The White House "Intelligence
Assessment" Is No-Such-Thing - It Shows Support
By Moon Of
UPDATED at the end of the post
13/14, 2017 "Information
White House published three and a half pages of
accusations against the governments of Syria and
Russia. These are simple white pages with no
header or footer, no date, no classification or
declassification marks, no issuing agency and no
signatures. It is indiscernible who has written
media call this a
Declassified U.S. Report on Chemical Weapons
no such thing.
starts with "The United States is confident that
the Syrian government conducted a chemical
weapon attack, ..."
U.S. (who exactly is that?) "is confident", it
does not "know", it does not have "proof" - it
is just "confident".
whole paper contains only seven paragraphs that
are allegedly a "Summary of the U.S.
intelligence community assessment" on the issue.
The seven paragraphs are followed by eight(!)
paragraphs that try to refute the Russian and
Syrian statements on the issue. Some political
fluff makes up the sorry rest.
"intelligence community assessment" chapter
title is likely already a false claim. Even a
fast tracked, preliminary National Intelligence
Assessment, for which all seventeen U.S.
intelligence agencies must be heard,
takes at least two to three weeks
to create. A "long track" full assessment takes
two month or more. These are official documents
issued by the Director of National Intelligence.
The summary assessment the White House releases
has no such heritage. It is likely a well
massaged fast write up of some flunky in the
National Security Council. The release was
by dubious statements of an anonymous "Senior
Administration Officials" (not by "Intelligence
Officials" as has been the case on other such
claimed assessment starts with definitely wrong
or at least very misleading point: "We assess
that Damascus launched this chemical attack in
response to an opposition
offensive in Hama province that threatened key
Hama offensive had failed two weeks ago. Since
then the Syrian army has regained all areas the
al-Qaeda "opposition" had captured during the
first few days. (Al-Qaeda in Syria renamed
itself several times and now calls itself "Jabhat
Fateh Al-Sham".) Key infrastructure had never
been seriously threatened by it. Over 2,000
in the endeavor.
Lucem, a well known and reliable media source
for accurate maps of the war on Syria, posted
on March 31,
four days before the chemical incident:
MAP: "Rebel" frontline in #Hama is
collapsing, #SAA reverses most #AlQaeda
gains made in first days of their failed
attack in Hama had already failed days before
the chemical incident in Khan Shaykhun happened.
Khan Shaykhun is not on the front line. The
incident and the failed al-Qaeda attack in Hama
can not possibly be related. It makes no sense
at all to launch a militarily useless incident
in a place far away "in response" to a defeat of
the enemy elsewhere - this in a moment where the
global political and military situation had
turned in favor of the Syrian government. (The
Defense Intelligence Agency surely never signed
off on such an illogical claim.)
following paragraphs of the released paper
reveal that the assessment is largely based on a
"significant body" of "open source reporting"
which "indicates" this or that. This means that
the White House relied on pictures and videos
posted by people who are allowed to operate
freely in the al-Qaeda ruled Khan Shaykhun.
(Khan Shaikhun had been in the hands of an
Islamic State associated group Liwa Al-Aqsa
until mid February.
The group moved out after fighting al-Qaeda and
after slaughtering some 150 of
Al-Qaeda since moved in and now rules the town
and surrounding areas.)
of the released video were introduced and
commented by Dr. Shajul Islam who has been
removed from the British medical registry and
indicted in the
UK for his role in kidnapping "western"
journalists in Syria. He fled back to Syria. One
of the journalists kidnapped with the help of
Dr. Shajul Islam, James Foley, was later
murdered on camera by the Islamic State. The
videos the "doctor" distributed of "rescue" of
casualties of the chemical incidents were
not of real emergencies
but staged. Under who's conditions and
directions where the many other pictures and
taken and published? Why are no female children
or young women among the emergencies and
videos and photos are by the White Helmets
"rescuers", a U.S./UK financed
which is so "neutral" that it works with
(vid) and al-Qaeda but not in government held
areas where the actual Syrian population lives.
Hama offensive by "the opposition" was
personally planned and directed by the founder
and head of al-Qaeda in Syria al-Joliani.
of the planing sessions were published by
"opposition" agencies and widely distributed.
White House paper only talks of "the
opposition". How can there be an "intelligence
assessment" (and reporting about it) that does
not note that the incident in question took
place in an area where AL-QAEDA rules and that
the allegedly related (but defeated) offensive
was launched by AL-QAEDA. Is AL-QAEDA now
officially the "Syrian opposition" the U.S.
supports? The neoconned former General Petraeus
lobbied for an
open U.S. alliance with al-Qaeda since 2015. The
new National Security Advisor to Trump, General
McMaster, is a Petraeus protege. He, together
screwed up Iraq.
Is the Petraeus alliance now in place?
next step then will be for the U.S. to
informally ally with the Islamic State. The New
York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is already
arguing for that:
could simply back off fighting territorial
ISIS in Syria and make it entirely a problem
for Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and Assad. After
all, they’re the ones overextended in Syria,
not us. Make them fight a two-front war —
the moderate rebels on one side and ISIS on
the other. If we defeat territorial ISIS in
Syria now, we will only reduce the pressure
on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah and
enable them to devote all their resources to
crushing the last moderate rebels in Idlib,
not sharing power with them.
U.S., Friedman says, should let ISIS run free so
it can help al-Qaeda which is ruling in Idleb
governate. Friedman talks of "moderate rebels in
Idleb" but these are unicorns. They do not
exist. There is al-Qaeda and there is the
smaller Ahrar al Sham which
compares itself with the Taliban.
All other opposition fighters in Idleb have
joined these two or are now dead.
not use these gangs of sectarian mass murderers
against the Syrian government and others? Hey,
wants us to do just that.
And why don't we hand out anti-air missiles to
them, Friedman asks, and lend them air-support.
This at the same time. Surely the combination
will do well.
Syria, Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s,
Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache —
the same way we encouraged the mujahedeen
fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan.
you know, that mujahedeen thing worked out so
well that nearly forty years later the U.S. is
mulling again to
send additional troops to Afghanistan
to defeat them. Do we really want a repeat of
that at the borders of Europe?
has truly taken over the White House but even
more so the U.S. media. How can sanity be
brought back to town?
Professor emeritus at MIT Theodor Postol, a
former science adviser to U.S. Navy command and
missile expert, has analyzed the "evidence" the
White House presented. The short, preliminary
report is available
(I have verified that this is the original one.)
finds nothing in the White House assessment that
lets him believe the incident was from an air
attack. He finds signs that the incident that
was launched on the ground by intentional
exploding some container of 122mm ammunition
with some other explosives.
calls the White House assessment amateurish and
not properly vetted by competent intelligence
analysts who, Postol says, would not have signed
off on it in is current form (just as I said
presumes that the incident was with Sarin. He
makes no analysis of that White House claim (it
is not his field). I don't agree with the Sarin
claim. Many other organophosphate substances
(pesticides) would be "consistent with" the
symptoms displayed or played in the videos and
pictures. Some symptoms expected with Sarin, for
example heavy convulsions, spontaneous
defecation, are no visible in any of the videos
not concur with Postol on the picture of the
alleged impact crater of the "attack". I have
seen several "versions" of the impact crater on
social nets with different metal parts, or none,
placed in it. Postol seems to have only seen one
version. His conclusions from that version seem
right. But the crater "evidence" is tainted and
to make overall conclusions from it is not easy.
I concur though that the crater is not from an
air impact but from a ground event. I am not
sure though that it is related to the incident
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.
The Nerve Agent Attack in
Khan Shaykhun, Syria;
A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House
Intelligence Report: The document does not
provide any evidence whatsoever that the US
government has concrete knowledge that the
government of Syria was the source of the