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15 April 2017

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Jackrabbit

My email is available on the About page of my blog: http://jackrabbitnyc.wordpress.com

Jackrabbit

I made the 'Dead Psy-op' into a post (accompanied by graphic and explanation)

https://jackrabbitnyc.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/dead-psy-op/

VietnamVet

EO

I always took Donald Trump’s economic promises with a grain of salt. Main Street doesn’t have a chance against the Multi-National Corporations who control western governments. It will take a revolt for a people’s government to reseize control of the water, air, education and health care and to provide jobs for food and shelter for all needy citizens. With foreign policy, I thought maybe that Donald Trump could restart detente. A war with Russia is inherently extremely dangerous. It will vaporize Wall Street along with everyone else. The sarin gas false flag, the “shove it in the face” attack of the Syrian Airbase shared with Russia and the White House Report show that the Trump Administration has been captured by the “crazies in the basement”. Since I was one of those kids who did duck and cover drills in grade school before Hydrogen Bombs made civil defense futile, I awake every day amazed that I am still here.

Jackrabbit

Vietnam Vet: the Trump Administration has been captured

Captured? Or, provided with an excuse (by controlled oppo) to go where they wanted to go?

People are still not cynical enough. Trump as part of the "crazies" that opposed Obama ('birthers' were only one group of many). These 'crazies' and Republican hard-liners were used as an EXCUSE for Obama to do things that a "Change You Can Believe In" Lefty President should not have been willing to do.

I know it will sound like 'conspiracy theory' but the duopoly/"War Party/Borg are very comfortable running controlled oppo schemes (ISIS is an extreme example).

Pundita

Thank you very, very much for this.

Pundita

John F, Your posting helped me through what has been the unhappiest Easter I can remember living through. On reflection I didn't think my short thank you was enough, so I tried to think of a gift; this failing I ended up at Zenpundit to see how the blog's resident poet/ mystic/ philosopher, Charles Cameron, was celebrating Easter this year.

With Bach:

Et Resurrexit, from the Credo, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, performed by Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin under the baton of Daniel Reuss. Posted to YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJnxYGSB47g

And so in trying to find a gift for another I found one for myself. Happy Easter!

John_Frank

fyi ICYMI a number of media reports, and other pieces of material that people may find of value:

April 5 (Reuters) White smoke signaled gas attack on Syrian town
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-attack-idUSKBN17723G

محمد سلوم العبد - Mohammed Salloum Al Abd, who may either be related to, or the same person identified in the Reuters article as Hussam Salloum, uploaded two videos to his You Tube page concerning the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

For additional information about محمد سلوم العبد - Mohammed Salloum Al Abd:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Media.mhamadsalomalabd/

About page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Media.mhamadsalomalabd/about/?ref=page_internal

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/mohamadsalomala

Not being fluent in Arabic, I have relied on Google to translate the title from Arabic to English for the first video:

Khan Shaykhun 4 4 2017 The moment Khan Sikhun was targeted by poisonous bombs by the Syrian Air Force - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYOMEDK_uVs&feature=youtu.be

The video is marked with the emblem of Haq News Agency.

Using the You tube data viewer as posted by Amnesty International found at http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/custom-scripts/citizenevidence/ and inserting the link for the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYOMEDK_uVs&feature=youtu.be we are informed

Video ID: MYOMEDK_uVs
Upload Date (YYYY/MM/DD): 2017-04-04
Upload Time (UTC): 04:59:28

This is relevant, because according to the You tube channel of محمد سلوم العبد - Mohammed Salloum Al Abd the video was "published on Apr 3, 2017."

In a comment beneath the video محمد سلوم العبد - - Mohammed Salloum Al Abd writes:

"To anyone who asks about the reason of the date of publication on YouTube I preached video on 4-4-2017 after committing the massacre in half an hour after the confirmation of the chemical attack and after loading the video on YouTube almost an hour or less changed the date of publication by the YouTube to 3-4 2017 and with that I kept the video on the channel and in the publication on the year ...... After taking the order that the video is published on 3-4-2017 contact with me the International Investigation Organization and asked me about this subject I told them what happened in the control and provided them The raw video that you filmed with my personal video to analyze the sound and image and make sure of the date of photography after less than Hour usually contact with me and I told the video is true there is no fraud or play the rest of the publication and do not delete it and I will swear on my part I swear by God Almighty I swear by God Almighty that I have on the morning of 4-4-2017 filming the raid that targeted The city of Khan Sheikhan with this video."

People can find the original comment at the following link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYOMEDK_uVs&lc=z131vtjwxl3ke3qzf04cifiintv4ffc4mp00k

(I have used Google to provide a very rough translation of the comment from Arabic to English.)

As an aside, according to an analysis posted on Bellingcat on April 5, the alleged point (s) of impact for the weapon(s) used to disperse a toxic chemical substance like sarin, which various people, including Theodore Postol, have examined in depth, does not match up with any of the four pillars of smoke in that video.

The Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack, The Evidence So Far
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/04/05/khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack-evidence-far/

The other video posted by محمد سلوم العبد - - Mohammed Salloum Al Abd that is relevant?

Khan Shikhun 4 4 2017 The spread of toxic gases at low altitude above residential neighborhoods (translated using Arabic to English Google translate feature). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWvDisOxJi0&feature=youtu.be

Using the You tube data viewer as posted by Amnesty International found at http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/custom-scripts/citizenevidence/ and inserting the link for the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWvDisOxJi0&feature=youtu.be we are informed

Video ID: DWvDisOxJi0
Upload Date (YYYY/MM/DD): 2017-04-05
Upload Time (UTC): 16:25:03 (convert to local time)

On April 5 Kareem Shaheen was able to visit Khan SHeikhun. Follows is his exclusive report for the Guardian:

April 6 (the Guardian) 'The dead were wherever you looked': inside Syrian town after gas attack
Exclusive: Kareem Shaheen reports from Khan Sheikhun, where he was the first reporter from western media to reach the site of this week’s devastating atrocity https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/06/the-dead-were-wherever-you-looked-inside-syrian-town-after-chemical-attack?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Two additional posts from Bellingcat:

April 10 - The Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack — Who Bombed What and When?
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/04/10/khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack-bombed/

April 13 Part 1 - Anatomy of a Sarin Bomb Explosion (Part I)
https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/articles/2017/04/13/anatomy-sarin-bomb-explosion-part/

On Thursday, April 13, the Turkish Minister of Defense paid a visit to the Pentagon. Before sitting down:

Remarks by Secretary Mattis and Minister Isik at the Pentagon
https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1151479/remarks-by-secretary-mattis-and-minister-isik-at-the-pentagon/

During the course of his remarks, Secretary Mattis stated:

"And I commend Turkey for its fast response to ensure the victims of the Assad regime's hateful chloric gas attack received treatment in Turkish hospitals."

Why did Secretary Mattis not state 'hateful sarin gas attack?'

Some observations:

1. With respect to the analysis by Professor Postol of the "intelligence report" published by the White House on April 11, as the saying goes "truth is the first casualty in war."

Russia and the United States are at war in Syria. The Russian and US military are aiding local forces to defeat ISIS. Meanwhile, the CIA has been participating in a covert war to overthrow the Syrian Government led by Bashir al-Assad. In turn, the Russian military has been aiding forces aligned with the Syrian Government to defeat this effort.

(I write "has been," because despite an Al Jazeera report from April 3, (already linked in an earlier comment) it is not clear whether the CIA has resumed funding for "vetted" opposition groups in Northern Syria.

Does it therefore come as any surprise that Professor Postol has been able to raise issues with the WH report, along with some of the open source material which he believes were used to support the narrative in the WH document?

However, that begs the question. What was the purpose of the "intelligence report" published on April 11? To tell the public what the intelligence community actually believed happened, or to tell a story that the media could use to further the narrative about the "Syrian regime" and to counteract the narrative being pushed by Russia and her allies?

2. In the current environment, what will be the impact of using Russia Today (whether the main outlet or RT America) as the media outlet to disseminate the Postol report and for Professor Postol to go on Russia Today (America) and give an interview?

April 12 (updated April 14) White House claims on Syria chemical attack ‘obviously false’ – MIT professor (VIDEO)
https://www.rt.com/usa/384520-postol-report-sarin-syria/

April 14 (updated April 15)- MIT professor exposes ‘egregious error’ & evidence tampering in US report on Syria sarin incident
https://www.rt.com/usa/384800-syria-gas-professor-addendum/

Can we state that anyone who appears on RT and does not push the accepted media narrative of the day is now being painted as either working for the Kremlin or as a "useful idiot?"

Furthermore, according to a video that Mike Cernovich uploaded on April 12, (The Real Story on Jared Kushner - https://youtu.be/pkovYL4xcDo) he says that a seven figure PR contract has been let to push "the Syrian narrative." Is that correct?

In turn does it come as a surprise that our host recently received an email from someone whom he knows who is currently working at the White House who expressed "surprise and dismay" at the stance he is taking, while asserting that the people he is posting are "not experts?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/video-evidence-of-false-claims-made-in-the-white-house-intelligence-report-of-april-11-2017-by-ted-p.html#comment-6a00d8341c72e153ef01bb09912adf970d

3. The Syrian Foreign Minister has admitted that the Syrian Arab Armed Forces did carry out an attack on Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. However, the time line of when the Syrian Government (as supported by the Russian Ministry of Defense) claims the attack took place does not match with the evidence as presented by those who were attacked. The discrepancy is significant.

The OPCW is currently in the midst of a fact finding mission to ascertain whether the residents of Khan Sheikhoun were exposed to one or more chemical weapons on April 4. If the fact finding mission makes a positive determination, which is highly likely, the next step, under the UN - OPCW joint investigative mechanism, is to ascertain responsibility for their use.

So, what are people seeking to achieve? To push back against the narrative that Bashir al-Assad is such an evil monster that he must be removed from power by force?

As an aside is Tunisia the only case where a government in the MENA was removed from power by force and the country did not fall into complete turmoil? Why is that? If Bashir al-Assad is forced out of office against his will, can the Syrian Government survive and what happens if it collapses?

Is it true that General McMaster has been quietly pushing the idea that the Assad Government must be removed from office by force, even though the President has said that is not what he wants?

Trump Said No to Troops in Syria. His Aides Aren't So Sure. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-13/trump-said-no-to-troops-in-syria-his-aides-aren-t-so-sure

To raise questions about what is taking place at the NSC under the leadership of General McMaster and what advise he is giving the President?

Mr. Trump said he wants to be President of the United States, not President of the world. However, according to reports, are people like General McMaster pushing proposals which will result in the President forsaking that promise to the detriment of the American people?

To help rouse Congress from its slumber and tell the President, we will not continue to fund the CIA's share of the covert war in northern Syria due to the ties of the vetted opposition with designated terrorist groups? Furthermore, inform the President he can not authorize the military to launch another attack on the Syrian Arab Armed Forces or the Syrian Government in response to a claimed chemical weapons attack without first seeking congressional approval? Lastly, advise the President he needs an updated authorization to use military force against ISIS and present one for his signature?

Pundita

BREAKTHROUGH

Yahoo featuring this report:
MIT expert claims latest chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged
International Business Times
Tareq Haddad
April 17, 2017

https://www.yahoo.com/news/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-100819428.html

A leading weapons academic has claimed that the Khan Sheikhoun nerve agent attack in Syria was staged, raising questions about who was responsible.

Theodore Postol, a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), issued a series of three reports in response to the White House's finding that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad perpetrated the attack on 4 April.

He concluded that the US government's report does not provide any "concrete" evidence that Assad was responsible, adding it was more likely that the attack was perpetrated by players on the ground.

Postol said: "I have reviewed the [White House's] document carefully, and 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 Sheikhoun, Syria at roughly 6am to 7am on 4 April, 2017.

"In fact, a main piece of evidence that is cited in the document point to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft, on the morning of 4 April.

"This conclusion is based on an assumption made by the White House when it cited the source of the sarin release and the photographs of that source. My own assessment is that the source was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House."

[CHART SHOWING number of civilians killed and responsible group]

END REPORT

Pundita

Crikey I was so excited Postol's research was getting into the mainstream I missed the second half of it (after the chart). Haven't done that for years. Here's the rest:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-100819428.html

START
The image Postol refers to is that of a crater containing a shell inside, which is said to have contained the sarin gas.

His analysis of the shell suggests that it could not have been dropped from an airplane as the damage of the casing is inconsistent from an aerial explosion. Instead, Postol said it was more likely that an explosive charge was laid upon the shell containing sarin, before being detonated.

[PHOTO OF CRATER]

"The explosive acted on the pipe as a blunt crushing mallet," Postol said. "It drove the pipe into the ground while at the same time creating the crater.

"Since the pipe was filled with sarin, which is an incompressible fluid, as the pipe was flattened, the sarin acted on the walls and ends of the pipe causing a crack along the length of the pipe and also the failure of the cap on the back end."

The implication of Postol's analysis is that it was carried out by anti-government insurgents as Khan Sheikhoun is in militant-controlled territory of Syria.

Postol, formerly a scientific advisor at the Department of Defense (DoD), has previously outlined similar inconsistencies with US intelligence reports. Following the 2013 chemical weapons attack in eastern Ghouta, Postol again said the evidence did not suggest Assad was responsible – a finding that was later corroborated by the United Nations.

In his latest reports, Postol hit out at what he says is a "politicisation" of intelligence findings.

Postol said: "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.

"All of these highly amateurish mistakes indicate that this White House report, like the earlier Obama White House Report [from Ghouta in 2013], was not properly vetted by the intelligence community as claimed.

"I have worked with the intelligence community in the past, and I have grave concerns about the politicisation of intelligence that seems to be occurring with more frequency in recent times – but I know that the intelligence community has highly capable analysts in it.

"And if those analysts were properly consulted about the claims in the White House document they would have not approved the document going forward."

Read Postol's reports in full:

[END REPORT]

I don't see the link to the full reports on the Yahoo page; it's probably in the IBT original rpt.

pmr9

''a seven figure PR contract has been let to push "the Syrian narrative." Is that correct?''

I think it's more than seven figures.

In a Parliamentary report on the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund published on 7 February 2017, the UK National Security Adviser stated that £60 million had been allocated for the previous year's operations in Syria.

One of the contractors paid from this fund is Incostrat, founded by former British Army Lt-Col Paul Tilley. Tilley's Linked-In page gives his base as Istanbul, and lists his most recent achievements:-

January 2017 - current. Refining the work developed in InCostrat to provide a more tailored product to both the public and private sector. July 2013-December 2016- Founder and COO of InCoStrat. Developed and managed the company for over two years building to a peak of over 80 staff working in five countries providing strategic communications and local insight in hard to reach areas that are in conflict or emerging from it. • 2012-current. Developed and Project managed several multi-million dollar media and communications projects that are at the leading edge of UK and US foreign and security policy objectives in the Middle East

InCoStrat appears to be a shell company with an address in Washington DC. The actual work appears to be done by another company named Innovation and Insight FZE ( iN2- Comms), based in Istanbul. The activities of iN2-Comms are described in words identical to the description on InCoStrat's website.

One point of interest in Tilley's description above is that he started running these operations in 2012, while he was still working for the Ministry of Defence, before the operation was privatized in September 2013 and the contract given to his start-up company. The Guardian reported in May 2016, having seen a copy of the contract, that Contractors hired by the Foreign Office but overseen by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) produce videos, photos, military reports, radio broadcasts, print products and social media posts branded with the logos of fighting groups, and effectively run a press office for opposition fighters.

The Tilley/Incostrat operation is one of three Syria-related information operations that have been outsourced to ex-Army officers: the other two are Le Mesurier/White Helments and Bretton-Gordon/SecureBio, which David Habakkuk discusses in his recent post.

John_Frank

fyi The full reports are linked in the IBT UK report by Tareq Haddad‏, (whose twitter feed can be found at @Tareq_Haddad):

MIT expert claims latest chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged
Theodore Postol of MIT says there is no concrete evidence linking Assad to the attack.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-weapons-attack-syria-was-staged-1617267

wisedupearly

Another crack in the wall of lies.
Bloomberg April 18.
"But that doesn't mean the rest of us should accept its (White House) story. A thorough investigation by an international agency without a political ax to grind should be the only trigger for retaliatory action. "

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-18/don-t-rush-to-judgment-on-war-crimes

Pundita

Top scientist backs up Postol:

Re the source: while NJ.com is not exactly mainstream, see Wikipedia's article about the website to appreciate its influence in the newspaper world including the mainstream press.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NJ.com

From NJ.com, "Bad intelligence: Donald Trump attacked Syria based on a report full of holes;" Paul Mulshine, April 16, 2017:

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/04/donald_trump_is_taxing_my_patience_he_got_taken_in.html

[...]

And [Postol] is among the most respected scientists in the field, said another highly respected scientist, Frank von Hippel of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton.

Postol is no kooky conspiracy theorist, said von Hippel.

"He's very good technically," he told me. "Whatever he says has to be taken seriously."

After reading the report and emailing back and forth with Postol, von Hippel concluded that there was plenty of time for Trump to have a thorough investigation before launching a retaliatory strike.

"There have been calls for independent investigations by groups like the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," he said. "It would be in the interests of the Syrians to let them have access."

Instead Trump took a "shoot first, ask questions later" stance.

[...]
***
Plenty more observations in Mulshine's column, including his quote of this zinger (originally published at Antiwar.com):

[...]

Just a few days before, the U.S. had indicated a possible alliance with Syria against ISIS. Why on Earth would Assad risk that to kill a handful of civilians with gas when he could just as easily have killed them with conventional bombs?

Here's an excellent examination of that possibility by Uri Avnery, a former member of the Israeli Knesset:

"The operation was an immense success. Overnight, the despised Trump became a national hero. Even liberals kissed his feet.

"But throughout, that question continued to nag my mind. Why did Assad do it? What did he have to gain?

"The simple answer is: Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2017/04/14/the-syria-chemical-attack-cui-bono/

It's been a week since Dr Postol published his first assessment. The IBT report on the assessment went mainstream yesterday when it was picked up by Yahoo. Noam Chomsky has mentioned the assessment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO7wK9OO07w

Chomsky's discussion of the assessment starts at the 5:22 mark

(H/T SST "ISL" commenter at another thread, who noted that Chomsky also mentioned Col Lang.)

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/this-evacuation-was-attacked-by-aq-terrorists-not-isis.html#comments

From all this I don't see how the NYT, WaPo, CNN, etc. can continue to keep the lid on Postol's assessment.

William R. Cumming

AGREE!

William R. Cumming

Some thoughts valid or not at Easter Time!

1. Clearly voters do not know which politicians can be trusted.

2. Clearly official Washington does not know who to trust or when to trust them.

3. No one commenting on anything important ever thinks who pays them or how they are paid are important in evaluating their opinions.

4. Is it significant that retired Army Flag Ranks as opposed to Navy or Air Force seem to have led in holding policy positions under this President?

5. Do actions reflect policy or are they policy with nothing behind the actions?

6. What can be made of Clinton family failures to understand why Hillary lost?

7. It is clear to me that Boomer Presidents misteps including those of Trump will haunt American lives for decades?

8. Will Trump be the last of the Boomer Presidents?

9. The CIA has won its efforts to survive organizationally since 9/11/01!

10. President Trump, like many in the National Security apparatus assume that NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS can be bought off the shelf and does not require lifetimes of effort.

11. Nuclear theory requires redesign if the world is to avoid self-destruction by nuclear powers.

12. Chemical warfare is back to stay permanently.

John_Frank

Thank you for taking the time to post this response.

Keith Harbaugh

For how the MSM, in particular the NYT,
is busy denying any alternative to their view on this, see
NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims
by Robert Parry, 2017-04-18
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/18/nyt-mocks-skepticism-on-syria-sarin-claims/

For an earlier NYT "Fact Check",
which offered arguments against the non-MSM narrative, see
Syria Conspiracy Theories Flourish, at Both Ends of the Spectrum
By LINDA QIU, 2017-04-11
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/us/politics/factcheck-syria-strike-conspiracy-theories.html

If SST readers can offer specific rebuttals to Linda Qui's "Fact Check",
I think that would be highly valuable.

Pundita

on April 18 on the John Batchelor Show, Russia expert Stephen F. Cohen discussed Theodore Postol's critique of the 'intelligence' report that the White House used to rationalize a missile strike against a Syrian air base on the night of April 6 Washington time.

Steve's specific mention of Postol's critique starts at the 15:14 minute mark on the podcast of the discussion, although the segue to the discussion starts at 13:00.

https://audioboom.com/posts/5832527-tales-of-the-new-cold-war-false-narratives-phony-trump-dossiers-demon-putin-stephen-f-cohen-nuyu-princeton-eastwestaccord-com

Steve Cohen weighing in on Postol's assessment of both the chemical incident and the White House report on the incident is big news. The news will get even bigger later today when The Nation publishes James Cardin's interview with Postol -- an interview, Steve told John, that will also translate the technical parts of Postol's critique into layman's terms.

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