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New Nuremberg for NATO crimes
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: New Nuremberg for NATO crimes
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: 18/09/2013 @ 13:08
Important - figure out who used the chemical weapon in Gouta 21.08.2013
   
   
   
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7zzn0Y0b9s   
   
A video leaked from Liwaa al-Islam, a group of islamic fighters who spread in Damascus suburbs, shows a group of his fighters wearing chemical masks while they are launching a rocket in an operation called "Al-reih Al-sarser" relating that to a previous video on internet with the same title showing some people poisoning some rabbits , and threatining Government supporters in it.   
   
In the video, they are mentioning the day of launching the rocket on 8/21 which is the same day the chemical attack happened in Damascus suburbs
 
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: 09/12/2013 @ 19:22
Whose sarin?
      
      
by Seymour M. Hersh      
      
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the countrys civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded without assessing responsibility had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order a planning document that precedes a ground invasion citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.      
      
In his nationally televised speech about Syria on 10 September, Obama laid the blame for the nerve gas attack on the rebel-held suburb of Eastern Ghouta firmly on Assads government, and made it clear he was prepared to back up his earlier public warnings that any use of chemical weapons would cross a red line: Assads government gassed to death over a thousand people, he said. We know the Assad regime was responsible And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regimes use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. Obama was going to war to back up a public threat, but he was doing so without knowing for sure who did what in the early morning of 21 August.      
      
He cited a list of what appeared to be hard-won evidence of Assads culpability: In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assads chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighbourhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces. Obamas certainty was echoed at the time by Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, who told the New York Times: No one with whom Ive spoken doubts the intelligence directly linking Assad and his regime to the sarin attacks.      
      
But in recent interviews with intelligence and military officers and consultants past and present, I found intense concern, and on occasion anger, over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administrations assurances of Assads responsibility a ruse. The attack was not the result of the current regime, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information in terms of its timing and sequence to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, How can we help this guy Obama when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?      
      
The complaints focus on what Washington did not have: any advance warning from the assumed source of the attack. The military intelligence community has for years produced a highly classified early morning intelligence summary, known as the Morning Report, for the secretary of defence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; a copy also goes to the national security adviser and the director of national intelligence. The Morning Report includes no political or economic information, but provides a summary of important military events around the world, with all available intelligence about them. A senior intelligence consultant told me that some time after the attack he reviewed the reports for 20 August through 23 August. For two days 20 and 21 August there was no mention of Syria. On 22 August the lead item in the Morning Report dealt with Egypt; a subsequent item discussed an internal change in the command structure of one of the rebel groups in Syria. Nothing was noted about the use of nerve gas in Damascus that day. It was not until 23 August that the use of sarin became a dominant issue, although hundreds of photographs and videos of the massacre had gone viral within hours on YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites. At this point, the administration knew no more than the public.      
      
Obama left Washington early on 21 August for a hectic two-day speaking tour in New York and Pennsylvania; according to the White House press office, he was briefed later that day on the attack, and the growing public and media furore. The lack of any immediate inside intelligence was made clear on 22 August, when Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters: We are unable to conclusively determine (chemical weapons) use. But we are focused every minute of every day since these events happened on doing everything possible within our power to nail down the facts. The administrations tone had hardened by 27 August, when Jay Carney, Obamas press secretary, told reporters without providing any specific information that any suggestions that the Syrian government was not responsible are as preposterous as suggestions that the attack itself didnt occur.      
      
The absence of immediate alarm inside the American intelligence community demonstrates that there was no intelligence about Syrian intentions in the days before the attack. And there are at least two ways the US could have known about it in advance: both were touched on in one of the top secret American intelligence documents that have been made public in recent months by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor.      
      
On 29 August, the Washington Post published excerpts from the annual budget for all national intelligence programmes, agency by agency, provided by Snowden. In consultation with the Obama administration, the newspaper chose to publish only a slim portion of the 178-page document, which has a classification higher than top secret, but it summarised and published a section dealing with problem areas. One problem area was the gap in coverage targeting Assads office. The document said that the NSAs worldwide electronic eavesdropping facilities had been able to monitor unencrypted communications among senior military officials at the outset of the civil war there. But it was a vulnerability that President Bashar al-Assads forces apparently later recognised. In other words, the NSA no longer had access to the conversations of the top military leadership in Syria, which would have included crucial communications from Assad, such as orders for a nerve gas attack. (In its public statements since 21 August, the Obama administration has never claimed to have specific information connecting Assad himself to the attack.)      
      
The Post report also provided the first indication of a secret sensor system inside Syria, designed to provide early warning of any change in status of the regimes chemical weapons arsenal. The sensors are monitored by the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that controls all US intelligence satellites in orbit. According to the Post summary, the NRO is also assigned to extract data from sensors placed on the ground inside Syria. The former senior intelligence official, who had direct knowledge of the programme, told me that NRO sensors have been implanted near all known chemical warfare sites in Syria. They are designed to provide constant monitoring of the movement of chemical warheads stored by the military. But far more important, in terms of early warning, is the sensors ability to alert US and Israeli intelligence when warheads are being loaded with sarin. (As a neighbouring country, Israel has always been on the alert for changes in the Syrian chemical arsenal, and works closely with American intelligence on early warnings.) A chemical warhead, once loaded with sarin, has a shelf life of a few days or less the nerve agent begins eroding the rocket almost immediately: its a use-it-or-lose-it mass killer. The Syrian army doesnt have three days to prepare for a chemical attack, the former senior intelligence official told me. We created the sensor system for immediate reaction, like an air raid warning or a fire alarm. You cant have a warning over three days because everyone involved would be dead. It is either right now or youre history. You do not spend three days getting ready to fire nerve gas. The sensors detected no movement in the months and days before 21 August, the former official said. It is of course possible that sarin had been supplied to the Syrian army by other means, but the lack of warning meant that Washington was unable to monitor the events in Eastern Ghouta as they unfolded.      
      
The sensors had worked in the past, as the Syrian leadership knew all too well. Last December the sensor system picked up signs of what seemed to be sarin production at a chemical weapons depot. It was not immediately clear whether the Syrian army was simulating sarin production as part of an exercise (all militaries constantly carry out such exercises) or actually preparing an attack. At the time, Obama publicly warned Syria that using sarin was totally unacceptable; a similar message was also passed by diplomatic means. The event was later determined to be part of a series of exercises, according to the former senior intelligence official: If what the sensors saw last December was so important that the president had to call and say, Knock it off, why didnt the president issue the same warning three days before the gas attack in August?      
      
The NSA would of course monitor Assads office around the clock if it could, the former official said. Other communications from various army units in combat throughout Syria would be far less important, and not analysed in real time. There are literally thousands of tactical radio frequencies used by field units in Syria for mundane routine communications, he said, and it would take a huge number of NSA cryptological technicians to listen in and the useful return would be zilch. But the chatter is routinely stored on computers. Once the scale of events on 21 August was understood, the NSA mounted a comprehensive effort to search for any links to the attack, sorting through the full archive of stored communications. A keyword or two would be selected and a filter would be employed to find relevant conversations. What happened here is that the NSA intelligence weenies started with an event the use of sarin and reached to find chatter that might relate, the former official said. This does not lead to a high confidence assessment, unless you start with high confidence that Bashar Assad ordered it, and began looking for anything that supports that belief. The cherry-picking was similar to the process used to justify the Iraq war.      
      
*
      
      
The White House needed nine days to assemble its case against the Syrian government. On 30 August it invited a select group of Washington journalists (at least one often critical reporter, Jonathan Landay, the national security correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, was not invited), and handed them a document carefully labelled as a government assessment, rather than as an assessment by the intelligence community. The document laid out what was essentially a political argument to bolster the administrations case against the Assad government. It was, however, more specific than Obama would be later, in his speech on 10 September: American intelligence, it stated, knew that Syria had begun preparing chemical munitions three days before the attack. In an aggressive speech later that day, John Kerry provided more details. He said that Syrias chemical weapons personnel were on the ground, in the area, making preparations by 18 August. We know that the Syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapons. The government assessment and Kerrys comments made it seem as if the administration had been tracking the sarin attack as it happened. It is this version of events, untrue but unchallenged, that was widely reported at the time.      
      
An unforseen reaction came in the form of complaints from the Free Syrian Armys leadership and others about the lack of warning. Its unbelievable they did nothing to warn people or try to stop the regime before the crime, Razan Zaitouneh, an opposition member who lived in one of the towns struck by sarin, told Foreign Policy. The Daily Mail was more blunt: Intelligence report says US officials knew about nerve-gas attack in Syria three days before it killed over 1400 people including more than 400 children. (The number of deaths attributable to the attack varied widely, from at least 1429, as initially claimed by the Obama administration, to many fewer. A Syrian human rights group reported 502 deaths; M'dicins sans Fronti'res put it at 355; and a French report listed 281 known fatalities. The strikingly precise US total was later reported by the Wall Street Journal to have been based not on an actual body count, but on an extrapolation by CIA analysts, who scanned more than a hundred YouTube videos from Eastern Ghouta into a computer system and looked for images of the dead. In other words, it was little more than a guess.)      
      
Five days later, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence responded to the complaints. A statement to the Associated Press said that the intelligence behind the earlier administration assertions was not known at the time of the attack, but recovered only subsequently: Lets be clear, the United States did not watch, in real time, as this horrible attack took place. The intelligence community was able to gather and analyse information after the fact and determine that elements of the Assad regime had in fact taken steps to prepare prior to using chemical weapons. But since the American press corps had their story, the retraction received scant attention. On 31 August the Washington Post, relying on the government assessment, had vividly reported on its front page that American intelligence was able to record each step of the Syrian army attack in real time, from the extensive preparations to the launching of rockets to the after-action assessments by Syrian officials. It did not publish the AP corrective, and the White House maintained control of the narrative.      
      
So when Obama said on 10 September that his administration knew Assads chemical weapons personnel had prepared the attack in advance, he was basing the statement not on an intercept caught as it happened, but on communications analysed days after 21 August. The former senior intelligence official explained that the hunt for relevant chatter went back to the exercise detected the previous December, in which, as Obama later said to the public, the Syrian army mobilised chemical weapons personnel and distributed gas masks to its troops. The White Houses government assessment and Obamas speech were not descriptions of the specific events leading up to the 21 August attack, but an account of the sequence the Syrian military would have followed for any chemical attack. They put together a back story, the former official said, and there are lots of different pieces and parts. The template they used was the template that goes back to December. It is possible, of course, that Obama was unaware that this account was obtained from an analysis of Syrian army protocol for conducting a gas attack, rather than from direct evidence. Either way he had come to a hasty judgment.      
      
The press would follow suit. The UN report on 16 September confirming the use of sarin was careful to note that its investigators access to the attack sites, which came five days after the gassing, had been controlled by rebel forces. As with other sites, the report warned, the locations have been well travelled by other individuals prior to the arrival of the mission During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated. Still, the New York Times seized on the report, as did American and British officials, and claimed that it provided crucial evidence backing up the administrations assertions. An annex to the UN report reproduced YouTube photographs of some recovered munitions, including a rocket that indicatively matches the specifics of a 330mm calibre artillery rocket. The New York Times wrote that the existence of the rockets essentially proved that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack because the weapons in question had not been previously documented or reported to be in possession of the insurgency.      
      
Theodore Postol, a professor of technology and national security at MIT, reviewed the UN photos with a group of his colleagues and concluded that the large calibre rocket was an improvised munition that was very likely manufactured locally. He told me that it was something you could produce in a modestly capable machine shop. The rocket in the photos, he added, fails to match the specifications of a similar but smaller rocket known to be in the Syrian arsenal. The New York Times, again relying on data in the UN report, also analysed the flight path of two of the spent rockets that were believed to have carried sarin, and concluded that the angle of descent pointed directly to their being fired from a Syrian army base more than nine kilometres from the landing zone. Postol, who has served as the scientific adviser to the chief of naval operations in the Pentagon, said that the assertions in the Times and elsewhere were not based on actual observations. He concluded that the flight path analyses in particular were, as he put it in an email, totally nuts because a thorough study demonstrated that the range of the improvised rockets was unlikely to be more than two kilometres. Postol and a colleague, Richard M. Lloyd, published an analysis two weeks after 21 August in which they correctly assessed that the rockets involved carried a far greater payload of sarin than previously estimated. The Times reported on that analysis at length, describing Postol and Lloyd as leading weapons experts. The pairs later study about the rockets flight paths and range, which contradicted previous Times reporting, was emailed to the newspaper last week; it has so far gone unreported.      
      
*
      
      
The White Houses misrepresentation of what it knew about the attack, and when, was matched by its readiness to ignore intelligence that could undermine the narrative. That information concerned al-Nusra, the Islamist rebel group designated by the US and the UN as a terrorist organisation. Al-Nusra is known to have carried out scores of suicide bombings against Christians and other non-Sunni Muslim sects inside Syria, and to have attacked its nominal ally in the civil war, the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA). Its stated goal is to overthrow the Assad regime and establish sharia law. (On 25 September al-Nusra joined several other Islamist rebel groups in repudiating the FSA and another secular faction, the Syrian National Coalition.)      
      
The flurry of American interest in al-Nusra and sarin stemmed from a series of small-scale chemical weapons attacks in March and April; at the time, the Syrian government and the rebels each insisted the other was responsible. The UN eventually concluded that four chemical attacks had been carried out, but did not assign responsibility. A White House official told the press in late April that the intelligence community had assessed with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian government was responsible for the attacks. Assad had crossed Obamas red line. The April assessment made headlines, but some significant caveats were lost in translation. The unnamed official conducting the briefing acknowledged that intelligence community assessments are not alone sufficient. We want, he said, to investigate above and beyond those intelligence assessments to gather facts so that we can establish a credible and corroborated set of information that can then inform our decision-making. In other words, the White House had no direct evidence of Syrian army or government involvement, a fact that was only occasionally noted in the press coverage. Obamas tough talk played well with the public and Congress, who view Assad as a ruthless murderer.      
      
Two months later, a White House statement announced a change in the assessment of Syrian culpability and declared that the intelligence community now had high confidence that the Assad government was responsible for as many as 150 deaths from attacks with sarin. More headlines were generated and the press was told that Obama, in response to the new intelligence, had ordered an increase in non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition. But once again there were significant caveats. The new intelligence included a report that Syrian officials had planned and executed the attacks. No specifics were provided, nor were those who provided the reports identified. The White House statement said that laboratory analysis had confirmed the use of sarin, but also that a positive finding of the nerve agent does not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination. The White House further declared: We have no reliable corroborated reporting to indicate that the opposition in Syria has acquired or used chemical weapons. The statement contradicted evidence that at the time was streaming into US intelligence agencies.      
      
Already by late May, the senior intelligence consultant told me, the CIA had briefed the Obama administration on al-Nusra and its work with sarin, and had sent alarming reports that another Sunni fundamentalist group active in Syria, al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), also understood the science of producing sarin. At the time, al-Nusra was operating in areas close to Damascus, including Eastern Ghouta. An intelligence document issued in mid-summer dealt extensively with Ziyaad Tariq Ahmed, a chemical weapons expert formerly of the Iraqi military, who was said to have moved into Syria and to be operating in Eastern Ghouta. The consultant told me that Tariq had been identified as an al-Nusra guy with a track record of making mustard gas in Iraq and someone who is implicated in making and using sarin. He is regarded as a high-profile target by the American military.      
      
On 20 June a four-page top secret cable summarising what had been learned about al-Nusras nerve gas capabilities was forwarded to David R. Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. What Shedd was briefed on was extensive and comprehensive, the consultant said. It was not a bunch of we believes. He told me that the cable made no assessment as to whether the rebels or the Syrian army had initiated the attacks in March and April, but it did confirm previous reports that al-Nusra had the ability to acquire and use sarin. A sample of the sarin that had been used was also recovered with the help of an Israeli agent but, according to the consultant, no further reporting about the sample showed up in cable traffic.      
      
Independently of these assessments, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assuming that US troops might be ordered into Syria to seize the governments stockpile of chemical agents, called for an all-source analysis of the potential threat. The Op Order provides the basis of execution of a military mission, if so ordered, the former senior intelligence official explained. This includes the possible need to send American soldiers to a Syrian chemical site to defend it against rebel seizure. If the jihadist rebels were going to overrun the site, the assumption is that Assad would not fight us because we were protecting the chemical from the rebels. All Op Orders contain an intelligence threat component. We had technical analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, weapons people, and I & W [indications and warnings] people working on the problem They concluded that the rebel forces were capable of attacking an American force with sarin because they were able to produce the lethal gas. The examination relied on signals and human intelligence, as well as the expressed intention and technical capability of the rebels.      
      
There is evidence that during the summer some members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were troubled by the prospect of a ground invasion of Syria as well as by Obamas professed desire to give rebel factions non-lethal support. In July, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, provided a gloomy assessment, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in public testimony that thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces would be needed to seize Syrias widely dispersed chemical warfare arsenal, along with hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers. Pentagon estimates put the number of troops at seventy thousand, in part because US forces would also have to guard the Syrian rocket fleet: accessing large volumes of the chemicals that create sarin without the means to deliver it would be of little value to a rebel force. In a letter to Senator Carl Levin, Dempsey cautioned that a decision to grab the Syrian arsenal could have unintended consequences: We have learned from the past ten years, however, that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state Should the regimes institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.      
      
The CIA declined to comment for this article. Spokesmen for the DIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said they were not aware of the report to Shedd and, when provided with specific cable markings for the document, said they were unable to find it. Shawn Turner, head of public affairs for the ODNI, said that no American intelligence agency, including the DIA, assesses that the al-Nusra Front has succeeded in developing a capacity to manufacture sarin.      
      
The administrations public affairs officials are not as concerned about al-Nusras military potential as Shedd has been in his public statements. In late July, he gave an alarming account of al-Nusras strength at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. I count no less than 1200 disparate groups in the opposition, Shedd said, according to a recording of his presentation. And within the opposition, the al-Nusra Front is most effective and is gaining in strength. This, he said, is of serious concern to us. If left unchecked, I am very concerned that the most radical elements he also cited al-Qaida in Iraq will take over. The civil war, he went on, will only grow worse over time Unfathomable violence is yet to come. Shedd made no mention of chemical weapons in his talk, but he was not allowed to: the reports his office received were highly classified.      
      
*
   
      
A series of secret dispatches from Syria over the summer reported that members of the FSA were complaining to American intelligence operatives about repeated attacks on their forces by al-Nusra and al-Qaida fighters. The reports, according to the senior intelligence consultant who read them, provided evidence that the FSA is more worried about the crazies than it is about Assad. The FSA is largely composed of defectors from the Syrian army. The Obama administration, committed to the end of the Assad regime and continued support for the rebels, has sought in its public statements since the attack to downplay the influence of Salafist and Wahhabist factions. In early September, John Kerry dumbfounded a Congressional hearing with a sudden claim that al-Nusra and other Islamist groups were minority players in the Syrian opposition. He later withdrew the claim.      
      
In both its public and private briefings after 21 August, the administration disregarded the available intelligence about al-Nusras potential access to sarin and continued to claim that the Assad government was in sole possession of chemical weapons. This was the message conveyed in the various secret briefings that members of Congress received in the days after the attack, when Obama was seeking support for his planned missile offensive against Syrian military installations. One legislator with more than two decades of experience in military affairs told me that he came away from one such briefing persuaded that only the Assad government had sarin and the rebels did not. Similarly, following the release of the UN report on 16 September confirming that sarin was used on 21 August, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, told a press conference: Its very important to note that only the [Assad] regime possesses sarin, and we have no evidence that the opposition possesses sarin.      
      
It is not known whether the highly classified reporting on al-Nusra was made available to Powers office, but her comment was a reflection of the attitude that swept through the administration. The immediate assumption was that Assad had done it, the former senior intelligence official told me. The new director of the CIA, [John] Brennan, jumped to that conclusion drives to the White House and says: Look at what Ive got! It was all verbal; they just waved the bloody shirt. There was a lot of political pressure to bring Obama to the table to help the rebels, and there was wishful thinking that this [tying Assad to the sarin attack] would force Obamas hand: This is the Zimmermann telegram of the Syrian rebellion and now Obama can react. Wishful thinking by the Samantha Power wing within the administration. Unfortunately, some members of the Joint Chiefs who were alerted that he was going to attack werent so sure it was a good thing.      
      
The proposed American missile attack on Syria never won public support and Obama turned quickly to the UN and the Russian proposal for dismantling the Syrian chemical warfare complex. Any possibility of military action was definitively averted on 26 September when the administration joined Russia in approving a draft UN resolution calling on the Assad government to get rid of its chemical arsenal. Obamas retreat brought relief to many senior military officers. (One high-level special operations adviser told me that the ill-conceived American missile attack on Syrian military airfields and missile emplacements, as initially envisaged by the White House, would have been like providing close air support for al-Nusra.)      
      
The administrations distortion of the facts surrounding the sarin attack raises an unavoidable question: do we have the whole story of Obamas willingness to walk away from his red line threat to bomb Syria? He had claimed to have an iron-clad case but suddenly agreed to take the issue to Congress, and later to accept Assads offer to relinquish his chemical weapons. It appears possible that at some point he was directly confronted with contradictory information: evidence strong enough to persuade him to cancel his attack plan, and take the criticism sure to come from Republicans.      
      
The UN resolution, which was adopted on 27 September by the Security Council, dealt indirectly with the notion that rebel forces such as al-Nusra would also be obliged to disarm: no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer [chemical] weapons. The resolution also calls for the immediate notification of the Security Council in the event that any non-state actors acquire chemical weapons. No group was cited by name. While the Syrian regime continues the process of eliminating its chemical arsenal, the irony is that, after Assads stockpile of precursor agents is destroyed, al-Nusra and its Islamist allies could end up as the only faction inside Syria with access to the ingredients that can create sarin, a strategic weapon that would be unlike any other in the war zone. There may be more to negotiate.      
         
LRB
 
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: 07/01/2014 @ 23:03
Al-Qaeda, NATOs Timeless Tool


by Thierry Meyssan


The discovery of links connecting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Al- Qaeda is upsetting Turkish politics. Ankara not only actively supported terrorism in Syria, but did so as part of a NATO strategy. For Thierry Meyssan, the case also shows the artificiality of armed groups fighting against the government and the Syrian people.


So far, the authorities of the Member States of NATO affirm that the international jihadist movement, whose training they supported during the Afghan war against the Soviets (1979), would have turned against them upon the liberation of Kuwait (1991). They accuse Al-Qaeda of having attacked embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998) and of plotting the attacks of September 11, 2001 but admitted that, after the official death of Osama Bin Laden (2011), some jihadist elements again collaborated with them in Libya and Syria. However, Washington would have ended this tactical rapprochement in December 2012.

Now, this version is contradicted by the facts : Al-Qaeda has always fought the same enemies as the Atlantic Alliance, as reveals once again the scandal currently shaking Turkey.

We are learning that the Al-Qaeda banker, Yasin al-Qadi, who was designated as such and pursued by the United States since the attacks against embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998), was a personal friend of both former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and current Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. We discover that this " terrorist" led a lavish lifestyle, traveling by private plane and mocking UN sanctions against him. Thus, at least four times, he visited Erdoğan in 2012, arriving by the second Istanbul airport where, after disconnecting the cameras, he was welcomed by the head of the Prime Ministers guard without going through customs.

According to the Turkish police and judges who revealed this information and incarcerated the children of several ministers involved in the case, December 17, 2013 - before being divested of the investigation (relieved of their duties) by the Prime Minister -, Yasin al-Qadi and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had developed an extensive system of diversion of funds to finance al-Qaeda in Syria.

At the same time that this incredible double play was exposed, the Turkish police stopped a truck carrying weapons for Al-Qaeda near the Syrian border. Of the three people arrested, one said he was conveying the load on behalf of IHH, the humanitarian Association of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood, while another claimed to be a Turkish secret agent on a mission. Ultimately, the governor prevented the police and justice from doing their work, confirming that the transport was a covert MIT (Turkish Secret Service) operation, and ordered that the truck and its load continue their journey.

The investigation also shows that the Turkish financing of Al- Qaeda used an Iranian company both to act undercover in Syria and to conduct terrorist operations in Iran. NATO already had accomplices in Tehran during the "Iran-Contra" operation in former President Rafsandajis inner circles, such as Sheikh Rohani, who has become the current president.

These facts come into play as the Syrian political opposition in exile launches a new theory on the eve of the Geneva 2 Conference: The al-Nosra Front and the Islamic Emirate in Iraq and the Levant (ÉIIL) would be façades of the Syrian secret services trying to frighten the population to keep it under control. The only armed opposition would be that of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which recognizes the authority of the Syrian political opposition. There would be no problem of representativeness at the Peace Conference.

We are therefore asked to forget all the good that the same opposition in exile was saying of Al-Qaeda for three years and the silence of NATO members on the spread of terrorism in Syria.

Therefore, if we can allow that most of the leaders of the Atlantic Alliance were unaware of the support of their organization for international terrorism, we must also allow that NATO is mainly responsible for world terrorism.

Thierry Meyssan


Voltaire Network
 
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: 03/05/2014 @ 08:31
The Beacon that is East Ukraine: Are you on the right side of history?


03.05.2014


As the fog of war descends, it is important to shout a few main points from the rooftops before they get lost in the details. A coup-appointed junta in Kiev, designed, engineered and controlled from Washington, has begun a massive armed assault on its citizens in the east.

By Daniel Patrick Welch

This supreme and original war crime, reinforced by the Nuremburg Tribunal, is no longer in doubt. Nor can there be any more doubt about who is pulling the strings. The illegitimate junta have pulled out all the stops, as their IMF masters demanded they do just the other day. Pointedly-and tellingly-the mafia enforcer organization of western capital issued a statement saying that the crushing austerity agreement-already a death sentence in its own right-might have to be 'revised' if the chosen cabal could not control the rebellious and resource rich eastern regions, the grand prize in the whole 'democracy' charade. The junta, using a rump military and their fascist shock troops, has dutifully complied-a shameful and disgusting moment in world history. It is also, however, a moment that I think will be transformative in ways we can't even yet understand.
   
For a moment, I was afraid that in a fully militarized phase the resistance would be less able to access its chief asset-the people. When war breaks out, soldiers are not forced to confront the humanity of their opponents, and we would no longer see scenes like cordons of ordinary people trying to stop tanks with their bare hands. I was wrong again, I fully admit. The struggle, like life, teaches me something new every day. The people's resilience is love itself, and I am in awe of their courage; I wake up every morning glad to be alive because I'm glad they are still alive.

And a giant middle finger to the "peace" community, the apologists of the war machine, and especially liberals and elements of the first world left who are always the last to see that their purist intellectual detachment is always-always-suspiciously close to empire's agenda, who watch (and cheerlead!) while the US and its proxies slaughter innocents and thwart the will of the people from Afghanistan to Zaporozhye.

The League of Nations (let's call a spade a spade) is dead. They have exposed themselves as an eager and unabashed tool of western supremacy and apologist for the crimes of empire. They will be discarded along with the other detritus of the old world. UNjust, UNequal, and UNwilling to break the yoke of the western paradigm, I think the organization is much worse than useless. I actually think this is the death knell for the UN, along with the IMF/EU/NATO and all the other western organizations who act in concert to try to force billions of people to believe that 2 + 2 = 5. They are the problem, and they have no solutions. As it should be-for as Eduardo Galleano gently reminded us, "it would be strange if the remedy should come from the United States, the same place which brings us the disease."

Amid the lies and distortions of a bought-and-sold press and a government propaganda machine, we can still cut through the bullshit and see the hustlers for what they are: pitchmen of a war machine hell bent on selling us more death and destruction. We all have it within us to refuse the pitch. Each of us has the ability to grasp a Michael Corleone moment, in that scene from The Godfather in Havana in 1959, when he knew instinctively that he was right and Hyman Roth was wrong. He was no fan of the revolution, but he saw that it was a bad investment when Castro's revolutionaries would rather kill themselves than be captured.

The current crisis presents many such opportunities, not the least of which are those stories and images of people stopping tanks with their own bodies. One moment of particular clarity for me came in an absolutely stunning interview by Graham Phillips of a man on the street in Kramatorsk, who condensed what it's all about in two and a half minutes for the people of East Ukraine. Eloquent, impassioned and clear, it still brings a lump to my throat.

"Furthermore, the Banderites who have now come here and want to impose their ideology on us have given us a precious gift because they have awakened for us in East Ukraine our patriotism, which had been dormant for many years.

"This happened because people had forgotten more or less who they used to be, who they had become. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to a kind of depression. People saw this event, the collapse of the Soviet Union, as a kind of natural disaster. The Soviet Union fell apart, and the rain came. People didn't understand what had happened-they were demoralized, they used to believe in their leaders.

"Now people understand that it is not necessary to believe in leaders. We don't need to believe in any Yanukovich, we don't need to believe in a Party of Regions. We need to organize ourselves by ourselves-and to remember our own history, remember our own culture. That is our foundation.

"So thank you to all the Banderites who have come into Kiev, and who have made people remember who they are, who they are in the world, and above all why they are here on this earth."

Filter this in among the ludicrous and increasingly obvious slanders about "pro Russian separatists," "pro Russian Russians" and other ill fitting and deliberately vilifying terms to synch up with the ginned-up Russophobia now polluting virtually all western airwaves. One might consider the similarly bizarre yet more honest term "pro self selves," or "pro self humans." Or simply, "People who object to being killed."

As the helicopters and missiles start flying, you can feel the desperation of a people under attack, as in this more pointed Letter from East Ukraine, from those whose grandparents fought and died to defeat fascism:

"Each Banderite scum, each rat of the National Guard and other gangs must know this: you came to our land with weapons! You've come to kill us in our land! So don't expect any mercy from us! You will find only grim death! Because you have not yet tasted Slavic-Russian anger! But it will overwhelm you in a severe, violent flame! Do you think we are afraid? We, Russians in the South-East afraid? You are very, very deeply mistaken. And not many of you will be able to understand, as few of you will get to return from the South-East.

"So ask your parents, wives, sisters, from the heart to prepare coffins for their husbands, sons and brothers. Or at least a place in the cemetery, as most of the bodies may be hard to find.

"We have nowhere to retreat and we are Russians, though for a while yet with Ukrainian passports. We are Russians, who never give up! We will defend ourselves to the last bullet, the last grenade, to our last breath! And if we die, we die for the glory of the Russian land! We will never be under the Banderite fascist scum!

Brothers, Slavs, Russians, if we perish, avenge us. Death to fascism!"

Even more astonishing, beyond geography and cultural ties, an experiment in Western Ukraine is quite eye opening. Ukranian TV in the central western town of Zhytomir sent Maidan activists posing as armed south-eastern rebels to the town center asking for directionsThey were apparently quite surprised that local residents willingly helped them - even giving details on how to avoid police checkpoints. Then they stood for a time-armed-by the local police station, and no one paid them any attention. In other words, the mask is off, and the junta is done. Massive, suppressive violence is the only way for the western puppet junta to maintain power. They will kill a good number of people, but their deaths will be avenged, and the world will be transformed. It is an amazing moment.

I often dig into my repertoire of Irish Republican songs, a wellspring of sentiment that defines moments like these, encapsulating the often vulgar determination of a people with their backs to the wall:

Go on home, British soldiers, go on home

Have you got no fucking homes of your own?

For eight hundred years we have fought you without fear

And we'll fight you for eight hundred more

A new world is arising right before our eyes, and those who still don't see it will be consigned to the dustbin of history. Are you ready? Do you hear the people sing? The heroic people of Southeast Ukraine are taking a stand for us all, on behalf of the peoples of the world and against the sick and sorry world the Washington consensus wants to sell us. It is developing and unfolding now, and we can't quite predict its course. We do, however, have the power to choose whether we want to be on the right side of history. In the words of the old gospel spiritual:

Get on board, little children

Get on board, little children

Get on board, little children

The ark is a gonna move!

Daniel Patrick Welch

 
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: 28/05/2014 @ 17:40
Fascist massacres in Ukraine: West nods from the sidelines
                                                         
                                                         
28.05.2014

Has anyone heard one word from the west after Kiev sent in its armed forces and deployed military hardware against those opposing the illegal Putsch in Eastern Ukraine? Why no, they claim that slaughtering civilians is the Kiev government's right: Kill to protect. In other words, protect people by killing them.

What was that the west was saying about Russia? You know, the bit about invading Eastern Ukraine and stirring up trouble? And what was that the west was saying about Colonel Gaddafi bombing his own people, even if he wasn't? Remember when they sent in the special forces and aircraft to protect the civilians?

Well, what is the west doing to protect the civilians in Eastern Ukraine, the victims of Fascist massacres in Mariupol, in Slaviansk, in Odessa, in Donetsk? In a word, nothing. It is looking on nonchalantly, giving the nod first to the illegal coup d'état leaders which held the fort between the ousting of President Yanukovich in February and last Sunday's election, which has placed in power some chocolate magnate called Poroshenko (Roshen Group, Bonbonetti products).
   
Poroshenko has started off in the most abrasive and idiotic way possible, underlining the fact that his emotional intelligence level must be somewhere near minus six, underlining the fact that he is in fact a NATO stooge placed in power to take Ukraine into NATO and into the European Union, whereupon he will stir up trouble with Russia because this entire show was about NATO grabbing Russia's Crimea bases, as a means to shut Russia off from the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea and encircle it by land and by sea on its western and southern flanks.

Ukraine is the only country in Europe where the military are slaughtering civilians because Kiev's rule is so popular in Eastern Ukraine that it has to be imposed by the barrel of a gun. For the west, that is cool. Russia is the one calling for peace, for mediation, for the newly-elected (?) President to speak to the Eastern Ukrainians. Kiev's response is to burn people alive in buildings, torture Russian-speaking persons to death, strangle Russian-speaking cleaning ladies with telephone wire, then slit their throats, and shell apartment buildings, shopping centres and churches.
   
Where are the words of shock and outrage from Mr. Barack Nobel Peace Prizewinner Obama, the Right Honourable Mr. David Self-Righteous Cameron and their nasty sidekicks in the State Department and Foreign and Commonwealth Office? Nowhere. Yet their silence speaks volumes about where they stand and who and what they are.

If their aim is to humiliate Russia, then let us ask the question to whom does the Crimea now belong, who retained the military bases and who wanted them but didn't get them? Sour grapes. Who has lost the civil war in Syria? And what has Russia done? Protected its assets, protected its citizens and acted responsibly. No invasion of Eastern Ukraine has taken place, Russia is the one calling for international law to be respected and peace to be implemented.

Kiev is massacring civilians. And the west is looking on, with nothing to say. How sickeningly predictable. And not one member of Congress or Parliament has a question to ask. How sickeningly predictable. Who is going to be held responsible for these massacres? Nobody. How sickeningly predictable.

So let nobody in the west for a very long time talk about the law.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Pravda.Ru

 
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: 03/07/2014 @ 09:36
The bomb pylons of the Ukrainian aircrafts SU-25 are remade under NATO standards. Not blown up shells have marking of army of the USA. The Congress of the USA can pay attention to these American bombs in Ukraine as the Pentagon reported about an expenditure of the money allocated for utilization of these old shells.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzqtFJZTW6I
   
 
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Video: Bloody interests of the USA in Ukraine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g644VCuNdV8

 
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Searches of the Malaysian Boeing-777 of the flight MH370 which was gone in March, have to be stopped. The Boeing-777 No. 9M-MRO is found in the southeast of Ukraine.      
      
 
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What Happened to the Malaysian Airliner?


July 19, 2014


by Paul Craig Roberts

Washingtons propaganda machine is in such high gear that we are in danger of losing the facts that we do have.

One fact is that the separatists do not have the expensive Buk anti-aircraft missile system or the trained personnel to operate it.

Another fact is that the separatists have no incentive to shoot down an airliner and neither does Russia. Anyone can tell the difference between low-flying attack aircraft and an airliner at 33,000 feet.

The Ukrainians do have Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, and a Buk battery was operational in the region and deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.

Just as the separatists and the Russian government have no incentive to shoot down an airliner, neither does the Ukrainian government nor, one would think, even the crazed extreme Ukrainian nationalists who have formed militias to take the fight against the separatists that the Ukrainian army is not keen to undertakeunless there was a plan to frame Russia.

One Russian general familiar with the weapon system offered his opinion that it was a mistake made by the Ukrainian military untrained in the weapons use. The general said that although Ukraine has a few of the weapons, Ukrainians have had no training in their use in the 23 years since Ukraine separated from Russia. The general thinks it was an accident due to incompetence.

This explanation makes a certain amount of sense and far more sense than Washingtons propaganda. The problem with the generals explanation is that it does not explain why the Buk anti-aircraft missile system was deployed near or in a separatist territory. The separatists have no aircraft. It seems odd for Ukraine to have an expensive missile system in an area in which it is of no military use and where the position could be overrun and captured by separatists.

As Washington, Kiev, and the presstitute media are committed to the propaganda that Putin did it, we are not going to get any reliable information from the US media. We will have to figure it out for ourselves.

One way to begin is to ask: Why was the missile system where it was? Why risk an expensive missile system by deploying it in a conflict environment in which it is of no use? Incompetence is one answer, and another is that the missile system did have an intended use.

What intended use? News reports and circumstantial evidence provide two answers. One is that the ultra-nationalist extremists intended to bring down Putins presidential airliner and confused the Malaysian airliner with the Russian airliner.

The Interfax news agency citing anonymous sources, apparently air traffic controllers, reported that the Malaysian airliner and Putins airliner were traveling almost the identical route within a few minutes of one another. Interfax quotes its source: I can say that Putins plane and the Malaysian Boeing intersected at the same point and the same echelon. That was close to Warsaw on 330-m echelon at the height of 10,100 meters. The presidential jet was there at 16:21 Moscow time and the Malaysian aircraft at 15:44 Moscow time. The contours of the aircrafts are similar, linear dimensions are also very similar, as for the coloring, at a quite remote distance they are almost identical.

I have not seen an official Russian denial, but according to news reports, the Russian government in response to the Interfax news report said that Putins presidential plane no longer flies the Ukraine route since the outbreak of hostilities.

Before we take the denial at face value, we need to be aware that the implication that Ukraine attempted to assassinate the president of Russia implies war, which Russia wants to avoid. It also implies Washingtons complicity as it is highly unlikely that Washingtons puppet in Kiev would risk such a dangerous act without Washingtons backing. The Russian government, being intelligent and rational, would obviously deny reports of an attempted assassination of the Russian president by Washington and its Kiev puppet. Otherwise, Russia has to do something about it, and that means war.

The second explanation is that the extremists who operate outside the official Ukrainian military, hatched a plot to down an airliner in order to cast the blame on Russia. If such a plot occurred, it likely originated with the CIA or some operative arm of Washington and was intended to force the EU to cease resisting Washingtons sanctions against Russia and to break off Europes valuable economic relationships with Russia. Washington is frustrated that its sanctions are unilateral, unsupported by its NATO puppets or any other countries in the world except possibly the lap-dog British PM.

There is considerable circumstantial evidence in support of this second explanation. There is the youtube video which purports to be a conversation between a Russian general and separatists who are discussing having mistakenly brought down a civilian airliner. According to reports, expert examination of the code in the video reveal that it was made the day before the airliner was hit.

Another problem with the video is that whereas we could say that separatists conceivably could confuse an airliner at 33,000 feet with a military attack plane, the Russian military would not. The only conclusion is that by involving the Russian military, the video doubly discredited itself.

The circumstantial evidence easiest for non-technical people to understand is the on cue news programs organized to put the blame on Russia prior to the knowledge of any facts.

In my previous article http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/17/sanctions-airliners-paul-craig-roberts/ I reported on the BBC news report which I heard and which was obviously primed to place all blame on Russia. The program ended with a BBC correspondent breathlessly reporting that he has just seen the youtube video and that the video is the smoking gun that proved Russia did it. There is no longer any doubt, he said. Somehow the information got on a video and on youtube before it reached the Ukrainian government or Washington.

The evidence that Putin did it is a video made prior to the attack on the airliner. The entire BBC report aired over National Public Radio was orchestrated for the sole purpose of establishing prior to any evidence that Russia was responsible.

Indeed the entire Western media spoke as one: Russia did it. And the presstitutes are still speaking the same way.

Possibly, this uniform opinion merely reflects the pavlovian training of the Western media to automatically line up with Washington. No media source wants to be subject to criticism for being unamerican or to find itself isolated by majority opinion, which carries the day, and earn black marks for being wrong. As a former journalist for, and contributor to, Americas most important news publications, I know how this works.

On the other hand, if we discount the pavlovian conditioning, the only conclusion is that the entire news cycle pertaining to the downing of the Malaysian airliner is orchestrated in order to lay the blame on Putin.

Romesh Ratnesar, deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, provides convincing evidence for orchestration in his own remarks of July 17. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-17/the-malaysia-airlines-shootdown-spells-di saster-for-putin?campaign_id=DN071814 Ratnesars opinion title is: The Malaysia Airlines Shootdown Spells Disaster for Putin. Ratnesar does not mean that Putin is being framed-up. He means that prior to Putin having the Malaysian airliner shot down, to the vast majority of Americans, Russias meddling in Ukraine has largely seemed of peripheral importance to U.S. interests. That calculus has changed. . . . It may take months, even years, but Putins recklessness is bound to catch up to him. When it does, the downing of MH 17 may be seen as the beginning of his undoing.

As a former Wall Street Journal editor, anyone who handed me a piece of shit like Ratnesar published would have been fired. Look at the insinuations when there is no evidence to support them. Look at the lie that Washingtons coup is Russias meddling in Ukraine. What we are witnessing is the total corruption of Western journalism by Washingtons imperial agenda. Journalists have to get on board with the lies or get run over.

Look around for still honest journalists. Who are they? Glenn Greenwald, who is under constant attack by his fellow journalists, all of whom are whores. Who else can you think of? Julian Assange, locked away in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London on Washingtons orders. The British puppet government wont permit free transit to Assange to take up his asylum in Ecuador. The last country that did this was the Soviet Union, which required its Hungarian puppet to keep Cardinal Mindszenty interred in the US Embassy in Budapest for 15 years from 1956 until 1971. Mindszenty was granted political asylum by the United States, but Hungary, on Soviet orders, would not honor his asylum, just as Washingtons British puppet, on Washingtons orders, will not honor Assanges asylum.

If we are honest and have the strength to face reality, we will realize that the Soviet Union did not collapse. It simply moved, along with Mao and Pol Pot, to Washington and London.

The flaw in Putins diplomacy is that Putins diplomacy relies on good will and on truth prevailing. However, the West has no good will, and Washington is not interested in truth prevailing but in Washington prevailing. What Putin confronts is not reasonable partners, but a propaganda ministry aimed at him.

I understand Putins strategy, which contrasts Russian reasonableness with Washingtons threats, but it is a risky bet. Europe has long been a part of Washington, and there are no Europeans in power who have the vision needed to separate Europe from Washington. Moreover, European leaders are paid large sums of money to serve Washington. One year out of office and Tony Blair was worth $50 million dollars.

After the disasters that Europeans have experienced, it is unlikely that European leaders think of anything other than a comfortable existence for themselves. That existence is best obtained by serving Washington. As the successful extortion of Greece by banks proves, European people are powerless.

Here is the official statement of the Russian Defense Ministry: http://www.globalresearch.ca/mh-17-crash-in-ukraine-official-statement-from-russian-defen se-ministry/5392000

Washingtons propaganda assault against Russia is a double tragedy, because it has diverted attention from Israels latest atrocity against the Palestinians locked up in the Gaza Ghetto. Israel claims that its air attack and invasion of Gaza is merely Israels attempt to find and close the alleged tunnels through which Palestinian terrorists pour into Israel inflicting carnage. Of course there are no tunnels and no terrorist carnage in Israel.

One might think that at least one journalist somewhere in the American media would ask why bombing hospitals and civilian housing closes underground tunnels into Israel. But that is too much to ask of the whores that comprise the US media.

Expect even less from the US Congress. Both the House and Senate have passed resolutions supporting Israels slaughter of Palestinians. Two Republicansthe despicable Lindsey Graham and the disappointing Rand Pauland two democratsBob Menendez and Ben Cardinsponsored the Senate resolution backing Israels premeditated murder of Palestinian women and children. The resolution passed the exceptional and indispensable peoples Senate unanimously.

As a reward for its policy of genocide, the Obama regime is immediately transferring $429 million of US taxpayers money to Israel to pay for the slaughter.

Contrast the US governments support for Israels war crimes with the propaganda onslaught against Russia based on lies. We are living all over again Saddam Husseins weapons of mass destruction, Assads use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes.

Washington has lied for so long that it cant do anything else.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

 
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