Reprinted from consortiumnews.com by Unknown
Two dozen ex-U.S. intelligence officials urge President Trump to rethink his claims blaming the Syrian government for the chemical deaths in Idlib and to pull back from his dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)*
SUBJECT: Syria: Was It Really "A Chemical Weapons Attack"?
1 -- We write to give you an unambiguous warning of the threat of armed hostilities with Russia -- with the risk of escalation to nuclear war. The threat has grown after the cruise missile attack on Syria in retaliation for what you claimed was a "chemical weapons attack" on April 4 on Syrian civilians in southern Idlib Province.
2 -- Our U.S. Army contacts in the area have told us this is not what happened. There was no Syrian "chemical weapons attack." Instead, a Syrian aircraft bombed an al-Qaeda-in-Syria ammunition depot that turned out to be full of noxious chemicals and a strong wind blew the chemical-laden cloud over a nearby village where many consequently died.
3 -- This is what the Russians and Syrians have been saying and -- more important --what they appear to believe happened.
4 -- Do we conclude that the White House has been giving our generals dictation; that they are mouthing what they have been told to say?
5 -- After Putin persuaded Assad in 2013 to give up his chemical weapons, the U.S. Army destroyed 600 metric tons of Syria's CW stockpile in just six weeks. The mandate of the U.N.'s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW-UN) was to ensure that all were destroyed -- like the mandate for the U.N. inspectors for Iraq regarding WMD. The U.N. inspectors' findings on WMD were the truth. Rumsfeld and his generals lied and this seems to be happening again. The stakes are even higher now; the importance of a relationship of trust with Russia's leaders cannot be overstated.
6 -- In September 2013, after Putin persuaded Assad to relinquish his chemical weapons (giving Obama a way out of a tough dilemma), the Russian President wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he said: "My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this."
De'tente Nipped in the Bud