NYT’s New Syria-Sarin Report Challenged

Special Report: An MIT national security scientist says the New York Times pushed a “fraudulent” analysis of last April’s “sarin” incident in Syria, part of a troubling pattern of “groupthink” and “confirmation bias,” writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

For U.S. mainstream journalists and government analysts, their erroneous “groupthinks” often have a shady accomplice called “confirmation bias,” that is, the expectation that some “enemy” must be guilty and thus the tendency to twist any fact in that direction.

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

We have seen this pair contribute to fallacious reasoning more and more in recent years as the mainstream U.S. media and the U.S. government approach international conflicts as if the “pro-U.S. side” is surely innocent and the “anti-U.S. side” is presumed guilty.

That was the case in assessing whether Iraq was hiding WMD in 2002-2003; it was repeated regarding alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria during that six-year conflict; and it surfaces as well in the New Cold War in which Russia is always the villain.

The trend also requires insulting any Western journalist or analyst who deviates from the groupthinks or questions the confirmation bias. The dissidents are called “stooges”; “apologists”; “conspiracy theorists”; or “purveyors of fake news.” It doesn’t really matter how reasonable the doubts are. The mocking insults carry the day.

In addition, there is almost no accountability in those rare cases when the mainstream media and government propagandists must admit that they were demonstrably wrong. For every Iraq WMD confession – which resulted in almost no punishments for the “groupthinkers” – there are dozens of cases when the Big Boys just hunker down, admit nothing and count on their privileged status to protect them.

It doesn’t even seem to matter how well-credentialed the skeptic is or how obvious the failings of the mainstream analysis are. So, you even have weapons experts, such as Theodore Postol, professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who are ignored when their judgments conflict with the conventional wisdom.

The Syrian Case

For instance, in a little-noticed May 29, 2017 report on the April 4, 2017 chemical weapons incident at Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria, Postol takes apart the blame-the-Syrian-government conclusions of The New York Times, Human Rights Watch and the Establishment’s favorite Internet site, Bellingcat.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Postol’s analysis focused on a New York Times video report, entitled “How Syria And Russia Spun A Chemical Strike,” which followed Bellingcat research that was derived from social media. Postol concluded that “NONE of the forensic evidence in the New York Times video and a follow-on Times news article supports the conclusions reported by the New York Times.” [Emphasis in original.]

The basic weakness of the NYT/Bellingcat analysis was a reliance on social media from the Al Qaeda-controlled area of Idlib province and thus a dependence on “evidence” from the jihadists and their “civil defense” collaborators, known as the White Helmets.

The jihadists and their media teams have become very sophisticated in the production of propaganda videos that are distributed through social media and credulously picked up by major Western news outlets. (A Netflix infomercial for the White Helmets even won an Academy Award earlier this year.)

Postol zeroes in on the Times report’s use of a video taken by anti-government photographer Mohamad Salom Alabd, purporting to show three conventional bombs striking Khan Sheikhoun early in the morning of April 4.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile from the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2017. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price)

The Times report extrapolated from that video where the bombs would have struck and then accepted that a fourth bomb – not seen in the video – delivered a sarin canister that struck a road and released sarin gas that blew westward into a heavily populated area supposedly killing dozens.

The incident led President Trump, on April 6, to order a major retaliatory strike with 59 Tomahawk missiles hitting a Syrian government airfield and, according to Syrian media reports, killing several soldiers at the base and nine civilians, including four children, in nearby neighborhoods. It also risked inflicting death on Russians stationed at the base.

A Wind Problem

But the Times video analysis – uploaded on April 26 – contained serious forensic problems, Postol said, including showing the wind carrying the smoke from the three bombs in an easterly direction whereas the weather reports from that day – and the presumed direction of the sarin gas – had the wind going to the west.

Panoramic image of the three bomb plumes that an anti-Syrian government photographer claimed to take on April 4, 2017, in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. MIT analyst Theodore Postol notes that the plumes appear to be blowing to the east, in contradiction of the day’s weather reports and the supposed direction of a separate sarin cloud.

Indeed, if the wind were blowing toward the east – and if the alleged location of the sarin release was correct – the wind would have carried the sarin away from the nearby populated area and likely would have caused few if any casualties, Postol wrote.

Postol also pointed out that the Times’ location of the three bombing strikes didn’t match up with the supposed damage that the Times claimed to have detected from satellite photos of where the bombs purportedly struck. Rather than buildings being leveled by powerful bombs, the photos showed little or no apparent damage.

The Times also relied on before-and-after satellite photos that had a gap of 44 days, from Feb. 21, 2017, to April 6, 2017, so whatever damage might have occurred couldn’t be tied to whatever might have happened on April 4.

Nor could the hole in the road where the crushed “sarin” canister was found be attributed to an April 4 bombing raid. Al Qaeda jihadists could have excavated the hole the night before as part of a staged provocation. Other images of activists climbing into the supposedly sarin-saturated hole with minimal protective gear should have raised other doubts, Postol noted in earlier reports.

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

There’s also the question of motive. The April 4 incident immediately followed the Trump administration’s announcement that it was no longer seeking “regime change” in Syria, giving the jihadists and their regional allies a motive to create a chemical-weapons incident to reverse the new U.S. stand. By contrast, the Syrian government seemed to have no logical motive to provoke U.S. outrage.

In other words, Al Qaeda and its propagandists could have posted video from an earlier bombing raid and used it to provide “proof” of an early-morning airstrike that corresponded to the staged release of sarin or some similar poison gas on April 4. Though that is just one possible alternative, it’s certainly true that Al Qaeda does not show very much humanitarian concern about the lives of civilians.

Critics of the White Helmets have identified the photographer of the airstrike, Mohamad Salom Alabd, as a jihadist who appears to have claimed responsibility for killing a Syrian military officer. But the Times described him in a companion article to the video report only as “a journalist or activist who lived in the town.”

Mocking the Russian/Syrian Account

For their part, the Syrian government and the Russians said Syrian planes conducted no airstrike early in the morning but did attack the area around noon. They speculated that the noontime attack may have struck chemical weapons stored by the jihadists, causing an accidental release of poisonous gas.

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

The Times jumped on the discrepancy between the reports of an early-morning attack and the Syrian-Russian account of a noontime strike to show that the Syrians and Russians were lying.

In response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asking, “How can you verify the video?” the Times narration by Malachy Browne smugly says: “Well, here’s how. Let’s take a look at videos, satellite photos and open source material of that day. They show that Assad and Russia are telling a story that contradicts the facts.”

Yet, the Times’ point about the Syrians and Russians lying about the time element makes little sense because the Syrians and Russians aren’t denying that an airstrike occurred. They acknowledged that there was an airstrike, albeit later in the day, and they speculate that the attack might have accidentally released chemicals stored by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front. In other words, they gained no advantage by putting the time at noon instead of early in the morning.

There could have been honest confusion on the part of the Syrians and Russians as they struggled to understand what had occurred and how – or the noontime airstrike and the morning chemical release could have been unrelated, i.e., the jihadists and/or their foreign allies could have staged the early-morning poison-gas “attack” and the Syrian bombing raid could have followed several hours later but could have been unrelated to the poison-gas release.

However, for the Times and others to pounce on a seemingly meaningless time discrepancy, further shows how “confirmation bias” works. The “enemy” must be shown to be guilty, so any comment – no matter how innocent or irrelevant – can be cited to “prove” a point.

Double Standard on Trust

The Times also has displayed a bizarre bias when Syrians speak from government-controlled areas. Then, the Times always inserts language suggesting that the interviewees may be under coercion. Yet the Times assumes that “witnesses” inside Al Qaeda-controlled territory are commenting honestly, freely and without fear of contradicting the jihadists.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

The Times’ double standard is particularly curious because United Nations investigators don’t even dare enter these jihadist zones because the jihadists have a history of beheading journalists and other civilians who get in the way.

An example of this bias was on display in Wednesday’s Times in an article about the family of Omran, the boy made famous by a photo of him in an ambulance. The article discussed the family’s ordeal and mentioned the father’s vocal support for the Assad government.

However, because the family backed Assad, the Times inserted this caveat: “Syrians appearing on state television or on channels associated with the Assad government are not able to speak freely. The government exerts tight control over all information broadcast about the war, including interviews with civilians, who can be coerced and threatened with arrest if they criticize the government.”

Yet, the Times treats interviews with people inside jihadist-controlled territory as inherently truthful with the interview subjects described in favorable or neutral terms, such as “rescue workers,” “journalists,” “eyewitnesses” or sometimes “activists.” There is rarely any suggestion that Al Qaeda might either be controlling these messages or intimidating the interviewees, who are usually denouncing Assad, what the Times and other mainstream news outlets want to hear.

False-Flag Evidence

This gullibility has continued despite evidence that the jihadists do generate sophisticated propaganda to promote their cause, including staging “false-flag” chemical weapons attacks. For instance, U.N. investigators who examined one alleged chlorine-gas attack by the Syrian government against Al-Tamanah on the night of April 29-30, 2014, heard multiple testimonies from townspeople that the event had been staged by rebels and played up by activists on social media.

“Seven witnesses stated that frequent alerts [about an imminent chlorine weapons attack by the government] had been issued, but in fact no incidents with chemicals took place,” the U.N. report stated. “While people sought safety after the warnings, their homes were looted and rumours spread that the events were being staged. … [T]hey [these witnesses] had come forward to contest the wide-spread false media reports.”

Accounts from other people, who did allege that there had been a government chemical attack on Al-Tamanah, provided suspect evidence, including data from questionable sources, according to the U.N. report.

The report said, “Three witnesses, who did not give any description of the incident on 29-30 April 2014, provided material of unknown source. One witness had second-hand knowledge of two of the five incidents in Al-Tamanah, but did not remember the exact dates. Later that witness provided a USB-stick with information of unknown origin, which was saved in separate folders according to the dates of all the five incidents mentioned by the FFM [the U.N.’s Fact-Finding Mission].

“Another witness provided the dates of all five incidents reading it from a piece of paper, but did not provide any testimony on the incident on 29-30 April 2014. The latter also provided a video titled ‘site where second barrel containing toxic chlorine gas was dropped tamanaa 30 April 14’”

Some other “witnesses” alleging a Syrian government attack offered curious claims about detecting the chlorine-infused “barrel bombs” based on how the device sounded in its descent.

The U.N. report said, “The eyewitness, who stated to have been on the roof, said to have heard a helicopter and the ‘very loud’ sound of a falling barrel. Some interviewees had referred to a distinct whistling sound of barrels that contain chlorine as they fall. The witness statement could not be corroborated with any further information.”

The U.N. report might have added that there was no plausible explanation for someone detecting a chlorine canister in a “barrel bomb” based on its “distinct whistling sound.” The only logical conclusion is that the chlorine attack had been staged by the jihadists, and their supporters then lied to the U.N. team to enrage the world public against the Assad regime.

Another Dubious Case

In 2013, the work of Postol and his late partner, Richard M. Lloyd, an analyst at the military contractor Tesla Laboratories, debunked claims from the same trio — Bellingcat, the Times and Human Rights Watch — blaming the Syrian government for the even more notorious sarin-gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, which killed hundreds.

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base. The evidentiary and scientific support for the map later collapsed.

Postol and Lloyd showed that the rocket carrying the sarin had only a fraction of the range that the trio had assumed in tracing its path back to a government base.

Since the much shorter range placed the likely launch point inside rebel-controlled territory, the incident appeared to have been another false-flag provocation, one that almost led President Obama to launch a major retaliatory strike against the Syrian military.

Although the Times grudgingly acknowledged the scientific problems with its analysis, it continued to blame the 2013 incident on the Syrian government. Similarly, Official Washington’s “groupthink” still holds that the Syrian government launched that sarin attack and that Obama chickened out on enforcing his “red line” against chemical weapons use.

Obama’s announcement of that “red line,” in effect, created a powerful incentive for Al Qaeda and other jihadists to stage chemical attacks assuming that they would be blamed on the government and thus draw in the U.S. military on the jihadist side. If Obama’s expected “retaliation” had devastated the Syrian military in 2013, Al Qaeda or its spinoff Islamic State might well have taken Damascus.

Yet, the 2013 “groupthink” of Syrian government guilt survives. After the April 4, 2017 incident, President Trump took some pleasure in mocking Obama’s weakness in contrast to his supposed toughness in quickly launching a “retaliatory” strike on April 6 (Washington time, although April 7 in Syria).

White House Claims

Trump’s attack came even before the White House released a supportive – though unconvincing – intelligence report on April 11. Regarding that report, Postol wrote, “The White House produced a false intelligence report on April 11, 2017 in order to justify an attack on the Syrian airbase at Sheyrat, Syria on April 7, 2017. That attack risked an unintended collision with Russia and a possible breakdown in cooperation between Russia and United States in the war to defeat the Islamic State. The collision also had some potential to escalate into a military conflict with Russia of greater extent and consequence.

President Trump delivers his brief speech to the nation explaining his decision to launch a missile strike against Syria on April 6, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

“The New York Times and other mainstream media immediately and without proper review of the evidence adopted the false narrative produced by the White House even though that narrative was totally unjustified based on the forensic evidence. The New York Times used an organization, Bellingcat, for its source of analysis even though Bellingcat has a long history of making false claims based on distorted assertions about forensic evidence that either does not exist, or is absolutely without any evidence of valid sources.”

Postol continued, “This history of New York Times publishing of inaccurate information and then sticking by it when solid science-based forensic evidence disproves the original narrative cannot be explained in terms of simple error. The facts overwhelmingly point to a New York Times management that is unconcerned about the accuracy of its reporting.

“The problems exposed in this particular review of a New York Times analysis of critically important events related to the US national security is not unique to this particular story. This author could easily point to other serious errors in New York Times reporting on important technical issues associated with our national security.

“In these cases, like in this case, the New York Times management has not only allowed the reporting of false information without reviewing the facts for accuracy, but it has repeatedly continued to report the same wrong information in follow-on articles. It may be inappropriate to call this ‘fake news,’ but this loaded term comes perilously close to actually describing what is happening.”

No Admissions

When I interviewed Postol on Wednesday, he said he had received no responses from either the Times or Bellingcat, adding: “It seems to me that the analysts were ignorant beyond plausibility or they rigged the analysis. … To me, this is malpractice on a large scale.”

MIT national security technical expert Theodore Postol.

Referring to some of the photographed scenes in Khan Sheikhoun, including a dead goat that appeared to have been dragged into location near the “sarin crater,” Postol called the operation “a rather amateurish attempt to create a false narrative.”

But the problem of the Times and Bellingcat presenting dubious – or in Postol’s view, “fraudulent” – information about sensitive geopolitical and national security issues has another potentially even darker side. These two entities are part of Google’s First Draft Coalition of news organizations that are expected to serve as gatekeepers separating “truth” from “fake news.”

The emerging idea is to take their judgments and enter them into algorithms to scrub the Internet of information that doesn’t comport with what the Times, Bellingcat and other approved news outlets deem true.

That these two organizations would operate with a pattern of “confirmation bias” on sensitive war-and-peace issues is thus doubly troubling in that their future “groupthinks” could not only mislead their readers but could ensure that contrary evidence is whisked away from everyone else, too.

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).

129 comments for “NYT’s New Syria-Sarin Report Challenged

  1. UIA
    June 14, 2017 at 15:58

    Art’s the triumph over chaos. That was a giant academic exercise AKA total waste of time. They’ll go back to shooting because gas is a red line deal. The Syrian government is suicidal with help from Russia. Operate on leeks, not leaks. Hope’s salad is getting bigger. The salad days are here again. NRA maniacs opening fire in VA. Lobbying is dirty business. With a gas lobby that could be politically correct.

    Yours, in exile. UIA

  2. June 14, 2017 at 10:20

    Great piece all in all – NYT time obfuscation well-covered. A couple of things I’d like to add from my own work, along with others, at A Closser Look On Syria, Monitor on Massacre Marketing, and elsewhere:

    wind direction: The prediction Postol uses is far from gospel. It does clash with the seen direction, which means EITHER the video must be from a different day OR the prediction just wasn’t right. It doesn’t explain the pattern seen in where deaths were reported, off by something like 90 degrees. Neither does the wind in the video, but what that does is blow EXACTLY the opposite of where they reported deaths. It’s like we agree on the real wind direction, but their scriptwriters read FROM the SW as TO the SW and mapped all their sites according to that. http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2017/05/4-4-17-wind-direction-explainer.html

    More problematic is Postol’s damage assessment. He doesn’t seem to realize all three blast plumes are accurately geolocated, each from at least two camera angles, with fields-of-view carefully analyzed, and the spots they must be are exactly the ones NYT cites, or so close someone would have found them by now. The simple explanation: those are the blasts that caused those plumes, that’s the damage and it lines up somehow (looks to me like weak fuel-air explosive rockets, but the damage is worse, seen from the ground, than it appears from space). http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2017/06/idlib-chemical-massacre-blasts.html

    I’m firmly convinced, in advance and by precedent alone, that this was a false-flag incident and that this can be proven. Everything so far says that’s true, and I think we have a few solid lines approaching proof – the wind thing (a fatal contradiction within their own provided evidence – even if you don’t buy this is April 4 video, they SAY it is), the signs that the blasts are from rockets fired from the north instead of dropped from a jet overhead (or to the south as radar tacks show), the apparent head-hacking execution of several victims, including the alleged wife of Abdelhamid al-Yousef, etc.

    But I’m a stickler for method and adhering to the evidence, so I have to take my own analysis over Postol’s here, and suggest the same for others. The rockets hit those spots, almost surely on April 4, at the reported time, and then there was the alleged sarin fog – and this is another clue for false-flag, when you look at it right. http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2017/05/idlib-chemical-massacre-white-fog.html

    Hint: for something this important, they’ll likely go to greater lengths to make it all line-up, like getting the blasts on the right day, and even carefully mapping all their deaths to match the wind (but OOPS on that one!)

  3. Michael Kenny
    June 10, 2017 at 08:35

    All Mr Parry is saying is that the NYT misreported the incident. That doesn’t prove that the incident didn’t happen and since we’re constantly being told on the US internet that all media (except, naturally, themselves!) are unreliable, that’s hardly a very convincing argument.

  4. Bill Goldman
    June 9, 2017 at 12:33

    Scott Ritter and Theodore Postol have demonstrated that the US establishment thinks nothing of tailoring the facts to conform to the claim. In this case, the claim of an alleged chemical bomb dropped by the Syrian government at Khan Sheikoum is constructed by The NY Times, Human Rights Watch, Jane Bellingcat to match the claim. The jihadist opposition led by their White Helmet actors arranged the fraudulent scene. The White Helmets have been repeatedly exposed by independent journalists. Just as Ritter’s observations on WMDs was proven true, Postol’s analysis was confirmed on the chemical bomb matter. The respective liars were the Bush-Cheney crowd and the Obama-Clinton gang.

  5. H. W. Phillips
    June 9, 2017 at 11:19

    Sam, I am not a troll, a propagandist or any other boogeyman your febrile, parenoid mind wants to come up with. I just think when you speak of a Jewish cabal you are embracing a antisemitic trope that will cause some to roll their eyes and ignore everything else you have to say, much as I have done. You can decry the corporate, mainstream media without this Elders of Zion nonsense. It is offensive.

  6. Guy Thornton
    June 9, 2017 at 10:09

    Good article.

    Please don’t refer to “The New York Times as “The Times”. There is only one “The Times” in the world and it’s been in London since its inception in 1785 or so. Give credit where it’s due.

  7. June 9, 2017 at 10:04

    Of course, Google will be used to scrub all information from the internet contrary to Establishment propaganda. That’s the next step in authoritarian regimes.

  8. Bill Rood
    June 9, 2017 at 09:14

    “Confirmation bias” and “groupthink” have nothing to do with this problem. Lies are lies and need no further explanation, just debunking as by Postol.

  9. Mark
    June 8, 2017 at 23:43

    It’s always good to examine your own confirmation bias as well as the other side’s. In this case, I don’t think Postol’s case is very good.

    The wind blowing the plumes seems the weakest. There’s not much east movement in the plumes at all. And remember this is a 2D video/picture. The plumes could be mainly moving towards the camera, which is in the general direction the wind is reported to have blown. (Although I am curious how Postol’s source, World Weather Online gets accurate wind data every 3 hours from KS).

    The sight lines he rigs up seem very prone to error. It looks like he lines it up based on the mound, which couldn’t be used to determine orientation, being round and featureless. Bellingcat has a photo that uses several minarets across the city to get the camera angle. Does anyone understand where 195 degree rotation comes from? And resizing could introduce error as well.

    The bomb damage seems like his best critique, but how does he know they are 1,000 pound bombs? And comparing plume size can’t be very scientific, for all his attempts to make it seem so. Isn’t what was hit a very important factor in what the plume looks like and it’s size?

    I think Postol did good work on the Ghouta attack, especially the range issue, but his KS reports have been lackluster.

  10. Rudy
    June 8, 2017 at 16:27


    • evelync
      June 8, 2017 at 17:27

      I wondered that about Bellingcat because wtf was he doing in Ukraine in an apartment with a window supposedly looking out on the place where he could grab some photos just in time to take photographs of the very things he was using to make his argument that seemed somehow pre-formed or with a predetermined conclusion
      – unless I remember his articles incorrectly…

  11. Virginia
    June 8, 2017 at 14:55

    Would it help if every single one of us here (except for the few who don’t agree with science or Parry) signed a letter to NYT? Didn’t someone say he was an “organizer”?

    • Erik G
      June 8, 2017 at 19:36

      See the petition link in my reply to the first comment. Almost 400 signatures so far.

  12. F. G. Sanford
    June 8, 2017 at 13:15

    You can suspend skepticism and believe what you’re told. You can disavow the laws of Newtonian (and, for that matter, any other) physics. You can listen to a story and agree that it combines events with explanations in a way that seems to provide closure. Never mind that none of it is true. The important thing is that answers have been provided. Rational thought and routine logic applied to those answers should suggest that the answers had been carefully considered before the event even occurred, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Forget that science is based on reproducible, repeatable outcomes which, once the mechanism has been discovered, are known to be inviolable natural laws. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Isaac Newton was never confronted with an apple that fell up. Had it ever happened – even once – he could not have mathematically expressed the law of gravity.
    Let’s take another example. A bullet passes through two bodies creating seven wounds leaving fragments in the wounds. Thousands of those bullets have been manufactured, and their precise mass within a known range of variation has been established beyond any doubt. The bullet, we are asked to believe, left fragments in those wounds which weighed more – significantly more – than the bulled proffered in evidence was missing. In fact, that bullet was said to be “pristine”, because its remaining mass was within the expected range of an intact bullet of that kind. Never mind that this story violates “conservation of matter”, a natural law.
    For the last fifty four years, fairytales of this nature have been foisted on the American public. “Magical thinking” has become the common currency of the manipulation of a gullible public. That’s all fine and dandy. Except that not a single foreign government is stupid enough to believe these stories. That’s where the danger lies. At some point, having already concluded beyond any shadow of a doubt that the U.S. Government has descended into delusional irrationalism, outright lies and propaganda which contains within itself the very contradictions which reveal its mendacity, foreign governments will decide to act. They are acting already. Intelligence analysts may already be offering their respective governments “first strike” advisements. No, I’m not kidding.
    Great comments – thanks, Abe. Mike K: get a copy of two books – “Science and Sanity” and “Manhood of Humanity”, both by Alfred Korzybsky. They explain just about everything. Skip – I think you’re right. We’ve been pretending the fairytales are true for far too long.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 8, 2017 at 16:50

      You know F.G. the establishment must have gotten worried about too much truth coming out during this past 2016 presidential election, where suddenly now we have the descriptive term ‘fake news’ come into play. So now anything that doesn’t fit the pattern of desired outcomes is described as being ‘fake news’. Talk about confusing the confused, this new term is perfect for anyone to use, if they so wish to use it. You say ‘they did it’ and I counter you by stating your giving us ‘fake news’. I say ‘they didn’t’ and you confront me with my telling my version as being ‘fake news’. In the end no one knows what to believe, so we continue to watch the NHL playoffs, or do something totally void of critical thinking when it comes to the people figuring out what is real and not real. Is this not spinning our wheels?

      • F. G. Sanford
        June 8, 2017 at 17:47

        Exactly. If a ref makes a bad call, everybody sees it. If the third baseman misses a marshmallow infield popped ball, everybody knows it. If Mike Tyson bites off somebody’s ear, everybody sees him spit it out. There’s fake news in sports too, but it’s pretty hard to pass off on the fans. But when it comes to our government, we do everything but look at the evidence. There are a hundred places in each of these phony narratives where the evidence doesn’t match the story – but for some reason, unlike sports, the most important thing is the ref. The instant replays and what the fans actually saw don’t matter at all. Everything depends on the crooked ref.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 8, 2017 at 20:52

          When I was growing up nobody in the neighborhood locked the front door. Back then you could stand on your front porch and pronounce any kind of nonsense you wanted, and people continued on their way without any bother. If your neighbor punched you, you punched them back. In most cases no one avoided the draft, so most people served in the armed forces. Industries were a boom in every major city, and people were buying their second cars.

          Now today everyone stays locked away. Some people rarely even see the neighbor next door. Announcing your preferences of political choice, will certainly always get you a rude response from the opposing point of view. If your neighbor punches you and you don’t punch him back, more than likely he will sue you and win….somehow, but justice isn’t always fair as much as it’s selective if you have enough money to get the right selection to choose from. Thanking a veteran for the service means ‘thank you so I don’t need to serve’ is what’s really being noted. Industrial boom is replaced with driving Uber which will be driverless in probably less than five years.

          I can’t protest today, because I have things to do, but maybe next week.

      • Skip Scott
        June 9, 2017 at 08:32

        Joe & F.G-

        I think websites like CN have scared the bejesus out of the oligarchs and their propaganda spewing toadies. Even though we are a small percentage of the general population, they fear us enough to come up with this “Fake News” fantasy to steer people away from the truth. It is just like the “conspiracy theorist” ploy of the ’60’s. I am hoping that soon someone breaks through the MSM roadblock and reveals the depth of the corruption to the general population. Maybe a Jeremy Corbyn, or a Tulsi Gabbard. It has to be someone with enough power, and an element of surprise, so the MSM toadies can’t just shut them down when they reveal the “man behind the curtain”.

  13. Virginia
    June 8, 2017 at 11:46

    This is out of context, can’t resist,…Didn’t Comey lie today when he testified that it was not usual for him to take notes? I just checked several sources which reported that his close colleagues knew him to be a copious note taker, even going back to Ashcroft. Let’s see if he just gets off, as Clapper did, when admittedly he lied to Congress. Oh, Comey also talked about the honesty of the FBI as though irrefutable, established fact. Then I stopped watching.

    When Trump was asking Comey for loyalty, it would have been good if he’d added, “…that is, that you will do everything possible to expose the leakers and stop the leaking.”

    I’ll look forward to the articles here that will address today’s testimony. Meantime, thank you for the excellent expose, Mr. Parry. Terrible manipulation of Americans’ minds! So grateful for CN, for the thinkers here.

  14. Joe Tedesky
    June 8, 2017 at 11:29

    If the messenger of the 911 truth were credible I think the public’s reaction would be in shock, and that this revelation would be a show stopper for sure. I mean mike upon learning the truth about 911 that this could conclude a lot of things, even our country’s saber rattling against Russia would suddenly be on the table. The problem could be in finding the messenger of such a truthful moment could prove to be quite the task. Could this messenger be Anderson Cooper, or Oprah, or how about the Pope? We know Charlie Sheen isn’t going to be believed, so who would be the most convincing?

    In reality mike you are probably being the more sensible one here, but it’s always nice if we can at least have our dreams to fall back on.

  15. hillary
    June 8, 2017 at 10:05

    “groupthink” and “confirmation bias,” writes Robert Parry .

    Of course & also this as reported previously by Robert Parry.

    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.


    The PNAC agenda continues .

  16. Sleepless In Mars
    June 8, 2017 at 09:52

    Hunter S. Thompson
    “ If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people — including me — would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”

    Art is the triumph over chaos…etc.
    Blame it on Rio, not Seattle.

  17. Bjørn Holmgaard
    June 8, 2017 at 07:41

    Robert Parry isn’t it time to face the facts revealed by the church-commission of 1976 – that a lot of journalists are on the payroll of the CIA?:

    “The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.”
    Church Committee Final Report, Vol 1: Foreign and Military Intelligence, p. 455
    The commission findings lends credibility to what the late German journalists Udo Ulfkotte has stated – that journalists (himself included) on the payroll of the CIA is still a widespread phenomenon.

    Its not just “confirmation bias” that is at play at The Times or at Bellingcat. Syrian Sarin-gas is a CIA psyop if ever there were one.

    • June 8, 2017 at 07:57

      This is a very real and crucial part of the puzzle.

    • Dave P.
      June 8, 2017 at 12:56

      This CIA accredited Journalists have been there for a long time now. After all these Third World Nations gained Independence starting in 1947 with India, they sent a fair number of these Journalists to those Countries. Then, they started Peace Corpse, and sent quite a few CIA accredited volunteers in there too.

      Soviets were doing it too. But their aims and objectives were not related to economic exploitation. Mostly they did not want to be completely isolated, by keeping these Nations neutral or in their favor. There is a good book on it “The Secret History of American Empire” by John Perkins, who was a peace corps volunteer (Economics)

  18. June 8, 2017 at 05:30

    The NYT’s wouldn’t lie now, would it? I mean it’s the most prestigious f——g newspaper in the world. It would make up lies to promote a NWO agenda, would it.
    Everyone who has a subscription should cancel it. We need to starve the NYT’s to death.

  19. jimbo
    June 8, 2017 at 03:18

    Excellent takedown of the US/NYT vis a vis Syria. (It’s all about oil pipelines anyway.) And if I’m overly obsessed with 9/11, someone please say so but this story and that story are so similar had Robert changed the reportage of the gassing incidents in Syria to 9/11 and changed the debunking expert from Professor Postol to David Ray Griffin, he’d have a hell of a bigger and even more important story to tell. I can’t imagine who you’d piss off if your reports about Ukraine, Russia and Syria haven’t gotten you Seth Rich-ed or Michael Hastings-ed yet. So I implore you to just say, while including some dirt from the mountain of evidence out here, that the official 9/11 narrative is horse shit. Some excellent evidence is in the film I’ve linked.


    • mike k
      June 8, 2017 at 07:28

      It is unnecessary to prove that 9-11 or any other major event was an inside government conspiracy in order to indict the Us government for being a corrupt, evil organization. The evidence for this is so widespread and eventually obvious, that it is a waste of time to narrow one’s focus down to some specific atrocity. The 9-11 truthers seem to think that if everyone just believes their conspiracy theory, all will be well, and we will proceed to remove the bad actors responsible and go on our merry way to a better society. This is simply not true, and represents a major side track diversion from the more comprehensive understanding that deeply rooted systems like capitalism and militarism are our real problems that need our focused attention.

      • June 8, 2017 at 07:55


        I usually agree with most of your comments, but I think 9/11 is crucial, just because the evidence is so wide spread and obvious. The obvious conclusion that the perpetrators are capable of any evil, even against their own citizenry, should be sufficient to ignite a revolution. The fact that the general population is asleep, or anesthetized with propaganda, is more apparent with 9/11 than any other false flag event that I can think of. A more comprehensive understanding of our real problems would more easily flow from a realization of the truth of 9/11.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 8, 2017 at 11:11

        I’m with Skip on this mike K. I do believe that if the truth over 911 were to be revealed that the American citizens would bring the house down upon learning that truth. Although mike K your summation has merit considering how reactively low we Americans have appeared to be with our reactions to such things as have happened in the past, your belief carries some weight. Only allow me to ask you mike or anyone else reading this, when was the last time the American public was told the truth?

        My wish and fading hope is, that not only the truth would come out about 911, but that the truth would come out about the JFK assassination as well. In fact if not only the truth over JFK murder were to surface, but also all of the assassinations of the sixties were to be finally exposed would be a terrific truth to become known, that these revelations would be well appreciated.

        If the truth over 911 ever does come out I seriously hope that I’m standing in a TSA line at the airport when it does. You will need to excuse me with this, because this fantasy I have has been with me for a very longtime. I’d be half tempted too keep my shoes on, and go straight towards boarding the plane. I would be the disgustingly happy looking tourist passenger while walking down the jetway as I go to my seat on the plane, and none the humble traveler as I do this. I’d then encourage the TSA agents (who I have nothing against) to grab a mop and rag and start cleaning these bacteria ridden airports for this new job description for these people would be well worth it. We could change the narrative of ‘fighting the war against terrorism’ to fighting the ‘war against germs and bacteria’.

    • June 8, 2017 at 07:40

      Yeah jimbo-

      I’m with you. Robert Parry is a great journalist, but he treats 9/11 like a hot potato. There are now over 3,000 architects and engineers signed on who question the possibility of a skyscraper collapsing symmetricalIy without the use of controlled demolition. I think Parry fears for his reputation, as do Noam Chomsky and many others.

      • Skip Scott
        June 8, 2017 at 13:07

        I need to do my own correction. I had second hand info that said over 3,000 architects and engineers. I just checked their website and it is a mere 2,875.

        • backwardsevolution
          June 8, 2017 at 17:21

          Skip Scott – just a mere 2,875! And you don’t even have to be an engineer to figure this out, but just to have played in the bush your whole childhood, building stuff up and then destroying it. Controlled demolitions, for sure.

  20. Curious
    June 8, 2017 at 02:58

    Thank you Mr Parry, and also thank you to Abe who has provided, as always, an information background on the vipers who now try to infect public opinion.

    I don’t think many people, outside of those who routinely read CN, realize how important this article of Mr Parrys is in the light of the controlled media we have today. Those in power want and need to control the message. If Abe is correct, which I don’t doubt, with the list of those proofing the news in the hands of these select few, especially Kiev of all places, is indeed bizarre. I don’t know why it seems ‘more better’ in any case to kill hundreds of thousands with smart or conventional weapons, as the US has done, than of few hundred with a supposed CM attack. Something in the moral structure here is upside down. Israel and the US have no reason to be in a sovereign country to begin with.

    I didn’t have a chance to see the documentary on PBS about WW1, as it was a program fleshing out a few people who did good and challenging things (nothing wrong with that) but what struck me within the first few minutes was how the underwater telegraph cables were cut, except the one out of Britain, before the sinking of the Lusitania which meant the people in the US only had news out of London, and not Europe. It seems the powerful of today are following the same MO as before. That is, to control the flow of information and narrow its scope down to a few select entities which will predetermine the human response. The media (outside the of the nyt,WA post etc) are largely an accomplice, some unknowingly, since they are just grabbing AP stories or today’s social media sources to justify their ‘objectivity’. To have all of the information controlled by London before WW1 should be a historical warning sign for everyone today as the our current media have become parrots, rather than the higher goal of providing a healthy counterweight to those in power.

  21. June 8, 2017 at 02:52

    The USA-NATO-EU mafia has ingenerated all the troubles known on our planet for the past 70 years. Apparently Russia and its BRICS friends don’t seem to have the guts to make a stop to it. Since Washington is the boss of that “shit” why not set a total boycott of that country…

  22. June 8, 2017 at 01:24

    Kudos to Robert on an excellently researched series of articles on the warmongering false propaganda in The New York Times.

    @ Abe: “There are strong links between IIBR and Walter Reed Army Institute, the Uniformed Services University, the American Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) Center in Edgewood and the University of Utah.”

    I presume that you have evidence of this, which would be in line with a great deal of other information known to me. You have a good beginning on identifying the principal institutes of the research arm of the U.S. military/industrial complex’s chemical and biological warfare matters. Look for perhaps better hidden links with the Centers for Disease Control and the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service. The former has responsibility for nationwide monitoring for the introduction of biological weapons that affect human health, the latter to monitor for biological weapons that affect our food and fiber supply combined with legal authority and funding for wide scale application of pesticides under the guise of protecting us and our crops from pests. See e.g., the Oregon Environmental Council v. Kunzman cases in the Ninth Circuit (spraying for gypsy moth control in residential areas).

    Your opening argument is highly persuasive, although I think you should also address the many reports that al Qaeda in both Iraq and Syria have their own capability to manufacture sarin. With that caveat, I would very much like to see your argument published with supporting hyperlinks.

  23. H. W. Phillips
    June 8, 2017 at 00:47

    Mr. Marshall, I absolutely agree; Citizen 1, great quote, wonderful movie; I like the scene where Katherine Hepburn says “it’s 1183 we all have knives.”

  24. Joe Tedesky
    June 8, 2017 at 00:01

    The Duran sympathies lie with Russia and it’s allies, but what you will read in this article I’m providing a link to, is if nothing else of what the Duran author has to say is ‘thought provoking’. Why isn’t the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower bathed in the light of the Iranian Flag tonight, in honor of the besieged Iranian people yesterday at the hands of a ISIS terrorist attack. Are not the Iranians fighting ISIS? Are not the Iranians human beings? Did not the Iranians march in a candle light procession in sympathy for the U.S. right after 911?


    Russia interferes with U.S. elections. Assad created ISIS. Iran is the biggest instigator of terrorism. Where have we heard these kind of claims before? Saddam Hussein throws babies out of incubators. Hussein is hiding WMD. Noriega is a drug smuggler. Muammar Gaddafi is pumping Viagra into the veins of his assassins to kill the Libyan people. It’s always the same script over and over again, in order to control the narrative leading up to more war. Tell your neighbor, tell your family, tell yourself, that it’s continually the same rollout with the same results every time ….death and destruction.

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 8, 2017 at 14:16

      Thanks Joe. Great story telling, the Legacy on none other than Allen Dulles…

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 8, 2017 at 16:51

        Your welcome and thanks for the thanks. Did you get my email I sent regarding the USS Liberty? Joe

  25. Andrew Nichols
    June 7, 2017 at 22:51

    Let us also ponder how months after the fact, Craig Murray the former UK Ambassador to one of the central asisn nations said that he received the Democrats emails for Wikileaks from a Dem staffer and not a Russian, he still has not been interviewed by the US authorities. NO mainstream media outlet has once called this out.

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 8, 2017 at 14:13

      Thank you Andrew Nichols for that reminder. I have been visiting Craig Murray through his web site which I will link below. He’s clearly a good, honest and patriotic man. He’ll be “on fire” in the next couple of days reacting to the election today. I encourage those interested to follow Mr. Murray…


  26. Pablo Diablo
    June 7, 2017 at 22:50

    THE NEW YORK SLIMES (er, I mean TIMES) seems to be bought off by the Leo Strauss philosophy,” If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth”.

  27. CitizenOne
    June 7, 2017 at 22:39

    This propaganda has been a staple of American media for a long long time. Today we have “fake news” but we have seen it before with “yellow journalism”. Whether it is fake news or yellow journalism the arc of history has shown that the media often support militaristic ambitions of the USA and foist propaganda supporting US military interventions and foreign wars in support of US ambitions. Whether it was PNAC and the propaganda and false flag of 9/11 which Al Franken dubbed “Operation Ignore” because the Bush administration ignored National Security Advisor Richard Clark and allowed Saudi Terrorists to get on the planes or the sinking of the USS Maine which William Randolph Hearst used to provide propaganda firing up public support for the war with Spain in the Spanish American War we see throughout the history of mass media that it is often usurped by the powerful and the politically connected to sway Americans to support unwarranted wars for the economic gain.

    In the eyes of the elite, we are merely sheep to be herded and led to slaughter for the economic benefit of the wealthy.

    Read Wikipedia on the propaganda which led to the Spanish American War.


    It is the oldest play on the books and it works just about every time. Once the people are convinced they are facing a foreign enemy, they will support military action. Daddy War Bucks gets rich, thousands are slaughtered.

    The USA and its handmaiden of propaganda, the media, has been beating its plowshares and farmers into swords and soldiers for a long long time. All for the rich military contracts that Uncle Sam lavishes on the defense industry.

    These governmental cravings for grabbing land are as old as the oldest tribe who wanted to invade the neighboring range of the clan next door based on ginned up charges of crimes against the tribe allegedly perpetrated against the tribe.

    It is the madness of crowds which the powerful seek to manipulate to their economic advantage.

    Whether speaking of ancient tribal chiefs, historical war mongers like William Randolph Hearst or Fox News in the present day filled with shamans and viziers, counselors, pundits and advisors who play along, the story remains the same.

    Nowhere in history have those who spoke truth to corrupt power ended up diplomatically convincing the war mongers to stop their propaganda and lies in pursuit of ambition, greed, money and power. It has always been the outcome that the powerful elites who own the microphone, and megaphones convince a majority of their citizens to go to war.

    From The Lion in Winter:

    “It’s 1183 and we’re barbarians! How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war: not history’s forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside.”

    From Akira Kurosawa’s movie “Ran”

    “It is the gods who weep. They see us killing each other over and over since time began. They can’t save us from ourselves”

    And so it goes.

    • Dave P.
      June 8, 2017 at 03:07

      CitizenOne: Very interesting comments. Where will it all lead to? During ancient times, they did not have WMD’s. So, it leads us to the conclusion that we are heading towards a big slaughter – may be extinction of the human species.

      • Brad Owen
        June 8, 2017 at 07:00

        During ancient times…then again maybe the Myth of Atlantis was true, and they disappeared in a global war of destruction, and we’re descended from a handful of rain forest primitives who missed out on the destruction, maybe we’ve been playing this same Story over and over and the Gods do weep for us.

  28. Joe Tedesky
    June 7, 2017 at 22:17

    Celeb Maupin has an interesting perspective regarding where terrorist come from. In Maupin’s report he sights the terrorist that Zbigniew Brzezinski hired to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan are the proud parents of our homegrown terrorist youth of today. Maupin puts a lot out there that makes a lot of sense.


    What more should be talked about, is where does ISIS get their funding? The other question would be, for what has our U.S. Government been up to for over the last forty years? In fact, ask the average American what they know most about Zbigniew Brzezinski, and they will no doubt say, he’s Mika’s dad. Everyone remembers Carter for not being able to free the hostages or that Carter’s solar panels were removed by Reagan, but nothing when it comes to the Mujahideen or Osama bin Laden.

    All of these lies that have been fed to the public has only conditioned the good tax paying citizens to hurry up and wait to get padded down in some security line somewhere. I recently went to a Chris Rock stand up concert where all the cell phones had to get bagged, and all the audience was wanded before entering the theater. The best part was is that Chris Rock (who was very funny) made jokes about the overbearing TSA….wtf. It’s like reality really doesn’t matter anymore, but then again ‘the Russians probably did it’.

    • Brad Owen
      June 8, 2017 at 04:22

      Where do terrorists get their funding? BAE/Al-Yamamah deal set up off-shore banking in places like Cayman Islands ; also Hong Kong bank(like they’ve been doing for a couple hundred years now) laundering opium money from Helmand Province used for funding terrorism (AKA asymmetrical warfare). This from EIR website. The facts are known. The real question is what, if anything, can we the people do about it. I don’t know the answer.

      • Brad Owen
        June 8, 2017 at 04:24

        The real story isThe Empire Strikes Back…at democratic republicanism….payback for the “sin”of 1776.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 8, 2017 at 10:33

        Interesting Brad, and well worth checking out….thanks Joe

        • Brad Owen
          June 8, 2017 at 11:44

          I’ve been thinking a lot more, lately about that second question; what, if anything, can we the people do about this whole thing: the loss of our government to “Deep State” hands, the “terrorist wars” as disguised “Deep State” asymmetrical warfare, probably launched by the Synarchist Movement (the royalist/monarchist guys who hatched the communist/fascist/NAZI movements, the Napoleon Project being their first operation to kill the French Revolution with a Reign of Terror thus calling in the “Good Tyrant” on a white horse to “save” the people)…what can we the people do about these clever complex operations? The obvious reflex is “time for another revolution”…but we’ve tried that, the English RoundHead/Parliamentarians tried it before us, the French and Russians tried it, even trying to slaughter their opponents, but still The Opposition (Synarchists) persists, and slowly, gradually makes a come-back (see EIR’s “Return of the Monarchs: politics for a new Dark Age”)
          I’ve been getting an intuition: along the lines of Jungian Archetypes, our successful Revolution called into existence the Synarchy Movement (see Anton Chaitkin’s “Synarchy against America” from EIR’s search box). The split that our Revolution caused, threw the Monarchists into a “Shadow Archetype” of vengeful, wicked negativity that we refuse to own anymore. Perhaps the move needed, IRONICALLY, is to re-integrate (sort of the meaning of “Synarchy”), “kiss the Ring”, and bow to the Crown as loyal subjects once again, calling the Crown back into “The Light” of their Noblesse Oblige to their less-endowed loyal subjects, and their well-being. It’s the idea not yet thought of (by Americans…the French have been back-n-forth several times between Republic and Empire and Monarchy). It’s a thought that occurs to me from time-to-time. It feels heretical and “un-American” though, and my ancestors (on the Welsh side of my Welsh-Irish family) have been here since 1640…they were Independents (of Pope and King), what the World calls Puritans, the RoundHeads.

          • Joe Tedesky
            June 8, 2017 at 16:57

            I’m struggling to comprehend what is needed to straighten out this mess we are in. I sometimes think of how we the people should recruit a few oligarchs to work for us. That’s if that could even happen, and I’m not sure of how one could even begin to start that kind of dialog with a rich billionaire, and then how many billionaires would it take to accomplish this kind of move? So, I sit here helpless for a solution, but at least we have each other to contemplate such a change. Take care Brad Joe

  29. William
    June 7, 2017 at 19:29

    When you have people like Ivanka and Jared whispering in the Presidents ear complete garbage, it makes me feel so fine and really secure. I mean how can you not have confidence in a Soros puppet and his wife?

  30. Gregory Herr
    June 7, 2017 at 19:27

    Maria Zakharova brilliantly exposes the bullshit:


    At 8:41 into the exchange, the questioner basically says an investigation cannot be conducted because it is too dangerous…Maria comes back with: “So let’s go to plan B, Colin Powell with a test tube!” Priceless.

  31. Gregory Herr
    June 7, 2017 at 19:10

    I’d like to share “A Marine in Syria”, an interesting view from Syria before the onslaught:

    • evelync
      June 7, 2017 at 20:43

      wow, thank you for this link. what a tragic fate for these people that our “leaders” have helped to perpetrate.

      when oh when will Americans say to their government – we don’t care about your hatred of an Assad or a Gaddafy or a Saddam Hussein. We know KNOW! that the people living in these countries who you don;t give a shit about and you would have us decimate as collateral damage to your wars of aggression include people who could, under different circumstances, be our friends and neighbors and with whom we might feel solidarity based on our shared views/values/life choices and so on.
      Stop diverting us with fear mongering over one boogyman or another because these “leaders” don’t mean a thing to us or anyone else in the grand scheme of things. It’s the millions of innocent victims we cannot abide.

      • Gregory Herr
        June 7, 2017 at 21:15

        “It’s the millions of innocent victims we cannot abide.”
        That is a clarion call if I ever heard one. I wish more ordinary Americans like you and I could feel the need for friendship with the rest of the ordinary people of the world. I noticed and liked your response to Abe. You are graced with a fine intuition and perception.
        You may have heard of the Aleppo bus bombing. A harrowing incident that should raise the indignation of people everywhere.


        • evelync
          June 7, 2017 at 22:59

          no i hadn’t heard of this before.
          i listened to as much as I could

          it is hard to believe that this atrocity as described is necessarily the truth…
          I hope it is propaganda
          but fear that horror like this has gone on.

          This account of children disappearing and reappearing later back to where they live makes absolutely no credible sense.
          I hope it’s propaganda but of course it could have happened….

          Any responsibility that we may share in is unacceptable.
          We don’t belong messing in the Middle East.
          As retired colonel and Boston university history professor says – over the last 30 years we have been engaged in regime change and succeeded in making a mess and making this country less safe.
          I’ve posted his talk at the Pardee school before – but it’s really good, IMO and the Q&A are very interesting. He’s right to the point and pulls no punches:

    • David Smith
      June 7, 2017 at 23:28

      Sadly, despite all his time in Syria, Brad Hoff has not learned middle eastern etiquette with pita bread. The girl to his left(in the lead photo) is trying, but not succeeding.

  32. Jonathan Marshall
    June 7, 2017 at 18:57

    Postol’s analysis doesn’t prove the Syrian government’s innocence, but it does highlight the critical need for an independent, on-the-scene investigation. That’s why it’s so outrageous that, as of late May at least, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had not undertaken such an investigation. Why would the Russians fume about that failure if they knew the Assad regime was to blame? http://tass.com/world/947716

    • David Smith
      June 7, 2017 at 23:06

      The Syrian Government’s innocence does not have to be proven. Those accusing must present unimpeachable evidence of guilt. Dr.Postol, an expert in the matter at hand, has called into question the credibility of the evidence presented by those accusing the Syrian Government. Most importantly, no credible evidence has been presented that a sarin gas attack occurred at Khan Sheikdoun

    • Dave P.
      June 7, 2017 at 23:20

      It is so ironic that we are even discussing this alleged Sarin- Gas attack by Syrian Government. We know inside, it is not the Syrian Govt., who did it. They had no reason to do it at this stage of their fight to reclaim their country.

      All it shows is that this is how the Western World Governments, and their people have rationalized their imperial crimes on helpless Third World Nations through this so called enlightened discussion, for many centuries now. We can kill millions, destroy the whole Nations and their Civilizations, inflict untold suffering on these people, and make it look it is all their fault – those different looking people, uncivilized, sometimes not even fully clothed, and speaking funny English – those some of them, who are educated. I fully realize that these ISIS fighters, their ideology, and their cruelty towards their captors, should be fought. But it is not what Western Nations are fighting against – in fact they created this Monster in Afghanistan, and in Middle East.

      To watch what is going on in the country – Media, Body Politic, and elsewhere, can we really call ourselves a civilized people?

      Human civilization is at a tipping point now. Any thing can happen

    • Dave P.
      June 8, 2017 at 02:45

      Unfortunately, many of these organizations have become politicized. Since Iraq War, U.N. and it’s Institutions for International law based World Order have been basically cast aside by U.S. and the Western European Allies. We are seeing the results of this folly, and it is going to get worse.

  33. Tim Anderson
    June 7, 2017 at 18:26

    Thank you Robert

    • Gregory Herr
      June 7, 2017 at 19:47

      Professor Anderson, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Syrian people. I read your book and also heard an interview you gave (global research news hour) from Syria during their most recent elections. You are an honorable man.

  34. Abe
    June 7, 2017 at 17:59

    Fake “news” generated by fake “journalists” Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat in disseminated via deceptive reports by “human rights” NGOs like Human Rights Watch, and war propaganda generously produced by the New York Times and its “First Draft” coalition “partners”.

    Information warfare strategies serve the more aggressive factions in Western governments, which seek to sabotage peace efforts in Ukraine, Syria and other parts of the world.

    NGOs: Grassroots Empowerment or Tool of Information Warfare?

    The Internet offers a ubiquitous, inexpensive and anonymous method for “open source” deception and rapid propaganda dissemination.

    Propaganda is made “publicly available” via numerous channels, including “investigations” conducted by fake “citizen journalist” Higgins and his Bellingcat site.

    The actual purpose of deception operatives like Higgins and bellingcat is to provide a channel for Western propaganda to more effectively reach the public and be perceived as truthful.

    As Ray McGovern pointed out in “Propaganda, Intelligence and MH-17” on Consortium News (August 17, 2015):

    “The key difference between the traditional ‘Intelligence Assessment’ and this relatively new creation, a ‘Government Assessment’ is that the latter genre is put together by senior White House bureaucrats or other political appointees, not senior intelligence analysts. Another significant difference is that an ‘Intelligence Assessment’ often includes alternative views, either in the text or in footnotes, detailing disagreements among intelligence analysts, thus revealing where the case may be weak or in dispute.

    “The absence of an ‘Intelligence Assessment’ suggested that honest intelligence analysts were resisting a knee-jerk indictment of Russia, just as they did after the first time Kerry pulled this ‘Government Assessment’ arrow out of his quiver trying to stick the blame for an Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus on the Syrian government.”

    The primary source in both “Government Assessment” episodes, both the 2013 chemical attack in Syria and the 2014 crash of MH-17 in Ukraine, the one person in common who generated what McGovern accurately described as “pseudo-intelligence product, which contained not a single verifiable fact”, was British blogger and media darling Eliot Higgins.

    Higgins and the Bellingcat site serve as deception “conduits” as defined by the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Joint Publication 1-02), a compendium of approved terminology used by the U.S. military.

    Within military deception, “conduits” are information or intelligence gateways to the “deception target”, defined as the “adversary decision maker with the authority to make the decision that will achieve the deception objective.”

    The primary “deception targets” of Propaganda 3.0 are Western government policymakers and the civilian populations of the United States and Europe Union.

    Higgins has vigorously promoted this deception strategy. In a January 2015 article, “Social media and conflict zones: the new evidence base for policymaking”, Higgins citied “Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation” as a prime example. Higgins’ “overarching point” was that “there is a real opportunity for open source intelligence analysis to provide the kind of evidence base that can underpin effective and successful foreign and security policymaking. It is an opportunity that policymakers should seize.”

    Like his predecessor Barack Obama, Donald Trump has proven all-to-eager to seize opportunities provided by Bellingcat, Human Rights Watch, the New York Times and “First Draft” coalition “partner” propaganda organizations.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 8, 2017 at 16:37

      Donald Trump should wise up, and disavow this media who create realities with their lies. It is this well oiled propaganda machine which blows air into the flames that Russia hacked and interfered with our U.S. elections, and that Trump’s son in law Jared was in conclusion with these Russians all the while. Other than that Abe, thanks for your well researched article sharing, it makes us all more aware of the what we are up against.

  35. Andrew Dabrowski
    June 7, 2017 at 17:24

    You’re giving Trump a free pass on this? The NYT is the only villain? Poor Donald is an innocent victim of fake news?

    • mike k
      June 7, 2017 at 17:41

      All the MSM are villains. Donald T. is a victim of fake news (lies). Donald is not innocent. Neither are any of us.

    • Beard681
      June 9, 2017 at 10:02

      No he is not – having surrounded himself with war monger failed generals. What he has found is that it is easier to wage war, (and more popular) than to pass legislation or do anything else constructive. Anything you do in government – reforming taxes, setting spending priorities, etc. always has opponents and opportunists who will try to sway or block your efforts. Drop bombs on some hapless country and everybody gets behind you. Also the MSM loves it because it “sells papers” (“draws clicks” is probably the more modern term).

  36. June 7, 2017 at 17:09

    Pragmatic decisions are being made to use the same groups the U.S. is enemies with where U.S. force predominates, as de facto cat’s paws where the U.S. does not have control in order to destabilize the government targeted for U.S. sponsored regime change. So many officials have said as much from time to time, that it’s odd it should not now be obvious. One place’s terrorist becomes another’s freedom fighter, depending on goals.

  37. Abe
    June 7, 2017 at 16:55

    Human Rights Watch routinely hacks up Bellingcat

    “Yeah, I mean, um, we’ve used open source material, we’ve checked this with experts, we’re… we’re quite confident”
    – Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch

    At a 1 May 2017 press conference, Roth presented a HRW report, “Death by Chemicals: The Syrian Government’s Widespread and Systematic Use of Chemical Weapons.” The HRW report implies that Syria’s military allies, Russia and Iran, aided or abetted the use of chemical weapons, and explicitly calls on the UN Security Council to adopt sanctions against the Syrian government.

    Roth repeatedly referred to the new HRW report as “our own investigation”.

    However, it is clear from the report that HRW activities were limited to laundering a list of names supplied by “opposition” forces in Al-Qaeda controlled Idlib, and conducting telephone interviews with the “opposition” vetted alleged “witnesses”.

    Following its well-established pattern of “investigation”, HRW performed no independent verification of any of the “opposition” claims presented in its report.

    The HRW report relied most heavily on information supplied by “opposition” forces and laundered by the Atlantic Council’s Bellingcat group. HRW makes no mention of Bellingcat’s close cooperation with the Atlantic Council “regime change” agenda in Syria.

    Bellingcat is repeatedly cited in the HRW report’s footnotes. A photograph in the HRW report refers to “Bellingcat, a group specializing in analyzing information posted online, including videos and photographs” (page 24). HRW makes no mention of the fact that claims by Dan Kaszeta and Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat about previous alleged “chemical attacks” have been repeatedly debunked.

    The HRW report refers to the site of 4 April 2017 chemical incident, a hole in the middle of a paved road in the town of Khan Shaykhun, as “Impact Site 1”

    According to the HRW report, only one alleged “witness” claimed to have seen a bomb drop from an airplane: “One resident said he saw the plane drop a bomb near the town’s central bakery” (page 2)

    The story of this one “witness” appears in the HRW report as follows:

    “Ahmad al-Helou, who was tending the fields that morning, told Human Rights Watch that he looked up when he saw a shadow on the ground and saw a plane fly towards Khan Sheikhoun from the east. Al-Helou said that because of his high vantage point he saw the plane drop a bomb and the bomb falling until it hit the ground. The bomb fell in front of the bakery, he said. Al-Helou said that he did not hear an explosion, but that he saw the bomb kick up yellowish smoke that spread in the prevailing wind.” (page 22)

    Five pages later in the HRW report, this one “witness” adds a few more details to his story:

    “Seeing that the bombs had hit his neighborhood, al-Helou, the witness who saw the bomb land in front of the bakery, at Impact Site 1, went there to see what had happened:

    “‘People had blood and foam coming out of their mouths, and there was a strong smell. The smell was really disgusting, but I am not able to compare it to anything else. We helped one person and then another, but then we passed out as well. I don’t know what happened next. I woke up in the hospital.’” (page 27)

    The HRW report bases much of its claim that a “Syrian warplane dropped a factory-made sarin bomb” (page 21) on the dubious claim of a solitary “witness”.

    The story by “al-Helou” that “a bomb fell” that produced “a strong smell” is not consistent with the nerve agent Sarin. Pure sarin is an odorless liquid. Impure sarin smells like fruit.

    The HRW report advances a further Bellingcat-style claim that an air-dropped Soviet-produced munition was used to deliver Sarin at Khan Shaykhun.

    HRW claims that “photos of the two remnants in the crater at Impact Site 1 appear to be consistent with the characteristics of the KhAB-250” (page 29), and cites an article by Dan Kaszeta of Bellingcat (page 30). The HRW report also relies on “modeling” of the “crater” at “Impact Site 1” produced by Forensic Architecture, a group that collaborated with Bellingcat and Human Rights Watch in previous dramatic and debunked claims about bombing in Aleppo.

    In short, the HRW report relies entirely on sources that are not “independent” by any means. Like previous reports on Syria, Libya, Iraq and other conflict areas, the most recent HRW report is a political document produced to serve “regime change” efforts by Western governments, principally the United States.

    The Human Rights Watch reports on Syria basically is a “Government Assessment” masquerading as an “independent” investigation by a “Human Rights” organization. Human Rights Watch remains conspicuously unconcerned about the suffering of the majority of the Syrian people who live in areas of Syria not controlled by Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other armed so-called “opposition” forces.

    • June 8, 2017 at 07:24


      Thanks for your very educational comments. They are a wonderful addition to the great articles we find here on CN.

    • June 9, 2017 at 08:13

      Hi Abe,

      It seems that you are one of the few people who have actually read the ‘Death By Chemicals Report’ – I’m one of the others and it’s massively cynical rubbish.

      So far, I’ve found the following:

      In Brief:

      Medical Evidence.
      • Despite very grand claims in their ‘Methodology’, HRW provide NO evidence of ANY expert corroboration of the symptoms displayed by the alleged victims.
      • The symptoms of sarin exposure described by HRW in the report differ markedly from those that they themselves described in their 2013 Attack on Ghouta report.
      Cyanosis (blue colouring of lips etc) which they said was proof of deployment of sarin in 2013 is not mentioned ANYWHERE in the 2017 report – not in the descriptions of the victirs OR in the list of medical effects of sarin in HRW’s 2017 Appendix.
      • The ‘independent’ expert HRW refer to as having provided corroboration of the medical symptoms is an employee of the US Federal Government and was previously a senior official at the US Department of Homeland Security.

      • Despite very grand claims in their ‘Methodology’, HRW provide NO evidence of ANY expert corroboration of munitions used in the alleged attacks.
      • The inclusion of lengthy descriptions of Russian made chemical munitions that HRW say could have been used in the KS ‘attack’ is made on minimal (frankly laughable) evidence and is accompanied by NO expert corroboration whatsoever.
      • Despite acknowledging nine individuals with direct input into the authoring and review of the report, no one at HRW, or any of their claimed specialists, seemed bothered by the fact that the size of the KS crater (which they claim to have had provided to them by Forensic Architecture) is actually smaller than the contents of a teaspoon.

      • HRW report having conducted 60 interviews for the report, but provide evidence from only half of these (31).
      • For the Khan Sheikoun incident this inclusion rate is even worse – just 12 referenced from 32 claimed interviews.
      • HRW provide only very short extracts from the interviews they do include and offer no access to transcripts or even brief summaries of the full interviews.
      • The KS interviewees include at least half were from members of oposition affliated groups.
      • All the interviews were arranged through ‘intermediay’ groups who have previously called for increaed Western intervention in the conflict (including sanctions and no-fly zones).
      • HRW provide NO evidence of any attempt to cross-reference the content of any of their interviews.
      • HRW provide NO evidence of ANY systematic expert corroboration of the content of their testimonies.

      Death Toll and Victims.
      • HRW provide only lists of ‘reported’ victims.
      • HRW provide no evidence that they have attempted to corroborate these with external sources such as the reported autopsiies and internet / Facebook activity.

      HRW’s Own Evidence.
      • Despite claiming to have seen “dozens” of images and videos provided to them directly, HRW include reference to only four in the entire report, with just one of these relating to the KS incident.
      • They do not include any of these images in the report.
      • They do not provide any way to access any of this extra media elsewhere.

      Other Serious Issues.
      • HRW selective reporting of UN and OPCW reports is misleading (arguably deliberately so).
      • HRW do not consider alternative explanations of the KS incident that they reasonably should have been aware of given that they were also posited for the 2013 Ghouta incident.

      • Abe
        June 9, 2017 at 16:00

        Massively cynical rubbish from Human Rights Watch, the New York Times, and Bellingcat has formed the basis for many a “government assessment”.

  38. Abe
    June 7, 2017 at 16:51

    The New York Times routinely hacks up Bellingcat

    “Find a computer, get on Google Earth and match what you see in the video to the streets and buildings”
    – Malachy Browne, NYT “Senior Story Producer” at the New York Times

    A graduate of the Bellingcat “And You Can Too” school of “journalism”, Browne demonstrates how the NYT and other “First Draft” coalition media outlets use video to “strengthen” their “storytelling”.

    Browne and Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat are founding members of the Google-funded “First Draft” coalition that includes the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, UK Guardian, the Atlantic Council’s so-called Digital Forensics Research Lab, and the Ukrainian StopFake propaganda operation based in Kiev.

    Before joining the Times, Browne was an editor at “social news and marketing agency” Storyful and at Reported. ly, the “social reporting” arm of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media.

    In 2016, the NYT video department hired Browne and Andrew Glazer, a senior producer on the team that launched VICE News, to help “enhance” the “reporting” at the Times.

    Browne represents the Times’ effort to package its dubious “reporting” using the Storyful marketing strategy of “building trust, loyalty, and revenue with insight and emotionally driven content” wedded with Bellingcat style “digital forensics” scams.

    In other words, expect all the “First Draft” coalition media “partners” to treat us with more Atlantic Council-Bellingcat-style Facebook and YouTube video mashups, crazy fun with Google Earth, and Twitter barrages.

    Unsurprisingly, Browne generously “supplemented” his “reporting” on Syria with “videos gathered by the journalist Eliot Higgins and the social media news agency Storyful”.

    • evelync
      June 7, 2017 at 19:43

      Abe, re: “The New York Times routinely hacks up Bellingcat”
      hah hah hah….
      The first time I read Judith Miller on the front page of the Times shrieking about the aluminum tubes, before I got past the first few paragraphs, I smelled propaganda. And I was angry at the NYT for polluting the news page with that crap. How dare they?

      The first time I read Bellingcat was when Robert Parry linked to it from an article on Ukraine and about who shot the Malaysian passenger liner down. Early in the article Parry linked to a Bellingcat piece. I decided to jump right to the Bellingcat article before I read the rest of the Parry piece in order to try to judge for myself whether Bellingcat made any sense to me.

      He sounded like Judith Miller to me – coming from an agenda instead of sounding like an honest broker. I honestly couldn’t make heads or tales of what he was saying because it sounded laced with an agenda. And didn’t sound like it was coming from an honest broker.

      I’m just an ordinary person, no scientific background or intelligence background…just some native paranoia and skepticism about whether or not someone is spinning a tale instead of providing reliable information.

      And I’m not sure whether I’m telling you this in order to pat myself on the back or to say that there are some ordinary people, who try to see through the smoke and mirrors even if we lack the technical/scientific/intelligence background to sort through the fog of the “tainted” article. I think it’s partly sensing from the convoluted writing that a particular agenda seems to be at work and the person delivering that agenda does not sound like they are acting in good faith.

      I also “knew” that General Colin Powell was compromised and saw that duo of deception rolling their eyes behind him at the U.N. – George Tenet and John Poindexter. It made me sick. And still does.
      Tenet had only weeks before announced before a Congressional Ctte that “we don’t know if Saddam Hussein has WMD or not, but if he does, then we think he is well-contained and would not use them unless we invade and then he’d use whatever he has against our soldiers.” So that was a tip off, I guess.

      Thanks for hearing me out if you got this far and thanks for your interesting comments.

      • June 8, 2017 at 07:04


        I would say that you have good “common” sense. I put it in quotes because it isn’t really all that common any more. One of the best courses I had in college was logic, and its lasting effect was to give me a good nose for BS. It should be a required study in our public schools. But as George Carlin noted in one of his famous rants, the last thing they want is to have a population full of critical thinkers.

        The propaganda machine today is the scariest I’ve ever seen it. I was in second grade during the Cuban Missile Crisis when we were taught to hide under our desks from the incoming nukes. I was really too young to even be all that frightened. It seemed like a game. The tensions being created today are of the same order of magnitude, but unfortunately we do not have a JFK to save us from the warmongers.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 8, 2017 at 10:30

          You bring back memories Skip. I recall while JFK made his speech us kids were playing wiffel ball in the street…. and the grown ups looked worried, and sad. I was ten. Seeing the adults looking so bummed out, and the street lights coming on, we kids wrapped it up. When I went home, was when the seriousness of JFK hit me.

        • evelync
          June 8, 2017 at 17:39

          I miss George Carlin…..

          –as far as TPTB telescoping their intent – why was it soooo clear to some of US that GWB et all had every intent to start a war and the AUMF was just window dressing.
          It wasn’t as though Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and John Kerry voted for it in lock step within minutes of each other after stalling and refusing to tell what they were thinking didn’t know or should have known that their vote was being used for cover for something that was GOING TO HAPPEN – TO BE MADE TO HAPPEN.

          When TPTB want to do something that might get some scrutiny, they start a series of petty tricks trying to push an ‘adversary” in a corner – throw down impossible ultimatums; move the goal posts; make faux accusations – it’s a transparent circus. And ambitious Senators who covet their place in the Oval Office play along and then drag out the old “hindsight is 20/20”

          it gets pretty tiresome….

      • Abe
        June 9, 2017 at 16:12

        Eliot Higgins is Judith Miller in drag with “a baby face, slumped shoulders and a soft Midlands accent”.

  39. ranney
    June 7, 2017 at 16:31

    Oh my God! That is absolutely chilling! And the last part, that Bellingcat and the Times would be part of Googles First Draft Coalition, deciding what is fake news and what is real, absolutely makes my hair stand on end.
    Thank you Robert for this ground breaking article, and thanks to Dr. Postal for his courage in telling the blunt truth! Will any other web site pick up on this? Will Common Dreams, that occasionally reprints Robert’s articles?
    I hope everyone reading this forwards it to family and friends. I’m sending it forthwith to scientists and engineers I know.

    • Realist
      June 7, 2017 at 21:02

      All the orthodox “liberal” and Democratic web sites, such as the one you mentioned, seem to have turned gutless or converted wholeheartedly to the dark side, just like MSNBC. So, I doubt this report will get much currency among the people who should read it. Instead, Herr Gruppenführer Maddow and the Democratic Underground will probably put out a hit piece on Dr. Postol suggesting extreme rendition for him.

      • Dave P.
        June 8, 2017 at 02:30

        I stopped reading common ground many years ago, when it started to become kind of a part of Official Propaganda Factory.

  40. Abe
    June 7, 2017 at 16:29

    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”.

    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.”

    Three confirmed incidents of Al Qaeda controlled “eyewitness” tales of “strong smells” during alleged “air attacks” sufficiently debunks any claims that Sarin was 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”.

    That leaves the question of how to account for autopsy reports of sarin traces in victims of the Khan Shaykhun incident.

    A major suspect is Israel. 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 IIBR facility was receiving the components of nerve gas weapons aboard El Al Flight LY 1862 that crashed outside Amsterdam on October 4, 1992. The El Al aircraft left Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on route to Tel Aviv, carrying three crewmen, one passenger and 114 tons of freight. Seven minutes later, it crashed in a high-rise apartment complex in Bijlmer.

    The crash of El Al Flight LY 1862 became the worst air disaster in Dutch history, killing at least 47 (the actual number is unknown because many victims were immigrants) and destroyed the health of 3000 Dutch residents. Cases of mysterious illnesses, rashes, difficulty in breathing, nervous disorders and cancer began to sprout in that neighborhood and beyond.

    The Dutch government, in collusion with Israel, lied to its citizens saying the plane was carrying perfumes and flowers. In April 1998 again Israel denied there had been dangerous chemicals on board, but in Oct 1998 it was revealed that the plane was carrying 10 tons of chemicals used in the most dangerous of the known nerve gases, Sarin.

    In a 4 October 1998 interview with The London Sunday Times, a former biologist at Israel Institute for Biological Research said “There is hardly a single known or unknown form of chemical or biological weapon … which is not manufactured at the institute.”

    Karel Knip, science editor in the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, took several years to discover the facts of El Al Flight LY 1862 crash.

    Knip published on 27 November 1999 the most detailed and factual published investigation about the workings of chemical and biological terrorism housed in IIBR.

    The shipment from Solkatronic Chemicals of Morrisville, Pennsylvania to IIBR was under US Department of Commerce licence, contrary to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to which the US, but not Israel, is party.

    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague turns a blind eye to the Israeli WMD activities. Israeli researchers have guided OPCW on methods to detect chemical weapons.

    Knip first found out that the plane was carrying 50 gallons of DMMP a substance used to make a quarter ton of the deadly nerve gas Sarin. The shipment from Solkatronic Chemicals of Morrisville, Pennsylvania to IIBR was sent to Israel under a US Department of Commerce licence in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to which the US, but not Israel, is party.

    Knip reviewed the scientific literature produced by IIBR and the microbiology departments of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Tel Aviv and the Hebrew University since 1950. He was able to identify 140 scientists involved in biological weapons (BW) research. The number could be more as scientists have dual positions or they move around. Many take their sabbaticals invariably in the United States.

    There are strong links between IIBR and Walter Reed Army Institute, the Uniformed Services University, the American Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) Center in Edgewood and the University of Utah.

    Knip was able to identify three categories of IIBR production: diseases, toxins and convulsants, and their development in each decade of the five previous decades.

    The IIBR research moved from virus and bacteria to toxins because they are many times more poisonous. Nerve gases known as Tabun, Soman, Sarin, VX, Cyclo-Sarin, RVX and Amiton are all deadly gases and function in the same way.

    Knip sought the assistance of experts in this field such as Professor Julian Perry Robinson, University of Sussex, Brighton, Dr Jean Pascal Zanders of SIPRI, Stockholm and Professor Malcolm Dando, University of Bradford. The scientists guided his research and explained his findings.

    Knip discovered close cooperation between IIBR and the British-American Biological Weapons program as well as extensive collaboration on Biological Weapons research with Germany and Holland. That is probably the reason for the Dutch official silence over the deadly crash over Amsterdam.

    The cooperation with the US is quite open. The Congress “Joint Medical, Biological and Nuclear Defence Research Programs” openly lists cooperation with Israel on nerve agents and convulsants under the guise of finding antidotes. Documents from the US Defense Department’s Office for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics confirm the frequent contributions of Dr Avigdor Shafferman, IIBR director.

    Despite extensive evidence of Israeli development of WMD, including Sarin and other chemical weapons, mainstream media and Western government steadfastly refuse to examine Israel’s means, motive, and opportunity to enable false flag chemical attacks in Syria.

    • Sam F
      June 7, 2017 at 20:28

      Thank you, Abe. Of course the US mass media are almost completely controlled by zionists, directly and indirectly, so we will not hear the news from them.

      • H. W. Phillips
        June 8, 2017 at 00:39

        Sam F, Israel is sometimes a malefactor in the Middle East and Aipac is just as much a threat to our country’s sputtering democracy, but when you break out the tired Zionist media canard, you are veering into alt-right lunacy that makes me wonder the color shirt you wear; brown would be my guess.

        • Sam F
          June 8, 2017 at 19:24

          You are completely wrong on that.

          I researched this myself in the 1980s and found that about 40 to 60 percent of the largest newspapers were directly controlled by people with Jewish names, while only about half of Jewish people can be so identified, so the percentage was likely somewhat higher. Far more are controlled indirectly by advertisers, and ad agencies are also disproportionately controlled by Jews. The percentage of Jewish people who can be identified by name is was steadily decreasing. So the percentage is likely far higher today.

          Certain publications showed further Jewish control. Scientific American, for example, based in New York, published almost one in four writers with Jewish names, but most were mentioned as authors while having done none of the research. National Geographic took on a Jewish board member, soon hired a Jewish editor of a new short-piece section, which seldom mentioned anything good without giving credit to a Jewish person, and seldom mentioned the other 97% of the population. They stopped their previously unbiased coverage of the Mideast. That section was still expanding when I dropped my long subscription.

          The only areas where Jews did not control most newspapers were TX-LA (where I was told that oil companies control the papers) and NJ, where nearly all were controlled by Italians.

          None of the major papers, magazines, TV networks, or large new websites give anything but the zionist view of the MNideast.

          So in fact your “media canard” attempting to cover up zionist control is truly veering into “right-wing lunacy” probably under the influence of zionist mass media, and you will have to educate yourself on this point, for you will have no help from mass media.

          Your attempt to accuse the critics of zionist fascism of being Nazi fascists is a transparent propaganda ploy. Please educate yourself.

          • Sam F
            June 8, 2017 at 21:31

            I should add, in case it is not clear to some, that I have both respect and great sympathy with Jewish people in general, as for all groups, and I recognize that MIC/WallSt/KSA and other influences much overlap the zionist effects. Zionist fascism is truly a tragic irony.

            But the data on zionist control of mass media is clear, and anyone can see the nearly universal symptoms. The zionist influence on other elements of oligarchy, particularly influence upon advertisers, broadens their effect upon mass media, and to the point of eliminating. all dissent.

          • H. W. Phillips
            June 8, 2017 at 21:44

            Being Jewish doesn’t make you a Zionist anymore than being Caucasian makes you a member of the KKK. Being a Zionist means you support the creation of a Jewish nation state (a ship that has sailed by the way) and is an ideology. While it is an ideology that may have a relation to ethnicity–most Zionists are Jewish just as most followers of the early 20th century African separatist movement were black–being a member of one group does not make you a member of the other. I suspect only a small minority of Jewish Americans would self identify as Zionists. Indeed some of the most prominent Jewish Americans of the 20th century, Louis Brandeis and Henry Morgenthau for example, expressed extreme skepticism about the Zionist cause.

            And since I am not the one making assumptions about people’s beliefs based solely on their ethnicities, I don’t think I am the one who is most in need of education.

            So Sam, perhaps you are the one who needs to think of widening your thought beyond the perusal of Los Angeles and New York telephone books, and contemplate why you need to make sweeping generalities about the beliefs of a particular ethnic group with whom you probably have very little personal experience. There is already way too much of that in this country.

          • Sam F
            June 9, 2017 at 06:35

            Let’s get this straight, “H.W. Philips.” I have given you the facts and you have no response but more propaganda:

            1. I did not say or imply all Jews were zionists and you know it. You made that up to jump to the usual false zionist accusation of racism to cover up your zionist racism.
            2. You amplified that obvious lie by pretending that I need more information on the subject, when you either have no information at all on the subject, or are in fact a zionist covering up the truth.
            3. You must now admit that you have never looked at the facts in this area, and merely chose to believe what you found comfortable, or sought refuge in a propaganda attack.

            You know that the above statements are true, and you owe readers an explanation of why you chose the course of zionist propaganda rather than stick to the facts. Beyond that, you must educate yourself, either get the facts or learn that your ethnic group is no better than others.

          • Sam F
            June 9, 2017 at 06:54

            I will add that your gambit of defend-the-Jews pseudo-liberalism has run its course. It is done in the opportunist hope of benefits from Jewish employers and others, and in cowardly fear of the zionist denunciations of racism. There is no group that is above others, no group that has special rights in the US, no group whose casualties in WWII were more worthy of recognition, no group that has a right to an empire in the Mideast or to steal the land of others.

            Most intelligent people are quite fed up with these insulting propaganda gambits, threats, and denunciations.

          • Abe
            June 9, 2017 at 15:51

            Your attack-the-zionist-propaganda propaganda gambit has run its course, “Sam F”.

          • Sam F
            June 9, 2017 at 17:21

            That is not so, Abe. There is no argument that exposing zionist propaganda is propaganda.

            I suggest looking into the ownership and staffing of mass media, which can certainly use an update. My research was limited to the largest newspapers, and some magazines. That requires a few weeks of research into Jewish names, and some tedious scoring of media employee lists, scoring the relative influence of management positions, etc.

            Of course one does not assume that a Jewish name means a zionist influence, but no such assumption is necessary, when the zionist influence is observable in the news reported.

            The effects of zionist influence on US mass media are well illuminated by many writers on this and other sites. Those of us who insist upon the truth are not spreading propaganda.

          • Abe
            June 9, 2017 at 22:33

            The facts of pro-Israel bias in US media and politics are well established by analysis of reporting and policy.

            Rants about “the Jews” and “scoring” based on the lists of “Jewish names” are the excrement of Hasbara trolls.

            “Sam F” persists in spreading shit: a transparent demonstration of “Zionist influence”.

          • Sam F
            June 10, 2017 at 06:15

            Whoever the new commenter using the name “Abe” is, I will not descend to your level: again you have failed to make any argument at all, and contradict yourself:

            1. To deny that zionist control can be established by actual research into Jewish media employees, such as I have done, is the greatest folly. It is not the only way, but we can all see that it is one of the better ways. Your admission that you have not done this is a rejection of the best evidence.
            2. I stated myself that the effects of zionist control of mass media are plain enough, and you merely claim that this should somehow substitute for the research rather than serve as a confirmation. Why should anyone accept such a limitation?
            3. Your attempt to denounce the research as its opposite, a “transparent demonstration of Zionist influence” is completely contradictory, and shows that you are likely a “Hasbara troll” using the pen name of the prior commenter Abe.

            Perhaps you will argue the points rather than descending into vulgarity and contradiction.

          • Abe
            June 10, 2017 at 13:25

            Hasbara troll “Sam F” repeatedly claims to possess oodles of “research” based on “Jewish names”.

            Hey “Sam F”, Bellingcat publishes your kind of “research”.

            Bellingcat is awash in Google bucks, Soros funds, and Atlantic Council “research” money

            We’re sure you can make some Bellingcat “online investigation” fast cash while saving the planet for, um, from the tragic irony of “Zionist fascism”.

            Here’s a Bellingcat-style “research” project for you to demonstrate your “citizen investigative journalist” talents: See if you can spot any “Jewish names” on this list https://www.bellingcat.com/contributors/

          • Sam F
            June 10, 2017 at 16:58

            Abe, it appears that someone quite mistook my meaning here. No harm or prejudice or overstatement is intended.

            My two-week 100+ hour investigation in the 1980s was perfectly reasonable in the absence of any such data seen before or since, and was not overstated as exhaustive or conclusive, nor published, so it was completely unrelated to the social-media investigators you despise. A more thorough study would have taken months or years, which was not available. There were no alternative studies or methods; it was a good way to make a preliminary investigation; and the result was much better than nothing. If you know of better research, I will be pleased to read it. Perhaps someone will do some more detailed and updated studies of such things. Until then we can work with what we have.

            Regarding the use of Jewish names as an indicator, that is not due to prejudice but to practical limitations on indicators of ideology; of course there are zionists who are not Jews and Jews who are not zionists. But to look for zionism in each employee of mass media would require years of interviews and would likely not be conclusive: one would have to define zionism, and estimate the degree of that in each person, and somehow generate a measure of the degree of that in each organization. The nature of the study certainly imposes limits, but where there are no alternatives known, it does not imply useless results or bad intentions or carelessness.

            The use of one or more measures or scores of the degree of control of an organization, based upon a set of probabilities that each employee has some characteristic, is neither careless nor of bad intent. It is in the nature of a fairly short study. The fact that others in the past may have had bad intent in such an investigation, should not discourage one from using the only available measures.

            So there would be no grounds to reject a careful brief study that does not exaggerate its results. It is useful, and I will be happy to see it updated, extended, and superceded by more detailed studies.

          • Abe
            June 10, 2017 at 19:55

            To repeat, the facts of pro-Israel bias in US media and politics are well established without resorting to your signature “research” methodology.

            But keep on scooping at that manure pile “study” of yours, “Sam F”. There must be a pony in there somewhere.

          • Sam F
            June 14, 2017 at 22:02

            I am sorry to see you descend to this sort of obscene attack, without a fact to ground it.
            You have nothing to say on the matter, and I will not engage in such an exchange.
            It calls into question everything you have said here.

    • David Smith
      June 7, 2017 at 21:33

      Superb comment. Thank you Abe.

    • Dave P.
      June 8, 2017 at 02:53

      Thank you Abe. Very informative comments.

    • john wilson
      June 8, 2017 at 05:23

      Obviously you are right Abe, but surely the individual editor must have doubts about these ludicrous stories from the Jihad propaganda machine. Does he or she not read all the reports and think just a little before they go into print? Further, who exactly nominated the white helmets for an award? Its not as if the white helmets are in show business? Well, come to think of it, its theatre at its very best, great acting, props and even a real dead body or two! I think its really telling how the deep state has managed to infiltrate just about every organisation which has is able to have mass coverage in the media, because no way the academy award outfit thought of this white helmet award stunt on their own. They’re far to interested in themselves for this.

    • Abe
      June 9, 2017 at 15:33

      US and Western-sponsored trolls, and pro-Israel Hasbara trolls, attempt to trash the information space. They typically aim at confusing the audience, rather than convincing it.

      Hasbara smear tactics have intensified online due to Israel’s eager collusion with the United States in “regime change” projects from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

      Hasbara deception tactics include:

      1) accusing anyone who offers legitimate criticism of Israel, Jewish or Christian Zionism, and the efforts of the Israel Lobby in the United States of being “anti-Semitic”

      2) masquerading as an “anti-Semitic” commenter by deliberately posting tendentious rants about “Jews” and “zionists”, or links to blatantly “anti-Semitic” material

      Readers of Consortium News are alert to these deceptive tactics.

      Substantive discussion of Israel’s chemical weapons and its active “regime change” agenda in Syria has evoked a proliferation of comments from “Sam F” about “Jews” and “Jewish” (16 times) people, and purported “zionist” (20 times) machinations.

      Such Hasbara propaganda ploys are to be expected.

      • Sam F
        June 14, 2017 at 22:07

        Abe, you have quite discredited yourself with these attacks with no basis in fact.
        Your comments have descended to the troll level.

      • Sam F
        June 15, 2017 at 00:41

        Abe, your unprovoked belligerence surprises me, and no doubt other readers. You had no cause at all to fear racism against Jews.

        I remarked on the prevalence of Jews in the US mass media, and the results of my initial study of that. Upon your unfounded attacks, you were told the method used, its limitations, the lack of alternate methods, and the lack of alternate studies. You made no coherent reply, merely claiming at last that observation of zionist reporting somehow obviated any need for such a close look at mass media staffing.

        On that basis:
        1. You claimed or suggested that I was both a “hasbara troll” and anti-Jewish, with no basis in fact whatsoever;
        2. You claimed that somehow no analysis could establish the predominance of Jews in mass media;
        3. You claimed that any attempt to do so must be racist, despite the lack of any better initial indicators of potential zionism;
        4, You descended into vulgar accusations without foundation in fact.

        Now you proceed to denounce me for daring to use the words “Jew” or “Jewish” in my several explanations to you, and even count up the number of such words to fool someone into thinking that this was due to me rather than your obtuseness.

        There is little excuse for such sustained outbursts in favor of Jewish people. You will not control people by this typical threat and intimidation. You will have to be more careful when you have the impression that someone might be discriminating, or equivocating zionists with Jews.

        I am disappointed that you have done this, and hope that other readers will see that you had no cause.
        I will have to assume that you will answer this with yet more false and vulgar denunciations, and will not reply to those.

  41. June 7, 2017 at 16:26

    Why would you think it’s a mistake after Mockingbird since 1947?
    Bought and paid for propaganda

  42. mike k
    June 7, 2017 at 16:17

    1984 the 2017 version lurches on. For how long we will have CN, Counterpunch, Moon of Alabama etc, it is hard to say, But as the crisis of modern civilization intensifies, and collapse of major institutions accelerates, experience with fascist regimes like the US shows that fanatical repression of dissent will proliferate. Fear of the truth is a constant feature of Empires built on lies.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 7, 2017 at 21:29

      Add ‘National Geographic Network’ to the list. If you watch the commercial for ‘Hell on Earth: the Fall of Syria the Rise of ISIS’ you will hear on the tv promo a voice claiming ‘Assad created ISIS’ with that that’s all you hear, but by the sounds of it this NationalGeo documentary is seemly putting the blame on Assasd for ISIS. I will say this, is that the promo makes me want to tune in Sunday night at 9pm to find out what this documentary is going to claim.


      Over at the ‘Intercept’ they have a story reporting the USS Liberty attack, and recent documentation to that fateful day fifty years ago. Only thing is when I finished reading the little essay I had the word ‘mistake’ imprinted subliminally in my brain….maybe it’s me, but check it out for yourself, and you tell me if the ‘Intercept’ did the USS Liberty justice.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 7, 2017 at 21:44

        Don’t put ‘National Geograhic’ on the list….context is important.

      • John
        June 9, 2017 at 10:18


        I have gotten very disappointed with The Intercept lately except for Glenn Greenwald’ s writing. They hype everything in their headlines and then write pieces which don’t support the hype in the headlines just like the MSM. They seem to be rapidly degenerating. With respect to the Liberty incident you are correct, a very lightweight presentation of info followed by (IMHO) a wrong conclusion. I would like to see Robert Parry produce a long detailed piece on this incident with all of the info known about it. (Hint, hint.) In the meantime anyone here who is interested should read the USS Liberty Veterans report on the incident, which is online at http://www.usslibertyveterans.org/files/War Crimes Report.pdf Read pages 4 and 5 carefully. Israel identified the Liberty accurately prior to the attack. Not mentioned in this report is the fact that an Israeli pilot came forward later and admitted that his superiors ordered him to attack the Liberty after he had identified it as an American vessel by the large American flag it flew. When he refused and flew back to base he was arrested. See http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/usslibertyveterans.html

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 9, 2017 at 10:52

          Hey John thanks for the nice reply. Sorry, but both links you provided are getting a 404 report. Anyway your reply at least proves it’s not only me. I would suspect, that if the day ever comes when the MSM does report on the USS Liberty attack, that what we see on ‘the Intercept’ will be more of what we get. Any sidestepping done to the USS Liberty story is still another way of covering up the dastardly bad incident. Truth comes at a premium, and the truth is never told in its entirety to the poorly informed public. When I tell people about the USS Liberty attack they almost always take this news, as my reading and quoting ‘fake news’. Yes, it’s that sad, that American service men who served on the USS Liberty have gone on to be never heard from and left to simmer in their own angst over what happened to them 50 years ago as of June 8th. Incredible, and profoundly sad.

    • Dave P.
      June 7, 2017 at 21:39

      mike, I am afraid you may be right on this.
      It seems like they are messing up RT transmission on Youtube. Occasionally, I used to watch RT interviews of Sophie Shavardnze, Oksana Boyko, and a few others on Youtube. For the last three or four months, most of time, images, voices are all messed up. And sometimes it just stops.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 7, 2017 at 23:34

      Here is a post of mind, which is in moderation, without the link to the National Geographic website. I would recommend you go to the NatGeo site, and put in the name of the documentary I mention below.

      Joe Tedesky
      June 7, 2017 at 9:29 pm
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Don’t put ‘National Geographic Network’ to the list. If you watch the commercial for ‘Hell on Earth: the Fall of Syria the Rise of ISIS’ you will hear on the tv promo a voice claiming ‘Assad created ISIS’ with that that’s all you hear, but by the sounds of it this NationalGeo documentary is seemly putting the blame on Assasd for ISIS. I will say this, is that the promo makes me want to tune in Sunday night at 9pm to find out what this documentary is going to claim.

      w/o site link

      Over at the ‘Intercept’ they have a story reporting the USS Liberty attack, and recent documentation to that fateful day fifty years ago. Only thing is when I finished reading the little essay I had the word ‘mistake’ imprinted subliminally in my brain….maybe it’s me, but check it out for yourself, and you tell me if the ‘Intercept’ did the USS Liberty justice.

      • Zachary Smith
        June 8, 2017 at 01:16


        That’s the link, and you aren’t wrong. Since Rupert Murdoch bought National Geographic in 2015 I’ve been expecting the magazine to become a right wing rag with pretty pictures. Looks like that outcome is well advanced.

        With regard to the Intercept site, when I found out that somebody or somebodies turned in the NSA leaker, that one became a no-go place for me. But given what I know about them already, shilling for Israel looks like something they’d do.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 8, 2017 at 10:22

          Thanks for the confirmation Zachary.

      • Sam F
        June 8, 2017 at 12:33

        I dropped my long subscription to National Geographic in the late 1990s as they were taken over by zionists. They put a zionist on their board, and soon hired a racist Jewish Features editor who put a quick-glimpse section up front that just couldn’t seem to avoid crediting Jews for everything good and hardly mentioning the other 97% of the population. She began expanding that section to be much of the magazine, They eliminated any balanced coverage of the Mideast as they had had before. It is long past time to dump NGS as racist propaganda of the worst sort.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 8, 2017 at 13:04

          It is deeply saddening to realize how much of our established institutions and media have been so overtaken by this monster of death. Truly amazing. Almost worth some admiration for it’s longtime strategy and execution of somekind of dastardly plan to be put into effect, wouldn’t you agree? Whether the name be Zionist, Neocon, R2Per, City of London, MIC, or CIA/MI6 it all comes out to be the same energy driving the same operation. I see Don Corleone sitting at the huge conference table with his many Capo’s applauding their successes over what crimes they have accomplished. The questions still remains, how to rid our world of these creeps, and bring civility back to the front.

          • Sam F
            June 8, 2017 at 15:40

            Yes, part of the strategy is simply to counter the widespread racist zionist propaganda that one must give them the farm or be denounced as racist. Most do not have the courage or information or reasoning capacity to resist that.

            I often declare against private assertions of mass media propaganda, that there simply isn’t any evidence for those assertions. They come back with the usual “everyone knows” or “the Times says” to which I assert that those sources are all propaganda. I recommend CN or CounterPunch. That gets them thinking. If they are skeptical sorts I tell them of the zionist control of mass media; otherwise of oligarchy control. Going any further risks overwhelming them, as they have months or years of verification before they can agree.

          • Dave P.
            June 9, 2017 at 12:38

            Joe, Very thoughtful comments as always. “. . . and bring civility back to the front.” Sadly, I am not too optimistic of this happening”

  43. L. Bach
    June 7, 2017 at 16:11

    Thankyou so much for this article and exposure-
    and all the work that goes into it.

    • Erik G
      June 7, 2017 at 20:02

      Yes, it is essential to have these cautious analyses of critically important current events, and exposure of mass media propaganda, as well as the extremely ominous efforts to eliminate any views at variance with mass media. Once more Mr. Parry has given us an essential counterpoint.

      Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
      While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and 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.

    • Peter Loeb
      June 8, 2017 at 09:41


      It is a bad sign that material on these groupthink lies need to be
      repeated again and again. So a deep appreciation to Robert Parry
      and echo (from my desperation?) to L. Bach.

      Just yesterday evening on the so-called “All Things Considered”
      program of unbalanced journalism on National Public
      Radio the groupthink hostility toward Syria continues.
      Some “expert” mentioned Iran’s sins of supporting Syria
      because of the horror of Syria’s gassing of “thousands”.
      No indication by by NPR that this is a fabrication or
      even that just perhaps there might be other points
      of view. Instead NPR treated it as established fact that
      Syria was a terrorist nation. (No mention of Saudi
      Arabia much less Israel).

      I would make it clear to the US and to all foreign
      nations that have invaded Syria that their
      violence against the sovereign Syrian Government
      will be repulsed. They could be permitted
      (perhaps) only under coordination of the Government
      of Syria and in support of this government.

      I would suggest that Syria cannot be expected
      to abide by any “agreements” with nations that
      do not even recognize it and maintain full diplomatic
      recognition of the sovereignty of the Syrian Government.

      I might add (sadly) that when the US and other
      nations were negotiating the “Iran deal” (under
      President Obama) that I doubted any such
      deal would be reached. The reason I gave several
      times in these spaces was that whatever was said, I
      never considered that the US was negotiating
      “in good faith”. Despite the signatures on paper,
      I am afraid my conclusions (based on political
      INSTINCT, not “evidence”) were on target.
      There is a paper agreement. No agreement in fact
      due to US-Israeli(-Saudi) views.

      In future, I suggest that the State of
      Israel be subject to the same condiditions and elimination
      of all “capacity” as everyone assumes Iran should be.

      Based on the work of Gareth Porter meticulously
      described in his book, I doubt any such agreement
      action random inspection of Israel etc. will ever be
      forthcoming. Some theocracies are immune, others
      are not.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      In fact, this position has taken. See Mideast Eye,
      dateline June 8.

      • Nancy
        June 8, 2017 at 11:13

        I continue to be baffled that so many supposedly “educated” people accept National Propaganda Radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post, PBS Snooze Hour etc.as the Holy Grail of news. They are being served up lies day after day by these entities that have a sordid history of creating misinformation to serve corporate interests. Thank God for Robert Parry and Consortium news. I’m trying to spread the word among inquiring minds who really want to know!

        • backwardsevolution
          June 8, 2017 at 13:12

          Nancy – “I’m trying to spread the word…” Good for you! I do that occasionally too, but not enough. Let’s all try to get the word out there and broadcast this site all over the Internet. If we can even get 10 more people per day, it makes a huge difference because then they also recruit others.

          Nancy, I honestly do not know how people can just sit in front of a TV and, without thinking, absorb what they are being told. It boggles the mind. Don’t they ever question the narrative? I contend that the supposedly “educated” are nothing more than conformists who memorized what they were told, and then spit it back out. Educated, but not really intelligent or wise.

          • Nancy
            June 8, 2017 at 19:08

            I recently visited my family and was horrified to see that they were being propagandized by CNN nonstop. I was pretty rough on them but they should know better. It really opened my eyes to the insidious power of TV.

        • Bill Bodden
          June 8, 2017 at 13:45

          I continue to be baffled that so many supposedly “educated” people accept National Propaganda Radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post, PBS Snooze Hour etc.as the Holy Grail of news.

          It’s a version of tribal loyalty.

        • Jessejean
          June 10, 2017 at 17:03

          Totally agree Nancy. I recommended R P to a yuppie friend of mine who has finally had enough of Rachel Maddows snidely conniving insinuations of “Russia did it”. And is looking for new news sources. We’ll see if her head explodes with this article. I also use Amy Goodman as a test stone, but lately even she seems a bit docile.

        • cmack
          June 10, 2017 at 17:27

          i have watched for years as my “educated” friends fall for everything. i have concluded that their training has made them conjoined to the phenomenon of “appeal to authority.”

          there is an interesting documentary about the man who invented deprogramming of cult members during the 70’s. it called ” deprogrammed”…..the one line that really struck me watching the movie was when he explained that the people who were most easily brainwashed by cults were the more well educated and well to do….

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