A Grim Trend of Presidential Administrations Making False Intelligence Claims

In Official Washington, words rarely mean what they say. For instance, if a U.S. government official voices “high confidence” in a supposed “intelligence assessment,” that usually means “we don’t have any real evidence, but we figure that if we say ‘high confidence’ enough that no one will dare challenge us.”

It’s also true that after a U.S. president or another senior official jumps to a conclusion that is not supported by evidence, the ranks of government careerists will close around him or her, making any serious or objective investigation almost impossible. Plus, if the dubious allegations are directed at some “enemy” state, then the mainstream media also will suppress skepticism. Prestigious “news” outlets will run “fact checks” filled with words in capital letters: “MISLEADING”; “FALSE”; or maybe “FAKE NEWS.”

Which is where things stand regarding President Trump’s rush to judgment within hours about an apparent chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib province on April 4. Despite the fact that much of the information was coming from Al Qaeda and its propaganda-savvy allies, the mainstream U.S. media rushed emotional images onto what Trump calls “the shows”—upon which he says he bases his foreign policy judgments—and he blamed Syrian President Bashar Assad for the scores of deaths, including “beautiful little babies,” as Trump declared.

Given the neocon/liberal-interventionist domination of Official Washington’s foreign policy—and the professional Western propaganda shops working for Assad’s overthrow—there was virtually no pushback against the quick formulation of this new groupthink. All the predictable players played their predictable parts, from The New York Times to CNN to the Atlantic Council-related Bellingcat and its “citizen journalists.”

All the Important People who appeared on the TV shows or who were quoted in the mainstream media trusted the images provided by Al Qaeda-related propagandists and ignored documented prior cases in which the Syrian rebels staged chemical weapons incidents to implicate the Assad government.

‘We All Know’

One smug CNN commentator pontificated, “we all know what happened in 2013,” a reference to the enduring conventional wisdom that an Aug. 21, 2013, sarin attack outside Damascus was carried out by the Assad government and that President Obama then failed to enforce his “red line” against chemical weapons use. This beloved groupthink survives even though evidence later showed the operation was carried out by rebels, most likely by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front with help from Turkish intelligence, as investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported and brave Turkish officials later confirmed.

But Official Washington’s resistance to reality was perhaps best demonstrated one year ago when The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg published a detailed article about Obama’s foreign policy that repeated the groupthink about Obama shrinking from his “red line” but included the disclosure that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had informed the president that U.S. intelligence lacked any “slam dunk” evidence that Assad’s military was guilty.

One might normally think that such a warning from DNI Clapper would have spared Obama from the media’s judgment that he had chickened out, especially given the later evidence pointing the finger of blame at the rebels. After all, why should Obama have attacked the Syrian military and killed large numbers of soldiers and possibly civilians in retaliation for a crime that they had nothing to do with—and indeed an offense for which the Assad government was being framed? But Official Washington’s propaganda bubble is impervious to inconvenient reality.

Nor does anyone seem to know that a United Nations report disclosed testimonies from eyewitnesses about how rebels and their allied “rescue workers” had staged one “chlorine attack” so it would be blamed on the Assad government. Besides these Syrians coming forward to expose the fraud, the evidence that had been advanced to “prove” Assad’s guilt included bizarre claims from the rebels and their friends that they could tell that chlorine was inside a “barrel bomb” because of the special sound that it made while it was descending.

Despite the exposure of that one frame-up, the U.N. investigators—under intense pressure from Western governments to give them something to pin on the Assad regime—accepted rebel claims about two other alleged chlorine attacks, an implausible finding that is now repeatedly cited by the Western media even as it ignores the case of the debunked “chlorine attack.” Again, one might think that proof of two staged chemical weapons attacks—one involving sarin and the other chlorine—would inject some skepticism about the April 4 case, but apparently not.

All that was left was for President Trump to “act presidential” and fire off 59 Tomahawk missiles at some Syrian airbase on April 6, reportedly killing several Syrian soldiers and nine civilians, including four children, collateral damage that the mainstream U.S. media knows not to mention in its hosannas of praise for Trump’s decisiveness.

Home-Free Groupthink

There might be some pockets of resistance to the groupthink among professional analysts at the CIA, but their findings—if they contradict what the President has already done—will be locked away probably for generations if not forever.

In other words, the new Assad-did-it groupthink appeared to be home free, a certainty that The New York Times could now publish without having to add annoying words like “alleged” or “possibly,” simply stating Assad’s guilt as flat-fact.

Thomas L. Friedman, the Times’ star foreign policy columnist, did that and then extrapolated from his certainty to propose that the U.S. should ally itself with the jihadists fighting to overthrow Assad, a position long favored by U.S. “allies,” Saudi Arabia and Israel.a

“Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria?” Friedman asked before proposing outright support for the jihadists: “We could dramatically increase our military aid to anti-Assad rebels, giving them sufficient anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to threaten Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian helicopters and fighter jets and make them bleed, maybe enough to want to open negotiations. Fine with me.”

So, not only have the mainstream U.S. media stars decided that they know what happen on April 4 in a remote Al Qaeda-controlled section of Idlib province (without seeing any real evidence), but they are now building off their groupthink to propose that the Trump administration hand out antiaircraft missiles to the “anti-Assad rebels” who, in reality, are under the command of Al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State.

In other words, Friedman and other deep thinkers are advocating material support for terrorists who would get sophisticated American ground-to-air missiles that could shoot down Russian planes thus exacerbating already dangerous U.S.-Russian tensions or take down some civilian airliner as Al Qaeda has done in the past. If someone named Abdul had made such a suggestion, he could expect a knock on his door from the FBI.

Expert Skepticism

Yet, before President Trump takes Friedman’s advice – arming up Al Qaeda and entering into a de facto alliance with Islamic State – we might want to make sure that we aren’t being taken in again by a clever Al Qaeda psychological operation, another staged chemical weapons attack.

With the U.S. intelligence community effectively silenced by the fact that the president has already acted, Theodore Postol, a technology and national security expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, undertook his own review of the supposed evidence cited by Trump’s White House to issue a four-page “intelligence assessment” on April 11 asserting with “high confidence” that Assad’s military delivered a bomb filled with sarin on the town of Khan Sheikdoun on the morning of April 4.

Trump Elect Is Bangin’

Trump Breaks a Record, that’s totally bad news

April 13, New YorkIn response to the Trump administration dropping the 21,600-pound GBU-43/B bomb in Afghanistan, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

Not even 100 days into its term, the Trump administration has rapidly expanded and intensified the already-extensive U.S. military interventions around the world, by engaging in a widespread and destructive multi-country bombing campaign with questionable, and in some cases nil, legal authorization.

Among dangerous other military escalations, his administration conducted a raid in Yemen that left nine children and one U.S. Navy SEAL dead, airstrikes in Syria and Iraq that have resulted in more than a thousand civilian deaths, and today, for the first time in history, dropped the largest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal on targets in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on the border of Pakistan.

This is all happening as the Trump administration has loosened regulations designed to limit civilian casualties, while engaging in dangerous saber-rattling around the nuclear arsenal.

While the purported legal authorization for some of these military engagements is outdated and questionable, others, such as strikes in Syria, are clearly without legal authority under U.S. law, and, despite the adrenaline-like appeal to hypocrites and hawks in the Beltway, they also likely violate international law.

The Trump administration – undeterred by law and unconcerned with human suffering – is setting the world on a destructive course of escalating war, death and destruction. We call on the people to demand an end to this dangerous further slide into endless, unconstrained militarism that he and his generals are playing out like an incoherent game across the globe, and further call on the media and the courts to expose the illegality of his actions.

Grateful Syrians React To Trump Strike: ‘I’ll Name My Son Donald’

 

Daily Wire

On Thursday night, President Donald Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles into a Syrian airfield in response to Bashar al-Assad’s gruesome chemical weapons attack on his own people earlier this week.

The Main Reason for the Next Gaza War

For elite military men there’s apparently no greater blow than the cancellation of a mission they’re primed to carry out. This adolescent/psychopathic  frustration, whether of a current or former officer, can determine the fate of millions

Apr 09, 2017.haaretz

On June 19, 1972, the Sayaret Matkal special operations unit set out on a mission beyond the Lebanese border, where a group of senior Syrian officers was scheduled to tour. Prime Minister Golda Meir had approved Operation Argaz and the unit infiltrating enemy lines in the dead of night to kidnap the officers, who could be used as bargaining chips.

The commander, Ehud Barak, headed the main ambush force with Uzi Dayan, while Benjamin Netanyahu commanded the blocking force. But soon enough the mission was called off; Chief of General Staff David Elazar feared that the force would be detected by the Land Rover accompanying the Syrians, so he ordered a withdrawal.

A Hebrew-language biography of Barak, “Wars of My Life,” portrays the cancellation of the mission as one of the hardest times in the decorated soldier’s life. Barak lost it; he lashed out at Elazar, saying the chief of staff hadn’t understood the situation in the field and ignored that Netanyahu’s force could have taken out the Syrian vehicle.

Netanyahu also reacted impulsively, deciding on the spot to forgo his plan to extend his service. Instead, he left the army some time later and flew off to study at MIT.

Anyone who hasn’t served in an elite unit in the Israel Defense Forces might find it hard to understand the extreme reactions by these two future Israeli prime ministers. Only a month earlier both were part of the successful seizure and rescue of a hijacked Sabena airliner, after which they were lauded as heroes. Moreover, only a few days later, there was another opportunity and the Syrians actually were snatched.

Image result for israelis watch gaza war from hilltop

Only in Israel: zionist squatters watching the bombs drop on Palestinian babies: morality of a people so skewed that murder is a public spectacle. An astonishing thing to see in this day and age!

But for elite military men, there’s apparently no greater blow than the cancellation of a mission they were primed to carry out. It’s hard not to conclude that this irrepressible drive to act is what led Barak, when he was chief of staff, to plan a grandiose scheme to eliminate Saddam Hussein that ended with the Tze’elim B training disaster that took five soldiers’ lives. Apparently that same appetite for risk is what led him to push enthusiastically as defense minister for an attack on Iran, which fortunately didn’t happen.

Barak and Netanyahu are just examples; this drive is also evident in the biographies of Ariel Sharon, Moshe Dayan and other Israeli leaders, especially those who served in elite army units. Unfortunately, this kind of adolescent/psychopathic  frustration can determine the fate of millions.

It’s an old legacy of the IDF, perhaps from the days in the 1930s of Orde Wingate, the adventurous and disturbed British warrior who for some reason is admired by Israeli defense officials. Wingate, who was described by a colleague, British officer Wilfred Thesiger, as arrogant, unruly and contemptuous of authority, was the man who laid the foundations of the IDF’s combat doctrine.

This emotional apparatus is worth remembering these days when the Gaza border may be heating up. Military reporters are once again explaining that “the next round” is only a matter of time; once again, a few thousand Palestinians and a few dozen Israelis will be killed. Then they’ll tell us that the attack was unpreventable.

But particularly now, and throughout the spring and summer, it’s important to remember that someone is eager to release the safety catch and carry out the action for which he has trained for weeks or months. Some ambitious officer – in uniform or in civilian clothes – is yearning to do battle, show his excellence or maybe make up for some past failure. He’s convinced that this time he’ll do better.

This isn’t speculation. It’s a recurring theme in the biographies of such people.

Zio US strikes had been prepared before the chemical attack

Assad chem weapons attack assertion was not even investigated before the US strike against Syria so that evidence could not prevent the US air strike.  This is the PNAC path to WW3

Trump is now officially zombified as his predecessors, no one has to wonder anymore:

“I will tell you it’s already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much,” Trump said.
“When you kill innocent children — innocent babies — babies — little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line, many, many lines,” Trump said.

Osama Bin-Laden, CIA asset did the incredible 911, Saddam had WMS that were never found, and Obama killed Osama Bin Laden long after his real death.

Breaking: Thousands of Saudi-Backed Terrorists Ready to Enter Syria via Border with Jordan

Jordan Closes Border to Saudi-Backed Militants in Syria, Forces Wounded Terrorists to Go to Israel 
Terrorists Launch Coup in Southern Syria, Defeated Commander Escapes to Jordan 
Jordan’s Army Prevents Humanitarian Aids from Approaching Syrian Refugees 
Syria-Bound US Arms Cargos Found in Jordan’s Black Market 

Washington is Lying.
The Media is Lying.

Both Trump and Obama have blood on their hands. The Chemical Weapons Attack is being used as a “False Flag”, a pretext and a justification to wage an illegal war of aggression. 

The United Nations in a 2013 report confirms that Syrian opposition “rebels” (supported by Washington) “may have used chemical weapons against [Syrian] government forces.”

The UN report refutes Washington’s allegations that the government of Bashar al Assad was using chemical weapons against his own people. 

What the UN mission findings confirm is that the US sponsored opposition “rebels” largely composed of Al Qaeda affiliated groups, financed and supported by the Western military alliance were responsible for these 2013 chemical weapons attacks.

Moreover, as confirmed in an earlier report, the Al Qaeda rebels were being trained in the use of chemical weapons by specialists on contract to the Pentagon.

Washington (which supports the opposition rebels in the use of chemical weapons) rather than Damascus is responsible for extensive crimes against humanity.*

….

If you follow the social media account of Syrian rebels and their media people, they make claims of chemical weapons attack almost weekly (and some times more frequently) and sometimes they say that there were an attack by chemical weapons but only one was killed from it. Like this one from yesterday: how come this didn’t get media attention and how come it did not result in US missile strike? How come?

Gaza: Israel seeks to ‘drag Hamas into war’

“When Israel talks peace, we store food and water.”

Come little friends, let’s make peace!

Gaza Strip One week since the assassination of Hamas senior activist Mazen Faqha, the prevailing mood in Gaza is one of uncertainty and fear of another Israeli onslaught.

“Many people here regard a fourth Israeli war [on Gaza] as inevitable – a matter of when, not if,” said Moutasem al-Haddad, a shop owner in Gaza’s lively al-Rimal street.

Faqha was a former detainee who was freed in the 2011 Shalit prisoner swap deal and exiled to the Gaza Strip. Israel has repeatedly charged him with leading Hamas’ efforts to reestablish an armed presence for the Gaza-based movement in the occupied West Bank.

He was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in front of an apartment building where he lived in Gaza City’s southern Tel al-Hawa suburb late on Friday night. The operation was unusual in both tactics and location. It left people in the Strip in a state of shock and dismay.

“The past few days remind me of the days in 2014, before the third war [on Gaza] started,” said Sobhiya al-Areer, a Palestinian woman whose son was killed and house destroyed in the 2014 Israeli assault on the Strip. Areer has only recently relocated from a rented apartment to her newly rebuilt house in Shujayea, while her sons remain displaced, waiting for their turn in the sluggish reconstruction process.

The Israeli army regularly opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border areas

“As a mother who lost a son in the war I felt the pain of losing Faqha more than anyone,” Areer said. Still, she fears what a new war may bring to her family. “I still have nightmares whenever the [talk of] war is brought up,” she told Al Jazeera.

READ MORE: ‘Strong evidence’ of Israeli war crimes in Gaza

Faqha’s shooters remain on the run while security apparatuses in Gaza try to decode the murder. Since the assassination, checkpoints were erected along key streets in the Strip and police presence has intensified. Restrictions were imposed by the Interior Ministry on the movement of people through the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing between Gaza and Israel.

“The professional style of this operation, and the tools that the assassins used, indicate that a sophisticated enemy was behind it,” Iyad al-Bozum, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, told Al Jazeera, naming Israel as the most likely culprit. “Investigations are still ongoing, however,” he added.

Al-Bozum’s intuition is shared widely among people in the Strip. “There is no doubt regarding who is behind this operation, it’s the [Israeli] occupation,” Mohammed Azzam, a local Palestinian journalist, told Al Jazeera.

Shortly following the assassination, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, pinned the assassination on Israel and vowed to retaliate. “We say clearly that the Israeli occupation is fully responsible for this crime and bears its consequences,” the Brigades said in a press statement on Friday. “The occupation will pay a heavy price for this crime,” the statement continued.

So far, there has been no official Israeli comment over Faqha’s death. Still, the heated rhetoric and the intense buzzing of Israeli drones over Gaza leave little room for people in the Strip to feel at ease.

As the majority of people in Gaza anguish over the prospects of a new war and how it could exacerbate the calamitous situation in the Strip, others fear that the situation per se might lead to war.

A report by Israel’s State Comptroller Joseph Shapira a month ago criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet for ignoring warnings by Israeli security services regarding the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and its consequences for Israel.

READ MORE: Israel’s cabinet ‘ignored warnings’ over 2014 Gaza war

Nearly three years after the last onslaught, fewer than half the international funds pledged for Gaza reconstruction have been disbursed.

Further, being under Israeli blockade for over a decade, Gaza remains gripped by a myriad of crises.

Severe water and electricity deficiencies compound a situation where food insecurity prevails and health services are on a limp. Meanwhile, the unsettling socioeconomic situation continues to deteriorate as the Strip, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, faces staggering unemployment rates.

Israel, according to political science student Abdullah Sabra, is once again overlooking the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, pushing residents to the point where they have little to lose. “They are doing the same thing, again!” Sabra told Al Jazeera.

Eid Musleh, a Palestinian expert on Israeli affairs, confirms Sabra’s worries and says that the assassination signals that Israel is ready to engage in a new war on Gaza.

“The timing of the assassination which followed the ascension of a new Hamas leadership implies an Israeli attempt to drag Hamas to a new confrontation,” he told Al Jazeera.

He pointed out recent Israeli military drills near the Gaza borders, which, Eid says, sends a message to Hamas that Israel is “ready for war”.

On the contrary, Ibrahim al-Madhoun, manager of the Gaza-based Future Political Studies Institute, sees that the nature of the assassination indicates an Israeli attempt to distance itself from the operation. “They are not willing to bear the consequences, hence the complex nature of this assassination and the Israeli silence that followed it,” he told Al Jazeera. “They want to drag the resistance into a war of attrition where they can pay a very little price.”

However, both Musleh and al-Madhoun agree that Hamas’ reaction cannot be foreseen.

Meanwhile, uncertainty remains high, as well as the chance for miscalculated moves on either side of the border. “Hamas is caught between a rock and a hard place,” Gaza-based analyst Adnan Abu Amer told Al Jazeera.

“A retaliation is bound to start a war, and absence of retaliation will encourage Israel to go further and carry out more assassinations.”