Did Al Qaeda Dupe Trump on Syrian Attack?

Special Report: Buried deep inside a new U.N. report is evidence that could exonerate the Syrian government in the April 4 sarin atrocity and make President Trump look like an Al Qaeda dupe, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A new United Nations-sponsored report on the April 4 sarin incident in an Al Qaeda-controlled town in Syria blames Bashar al-Assad’s government for the atrocity, but the report contains evidence deep inside its “Annex II” that would prove Assad’s innocence.

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

If you read that far, you would find that more than 100 victims of sarin exposure were taken to several area hospitals before the alleged Syrian warplane could have struck the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Still, the Joint Investigative Mechanism [JIM], a joint project of the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW], brushed aside this startling evidence and delivered the Assad guilty verdict that the United States and its allies wanted.

The JIM consigned the evidence of a staged atrocity, in which Al Qaeda operatives would have used sarin to kill innocent civilians and pin the blame on Assad, to a spot 14 pages into the report’s Annex II. The sensitivity of this evidence of a staged “attack” is heightened by the fact that President Trump rushed to judgment and ordered a “retaliatory” strike with 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airbase on the night of April 6-7. That U.S. attack reportedly killed several soldiers at the base and nine civilians, including four children, in nearby neighborhoods.

So, if it becomes clear that Al Qaeda tricked President Trump not only would he be responsible for violating international law and killing innocent people, but he and virtually the entire Western political establishment along with the major news media would look like Al Qaeda’s “useful idiots.”

Currently, the West and its mainstream media are lambasting the Russians for not accepting the JIM’s “assessment,” which blames Assad for the sarin attack. Russia is also taking flak for questioning continuation of the JIM’s mandate. There has been virtually no mainstream skepticism about the JIM’s report and almost no mention in the mainstream of the hospital-timing discrepancy.

Timing Troubles

To establish when the supposed sarin attack occurred on April 4, the JIM report relied on witnesses in the Al Qaeda-controlled town and a curious video showing three plumes of smoke but no airplanes. Based on the video’s metadata, the JIM said the scene was recorded between 0642 and 0652 hours. The JIM thus puts the timing of the sarin release at between 0630 and 0700 hours.

The photograph released by the White House of President Trump meeting with his advisers at his estate in Mar-a-Lago on April 6, 2017, regarding his decision to launch missile strikes against Syria.

But the first admissions of victims to area hospitals began as early as 0600 hours, the JIM found, meaning that these victims could not have been poisoned by the alleged aerial bombing (even if the airstrike really did occur).

According to the report’s Annex II, “The admission times of the records range between 0600 and 1600 hours.” And these early cases – arriving before the alleged airstrike – were not isolated ones.

“Analysis of the … medical records revealed that in 57 cases, patients were admitted in five hospitals before the incident in Khan Shaykhun,” Annex II said.

Plus, this timing discrepancy was not limited to a few hospitals in and around Khan Sheikhoun, but was recorded as well at hospitals that were scattered across the area and included one hospital that would have taken an hour or so to reach.

Annex II stated: “In 10 such cases, patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 125 km away from Khan Shaykhun at 0700 hours while another 42 patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 30 km away at 0700 hours.”

In other words, more than 100 patients would appear to have been exposed to sarin before the alleged Syrian warplane could have dropped the alleged bomb and the victims could be evacuated, a finding that alone would have destroyed the JIM’s case against the Syrian government.

But the JIM seemed more interested in burying this evidence of Al Qaeda staging the incident — and killing some expendable civilians — than in following up this timing problem.

“The [JIM] did not investigate these discrepancies and cannot determine whether they are linked to any possible staging scenario, or to poor record-keeping in chaotic conditions,” the report said. But the proffered excuse about poor record-keeping would have to apply to multiple hospitals over a wide area all falsely recording the arrival time of more than 100 patients.

The video of the plumes of smoke also has come under skepticism from Theodore Postol, a weapons expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who noted that none of the three plumes matched up with damage to buildings (as viewed from satellite images) that would have resulted from aerial bombs of that power.

Postol’s finding suggests that the smoke could have been another part of a staging event rather than debris kicked up by aerial bombs.

The JIM also could find no conclusive evidence that a Syrian warplane was over Khan Sheikhoun at the time of the video although the report claims that a plane could have come within about 5 kilometers of the town.

A History of Deception

Perhaps even more significantly, the JIM report ignored the context of the April 4 case and the past history of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front staging chemical weapons attacks with the goal of foisting blame on the Syrian government and tricking the U.S. military into an intervention on the side of Nusra and its Islamic-militant allies.

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

On April 4, there was a strong motive for Al Qaeda and its regional allies to mount a staged event. Just days earlier, President Trump’s administration had shocked the Syrian rebels and their backers by declaring “regime change” was no longer the U.S. goal in Syria.

So, Al Qaeda and its regional enablers were frantic to reverse Trump’s decision, which was accomplished by his emotional reaction to videos on cable news showing children and other civilians suffering and dying in Khan Sheikhoun.

On the night of April 6-7, before any thorough investigation could be conducted, Trump ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at the Syrian air base that supposedly had launched the sarin attack.

At the time, I was told by an intelligence source that at least some CIA analysts believed that the sarin incident indeed had been staged with sarin possibly flown in by drone from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base in Jordan.

This source said the on-the-ground staging for the incident had been hasty because of the surprise announcement that the Trump administration was no longer seeking regime change in Damascus. The haste led to some sloppiness in tying down all the necessary details to pin the atrocity on Assad, the source said.

But the few slip-ups, such as the apparent failure to coordinate the timing of the hospital admissions to after the purported airstrike, didn’t deter the JIM investigators from backing the West’s desire to blame Assad and also create another attack line against the Russians.

Similarly, other U.N.-connected investigators downplayed earlier evidence that Al Qaeda’s Nusra was staging chemical weapons incidents after President Obama laid down his “red line” on chemical weapons. The militants apparently hoped that the U.S. military would take out the Syrian military and pave the way for an Al Qaeda victory.

For instance, U.N. investigators learned from a number of 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 a 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 said. “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.”

Dubious Evidence

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 report.

Nikki Haley, United States Permanent Representative to the UN, addresses the Security Council’s meeting on the situation in Syria on
April 27, 2017 (UN Photo)

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 quoted supposed weapons expert Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat and a senior fellow at the fiercely anti-Russian Atlantic Council, as endorsing the Al-Tamanah claims.

“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.”

The Al-Tamanah debunking in the U.N. report 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.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Assad also was facing the “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 outside Damascus, 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 – such as Theodore Postol, an MIT professor of science, technology and national security policy, 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.

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. But there wasn’t.

The broader context for these biased investigations is that U.N. and OPCW investigators have been under intense pressure to confirm accusations against Syria and other targeted states.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Right now, the West is blaming Russia for the collapsing consensus behind U.N. investigations, but the problem really comes from Washington’s longtime strategy of coercing U.N. organizations into becoming propaganda arms for U.S. geopolitical strategies.

The U.N.’s relative independence in its investigative efforts was decisively broken early this century when President George W. Bush’s administration purged U.N. agencies that were not onboard with U.S. hegemony, especially on interventions in the Middle East.

Through manipulation of funding and selection of key staff members, the Bush administration engineered the takeover or at least the neutralizing of one U.N.-affiliated organization after another.

For instance, in 2002, Bush’s Deputy Under-Secretary of State John Bolton spearheaded the takeover of the OPCW as Bush planned to cite chemical weapons as a principal excuse for invading Iraq.

OPCW Director General Jose Mauricio Bustani was viewed as an obstacle because he was pressing Iraq to accept OPCW’s conventions for eliminating chemical weapons, which could have undermined Bush’s WMD rationale for war.

Though Bustani was just reelected to a new term, the Brazilian diplomat was forced out, to be followed in that job by more pliable bureaucrats, including the current Director General Ahmet Uzumcu of Turkey, who not only comes from a NATO country but served as Turkey’s ambassador to NATO and to Israel. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “U.N. Enablers of ‘Aggressive War.’”]

Since those days of the Iraq invasion, the game hasn’t changed. U.S. and other Western officials expect the U.N. and related agencies to accept or at least not object to Washington’s geopolitical interventions.

The only difference now is that Russia, one of the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council, is saying enough is enough – and Russia’s opposition to these biased inquiries is emerging as one more dangerous hot spot in the New Cold War.

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

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66 comments for “Did Al Qaeda Dupe Trump on Syrian Attack?

  1. Abe
    November 9, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    DID ISRAEL AND BELLINGCAT DUPE TRUMP ON SARIN ATTACK?

    Fake “independent investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins proudly notes that the OPCW-JIM report on Syria “lists open sources in the annexes, many of which were examined in an October 2017 Bellingcat article, along with witness statements and evidence provided by witnesses to Bellingcat”

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/11/09/fresh-evidence-sarin-use-syrian-government-forces-opcw/

    It’s clear that the OPCW did little to no actual investigation, preferring to rely on Bellingcat “open source” shenanigans.

    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 “journalist” Higgins made its way into the 11 April 2017 Trump White House’s “assessment” of the Khan Shakhun incident.

    ISRAELI CLAIMS LAUNDERED BY BELLINGCAT

    Kaszeta proceeded to back evidence-free “Israeli intelligence” claims about Syria.

    A 19 April 2017 Israeli “assessment” presented by anonymous military officials included 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 US and European “Government Assessment” documents.

    “OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE” OUT-SOURCED TO BELLINGCAT

    The United States Government’s assessment of the Khan Shaykhun chemical incident relied heavily on “videos”, “social media reports” and “journalist accounts” from Higgins and 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.

    “FIRST DRAFT” PROPAGANDA COALITION

    Following the Khan Sheikhoun incident, Kaszeta was cited as a go-to “expert” by the “First Draft” coalition of war propaganda “partners” that includes the Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, UK Guardian, CNN. Time magazine, Washington Post. NPR, Germany’s Die Welt and Deutsche Welle, Business Insider, Popular Science, Asia Times and the Associated Press all published the claims of Kaszeta.

    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 a hexamine “smoking gun” were already debunked back in 2014.

    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.

    ISRAELI CHEMICAL WEAPONS

    Israel is allied 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 in these so-called “bomb” incidents.

    NO SARIN “BOMB”

    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”.

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

    HIGGINS WORKS FOR ATLANTIC COUNCIL

    In their zeal to propagate the story of Higgins as a courageous former “unemployed man” now busy independently “codifying social conflict data”, Google and other “First Draft” coalition propaganda organs neglect to mention Higgins’ role as a “research fellow” for the NATO-funded Atlantic Council “regime change” think tank.

    Despite their claims of “independent journalism”, Eliot Higgins and the team of disinformation operatives at Bellingcat depend on the Atlantic Council to promote their “online investigations”. The Atlantic Council donors list includes:

    – US government and military entities: US State Department, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines.

    – The NATO military alliance

    – Large corporations and major military contractors: Chevron, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Northrup Grumman, SAIC, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical

    – Foreign governments: United Arab Emirates (UAE; which gives the think tank at least $1 million), Kingdom of Bahrain, City of London, Ministry of Defense of Finland, Embassy of Latvia, Estonian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

    – Other think tanks and think tankers: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nicolas Veron of Bruegel (formerly at PIIE), Anne-Marie Slaughter (head of New America Foundation), Michele Flournoy (head of Center for a New American Security), Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution.

    Higgins was principal co-author of the Atlantic Council “reports” on Ukraine and Syria. Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, a co-author with Higgins of the report on Ukraine, effusively praised Higgins’ effort to bolster anti-Russian propaganda.

    Wilson stated, “We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources. And it’s thanks to works, the work that’s been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we’ve been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up.” (see Atlantic Council video presentation minutes 35:10-36:30)

    However, the Atlantic Council claim that “none” of Higgins’ material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie.

    Higgins’ primary “pieces of evidence” are a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates that were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

    Given the preponderance of evidence of Higgins and Bellingcat “open source” deception, and links to Israel, we should be asking a lot more than whether or not Trump was duped.

    Are Higgins and the Atlantic Council working in support of an Israeli-Saudi-US Axis “hybrid war” against Russia, Syria and Iran?

    • exiled off mainstreet
      November 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Higgins’ propaganda work for support of jihadist overthrow in Syria and its connection with an international western-Israeli deep-state power structure marks him out as a war criminal.

  2. Joe Tedesky
    November 9, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Besides the UN being corrupted, I’m more concern with what sets Trump off. Seriously does WWIII hang in the balance that this president might overreact seeing a N Korean baby cry, or an Iranian toddler looking confused, and how about a Ukrainian child left alone after a bombing raid without their mother, I mean could this be the spark that lights a thousand missiles?

    • Annie
      November 9, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      I don’t think you believe that it was Trump’s decision alone to blame Syria for the attack. Hillary said after it happened she would counter attack, and applauded Trump when he did. It was a US decision to blame Syria during the first sarin attack, and this one. As Mr. Parry said, “The broader context for these biased investigations is that U.N. and OPCW investigators have been under intense pressure to confirm accusations against Syria and other targeted states.” So not only do we want Assad gone, but we’re pressuring the UN to back up our stories that will allow us to follow through with our agenda. Chris Hedges made a good assessment of Trump, when he said he is a symptom, and not the disease.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 10, 2017 at 12:39 am

        I’m only responding to the Seymour Hersh version of what caused Trump to order the 59 missile attack. If Hersch’s reporting is to be believed, then it would appear that Trump relied more on his emotions, as instead of him waiting for any intelligence assessment, before firing off those 59 missiles out of anger.

        I’m also not blaming Trump for the total of where the U.S. strategically is today. In fact one could make a great argument to how Trump was merely the heir to the U.S. global situation. Also if the true perpetrators were to be included in our discussion of what all is wrong with U.S. diplomacy, or rather diplomacy’s lack there of, then Hillary would certainly be found to be way more guilty than the Donald.

        Here again Annie you are right to point out that Trump is more of a symptom, and not the disease. So what I am referring too using the analogy of Chris Hedges, is although we know the cause of the disease, should we be more worried about the painful symptoms, and the treatments fateful side effects?

        Oddly enough Annie, if we go by the MSM ‘s joyous praise of Trump firing off those 59 god awful missiles, then the picture on how to view this becomes very distinct and vivid in it’s panoramic display of all who loved this Trump decision. You may recall Van Jones said after the missile strike, ‘that Trump has finally come to look presidential’. I won’t go into detail of how MSNBC anchor Brain Williams got his jolly’s while watched missiles being fired off of the two U.S. Naval vessels used to implement the 59 missile strike, but Williams appraisal was heart wrenching to say the least.

        I’m glad you pressed me a bit, and I hope Annie I made myself a lot clearer on this subject. Joe

        • Annie
          November 10, 2017 at 2:04 am

          He ordered that attack and voila, everyone saw him as finally being presidential, but I do believe he was certainly supported if not forced to attack. I certainly didn’t vote for Trump nor did I vote for Bush, and he was also ridiculed in the press at the beginning of his presidency, which I also didn’t like. Everything turned around after 9/11, especially when he became a war hawk. Suddenly he was no longer the focus of ridicule. If indeed Trump is a narcissistic character he will seek out approval, and strive to be a winner no matter what it takes. Underlying that of course is that people with this type of mental illness have very poor self esteem. So, I’m concerned that all of these attacks which are extreme, and come from every direction, will not make him act in a more rational way, but quite the opposite.

          I just recently responded to a post that attacked Trump for revoking gun checks on people with mental issues back in February. I said, that politicians on both sides of the isle, are intimidated by the NRA and the gun manufacturers who threaten to make their votes on gun control issues public, and instead of voting their conscience they vote to hold on to their jobs, and I hold them equally accountable. These lobby groups, and corporate America operate in their own interest, and politicians are too easily bought off. What I also see as problematic is that he alone is singled out as the sole culprit, which let’s the US off the hook in the minds of many people. He becomes the scapegoat for all that is wrong with the US, and a wonderful diversion which allows the corporate state to continue to destroy this country.

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 10, 2017 at 10:15 am

            Annie maybe each and everyone one of us should do some self analysis, and try to improve our selves. You are right one person doesn’t make this world the way it is.

            What comes with the job of being a leader is that criticism comes wrapped in a messy bag, and it always has the leaders name on it. That’s why they invented plausible deniability.

            The right thing to do, would be to have a Nuremberg Trail type situation where the world could demand justice. Although even with that, the world will continue to be an unfair place. Hopefully though, the many good will overcome the few bad. Joe

          • Annie
            November 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

            I’m responding to Joe’s comment

            I don’t remember any president being attacked on this level. Do you? The US has used Trump to escalate the cold war, with the nonsense that Russia interfered in our presidential elections and gave him the win. Hillary who blames everyone used him in the same way to help explain her presidential loss. The democrats also blamed their loses on Russian interference in the election rather then acknowledging they have cultivated the 10% and ignored their blue collar base for decades, and sabotaged the Bernie Sander’s campaign. We have impoverished Puerto Rico over a period of a hundred years, but a hurricane hits and our impoverished colony crumbles, so lets blame Trump for his inadequacy for dealing effectively with the problem.
            His immigration policies are outrageous, yet as a country we have always favored immigration policies and visa laws that favor Eastern European immigration, excluding other groups, or accepting them in limited numbers.
            Thrump called for the deportation of illegally undocumented workers and he’s a fascist, and people are outraged yet nothing was said when the Obama administration deported over 2,500,000 human beings—23 percent more than Bush. People are outraged when he pledges to torture suspected terrorist when Obama and Bush already beat him to it. Maybe they hate him so much because he reveals who we are.

          • Annie
            November 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm

            Joe,
            Correction.
            I should have said Northern Europeans, since we have a long history of disliking Europeans who came from the east, like the Poles, and in the past seen as little more then animals who could dehumanize our American population.

          • Virginia
            November 10, 2017 at 9:18 pm

            Think you’re right, Annie, when you say, “He ordered that attack and voila, everyone saw him as finally being presidential,…”

          • tina
            November 10, 2017 at 10:41 pm

            Ivanka saw kids crying, remember that, the justification for the air strikes.

          • Irene
            November 11, 2017 at 9:22 am

            Responding to Annie: you nailed it when you said we hate (Trump) because of what he reveals about who we are.

    • November 10, 2017 at 7:13 am

      HISTORICAL NOTE:

      The veto as an integral part of the UN process was the idea of the
      UNITED STATES. (See Gabriel Kolko, POLITICS OF WAR, Chapter 18, also
      Chapter on The Atlantic Charter.)).

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • November 10, 2017 at 8:23 pm

        That’s interesting. I’m reading a very intriguing book now called “Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership.” It goes into heavy detail about how the 3 allied powers worked during WWII and to organize the post-war world. This book states that it was the Soviet Union that wanted a veto in what would become the Security Council due to its worry that all the other proposed permanent members would be non-Communist countries that (it was feared) might gang up on the Soviet Union. Note: the Soviet leadership did not consider the Communist movement in China to be “the real thing.”

        https://www.amazon.com/Roosevelt-Stalin-Partnership-Susan-Butler/dp/0307741818

    • Reality Check
      November 10, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Meanwhile, Ukrainian air strikes on civilians means nothing to him.

      https://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2014/06/05/lugansk-war-crime/

      Never forget Inna Kukuruza or the thousands that followed her to an early grave.

      • Liam
        November 11, 2017 at 5:36 am

        Thank you for this post. One correction though…..her name was Inna Kukurudza. A dedication to her is here:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3w8otAqA8k

        Excerpt:

        I wrote this song as a dedication to Inna Kukurudza and all the innocent lives lost due to the atrocities conducted by the fascists and neo-nazis of Right Sector and the coup imposed Ukrainian government supported by the morally corrupt EUSA hypocritical corporate killing machine.

        Inna showed the world what it means to be a beautiful human being when she lay dying with horrific injuries, as she politely asked a man to please use his phone to call her daughter and check that ‘she’ was ok. Inna and so many others deserved so much more from the so called “civilized western countries….instead she was brought death and destruction. She is a symbol of hope for Novorussiya and what it means to be a truly amazing human being. Her spirit is an inspiration to us all.

        I hope that in due time the people that committed these atrocities as well as the massacres in Odessa, Mariupol, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk are brought to justice. The world is watching and the people of East Ukraine have showed us through their referendum, conducted on May 11th, 2014, that they deserve their own country….free of oppression and hostility.

        “Novorossiya” (Inna’s Song) Lyrics

        I saw some long knives came out and burned some people on their knees…..
        I saw the flaming cocktails flying on the deadly breeze……
        I saw the worlds false leaders walking with the nazi hordes…..
        I know they cannot beat us, we’ve been down this road before….

        But where’s the harmony? Where is the harmony? Where’s the harmony….to set us free?

        I see the world has turned round and blackened everybody’s eyes…
        I see the people scream out…..they’re bombing and they’re taking lives…
        I see the “news” has shut down and no one wants to tell the truth….
        I see the victims filming….providing us with living proof…..

        But where’s the harmony…to set us free?

        Lady Liberty is dying, she’s corrupted to the core….
        I see the refugee’s crying…. trying to escape her claws….
        And it’s the same old, same old, evil people turned it upside down….
        For the sake of profits…they’re putting people in the ground….

        But where’s the harmony? Who are these false leaders? You know they cannot beat us! Where’s the harmony to set us free?

        Where’s the harmony? Is this the New World Order? Where’s the harmony? I see the bombs come rain down. Where’s the harmony…to set you free?

        Where’s the harmony….to set us free. (repeat to fade out)

        For Inna.

        More info on the Ukrainian Nazi brigades that committed these war crimes against innocent civilians:

        EU Fascism Embraced: Over 20 Highly Revealing Videos Highlight US and EU Support for Fascist Pro-Nazi Military Battalions in Ukraine

        https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/07/02/eu-fascism-embraced-over-20-highly-revealing-videos-highlight-us-and-eu-support-for-fascist-pro-nazi-military-battalions-in-ukraine/

  3. Sudberiensis
    November 9, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    A more truthful header for the article would have been Did Israel vise a via KSA and US elements just dupe the POTUS.
    I thought the strike was about bursting the POTUS war criminal cherry…. it is after all pretty much US SOP nowadays.

    Joe I think to a great extent the elite of the world are ALL in on it. A real nuclear holocaust isn’t in the works IMO.
    Something similar to the world of Fredrick pole’s SF novel The cool war, more likely when/if things go pear.
    Peace Joe.

  4. Hide BehindhBehindhere have been wake up calls but they were ignored.
    November 9, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    While one hears crys of US losing its world powers, and cannot win a war, this is in itself a form of spy warfare propaganda, as the truth of matter is it is not just US power but the old Colonial War making Euro-centric oligarchy who increasingly share in wealth of conquered nations.
    This wailing of a downhill slide in US hegemonic attempts hides the growth of new nations and people’s that yearly come under euro-centrics sway.
    Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and others do not have hardly any mineral, oil and gas or areable lands for plant growth to support their own populations needs.
    NO EURO NATION CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT INDUSTRY AND EXPORTS, and all depend upon carbon and nuclear based electrical energy to produce.
    IN turn they need cheap and inexpensive, largely all at the close of. Someone else’s blood, sources.
    France and Netherlands have been stealing their necessary uranium and rare earth minerals from Africa for over 40 yeRs.
    Lybias destruction seen France’s long delayed dream of a zTrans-Sahara oil pipeline open up and they joined in destroying Lybia with US and then went into Chad and neighboring nations .
    How can Pentagon ask for more and greater #s of billions if they could not say without them we would be invaded by hordes of heathens and we must keep fighting them ” over there’s
    Out of public sight destroyed nations and millions die, while energy sources and trade routes open streight to those euro-centric markets.
    Markets that after US NATO flatten those banks, financials. Construction and natural resource extractors glom right on, making already destitute nations pay them to rebuild.
    Of 180? I nations in U.N. US BRITS and now NATO and Israeli military have within 130 + nations control over their economy.
    IN US we vote for whatever party we think will givens ‘MORE” while U.N. does the same damn thing.
    When U.N. peacekeepers enter a nation who pays for its infrastructure?
    IN almost all cases it is the nation they enter who Payson Lybia the Sovereign bank was taken over by US and Euro Banks and U.N. as in Balkans gets a tariff tax uponall imports and exports.
    AND THAT INCLUDES FOOD AID.
    WTbe Empire with it’s interconnectedninternational oligarchs his growing more powerfull by the day.
    Dissatisfaction by socialist people’s especially are turning more and more to Fascism, A FASCISM that is but an offshoot of Socialism.

    • November 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Germany and Denmark are almost totally renewable electric. Fossil Fuels are dead; they just do not know it yet.

      • Kathemy
        November 10, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        Why are you lying?

  5. November 10, 2017 at 1:00 am

    The corruption of the West and it’s institutions is complete, total, absolute! From the UN to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, to the many European governments that happily let the US spearhead the West’s continuing domination and exploitation of the Middle East and it’s resources, one cannot trust a single word spoken by Western institutions and leaders. Secular governments are targeted for illegal overthrow, while our best buddies are the Saudi’s and the Israeli’s who govern a brutal monarchy and an apartheid state respectively. The West is a cesspool of moral corruption posing as a beacon to humanity. Amazing!

    • exiled off mainstreet
      November 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      This is profoundly unfortunate for us, but true. Parry’s article is excellent in that it brings out the fact that the statements in Annex II of the report show that the actual people working on it didn’t really accept the propaganda bullshit put out by it.

    • Dave P.
      November 10, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Gary –

      Yes. A complete brief sketch of the total moral collapse of “The West”. Macron is in ME visiting Gulf States and Saudi Arabia calling for renegotiating the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Trying to sell weapons – France has been left behind U.S. and U.K. in this. It had been going on for a long time now; I have been following it for sixty years. It is the culmination of it now. As you wrote “The West” is now cesspool of total moral corruption; and it is taking down the Whole World with it by bribing governments, tribal chiefs, politicians in those countries by printing unlimited amount of dollars; and waging wars, inflicting untold amount of death, and destruction all over the planet – and of course stealing their resources and destroying entire societies and cultures in its wake. The whole West is involved in it together. What a drama we are witnessing!

  6. Drew Hunkins
    November 10, 2017 at 1:11 am

    This is a tremendous piece by Mr. Parry. Thank you Robert Parry, you’re a true muckraker and credit to investigative journalists everywhere.

  7. November 10, 2017 at 1:41 am

    Has there been a faster US Foreign Policy reversal in history? “Doc” Shajul Islam was involved in this. He’s got “sarin, sarin” coming out of his ears morning, noon and night. Believe the likes of him and his? Bet you’re dead within the hour.

  8. Norma Price
    November 10, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Well, since Trump has fired his committee and his so called “non loyal” team of advisors, he has given the false impression that he alone can fix the world. Someone with that kind of ego problems is easily duped and I believe that he has an obvious messianic complex to boot.

  9. bill
    November 10, 2017 at 5:15 am

    the article asks other questions:

    1) where was the pressure on the UN and OPCW coming from and why…..?
    2)because of the illegality of this attack what hold has the source of these pressures assuming they are the same as above now got over Trump?
    3) What really is al Qaeda- is it as Robin Cooke described a deliberate propaganda term for TV viewers to be able to come to an anti-terrorist consensus. built around one mystical monstrous organisation…who funded al Nusra? Who started and supported the entire war? Why?
    4) did Trump really not know that Assad is wholly innocent of these allegations?
    5) was the cruise missile attack more of a gesture than an attack?If so,why and who covered his arse through the fake report and why?
    6) why did the authors of the report include Annex 2 ?Are there people within OPCW and the UN who despise the manipulation?

  10. Seer
    November 10, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Before we get all worked up on the report I have one question: Was it mistakenly placed in the Non-Fiction section?

  11. john wilson
    November 10, 2017 at 6:14 am

    It looks like the OPCW has become the UN’s version of the American NIST , you know, the organisation which did the phony 9-11 building 7 report. We have now reached a stage where evidence, no matter how compelling is just ignored even when this evidence comes from those who are making accusations against others. There was plenty of evidence out there before Mr Parry has drawn our attention to this particular piece of evidence from the OPCW’s own report, but it was ignored by MSM. The fact that so called medics were seen not wearing gloves masks, or other protective gear and handling so called Sarin contaminated victims with no ill effects to themselves, should have raised doubts about the veracity of a Sarin attack. There is none so blind as those who don’t want to see!!

  12. Tom Welsh
    November 10, 2017 at 6:54 am

    ‘So, if it becomes clear that Al Qaeda tricked President Trump not only would he be responsible for violating international law and killing innocent people, but he and virtually the entire Western political establishment along with the major news media would look like Al Qaeda’s “useful idiots.”’

    1. Trump IS responsible for violating international law and killing innocent people – quite regardless of whether there was a chemical attack or not. Events in Syria do not permit a foreign power such as the USA to launch military attacks on Syria. This is clear under international law, the UN Charter, and the Nuremberg Principles.

    2. Far from the Western political establishment and media being Al Qaeda’s “useful idiots”, it is Al Qaeda who are the US government’s “useful idiots”.

    No discussion of the facts, no reasoned arguments, not even the most flagrant absurdities in the “official” story will make any practical difference. As Edward Bernays, Dr Goebbels and other distinguished pioneers of propaganda understood, it is vital to make your lies really big and to keep repeating them. Those two conditions are sufficient for 99% of any population to accept and cherish them as the truth. In any case they hate thinking: it hurts their brains.

    • Seer
      November 10, 2017 at 7:19 am

      Thanks, Tom.

      How many people were supposed to have been killed in the “chemical attack?” How many people has the US (in the course of violating international law) killed?

      My questions are second tier, and anticipate the international law run-around excuse/”justification” of this being about chemical weapons use, that international law says is prohibited. The “correction”/punishment has been excessively disproportionate to the “crime,” something else that I believe international law says is prohibited.

      I’d like to think that it’s no 99% that are unable to think. I believe that it’s that most people KNOW that there’s nothing that can be done unless one wants to offer oneself up as a martyr (which would require that a LOT of people do likewise) It’s like this, if the extremely intelligent and knowledgeable specialists that can counter all the lies cannot get their voices heard, then how can it be expected that the lowly common person’s voice be heard?

      The MATRIX will continue to have full control until folks decide to unplug from the MATRIX! Energy used to fight the MATRIX means the wasting of energy necessary to break away from the clutches of the MATRIX.

    • David G
      November 10, 2017 at 7:47 am

      Regarding your point 1, Tom Welsh, my initial reaction to the passage you quote was identical to yours, but if you re-read it I think you will see that that is precisely what Robery Parry was saying.

    • November 10, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Millions of beings have been murdered by USA Commanders in Chief. Almost always in violation of International Law.

  13. November 10, 2017 at 7:21 am

    THANKS TO ROBERT PARRY

    for a fantastic report of investigative reporting!

    I advise readers to read it twice…if not more.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Ol' Hippy
      November 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Here, here!! Robert is one of about a dozen or so journalists not clouded by corporate money or government influence. We need more like him. Not mentioned about Trump’s temper tantrum fireworks display was the cost of 59 cruise missiles. Around $110 million. He’s cutting taxes but wastes expensive military arms.

  14. MaDarby
    November 10, 2017 at 7:59 am

    There is an Empire which is HQed in DC. That is where the institutions which enforce Imperial power are located. Much but not all of the Imperial power is DC and the Empire is above any nation state and does not recognize any power greater than itself the nation state of the US is no exception the power of the Empire is supreme.

    This Empire is composed of a group of families who control the natural and cyber resources on which civilization requires. The Saud family is the most obvious but there are the German industrial dynastic fortunes, the Israeli oligarchs and the great families of Japan. They operate the empire through their corporate and banking properties and among themselves through “alignment of interests”

    In the case of this propaganda operation in Syria, Al Quida is just a proxy for the Saud family and by extension the Empire itself. This did not happen in a vacuum and was not random.

    You know, geopolitics is involved here. Could we just take a look at a map. The Empire has sense WWII encircled the Eurasian land mass and had control of the economic activity trade etc but it has lost its grip. To control the world you must control Eurasia. The Empire is not making war against Iran to secure that end of Eurasia, it is threatening North Korea on the other side with war creating a pincer against Russia and China between. In Eastern Europe NATO has moved right up to the Russian border and the US has built 400 bases and deployed thousands of nuclear weapons in and around the South China Sea. Additionally and very importantly, Modi of India have move significantly if not totally into the Empire and is threatening China and supporting Imperial interests.

    The lid is off the Empire now they are too weak not to hid their authoritarian rule – and they don’t appear to care.

    It is not just the Saud family which is starving 20 million people today it is the Empire the aligned interests of the Saud family the Israeli oligarchs and the US arms industry (mostly owned by Arab “Princes”).

    The Goal – pursued relentlessly sense August 6, 1945 – 72 years on continuous slaughter – “Global full spectrum domination.”

    They may be weakened but they are still immensely powerful – they will win more big battles – they will eventually loose out to ideologies which do not negate the existence of over half the world’s people.

  15. CitizenOne
    November 10, 2017 at 8:23 am

    The entire affair from a “Western” perspective (as investigated by the UN with an anti Syrian agenda, supported by many nations including the USA and fed to us with a supersaturated high propaganda diet deep fried in spin by the main stream media) reveals that the western nations and their magic mirror media which portray every global event as happening for their own made up reasons to suit their hidden agendas routinely ignore facts in a rush to judgement.

    This is a textbook case of a rush to judgement and twisting of the facts to suit the fabricated narrative with a complete disregard for motive, opportunity and contradictory evidence.

    It makes zero sense that Assad would want to piss off both the Russians and the US especially the US since Trump floated his “walking away” policy earlier. On the other hand those opposed to Assad had every reason to try to frame Assad and draw the US back into the fight.

    Do we wish to be the blind executioner on the World stage bombing everything based on what we are told but cannot see or justify? Apparently the answer is increasingly yes.

    Launching missiles at another nation is bad enough but launching them based on BS with a cheering media from around the World is frightening. We shouldn’t be calling the missiles “beautiful” as our media did with images of the flag flying with missiles blazing out of their launchers. That would perhaps be the sentiment of the people who build the missiles and sell them to the US government but not the news. The only way that would happen is if they were both working for the same boss. Oh, wait, I forgot. They are.

    Short of some independent news sources like this that connect the dots and question the group think, the MSM is devoid of anything not approved by the MIC.

  16. November 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I like that, Citizen One, “propaganda diet deep fried in spin”! The UN is a joke, hijacked by the war-making western nations. They are going down, though, but the monster has to keep lashing out. Thank goodness for Russia. Trump is simply a pawn in the game of the neocons. The nasty Nikki Haley is also a ridiculous female pawn, too.

  17. Chris Chuba
    November 10, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Devil’s Advocate, perhaps this just means that the attack occurred a little earlier than expected.

    One of the most damning things from my POV is why won’t the U.S. release transcripts that they allegedly have between the Syrian pilot and ground control that ‘proves’ it was a chemical attack?
    1. There is no national security issue here, the U.S. govt can release time sequenced printed transcripts so this would not divulge the nature of our SIGINT. We have already stated that we captured it, so nothing else would be learned by releasing said transcript.

    2. The time log would indicate the exact time the pilot was in flight.

    3. The nature of the intercepted conversation would either verify or cast in doubt that it was a chemical attack vs. a conventional bombing run.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      November 10, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      This is refuted in Parry’s article by the showing of the pattern of behaviour which indicate that the terrorist element was the source of the Ghouta incident which almost sparked full-on intervention in September, 2013 and the April 29-30 2014.

  18. Herman
    November 10, 2017 at 10:41 am

    The takeaway is the statement by CitizenOne:

    “It makes zero sense that Assad would want to piss off both the Russians and the US especially the US since Trump floated his “walking away” policy earlier. On the other hand those opposed to Assad had every reason to try to frame Assad and draw the US back into the fight.”

  19. Hank
    November 10, 2017 at 10:56 am

    It seems BOTH alleged attacks by Assad are False flag efforts to frame him. If one believes T rump acted alone, one would be sadly mistaken, T rump took his evidence from the NSC/CIA before he agreed to retaliate. This is the problem for presidents who rely ONLY on one source. There are many who would think that not trusting the NSC/CIA is un-American.

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      November 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm
    • Dave P.
      November 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Trump really has no power over these things. He is doing these things, like firing those cruise missiles, to save his own skin. Didn’t we read the news that Mueller was asking for Trump’s IRS Tax filings. They can get just about any person in high place on that let alone Trump who must have had transactions of various nefarious deals done under the table like all the other Oligarchs, especially who are in Finance or are Developers.

      The Deep State, and the others in Ruling Establishment have many tools to get at him. And it will happen even though he is completely neutered now and is doing all these things according to the Zio-NeoCons agenda. To the Rulers of the Country, Trump is an embarrassment, for the whole World to see, and they will get rid of him. May be!

  20. Adrian Kent
    November 10, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I’m sure they hadn’t missed your notice Robert, but for your readers, you could add the following obvious flaws:

    The JIM’s use of the previous ‘Fact Finding Mission’ (FFM) conclusion of wind direction inferred from readings taken many miles away. Inexplicably they have chosen to completely ignore the evidence of wind movements from the smoke plumes in the videos they themselves cite. These videos show the plumes moving in completely the opposite direction to the one they conclude.

    Instead the JIM infer the weather conditions using a preposterous bit of circular logic. They say that the alleged sarin cloud must have moved in a South Westerly direction because that’s where the ‘casualties’ were reported to have been found.

    The JIM use similar circular logic to conclude that a large sarin bomb must have been deployed because there were a large number of reported victims.

    The other main piece of evidence that the JIM provide for the size of the bomb, is that sarin remained present in samples for many days. An equally plausible explanation is that the completely unsecured area was (re)contaminated after the event.

    The JIM note, but ignore, the fact that most of the early reports stated the use of chlorine gas and not sarin.

    The JIM note, but ignore, the fact that the alleged crater site had been tampered with. They are, however, happy to make assertions about the munitions used from fragments allegedly found there.

    The JIM note, but ignore the completely invalid medical procedures being administered in the videos of the victims (including CPR on someone laying face down!).

    The JIM note, but dismiss images of the white helmets taking samples in less than ideal conditions and testing for sarin with a device that could not possibly be used for that purpose.

    The JIM note, but dismiss, the fact that the samples from one of the alleged victims showed positive for a ‘sarin like substance’ in one, but negative for another. They conclude that this was due to ;cross contamination’, but do not suggest a way in which different samples could contaminate each other. A just as plausible account is that all samples were contaminated after the event, but one was missed. Either way, this single fact discredits the whole ‘chain-of-custody’ of the materials.

    The JIM ignore the fact that at least 10 victims from the videos received injuries AFTER being ‘rescued’.

    The JIM’s experts are all anonymous.

    The JIM’s ‘defence research agencies’ are all anonymous.

    The non-existence of any images or videos of the immediate aftermath and ‘rescue’ events. To accept the JIM’s account, you have to believe that none of the never-camera-shy White Helmets bothered to pick up their cameras despite having ample opportunity to do so. Neither of the two journalist/activists who videoed the plumes took any videos either – despite one of them claiming to have attended the chaos in HRW’s pisspoor report on the incident.

    The JIM have published none of their interviews.

    I could go on, but I think you get my gist – the JIM report is utter cobblers.

  21. Mild-ly - Facetious
    November 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Where does this sequence of events (false flags) cause or prevent an escalation of misery that’s been cultivated/known for centuries past. – compare and contrast our present with our past…

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0195202198/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0195202198&linkCode=as2&tag=intereslitera-21

  22. Matt Krist Germany
    November 10, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Al Quaida’s useful idiots?They do nothing without being ordered to.Must have been Assad…. or better: the Russians…!These dangerous People are guilty for EVERYTHING,even for bad wheather!We can watch this in the Mainstream TV,hear it in the Radio or read it in the honorable NewYorkTimes etc. So What?

  23. brother john
    November 10, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I think a better title might be:

    “Was the Sarin Gas Attack False Flag too poorly executed and too transparent to draw a more significant response from Trump?”

    Launching a lot of cruise missiles which did remarkably little damage allowed Trump to (1) Look like he was decisive in news headlines, (2) Partially placate those calling for action and (3) Hand even more millions of fake money to the missile manufacturers who will restock the DoD.

    When will the U.S. change it’s flag and replace the stars with medium blue, six-pointed ones?

    Something is very wrong, America, take a knee and think about it.

    Then get up, get busy and re-create our country in a way that actually reflects the ideals we profess.

    The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.

    In truth and for a just peace,

    John W. Wright

  24. Gregory Kruse
    November 10, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    We are living in a time unique in history for the fact that we are informed of the machinations of the empire almost as they are implemented. In the past, functionaries of the empire could count on long delays before the real story was discovered and brought into common knowledge. Unfortunately, the enhanced awareness of impropriety apparently doesn’t change the time-tested ways of empire. The empire uses ever greater doses of propaganda to counter the enhanced awareness.

  25. November 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    So we’re going to pretend “Al Qaeda” is somehow different than the rest of the Syrian opposition, supported by a dozen nations, including the US CIA. “Al Qaeda” in Syria is a subcontractor, grunts on the payroll.

  26. November 10, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Trouble in Saudi-land? Article at link below.
    ——————————————————————————–
    EXCLUSIVE: Senior Saudi figures tortured and beaten in purge
    #SaudiPurge
    Several detainees taken to hospital with torture injuries, while sources tell MEE scale of crackdown is bigger than authorities have revealed

    David Hearst
    Thursday 9 November 2017 21:48 UTC
    Last update:
    Friday 10 November 2017 13:47 UTC

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-senior-figures-tortured-and-beaten-saudi-purge-1489501498

  27. Mark F. McCarty
    November 10, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    These new findings align perfectly with claims that the gassing victims filmed by the White Helmets had been the civilians kidnapped by Al Qaeda shortly before in the towns of Khattab and Majdal, which previously had been under government control. Here are reports that were posted at the time (4/14):

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/jihadist-rebels-kidnap-civilians-fleeing-village-northern-hama/

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/jumping-conclusions-something-not-adding-idlib-chemical-weapons-attack/

    An excerpt:

    “It is known that about 250 people from Majdal and Khattab were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda terrorists last week. Local sources have claimed that many of those dead from the chemical weapons were those from Majdal and Khattab.”

    And a later comment under one of these articles by “RMP”:

    “These people who were kidnapped are the same ones who appear on the jihadist rebel videos dying from Sarin gas. They drove them to Khan Sheikhoun, poisoned them and then filmed them as they were dying, all the while blaming Assad for the Sarin attacks.”

    This sounds like a highly credible interpretation to me.

    Unfortunately for the jihadis, they didn’t seem to synchronize their watches properly, and hence delivered many of their victims to hospitals prematurely.

    I don’t imagine the JIM report mentioned these kidnappings?

    In any case, congratulations to the US and their JIM puppets for covering up what appears to be one of the most grotesque atrocities of recent times.

  28. November 10, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Any investigation of a crime must start with motive, but no one has yet produced any motive for Syrian Government involvement in the Khan Shaykhun incident. Besides, the so-called ‘evidence’ for the government involvement comes entirely from the ‘rebels’ and there been no follow up on-site inspections. The OPCW conclusions defy logic unless one looks at the OPCW itself, so I was glad to see at last someone is directing the light towards them. Those OPCW investigators, by allowing themselves to be so willingly manipulated in this way for political reasons, have undermined the whole credibility of their organisation.

  29. November 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    It is sad and harmful when leaders make decisions based on hearsay instead of on careful research and logic.

  30. Liam
    November 11, 2017 at 5:44 am

    These are the terrorists that ‘reported’…..err called in the chemical attack.

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

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/04/10/false-flagger-al-nusra-front-terrorist-reporter-hadi-abdallah-first-responder-to-chemical-massacre-in-idlib-syria-on-april-4th-2017/

    “Now You See Me” – Over 100 White Helmet Self-Posted Facebook Images Expose Fake Humanitarian Group as FSA Terrorists Linked with Al-Qaeda

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/05/01/now-you-see-me-over-100-white-helmet-self-posted-facebook-images-expose-fake-humanitarian-group-as-fsa-terrorists-in-bed-with-al-qaeda/

    Father of Invention: Media Portrayed Grief Stricken Dad Turns Out To Be al-Nusra Front Terrorist

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/05/02/father-of-invention-media-portrayed-grief-stricken-dad-turns-out-to-be-al-nusra-front-terrorist/

    I do believe that Trump is fully aware that they are terrorists and he is simply playing a role. What we are watching is Hegelian Dialectic 101. Like Obama’s early fanbase, his base is simply convincing themselves otherwise due to their own political proclivities and confirmation biases. The onion has many layers.

  31. Peter Loeb
    November 11, 2017 at 8:32 am

    TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP…!!!

    The comments above focus for the most part on Donald
    Trump.

    I agree that he is horrible. OK.

    I do not think it is productive to blame Donald Trump for
    everything. Some comments don’t do that. The first comment by’
    “Abe” covered a larger territory and it is more profound for
    that reason. Much of the organizations and structures were
    put in place by other Presidents. Barack Obama for
    example, whose Secretary of the Treasury was the former
    CEO of a speculative institution –an investment bank, Goldman
    Sachs— who with his colleagues at the Fed and elsewhere
    continued to feed speculativion and unregulated investing.
    After all, Goldman Sachs was a major donor to the
    political campaigns of Barack Obama..

    The 14 TRILLION dollars spent on “bailouts” but in fact
    invested at increased debt—-to be paid for by
    the US government (you and me) because these
    banks are “too big to fail”. The money will not go
    to help the working poor or the poor. It will
    go to help the extremely wealthy.

    A careful study of Jack Rasmus’ books on economics
    may be rough at first but will explain to you what is really
    going on. Beyond the election of Donald Trump and
    in the creation of an even more unequal society.

    “SYSTEM FRAGILITY IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY”
    has the worst title imagineable but will introduce the
    reader to the basics of how the economy actually dysfunctions
    both historically and in the 21rst century. Although I am
    no economist, I have read it three times. (I am a slow—but
    avid—learner.)

    Jack Rasmus’ most recent book is “ARE THE
    CENTRAL BANKERS AT THE END OF THEIR ROPES?….”

    A different take on the history of labor and America is
    in Gabriel Kolko’s majestic ‘MAIN CURRENTS IN MODERN
    AMERICAN HISTORY. It ends in 1976 when it was published.

    Not coincidentally, it was in 1970 that much began to change
    in the fabric of our economic nation along with its social
    inequality. The internet became a prime factor in
    investing in financial assets (stocks etc.) as opposed
    to “the real economy” (jobs, infrastructure etc.). Big
    investors found it much more profitable by far to invest
    in seconds in “paper”—which by this time was no
    longer “paper”— but derivatives, securities etc. done with a
    button on an internat. Vast sums of money could
    instantly be transferred to a location offshore to
    avoid taxes.

    So no coal mines or steel mills will be built. Or
    if any, they will be for photo-ops only.

    The processes are more complicated than I
    have indicated here. Read these books.

    I dare you!

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, usa

    • brother john
      November 11, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Peter Loeb –

      I hope that you and yours are well.

      I agree that almost all of what Trump is doing is a distraction, just one more psyop, following the psyops of the Obama election and the designated poster boy for incompetence on September 11, 2001, George W. Bush.

      I’ll have to do a search, but I wonder if CN covered China’s creation of a gold-back PetroYuan in September? There’s a story with profound implications as the US Petrodollar is on its last legs. Much of what we are seeing, both in Washington D.C., the Middle East and throughout the world, are the global elites positioning themselves for the looming global currency reset. Trump may have been installed to be the 21st Century Hoover, installed to take the fall for the collapse of the U.S. economy and the inciter-in-chief of a second American civil war.

      Keep in mind that the central bankers have run this game for the elites for centuries, so as long as the masses keep playing their game and empowering them, they will remain in control.

      We have to be smarter than this, and more compassionate, if we are going to survive the coming economic re-alignment. It’s long past time that the people co-created their own, more just and equitable, game,

      Are you familiar with the work of Michael Hudson? I highly recommend starting with his “Killing the Host”.

      I’ll take a look at Rasmus and Kolko, thanks!

      In truth and for a just peace,

      John W. Wright

  32. Liam
    November 11, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/02/27/massive-white-helmets-photo-cache-proves-hollywood-gave-oscar-to-terrorist-group/

    “Now You See Me” – Over 100 White Helmet Self-Posted Facebook Images Expose Fake Humanitarian Group as FSA Terrorists Linked with Al-Qaeda

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/05/01/now-you-see-me-over-100-white-helmet-self-posted-facebook-images-expose-fake-humanitarian-group-as-fsa-terrorists-in-bed-with-al-qaeda/

  33. Mark Thomason
    November 11, 2017 at 11:30 am

    It was not al Qaeda that duped Trump. It was our own hawks who did that.

  34. evelync
    November 11, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Thanks to Robert Parry and all commenters here.
    So much to learn and understand.

    RE: “Right now, the West is blaming Russia for the collapsing consensus behind U.N. investigations, but the problem really comes from Washington’s longtime strategy of coercing U.N. organizations into becoming propaganda arms for U.S. geopolitical strategies.”

    And apparently it’s the U.S. GEOPOLITICAL STRATEGIES that shape how events on the ground are reported. The job description of those who provide this “news” to the MSM might read: CANDIDATE MUST BE ABLE TO DISSEMBLE, LIE, TWIST FACTS IN ORDER TO SERVE A “HIGHER” GOAL.

    Who does that HIGHER GOAL serve?

    There’s two sets of books on both foreign and domestic policies.
    In 1999 Clinton shredded the 1933-34 Glass Steagall bank laws. Then taxpayers, as was inevitable, bailed out those banks (just like happened with Reagan in the 1980’s for his failed deregulated S&L’s.) All predictable. No accountability.
    http://wallstreetonparade.com/2017/11/financial-experts-release-video-on-how-wall-street-loots-the-u-s-economy/

    Why are we so easy to dupe?
    And how come even the leadership at our are Ivy League Schools is knee jerk compliant with these policies, the related propaganda and eager to help facilitate it?

    The whole 3 Card Monte game is built on deceiving us idiots.

    Our great whistleblowers often risk everything to uncover the truth and inform us :

    “Many Americans still count on the mainstream media to define reality for them, but too often the MSM spins false narratives that protect the powerful and diminish democracy, as happened in the long-running denial of cocaine trafficking by President Reagan’s beloved Nicaraguan Contra rebels, writes Beverly Bandler.”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2014/11/02/gary-webb-and-media-manipulation/

    “From Editor Robert Parry: One thing that I’ve learned from my four-plus decades in journalism is that many people only like reporting that reinforces what they already believe. Facts that go off in a different direction can make them angry and they are usually not hesitant to express their anger.”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2014/11/05/journalism-and-reality/

  35. Hide BehindhBehindhere have been wake up calls but they were ignored.
    November 12, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Excuse me as I am a wee bit dense, now being dense I think hard for myself, and while I know inside what the f is right and wrong I do not pay much use to those who knit pick facts of situations for it seems to me they are as useless as teats on a boar hog when it comes to solving a problem.
    Fact is 90% of time they are by their lack of ability to look beyond their talk, a major obstacle to solving the problem.
    NO matter how many times they take part in discussion the words read as if scripted and they add nothing beyond the facts,
    Do you who have followed our National leaders corruption for awhile, do you really need those self important a holes retell you that which in your gut already know.
    Oh they are great readers and talkers but they lack, besides a backbone, the “extended imagination” it takes to act beyond the data points against and upon the wrongs.
    Have they or you smelled the sweet scent of righteousness while being teargassed because of demonstrating by civil disobedience against the powers that be?
    Walking while sucking on a plastic bottle of water and chanting slogans prepared by ass kissing system programmers, is an fn parade not a semonstration, a feely goody of mental masturbation.
    FOLLOWING the directions of those professionals who livelihood, wages, wages that stem from the pacifist who themselves are afraid their comfort zones could turn to chaos, unless you are properly channeled.
    Why are there but the few who dare sit in disobedience being pepper sprayed and physicly abused then arrested, what do you do when you see such abuse.
    Oh you write about it and listen to the a holes who talk about it?
    Do you go and bail the abused out, offer to chop in legal fees; better yet at not question why leaders and figurehead personalities get released while the meek sit and sweat out time behind bars.
    Not sorry if I offend, for since youth my elders said If you know it’s right and you fight against a wrong, do not cry for sympathy if the consequences are harsh.
    The data collectors never have to back up their mouths, they expect some Messiahs and martyrs to do the work.
    It does not take a group to fight against an injustice, and today I see far more women with the gumption to look it in face and resist than the she/he males.
    There is no sense listening to those who speak of ideals but do not stand forth for them.
    Tell them put up or shut the f… up.
    Use your own “extended imagination”, call it intuition or inner conscience, but If you want to use it. A way will form and your inner fortitude will make you act upon the data points.

  36. Paul
    November 12, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Farcical that this is even a story and even moe farcical the usual idiots are being rolled out to offer “expert” options on it.

    Khan Sheikhoun – A town of NO military value and controlled by al-Qaeda.
    -A Syrian jet, 5 kms away is alleged to have dropped a Sarin filled rocket which landed on a dusty road creating a small crater
    -No video footage exists of the scene as it happened (which is unheard of as WhiteHelmets ALL carry cameras on their attire) instead the first footage is of people being hosed down AWAY from the scene
    -The delivery mechanism for the Sarin was a never before seen rocket from a highly secretive Syrian chemicals weapons program that nobody has ever heard of accordin go weapons expert Eliot Higgins. In his own words on the lack of evidence, “As for the bomb from March 30th and April 4th, we can’t assume this is a bomb that has been documented publicly, especially if it’s from a secretive chemical weapons program, so the lack of images of the bomb can’t really be used to claim the bomb doesn’t exist.”
    -Firstly we have to trust that the crime scene and its artefacts are all genuine and that al-Qaeda are being honest with us all. If we get by that and accept everything at face value we still have another hurdle to get over; what are these fragments? According to Higgins they are remnants of a bomb nobody has ever seen before or since.
    -Once we get by all that……actually it’s impossible to get by all that.

    In a nutshell here’s the nub. An event happened in Khan Sheikhoun in which Sarin was released into the atmosphere. Nobody knows exactly what happened (we can theorise) but in the absence of evidence Higgins has decided to make shit up and pass it off as fact. When pulled up on this he created a new post on the Ghouta incident on his blog in the hope it would deflect from his public balls up.

    And us who question this shit are called mad?

    • Paul
      November 12, 2017 at 12:36 am

      Few spelling errors maybe an admin could correct for me?

  37. Marty
    November 13, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Most likely the Zionists within Trumps advisors misled Trump with their misinformation..

  38. tabatabai
    November 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    The debunking via ‘victims’ entering hospital for treatment BEFORE the attack has been widely covered by another writer weeks ago. Be fair and credit him.
    The rest is rehashed rambling. Article Omitted the most salient point that is obvious for ALL to see and is UNDEBUNKABLE: the first responders handled the bodies w/ bare hands, feet and got covered w/ “sarin”- yet suffered no ill effects.
    Science and Reporting 101. Wake up

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