Busted: White House Syria Report Obviously False (updated/video)

Professor Theodore Postol

An emeritus MIT professor who challenged the 2013 claims of a chemical attack in Syria is now questioning the Trump administration’s narrative blaming the Assad government for the April 4 attack in the Idlib province town of Khan Sheikhoun.

On Tuesday, the White House released a declassified intelligence brief accusing Syrian President Bashar Assad of ordering and organizing the attack, in which Syrian planes allegedly dropped chemical ordnance on civilians in the rebel-held town.

The report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft,” wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Theodore Postol, who reviewed it and put together a 14-page assessment, which he provided to RT on Wednesday.

“I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that 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 chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun,” wrote Postol.

A chemical attack with a nerve agent did occur, he said, but the available evidence does not support the US government’s conclusions.

“I have only had a few hours to quickly review the alleged White House intelligence report. But a quick perusal shows without a lot of analysis that this report cannot be correct,” Postol wrote.

It is “very clear who planned this attack, who authorized this attack and who conducted this attack itself,” Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, White House spokesman Sean Spicer also said that doubting the evidence would be “doubting the entire international reporting crew documenting this.”

The report offered by the White House, however, cited “a wide body of open-source material” and “social media accounts” from the rebel-held area, including footage provided by the White Helmets rescue group documented to have ties with jihadist rebels, Western and Gulf Arab governments.

Postol was not convinced by such evidence.

“Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real,” he wrote. “No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.”

Instead, “the most plausible conclusion is that the sarin was dispensed by an improvised dispersal device made from a 122mm section of rocket tube filled with sarin and capped on both sides.”

“We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report,” he concluded, recalling the 2013 situation when the Obama administration claimed Assad had used chemical weapons against the rebels in Ghouta, near Damascus.

“What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true,” Postol wrote, “and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.”

On Tuesday, Russian General Staff spokesman Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoy questioned the “authenticity” of media reports concerning the attack. He said that using social media to reconstruct the course of events raised “serious doubts” not only among the Russian military but also “among many respected experts and organizations.”

Rudskoy noted that, under the 2013 agreement to give up its chemical weapons, the Syrian government destroyed its stockpiles at 10 sites that were under its control. This was verified by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). However, the remaining two facilities were in territory controlled by the rebels, he said, and it remains unclear what happened to the chemicals stored there.


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  1. Congratulations Mr. Duff on your unblemished record, even I was drinking some Turnip flavored Kool-Aid for a while. But the Chump is everything you said he was and worse. He’s walking around with a smirk on his face now like the cat that swallowed the canary. Hopefully somebody will be able to wipe it off. LaRouche PAC ran a piece in the same vein as your commentary: “LPAC Statement on Syria bombing: Fraud Against the President; Fraud Against the Nation.” Looks like everyone’s trying to give these guys an out but in all honesty how could anybody really believe that a grown man, let alone a general, would believe Assad would use banned chemical weapons on civilians in a war he already had won? No I think firing squads are in order for these guys. I know some of them are your friends. You don’t have to shoot them. I will.

  2. When you have former discredited “leaders” of both GOP and Dem party (like Howard D) trotted out to support a story, you know that the story is false and they are desperate. It’s remarkable that Tulsi Gabbard has found herself in the same corner as the GOP gentlemen from Kentucky, just by telling the truth. So what’s going on? I think some people are trying to stop the Audit the Fed bills. Otherwise, why is Robert Rubin whining in the OpEd pages of New York mag lately?

    • Sorry, Jim, I’m glad I returned, as I usually don’t… I thought you knew about the goings-on with the bills, and the timing of Robert Rubin’s OpEd yesterday struck me as relevant. It was NYT, not New York mag. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/opinion/dont-politicize-the-federal-reserve.html. I don’t forget that it was Robert Rubin, while Treasury Sec, along with Gerald Ford, who helped their buddy Sandy Weill destroy Glass-Steagall in 1999 to make Citigroup the world’s biggest bank. Weill bragged about it at first. Here’s another tidbit from another NYT article about Weill back then: “On another wall hangs a hunk of wood — at least 4 feet wide — etched with his portrait and the words “The Shatterer of Glass-Steagall.” ” That all led straight to the 2008 crash.

    • Short comments make it hard to spell out everything explicitly. So I will spell it out. Fireworks on the international stage often are used to hide domestic issues that we are not supposed to notice. And to me, the timing of the OpEd is a clue to the most pressing issue. I am not trying to distract from the seriousness of the disclosures above, far from it. I am just looking at possible motives of the Admin.

  3. War (CW) crime was committed…but the west maintained a squeaky clean appearance and always arms length, to have plausible denial. Little was needed…the press liked being a prostitute, better than investigation that could put them at risk of retaliation.

    Fast forward. Now we have the US and Israel involved deeply with the “good rebels” supplying them even Stinger missiles so we can assume they would repeat a very successful prior operation against Iran. That suggests that the US and Israel have and are stocking ISIS and instructing them just like they did Saddam…but not only to attack Assad…to attack Iran again. They are training ISIS…..mixing CW and conventional weapons….and the US MSM will be silent…just like before.

    Assad probably got lucky with his conventional bombing of the ISIS weapons depot and hit the joint CW “training” operation. Something has pissed off the top warmongers, clearly more than just hitting a few terrorists

  4. Oh, shall I write a confidential report about the know liars in White House, CoL and Rome ? Maybe someone believes this BS if it goes the secret ways up through the chain of command…

    • Reagan papers revealed that the US and Israel supplied components and “training” to Saddam Hussein’s weapons program and instructed him to co-mingle the chemical weapons with conventional weapons so while quite damaging, are nearly indistinguishable from the other devastation. He did as instructed in a long war against Iran, killing 100,000 Iranians. The papers further revealed a very active dis-information campaign that eliminated the Iranian complaints about the CW on the world stage media. Israel loved him for fighting their war.

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