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Friday, July 7, 2017

Seymour Hersh exposes Russian & Syrian lies about sarin attack

In Sincerely yours, Theodore A. Postol I was debunking another very different theory of how Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian supporters weren't behind the sarin murders of close to a hundred people in Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April 2017.

Dr. Ted said that jihadist terrorists set off a sarin pipe bomb in the middle of the street. He said they staged it as a "false flag" attack while a Syrian war plane was overhead, however he did agree with just about every other investigation, including now the OPCW, on one important point - that there was a chemical attack. Hersh denies even this! Postol said in his initial report
The only indisputable facts stated in the White House report is the claim that a chemical attack using nerve agent occurred in Khan Shaykhun, Syria on that morning.
Now Hersh and his supporters dispute what even Ted Postol found indisputable! We've come a long way in two months. What's the saying?: "Like it never even happened!" 

While Postol agreed that there had been nerve agent murders that morning, he took the responsibility away from the Assad regime and put it on some unnamed actors. This was good enough for the Assad supporters, and for a while Postol's theory was all the rage. They couldn't stop talking about his impressive credentials, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and they couldn't stop complaining about how the MSM was suppressing his exposure of the "truth."

At the time, it wasn't a problem that Postol's "who didn't dun it" completely contradicted Hersh's, but it was a big problem that it contradicted the official line from Moscow and Damascus. He tried to fix this in later revisions of his theory, but not before I pointed them out. This is what I wrote about Russian and Syrian explanation for the deaths in that critique of Postol:

Both the Russians and the Assad regime have had a consistent story about how civilians in Khan Sheikhoun died of chemical poisoning and they have been sticking to it. According to them, the Syrian air force bombed a jihadist chemical weapons storage facility in a civilian neighborhood and that is what caused the chemical deaths. It was the terrorist's sarin. Although they have never once used it in battle, we are told to believe they had it stockpiled in a warehouse waiting to be released by a Syrian air force bomb.

On the day of the attack, 4 April 2017, Russia Today reported:
The Syrian Air Force has destroyed a warehouse in Idlib province where chemical weapons were being produced and stockpiled before being shipped to Iraq, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The strike, which was launched midday Tuesday, targeted a major rebel ammunition depot east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.
The next day Sputnik News repeated the same story:
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Syrian aircraft have conducted an airstrike near the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib province on the warehouse of terrorists’ ammunition and the mass of military equipment, where chemical weapons' ammunition had also been stored and delivered to Iraq, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday.

According to Konashenkov, on Tuesday "from 11.30 to 12.30, local time, [8.30 to 9.30 GMT] Syrian aircraft conducted an airstrike in the eastern outskirts of Khan Shaykhun on a large warehouse of ammunition of terrorists and the mass of military equipment".

Konashenkov said that from this warehouse, chemical weapons' ammunition was delivered to Iraq by militants.

Konashenkov added that there were workshops for manufacturing bombs, stuffed with poisonous substances, on the territory of this warehouse.
On the day after that, 6 April 2017, the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in a press conference in Damascus @6:20:
"The first air raid conducted by the Syrian army was at 11:30 of that day and it attacked an army depot that belongs to al Nusra Front which contains chemical weapons. The evidence is that army depot is actually monitored by cctv and had that raid actually happened the damage would have reached a circle about with 1 km diameter. al Nusra Front and ISIS and other organizations continue to store chemical weapons in urban and residential areas."
And in case anybody thought they were changing their story, they repeated it again more than a week after the attack. Sputnik News stated 12 April 2017:
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia stands by its assertion that the Syrian forces struck a militant chemical weapons production facility on April 4, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.
"According to our absolutely reliable information, the point at issue are Syrian Arab Republic air force's Su-22 airstrikes on a site controlled by terrorists where chemicals were produced," Ryabkov told reporters.
Now comes the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour M. Hersh with a story to tell about what really happened, based on a high level secret source that knows all, and in doing so he exposes the lies told above by the Russians and Syrians.  According Hersh's source:
The Syrian target at Khan Sheikhoun, as shared with the Americans at Doha, was depicted as a two-story cinder-block building in the northern part of town. Russian intelligence, which is shared when necessary with Syria and the U.S. as part of their joint fight against jihadist groups, had established that a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders was to take place in the building, including representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra. The two groups had recently joined forces, and controlled the town and surrounding area. Russian intelligence depicted the cinder-block building as a command and control center that housed a grocery and other commercial premises on its ground floor with other essential shops nearby, including a fabric shop and an electronics store.
Well, if that were true why didn't they just say that in the first place? Why make up stories about "a warehouse in Idlib province where chemical weapons were being produced and stockpiled?" Why did they leave out the part about a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders that needed to be dealt with, and why take responsibility for knowingly bombing chemical weapons stores, something the US took pains to avoid in its retaliatory strike against Shayrat airfield?

Even if it wasn't Assad regime sarin, if they knew it was being stored in a civilian area [which Shayrat airfield was not] and they bombed it anyway, most moral people would still hold them partly responsible for the civilian deaths that resulted, but if it was just insecticide and disinfectants in the basement, no blame, no foul.

Its like if Hersh is right, their cover story actually makes them more culpable than the truth. Why did they make up lies that make themselves look worst?

And why did they lie about the little things?

The Syrian FM said the bombing started at 11:30.  Thanks to Seymour's secret source we know different:
The target was struck at 6:55 a.m. on April 4, just before midnight in Washington. A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground. According to intelligence estimates, the senior adviser said, the strike itself killed up to four jihadist leaders, and an unknown number of drivers and security aides.
There has also been a massive conspiracy to misidentify the attacking aircraft as a SU-22, and judging from the statement above, the Russians are a part of it! Thanks to Seymour's secret source we know the truth:
The intelligence made clear that a Syrian Air Force SU-24 fighter bomber had used a conventional weapon to hit its target: There had been no chemical warhead.
And no SU--22 according to Hersh; or could he be wrong both about the plane and what it dropped?

Since we can depend on an investigative reporter with a Pulitzer Prize to give us the facts, its hard to understand why the Syrians and the Russians led with a pack of lies, especially since those in the know, on both sides, already knew the real mission, according to Seymour Hersh's secret source:
Russian and Syrian intelligence officials, who coordinate operations closely with the American command posts, made it clear that the planned strike on Khan Sheikhoun was special because of the high-value target. “It was a red-hot change. The mission was out of the ordinary – scrub the sked,” the senior adviser told me. “Every operations officer in the region" – in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, CIA and NSA – “had to know there was something going on."
Russian and Syrian intelligence officials, the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, CIA and NSA all knew "that there was no chemical attack," according to Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh. What must they all have been thinking when both the Russians and the Syrians came out with a pack of lies that makes them look worst than the truth according to Hersh?

See also:
Sy Hersh's incredible secret source
Syria, Seymour Hersh and the Sarin denialists

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

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Click here for a list of my other blogs on Libya

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