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The Trump Administration’s Syria Gas Attack Narrative Continues to Unravel

Pretty much every official statement emanating from the U.S. government these days is a deception, fabrication, or outright lie.

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Pretty much every official statement emanating from the U.S. government these days is a deception, fabrication, or outright lie. I understand that this is a hard thing for a U.S. citizen to admit, but as James Baldwin so accurately stated:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

So let’s go ahead and face the facts. Governments lie. Governments have always lied. Extremely corrupt, imperial governments overseeing societies in deep economic and cultural decline lie even more. This isn’t conspiracy theory, it’s what obviously happens when you combine tremendous power with human nature.

Although I’ve been questioning the Trump administration’s fairytale narrative about the recent Syria gas attack from day one, I don’t have the expertise to sufficiently examine the evidence and put some meat on the bones. In contrast, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at MIT, Theodore A. Postol does, and he’s published a series of reports over the past week calling out what he believes is a deliberate deception by members of the Trump team.

As Yahoo reported:

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.”

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.

“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.

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.”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at the “Summary and Conclusions” section from his third report courtesy of Naked Capitalism:

Summary and Conclusions

It is now clear from video evidence that the WHR (White House Intelligence Report) was fabricated without input from the professional intelligence community.

The press reported on April 4 that a nerve agent attack had occurred in Khan Shaykhun, Syria during the early morning hours locally on that day. On April 7, The United States carried out a cruise missile attack on Syria ordered by President Trump. It now appears that the president ordered this cruise missile attack without any valid intelligence to support it .

In order to cover up the lack of intelligence to supporting the president’s action, the National Security Council produced a fraudulent intelligence report on April 11 four days later. The individual responsible for this report was Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, the National Security Advisor. The McMaster report is completely undermined by a significant body of video evidence taken after the alleged sarin attack and before the US cruise missile attack that unambiguously shows the claims in the WHR could not possibly be true. This cannot be explained as a simple error.

The National Security Council Intelligence Report clearly refers to evidence that it claims was obtained from commercial and open sources shortly after the alleged nerve agent attack (on April 5 and April 6). If such a collection of commercial evidence was done, it would have surely found the videos contained herein.

This unambiguously indicates a dedicated attempt to manufacture a false claim that intelligence actually supported the president’s decision to attack Syria, and of far more importance, to accuse Russia of being either complicit or a participant in an alleged atrocity.

The attack on the Syrian government threatened to undermine the relationship between Russia and the United States. Cooperation between Russia and the United States is critical to the defeat of the Islamic State. In addition, the false accusation that Russia knowingly engaged in an atrocity raises the most serious questions about a willful attempt to do damage relations with Russia for domestic political purposes.

We repeat here a quote from the WHR:

An open source video also shows where we believe the chemical munition landed—not on a facility filled with weapons, but in the middle of a street in the northern section of Khan Shaykhun. Commercial satellite imagery of that site from April 6, after the allegation, shows a crater in the road that corresponds to the open source video.

The data provided in these videos make it clear that the WHR made no good-faith attempt to collect data that could have supported its “confident assessment.” that the Syrian government executed a sarin attack as indicated by the location and characteristics of the crater.

This very disturbing event is not a unique situation. President George W. Bush argued that he was misinformed about unambiguous evidence that Iraq was hiding a substantial store of weapons of mass destruction. This false intelligence led to a US attack on Iraq that started a process that ultimately led to the political disintegration in the Middle East, which through a series of unpredicted events then led to the rise of the Islamic State.

On August 30, 2013, the White House produced a similarly false report about the nerve agent attack on August 21, 2013 in Damascus. This report also contained numerous intelligence claims that could not be true. An interview with President Obama published in The Atlantic in April 2016 indicates that Obama was initially told that there was solid intelligence that the Syrian government was responsible for the nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013 in Ghouta, Syria. Obama reported that he was later told that the intelligence was not solid by the then Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

Equally serious questions are raised about the abuse of intelligence findings by the incident in 2013. Questions that have not been answered about that incident is how the White House produced a false intelligence report with false claims that could obviously be identified by experts outside the White House and without access to classified information. There also needs to be an explanation of why this 2013 false report was not corrected. Secretary of State John Kerry emphatically testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee repeating information in this so-called un-equivocating report.

On August 30, 2013 Secretary of State Kerry made the following statement from the Treaty Room in the State Department:

Our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information regarding this attack[Emphasis added], and I will tell you it has done so more than mindful of the Iraq experience. We will not repeat that moment. Accordingly, we have taken unprecedented steps to declassify and make facts available to people who can judge for themselves.

It is now obvious that this incident produced by the WHR, while just as serious in terms of the dangers it created for US security, was a clumsy and outright fabrication of a report that was certainly not supported by the intelligence community.

In this case, the president, supported by his staff, made a decision to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base. This action was accompanied by serious risks of creating a confrontation with Russia, and also undermining cooperative efforts to win the war against the Islamic State.

I therefore conclude that there needs to be a comprehensive investigation of these events that have either misled people in the White House White House, or worse yet, been perpetrated by people to protect themselves from domestic political criticisms for uninformed and ill-considered actions.

Sincerely yours, Theodore A. Postol

Professor Emeritus of Science,
Technology, and National Security Policy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: postol@mit.edu

The U.S. government is completely rogue and determined to drive the U.S. into an unwinnable war based on false pretenses, which doesn’t serve the national interest. These lunatics must be stopped.

Photo: Justin in SD The White House via photopin (license)

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Politics

On The Verge Of World War 3! North Korea: Trump Lit The Wick Of War

North Korea claims that president Donald Trump has “lit the wick of war,” and has issued a threat. The tyrannical regime says that it will unleash a “hail of fire” on the United States.

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North Korea claims that president Donald Trump has “lit the wick of war,” and has issued a threat. The tyrannical regime says that it will unleash a “hail of fire” on the United States.

Tensions are not even close to cooling especially when it comes to the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Ri Yong Ho, Pyongyang’s foreign minister, verbally lashed out at the US President and said that the red-hot tensions will not be settled with words. “With his bellicose and insane statement at the United Nations, Trump, you can say, has lit the wick of a war against us. We need to settle the final score, only with a hail of fire, not words,” Ri said. 

President Trump has repeatedly hinted that conflict and war are in the near future with recent tweets suggesting that military action is still considered an option. With World War 3 perhaps just around the corner, Trump took to Twitter to raise tensions even higher. On Saturday he tweeted: “Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”

Yesterday, US bombers flew over the Korean peninsula in a show of force aimed at North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un which resulted in more threats from the rogue regime. The B-1B bombers from Guam staged a simulated air-to-ground missile-firing drill with two South Korean F-15K fighters over the East Sea. Japan also sent two military aircraft as tensions mount in the region.

Earlier this week, Russia’s foreign secretary Sergey Lavrov waded into the crisis and told his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, the escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula is “unacceptable.” During a phone call with Secretary of State Tillerson, Vladimir Putin’s right-hand man discussed Syria, Korea, and Ukraine, the Russian foreign ministry revealed. Lavrov also told Tillerson that Moscow is demanding the US return Russian diplomatic property seized in 2016 by the Obama administration over suspected Russian interference in the general election.

The pair’s phone call came just hours after Donald Trump’s most senior general, James Mattis, told the US Army to “stand ready” for war with North Korea. General James ‘Mad dog’ Mattis warned it is impossible to tell what the future holds for the crisis, but urged US troops to be prepared for a confrontation with Kim Jong-un. Although Mattis said Trump is looking for a diplomatic solution, the military should still be prepared for an actual war.

“It is right now a diplomatically led, economic-sanction buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off this path. Now what does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say, so there is one thing the US Army can do. And that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our President can employ if needed,” General Mattis said.

h/t Mac Slavo (SHTFPlan.com)

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Politics

A War Has Been Declared On The Republican Establishment

It is time to flush the toilet in Washington D.C., and I am so glad that Steve Bannon has decided to declare “war” on the Republican establishment.

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It is time to flush the toilet in Washington D.C., and I am so glad that Steve Bannon has decided to declare “war” on the Republican establishment.  For decades, these globalists have told us what we want to hear during election season, but then once they take office they betray us over and over again.  It is time to hold Republican members of Congress responsible for betraying the base, and I am so thankful that Bannon is organizing anti-establishment candidates into a cohesive movement.  We are going to challenge Republican incumbents all over the nation in 2018, and we are going to win over and over again.

Just look at what happened in Alabama.  The Republican establishment spent more than 30 million dollars against Roy Moore and we still won by a very wide margin.

Now we are going to take that template and repeat it all over the country.  During an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday,  Steve Bannon boldly declared that his forces are going after every Republican Senator that is up for re-election in 2018except for Ted Cruz…

On Monday’s edition of Hannity, Breitbart executive chairman and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon talked about his plan to challenge every Republican Senator up for re-election in 2018 in the primary, except Sen. Ted Cruz. Bannon said Republican incumbents have committed “economic hate crimes” against the “forgotten man.”

Bannon said he is declaring “war” on the Republican establishment and those that don’t back what President Trump ran on. He said there is a “new game in town” and promised to “cut off the oxygen” to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and stop his fundraising for establishment candidates. Bannon said any person running for the Senate in 2018 that wants his support must oppose McConnell as the Republican Leader.

I love this approach.  No matter how much the Trump administration tries to work with some of these globalists, the truth is that they are never, ever going to get on board with his agenda.

So the answer is voting them out, and that is going to take a lot of money and a lot of hard work.  Fortunately, it sounds like Steve Bannon is ready for the battles that are ahead.  Here is more from his interview with Sean Hannity

HANNITY: Is this a fair statement: Is Steve Bannon declaring war on the establishment that are not for the working men and women in this country?

BANNON: 100%. We are declaring war on the Republican establishment that does not back the agenda that Donald Trump ran on and the president of the United States, and that’s the agenda we know that backs the working men and women…

Karl Rove, Steven Law, these guys should get the joke. Their donors are coming to us because they are tired of having their money burned up by trying to destroy people like Judge Moore. It’s a new game in town. We are to cut off the oxygen to Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell’s biggest asset is the money. We’re going to make it the biggest liability. We’re going after these guys tooth and nail.

This is music to my ears, because my campaign has already been trying to promote anti-establishment candidates here in Idaho and around the nation.  But obviously we need coordination at a national level, and Steve Bannon can do that.

And the environment is right for this kind of movement.  The Republicans in Congress have an approval rating that is so small that you can barely see it with a microscope, and the base is sick and tired of these so-called “conservatives” governing like Democrats.  The following comes from Rush Limbaugh

“Some people make an argument that there really isn’t a Republican Party left. I mean, there are people who call themselves that and they go out and raise money and they raise a lot,” he said. “But whereas the party used to be known for one, two, or three very serious things, they’re not anymore,” he said. “When the Republican Party joins the Democratic Party on things like amnesty for illegal immigrants — that’s not the Republican Party.”

Of course 2018 is just another stage in the war.  In order to boot all of the globalists out, it is going to take an extended period of time.  In fact, Steve Bannon says that he is ready to go to battle for the next twenty years

To take your country back – it’s not going to happen in any just one election. This is something you’re going to have to grind out day in and day out for the next five, ten, fifteen, twenty years.

It took us a long time to get here. There’s no magic wand we can wave and drain the swamp. There’s no magic wand we can wave and blow up this establishment. I hate to tell people, you’re going to have to work.

But you know what? The grit, determination and courage of the American working men and women – we are going to win.

If you are sick and tired of the Republicans in Congress getting nothing done, then I hope that you will join this fight.

Very few members of Congress are actively fighting for the things that the conservative base truly wants, and it is time to hold them accountable.  Next spring, Republican primaries will be held all over the nation, and the truth is that only a small percentage of the population actually votes in primaries.

If we get active and get mobilized, we can fundamentally transform Republican politics in this country.  If you live in Idaho, I would encourage you to get involved in my campaign, and if not I would encourage you to help the anti-establishment candidates in your particular state.

We are sick and tired of politics as usual, and the status quo is simply not good enough anymore.

Let me leave you with one final quote from Steve Bannon: “Nobody is safe. We are coming after all of them and we’re going to win.”

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

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Economy

Are Russia And China Right On North Korea?

With the nuclear standoff between North Korea and the United States having heated up significantly over the summer, it has been the Governments of Russia and China who have sought to be the responsible, mature and wise international parties at the United Nations and throughout the international community.

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With the nuclear standoff between North Korea and the United States having heated up significantly over the summer, it has been the Governments of Russia and China who have sought to be the responsible, mature and wise international parties at the United Nations and throughout the international community.

It has been the brilliant diplomacy of Moscow and Beijing who have been the voices urging restraint, calm and dialogue unlike the insaneridiculous and totally counter-productive rhetoric of the American President Donald Trump and the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

The leaders of Russia and China must be given a strong round of applause for trying to avert a nuclear holocaust on the Korean peninsula whilst upholding international law, attempting to avoid a nuclear war and advocating for multi-party dialogue with the resumption of the 6 Party Talks {which have been in abeyance since 2009} and a cooling off period on the Korean peninsula with the suspension of the US-South Korea military exercises. This is the right policy going forward for the welfare, safety and security of the Korean peninsula as well as regional and international peace and stability. The wrong course of action and the wrong policies of handling North Korea and the Kim Jong Un regime have been consistently followed by the Trump administration and its allies on the UN Security Council.

The American policy of constantly aggravating North Korea with US-South Korea joint military exercises designed to unsettle, disturb and provoke the North is counter-productive and has only increased tensions and the possibility of all out war in Korea which would be a complete disaster and must not be allowed to happen. The American policy of deploying THAAD has also been like a red rag to a bull in North Korea and again only adds to increasing tensions ans the likelihood of armed conflict. While Russia and China have been working with great effort to calm the situation down with the restoration of dialogue, cooperation and stability it has been unfortunately the Governments of the United States and to a certain degree President Trump’s ally in British “prime” minister Theresa May who have actually in reality been increasing tensions, escalating the situation, antagonising the North Koreans and not helping to decrease tensions and deescalate the situation.

To be clear North Korea is also completely in the wrong and it is the prime actor that must stop its nuclear tests and enter into talks. Yet it is very difficult for the North to enter into the 6 Party Talks when the United States will not countenance such talks. One could also mount an argument that the only reason the North Korean regime is behaving this way and seeking nuclear weapons is to preserve its own security as it in all likelihood feels extremely threatened especially in light of what happened with regards to Iraq during 2002-2003 and beyond and Libya after 2003.

The rhetoric of the Trump administration whether it be from the President himself or his Defence Secretary Mattis or UN Ambassador Haley has not been helpful and has been full of hyperbole, no doubt sabre rattling, but still it simply inflames and escalates an already difficult, tense and fragile international and regional security and humanitarian headache.

Imagine if the situation where reversed and it was Mexico on the United States’ southern border acting in this way. Do you really think the American Government would want to deal with the fall out on its own door step of a nuclear obliterated Mexico and the tremendous ecological, environmental and human damage that would create. I doubt it very much that the United States would take the same approach to such a situation if the rogue party playing up was right on its own southern border.

With regards to the role that the United Kingdom Government is playing, hopefully, it is a constructive role with the aim to help reduce tensions and deescalate the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula not increase and exacerbate what is already a very delicate situation. Time alone will tell if the current British “prime” minister Theresa May is fully committed to such a course and is actually exerting (what little influence and leverage) she may have over her new found best friend from January President Trump. Mrs. May made great hay out of her early visit to hold hands with Donald Trump a week after he was sworn in. Let the international community see now the Anglo-American “special relationship” in action with the UK prime minister persuading the American President to change tack.

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