attacked Syria without any intelligence evidence that Syria was in fact the perpetrator of the attack”.

    Israel has a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia and GCC backers of the Al Qaeda terrorists who have conducted numerous Chemical Weapons (CW) attacks in Syria.

    Israel possesses the means, the motive, and abundant opportunity to supply Sarin nerve agents and other chemical weapons to the Al Qaeda forces in Syria for the purpose of staging false flag chemical attacks.

    The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), an Israeli government defense research facility near Tel Aviv, develops offensive chemical and biological weapons including Sarin.The IIBR facility was involved in an extensive effort to identify practical methods of synthesis for nerve gases (such as Tabun, Sarin, and VX) and other chemical weapons compounds.

    The 26 April 2017 French “National Evaluation” included evidence free claims of a “Clandestine Syrian chemical weapons programme” based on “allegations” of Syrian “chemical use” laundered by Higgins and Kaszeta. The French purportedly based their conclusions on “analysis” of the 29 April 2013 chemical incident at Saraqeb, also in Al Qaeda controlled Idlib.

    BBC News video report of the Saraqeb incident described the smell at the scene as being very strong. The strong odor of alleged aerial “grenades” was described in a statement from the BBC video: “These are smelly, and a lot of them were used.”

    Another lengthy statement from the BBC report on the 2013 Saraqeb incident: “I was not present then, but the FSA members came here and said that those chemicals were dropped on the southwestern side of the town. The injuries varies from bad to minor. The symptoms include constriction of the pupil, forth around the mouth, complete loss of consciousness as result of (inhaling) the smoke. The smoke was smelly, and the guy who rushed to help the victims lost consciousness when he got to the site.”

    Based on 3 confirmed incidents of Al Qaeda controlled “eyewitness” tales of “strong smells” during alleged “air attacks” we can debunk any claims that Sarin is being described by these individuals.

    When pure, Sarin is odorless. When impure or contaminated, Sarin may have a slightly fruity odor, similar to a weak ethyl acetate solution.

    Neither pure nor impure Sarin produce a “horrible, suffocating smell”. Sarin is not capable of “producing strong smells”. Impure Sarin does not smell “like rotten eggs”, “overpowering”, “like cooking gas”, or “like rotten food”.

    Evidence pointing to possible collusion between Israel, fake “citizen journalist” bloggers like Higgins and Kaszeta at Bellingcat, and officials in the American, Israeli, and French governments represents a grave national security concern for the United States.

    • CitizenOne
      April 28, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Great analysis. All of the evidence shows that the evidence is not evidence at all. Basic detective work would have sought out those with a motive and an opportunity to commit the crime. That did not happen in the rush to judgement that Assad was to blame.. Facts were made up to support the accusation and those flimsy facts have been thoroughly torn apart by intelligence experts.

      Yet the New York Times continues to spout official propaganda in the light of no credible evidence or evidence which would weave a compelling story. Instead they utilize disinformation tactics with false assumptions backed by dubious evidence tied together with an improbable and unverifiable time line of events again backed by no credible evidence. This is a clear condemnation of the New York Times for the same sort of war mongering they engaged in in the run up to the second Iraq War where they again foisted propaganda and towed the government claims of WMD and Anthrax and blah blah blah which history revealed were never discovered at all after the invasion of Iraq.

      The New York Times uses its appeal to mostly liberals to engage a sector of America in government propaganda by relying on its dying brand of fictional truth telling to convince a swath of people who think every word the New York Times speaks is the truth.

      In the Good Cop, Bad Cop propagandizing of America, the New York Times plays the Good Cop role as the truthful and honest news source and the most reliable source of information. Millions of liberals believe anything they say.

      They have engaged in propaganda in Ukraine, Libya and elsewhere failing to do investigative journalism and instead posting the government version of the facts as news.

      Judith Miller was forced to flee in shame to Fox News, the Bad Cops after she was found guilty of publishing propaganda and pushing America into a war with Iraq for no reason.

      The Op Ed journalists and pro war hawks the NY Times trots out whenever there is an incident in the middle east always come to the decision that the US should take a military stance there. They might as well be working for the Weekly Standard and the Neocons.

      The fact that the NY Times has led us falsely into war in the past should provide us with a clear warning not to believe anything they say now about why we should do so again based on their say so. Their words have no truth behind them. That is historical fact at this point. Anyone who still listens to their BS is living under Arock or Iraq. Take your pick on how to spell it.

      • Kiza
        April 29, 2017 at 10:14 am

        It is funny how the investigator Bellingcat made up of ordinary citizens never happens to confirm any other version then the government’s one. It must be made of some truly good government’s citizens. Are the news consumers so dumb that this gig is never up, case after case after case. Always the same outcome of the “research”. Is it not time to use the super-duper tens of billion dollar intelligence services instead of the citizens investigators to establish truth?

        Anyway, the reliable pillars of the Western media such as the British: The Guardian of lies, The Independent from the truth, the Bull Broadcasting Corporation, or the US: the Jew Pork Slimes, the Washington comPost etc love citizen investigators because they are much closer to their audiences than the super-spooks from the agencies. The citizen investigators are guys just like us.

        • exiled off mainstreet
          May 1, 2017 at 12:32 am

          Bellingcat is nothing more than a squad of propagandists employed by the neocon power structure to foment war. As such they are war criminals according to the concepts developed in the post WWII Nuremberg trials.

    • Simon Gunson
      April 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

      The French concluded because Hexamine was found in the 2013 Ghouta Sarin attacks and also at Khan Shaykhun that somehow it linked the two events, but Hexamine is not a byproduct of Sarin.

      Hexamine is a byproduct of TNT based explosives and is as common as dust in Syria.

      Ted Postol managed to prove with the largest Sarin attack in Ghouta at Jaymalka that the sarin filled mortar rocket did not have the range to be fired from Government held territory. It was also discovered that the Sarin used in 2013 did not have the composition of Sarin manufactured by the Syrian Government either. It also came to light that in May 2013 Turkish military intelligence flew 12 men led by Haitham Qassab to Lybia to acquire Lybian manufactured Sarin. This Turkish team flew back to Turkey on an ordinary commercial flight with 20 litres of sarin in their luggage, but were arrested handing it over to a Rebel group called Jund al Aqsa.

      President Erdogan flew into a rage at news of the arrests and had all these men released. He then arrested all the journalists and news editors who had published the story. These editors and journalists are now on death row in Turkey awaiting their executions.

      The tribe that controls Khan Shaykhun are the Al Jundi family and the connection with Jund al Aqsa terrorists claiming this Sarin attack in 2017 is no mere co-incidence. the same group carried out the 2013 Sarin attacks.

      • April 29, 2017 at 11:51 am

        good info…i did not know of these Turkish theatrics…

      • backwardsevolution
        April 29, 2017 at 12:54 pm

        Simon – I had heard about the journalists being in jail, but didn’t realize that they were awaiting execution. This is terrible.

        I also hadn’t heard this: “This Turkish team flew back to Turkey on an ordinary commercial flight with 20 litres of sarin in their luggage.” Good God! And they’re getting this stuff from Libya.

        Thanks for posting this, Simon.

        • Simon Gunson
          April 30, 2017 at 5:50 am

          You are welcome. The conflict in Syria is utterly confusing and anyone who says they understand it all is deceiving themselves. There is deception at every turn in Syria. That is why one should not be quick to judge Assad. There is a long history in that country that needs to be understood before one can gasp the current situation.

          The Muslim Brotherhood started a rebellion in 1979 by massacring 83 junior officer cadets at the artillery school near Aleppo. Their goal was to overthrow the secular Government of Haffiz Al-Assad and install a strict Muslim rule under Sharia law. That revolt continued until 1982 and was put down with a harsh government crack down. It is this repression that people refer to when complaining about the Assad regime but the rebellion which was put down was a vicious, violent Jihad. Everything must be measured in regard to the whole context.

          In the current conflict everybody has an angle. Just for an example. the massacre of women & children in a bus transfer on Easter Saturday happened after the convoy of 75 buses had been halted at Rashidin for 30 hours by the main rebel group Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham. We are told in our media that these rebel groups are Syrians fighting for democracy, but survivors of the Easter massacre said the Rebels were not Syrians. They were Saudi, Afghan, Uzbek and Chechen. All mercenaries. Syria is just as confusing as the Spanish Civil war in the 1930s.

      • Skip Scott
        April 29, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        And the Turks are our Allies? How upside down is that. One look at Erdogan, and you know he is an evil man. It always shows in the eyes. It’s funny how we don’t hear about journalists facing execution from the Turkish government in the MSM. Why is that, I wonder? Could it be that our journalists don’t care because they live on the other side of the country club wall, drinking highballs with the war criminals?

    • Simon Gunson
      April 30, 2017 at 7:58 am

      Abe, after reading your post, I went and checked out what Bellingcat wrote about a gas attack at Saraqeb where there was just one fatality from what appeared to be four (white plastic) hand grenades. They looked like plastic CS grenades.

      I am not an expert in munitions however I scoured the internet looking for similar hand grenades. I was unable to find any that were identical. The closest match was a Brazilian CS grenade supplied to Turkish police called the Condor 310. The fly off handle mechanism on their neck of grenades at Saraqeb was identical to the Brazilian model whilst the lid featured by Bellingcat has some variation in the neck beneath the handle mechanism to the Condor grenade.

      The Bellingcat featured grenade also had a progression of allen screws around the circumference which matched none of the commercially mass produced models. Remarkably Bellingcat himself did manage to find an Al-Nusra fighter with an identical grenade to those at Saraqeb.

      Al Nusra during 2013-2015 were being armed and equipped in Turkey ironically by the CIA. The matching grenade carried by an Al Nusra fighter appeared to be locally custom manufactured in Turkey, perhaps purchasing the Brazillian fly off handles and then fitting them to locally produced bodies.

      Either way the Grenades which Bellingcat said released Sarin gas in the 2013 Saraqeb attack seem to match Al Nusra grenades.

  6. April 28, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Woodrow Wilson received a declaration of war on 6 April, 1917. I wonder if those who survive WW III will recognize this supposed attack by Assad as the flashpoint for that future terrible war. I agree with Robert and the Intelligence Professionals (retired) that the Syrian leader would have no logical motive for bringing down the inevitable world condemnation which such a murderous attack would engender. Turkey supplied sarin to the Isis forces previously, the Saudis have their own corrupt reasons for wanting an anti-Shia Syria, and Israel desires to “Balkanize” Syria. An excellent summation Robert of yet another human tragedy.

    • Dave P.
      April 28, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      Excellent analysis by Abe. Any body with half a brain can tell that Sarin Gas attack was not carried out by the Syrian Government. It is the work of the Terrorist Groups and the Powers who support them. It is just a pretext to invade Syria. The project to take out Syria has been on the drawing board since 2001. If you have not watched it before, please watch the Amy Goodman’s interview with General Wesley Clark in 2007 on the following link.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSL3JqorkdU

      General Wesley Clark talks about the Donald Rumsfeld’s/Pentagon Plan to take out seven countries. It is a pretty hilarious interview.

      • April 30, 2017 at 8:17 pm

        agreed…i am watching for signs of troop assignments into Jordan…watching for buildups on the Golan Heights as well…i suspect the zionists will attempt to carve out some more Syrian land during the next “incident”…thanks to all here for their many contributions of info and insight…regards…D

  7. W j Hartley
    April 28, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Too many variables unexplained. The actual deaths and areas of body removal concern me, and though the Syrians appear to have no good reason perhaps a further look into how convinced Assad was that trump/Putin alliance would work for him? It occurred as China visited, so an impact there. “Who benefitted?”is another point to check.

    No, I’m not convinced that localizing the argument is helpful.

  8. incontinent reader
    April 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Also, I’d note that this incident coincided with a European conference on the future, and the projected reconstruction of Syria- at a time when it has been assumed by many that Assad would be re-elected and be the decider of which companies (and of which countries) would get the contracts. Khan Sheikhun and the West’s allegations and OPCW’s compromised investigation of it have effectively postponed discussion and consideration of reconstruction, by once again revitalizing the CW issue and the ‘Assad must go’ mantra.

    One fears that ultimately the US is seeking to permanently partition Syria, including through the creation of a U.S. controlled enclave in the East, and an endorsement of Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights and Israeli exploitation of the Golan’s water and oil & gas reserves. One hopes the Russia-China (and Iran) strategic partnership and their expanding coalition with other MENA States will be strong enough to keep Syria independent and intact (which would include the return of the Golan Heights to Syria).

  9. Homer Jay
    April 28, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    6 hours is quite significant, although not in the case of Hillary Clinton, who only 6 hours before Trump’s attack said the US should take out Assad’s airfields.

    https://qz.com/952656/hours-before-trump-ordered-missile-strikes-on-syria-hillary-clinton-said-the-us-should-attack-assads-airfields/

    Indication that Hillary Clinton really did win the election, at least in regards to foreign policy, for which there is only one US political party…The Deep State owned by the MIC, carrying out US hegemony across the globe. Our militaristic kleptocracy requires never ending expansion, consumption, and destruction. It is out of control, with no sign of stopping.

    If only we could build escape space crafts for when these assholes nuke the planet, while telling us they had to do it because a 3rd world dictator gased some people. Imagine if we found another inhabitable planet and could start over…how would we ensure this doesn’t happen again? I say developing any currency whatsoever is strictly forbidden on the new planet…for starters. I supposed John Lennon could take over from here…

    • mike k
      April 29, 2017 at 7:43 am

      John Lennon would make a hell of a lot better president than the one we got. Where have all the hippies gone?

      • Ol' Hippy
        April 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        We’re still here, still powerless to stop the madness of the US government toward oblivion. The disconnect between the “official narrative” and reality has increased exponentially as of late and despair has set in with the peaceful crowd that has seen war their whole lives. We are all truly at risk do the whims of, what I refer to as, the psychopaths of the beltway.

  10. Joe Tedesky
    April 29, 2017 at 1:31 am

    I see Trump’s 59 Tomahawk missile attack as his ‘Night of the Long Knives’ moment. Call it his baptism to neoconservatism or any other name meaning compromised politician.

    Don’t get in the face with the ‘I told you so’ to any Trump voter, leave them alone they only voted with the belief that Trump would be different. The average people got to ease up on one another, and tie arms together to resist the evil that occupies our foreign policy.

    Instead of an American objective journalist view where a editor would direct the public to consider that the same people promoting war right now, have been the same group of warmongers who started this world disaster going back to 1991, and then how they enlarged the chaos program back in 2001 to where it is today. No, warning whatsoever, but replaced the heads up with our media continually parading the same sociopaths out day after day, night after night, Sunday after Sunday, to allow these creatures of death the largest media platform ever to promote their world destruction. This is what we have become, celebrity reality armchair warriors who celebrate dropping 10 ton bombs on people in far off places.

    It won’t matter what comes of this sarin gas attack, or any other such investigation such as Flight MH17, and for that we should all scream out for justice, but it won’t change anything. Sorry for the attitude, but I’m having one of those moments where I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    (I’d rather stay in the moment when this week the puppy stared down the jack rabbit….I told the puppy that although he won the stare contest I think the bunny would have won the fight, and then the puppy got interested in an ant.)

    • Geoffrey de Galles
      April 29, 2017 at 4:15 am

      Footnote:- The 59 missile strike is by now legend, but I remember hearing many times at the time, from rt.com and other pretty independent media-outlets, that only about about 23 had actually struck that Syrian airfield. What ever happened to those other 26 or so? Can anyone please enlighten me / us?

      • Geoffrey de Galles
        April 29, 2017 at 4:16 am

        Sorry, typo:- 36 or so.

        • Homer Jay
          April 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm

          I forget where I read that at least one of them hit a nearby village killing civilians including 4 children.

        • Homer Jay
          April 29, 2017 at 8:40 pm

          This is I got from Wikipedia: According to Syrian state news SANA, nine civilians were also killed in the attack, including four children. SANA also stated that five of the civilians were killed in the village of Shayrat,[39] outside the base, while another four were killed in the village of Al-Hamrat, and that another seven civilians were wounded when a missile hit homes in Al-Manzul, four kilometers (two and a half miles) away from the Shayrat air base.[40]

          But you know to Washington and our wonderful MSM, gassing “beautiful little babies” is evil whereas bombing them to bits is just fine.

      • Kiza
        April 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

        Only 23 hits was the claim of the Russian Military. The Israelis claimed all 58 hits, because a photo of one Tomahawk (made by Raytheon) which landed in a Syrian field appeared. But these are the same Israelis who claimed 99% shootdown rate for another Raytheon product – Patriot. Ted Postol showed later that the Patriot shoot-down of Saddam’s Scuds was only around 5%. Simply, Raytheon is a US dual citizen company.

        It is hard to know the truth for sure. If the cruise missiles have been diverted from their targets, then this would have been done using Russian superior Electronic Warfare capabilities, used previously by Iran to land intact the most modern US drone into the Iranian hands.

        Personally, I am much more concerned about the blatant illegality of another US action then how many missiles made it to their targets. Most media will not tell us this – but this missile strike with a prior warning was truly a message to the Russians to get out of Syria or be targeted the next time, as if the Russians could not target back. The main game is Syria right now is not Assad then kicking the Russians out. This is why Tillerson went to Moscow recently and came back empty handed. It has been funny to watch how US, Israel, GCC and Turkey have been trying to get the Russians out of Syria from the moment the Russians arrived at the invitation of the Syrian Government. Saudi Bandar even offered to refrain from financing terrorism against Russia and to reduce oil production if Russia got out of Syria.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 29, 2017 at 11:08 pm

        With each missile fired there is a bigger media blitz that goes with it.

    • mike k
      April 29, 2017 at 7:40 am

      A puppy has an innocent, open mind. Unlike us two legged apes who are full of culturally transmitted BS.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 29, 2017 at 11:15 pm

        I can’t argue with you, but mike k you seem like you are a good ape, I’m always trying to be a better ape, and on the whole most of us apes are good. Now if we could only do something to tame the small percentage of apes who seem to control the vast majority of us peace loving apes then maybe this zoo of ours would be a decent place to swing from the trees.

    • Dave P.
      April 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Joe, Your words express so well the thoughts which occupy the minds of so many of us. It is no good of getting in the face of Trump Voters. In spite of reading, since very young age, of all the progressive ideas written going back a few centuries, and taking part in progressive Democratic Party activism since the days of George McGovern, I was rooting for Trump in this election. Because we wanted so much for the world to live in peace. Also having lived in one of the those States for some time, re-industrializing the Country sounded so good.

      Things look dismal, here in Hollywood as well. Susan Sarandon and a very few other brave souls left who have any conscience. The rest of the them are immersed in the same corruption of money, power, selfishness, and self glorification. They – the Hollywood Elite –
      have become a very useful instrument in the hands of the Empire.

      There is a very good article in Counterpunch, April 28 “Ecology of War” by Andre Vltchek. It is very sad to read about destruction of Physical, Social, Political, Economic, and Medical Structure of all these States around the Middle East, over the last sixteen years. Besides death and destruction, It has caused so much suffering among the populations of these countries.

      And here in Hollywood, at their Oscar Extravaganza, after making self congratulatory speeches on individual freedom, LGBT rights, and saving the Environment, they retire to their palatial mansions with swimming pools on the hills feeling good about themselves. It is very disheartening to see that the vast majority of these Artists are uneducated hypocrites in service of their Movie Studios Masters.

      • Kiza
        April 29, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        Why not mention just two names: Ben Affleck and George Clooney, two politically ambitious goy servants of the establishment, total opposites to Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 29, 2017 at 11:30 pm

        You are a fine example of why I cautioned everyone to go easy on the Trump voters. Actually you were right there with the rest of us who by default had no better choices other than Hillary, and the Donald, when it came to selecting a president. I’m not ignoring the third party candidates, but let’s face it voting for a third part candidate is more of a vote upon your principles, and although that counts for conscience it doesn’t win elections. No, most Trump voters voted with the hopes that America and the world would finally come to peaceful terms with one another, and that is never a bad thing to take with you into the voting booth.

        When it comes to movie, television, and recording stars I made up my mind a long time ago to like them for their professional product, and then separate myself from whatever it is they do with their independent lives. Once along time ago being a musician I met some pretty important people back stage, and although most of the celebrities I met were nice every once in awhile there was the famously important creep….often the ones who were the creepiest were the fun loving funny characters we all loved, but to play back up for some of these folks was still a pleasure, because they performed so professionally well. With all of that I could see that these stars were no better than anyone of us, so I don’t really need their endorsement of anything….I’d rather take advice from anyone of you on this comment board instead.

        Take care Dave P Joe

        • Kiza
          April 30, 2017 at 1:06 am

          Dear Joe, I like that between two comments you changed the word “believed” into “hoped” that Trump would be the true agent of change, even when almost everybody knew that that hope was a straw for a drowning man.

          Personally, I am not ashamed at all that I vocally supported Trump until he did his first war crime. I cannot even imagine what will be his last war crime.

          Here is the Trump’s view of himself after 100 days: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-29/i-kept-my-promise-americans-trump-explains-what-he-did-his-first-100-days

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 30, 2017 at 2:04 am

            A 2016 Trump supporter needs no excuse but just a mention of the name Hillary will say all of what needs said. You Kiza gave up on Trump when his first war crime look like a Hillary clone move. This would mean your brain functions well, healthy even.

            I just hate to see us all get too wrapped up in these made for tv politicial rivalries when we citizens could come up with something of how to either change things for the good, or learn to cope with our world better.

            Always good to read your comments. Joe

        • Dave P.
          April 30, 2017 at 2:56 am

          Thanks Joe. I still enjoy very much listening to Frank Sinatra and other oldies, though they were part of the game, and enjoy watching good movies too.

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 30, 2017 at 8:57 am

            Yeah, what a great example of what I was talking about…I liked Dean the best.

          • Kiza
            May 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm

            Yeah, Dean was such a cool guy in today’s vernacular. If he was in a movie, I knew that it could not be bad. Even with all the time passed, Dean still has the same effect on me and my friends, when we watch the oldies.

            I did not like Sinatra much, not sure why.

        • Homer Jay
          April 30, 2017 at 7:51 am

          Thanks Joe, I appreciate your comments, really like what you say about taking it easy on the Trump voter…it is easy to blame the victim hear. I take exception to just one thing you said about the third party vote. It is important to begin to speak against the old meme that a third party vote is a waisted vote…indeed it may be the only vote that means anything these days. Another commenter on this site pointed out there is no lessor evil with Republicans and Democrats…just different evil. If everybody I spoke to who said “I would vote for Stein but she has no chance” actually were true to themselves and voted for Stein, she would have at least gained the 15% necessary to start getting more serious recognition (i.e. a place in debates). When both parties are leading us to extinction, the only sane thing to do is completely abandon them both and as Chris Hedges said recently “go out into the political wilderness.”

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 30, 2017 at 8:50 am

            I couldn’t agree you more Homer, sorry if I sounded like I was slighting the third party voter.

            The best thing we could do, is not vote. I think in S Africa, and with Batista in Cuba a under ten percent total vote count made those elections illegitimate. Boy, if we Americans were to do that, that would send everything into a spin. So we should not vote, we should boycott voting.

            Everything we Americans do is ruined by there being too much moneyed interest involved. We citizens end up becoming simply customers, and compliant audience members, and for that we suffer as a nation. My problem is, is that I don’t see any way out of this current mode we are in.

            As far as that third party business goes, I went from 1972 until 1992 where I didn’t vote, and then I voted for Ross Perot. I thought we should lift open the hood, and fix the darn thing.

    • Bill in Montgomery
      May 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Those who were right about what would happen with all these “interventions” are ridiculed or ignored. Those who were wrong about the nation-building cakewalks in the Mideast are still in power and are the “talking head” experts the MSM chooses to quote. So: Being correct in your predictions disqualifies one from making new policy. Being wrong gets you confirmed to positions of great influence. Right is wrong. Wrong is right. Orwell didn’t pen this. I did.

  11. Realist
    April 29, 2017 at 1:53 am

    More and more I’m beginning to feel that I’m living out the third re-make of a lame sci-fi movie in which the space aliens are secretly in control of our planet, destabilising its governments and depleting its resources whilst deceiving our fellow humans with subliminal mind control that allows even life long, formerly rational liberal Democrats to suddenly believe that the Russians have been sabotaging our country and trying to conquer the world in the face of our craven laxity. Back in the 50’s the flick was called “I Married a Monster from Outer Space,” then in the 80’s it appeared as “They Live.” Today it is seemingly playing out for real as the alien Hillary-bots infect the minds of nearly all who read or hear the words put out by our political leaders and their mass media. Robert Parry seems to be trying like hell to unmask this attempt to destroy our world so the invaders can pick up the pieces, but very few seem to be paying attention. How else to explain that most of the formerly rational people in this world seem to have gone mad? And like it.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 29, 2017 at 2:11 am

      I can’t help myself, by reading your reflecting back on old television and movie prophetic scripts I have to mention Vince Gilligan’s Lone Gunmen from March of 2001 where in the plot a passenger plane is overtaken by remote control and the plane is heading towards crashing into the WTC…. then there was the Bush Administration decrying how ‘who would have ever imagined ramming a plane into a building’ mantra….Vince Gilligan maybe?

      http://www.911conspiracy.tv/Lone_Gunmen_Pilot.html

      In regard to what your describing Realist…look at Trump does he look human?

      • Realist
        April 29, 2017 at 2:58 am

        Not since the Hillary-bots replaced him with a pod person.

        • Joe Tedesky
          April 30, 2017 at 12:02 am

          I still like Breaking Bad, but yeah who is capable enough to stand up to the likes of the Clintons, and the Bushs. At some point continuation of breathing becomes mighty important, but in the end you are right.

      • Kiza
        April 29, 2017 at 8:47 pm

        One day, Trump’s lizard tail will slip out.

        • Joe Tedesky
          April 30, 2017 at 12:00 am

          Thanks Kiza for the ugly visual, as if the Trumpster isn’t hideous enough…now I’ll be up all night.

          • Kiza
            April 30, 2017 at 1:17 am

            Welcome to the nightmares club of us who are following the world events. I have a recurring one of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula, because neither Russia nor China will accept US attack on NK. My nightmare is similar to parts of several movies, from the sinking of an aircraft carrier to millions of civilians sizzling in nuclear explosions.

            One lizard tail slipping out from Trump’s trousers is fit for Seasame Street compared with my nightmares, sorry.

    • Ol' Hippy
      April 29, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      I’m reminded of “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, where people are replaced with copies and are all just alike and work in unison. The ‘masses’ act as one and believe as they are told, reinforced daily by the MSM.

  12. john wilson
    April 29, 2017 at 5:01 am

    The thing that really matters about this whole fantasy Sarin attack is what happens next time?!! If there is no more chemical attacks then the Americans will have wasted their time as far an halting Assad’s progress is concerned. As its obvious this was a false flag, then of necessity there has to be another one to justify full American involvement in Syria. There will be one so watch this space.

  13. Skip Scott
    April 29, 2017 at 7:32 am

    “Truth is the first casualty of war.” Thanks to Robert Parry for once again reminding us. I don’t know how these evil people sleep at night, or bear to face themselves in the mirror. A friend told me he saw a tee shirt that said “There is no planet B.” I think if I could invent just one thing, I would like to invent something that would permanently destroy televisions. It would be amazing to watch all the zombies slowly regain consciousness, and look around themselves like Rip Van Winkle.

  14. Joseph Elias
    April 29, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I submitted this to TNYT on April 26, 2017

    Dear Ms. Spayd:
    I am responding to a video you have published about the Khan Shaykhun April 4, 2017, attack by Malachy Browne. This report as well as so many of your stories present a one-sided view of the Syrian conflict. It is obvious that your newspaper has taken a position of those who seek to remove the present Syrian government and replace it with…?
    The video is misleading. First, it takes the time of the aerial bombardment and tries to use this as evidence of a state chemical attack. Neither Russia nor Syria denied that an aerial attack took place, but to jump to a conclusion that this is proof of a chemical attack is not substantiated. In the video itself, it notes that the actual bombardment shown were regular weapons and not chemical weapons. Second, the video shows what the White House claims as evidence of a bomb crater that was the site of the chemical release. In a detailed analysis of our claim, Dr. Theodore A. Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy Massachusetts Institute of Technology, refuted Trump’s Administration claim that the crater was made by an aerial bomb that released sarin. His report, A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017 About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria, which was released on April 17, 2017, undermines your newspaper’s, our government’s claims, and Malachy’s video. I will quote just two of his points:
    (1) “The only source the document cites as evidence that the attack was by the Syrian government is the crater it claims to have identified on a road in the North of Khan Shaykhun.
    I have located this crater using Google Earth and there is absolutely no evidence that the crater was created by a munition designed to disperse sarin after it is dropped from an aircraft.”
    (2) “The data cited by the White House is more consistent with the possibility that the munition was placed on the ground rather than dropped from a plane.”

    The video relies upon “activists” for their proof. It makes no allowance that anyone might have tampered with the site. It does not even support a call for an independent investigation of the claims.
    In the video’s indictment, which your newspaper endorses, the narrator is heard to use words as “what we believe” and “circumstantial.” If this was any other story, you would not have used it as already having tried and convicted the Russian and Syrian governments.
    One more item that your newspaper avoids is describing just who make up the “activists.” Too many of your readers have an impression that the main opposition to the Syrian government are freedom loving Syrian citizens. The main opposition to the Syrian state is outside jihadists that receive substantial aid from our Middle Eastern allies. Al-Qaeda and ISIS make up the core of the opposition. With them are aligned Syrian groups who share their philosophy and political outlook.
    Not mentioned in your newspaper is a new study released by IHS Jane that has taken a hard look at the Syrian conflict. Its report, released April 19, 2017, is worth quoting extensively. The first five paragraphs read:

    LONDON (19 April, 2017) –The Islamic State fought Syrian government forces more than any other opponent over the past 12 months, according to new analysis from Conflict Monitor by IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.
    Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, 43 percent of all Islamic State fighting in Syria was directed against President Assad’s forces, 17 against the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the remaining 40 percent involved fighting rival Sunni opposition groups — in particular, those who formed part of the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield coalition.
    “It is an inconvenient reality that any US action taken to weaken the Syrian government will inadvertently benefit the Islamic St at e and other jihadist groups,” said Columb Strack, senior Middle East analyst at IHS Markit . “The Syrian government is essentially the anvil to the US-led Coalition’s hammer. While US-backed forces surround Raqqa, the Islamic State is engaged in intense fighting with the Syrian government around Palmyra and in other parts of Homs and Deir al-Zour provinces.”
    Any further reduction in the capability of Syria’s already overstretched forces would reduce their ability to prevent the Islamic State from pushing out of the desert into the more heavily populated western Syria, threatening cities like Homs and Damascus, the analysis said.
    “If the Islamic State succeeds in capturing the Syrian government’s isolated and heavily contested garrison in Deir al-Zour, the group would have a new major population centre from which to run the Caliphate,” Strack said. “The capture of Deir al- Zour, the largest city in eastern Syria, could be a life-line for the group’s governance project beyond the loss of Mosul and Raqqa.”

    In a time when “fake news” and failure to provide the public with accurate information concerning important issues dominates national discussion, it is disappointing to see that your news organization fails to meet its own high goals. Your personal position about the Syrian conflict should be just that—personal. Your continued work to provide only one side of the story does more than a disservice to the reading public. Your position as well as your competitors on your left and right did this back in 2003, which resulted in the disastrous Iraqi invasion. Your current efforts will lead to another calamity.
    I have no expectation that what I have written will either be read by you or even change your news coverage. Your news organization is hypercritical to denounce others for what you are presently doing in regards to the Syrian conflict.

    Yours,
    Joseph Elias

    • Skip Scott
      April 29, 2017 at 8:53 am

      Wow! Spot on, Joe! No doubt it will never be printed in the NYT. Thank you for providing it to us. I don’t know if you’re a regular follower of CN, but Eric G has a petition up to have Robert Parry given the job as editor of the NYT.
      I know it’s pure fantasy, but if it went viral it would at least be a thorn in their side, and let them know that the people are becoming aware of their propaganda.

      https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

    • Sam F
      April 29, 2017 at 8:54 am

      If Postol found the Khan Shaykhun “crater” (or pothole) on Google Earth, can you advise us of the lat/lon location and date of the Google Earth photo (usually a watermark somewhere on the image) or ask Google about this. Their aerial photo is probably several years old, which would indicate that it is not the locus of any 4/4/17 incident. Perhaps they have earlier photos showing a pothole developing.

      • Simon Gunson
        April 29, 2017 at 10:32 am

        Sam if you go to Google earth first type Khan Shaykun into the search bar and it should give you a choice. Select the first one, ie Khan Shaykhun, Idlib Governate, Syria. You will see an umber expressway snaking north through the town. In the Northeast quarter between the expressway and an arterial road heading north, there is a triangular empty section of land with yellow fields, with a warehouse and grain silos. on the road left of the grain silos is pretty close to the crater. The crater was not there in February 2017.

        However the crater is surrounded by ANFO splatter in many photos from the scene. ANFO = Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil which means the crater was caused by a Rebel IED, not by the 122mm Sarin filled rocket laying in the crater.

      • Brendan
        April 29, 2017 at 1:37 pm

        I think that Postol was only saying that he used Google Earth to find the location of the crater, not an image of it. The latest image that I can find is from 2014 and it shows no damage.

      • JurisV
        April 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm

        Sam F
        April 29, 2017 at 8:54 am:

        The crater photos from overhead and used by Prof Postol in his reports were taken by a television crew using a drone with a high definition video camera (who just happened to be in the area..). GoogleEarth satellite pictures would be dated as you noted and lack the resolution to see any small crater.

        http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/67182.html

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 29, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Joseph Elias, I wanted to thank you for this effort. In my judgement this is exactly the right approach to, at least attempt, to get the NYT’s to report more accurately. My personal relationship with the Times is frustrating and complex in that I consider their cultural and business reporting among the very best but, of course, their editorial pages and world bias is unacceptable so I have ended my subscription. I hope that you’ll keep us apprised of their response to your letter. Thank you…

  15. Simon Gunson
    April 29, 2017 at 10:19 am

    The very first images of an explosion crater in Khan Shaykhun identified by Rebels themselves seem surrounded by an oily splatter soaked into the asphalt.

    This oil splatter is called ANFO and only happens when too much Fuel Oil is mixed with Ammonium Nitrate. It is quite literally un-burnt fuel. It only comes from home made explosives. ANFO tells us this was a Rebel gas attack.

    The munition inside the crater was a Russian designed Grad 122mm Artillery Rocket, These are common as mud in Syria and are used by all sides, however Khan Shaykhun was waaay too far behind the front lines for this to be fired by Syrian Government forces.

    Undoubtedly the 122mm rocket was indeed filled with some sort of Nerve gas, but the rocket itself never impacted the road. It was crushed at the side by a Rebel IED placed on top of the stationary 122mm rocket.

    How do we know that?

    Because ANFO is not used in 122mm artillery rockets. Nor is it used in Russian made KAB250 or KAB500 bombs. Also jet fighter planes do not fire 122mm artillery rockets. Only Rebel terrorists use Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil explosives.

    Evidence is there plain as day just looking at the photos. This Sarin attack was a staged hoax using real Sarin.

    • April 29, 2017 at 11:15 am

      agreed…it is known to US Intel that the rebels captured Hlll 111, a Syrian army depot position in mid 2012…was know to contain a cache of Sarin, chorine, and mustard gas…the rebel CW attacks and “incidents” all follow in a chain of events AFTER the cache was taken..

      What i find disheartening, to say the least, is this staging of a false event seems to be becoming standard operating procedure whenever the US needs to achieve some objective…i can readily visualize a special team capturing an Iranian or North Korean coastal battery position and using it to “attack” US vessels handily in the region, the team stealthing into the sea and the battery/missle position being destroyed utterly, to cover any traces….these clowns are going to light the fuse and get a war going…
      .

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 29, 2017 at 11:33 am

        The effect of a false flag is the public is led astray by capturing their emotions of the heart, while causing the gullible public to forget to use their objective brain. If more people could somehow retain themselves from jumping to grab the gun, and instead they remained calm enough to start digging in to do some research, then maybe there would be a different conclusion to be found among the masses. A false flag tricks our emotional button to respond to quickly, and usually quickness without thought will lead to nothing good.

        • April 29, 2017 at 12:16 pm

          i am also concerned that the entities carrying out these false attacks are not truly accountable even to our government or the office of the President…Pure manipulation without any consequences…

          If the other countries and entities, that have been on the receiving end of US imperialism, finally have had enough…they may decide “FINE” and may begin to stage false attacks as well…it will become such a mess, we will never truly know what is fact or what is false-flag…

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm

            I sometimes think of how a good strategy to be used against these false flag producers would be to somehow publicly expose them. Putin comes off as the type who would stay cool until the right time, but maybe even for him the Deep State is too hard to overcome. In any regard it would be good to be able to show these deceptive creeps for who, and what they are. We can always wish, can’t we?

          • April 29, 2017 at 4:03 pm

            Joe, i worry that Mr Putin or Mr Xi might decide its time for the US to try some of its own medicine…

            “US attacks rebel positions in Eastern Ukraine!!! splashed all over the worlds media….i bet the investigations and analysis would get a lot better at the CIA….lol

            worse yet…Mossad might do it to get the ball rolling again…remember the Liberty!

        • Dave P.
          April 29, 2017 at 5:10 pm

          Joe, Masses have no time or developed any habit to read anything serious to find out the Truth or real news. All the garbage information they get is from CNN, MSNBC, FOX news etc. We have all these friends with advanced professional degrees. All their news source is TV, which they lazily turn it on in the evening to get their news. In fact just about most of them have no humane feelings left for those who are the under class or Hillary’s deplorables. They absolutely have no empathy for those millions who have been killed, wounded, and those alive whose lives have been shattered with this nonstop war waged on their countries – for sixteen years now. And some of our friends are from the other countries themselves.

          Long ago, during 1960’s and 70’s many of us read the writings of Bertrand Russell, Eric Fromm, and other thinkers of the last century talking of human alienation in Industrial Societies, nuclear war dangers, world peace and all that. And then I think about all these Journalists, NeoCons in Think Tanks, corrupt, dishonest, and arrogant Establishment Rulers in Washington and wonder – how come they did not learn any of these humane ideas in their education or in their lives.

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 29, 2017 at 11:53 pm

            If you can’t see it, if you can’t touch it, or you can’t really hear it, then it doesn’t exist. Very much the silent tree that falls in the uninhabited forest. Furthermore if someone told you how it looked, and then they went on to explain how it felt, or they replicated the crashing sound it made, this would do you well while you hurriedly slug down that last bit of coffee, as you rush off to catch that always too early bus.

            Our clever media knows how we Americans are preoccupied, and it is my opinion that they craft their words towards that human shortfall of ours. The MSM realizes you weren’t listening at all, when you thought you were listening rather intently. The media masters know how most of us will never fact check them, and now a days if you do dig in to find the truth, well then you are reading fake news…shame on you.

            Orwell could have never traveled into the future, because if he did then he only got it half right…our corporate owned media is way pass Orwell. Orwell didn’t give Big Brother any where’s near the glist and glitter that our modern day news hacks have got.

            It’s all a great show…or so they tell me.

  16. Bill Goldman
    April 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Why do you waste your time in nitpicking competition with the NYT? They are lying now as they were lying about WMDS in Iraq in 2003. Scott Ritter knew that Iraq ended their nuclear program when he was working for the UN inspection group and the group confirmed in 2003. The liars then were George Bush and Dick Cheney. The liar now is Donald Trump. No matter what the NYT reports, the US is hell bent on twisting the facts so it can wage war against Syria. The real question is how much longer will Russia exercise patience with Trump?

  17. Desert Dave
    April 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    The NY Times is completely shameless. On Apr. 26 they published this very authoritative-sounding article on whodunnit: https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/04/26/world/europe/ap-syria.html?_r=0

    It boils down to asserting that the signature of the Sarin gas is the same as that used in 2013. Readers here all know that the attribution to Assad has been thoroughly and convincingly debunked. In fact if the poison signature is the same, then the “rebels” are to blame. The NY Times writers know this full well.

    They are lying and they know it.

    • tom
      April 29, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Chances are very high that they don’t know it. They’re brainwashed know-nothings, after all.

      • Kiza
        April 29, 2017 at 9:03 pm

        It is just a job and it pays the bills. Could not care less what the truth is.

  18. April 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I think the mainstream media is trying to maintain the illusion but it is half-hearted and will likely dissipate over time. The NYT is desperately held onto by thef “educated” professional class as a source of authority they need to form their world view. It’s tragic. No one I know that clings to the iron triangle of the NYT, NPR, and the Washington Post wants to look deeply into these matters–they MUST believe that there are authorities that can tell us what is going on in the world. Unconsciously they believe that without a central authority whether of information or political power their world would crumble because they know their assumptions are built on sand and they just lack the heart or intellectual power to go beyond the surface in anything whether it is their own lives or in how the world actually operates. They need to believe in a world of good guys and bad guys and are as simplistic, ultimately, in their views as any staunch right-winger. As I’ve often said, we live in a post-rational society.

    • mike k
      April 29, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Right on Banger. They can’t handle the truth!

  19. mike k
    April 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    The establishment fears the truth more than anything else. The whole huge spying, secrecy, propaganda apparatus is dedicated to hiding and denying the truth, and discrediting or destroying those who would reveal it.

  20. tom
    April 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    This is the best article I’ve read on any subject in a very long time. I’m putting Consortium News on my must-read list.

  21. F. G. Sanford
    April 29, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I’m just flabbergasted at the ease with which the American public can be hoodwinked. Never mind the farcical nonsense to which unscrupulous mainstream journalists are willing to sign their names. Doesn’t anybody believe their own eyes?

    For me, that picture of the pothole…er, “bomb crater”, tells the whole story. Come on. You don’t have to be a battle damage analyst to know that bombs don’t create holes of uniform depth with irregular margins. They form inverted cones or parabolas. And, metal cylinders containing explosives don’t “crush” themselves when they detonate.

    I guess today’s youth are less adventurous than we were fifty years ago. Most every kid I knew back then had built a campfire and engaged in “destructive testing”…just for fun. Kids today lead a sheltered existence. They’ve never tossed a spray can into a fire and run like hell to see what would happen. They also don’t seem to realize that asymmetrical damage to a rigid structure never causes symmetrical collapse. Things only fall straight down when they encounter no resistance. Nope, kids today just don’t have a clue, and neither does the American public.

    But, the rest of the world isn’t quite so gullible. And, they’re getting fed up. That “powerful armada” appears to have solidified Russian and Chinese resolve to support North Korea. Think of those cruise missiles like a magic act. I mean…if you open by sawing the girl in half, what are you gonna do next? Hang on to your sneakers, folks, this could get really exciting!

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Hey like how unAmerican of those S Koreans not wanting to pay the U.S. the one billion dollars for those beautiful THAAD missiles…I mean do those S Koreans think those missiles grow on trees? I mean how ungrateful can you get?

    • Gregory Herr
      April 29, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      “Doesn’t anybody believe their own eyes?”

      Actually it has come to this, hasn’t it? What a question to have to ask ourselves.

  22. April 29, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Gore Vidal called it the “United States of Amnesia”. Definitely “post-rational” age, as Banger described it.

  23. Arjuna
    April 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Can you give us some more info on the drone vector please?
    Also the French report is quite convincing on the chemistry. What if Nusra types used the regimes recipe and some captured ingredients?
    Dr Shakul Islam needs to face justice for Foley. C’mon FBI, get that guy.

    • April 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      here is a cut-and-paste from the article: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/12/trump-withholds-syria-sarin-evidence/

      I was told that initially the U.S. analysts couldn’t see any warplanes over the area in Idlib province at the suspected time of the poison gas attack but later they detected a drone that they thought might have delivered the bomb.

      A Drone Mystery

      According to a source, the analysts struggled to identify whose drone it was and where it originated. Despite some technical difficulties in tracing its flight path, analysts eventually came to believe that the flight was launched in Jordan from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels, the source said, adding that the suspected reason for the poison gas was to create an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.

      i havnt found much else, as it appears to be from US Def analysts…pretty in-house info…

  24. Abe
    April 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Theodore A. Postol issued a notice of correction, stating that the prior report contained an error concerning the date of an event that was cited by the 26 April 2017 French “National Evaluation”.

    At the top of his current report, Postol states that his analysis of the French intelligence report “focused on an event that occurred not on April 4, 2017 but instead on April 29, 2013”.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/correction-to-the-french-intelligence-report-of-april-26-2017-contradicts-the-allegations-in-the-whi.html

    Scientists issue a notice of correction when an error is discovered after publication. Postol accurately detailed the error, the correction, and its implications.

    Corrections are how scientists make progress in our understanding of the world. After all, most new findings are based on previous scientific research.

    Scientists state they’ve made a error, and then correct their report of findings. Investigative journalists do the same.

    Governmental and non-governmental propagandists, conspiracy theorists, and fake journalists attempt to conceal their errors.

    As I noted in my previous comments, Postol continues to points out contradictions in the French analysis concerning alleged munitions and methods of delivery.

  25. Abe
    April 30, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    The New York Times loudly hails Eliot Higgins as an “expert” even though Higgins’ assertions Syria and Ukraine have repeatedly been debunked.

    Last May 2015, an NYT article by professional stenographer Michael R. Gordon breathlessly claimed that “independent experts have operated like digital Sherlock Holmeses”, and he praised the Atlantic Council propaganda document co-authored by Higgins and former American ambassador to Ukraine John E. Herbst as an “independent report”.

    In reality, there is nothing “independent” about either the Atlantic Council or Higgins and Bellingcat.

    The Atlantic Council is managed by Western “policy makers”, military leaders, and senior intelligence officials, including four heads of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    The Atlantic Council’s May 2015 “”report” claiming that Russia supplied a Buk missile that shot down MH-17 is based on a single reference to a November 2014 “report” by Higgins titled “MH-17: Source of the Separatist’s Buk”.

    Higgins’ 2014 claim of “undeniable evidence” became the Atlantic Council’s 2015 claim that “pieces of evidence create an undeniable and publicly accessible record”.

    The Atlantic Council used video of Higgins and Michael Usher from the Australian “60 Minutes” program “MH-17: An Investigation” to promote the report.

    This is the way anti-Russia propaganda works, especially at the New York Times.

    In addition to numerous articles highlighting the faux “independent citizen journalists” at Bellingcat, editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal has turned the NYT op-ed pages into a megaphone for Atlantic Council propaganda on Ukraine.

    A March 15, 2015 op-ed piece on Ukraine was authored by Herbst and Hans Binnendijk, former Senior Director for Defense Policy at the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, and member on the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisors Group.

    A June 9, 2015 op-ed decrying “Putin’s warlords” in eastern Ukraine was written by Adrian Karatnycky, a Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations Program, and former President and Executive Director of Freedom House (1993-2004) focused on instigating regime change in Belarus, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia.

    George Soros has worked closely with the Freedom House, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy (now doing work formerly assigned to the CIA), the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and the Albert Einstein Institute to initiate a series of color revolutions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia following the engineered collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Karatnycky advertises himself as a “leading authority on Ukraine who has worked on-the-ground with the country’s leading policy reformers since the late 1980s”. He manages the Myrmidon Group, “a consultancy with a representation in Kyiv that works with investors and corporations seeking entry into the complex but lucrative emerging markets of Ukraine and Eastern Europe”.

    In addition, Karatnycky is on the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative, an organization that works in partnership with the Mohyla Academy in Kyiv. The Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, James C. Temerty, a member of the Advisory Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. A Chairman of Northland Power, a major Canadian power company, Temerty also serves as Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Business School at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funded Mohyla Academy in Kiev.

    In June 2015, an Atlantic Council / Ukrainian Jewish Encounter joint delegation headed by headed by Herbst, Karatnycky, and Temerty met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. According to the Ukrainian government website, the parties discussed “cooperation in countering Russian propaganda, which is particularly dangerous part of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine, as well as the entire free world and civilized relations between states.” It is not known whether the group discussed their New York Times op-ed bona fides.

    • April 30, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      wow…i really need to get my research as well organised as yours…thanks abain abe

  26. exiled off mainstreet
    May 1, 2017 at 12:27 am

    The scepticism is justified, and one should bear in mind that propagandists were charged and convicted of war crimes in Nuremberg tribunals. The Times, Guardian and other pillars of the propaganda structure are indeed war criminals.

  27. Charles Wood
    May 1, 2017 at 7:59 am

    There is clear video evidence of an aerial attack later in the day within an hour of so of local solar noon 12:38 UT+3. This is very likely the raid that Russia referred to. It attacked an underground hospital/logistics complex on the eastern exit of Khan Sheikhoun https://www.google.com/maps/place/35°26'28.4“N+36°40’15.1″E

    See video of bomb strike (including Hadi Alabdullah) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbePT_ZwO68

  28. george Archers
    May 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Fact is most of the USA media is controlled and owned by Israel Firsters. Syria needs to be destroyed and split. For security of Israel…… Not one word said by the author.Own the media and you can destroy any country or body.

  29. Winston Smith
    May 1, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Congratulations to Consortium News.

    That crater is too small to have been made by a bomb.

    On the photograph that has to be an improvised device placed on the ground and blown open by a small explosive charge.

  30. Bill in Montgomery
    May 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I appreciate that someone is trying to use logic. The scariest thing about this whole story is the extent to which the MSM has gone “all in” to advance the Assad-did-it narrative. The fact there is no skeptical “watch dog” press questioning “official” pronouncements is about as ominous development as I can conceive. The alternative: Trust the Government. Don’t question anything. If you do, we will go after you. Again, scary times probably going to become scarier.

  31. M.H.R.
    May 1, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    “the rebels have captured some government helicopters”

    Indeed, as video documented: some “Hind” helicopters with OFAB 100-120 HE bombs…. as was also claimed to have been dropped on, or left behind at humanitarian convoy, another of such attempt to ignite Western emotion. Documented by, surprisingly…. http://brown-moses.blogspot.nl/2013/01/highlights-from-video-tour-of-taftanaz.html

  32. rm
    May 3, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Even when a full bore independent study proves beyond shadow of a doubt, a terrorist false flag; which ALL evidence points toward in-the-first(and second)(and third) instance
    it would still be flipped into the record as a ‘hiccup’.
    CNN called Rashidin, a ‘Hiccup.”
    A drop of spilt tea on the puffshirt of corporate malfeasance.
    Without demur. Like ODDESSA three years before. No recognition of the pain. The suffering. The inhumanity….a slight cough….
    The wurlitzer wheezes on. Its black blood calling all criminals of the world to its defense.

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