As the banana republic of Europe known as France threatens to “strike” Syria if its “red line” of chemical weapons use is crossed and the United States threatens the same action if Assad uses the alleged “new kind of weapons” to conduct another alleged chemical weapons attack, one thing is being lost in the news media shuffle and no doubt intentionally so. This missing element is the fact that Secretary of Defense James Mattis has admitted that the United States has no evidence Syria has used sarin gas on the battlefield.
As the Washington Post reported on February 2 in an article entitled “US Has No Evidence Of Use Of Sarin Gas, Mattis Says,” only a day after threatening yet more military action against Syria on the basis of “chemical weapons use,” Mattis admitted that there was no evidence to show that the Syrian government used Sarin.
As quoted by Reuters, Mattis stated “We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, (but) I don’t have the evidence. What I am saying is that other groups on the ground – NGOs, fighters on the ground – have said that sarin has been used, so we are looking for evidence.”
So no evidence that Assad gassed the “beautiful babies” the U.S. used to justify bombing al-Sha’aryat airbase and killing more “beautiful babies” in the surrounding area. That’s good to know but bombing nevertheless took place despite the lack of evidence. Perhaps Mattis should have announced that the Trump administration’s official policy was to “Kill them. God will know his own.” This phrase, of course, would imply that the U.S. is not actively supporting the terrorists who did, in fact, use chemical weapons and who have been torturing and massacring the Syrian people since 2011 so it probably shouldn’t be used either.
It should also be pointed out that any evidence Mattis claims to have is coming from the terrorists themselves, including the terrorist propaganda unit known as the White Helmets i.e. “activists,” “opposition,” and “NGOs.”
In a surprising moment of lucidity from Newsweek, an article entitled “Now Mattis Admits There Was No Evidence Assad Used Gas On His People,” where writer Ian Wilkie wrote,
Mattis offered no temporal qualifications, which means that both the 2017 event in Khan Sheikhoun and the 2013 tragedy in Ghouta are unsolved cases in the eyes of the Defense Department and Defense Intelligence Agency.
Mattis went on to acknowledge that “aid groups and others” had provided evidence and reports but stopped short of naming President Assad as the culprit.
There were casualties from organophosphate poisoning in both cases; that much is certain. But America has accused Assad of direct responsibility for Sarin attacks and even blamed Russia for culpability in the Khan Sheikhoun tragedy.
Now its own military boss has said on the record that we have no evidence to support this conclusion. In so doing, Mattis tacitly impugned the interventionists who were responsible for pushing the “Assad is guilty” narrative twice without sufficient supporting evidence, at least in the eyes of the Pentagon.
This dissonance between the White House and the Department of Defense is especially troubling when viewed against the chorus of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) experts who have been questioning the (Obama and Trump) White House narratives concerning chemical weapons in Syria since practically the moment these “Assad-ordered events” occurred.
Serious, experienced chemical weapons experts and investigators such as Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, Gareth Porter and Theodore Postol have all cast doubt on “official” American narratives regarding President Assad employing Sarin.
These analysts have all focused on the technical aspects of the two attacks and found them not to be consistent with the use of nation-state quality Sarin munitions.
The 2013 Ghouta event, for example, employed home-made rockets of the type favored by insurgents. The White House Memorandum on Khan Sheikhoun seemed to rely heavily on testimony from the Syrian White Helmets who were filmed at the scene having contact with supposed Sarin-tainted casualties and not suffering any ill effects.
Likewise, these same actors were filmed wearing chemical weapons training suits around the supposed “point of impact” in Khan Sheikhoun, something which makes their testimony (and samples) highly suspect. A training suit offers no protection at all, and these people would all be dead if they had come into contact with real military-grade Sarin.
Chemical weapons are abhorrent and illegal, and no one knows this more than Carla Del Ponte. She, however, was unable to fulfill her U.N. Joint Investigative Mechanism mandate in Syria and withdrew in protest over the United States refusing to fully investigate allegations of chemical weapons use by “rebels” (jihadis) allied with the American effort to oust President Assad (including the use of Sarin by anti-Assad rebels).
The fact that U.N. investigators were in Syria when the chemical weapon event in Khan Sheikhoun occurred in April 2017 makes it highly dubious that Assad would have given the order to use Sarin at that time. Common sense suggests that Assad would have chosen any other time than that to use a banned weapon that he had agreed to destroy and never employ.
Furthermore, he would be placing at risk his patronage from Russia if they turned on him as a war criminal and withdrew their support for him.
Tactically, as a former soldier, it makes no sense to me that anyone would intentionally target civilians and children as the White Helmet reports suggest he did.
There is compelling analysis from Gareth Porter suggesting that phosphine could have been released by an airborne munition striking a chemical depot, since the clouds and casualties (while organophosphate-appearing in some respects) do not appear to be similar to MilSpec Sarin, particularly the high-test Russian bomb-carried Sarin which independent groups like “bellingcat” insist was deployed.
America’s credibility was damaged by Colin Powell at the United Nations in 2003 falsely accusing Saddam Hussein of having mobile anthrax laboratories. Fast forward to 2017 and we encounter Nikki Haley in an uncomfortably similar situation at the U.N. Security Council calling for action against yet another non-Western head-of-state based on weak, unsubstantiated evidence.
But Mattis’ admission calls into question the credibility of more than the government since all of mainstream media was howling in support of war over “undeniable evidence” of Assad’s use of sarin. For that matter, so were members of the United Nations.
Here’s a few headlines from the Khan Sheikhoun alleged chemical weapons attack:
- UN Says Evidence Shows Assad Behind April Gas Attack – The Times Of Israel
- France Says It Has Proof Assad Carried Out Chemical Attack That Killed 86 – The Independent
- “Fake News” Assad, Despite Overwhelming Evidence, Says Reports Of Chemical Weapons Attack In Syria Are Fabricated – VICE News
- Gasping For Life – Syria’s Merciless War On Its Own Children – CNN
In contrast, here are a few headlines in the alt media at around the same time:
- Chemical Weapons 2017: What Just Happened In Syria? (Debunks official US narrative of events) – Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post
- New U.N. Report Cites Terrorists, Blames Assad For Chemical Weapons With No Real Evidence – Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post
- Khan Sheikhoun: why it is sensible to be sceptical still – Tim Hayward of TimHayward.wordpress.com
- AMERICA ILLEGALLY BOMBS SYRIA UNDER FALSE PRETEXTS. LINKS FOR CRITICAL THINKING. – Eva Bartlett of Ingaza.wordpress.com
Quite a stark contrast between the reporting of the mainstream and alternative media. Indeed, while MSM outlets constantly harp on about claims of “conspiracy theories” and “Russian propaganda” and whatever else can be sold to the lowest common denominator of the mass of its viewers and readers, it’s relevant to ask just what would have happened if the American people would have listened to the alt media writers like those listed above instead of CNN, their government, or the UN.
Brandon Turbeville writes for Activist Post – article archive here – He is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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