Top U.S. Intelligence Analyst Accuses White House of Fraud About Syrian Sarin Gas Attack

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On April 18th, Washingtons blog received from MIT’s Dr. Theodore Postol (main cover image above) a detailed scientific analysis of the source-material for the White House Report on the gas-attack that occurred in Syria on April 4th. In it, he essentially accuses the Trump White House of having perpetrated a fraud so as to ‘justify’ its bombing of the Syrian Army’s air base. His article (along with a brief introduction about Dr. Postol’s background in the subject) can be found here: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/67102.html
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My summary of it by excerpts from it, highlights certain passages with boldface type, in order to expedite a reader’s understanding Dr. Postol’s analysis.


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The cover-letter of his full analysis states:
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This analysis contains a detailed description of the times and locations of critical events in the alleged nerve agent attack of April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – assuming that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued on April 11, 2017 correctly identified the alleged sarin release site.
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Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater is the only location that could be affected by the alleged nerve agent release.  Video data of suffocating and dead victims lying on the ground shows a different location from the predicted sarin dispersal site if it had been correctly identified by the White House.
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The conclusion is that the nerve agent attack described in the White House Intelligence Report did not occur as claimed.  There may well have been mass casualties from some kind of poisoning event, but that event was not the one described by the WHR.
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The findings of this expanded analysis can serve two important purposes:
1 It shows exactly what needs to be determined in an international investigation of this alleged atrocity.
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In particular, if an international investigation can determine where casualties from the nerve agent attack lived, it will confirm that the findings reported by the White House Report are incompatible with its own cited data.
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2 It also establishes that the White House Report did not utilize simple and widely agreed upon intelligence analysis procedures to determine its conclusions.
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This raises troubling questions about how the US political and military leadership determined that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged attack.  It is particularly of concern that the White House Report presented itself as a report with “high confidence” findings and that numerous high-level officials in the US government have confirmed their belief that the report was correct and executed to a standard of high confidence.
This is Dr. Postal’s fourth report on the matter. Each of the prior three reports is also linked-to in the latest article.
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“The conclusion of this summary of data is obvious – the nerve agent attack described in the W[hite] H[ouse] R[eport] did not occur as claimed. There may well have been mass casualties from some kind of poisoning event, but that event was not the one described by the W[hite] H[ouse] R[eport].”
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“At the time of the sarin release, the temperature of the air was about 60°F and the sun was at an angle of only 8° relative to local horizontal. This means that liquid sarin left on the ground from the dispersal event would remain mostly unevaporated. By 11 AM, the temperature of the air had risen to 75° and the angle of the sun relative to horizontal was at 66°. Thus, one would expect that the combination of the rise in air temperature and the sun on the crater would lead to significant evaporation of liquid sarin left behind from the initial dispersal event. The air temperature and sun angle are such that the area around the crater should have been quite dangerous for anybody without protection to operate.
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“Media is hiding this from us! Share this with the world.” [Photo  here is shown, of an alleged rescue-worker at the alleged crater of the alleged sarin-bomb. Caption is:] “Man without protective equipment standing next to the crater at 10:50 AM on April 4 —roughly 4 hours after the sarin release alleged by White House Report”
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“Thus, the Hamlet area 300 m downwind of the crater is the only area where mass casualties could occur if there had been a sarin release at the crater as alleged by the WHR!”
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“Unprotected civilians with clothing that have logos of the Idlib Health Directorate are tampering with the contents of the crater that the WHR alleges was the source of the sarin release. All of the indicators point to a ruptured tube that could have contained no more than 8 to 10 liters of sarin. This is the only container shown in any videos from this scene.”
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“What is absolutely clear from the videos is that the location of the sarin dispersal site alleged by WHR and the mass casualty site that would have had to be generated if the sarin dispersal actually occurred [in the way that the White House alleges], are not in any way related to the scenes of victims shown in the other videos. The conclusion is obvious: the alleged attack described in WHR never occurred.”
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“Final Comments
This abbreviated summary of the facts has been constructed entirely from basic physics, video evidence, and absolutely solid analytical methods. It demonstrates without doubt that the sarin dispersal site alleged as the source of the April 4, 2017 sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun was not a nerve agent attack site.
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It also shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only mass casualty site that could have resulted from this mass attack [as alleged by the White House] is not in any way related to the sites that are shown in video following a poisoning event of some kind at Khan Sheikhoun.
This means that the allegedly “high confidence” White House intelligence assessment issued on April 11 that led to the conclusion that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack is not correct. For such a report to be so egregiously in error, it could not possibly have followed the most simple and proven intelligence methodologies to determine the veracity of its findings.
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Since the United States justified attacking a Syrian airfield on April 7, four days before the flawed National Security Council intelligence report was released to the Congress and the public, the conclusion that follows is that the United States took military actions without the intelligence to support its decision.
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Furthermore, it is clear that the WHR was not an intelligence report.” 

About the author

EricZuesseInvestigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

 


Appendix
Libertarian site offers confirming report

MIT Expert Claims Chemical Weapons in Syria Staged

By Kody Fairfield

A professor at MIT is contradicting the White House’s official statement regarding the use of chemical agents in Syria.

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, reports Yahoo.

According to Yahoo, 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.”

Postol gives photo (see below) to back his claim. The picture contains a crater containing a shell inside, which is said to have contained the sarin gas, says Yahoo.

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, explained Yahoo.

“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 MIT professor continued in his reports to claim that is a “politicisation” of intelligence findings, according to Yahoo.

“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.”

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, explains Yahoo.




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