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12 March 2016

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jag pop

Hype

turcopolier

jag pop

"Hype?" What in this is "hype? pl

ex-PFC Chuck

Might it be possible to discover the supply chain(s) through which the ISIS CW group obtained its ingredients?

DC

The Colonel's inference re 2013 is an angle I was looking for as I read several articles on this chemical weapons issue. Interestingly, none of the articles made this connection. The source(s) must have failed to mention it to the journalists, expecting someone else to imply wrongdoing by ISIS in 2013 as well as war-mongering bureaucrats within the U.S.

ToivoS

The Goldberg article in the Atlantic revealed some new information relevant to this Ghouta sarin attack. Clapper is reported to have briefed Obama the day before he announced his decision to cancel the bombing campaign against Syria: he told the president that the intelligence implicating Assad in the attack was no "slam dunk". Given the provenance of that term we can conclude Clapper was telling Obama that the whole story was total bull shit.

Old Microbiologist

I have said it before and I will repeat it. The data from on site analysis using GC/MS gives a precise fingerprint of the agent in question. This provides extremely accurate data and a fingerprint of the agent used. I commanded the 10th Medical Laboratory and was the Chief Microbiologist of the TAML and we had this capability to do real time analysis at the site of the attack. None of this data has been released. I find that alarming and it points to the US blaming Syria for something they didn't do. Here we seem to go again.

LeaNder

"it points to the US blaming Syria for something they didn't do. ..."

The US, or lazy members of the Fourth Estate? OM?

Assuming of course, it may make sense occasionally to not publish sensitive information. Although, more seriously, I never looked too closely into matters.

But yes, it seemed to be received wisdom, case closed, guilty party found, not necessary to verbally modify allusions in context, like e.g. via "assumed".

Personally I am a nitwit on matters, but somewhat doubted that Assad would be crazy enough to overstep Obama's Red Line. ... In other words not much to rely on, considering this nitwit.

bth

This small town, Taza, was where my son was killed in 2003 along that wretched canal. It was also the sight of chemical attacks under Saddam years ago which had targeted the Kurds. Turkish government is reporting that the chemicals being processed for this attack by ISIS were at Mosul University. Taza was also the sight of some of the largest truck bombings in Iraq which targeted Shia a half decade ago. Turks are claiming that their population set was targeted this time by ISIS. Farmland, water and oil all converge at this spot.

ToivoS

OM. I am familiar with the technology you mention having worked on organophosphate triesters under a ten year grant from the ARO. I vaguely recall that a British laboratory performed the assays you mention and they reported their results. Is that misinformation on my part?

visitor

There is the famous article by Seymour Hersh -- which he had to publish on the London Review of Books, since his conclusions were highly toxic for the MSM in the USA:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

Bob

I think most people who pay attention know allready.

http://www.todayszaman.com/national_chp-deputies-govt-rejects-probe-into-turkeys-role-in-syrian-chemical-attack_402180.html

Bob

Thought I had lost this link.

https://www.cihan.com.tr/en/court-sentences-syrian-in-sarin-gas-case-to-12-years-acquits-turkish-suspects-1975260.htm?

different clue

ToivoS,

I dimly remember that British laboratory as being "Porton Down" or "at Porton Down".

ToivoS

Well thank you for the Hirsch link. This also answers the question I posed to the old microbiologist below.

It seems pretty clear on a number of points:

1. The jihadists have a chemical weapons capability.
2. The sarin used in the Ghouta attack is from a different chemical batch than that was in the Syrian armories.
3. These facts were made clear to Obama at the time he decided to cancel the bombing attack against Syria in August of 2013.

In spite of this our mainstream news and US government propaganda continue to blame Assad for the Ghouta attack and continue to insist that only the Syrian army had the ability to manufacture and deliver chemical weapons.

There is something so deeply corrupt in US power structure. Truth has lost any meaning. It is what those with the largest megaphone claim and nothing more than that. Obama is beginning to realize that just maybe he might be held responsible for some of these lies and used this Jeffrey Goldberg interview to leak out a few tidbits to let historians know that he was not really part of that game.

elaine

Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your son. It really hurts to read your statement. You have my prayers.

Jag Pop

I apologize in advance for the tone of this response,
but I just can't seem to find a way to talk about
unnamed "Iraqi officials" in a matter-of-fact way.

And why the duet?

Wouldn't just "US officials" be enough? Or does it
provide more credibility to the story to have more than one source
backing each other up and confirming the same thing?

(These questions are rhetorical as this is a linked article, not your own.)

"U.S. and Iraqi officials said U.S. special forces captured the
head of the ISIS unit trying to develop chemical weapons in a raid
last month in northern Iraq."

Someone that worked for Saddam during the previous millennium
and had knowledge which he never ever used against US invading/occupying
forces in all this time has now been captured.

So we have the opportunity to extrapolate till the cows come home.

Our "Iraqi officials" are repeating what they
were told by someone else deep in the background.

We do not know the agenda of these "Iraqi officials" nor the
agenda of those providing them with information.

But for a moment let us assume the captive is who the Iraqi officials say he is. (And US officials say he is.)

He worked for Saddam. That is news worthy.
He knew how to make chemical weapons. That is a bigger news story.

It would not be newsworthy to just say that he knows how to make chemical weapons he must also be making chemical weapons *now*.

And what good is it if he isn't also a big-wig?

Big-wig, bigger news story.

If he is a big-wig then he must be in charge.

In charge of what? "A whole unit", naturally.

So now we have a whole ISIS unit making chemical weapons under the guidance of a Saddam henchman.

I sense hype.

turcopolier

jag pop

If you have to apologize, why post it? I am in Alexandria, Virginia, not in Iraq. Is your point that I should not write about anything I have not seen myself? The man worked for Saddam? Everyone worked for Saddam. What is your point? Demonstrated cleverness? Or is it your point that you don't like the suggestion that the Syrian government did not use gas at Ghouta in 2013? pl

Haralambos

I think this might be the site that you are referring to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porton_Down

It is Wikipedia, so caveat lector applies.

elaine

"Turkman town harassed by ISIS mortar shells, some containing chemicals"
www.rudaw.net/english/Kurdistan/120320161

(why won't this link light up? sorry)

pmr9

Although both Goldberg and Seymour Hersh report that Obama was warned that the evidence that the Syrian government was responsible for the Ghouta attack was less than conclusive, their stories differ in key respects

In Goldberg's story the warning was delivered by Clapper. In Hersh's story, the warning was delivered by General Dempsey, based on the results of analyses of sarin samples from Ghouta at Porton Down. Porton Down is under the UK Ministry of Defence, so it would have been possible for them to share information with the Pentagon without going through the civilian intelligence agencies. -

Goldberg's story is the first indication that the heads of the civilian intelligence agencies in the UK or US had doubts about blaming the regime for the Ghouta attack, or alternatively that they are now trying to backtrack on their earlier certainty. The UK Joint Intelligence Committee had reported to the Prime Minister on 29 August 2013 that there was "no plausible alternative to a regime attack scenario". The argument made in this report, and repeatedly by the US government during the summer of 2013, was that any use of CW agents implicated the regime because the opposition had no CW capability.

However it's now clear that at least three lines of evidence for an opposition CW capability should have been available to the US and UK governments by summer 2013:-

1. A report from Mokhtar Lamani, then the UN Special Representative in Damascus, that the Nusra Front was bringing what appeared to be nerve agents through the Turkish border at Azaz. This is described in a book by the French journalists Malbrunot and Chesnot. This report was passed to the UNSG, and there is indirect evidence that it was passed to US intelligence agencies.

2. The Turkish prosecutors' investigation of the Nusra group who were attempting to buy a list of chemicals that were clearly a recipe for sarin. For at least some of these chemicals the quantities mentioned were hundreds of kilos, indicating a large-scale process.

3. Chemical analyses of environmental samples containing sarin. Porton Down apparently had samples from an incident in Utaybah near Damascus in March 2013, and according to Hersh they were also provided with samples from Ghouta. They would also have had access to the Russian report on the Khan-al-Assal attack.

No details of what the chemical analyses at Porton Down showed have been released. I think we can be pretty sure that if the results had implicated the Syrian government the UK government would have been eager to publish them. However if they showed what the OPCW labs found in the Ghouta samples, it should have been possible to infer that the sarin was unlikely to have come from Syrian government stocks. The Syrian process for sarin appears to have started with trimethyl phosphite: they ordered several hundred tonnes of this from UK companies during the 1980s. The OPCW labs found that the sarin samples contained hexafluorophosphate: this indicates that the synthesis started with phosphorus trichloride or elemental phosphorus (one of the ingredients on Nusra's Turkish shopping list), and that the sarin production process was primitive (reaction produces were not purified at each step so that residual phosphorus trichloride reacted with fluoride in the final step).

PeteM

It seems any unverified report or rumor about the Islamic State using CW's is instantly reason to believe they had CW's three years ago, a huge leap of logic.

There is no verified report or study about the Ghouta real CW attack that shows anyone but Assad had or could have produced the sarin gas used in that multiple area attack.

Jag Pop

I had no intention of a follow up. The story-line, as quoted, reeked of "hype", it was self-evident, and called for no more than a succinct word.

However, you responded directly to me.
Out of respect I did not leave your post just hanging there.

I have no issue with anyone pointing out again and again that the "gas in Ghouta" misdirection story was another example of what we have come to expect from our news sources and our officials. It was hype waiting to happen.

The Twisted Genius

PeteM,

You seem certain that a verified report of Syrian government guilt exists. Suggest you take a look at a site that examined most available open source data on Ghouta. Their conclusion was that the opposition did it. Their discussion of the evidence is informative

The Twisted Genius

PeteM,

Forgot the link.

http://whoghouta.blogspot.com

turcopolier

JAG POP

If you wish to comment on SST, please give us enough to be able understand your response. pl

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