Monday, April 17, 2017

Another WMD Hoax?

Was the Idlib sarin gas attack blamed on Bashar Assad a hoax?

This is not some Facebook conspiracy theory. Let's get that out of the way. It's the opinion of Theodore Postol, this guy:  professor emeritus of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a specialist in weapons issue. At the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, he advised on missile basing, and he later was a scientific consultant to the chief of naval operations at the Pentagon. He is a recipient of the Leo Szilard Prize from the American Physical Society and the Hilliard Roderick Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he was awarded the Norbert Wiener Award from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility for uncovering numerous and important false claims about missile defenses. There, okay?

Postol contends that the White House Intelligence Report of 11 April that found Assad had used sarin gas against the civilian population if Idlib was ginned up. That report, he says, was fabricated.

...the White House Intelligence Report contains false and misleading claims that could not possibly have been accepted in any professional review by impartial intelligence experts. The WHR was produced by the National Security Council under the oversight of national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

The evidence presented herein is from two selected videos that are part of a larger cache of videos that are available on YouTube. These videos were uploaded to YouTube by the SMART News Agency between April 5 and April 7. Analysis of the videos shows that all the scenes taken at the site the WHR claims was the location of a sarin release indicate significant tampering with the site. Since these videos were available roughly one week before the WHR was issued April 11, this indicates that the office of the WHR made no attempt to utilize the professional intelligence community to obtain accurate data in support of the findings in the report.

The video evidence shows workers at the site roughly 30 hours after the alleged attack who were wearing clothing with the logo “Idlib Health Directorate.” These individuals were photographed putting dead birds from a birdcage into plastic bags. The implication of these actions was that the birds had died after being placed in the alleged sarin crater. However, the video also shows the same workers inside and around the same crater with no protection of any kind against sarin poisoning.

These individuals were wearing honeycomb facemasks and medical exam gloves. They were otherwise dressed in normal streetwear and had no protective clothing of any kind.

The honeycomb facemasks would provide absolutely no protection against either sarin vapors or sarin aerosols. The masks are only designed to filter small particles from the air. If sarin vapor was present, it would be inhaled without attenuation by these individuals. If sarin was present in an aerosol form, the aerosol would have condensed into the pores in the masks and evaporated into a highly lethal gas as the individuals inhaled through the masks. It is difficult to believe that health workers, if they were health workers, would be so ignorant of these basic facts.

There is a great deal more to Postol's critique. Part One is here. Part Two is here. Part Three is here.


UU4077 said...

... and, maybe it wasn't sarin, either.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with these freaking IA spooks: you can't trust a goddamn thing they say, which makes them utterly useless at whatever it is they are doing.

(Foiling terrorist plots: good. Deceiving presidents and peoples, overthrowing governments, training death squads, etc.: not so good.)

The evidence of an attack appears to outweigh the 'false flag' theories.

My guess is that Assad was testing Trump. An alternative explanation is that IA operatives gave the terrorists chemical weapons in an attempt to break up the positive relationship between the US and Russia and bring back the Cold War (which was set to go when Hillary won the election; but those pesky voters got in the way.)

The Mound of Sound said...

UU4077, thanks for the link.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 2:05. Let's see. I have two opinions - the extensive, well-reasoned view of a highly experienced expert in a 3-part report on one hand and your "hunch" on the other. Decisions, decisions.

crf said...

This may sound a bit silly, but there are some similarities between how people reacted to the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida, and the Gas attack in Syria.

People attach great importance to both these events. That can't be helped. But the fact of the matter is that there were a lot of unknowns about both events. And in each case we might never know the absolute truth about what happened.

It might be very important to get to the truth, but sometimes you can't. A lot of people can't accept that fact. They reason that the more important an event is, the more certain they are that they know the truth about what happened.

Reality isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

Generally people think in terms of sound bites.
Look at the comments in the Post Media publications!
The saying ' the Excited States of America' sums the USA up quite well.
Not that the rest of the world are far behind (look at Turkey)
Look at the UK (Brexit)
I fear so many people are so far in debt they have little time or inclination to dissect the real world.

Knee jerk reactions to news is not new .
Sarin gas in Syria this week , Trumps Russia connections the week before.
They will both be forgotten within a couple of months.


now to the mountains , or the roads signs.

Purple library guy said...

crf, it may well be true that we will never know just what happened. It would be nice, given that, if our political leaders would refrain from acting as though we knew for sure exactly what happened and that our target of convenience was responsible.
On the other hand, both the Russians and Syrians have called for an investigation and the town where this happened is, while under the control of terrorists currently, not many miles from government-controlled territory, in a place where there is active fighting between the two. If the Americans were to help the Syrian government and the Russians to take it back from the terrorists, then an investigation could be conducted. Then, if the Americans were right about the conclusion they leaped to, they could do whatever moronic foreign policy response to it they wanted once the evidence was in.
I guess that wouldn't be convenient.

Anonymous said...

I don't think first-responders can die from a hoax. I guess it's not too surprising the corporate fake-news media is now going Alex Jones. The MIC has Cold War blue balls. Like an alpha male hyped up on booze and steroids: they ain't taking 'no' for an answer!