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The Syrian Intelligence report

athena1's picture

Here it is:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/government-assessm...

Most of this is nothing new. Well, I guess it could be argued that none of it is new. But here are the points I find interesting:

We assess the Syrian opposition does not have the capability to fabricate all of the videos, physical symptoms verified by medical personnel and NGOs, and other information associated with this chemical attack.

Why does that need stating? Has anybody anywhere of any importance at all even speculated publicly that the videos and physical symptoms were fabricated? Isn't this some sort of "straw man" argument?

And this:

We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence. On the afternoon of August 21, we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations. At the same time, the regime intensified the artillery barrage targeting many of the neighborhoods where chemical attacks occurred. In the 24 hour period after the attack, we detected indications of artillery and rocket fire at a rate approximately four times higher than the ten preceding days. We continued to see indications of sustained shelling in the neighborhoods up until the morning of August 26.

That certainly sounds damning on the surface when put like that, but I sure would like a direct quote. Let's break this down.

1) a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive
So, there was an officer or commander of some sort in the area. This is not surprising.

2) who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence.
This is the part where a direct quote would be useful. Would a command like "Nerve agents? Who ordered that? Anyone firing CWs must stop immediately!" be considered confirmation that "the regime" was using CWs?

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par4's picture
Submitted by par4 on

In the movie 'Hearts and Minds" there is a good statement by one of the interviewees who says "Truman lied,Eisenhower lied, Kennedy lied, Johnson lied and Nixon lied." It's only gotten worse since Nixon. It's wiser to not believe anything anyone in D.C. says.

Martin Finnucane's picture
Submitted by Martin Finnucane on

I think that increasingly this is not a minority opinion. John Kerry does Colin Powell redux, but if I'm not mistaken, the war drums have been decidedly muted. Not among our elites so much as among our great unwashed masses. Perhaps it's just outrage fatigue, or navel-gauzing indifference, but perhaps just perhaps it's actually that many-to-most people actually hear what they're being told, but do not believe it.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

Maybe "the elites" have worked themselves into a pickle. The dem side overplayed the anti-Bush/Iraq thing for too long, and the repub side has been too anti-anything-obama to now be like "Hell yeah, Bomb Syria!" if that's what it looks like Obama wants?

(I'm only sort of joking here)

Submitted by jawbone on

is asking the vital questions about real evidence. Where are the tapes of the alleged Syrian officer's conversation about chem weapons? Etc.

It is so like having awoken in 2003.

What the PTB's have learned from Iraq is that they can reuse old lies and ways of lyng over and over and over, with impunity. Obama will only look forward; hence, he cannot learn from the past.