Echoes of Iraq-WMD Fraud in Syria

Special Report: Just as the West ignored signs in 2002-03 that anti-government Iraqis were fabricating WMD claims, evidence is being brushed aside that Syrian jihadists have ginned up chemical attacks, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The New York Times and other Western media have learned few lessons from the Iraq War, including how the combination of a demonized foreign leader and well-funded “activists” committed to flooding the process with fake data can lead to dangerously false conclusions that perpetuate war.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

What we have seen in Syria over the past six years parallels what occurred in Iraq in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion in 2002-03. In both cases, there was evidence that the “system” was being gamed – by the Iraqi National Congress (INC) in pushing for the Iraq War and by pro-rebel “activists” promoting “regime change” in Syria – but those warnings were ignored. Instead, the flood of propagandistic claims overwhelmed what little skepticism there was in the West.

Regarding Iraq, the INC generated a surge of “defectors” who claimed to know where Saddam Hussein was concealing his WMD stockpiles and where his nuclear program was hidden. In Syria, we have seen something similar with dubious claims about chemical weapons attacks.

The Iraqi “defectors,” of course, were lying, and a little-noticed congressional study revealed that the CIA had correctly debunked some of the fakers but – because of the pro-invasion political pressure from George W. Bush’s White House and the U.S. mainstream media’s contempt for Saddam Hussein – other bogus claims were accepted as true. The result was catastrophic.

But the telltale signs of an INC disinformation campaign were there before the war. For instance, by early February 2003, as the final invasion plans were underway, the parade of Iraqi “walk-ins” was continuing. U.S. intelligence agencies had progressed up to “Source Eighteen,” one fellow who came to epitomize what some CIA analysts suspected was systematic INC coaching of sources.

As the CIA planned a debriefing of Source Eighteen, another Iraqi exile passed on word to the agency that an INC representative had told Source Eighteen to “deliver the act of a lifetime.” CIA analysts weren’t sure what to make of that piece of news since Iraqi exiles frequently badmouthed each other but the value of the warning soon became clear.

U.S. intelligence officers debriefed Source Eighteen the next day and discovered that “Source Eighteen was supposed to have a nuclear engineering background, but was unable to discuss advanced mathematics or physics and described types of ‘nuclear’ reactors that do not exist,” according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Iraq War’s intelligence failures.

“Source Eighteen used the bathroom frequently, particularly when he appeared to be flustered by a line of questioning, suddenly remembering a new piece of information upon his return. During one such incident, Source Eighteen appeared to be reviewing notes,” the report said.

Not surprisingly, U.S. intelligence officers concluded that Source Eighteen was a fabricator. But the sludge of INC-connected disinformation kept oozing through the U.S. intelligence community, fouling the American intelligence product in part because there was little pressure from above demanding strict quality controls. Indeed, the opposite was true.

A more famous fake Iraqi defector earned the code name “Curve Ball” and provided German intelligence agencies details about Iraq’s alleged mobile facilities for producing agents for biological warfare.

Tyler Drumheller, then chief of the CIA’s European Division, said his office had issued repeated warnings about Curve Ball’s accounts. “Everyone in the chain of command knew exactly what was happening,” Drumheller said. [Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005]

Despite those objections and the lack of direct U.S. contact with Curve Ball, he earned a rating as “credible” or “very credible,” and his information became a core element of the Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq. Drawings of Curve Ball’s imaginary bio-weapons labs were a central feature of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the U.N. on Feb. 5, 2003.

The Syrian Parallel

Regarding Syria, a similar mix of factors exists. The Obama administration’s advocacy for Syrian “regime change” and the hostility from many Western interest groups toward President Bashar al-Assad lowered the bar of skepticism enabling propaganda arms of Al Qaeda and its jihadist allies to have enormous success in selling dubious accusations about chemical attacks and other atrocities.

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

As with the CIA analysts who tripped up a few of the Iraqi liars, some United Nations investigators have seen evidence of the trickery. For instance, they learned from townspeople of Al-Tamanah about how the rebels and allied “activists” staged a chlorine gas attack on the night of April 29-30, 2014, and then sold the false story to a credulous Western media and, initially, to the U.N. investigative team.

“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.”

However, the claim itself is absurd since it is inconceivable that anyone could detect a chlorine canister inside a “barrel bomb” by “a distinct whistling sound.”

The larger point, however, is that the jihadist rebels in Al-Tamanah and their propaganda teams, including relief workers and activists, appear to have organized a coordinated effort at deception complete with a fake video supplied to U.N. investigators and Western media outlets.

For instance, the Telegraph in London reported that “Videos allegedly taken in Al-Tamanah … purport to show the impact sites of two chemical bombs. Activists said that one person had been killed and another 70 injured.”

The Telegraph also quoted supposed weapons expert Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, as endorsing the report. “Witnesses have consistently reported the use of helicopters to drop the chemical barrel bombs used,” said Higgins. “As it stands, around a dozen chemical barrel bomb attacks have been alleged in that region in the last three weeks.”

To finish up pointing the finger of guilt at the government, the Telegraph added that “The regime is the only party in the civil war that possesses helicopters” – a claim that also has been in dispute since the rebels had captured government air assets and had received substantial military assistance from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, Israel, Jordan and other countries.

The Al-Tamanah debunking received no mainstream media attention when the U.N. findings were issued in September 2016 because the U.N. report relied on rebel information to blame two other alleged chlorine attacks on the government and that got all the coverage. But the case should have raised red flags given the extent of the apparent deception.

If the seven townspeople were telling the truth, that would mean that the rebels and their allies issued fake attack warnings, produced propaganda videos to fool the West, and prepped “witnesses” with “evidence” to deceive investigators. Yet, no alarms went off about other rebel claims.

The Ghouta Incident

A more famous attack – with sarin gas on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on Aug. 21, 2013, killing hundreds – was also eagerly blamed on the Assad regime, as The New York Times, Human Rights Watch, Higgins’s Bellingcat and many other Western outlets jumped to that conclusion despite the unlikely circumstances. Assad had just welcomed U.N. investigators to Damascus to examine chemical attacks that he was blaming on the rebels.

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. But the map was later disproved because only one rocket carried sarin (the one on the right) and it had only a fraction of the necessary range.

Assad also was facing a “red line” threat from President Obama warning him of possible U.S. military intervention if the Syrian government deployed chemical weapons. Why Assad and his military would choose such a moment to launch a deadly sarin attack, killing mostly civilians, made little sense.

But this became another rush to judgment in the West that brought the Obama administration to the verge of launching a devastating air attack on the Syrian military that might have helped Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and/or the Islamic State win the war.

Eventually, however, the case blaming Assad for the 2013 sarin attack collapsed. An analysis by genuine weapons experts – Theodore A. Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Richard M. Lloyd, an analyst at the military contractor Tesla Laboratories – found that the missile that delivered the sarin had a very short range placing its likely firing position in rebel territory.

Later, reporting by journalist Seymour Hersh implicated Turkish intelligence working with jihadist rebels as the likely source of the sarin.

We also learned in 2016 that a message from the U.S. intelligence community had warned Obama how weak the evidence against Assad was. There was no “slam-dunk” proof, said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. And Obama cited his rejection of the Washington militaristic “playbook” to bomb Syria as one of his proudest moments as President.

Iraqi National Congress President Ahmed Chalabi

With this background, there should have been extreme skepticism when jihadists and their allies made new claims about the Syrian government engaging in chemical weapons attacks, just like the CIA should have recognized that the Iraqi National Congress’s production of some obviously phony “walk-ins” justified doubts about all of them.

After the invasion of Iraq and the U.S. failure to find the promised WMD caches, INC leader Ahmed Chalabi congratulated his organization as “heroes in error” for its success in using falsehoods to help get the United States to invade.

But the West appears to have learned next to nothing from the Iraq deceptions – or arguably the lessons are being ignored out of a desire to continue the neoconservative “regime change” project for the Middle East.

Pressure to Confirm

U.N. investigators, who have been under intense pressure to confirm accusations against the Syrian government, continue to brush aside contrary evidence, such as testimony regarding the April 4 “sarin incident” at Khan Sheikhoun, that suggested a replay of the Al-Tamanah operation.

Photograph of men in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, allegedly inside a crater where a sarin-gas bomb supposedly landed. But they were wearing none of the necessary protective gear that would have saved them from likely sarin exposure.

In a new U.N. report, testimony from two people, who were apparently considered reliable by investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, asserted that anti-government aircraft spotters issued no early-morning warning of a flight leaving the Syrian military airbase of Shayrat, contradicting claims from Al Qaeda’s allies inside Khan Sheikhoun who insisted that there had been such a warning.

If no warplanes left Shayrat airbase around dawn on April 4, then President Trump’s case for retaliating with 59 Tomahawk missiles launched against the base two days later would collapse. The U.S. strike reportedly killed 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.

But the U.N. report accepts the version from the activists and rebels inside the Al Qaeda-controlled town and then goes on to endorse other rebel claims regarding alleged Syrian military chemical attacks on at least 20 other occasions.

The New York Times was mightily impressed with the U.N. report’s “unequivocal condemnation” of Assad’s regime and cited it as justification for Israeli warplanes bombing a Syrian military facility on Thursday. Rather than criticize Israel for attacking a neighboring country, the Times framed the action in a positive light as having “brought renewed attention to Syria’s chemical weapons.”

But the journalistic (and intelligence) point should have been that the West was fooled in Iraq by self-interested “activists” flooding the Times, the CIA and the world with fake information — so many bogus walk-ins that they overwhelmed whatever half-hearted process there was to weed out lies from truth. The Syrian “opposition” appears to have adopted a similar strategy in Syria with similar success.

Given the history, skepticism should be the rule in Syria, not credulity. Or, as President George W. Bush once said in a different context, “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

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

77 comments for “Echoes of Iraq-WMD Fraud in Syria

  1. September 15, 2017 at 02:05

    New article out by Gareth Porter that simply guts the OPCW report on the Khan Sheikhoun incident.

  2. Hank
    September 14, 2017 at 09:36

    “False Flag” attacks a Neocon tradition:

    THIS 2 MINUTE CLIP says it all; actually in about 1 minute:

  3. George
    September 12, 2017 at 08:55

    Robert Parry’s excellent piece on the misinformation being bandied about the ongoing conflict in Syria,proves the old adage that : the first casualty in any war is always the truth. To that I add my own belief that when the conflict in Syria is over, the first casualty of that peace will be the lies that were told about that conflict.

  4. September 12, 2017 at 05:12

    What do you mean they’ve learned few lessons? Don’t you mean that they show themselves to be CIA infiltrated shills just as Dr Udo Ulfkotte confessed, the same man who’s book in English has somehow conveniently finally disappeared from UK Amazon for sure after peculiarly being set for publication many months after it’s publicity so as never to reach an English speaking audience? A clear ruse all along the line to cover up the truth.

    Here you try and suggest that CIA analysts did what, that you think isn’t part of the dust cloud intended to obscure the real core of what’s happening?

    Is this some sort of controlled opposition piece? Or will you include these facts in an update, because it simply slipped your mind?

  5. Abe
    September 11, 2017 at 22:42

    Independent investigative journalist Robert Parry and other contributors at Consortium News have documented numerous contradictions in the official US narrative about 9/11, but have rightly refrained from speculation about how the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated.

    As responsible journalists, Parry and others have kept the focus on the verifiable facts of how 9/11 accelerated the US war machine into overdrive, leading to disastrous invasions and years of massively destructive military assaults.

    Geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci also has detailed the many factual contradictions and obvious fabrications of the US “global war on terror”. Cartalucci notes that vital questions remained unanswered:

    “The attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) left nearly 3,000 dead in NYC, Washington D.C. and over Pennsylvania. The attacks transformed America into a deepening police state at home and a nation perpetually at war abroad.

    “The official narrative claims that 19 hijackers representing Al Qaeda took over 4 commercial aircraft to carry out attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

    “The event served as impetus for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan which continues to present day. It also led directly to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Attempts to cite the attack to precipitate a war with Iran and other members of the so-called “Axis of Evil” (Libya, Syria, North Korea, and Cuba) have also been made.

    “And if this is the version of reality one subscribes to, several questions remain worth asking.

    “1. Can the similarities between 9/11 and plans drawn up by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in 1962 under the code name “Operation Northwoods” be easily dismissed? […]

    “2. Why did US policymakers draw up extensive plans to reassert US global hegemony – including regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen – without any conceivable pretext until 9/11 conveniently unfolded? […]

    “3. If primarily Saudi hijackers with Saudi money and Saudi organization perpetrated the attacks of 9/11, why has the United States waged war or threatened war with every nation in the Middle East except Saudi Arabia and its allies? […]

    “the fact that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both acknowledged as state sponsors of the terrorist organization – and are both still enjoying immense military, economic, and political support from the United States and its European allies – indicates just how disingenuous America’s ‘war on terror’ really is.

    “If the US truly believed Al Qaeda carried out the deadly attacks of 9/11, why does it count among its closest allies two of Al Qaeda’s largest and most prolific state sponsors?

    “Together – by honestly answering these three questions – we are left considering the very real possibility that 9/11 was not a terrorist attack carried out by foreign terrorists, but rather an attack engineered by special interests within the United States itself.

    “If we reject that conclusion, we must ask ourselves why the US DoD and JCS would take the time to draft plans for false flag attacks if they did not believe they were viable options US policymakers might seriously consider. At the very least we must ask why those at the DoD and JCS could be caught signing and dating a conspiracy to commit unspeakable terrorism to justify an unjust war and not only avoid criminal charges, but remain employed within the US government.

    “We must also ask ourselves why US policymakers would draft long-term plans for reasserting American global hegemony without any conceivable pretext to justify such plans. Even in the wake of 9/11, the US government found it difficult to sell the invasion of Iraq to the American public and its allies. Without 9/11, such salesmanship would have been impossible. In Syria – with 9/11 disappearing into the distant past – US regime change efforts have all but stalled.

    “Finally, we must find adequate explanations as to why those sponsoring the supposed perpetrators of 9/11 have remained recipients of unwavering American support, weapon sales, and both political and military protection. We must attempt to answer why militants fighting in Syria under the banner of Al Qaeda have been able to openly operate out of NATO-member Turkey’s territory for the past 6 years, side-by-side US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel who are admittedly fueling the conflict with weapons, money, and training ‘accidentally’ ending up in Al Qaeda’s hands.

    “It is clear – that at the very least – the official narrative in no shape, form, or way adds up. If the official narrative doesn’t add up, what does?”

    September 11, 2001: Questions to Ask if You Still Believe the Official Narrative
    By Tony Cartalucci

    • Zachary Smith
      September 11, 2017 at 23:45

      Can the similarities between 9/11 and plans drawn up by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in 1962 under the code name “Operation Northwoods” be easily dismissed? […]

      They most certainly cannot!

      The author missed an important feature of the preparations the Neocons made for the coming 9/11 attack. The full text of the Patriot Act was ready and waiting to be given to Congress. The American Vermin involved in the scheme had the anthrax at hand to terrorize Congress into passing that vile act. And a strong critic of the Patriot Act later had a mysterious accident in which his airplane fell out of the sky. Now that might have been an entirely coincidental event, but the Powers That Be have been working on electromagnetic weapons for a long while.

      Consider a recent weapon unveiled by the Russians.

      Of course, Kalashnikov is leading the pack in anti-drone warfare. Built on the MP-514K rifle system, the fully modular device comes equipped with interchangeable jamming units, which disrupt GPS, GLONASS, WiFi, and other electronic and radio signals, rendering drones inoperable. Due to its ability to block phone signals, the device also can be used to prevent remote detonation of improvised explosives.


      Whether the portable Russian model works as advertised is quite beside the point. I can’t think of a single reason the Neocons couldn’t have had a van or truck-sized device like this to take down a pesky Senator – one determined to “sunset” the Patriot Act. Notice how any mention of that vile law has pretty much disappeared? We’re growing accustomed to living in the US Police State, and prudent newsmen and congresscritters just don’t talk about it anymore. After all, who wants their modern automobile to suddenly steer itself off the high embankment. Or to accelerate into a high-speed collision with a large tree.

      There is no need at all to invent “micro-nukes” or “controlled demolitions” to have an ugly and very real conspiracy. In my opinion they’re just a part of the cover-up to throw up a dust cloud of confusion. Look at how well that worked out with the Kennedy Assassination. Suppressed reality + beaucoup distractions = no resolution.

  6. fudmier
    September 11, 2017 at 17:28
    right on.. its a seek, find, take, extract, process and sell business (destroy the local infra structure to eliminate competition. Take the local minerals and other goodies as desired, even hire the disenfranchised locals to help with the extraction, processing, packaging and transportation of the extracted minerals. These taken products and minerals are transported from their homeland and transported into the global markets providing the monopoly mafias with nearly cost free goods and depriving the homeland people of their own natural resources.. Its happening in America.. the USA is taking American natural resources from America and processing the taken resources and selling the processed goods into the global market. you might also look at the above link.. consider LNG which not only is a mineral taking by an environment destruction as well.
    The taking in America is being done by so-called rule of law, making it illegal for those who object to the taking to interfere, and making all that is taken exempt from extraction taxes and export taxes. Neat how rule of law works. Keystone pipeline is a good example.
    According to the above quoted link Twin Tower 9/11 ..destruction was done by nuclear explosives and elsewhere explained that the attack planes were pilot less drones. so that explains how so-called foreign terror pilots avoided gate surveillance and security, pilotless planes mean no pilot need go through airport security.

    The problem is how to get the people in the world away from their spectator sports long enough to understand its everyone’s duty to punish everyone involved in a fraud or an act of terror. I think alternative media should be about extracting the common elements in each new event and building a working model from those elements and organizing global networks, much in the same fashion as Linux the operating system was developed to debunk fraudulent events before fake media can embroider into the minds of millions erroneous stories and pictures that make long lasting fraudulent propaganda actual history to those who believe. Information gating (search engine and data collection techniques) and establishing falsity as long accurate are the most dangerous weapons mankind has ever made available to the criminally fraudulent.

    • Abe
      September 11, 2017 at 22:57

      The US government official narrative of 9/11 does not add up. Acknowledging this basic fact does not require speculation about how the destruction took place. It is sufficient to recognize the insufficiency of the official narrative. More in the comment below.

    • Zachary Smith
      September 11, 2017 at 23:14

      For folks who want a more realistic (and probably true) conspiracy theory, here is a piece from the New York Post.

      “Saudi government allegedly funded a ‘dry run’ for 9/11”


      There is nothing obviously implausible about this.

  7. September 11, 2017 at 15:57

    The MSM has learned few lessons from the Iraqi exercise in dementia? Another and more accurate perspective is that they’ve learned all too many, truth was never what they sought to teach.

  8. Joe Tedesky
    September 11, 2017 at 13:34

    “ANCIENT ANALOGIES notwithstanding, no one would seriously suggest that the United States should attempt to directly rule the rest of the world, and there is no indication that the rest of the world would let it. But the United States could manage its empire more effectively, which is something that the rest of the world would welcome. A winning strategy for low-cost, effective management of empire would be for America to work with and through the system of global governance that America itself has set up, rather than systematically seeking to blunt its own instruments of power.

    For example, the United States was instrumental in setting up the International Criminal Court, yet Washington will not place itself under the jurisdiction of the ICC and will not allow its citizens to be subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC. Similarly, though the United States is willing to use UN Security Council resolutions to censure its enemies, it is not willing to accept negotiated limits on its own freedom of action. From a purely military-political standpoint, the United States is sufficiently powerful to go it alone. But from a broader realist standpoint that takes account of the full costs and unintended consequences of military action, that is a suboptimal strategy. Had the United States listened to dissenting opinions on the Security Council before the invasion of Iraq, it would have saved hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. The United States might similarly have done well to have heeded Russian reservations over Libya, as it ultimately did in responding to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

    A more responsible (and consequently more effective) United States would subject itself to the international laws and agreements that it expects others to follow. It would genuinely seek to reduce its nuclear arsenal in line with its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It would use slow but sure police procedures to catch terrorists, instead of quick but messy drone strikes. It would disavow all forms of torture. All of these policies would save American treasure while increasing American power. They would also increase America’s ability to say “no” to its allies when they demand expensive U.S. commitments to protect their interests abroad.

    Such measures would not ensure global peace, nor would they necessarily endear the United States to everyone across the world. But they would reduce global tensions and make it easier for America to act in its national interests where those interests are truly at stake. Both the United States and the world as a whole would be better off if Washington did not waste time, money and diplomatic capital on asserting every petty sovereign right it is capable of enforcing. A more strategic United States would preside over a more peaceful and prosperous world.

    In pondering its future course, Washington might consider this tale from the ancient world: When Cyrus the Great conquered the neighboring kingdom of Lydia, he allowed his army to loot and pillage Lydia’s capital city, Sardis. The deposed Lydian king Croesus became his captive and slave. After Cyrus taunted Croesus by asking him how it felt to see his capital city being plundered, Croesus responded: “It’s not my city that your troops are plundering; it’s your city.” Cyrus ordered an immediate end to the destruction.”

    Taken from Salvatore Babones, ‘American Hegemony Is Here to Stay’


    Although the author of this article makes a case for the longevity of American hegemony, his closing statements are all too true. I posted this lengthy excerpt, because I thought it brutally honest, and correct.

    • mike k
      September 11, 2017 at 16:27

      The idea that the ghouls in charge of the American Empire only need some modest improvements in how it is managed is ludicrous. We need a world without empires. The notion of benign rulers is false and demeaning. This is the old patriarchal idea of needing to obey those who are “wiser.” Maybe we need to go back and rewrite Animal Farm, so that the critters would agree to be more docile and cooperative with those fattening them for the slaughter!

  9. Abe
    September 11, 2017 at 10:57

    “In mid 2012, as foreign jihadists poured into Syria, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon authorised replacement of the Special Mission on Syria (UNSMIS) with a Geneva-based ‘Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria’ (IICOIOS), co-chaired by US diplomat Karen Koning AbuZayd and Brazilian Paolo Pinheiro.

    “Unlike UNSMIS, led by Norwegian General Robert Mood and based in Syria, the IICOIOS was based in Geneva, never visited Syria and was deeply compromised by its link to US diplomacy and its reliance on jihadist sources. The US Government, by then, was arming anti-government jihadist groups in Syria. Ban had thus embedded a deep conflict of interest in a nominally ‘independent’ UN agency.

    “The Abuzayd-Pinheiro group, joined by Italian lawyer Carla del Ponte, issued a series of distant reports which echoed western war propaganda against Syria. Notable amongst these were reports on the 2012 Houla massacre, a report on the 2016 liberation of Aleppo, and a recent report which seeks to blame a series of chemical weapons attacks in 2017 on the Syrian Government. Carla del Ponte, in a better moment, revealed in mid 2013 that the first use of sarin gas in Syria was by Jabhat al Nusra. But none of this appeared in the group’s reports.

    “In a pretence at even handedness, the group has made criticism of the terrorist groups and the US-led bombardment of Syrian cities. However when it comes to accusations against the Syrian Government it pays literally no attention to genuinely independent evidence […]

    “In its most recent report of September 2017 the AbuZayd-Pinheiro group criticised terrorist groups and the US air strikes, in a pretence at impartiality. But it added a remarkable claim that had no basis in independent evidence: that ‘government forces continued the pattern of using chemical weapons against civilians in opposition held areas’. Abuzayd-Pinheiro claimed that 20 of 25 chemical weapons attacks in 2017 ‘were perpetrated by government forces’, referring to incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, al Latamneh and East Ghouta (HRC 2017b: 1, 14). Yet critical, independent evidence from US Professor Ted Postol had disproved the notion that the Khan Sheikhoun incident came from an air strike (Postol 2017). Indeed, the Syrian Government says the Army never once used chemical weapons during the 2011-2017 conflict, and no independent evidence contradicts this position […]

    “So, on what evidence were AbuZayd-Pinheiro’s claims based? They refer to interviews with victims and aid providers in jihadist controlled areas, some satellite images, a report of the UN’s OPCW (which did not attribute blame) and a non-response from the Syrian Government (HRC 2017b: 14-16). Clearly Damascus refuses to cooperate with AbuZayd-Pinheiro because of their previous propaganda activity. In the case of Khan Sheikhoun incident, the OPCW refused Russian invitation to visit and investigate, preferring to rely on information and samples provided by jihadist groups and their auxiliaries, such as the US-UK funded ‘White Helmets’. Once again, virtually all evidence cited by the Abuzayd-Pinheiro group came from US-backed and jihadist sources – al Nusra aka Hayat Tahrir al Sham, Ahrar al Sham, Jaish al Islam and Faylaq al Rahman (HRC 2017b: 14-16).

    “This latest AbuZayd-Pinheiro report came as the Syrian Army broke a three-year ISIS siege on the eastern City of Deir Ezzor. Fake chemical weapons claims at this time might briefly distract from this latest Syrian victory over the NATO-Saudi proxy armies, but they carry less import than before. Nevertheless, this US-led ‘independent’ group showed itself partisan and propagandist to the end.”

    The AbuZayd-Pinheiro Committee: Systematic Misinformation on Syria
    By Tim Anderson

  10. Abe
    September 11, 2017 at 10:42

    The war hawks suffer from an aggressive form of brain cancer induced by Israel Lobby funding

    “There will be other wars…”

  11. Abe
    September 11, 2017 at 10:20

    Another two “commenters” employ that most despicable smear tactic of Hasbara pro-Israel propaganda: deliberately posting fake “anti-Semitic” post.

    “Catman” uses the “anti-Semitic” conspiracy theory canard, “9/11 was an Israeli masterminded False Flag”, complete with the requisite alphabet soup list of alleged diabolically complicit federal agencies.

    “Mario64” quotes from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated “anti-Semitic” text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination.

    Whether it quoting notorious forgeries like “Mario64”, muttering about conspiracy theories like “Catman”, or simply dismissing solid investigative journalism like “Ehud” above, the Hasbara troll army is working overtime.

    The US and Israel-backed al-Qaeda terrorist forces in Syria had been advancing the geopolitical goals of Israel, which include permanent annexation of Syria’s resource-rich Golan Heights area that Israel has occupied since 1967.

    The illusion of a “threat” to Israel guarantees an ever greater cascade of military and economic aid supplied by slavishly pro-Israel politicians in the United States.

    Hasbara propaganda promotes fake news and conspiracy theories to divert attention from an actual and very public conspiracy:

    The efforts of the Israel lobby to manipulate politics in the United States.

    Never again.

    No more wars for Israel.

    • mike k
      September 11, 2017 at 10:32

      Thanks Abe.

    • Mario64
      September 11, 2017 at 14:47

      It’s widely assumed that the more than hundred years old Protocols of The Elders of Sion is an antisemitic fabricated text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination [Wikipedia].
      However it looks like a very accurate and realistic script of what is actually going on in today’s world.

      From The Protocols of the Elders of Sion (XIII):

      “Growing more and more unaccustomed to reflect and form any opinions of their own, people will begin to talk in the same tone as we because we alone shall be offering them new directions for thought.”

      • Abe
        September 11, 2017 at 15:51

        When independent investigative journalists accurately present what is actually going on, specifically the efforts by Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby in the United States to start yet another war in the Middle East, propagandist Hasbara trolls like “Mario64” try to divert the discussion by repeatedly quoting a notorious “anti-Semitic” fraud like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903).

        Considering the reality of immense Jewish suffering and death resulting from the Protocols and similar “anti-Semitic” frauds created by Nazi propagandists and others, the Hasbara appropriation of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion for pro-Israel propaganda purposes is utterly loathsome.

        • mike k
          September 11, 2017 at 16:32

          Thanks Abe. These #&!#$’s need to be countered.

    • Zachary Smith
      September 11, 2017 at 17:22

      No more wars for Israel.

      What a party pooper!

      Other than that, good catch on the trolls. My personal BS detector isn’t yet to the point it can distinguish between the KKK boys and their zionist imitators.

      • Abe
        September 11, 2017 at 18:18

        The KKK boys and their Zionists imitators in Israel have a lot in common.

        Apparently it’s more than a mere matter of Netanyahu not picking up poop:

      • Abe
        September 11, 2017 at 18:38

        Pro-Israel “anti-Semitic” Hasbara propaganda trolls deliberately masquerade as “KKK boys”, posting incendiary comments in order to smear progressive websites and independent investigative journalism outlets.

        The Hasbara brigades have deployed more than a few “imitators” online.

  12. Mario64
    September 11, 2017 at 08:39

    From The Protocols of the Elders of Sion (XIII):

    “Growing more and more unaccustomed to reflect and form any opinions of their own, people will begin to talk in the same tone as we because we alone shall be offering them new directions for thought.”

  13. Catman
    September 11, 2017 at 06:16

    Until Mr. Parry stops parroting the 9/11 lies, that Ben Laden and 19 Ayyyrabs did 9/11, his columns will be suspect. Parry needs to open his eyes and his mind and realize that 9/11 was an Israeli masterminded False Flag with help from traitors in the WH, the Pentagon, CIA, FBA and NSA. With generous help from the Lying MSM.

  14. Patricia P Tursi, Ph.D.
    September 11, 2017 at 04:15

    MSM is complicit….not unaware.

  15. R Davis
    September 11, 2017 at 02:22

    Was “shock & awe” in fact – just hype to hide what was really going on in Iraq – the gruesome reality of the devastation of the 10 year sanctions inflicted upon Iraq ?
    What actually happened in Iraq ?
    What really did happen in Iraq ?
    A 10 year long experiment to discover how long it would take to starve a whole nation to death ?
    The clearing of a nation in preparation for a redevelopment of the Middle East by Global Property Investors – to make the most Almighty Killing ever made in the history of mankind ?
    Convenience & Expedience was the name of the game – Operation Without a Trace – was the goal – wipe them neatly off the face of the earth – was some coked up – think tank’s amended idea of how The Final Solution should go down.
    As a result of World War Two – from 60 MILLION & even over 80 MILLION people were killed.
    The estimated population of Iraq in 2003 was estimated at 25.175.000 – nothing – with today’s technology – child’s play – considering that the worlds population was set to blow out at soon – they were doing us all a big favor.

    What was the war with Iraq – fighting a defenseless – exhausted & starving nation – really in aid off – but to hide the evidence of a heinous eradication attempt on the part of the Global Property Investment Cartels – the Banking Sectors & their Aristocrat Investors.
    Who would miss all these people in a world where food & water shortages were expected – due to overpopulation ?
    71% of the earths surface is water – planet earth cannot ever run out of water & we can grow food anywhere & even in a plastic bottle on the porch.
    And today as then – below replacement fertility has touched every nation on the planet & still we are told that the population of the planet has impossibly climbed to 7.5 billion.
    Maybe it was just an exercise in eugenics.

  16. Seer
    September 11, 2017 at 00:48

    As Daniel Lazare writes in The Dangerous Decline of U.S. Hegemony (posted on this site yesterday), US hegemony is in decline. The loss of hegemony can ONLY result in a collapse of the US empire. ALL EMPIRES COLLAPSE. This is a mathematical certainty given that ALL empires operate on growth (and there cannot be perpetual growth on a finite planet). There’s THIS bigger picture that gets obscured, without which we will continue to question the “sanity” of the various power players/”leaders.” These folks have ZERO power over changing the dynamics here- they have perpetuated the game that MUST end badly for them, not to mention much of humanity (now that things operate on a full global basis). Folks of power only know power, they cannot accept not having power for they would lose their identities, not to mention increase their odds of others finding more access to inflict harm on them (those in power). The only way “out” is war. War has always been a great mechanism for distraction; and, with fewer advisories the game of growth can be spun up again (though how much depends on the what things look like after war’s major dust storm has passed); the “leaders” will proclaim their superiority on “delivering” (growth). How long, however, before there’s a point of utter desperation and nukes start to fly? Perhaps the West/US power is trying to provoke NK into this? (that’s the Big Escape Plan?)

    • mike k
      September 11, 2017 at 08:07

      Yes. It’s like in the old movies when some officer in the stockade deep in Indian territory looks out into the darkness and says, “It’s quiet…….too quiet.”

      What are the Empire Masters cooking up in the eerie silence winding up the Syrian regime change war, and the media silence about Ukraine? What mad move are they about to spring on us? The North Korea posturing is a puppet show going nowhere. It’s not like these masters of war to sit on their hands for long. This lull is making me nervous…….

  17. WG
    September 11, 2017 at 00:18

    Saying the intelligence agencies are “being fooled” is certainly a generous interpretation of events.

    IMHO they are actively manipulating intelligence to fit a constructed narrative, in the hopes of “shaping reality” to reach an outcome they have already decided on.

    The level of criminality and lawlessness on display is breathtaking.

  18. Ehud
    September 10, 2017 at 23:45

    Once again: Parrytales=totally unfounded ….

    • Abe
      September 11, 2017 at 01:58

      Once again, another Zionist dead ender weighs in.

      The Hasbara trolls usually make more of an effort, but this one obviously fancies himself a “hero” of Zion and can hardly be bothered.

      Interestingly, the name “Ehud” is not attested as a first name among Jews until the 20th Century.

      European Jewish Zionist colonists developed a peculiar fetish for mythic narrative.

      The Zionists encouraged the use of names from “heroic” Jewish folk tales, including that of Ehud from Sefer Shoftim (the Book of Judges) in the Tanakh.

      In fact, until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel and Judah (ca. 1150–1025 BC), the Israelite tribes formed a loose confederation. No central government existed in this confederation. In times of crisis, the people were led by ad hoc chieftains, known as judges (shoftim).

      While judge is the closest literal translation of the Hebrew term shoftim, the position is more one of unelected non-hereditary leadership than that of legal pronouncement. The shoftim were most likely local tribal leaders, contrary to the Deuteronomistic historian’s portrayal of them as leaders of all of Israel.

      The modern state of Israel suffers from a distinctly inept tribal leadership that most definitely serves other gods.

      Given the Israeli state’s unending unfounded tales and accusations against Syria and Iran,
      given Israel’s previous totally unfounded accusations against Iraq,
      given the legions of dead enders courageously defending Zion from Washington, New York, London, and Paris,
      more devastating regional war is on the horizon…

      once again.

      Because we allow it.

      I say never again.

      No more wars for Israel.

  19. September 10, 2017 at 21:18

    Oh well the Russians ate my homework is dying of steam or that Iran is going to bomb Israel with nuclear weapons. This is laughable beyond belief. The New York Times is dying and is as credible as CNN. Same goes for all the other rags Washington Post and co. They were cheering on the invasion of Iraq in 2003 along with the BBC and all other media outlets.
    The white Helmets has been total but hell lets give them an Oscar . Theirly debunked and is one of the most fraudulent organisations
    their links to Al-Qaeda another fruadulent organisation which if one digs deep into the Rabbit hole is a CIA MI6 vetted organistion. We the sheeple keep taking the blue pill and drinking this poisonous kool-aid.
    Now lets go into hypothetical , lets say they manage to proceed with a trial . These so called prosecutors would be using as evidence well known connected entities to a known terrorist organisation . Al-Nusra/Al Qaeda or HTS whatever rebranding happens to be in vogue in the new Sears catalogue of takfiris seem to be pushed by the compromised msm and our dubious secret service.
    Hell you can’t even make this stuff up.
    How Orwellian the times we are living . Meanwhile the economic gap is the widest since the Gilded age. our roads ,education and healthcare systems are declining. But hell Hillary is now trying to state that Bernnie Sanders was a Russian agent and Facebook comes out with that the Kremlin paid for adds to decieve.
    Our we that ignorant here in the west to keep drinking this vile deceit .

  20. hillary
    September 10, 2017 at 21:03

    La Belle Disco Bombing – Germany April 1985 when “Intercepted messages between Tripoli and agents in Europe made it clear that Libya was behind the attack. Proof positive ?.

    Ostrovsky, the ex-Mossad agent and author of the Mossad exposé “By Way of Deception,” relates that in February 1986, Israel sent a team of navy commandos via miniature submarines into Tripoli to land and install a “Trojan,”.

    The “Trojan,” a six-foot-long & 7 inches in diameter communications device used by Mossad way back in 1986 which they placed in a rented appartment on the top floor of a five-story apartment building. The device was capable of receiving messages broadcast by Mossad’s LAP (LohAmaPsicologit—psychological warfare or disinformation section) on one frequency and automatically relaying the broadcasts on a different frequency used by the Libyan government.
    The commandos activated the Trojan and left it in the care of a lone Mossad agent in Tripoli who had leased the apartment.
    .“By the end of March, the Americans were already intercepting messages broadcast by the Trojan,”
    “Using the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that a long series of terrorist orders were being transmitted to various Libyan embassies around the world,”
    As the Mossad had hoped, the transmissions were deciphered by the Americans and construed as ample proof that the Libyans were active sponsors of terrorism. What’s more, the Americans pointed out, Mossad reports confirmed it.

    • Abe
      September 11, 2017 at 13:25

      “It’s the old Trojan dick trick.” (pages 113-117)
      – Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue Agent Exposes the Mossad’s Secret Agenda

      Former Israeli intelligence officer Victor Ostrovsky was born in Canada and moved to Israel at the age of five. In 1982, he was recruited by the Mossad and trained at the Mossad Academy north of Tel Aviv as a katsa (case officer).

      Ostrovsky said he left the agency in 1986 because of cases of unnecessarily malicious actions by Mossad operatives. He also accused Mossad directors of knowingly making less than accurate reports to the nation’s political leadership.

      In 1990, he published By Way of Deception to draw attention to the corruption and shortcomings he claims to have witnessed in the Mossad. Ostrovsky has repeatedly argued that intelligence-gathering agencies must be permitted certain operational freedoms, but that significantly increased governmental oversight of espionage activities is necessary.

      According to Ostrovsky, if an American senator on a military committee whose “aide was Jewish, he or she would be approached as a sayan”, which Ostrovsky later describes as “a volunteer Jewish helper outside Israel” who would then assist Mossad.

      Of the Israeli spy network in the United States, David Wise wrote in his New York Times review that “both countries know that Israel has spied on the United States for years” and, citing publicly known instances, the “general assertion can hardly be challenged”.

      Shortly before official publication of the book, the Israeli government filed lawsuits in both Canada and the United States seeking injunctions against publication. A judge in New York granted the request at a 1 a.m. hearing in his home. The New York Supreme Court overturned his decision, but the resulting publicity focused national attention on Ostrovsky’s story and guaranteed international success for the book.

      In 1994, Ostrovsky published The Other Side of Deception, the follow-up to his best-selling book By Way of Deception. The book further explored the Mossad divide and conquer strategy of pitting secular Arabs against Islamist Arabs, and fomenting conflict between Arab Muslims and Non-Arab Muslims such as between Iran and Iraq.

      In the Iran–Contra affair, Israel helped arm the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war. Israel with its large collection of US weapons was in a prime position to sell HAWK SAMs, M-60 tank spare parts, F-4 Phantom parts and air-to-air missiles to Tehran. Ostrosky states that the German Secret Service (BND) was cooperating with the Mossad in the transfer of weapons to Iran and also in the secret training of Iranian pilots that was occurring on Germany airbases during the 1980s. The goal was to make Iran and Iraq bleed each other to death which made Iran and Iraq weak and forced these countries to slash oil prices which boosted Western economic growth in the 1980s.

      Ostrovsky claimed German politician Uwe Barschel, who had helped Mossad in their dealings with the Iranians but was going to reveal the secrets of his dealings, was poisoned by Israeli assassins in October 1987. The murder was very unusual because his corpse was found fully clothed in a bathtub full of water in an attempt to make it look like a suicide. According to Ostrovsky, Barschel was murdered because he refused to allow Israeli arms for Iran to be shipped from Schleswig-Holstein ports.

  21. Zachary Smith
    September 10, 2017 at 18:57

    But the journalistic (and intelligence) point should have been that the West was fooled in Iraq by self-interested “activists” flooding the Times, the CIA and the world with fake information — so many bogus walk-ins that they overwhelmed whatever half-hearted process there was to weed out lies from truth. The Syrian “opposition” appears to have adopted a similar strategy in Syria with similar success.

    The NYT and WP and the CIA weren’t “fooled”. These people aren’t stupid or gullible, they’re just dishonest neocons. But they do need roadkill “meat” to feed into their neocon war-making sausage machine. The situation in both Iraq and Syria brings to mind the probably apocryphal exchange between Remington and Hearst:

    W. R. Hearst, New York Journal, N.Y.: “Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return. “Remington.”

    “Remington, Havana: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war. “W. R. Hearst.”

    Only in Iraq and Syria the BS was all too real. The only people being “fooled” are the people who trust the likes of the NYT and WP.

    • mike k
      September 10, 2017 at 20:46

      Required fields are marked.

  22. DocHollywood
    September 10, 2017 at 18:39

    Thank you Mr. Parry.

    You have once again provided a thorough and well-evidenced explanation on the recent history of the US march towards more war.

    “. . .the West appears to have learned next to nothing from the Iraq deceptions – or arguably the lessons are being ignored out of a desire to continue the neoconservative “regime change” project for the Middle East.”

    You see the mainstream media and the West in general as once again being duped, and you may be right. That’s certainly plausible, but the conclusion implicitly assumes that the powers driving the narrative don’t welcome the deceptions or the wars to come.

    Perhaps that is true, but if we look at the same facts with a different set of assumptions, an alternative possibility is opened to consideration:

    Western centers of power appear to have learned well from the Iraq deceptions – or arguably the lessons are being applied out of a desire to continue the neoconservative “regime change” project for the Middle East.

    A big thanks also to Abe and Stephen J for the additional info and links.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 10, 2017 at 19:35

      Hey Doc, don’t you wish that Robert Parry could host a tv informative program where he might replace 60 minutes?

      • DocHollywood
        September 11, 2017 at 09:43

        Yes, but he and Consortiumnews already have for me.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 11, 2017 at 11:05

          Lucky us.

    • Skip Edwards
      September 10, 2017 at 23:04

      “Western centers of power appear to have learned well from the Iraq deceptions – or arguably the lessons are being applied out of a desire to continue the neoconservative “regime change” project for the Middle East.”

      I would argue that Western centers of power have learned they can get away with murder.

  23. liam
    September 10, 2017 at 18:23

    More and more information continues to come out in regards to the lies about the Syrian war. Consortium News deserves tonnes of accolades for staying the course and revealing the truth to the American people. Here is some additional evidence that the White Helmets who reported the April 4th, 2017 sarin attack are not who they profess to be. What is astonishing is the fact that the mainstream media, and even many alternative media outlets continue to ignore the terrible truth about the White Helmets.

    The White Helmets Terrorists – Further Extensive Evidence of Direct Collusion with Islamic Terrorist Groups – (Set 4)

    New pics added – Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group –

    September 10, 2017 at 18:11

    Deliberate ignorance is of epidemic proportion within US.
    As Ben Frankllin is purported to of said aftrr Philidelphia convention: “We have given you a Republic if you can keep it”.
    They of the Convention, despite their numerous individual faults, at least wete of one ideal, and that was; That the mass og American people would be intelligent enough to be able to govern themselves, and to kerp any runaway individual or group of elected perdonage(s) from abusing the public trust.
    Well sad to say today we see the most educated either scared sh..less or just self interested, or are eorking for those who love what has bevome unbridled power.
    LLot of favtual data avsilable and many profit from writing of it, but when it comes time to use the data with ones enhanced imagination, they pull back.
    It is not brainwashing when the public ignores truth, it is way to hide from humanity, behind deliberate ignorance.
    More importamt to pit whites against blacks, to brain dead emotionalism, or crotch of dangle or vlit, than to go aftrr the source of populace induced chaos.

  25. ranney
    September 10, 2017 at 18:06

    Thank you Robert; the comparison of lies between Iraq and Syria is a very helpful reminder – especially for people who are still wrapped up in the current group think. I know a bunch and this is going forward to them. Hopefully it will jar some sanity loose in their brains.
    I’m worried though. There are so few (or any? ) sane people left in our government – whether the exec branch or Congress – that the odds of a massive error being made is almost inevitable. God help us – or maybe all those UFOs people see buzzing around can help.

  26. evelync
    September 10, 2017 at 17:55

    There are so many strings to pull to get to the bottom of this mess we’re in.
    Robert Parry’s painstaking investigative work to uncover the evidence is the only sure fire way to get to the bottom of the painful truth.

    Looking back over our recent history of catastrophic foreign “adventures” pushed by government and media lies to “demonize” one foreign leader after another to justify the next war, secretly hatched by “the best and the brightest”, our foreign policy is littered with the innocent victims (their’n and our’n) who pay dearly for the whims of one compromised president after another.

    We’re kept in the dark during the planning, although the liars in chief have become quite transparent. Especially when the nasty fallout is blasted light speed around the world thanks to the internet.
    (Secretary Clinton will never admit this in her efforts to explain “What Happened”, but her well known hawkish policies and the chaos that followed turned off god knows how many voters, sick and tired of the endless regime change wars.

    Our leaders don’t seem to be interested in having an honest conversation about their foreign policy goals. We’re told that for national security reasons it’s on a need to know basis and that we don’t NEED to know.
    Secretly, with undisclosed interested parties at the table, schemes are hatched, political consequences are calculated, exploitation of others’s natural resources morph into our national security, multilayered chess games over world power are invented and we push on, as our share of that power evaporates along with our shrinking credibility.

    I sometimes wonder how Canada and Mexico seem to get by in the world without bombing their “villains”.
    We accept the moniker “policeman of the world”, but maybe we should start demanding that our elected officials start thinking of us in less grand terms, as collaborative peace officers of the world and act accordingly. Use those resources constructively here at home based on honest solutions to some very serious problems that we face.

    • Skip Edwards
      September 10, 2017 at 22:38

      “Robert Parry’s painstaking investigative work to uncover the evidence is the only sure fire way to get to the bottom of the painful truth.”

      The sooner we get to the bottom of these horrendous war crimes that our “leaders” have committed and put them on trial before the world the sooner we can try and find some pride in being Americans. At 72, I can only trust I live long enough to see it happen.

      • Paranam Kid
        September 11, 2017 at 02:46

        At your age, you should know that “our” “leaders” have never been & will never be put on trial. Arguably the biggest post-WW2 war criminal, Kissinger, is still the revered, highly respected elderly statesman who many a politician loves to consult or even pose with. All the rest of the scum since are still a happy part of our civil society.

      • Abe
        September 11, 2017 at 17:36

        Our “leaders” are “disgraceful”, to say the least

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 10, 2017 at 22:55

      Very well put evelync. It’s too bad that somehow we the people cannot prosecute these leaders of ours for their lying, and conniving, and lock them all up. Until we the people may take that power, we should not expect much of anything different to come out of Washington. There needs to be a strong message send to these types of warmongering profiteers, a message so strong that there would not be any denial of what the consequences will be for those who do not adhere to the public’s wishes to maintain peace at all cost.

      • Skip Scott
        September 11, 2017 at 09:06

        Wouldn’t it be great if we had an administration that had the guts to go after the warmongers. We don’t even need the Hague to do it. Per Article VI of our own Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter are the supreme law of the land, since they are signed treaties. If our own government wasn’t so corrupted, these war criminals could be tried in our own federal courts. It seems the first thing the Oligarchs do is get the new President to become another war criminal, thus eliminating the chance that he’d go after all the others. Not long ago, I was hopeful that Obama would go after the perpetrators that lied us into the Iraq war. I have grown far less naive since then.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 11, 2017 at 09:34

          You and I Skip are on the same page. It is upsetting to no end how these people corrupt the very systems the U.S. helped create. I guess empires don’t need to adhere to the law, any law. Between invading sovereign nations, to secret torture chambers, and much more, these scoundrels go on destroying everything in sight, with no repercussions enough to slow them down. Only their privileged status keeps them walking the hallls of government we peons must support, unless we of lessor rank wish to make our own lives a total hardship for not towing the line. The worst of it, is ‘they’ control the narrative, so the rest of us who say different are considered the crazy conspiracist who read the ‘fake news’ of our time. Other than that, we are all doing fine, and can’t wait until ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ returns for another season. Joe

  27. Pete
    September 10, 2017 at 17:43

    War is hell! Pro-war is pro-hell! Pro-war? Hell to pay.
    They are still hell bent, and working ever more furiously to “gain the whole world”, but “suffer the loss of their soul”. “Collateral damage”, foreign or domestic, robbing millions of their life, property, health, sanity and fortunes is a non issue. Tragically, only nuclear winter will awaken the surfs to indict the ruling class which is on a vile path of death and destruction. There will not be enough lamp-posts to hang the guilty who have committed treason. But who can challenge a force which can turn thousands of humans into fine bone fragments to waft over the rooftops of NY in 10 seconds? Not one of 500 federal representatives dares to even ask? One black thug gets shot by the police and emergency Grand Juries are assembled at the frantic demand of politicians. Yet, 3000 Americans are cremated in 10 seconds, firetrucks melted block away, yet not a peep. Wonder why?

    September 10, 2017 at 17:28

    CONTRARY TO AUTHOR: He states mrdia never learned fom war: no sir; they know damn well how they working for war hawks profited mightily by that co-operation.
    A few years ago an interviewrr asked a high prfile Russian defector how he compared US news outlets to Pravda:
    The defector said that at least he knew whatever was written in Pravda was the opposite; While in the US one could never tell when they were telling the truth or lying.

  29. Ol' Hippy
    September 10, 2017 at 17:05

    All I can ever see is that for pacifists as such as myself have to just find some way to cope with the perpetual wars our government causes, fights, and eventually loses with all the cost and devastation left in it’s wake. With Earth warming and perhaps, eventually becoming uninhabitable all I see are war cries from those leaders that should know better. N Korea can’t possibly hurt the US, yet I see certain supposed diplomats become unhinged and cry, “they want war”. I try not to drink bit these days it becomes harder with all the nonsense by our government. We should be solving the problems caused by the devastating hurricanes and the resulting toxic mess and displaced people left in their wake instead of wanting more war. Thanx Robert for all the hard work you do to help keep us sane in an insane world.

    • Skip Edwards
      September 10, 2017 at 22:31

      Ol Hippie, you say it exactly as I have felt and spoken for years. Thanks for writing this; that there is at least one other sane human out there is very comforting. Thanks for expressing your feelings with such heartfelt emotion.

    • Daniel
      September 11, 2017 at 03:46

      I think the plan is that “Nuclear Winter” will mitigate Global Warming.

      But all seriousness aside (as my hero, Steve Allan used to say), I see no reason to believe that the US has been “losing” these wars. Chaos and Balkanization seem to be the goals, as long as the natural resources keep flowing, they win. In fact, failed states are impotent to demand better deals for resource extraction, and wars destroy property values, making it a buyers’ market. So it’s win/win for the psychopaths.

      • roza shanina
        September 11, 2017 at 11:38

        Daniel, I couldn’t agree with you more. Chomsky pointed out (if I remember correctly) that the USA actually won the Vietnam war. The whole purpose was to show that any country which chose to attempt to follow a path that wasn’t one of a client state dominated by USA interests would be destroyed. That’s what we did. Money flowed. Bombs dropped. Death to poor people. If you f with USA that’s what you get. That was the lesson. At least that’s my interpretation.
        Chaos and Balkanization. Yup.

        BTW i love Steve Allan’s Jazz Fairytales. It helps with my increasing depression. Sometimes I wish they would just drop all the bombs and get it over with.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 11, 2017 at 13:19

          Hey roza your bringing up Steve Allan prompted me to go purchase Steve Allan & Ray Brown’s ‘Gravy Waltz’. Thanks Joe

  30. exiled off mainstreet
    September 10, 2017 at 16:41

    It was said of the Bourbons, and Louis XVI the beheaded king of France, that they forgot nothing but learned nothing. It can charitably be said of the New York Times that they forgot everything and learned nothing. If you are less charitable, you will recognize that the real explanation for their actions is that they are lying war mongers aiding and abetting aggressive war plans of the yankee imperium.

  31. September 10, 2017 at 16:35

    “Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.[i]… Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, December 8, 2016,Press Release.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      September 10, 2017 at 16:42

      The Times and the yankee government are thus violating their own laws while enforcing them in a draconic fashion if it suits them.

    • Daniel
      September 11, 2017 at 03:42

      Congresswoman Gabbard has gotten some co-sponsors from “both major political parties” for her “Stop Arming Terrorists” Act, and Senator Paul introduced a companion version in the Senate.

      But the bills are in essentially a MSM “news” blackout, and neither party flavor’s leadership will get behind them. In fact, former Governor (of Bernie Sanders’ VT), Democratic Presidential Candidate and Chairman of the DNC, Howard Dean called Ms. Gabbard all sorts of nasty names and insisted that she either resign her Congressional seat or be removed the Democratic Party.

      And of course, Senator Sanders – for whom Congresswoman Gabbard resigned her vice-chair position at the DNC in order to endorse and campaign for – remains silent.

  32. Abe
    September 10, 2017 at 16:20

    The Iraq-WMD style fraud has been outsourced to fake “independent investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins.

    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 recent major “Government Assessment” episodes – the 2013 chemical incident in Syria, the 2014 crash of MH-17 in Ukraine, and the 2017 Khan Shakkhun chemical incident — the one person in common who generated the “pseudo-intelligence product, which contained not a single verifiable fact”, was British blogger and media darling Eliot Higgins.

    In March 2012, using the pseudonym “Brown Moses,” Higgins purportedly began “investigative” blogging on the armed conflict taking place in Syria, claiming this to be a “hobby” in his “spare time”.

    A mainstream media darling, Higgins “arm chair analytics” have been continuously promoted by the UK Guardian and New York Times, as well as corporate sponsors like Google.

    Higgins’ “analyses” of Syrian weapons were frequently cited by mainstream and online media, human rights groups, and Western governments seeking “regime change” in Syria.

    Higgins’ accusations that the Syrian government was responsible for the August 2013 Ghouta chemical attack were proven false, but almost led to war.

    Richard Lloyd and Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology observed that “although he [Eliot Higgins] has been widely quoted as an expert in the American mainstream media, [he] has changed his facts every time new technical information has challenged his conclusion that the Syrian government must have been responsible for the sarin attack. In addition, the claims that Higgins makes that are correct are all derived from our findings, which have been transmitted to him in numerous exchanges.”

    Despite the fact that Higgins’ accusations have repeatedly been disproven, he continues to be frequently cited, often without proper source attribution, by media, organizations and governments.

    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.”

    A “deception target” is defined as the “adversary decision maker with the authority to make the decision that will achieve the deception objective.”

    The primary “deception targets” of MH-17 propaganda are key “policy makers” and the civilian populations of the United States and Europe Union.

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

    This new capacity for “open source” deception was demonstrated in Syria-Sarin attack.

    As noted by journalist Phil Greaves in “Syria: Media Disinformation, War Propaganda and the Corporate Media’s ‘Independent Bloggers’

    “The working relationship between Higgins and the corporate media became almost uniform during the course of the Syrian conflict; an unsubstantiated anti-Assad, or pro-rebel narrative would predictably form in the corporate media (cluster bombs, chemical weapons, unsolved massacres,) at which point Higgins would jump to the fore with his YouTube analysis in order to bolster mainstream discourse whilst offering the air of impartiality and the crucial ‘open source’ faux-legitimacy. It has become blatantly evident that the ‘rebels’ in both Syria and Libya have made a concerted effort in fabricating YouTube videos in order to incriminate and demonize their opponents while glorifying themselves in a sanitized image. Western media invariably lapped-up such fabrications without question and subsequently built narratives around them – regardless of contradictory evidence or opinion. Yet such media, and more importantly, the specific actors propagating it fraudulently to bolster the flimsiest of western narratives has continued unabated – primarily as a result of the aforementioned ‘old media’ organs endlessly promoting it.

    “Following award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s groundbreaking essay in the London Review of Books, which exposes the Obama administrations intelligence surrounding the alleged chemical attacks in Ghouta as reminiscent of the Bush administrations outright lies and fabrications leading to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, Higgins took it upon himself to rush through a rebuttal, published by the establishment media outlet Foreign Policy magazine – a predictable response as Higgins represents the principal source for the ‘Assad did it’ media crowd. Accordingly, the ‘old media’ stenographers that originally promoted Higgins became the vanguard force pushing his speculative Ghouta theories above Hersh’s – to hilarious effect.

    “A particularly revealing example of Higgins’ unwillingness to depart from mainstream discourse came shortly after the alleged Ghouta attacks. The findings of a considerable open-source collaborative effort at the WhoGhouta blog were repeatedly dismissed as ridiculous or unverifiable by Higgins. The bloggers at WhoGhouta drew more or less the same logical, and somewhat scientific conclusions outlined in the Hersh piece, but in much greater detail. Yet Higgins chose to ignore WhoGhouta’s findings and instead rely on his own set of assumptions, dubious videos, and an unqualified ex-US soldier that seems determined to defy both logical and scientific reality. The estimated range of the rockets allegedly used in the attack, with the alleged azimuth that pointed to Syrian army launch points breathlessly promoted by Higgins and his patrons at Human Rights Watch (HRW), and of course corporate media, were convincingly debunked mere weeks after the attack at the WhoGhouta blog, yet Higgins chose to stick to his orchestrated narrative until the bitter end, only revising his wild speculation on rocket range once the obvious became too hard to conceal.

    “As Higgins is a self-declared advocate of ‘open source investigative journalism’, it is perplexing that he attempted to marginalize and dismiss the many findings from independent observers and instead concentrated on bolstering the dubious narratives of the US government and western corporate media. Unless of course, he is tied to a particular narrative and desperate to conceal anything that contradicts it.”

    WhoGhouta, an open collaborative effort to overcome governments’ propaganda and disinformation about the August 2013 chemical attack in Ghouta, Syria.

    All evidence relating to the 21 August 2013 chemical attack indicates it was carried out by opposition forces.

    According to the most likely scenario, the opposition forces used looted incendiary rockets, refilled them with sarin they manufactured themselves, and launched them from a rebel-held territory 2 km north of Zamalka.

    Abe December 22, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    The purpose of using fake “citizen investigative journalist” deception operatives like Eliot Higgins and the Bellingcat website is to provide a channel for Western “Government Assessment” claims to more effectively reach the public and be perceived as truthful.

    It was the New York Times that elevated Higgins to prominence in 2013 with the claim that he had offered a key tip that helped the newspaper prove that Saudi Arabia had funneled arms to opposition fighters in Syria. Never mind that this was already well known.

    After a couple of well-gnawed bones of truth “verified” by the somehow ingenious Higgins, the MSM and social media was flooded by a tsunami of “investigations” by Higgins.

    Here’s how it works. Higgins provides “investigation reports” that “confirm” the Western government narrative. Higgins then “fact checks” the Western “Government Assessment” and rubber stamps it with the Bellingcat “digital forensics” seal of approval, further advancing the dubious Western narrative.

    Higgins promoted this deception strategy in his article, “Social media and conflict zones: the new evidence base for policymaking”

    Citing “Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation”, Higgins declared that “a relatively small team of analysts is able to derive a rich picture of a conflict zone” using online information and social media.

    Higgins extolled the virtues of this “new evidence base” of “open source” information — side-stepping the obvious opportunities for deceptive information being planted in these media from not-so-open sources.

    The “overarching point” concludes Higgins, is 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.”

    Western governments have enthusiastically seized the opportunity to use deception operatives like Higgins to disseminate propaganda.

    Higgins has consistently jumped to the fore to “confirm” Western reports of:

    1) unproven accusations against Syrian president Bashir al-Assad that the Syrian government used “barrel bombs” against opposition forces and claims that Assad “gassed his own people”.

    2) unproven accusations against Russian president Vladimir Putin of a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine, and claims that a Russian Buk-1 missile launcher (allegedly operated by a Russian crew or pro-Russian separatists) caused the destruction of Malaysian Air flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine

    Western governments, mainstream and online media lap Higgins’ propaganda right up.

  33. September 10, 2017 at 16:20

    The video link below, is now back on you tube.
    Syrian War Report – September 8, 2017: US-led Coalition Rescues ISIS Commanders From Deir Ezzor?

  34. September 10, 2017 at 15:58

    Great article Mr. Parry.
    ‘Something Is Very Evil” in our world today and it emanates from war criminals past and present in positions of power. See link below for more info:

  35. Abe
    September 10, 2017 at 15:58

    With the September 6 release of the report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat has produced an article reviewing “multiple allegations related to the use of Sarin as a chemical weapon”.

    Higgins insists that the incidents have been “under-covered” when in fact the claims about alleged attacks have been debunked in most instances.

    Both the improvisational nature and specific timing of the alleged chemical incidents indicates that the Al Qaeda affiliate terrorist forces in Syria have used staged incidents and chemical use allegations to gain tactical advantage in the conflict.

    Higgins predictably ignores this, and treats every terrorist allegation as flat fact.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Assessments of chemical use in Syria in 2013 (Brown Moses blog) and the downing of Flight MH17 and its aftermath in 2014 (Bellingcat blog) were supplied by UK citizen Higgins of Leicester.

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

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

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

    Not content with merely quoting Kaszeta, BBC News online went so far as to publish an essay authored by Kaszeta titled “Syria ‘chemical attack’: What can forensics tell us?” At the end of his BBC News essay, in a furtive effort to quickly “tie the whole narrative together”, Kaszata mentioned that “In 2013, the chemical hexamine, used as an additive, was a critical piece of information linking the Ghouta attack to the government of President Assad.” This intriguing tidbit linked to a December 2013 New York Times article quoting Kaszeta’s own claims about the “very damning evidence” of hexamine.

    However, Kaszeta’s claims about hexamine were already debunked in 2014. Kaszeta continues to claim that Hexamine was used in the 2013 Ghouta attack, despite evidence that Hexamine is not soluble in alcohols, making it ineffective for this purpose.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Postol concluded:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Possible collusion between fake “citizen journalist” bloggers like Higgins and Kaszeta at Bellingcat, and senior officials in the American, French and Israeli governments, and terrorist organizations obviously represents a grave national security concern for the United States.

    • Patrick Lucius
      September 10, 2017 at 17:38

      Thanks for all of the info!

      • Peter Loeb
        September 11, 2017 at 06:45


        Many of us have much to learn from your contribution.
        Many thanks.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • liam
      September 10, 2017 at 18:29

      Thank you Abe, Very enlightening. You are truly an asset to the Consortium News comment section.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 10, 2017 at 19:22

      The only way Higgins with his Bellingcat misinformation does any good to spread the false propaganda necessary to keep America at war, is due to the lazy retail news gatherer who relies exclusively on the MSM for their knowledge of curtain events.

      Thanks Abe, because everyday you post comments is another day I find the truth to our worlds many problems. Joe

    • September 11, 2017 at 08:02

      Very informative and exceptionally well-written, your observations put all the mainstream media outlets to shame. Thank you for that.

    • September 13, 2017 at 11:54
    • John
      September 15, 2017 at 21:08


      Gareth Porter now has a very thoroughly researched piece up at concerning the Idlib incident. I imagine that Robert will post it or a link to it here in the near future. What is interesting about this piece is that it makes a strong case for the bombing which caused the release of the toxic cloud from the bombed building having occured at 6:45 AM rather than 11:30 AM. I read elsewhere (cannot recall where unfortunately) that two anti-Assad plane spotters at the Shayrat airbase claim that no planes left that base prior to the ones which carried out the 11:30 AM raid. If this is the case then Syria carried out two raids that day and the one which resulted in the poisoning deaths was launched from a different airbase than Shayrat. Our intel was so bad that we attacked the wrong airbase if this narrative pans out. Shows how you get egg on your face when you rush to judgement.

      • b.grand
        September 17, 2017 at 00:09

        ” I read elsewhere (cannot recall where unfortunately) that two anti-Assad plane spotters at the Shayrat airbase claim that no planes left that base prior to the ones which carried out the 11:30 AM raid.”

        John, you read it in this very article by Robert Parry (if you read it).

        But what’s your basis for this????
        “If this is the case then Syria carried out two raids that day ….”

        If the early attack wasn’t launched from Shayrat, it could have been made from a drone, a ground-launched missile, or even a bomb in the building that stored the chemicals, if that is actually the source of the toxic plume. Without actual evidence, there’s no reason to assume the attack came from a plane, much less a Syrian plane. [BTW, Gareth Porter also makes that assumption, without any explanation.]

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