« My thoughts on Korea - Chapter 1 - 19 April, 2017 | Main | Is Trump bluffing overseas? »

19 April 2017

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sam Peralta

PT

Other than those who frequent alternative media like SST who else cares about facts that Prof. Postol brings to attention? Not those who get their "information" from Rachel Maddow or Wolf Blitzer or David Ignatius or Tom Friedman.

Philippe

French FM says he will produce a "proof" in "a matter of days" on the gvt responsability.

« C’est une question de jours, mais nous apporterons la preuve que le régime a bien organisé ces frappes avec des armes chimiques. J’exprime une conviction, dans quelques jours je pourrai vous apporter des preuves », a déclaré le chef de la diplomatie française

http://www.lemonde.fr/syrie/article/2017/04/19/attaque-chimique-ayrault-met-en-cause-le-regime-syrien_5113868_1618247.html#FteA7fAd6vH2ZxAG.99

(Informing, not endorsing, indeed... I do remember vividly (& shamefully) the declaration of Fabius, our former FM on Al Nosra doing " a very good job" in Syria...)


Old Microbiologist

Well, they have had over a week to produce new videos and photographs and to dummy up some biological samples. Really, I am appalled at the amateurish production to date of the propaganda. If this is what the current crop of PSYOP (now MISO) officers or Hollywood for that matter, can do we are in big trouble. You would think with trillions of dollars being pumped into the military they could do better than this. Although if La La Land is the best they can do then maybe this is the way it is now and the bar is just very low now. What scares me is that Trump or his advisors actually believe this tripe.

pmr9


Boris Johnson stated in the House of Commons yesterday (https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-04-18/debates/44BA2CB7-F44F-4AA5-9E80-861781949F82/SyriaAndNorthKorea)

"We know from shell fragments in the crater that sarin had not only been used, but that it was sarin carrying the specific chemical signature of sarin used by the Assad regime."

I think the most likely interpretation of this is that Porton Down has matched the chemical profile of the samples they were given (purportedly from Khan Sheikhoun) to the ones they analysed from Ghouta in 2013. Of course all this establishes is that the perpetrators of Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun had access to the same supply of kitchen sarin. I don't think Johnson means that the KS sarin has been compared with the sarin precursor DF destroyed on the MV Cape Ray: the UK government isn't supposed to have access to OPCW's data on the chemical profiling of this material, so Johnson wouldn't have been allowed to use it in a statement.

The hole they have now dug themselves into is that now they have admitted that environmental samples were passed to Porton Down, we can bring pressure on them to publish a detailed chemical profile that can be compared with the known synthetic pathway used for Syrian military stocks.

Priam's Crazy Daughter

To whon did Professor Postal send his report? I ask because I want to know all the people to whom I can send a copy of the report, people in Congress who could possibly care about the truth. I am not sure there are many people left who do care about the truth since to some the truth is whatever they want to think it is.

I just get so frustrated that so many supposedly bright and in-the-know people simply spout whatever someone has told them is true without looking into the facts for themselves.

Jonathan

The logistics of nerve agent chemical weapons deserve some scrutiny since (according to published information) they are either stored as binary precursors, then mixed and poured into the munitions shortly before deployment, or, like the M687 artillery shell, each precursor is poured into separate volumes divided by a rupturable barrier so that they mix and react in flight. This is the difference between a binary weapon and a binary munition.
This is comparatively easy to do with a shell because of the considerable linear and angular accelerations that it undergoes. Conversely, a bomb or rocket is much harder due to the significantly reduced energy input. A rocket would suffer much more, since any mechanical mixer would necessarily compromise its range and/or payload.
The implications are that one needs a significant number of mixing and filling facilities in as many locations as the General Staff regard necessary. This would explain the multiplicity of locations that were seen to by the decommissioning organization.
Now imagine each facility. Firstly, it must be safe, which is no small task. Secondly, it must operate as quickly and efficiently as possible since wars don't wait for anyone.
So how to do it? This is where I can only speculate. Batch filling in a sealed environment by heavily protected operators, then a neutralizing washdown appears at least feasible and the appropriate technology. In addition there would be bulk tanks, metering devices (I suppose buckets and scales are at least possible), mixers, filling devices and of course heavy lifting equipment.
Apologies if I'm stating the obvious, but deploying these things is way more complex than the simple logistics of explosive munitions; their storage life demands it and the result is that forensic investigation ought to be entirely obvious if the airbase was guilty as charged.

Marko

Profiling doesn't help much , if at all. Both sides have access to whatever flavor of sarin they want , if they've got the cash.

It would be a miracle if 95% of Assad's stockpile was actually located and destroyed. They destroyed 1300-plus tons , so even just 5% would be ~ 65 tons that are still floating around , and sarin was a major fraction of Assad's original stock.

From Foreign Policy (9-17-16 ) "How the Islamic State Seized a Chemical Weapons Stockpile ":

"( Dec. 2012 )....Within a day, the combined jihadi forces had broken through the lines of the Syrian Army. Shortly after, Regiment 111 was fully under jihadi control. They found large stocks of weapons, ammunition and, to their surprise, chemical agents. They were, according to Abu Ahmad, mainly barrels filled with chlorine, sarin, and mustard gas.

What followed was the distribution of the war spoils. Everybody took some ammunition and weapons. But only the Nusra Front seized the chemical weapons. Abu Ahmad watched as the al Qaeda affiliate called in 10 large cargo trucks, loaded 15 containers with chlorine and sarin gas, and drove them away to an unknown destination. He did not see what happened to the mustard gas....."

Then there's the Turkey ratline , which routed Libya's old stuff ( via Benghazi ) into Syria during HRC's day in the sun , as well as new global black-market goodies today.

The common story , repeated endlessly by all of the MSM and far too many in the alt-media , is that Assad surely has a secret stash , and only he could have the "good stuff" , or the expertise to use it , or the weapons to deliver it , etc. It's all BS.

Right now some of the most sophisticated commandos on the planet
( backed by some of the biggest piles of money ) are embedded with tribes of head-choppers. If a job - any job - is important enough to the guys that sign the checks , the head-choppers - given time - can and will get it done.

ex-PFC Chuck

I'm shocked. Shocked!

John_Frank

In his statement to the House, the Minister references a crater. Has anyone asked him where this crater is specifically located? Is it the same crater that Professor Postol has been using to underpin his analysis? Thanks.

Marko

You're stating the obvious for using CWs as WMDs , not as weapons of terror and/or as the foci of false-flag extravaganzas.

Sarin attacks over the last few years have been pretty effective as false-flag events , always generating the hyberbolic demonization of Assad that's designed to push the U.S. / the West deeper into the conflict. This last one , with Ivanka calling the shots , drew blood for the first time , though limited to "only" 5 dozen Tomahawks.

Would the outcome have been different if killing efficiency was somehow doubled ? Impossible to know ? No. Ask yourself the same question about the Japan subway sarin attacks. What if they had managed to kill 24 instead of only 12 ? Meaningless , right ? They terrorized thousands with only 12 deaths ( as they would have with 6 or 24 ), and that was the point. Their high-tech delivery vehicle and launch mechanism ? A zip-lock bag full of sarin that they punctured with their umbrella tip just before they hopped off the subway. And half-assed sarin is good enough for government-overthrow work. A bonus is that your unreacted DF binary component is also a nerve agent , its just not as potent as sarin.

For the quantities used in Syria , a production lab is anywhere you want it to be. You fill your binary artillery shells at your leisure and store them. For bombs or rockets , you pre-mix and fill them with unitary sarin and plan to use up those munitions within a month or two or three. Frankly , that will probably mean one or two munitions , if that. For one or two guys , this ain't even a part-time job , it's an occasional hobby.

An ideal location ? and probably not coincidentally ? Those exit tunnels at the clinic of Dr. Pinpoint Pupils. Set up a big fan at the inside end to blow the fumes past your mix and fill operation and on to the outside exit. And that white , carbonate soil , wetted down with water a bit , will destroy any spilled sarin almost instantly. Yes , you should have a hazmat suit or two , but even without , there's an alternative. Find one guy who's reasonably intelligent and has a bit of MacGyver in him. He'll make it work , and live to tell the others how he does it.

Don't believe the MSM bull. This ain't brain surgery.

John_Frank

I'm shocked! Shocked! (Casablanca)
https://youtu.be/SjbPi00k_ME

johnf

"French FM says he will produce a "proof" in "a matter of days" on the gvt responsability."

Let's face it, he has to produce his "proof" in "a matter of days", because he's going to be kicked out of office in "a matter of days." But since he already knows that evidence will provide "proof" of "government responsibility" - why doesn't he release it now?

Just what blackmail material does the Borg hold on all these "politicians" to ensure they keep up their fervid warmongering even unto (political) death?

Leonardo

Yesterday the OPCW released a statement where it confirmed that the analysis on biological samples gathered from ten of the victims (7 injured people still under treatment and 3 dead) prove that they were subjected to the effects of sarin or a sarin-like substance.

Interestingly, they don't say anything about chlorine or any other "smelly" toxic agent.

Here the press statement on the OPCW website:
https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-director-general-shares-incontrovertible-laboratory-results-concluding-exposure-to-sarin/

Allen Thomson

FWIW:

https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-director-general-shares-incontrovertible-laboratory-results-concluding-exposure-to-sarin/

LeaNder

This seems to get us back to David Habakkuk's contribution. Or what felt like the core of his contribution. To the extend I recall his argument.

Only scanned both his and Postel's work that far. Without more seriously trying to "digest" matters. Meaning taking notes/excerpts.

Seems OPCW's evidence is connected to the three victims in Turkey.

https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-director-general-shares-incontrovertible-laboratory-results-concluding-exposure-to-sarin/

The bio-medical samples collected from three victims during their autopsy were analysed at two OPCW designated laboratories. The results of the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance. Bio-medical samples from seven individuals undergoing treatment at hospitals were also analysed in two other OPCW designated laboratories. Similarly, the results of these analyses indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance.

Kassandra

Vaporware. Lying is quite some work, so they really need these days to come up with something which calms down the rising uneasiness among some MSM outlets.

LondonBob

Fun body language analysis of Assad and McMaster talking about Khan Sheikhoun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8lyktVh4yQ
Assad is very proud of his military.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u-CyBLjoEY
McMaster begins at 7.49.

The Beaver

I don't know whether this has been mentioned or not in previous threads:

Syrian crater ‘too small’ for toll: ex-UN inspector Barton

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/syrian-crater-too-small-for-toll-exun-inspector-barton/news-story/f3e2a0e291a70b40d8ceac445d10772b

The Beaver

Happy to join the fray, here comes the conspiracy theorists and fake propaganda:

https://time.com/4746951/syria-bashar-assad-israel-military-chemical-weapons/

A senior military official says Israeli military intelligence estimates that Assad has "between one and three tons" of chemical weapons.

He spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing rules. The assessment was confirmed by two other defense officials.

Yellow cake circa 2002, anyone :-)

Mikey

"hundreds of kilograms" @ the 4:00 minute mark in the audio link below.

http://talkradio.co.uk/news/former-nato-chief-plays-down-world-war-three-talk-putin-knows-his-force-no-match-trumps

trinlae

"He says she says he said..."

aleksandar

Well, head of OPCW is a Turkish guy.....

Mikey

From the link you provided: "Former director of strategic technology in Australia’s Defence Intelligence Organisation Rod Barton said identifying the gas source was difficult while key questions remained unanswered about the type of munition or the number of bombs or craters."

The jihadists said there were 4 explosions, 3 were conventional weapons, 1 was gas. "01:47 – “Syrian airstrikes targeted Khan Sheikoun with four rockets, one of them contained chemical gas, it hit a residential area in the northern side of the city. Since the chemical rocket incident until now, the Syrian airforce won’t stop hovering over the city and shelling it.” "

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/04/05/khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack-evidence-far/

Video of area hit: https://youtu.be/MYOMEDK_uVs

John_Frank

At the end of the linked article, we are told:

"He [Mr Barton] said he suspected Syria was behind the attacks and blaming the rebels was not credible. “First of all, sarin is not easy to make in any quantity. I’m not saying that IS (Islamic State) or other rebels haven’t made the gas, and they have made mustard gas, but I doubt whether they could make it in any quantity,’’ he said."

As to the crater size at the alleged release point as shown in the open source video:

Yesterday Mr Barton, who was part of a team that uncovered Iraq’s biological warfare program, said authorities needed evidence of the size and type of the munition used and the chemical signature of the gas.

Syria pledged to destroy all its chemical weapons after facing threats of military action by the US after a rocket attack with sarin gas that left more than 1000 dead in Damascus in 2013. Mr Barton said after these attacks, inspectors found parts of the rockets designed to carry the chemicals.

“The warhead was a Syrian design but in this case we don’t know whether rockets were used. Nothing has been said,’’ Mr Barton said.

He raised questions about the crater that had been shown as the impact point for the sarin gas rocket in the latest attack.

“To kill the number of people killed there would require more than one little rocket. You can see there is a crater in the road but that looks like it is from a small rocket that could only carry a couple of litres,” he said.

Mr Barton said pieces of the munition usually were left lying around because the device only had to burst open a container and disperse the gas, not cause a blast."

Where exactly was the release point?

While administration officials talked about a crater in the background briefing as potentially being the release point, within the context of refuting the Russian narrative, as Professor Postol acknowledges, that is an assumption.

What additional information will the various intelligence agencies and Defense Departments involved provide the OPCW fact finding mission?

(Reference has been made to a video of the attack as conducted by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, as well as statements made by US Army officials. Will that information find its way into the hands of the OPCW fact finding mission?)

Will it be necessary for a team of experts from the OPCW to visit the area to determine the release point?

Seamus Padraig

Send it to Tulsi Gabbard.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

September 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
Blog powered by Typepad