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Reprinted from downwithtyranny.blogspot.com
"I think this attack that we've experienced is a form of war, a form of war on our fundamental democratic principles," [Rep. Bonnie Watson] Coleman [D-N.J.] said during a hearing this week at the House Homeland Security Committee. ..."I actually think that their engagement was an act of war, an act of hybrid warfare, and I think that's why the American people should be concerned about it," said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). ...
"This past election, our country was attacked. We were attacked by Russia," said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). ...
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's ranking member, has similarly described the election meddling as an "attack" and likened it to the United States' "political Pearl Harbor."
"Political Pearl Harbor"?
Just two days after news broke of an alleged poison-gas attack in northern Syria, President Trump brushed aside advice from some U.S. intelligence analysts doubting the Syrian regime's guilt and launched a lethal retaliatory missile strike against a Syrian airfield.
Trump immediately won plaudits from Official Washington, especially from neoconservatives who have been trying to wrestle control of his foreign policy away from his nationalist and personal advisers since the days after his surprise victory on Nov. 8.
There is also an internal dispute over the intelligence. On Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a "high degree of confidence" that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.
But a number of intelligence sources have made contradictory assessments, saying the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid.
I've run across these counter-assessments in several unconnected places (places that don't quote each other or depend on a common source). Again, the counter-assessments are either that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels launched a "false flag" attack for reasons that will be detailed below, or that they stored poison gas at a facility that was bombed using conventional weapons by either the Russians or the Syrians (perhaps by the plane whose flight path the Pentagon has been showing, or perhaps not).
One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek "regime change" in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.
The source said the Trump national security team split between the President's close personal advisers, such as nationalist firebrand Steve Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, on one side and old-line neocons who have regrouped under National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army general who was a prote'ge' of neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus.
In this telling, the earlier ouster of retired Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and this week's removal of Bannon from the National Security Council were key steps in the reassertion of neocon influence inside the Trump presidency. ...
Though Bannon and Kushner are often presented as rivals, the source said, they shared the belief that Trump should tell the truth about Syria, revealing the Obama administration's CIA analysis that a fatal sarin gas attack in 2013 was a "false-flag" operation intended to sucker President Obama into fully joining the Syrian war on the side of the rebels -- and the intelligence analysts' similar beliefs about Tuesday's incident.
There's an interesting section that examines Assad's reasons for
In both cases -- 2013 and 2017 -- there were strong reasons to doubt Assad's responsibility. In 2013, he had just invited United Nations inspectors into Syria to investigate cases of alleged rebel use of chemical weapons and thus it made no sense that he would launch a sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs, guaranteeing that the U.N. inspectors would be diverted to that case.
Similarly, now, Assad's military has gained a decisive advantage over the rebels and he had just scored a major diplomatic victory with the Trump administration's announcement that the U.S. was no longer seeking regime change" in Syria. The savvy Assad would know that a chemical weapon attack now would likely result in U.S. retaliation and jeopardize the gains that his military has achieved with Russian and Iranian help.
Remember, Assad may be brutal -- frankly, most of these people, the ones we "like" and the ones we don't -- are brutal. But he didn't survive this long by being stupid.
Alarm within the U.S. intelligence community about Trump's hasty decision to attack Syria reverberated from the Middle East back to Washington, where former CIA officer Philip Giraldi reported hearing from his intelligence contacts in the field that they were shocked at how the new poison-gas story was being distorted by Trump and the mainstream U.S. news media.
Giraldi told Scott Horton's Webcast: "I'm hearing from sources on the ground in the Middle East, people who are intimately familiar with the intelligence that is available who are saying that the essential narrative that we're all hearing about the Syrian government or the Russians using chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a sham."
Giraldi said his sources were more in line with an analysis postulating an accidental release of the poison gas after an Al Qaeda arms depot was hit by a Russian airstrike.
I'll send you to the article for the rest. There's actually quite a bit more, and Parry does a good job. But do note two things -- the assertion that Obama knew that the 2013 sarin attack was a false flag operation (i.e., that Assad didn't do that one either; here's the link again), and the assertion that McMaster, a prote'ge' of David Patraeus, is the "tip of the spear" for neocon control of Trump's foreign policy.
Donald Trump's decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened.
There are members of the U.S. military who were aware this strike would occur and it was recorded. There is a film record. At least the Defense Intelligence Agency knows that this was not a chemical weapon attack. In fact, Syrian military chemical weapons were destroyed with the help of Russia.
- The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
- The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
- The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
- There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.
- We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called "first responders" handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through "Live Agent" training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.
This is Gulf of Tonkin 2.