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posted by takyon on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:04AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the news?-what-news? dept.

The World Socialist Web Site reports

In 1969, Hersh broke the story of the My Lai massacre in which US troops slaughtered over 100 Vietnamese men, women and children--a story the US media at first refused to touch. He was also among the first to expose the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in 2004. And he exposed the Obama administration's lies about the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as the fabricated claims of a Syrian chemical weapons attack in 2013 that brought the US to the brink of another war.

[...] A full week has passed since the publication by a major German newspaper of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's thoroughgoing debunking of the false claim of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on April 4. The supposed atrocity by the regime of Bashar al-Assad was used to justify the April 6 US cruise missile strike on the al-Shayat air base. At least nine civilians, including four children, died when 59 Tomahawk missiles rained down on the base in western Syria.

Since the German daily Die Welt published Hersh's article, titled "Trump's Red Line", on June 25, its contents have been subjected to a total blackout by the major newspapers and broadcast and cable news networks in the United States.

Hersh's account makes clear that, not only was there no objective evidence to back up Washington's charges of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the fact that there was no such attack was known to the US military and intelligence apparatus even before the cruise missile strike was ordered.

"The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives", Hersh wrote. "Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all US, allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region."

Basing himself on sources within the US intelligence apparatus who spoke on condition of anonymity, as well as access to "transcripts of real-time communications, immediately following the Syrian attack on April 4", Hersh establishes that a Syrian government plane dropped a conventional 500-pound bomb, not a chemical weapon, on the site of the meeting, which included "representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra".

The target was a cinder block building that served as a "command and control center" for the so-called "rebels", who used its basement to store "rockets, weapons, and ammunition", as well as chlorine, fertilizers and insecticides, Hersh reports.

"A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the US military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground", he continues.

"Did the Syrians plan the attack on Khan Sheikhoun? Absolutely", a senior adviser to US intelligence told Hersh. "Do we have intercepts to prove it? Absolutely. Did they plan to use sarin? No. But the president did not say: 'We have a problem and let's look into it.' He wanted to bomb the shit out of Syria."

[...] As the "mainstream" media has assumed the role of mouthpiece and stenographer for the capitalist state and its military and intelligence apparatus, its journalistic standards have continued to plummet, a tendency highlighted by last week's walkout by hundreds of New York Times workers in protest over the drive by the flagship of the capitalist press to "streamline" its editing process through the destruction of dozens of copy editors' jobs.

One result of the media's slavish subordination to the government and Wall Street has been the effective blacklisting of Hersh, who used to write regularly for the New Yorker magazine.


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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:17AM (#534688)

    blacklisting of Hersh, who used to write regularly

    Where can I donate to his living expenses fund so this person I do not know can continue living? I would say let basic income take care of him and everybody else but socialism is evil you know. Begging is the best. Even SN does it. $3645.88 in the can proves begging just works.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:32AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:32AM (#534689)

    ... but those filthy anarchists at Wikileaks are treacherous scum!

    Wait, sorry, wrong narrative. Let me try that again.

    Filthy capitalist warmonger pigdogs undermine virtuous peace-loving socialist cooperatives! Or something. But whatever they're doing is super-bad.

    Honestly, I'm not sure I care - nor that I believe the story's narrative of Trump as a guy who just magically decided that there needed to be bombs raining on Syria because his tiny hands fit his tiny penis too precisely.

    More plausible explanation: Trump made a call based on available evidence and political reasonability. It either sucked or didn't suck, depending on how you feel about the syrian government. Chances are, he only knows what his bureaucracy decides he needs to know, and then only insofar he bothers to listen.

    Always be deeply suspicious of any narrative that ascribes deep insight and cunning to political leaders. They have far too well-established a track record of things best explained as: "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by shortscreen on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:10AM (2 children)

      by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:10AM (#534707) Journal

      Trump is the CIC so he gave the order. Whether it was his idea (not likely) or why he decided to go along with it (his handlers promised him a candy bar in return?) are not known. The point is that US corporate media are commited to the narrative that Assad is the problem and attacking Syria is the solution. "That dirty Assad used Sarin! We should launch missles!" fits the narrative. "A storage shed blew up and made the neighborhood smell like chlorine" does not fit the narrative.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:59PM (#534889)

        You're right! The media are committed to the narrative that Assad is the problem and attacking Syria ... is ... wait, how did that go again?

        I don't know which media you've been consuming, but I've seen an awful lot of stuff going around along the lines of: "We shouldn't have stayed in Afghanistan, we never belonged in Iraq, we shouldn't be anywhere near Syria, let's stop being the world's policeman and Israel's pet pitbull."

        Sorry, can't support your theory that the media tail is wagging any dogs here.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by driverless on Thursday July 06 2017, @10:42AM

        by driverless (4770) on Thursday July 06 2017, @10:42AM (#535655)

        "That dirty Assad used Sarin! We should launch missles!"

        Trump: Fritz! Fritz, get up for God's sake! Get up! They've gassed Fritz! They've gassed Fritz! Those lousy stinking Syrians! Those horrible atrocity-filled vermin! Those despicable animal warmongers! They've gassed Fritz! Take that! Take this! Take that, you green slime! You black hearted, short, bow-legged...

        Fritz: Donald! Donald, I'm okay! I'm okay Donald. Just a scratch. Look I'm all right.

        Trump: Oh. Oh, damn. There you go again, stepping on my lines, raining on my parade, costing me votes. Oh, damn.

        [Accidentally shoots Fritz]

        Trump: Ohh. Oh, Fritz? Fritz, get up for God's sake! Get up! They've gassed Fritz! They've gassed Fritz! Those lousy stinking Syrians! Those horrible atrocity-filled vermin! Take that! Take that! They gassed Fritz!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:34PM (#534897)

      Thanks for Correcting the Record!

      er...

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by KGIII on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:34AM (12 children)

    by KGIII (5261) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:34AM (#534690) Journal

    One of the things I like about Soylent, is that the articles often come with a good list of citations.

    I notice this lacks all the citations. I am not even able to make a qualified opinion as to the veracity of this story. I simply don't know - and don't see the giant list of citations that often come with Soylent entries.

    I have not now, nor will I ever, say that I am dissatisfied with this site. Truth be told, I don't actually expect much from it. And, frankly, that's okay. I can expect a very specific skillset with this site. That's fantastic and this isn't a complaint. I'm just curious if you're expecting us to take this at face value, without serious citations - given the claims within, and expecting us to do stuff like find our own sources? Hogwash...

    --
    "So long and thanks for all the fish."
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:00AM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:00AM (#534695)

      What sort of citations do you expect? While much of the mainstream media has begun to use anonymous sources as the default, this is the sort of story where if the sources were revealed it is extremely likely that they would face retribution.

      The article itself not only references numerous sources, putting Hersh's very significant reputation on the line, but also reference numerous logical inconsistencies in the mainstream media reporting. For instance numerous outlets/groups reported a smell of chlorine around the site of the bombing even though Sarin is odorless. It also explains why our attack was incredibly inept. These sort of inconsistencies and questions are the sort of things that our media should themselves be seeking the answer to. But instead of having an independent investigative media we have some sort of strange bastardization of collusion and propaganda that seems to exist only to try to drive home certain views to the exclusion of all else. It's like people forget how the media behaved over Iraq. The evidence there was dubious at best, yet they were pounding the wardrums louder than anybody. The repeated claims of '16 intelligence agencies have proof Iraq has and continues to develop WMD' ring eerily similar to the claims of today - just with a new target. The only difference this time is we don't have a president so eager to drag us into yet another war.

      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Tuesday July 04 2017, @08:28AM (3 children)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 04 2017, @08:28AM (#534731) Journal

        I sympathise but there's a logical fallacy in your argument. Certain sections of the media and politicians may have been wrong about Iraq but that doesn't mean the same ones are wrong about Syria. I'm older and wiser than when the Iraq WMD claims were being made, and I'm much more critical of what I hear, see and read. Some sources are more trustworthy than others and some sources present their information in a way that's open to honest scruitiny and they usually stand up to that scruitiny. I don't know what to make of this yet.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:18AM (#534739)

          Certain sections of the media and politicians may have been wrong about Iraq but that doesn't mean the same ones are wrong about Syria.

          It does, however, mean that anyone who honestly believes the propaganda this time had better still be in Iraq digging through the desert looking for weapons of mass destruction.

          Anyone who isn't still digging, but still claims to believe the propaganda must be assumed to be a part of the propaganda machine.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:19AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:19AM (#534740)

          It's not about right or wrong. People and organizations make mistakes, and that is fine. It's about a complete lack of investigative vigor in lieu of simply repeating the official line.

          In Iraq the media was completely unified in their pursuit for war. There were many major questions that needed to be asked, 'intelligence' that needed to be questioned, and various issues that needed to be investigated. These were, at best, mentioned in passing with no pursuit given - even though these questions and issues were undoubtedly the single most important ones of the time. It is the same thing today. There were major logical flaws in the official story of what happened in Syria. Why was there no investigation here? Why was the official line reported without even mentioning contradictory information?

          Why was there no attempt to explain basic questions? For instance literally 1 week before the bomb attack, the US representative at the UN stated that removing Assad was no longer considered a top priority. Assad, for some time, had been making steady progress retaking and stabilizing his country. If the status quo continued he would be undoubtedly come out on top. Why would he put all of this at risk with a chemical weapons attack that was a complete lose-lose option? Even if he wanted to, for whatever reason, go kill some random civilians - then a conventional weapons attack would have resulted in minimal to no possible retribution. The chemical attack stood a very real chance of dragging the US openly into the war (to say nothing of other countries) which would have all but certainly resulted in Assad's demise and certainly the loss of control of his country. Every single thing that is officially reported about that attack relies almost entirely on an appeal to authority. Logically it makes no sense and the evidence is questionable, at best.

          I don't care if the media gets it 'right' or 'wrong.' I'm not expecting prescience. What I am expecting is something even vaguely resembling due diligence and investigative pursuit. A media that simply unquestioningly reports war messaging is not a media - it's a propaganda machine. I hate using that term since it is so incredibly loaded, but that is exactly what this is.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:19PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:19PM (#534809) Homepage Journal

          I'll remind you that during and after the Iraq war, the warhawks insisted that the reason they didn't find WMD's in Iraq, was that Saddam shipped it all out to Syria.

          I was and still am skeptical of that claim. If Saddam had a credible weapons stock, he almost certainly would have used that stock against the US. He was already marked as a dead man by the US, he couldn't have made things any worse for himself by using NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) warfare against us. I have other reasons for being skeptical, but that leads the list.

          So depending on your political views, those reports of heavy truck traffic into Syria will support the claim that Syria has those NBC weapons available. Or, those reports will help to support the view that "Gubbermint is lying again!"

          Also, consider UN says US-backed opposition, not Syrian regime, used poison gas https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/07/syri-m07.html [wsws.org]

          And, of course, that last fits right in with the fact that we actually SUPPLIED Saddam Hussein with all the materials needed to manufacture chem and bio weapons. Gotta ask ourselves - "Is our government supplying chem/bio to the rebels, so that we have an excuse to invade Syria?"

          --
          Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bradley13 on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:26PM (2 children)

        by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:26PM (#534773) Homepage Journal

        The story always stank. The most obvious problem - assuming you know what Sarin is - was watching the footage of the rescue workers immediately after the bombing. Sarin is a contact poison, and yet the rescue workers were handling debris, victims, etc, with their bare hands. No protection whatsoever.

        It was always clear that the US government was - once again - lying through its teeth. My best guess is that this is just a continuation of the desire to topple Syria's government. It's just such a problem, though, because you can't be seen to be on the side of ISIS, so you need some other excuse to attack the government forces.

        Toppling governments worked out soooooo well in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Maybe Syria could launch missiles at D.C.? Oh, but that would be terrorism or something, whereas when the US does it, it's a just and righteous act.

        --
        Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @01:10PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @01:10PM (#534785)

          It was always clear that the US government was - once again - lying through its teeth. My best guess is that this is just a continuation of the desire to topple Syria's government.

          It's still the same reason why they went into Iraq and it will be the same reason they are readying up to go into Iran.
          $$$
          Oil & gas and sphere of influence. As it currently stands, and the US does nothing, Syria will revert back to its old regime and continue to be in the influence sphere of Russia, which somehow has regained it's status of enemy of the US. If in several months IS is defeated and routed out of Syria, Syria and Russia will make it very clear to the US and the world that the US no longer has any business there and should start packing up. However, war is very profitable for the US rulers. War and control over oil & gas. I'm also suspecting that the US hopes to get a reason to invade Iran out of the Syrian conflict. So far it hasn't happened, so they hope dragging out the wars in the region will eventually give them some reason.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:01PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:01PM (#534816)

            It's not really oil and gas. That's just the first level deception. The real reason is that Israel does not want any of its neighbors to have stable, reasonable governments or civilised populations.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:32PM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:32PM (#534775) Journal

        But instead of having an independent investigative media

        Investigative journalism costs money. If you aren't willing to pay for it, for sure it won't happen.
        If you are willing to pay for it, there's no warranty it will happen, propaganda and lies are far cheaper and potentially more profitable on short term.

        The only difference this time is we don't have a president so eager to drag us into yet another war.

        Oh, I bet he'll wag the dog alright. It's only 2017, Twitter is enough for now. We'll see closer to 2020 how the things evolve.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:56PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:56PM (#534886)

          Investigative journalism costs money. If you aren't willing to pay for it, for sure it won't happen.

          And if I were willing to pay for it, I'm sure my grand contribution would only line the pockets of management, and not a dime would be spent on any journalist.

      • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:22PM

        by moondrake (2658) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:22PM (#534824)

        at the time the attack was ordered, the evidence was weak.

        But after i read the OPCW report (linked in my post below) I am pretty convinced sarin was involved. I tend to trust the measurements of the chemicals more than anonymous sources.

        Just because some chlorine and stuff was also detected (it may well have been from stored supplies, or as byproduct from their sarin synthesis) does not mean at all there was no nerve agent used.

        I agree with all you say about the media etc, but I still think Hersh is wrong here.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday July 05 2017, @04:23AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 05 2017, @04:23AM (#535054) Journal

        The article itself not only references numerous sources

        Actually, no, it doesn't. For example:

        Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence. "None of this makes any sense," one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. "We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.“

        We have no chain of communication by how Hersh allegedly learned of this statement. And notice how he just takes Russian/Syrian claims at face value:

        The Syrian target at Khan Sheikhoun, as shared with the Americans at Doha, was depicted as a two-story cinder-block building in the northern part of town. Russian intelligence, which is shared when necessary with Syria and the U.S. as part of their joint fight against jihadist groups, had established that a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders was to take place in the building, including representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra. The two groups had recently joined forces, and controlled the town and surrounding area. Russian intelligence depicted the cinder-block building as a command and control center that housed a grocery and other commercial premises on its ground floor with other essential shops nearby, including a fabric shop and an electronics store.

        That just may be a transparent excuse for the flight path of a plane that deployed sarin.

        "The rebels control the population by controlling the distribution of goods that people need to live – food, water, cooking oil, propane gas, fertilizers for growing their crops, and insecticides to protect the crops," a senior adviser to the American intelligence community, who has served in senior positions in the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, told me. The basement was used as storage for rockets, weapons and ammunition, as well as products that could be distributed for free to the community, among them medicines and chlorine-based decontaminants for cleansing the bodies of the dead before burial. The meeting place – a regional headquarters – was on the floor above. “It was an established meeting place,” the senior adviser said. “A long-time facility that would have had security, weapons, communications, files and a map center.” The Russians were intent on confirming their intelligence and deployed a drone for days above the site to monitor communications and develop what is known in the intelligence community as a POL – a pattern of life. The goal was to take note of those going in and out of the building, and to track weapons being moved back and forth, including rockets and ammunition.

        In other words, an outside source told Hersh this, supposedly. Who knows who the source worked for at the time, or even if the source was real.

        The shtick here is that Hersh supposedly is speaking to intelligence sources in the US government. Then their admission would be typical adversarial evidence that things aren't as presented since one side is admitting evidence harmful to its side. But that only works if those sources exist and really are working for the US government. It wouldn't be hard for either Russia to fake such sources or for Hersh to outright lie.

        All I can say here is that piling your leadership on top of such a pile of hazardous gear and chemicals as is alleged here would be remarkably foolhardy. Hard to believe that such leadership could survive in the environment of the Syrian civil war.

        its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground

        Which let us note would also be ideal weather for a sarin attack.

        For instance numerous outlets/groups reported a smell of chlorine around the site of the bombing even though Sarin is odorless.

        Sarin need not be pure in order to kill. For example, natural gas has a strong odor because of an impurity added to give it a scent - methane and ethane, the principle components of natural gas, don't have an odor. So just because some chemical mixture has an odor of chlorine doesn't mean that it doesn't have sarin in it.

        Finally, I'll note the complete lack of physical evidence to support Hersh's assertion. Where's aerial photos of the bombed regional headquarters? Supposed the UN has determined that victims were exposed to sarin. That seems fairly strong evidence though it doesn't rule out sarin stored locally by this rebellion group.

        What's Hersh's counterclaim? Anonymous experts who may not exist and who may not work for the US, if they do exist.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:03AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:03AM (#534702)

    I saw the word "soclalist" I think I'm gonna shit myself and die and then shit myself again.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:38AM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:38AM (#534714)

      What Hitler did wasn't real National Socialism.

      -- jewg_

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:41AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:41AM (#534715)
        National Socialism was about as socialist as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is democratic.
        • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:48AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:48AM (#534717)

          Disregard that I suck cocks.

          -- jewg_

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @08:00AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @08:00AM (#534722)

            Hey, it is a g_weg sockpuppet! I haven't seen one of these in a while! Must be that that RNC has run out of money to fund them? But, of course, they could not have been spending very much to begin with, since I am Rinse Preivious, Trump's Head of Staff, and right now I have a staff, um, I am in charge, and all you leftist types, whom I do not understand, since I am a Republican and not very well educationed, though I do have a Masters in Bustard Admiration for Soylent News University. Wait, did I say that out load? Is that a thing? Oh my gourd! Holy Watermelon! Masterfully Wielded Zucchinis! Please, more!

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:50AM

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:50AM (#534718) Journal

          And expecting the agenda-driven and, as Carlin calls them, the "symbol-minded" to understand that is a losing bet. It's entirely correct, but the longer I live the more I understand that's somewhere between irrelevant and actually harmful to itself.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Tuesday July 04 2017, @02:22PM

          by isostatic (365) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @02:22PM (#534797) Journal

          Or the United States of America are united?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aristarchus on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:55AM (4 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:55AM (#534720) Journal

    I have always said, from day one, which was 62 B.C., that the military form would destroy whatever culture it infected. Greece resisted long, even under the assaults of the Persians, but fell under its own militarization to fend off that exact same threat. Let this be a lesson.

    The US military has pulled one better than Alexander of Macedon ever could have, not just the threat of the Persians, but the threat of Communism. Greece had a bit of this, as did much of Europe, post-Nazi occupation; we thought we could go back to being socialists, but then the Americans intervened. The idea of democracy, however, as it often does, hung around, and has come home.

    War Crimes, which have been acknowledged since ancient times, persist in the era after they have been explicitly been declared as such. An, unfortunately, it is the United States of America, one of the foremost proponents of the Hague, and the Geneva Conventions, the Nueremberb Tribunals, and the rule of law internationally in general, that is responsible for these most recent war crimes.

    If only Americans could call their military/oil/industrial complex to heel! If they do not, their democracy will not survive long. In fact, it may already have fallen, but no one yet has noticed. Except for the Blond Beast that dwells on the Head of the Pro-Wrestler in chief. So sad. What loosers!

    --
    You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:28PM (#534810)

      Not a single citation, nothing you've said makes sense. You think it better to roll over and play dead, anytime someone threatens? We should have allowed Emperor Hirohito and Hitler to divide the world between them? The Mongols should have been welcomed with open arms, and open legs? Likewise the Persians?

      Go ahead and spew you pacifist nonsense.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @08:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @08:36PM (#534918)

      USA has thousands and thousands and thousands of miles of ocean to the east and the west.
      USA has a friendly nation to its north and south.

      I have mentioned previously [soylentnews.org] that to find someone with whom to pick a fight, USA has to go to the other side of the globe.

      When you have to go to the other side of the globe in order to find people to kill, that is not "defense"; it's AGGRESSION.

      In that post, I also fart in the general direction of the "Defense" Department.

      ...and, interestingly, though the Coast Guard has the -only- legit **defensive** role among the armed services, it wasn't ever under the Department of War except during WWI and WWII (normally under Depts of Commerce/Transportation/Homeland Security).
      It has NEVER been under the Department of "Defense" (which should clearly be called the Department of Aggression).

      AC #534785, up the (meta)thread, mentioned $$$.
      (Weapons of war, munitions, military materiel and the industries which produce those.)

      In another prior comment [soylentnews.org] I mentioned that militarism soaks up over half of USA tax dollars.

      super_bob responds, mentioning that cutting that would cause one hell of a recession.

      I follow, noting the poor Multiplier Effect of militarism.

      .
      ...meanwhile, while much of the world was rebuilding from WWII, Costa Rica quit doing militarism and they're doing great.
      Costa Rica Has Healthcare, Education, & Pensions For All Because They Scrapped Their Army In 1948 [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [dissidentvoice.org]

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:05PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:05PM (#534932)
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by aristarchus on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:37PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:37PM (#534944) Journal

        Reports of my death were greatly exaggerated.

        --
        You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday July 04 2017, @10:34AM (10 children)

    Yeah, um, sorry. He's not privy to classified intel briefings. Or even non-classified briefings really. He heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another we've been messin' around.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:55PM (#534782)

      Maybe. I wouldn't say his judgement (without all the information) is better or staking his reputation on the line means much to me, but journalists certainly shouldn't take governments at their word.

      He is, at least, asking the kind of questions that an investigative journalist should. Have those "privy to classified intel briefings" always told the truth?

    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:30PM (4 children)

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:30PM (#534811) Homepage Journal

      Trust me, I pay O attention to FAKE briefings from the Lying CIA. I call it the Clinton Infiltration Agency. 🇺🇸

      • (Score: 1) by nnet on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:50PM (3 children)

        by nnet (5716) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:50PM (#534833)

        Sad.

        • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:52PM (2 children)

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @05:52PM (#534855) Homepage Journal

          Nobody thought any politician would have the guts to approve that missile strike. And I just closed my eyes and said "do it." It's beautiful, it's great, everybody's happy, the sun is still shining, Assad's on his throne. Let me tell you, he was flying planes from the same airfield the day after my Tomahawk strike. The next day. When I approved it, I thought I’d take a lot of heat. But I took none, actually none. It's amazing. But I take so much heat for nonsense that it probably overrode the other. 🇺🇸

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:28PM (1 child)

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @07:28PM (#534896) Homepage

            Don't lie, you fired at was basically an empty complex and did it to shut up all those neocons barking up your ass. I'm a U.S. Army intel private third class in the NSA, we have your house bugged, and we have the tapes of you grumbling to yourself, "Fucking Jews, Nixon was right about every goddamn one of them!"

            Still, If you can out-Jew the Jews, kick out the illegals and halt the visa programs, then you win and get reelected.

            • (Score: 3, Touché) by bob_super on Thursday July 06 2017, @12:39AM

              by bob_super (1357) on Thursday July 06 2017, @12:39AM (#535476)

              > Still, If you can out-Jew the Jews, kick out the illegals and halt the visa programs, then you win and get reelected.

              Technically, to out-Jew the Jews, he'll need to invade Mexico, eject part of the population into Costa Rica, annex some of it, and colonize the rest progressively while making sure that everyone calls the Mexicans the aggressors and ask them for concessions when they complain. Then he can build himself The Longest Wall ever.
              Or do that to Canada.
              Or both.
              Since so many people seem to think that the Gitmo Gulag is par for the course, we might as well keep raising the bar...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:37PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:37PM (#534872)

      I find your faith disturbing.

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday July 04 2017, @08:11PM (2 children)

        Oh I don't have any particular bit of faith. I just think the guy is speaking without being in possession of the facts.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:06PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:06PM (#534933)

          Prof. Ted Postol has previously debunked the "effectiveness" of anti-missile Patriot missile batteries at destroying incoming warheads in the Middle East.
          (Zero were destroyed; all warheads launched by Iraq hit Allied territory and exploded on impact, most near their intended targets.)

          MIT Scientist FURTHER Debunks False Flag: "The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur" [zerohedge.com]
          By Theodore A. Postol, professor emeritus of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT

          Postol's main expertise is in ballistic missiles. He has a substantial background in air dispersal, including how toxic plumes move in the air. Postol has taught courses on weapons of mass destruction--including chemical and biological threats--at MIT.

          Before joining MIT, Postol worked as an analyst at the Office of Technology Assessment, as a science and policy adviser to the chief of naval operations, and as a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory. He also helped build a program at Stanford University to train mid-career scientists to study weapons technology in relation to defense and arms control policy.

          Postol is a highly-decorated scientist, receiving the Leo Szilard Prize from the American Physical Society, the Hilliard Roderick Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Richard L. Garwin Award from the Federation of American Scientists.

          .
          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.
          [...]
          the nerve agent attack described in the WHR 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.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:50PM (2 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @12:50PM (#534780)

    In the article, there is a statement that sarin is absorbed by paint, so paint samples from the bombed area should be capable of showing if they have been exposed to sarin since whatever structure they were covering was painted.

    If sarin were present at the bombsite; either from the bomb, or from stocks held by the anti-Assad rebels, it should show up.

    It needs a trustworthy group with good chain-of-evidence handling techniques to take a representative number of samples. I wonder if that has been done.

    I have insufficient knowledge to evaluate the credibility of bombed stocks of organophosphate pesticides causing sarin-like symptoms; or indeed of bombed stocks of bleaching agent causing symptoms similar to chlorine poisoning.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:14PM (#534818)

      Since the active agent in many bleaches is chlorine (loosely bound as the hypochlorite ion) I have no trouble believing that a bombed stock of bleach could give off sufficient chlorine to poison nearby people. Don't know about the pesticides, but it sounds plausible. Hell, burning plastic will give off fumes toxic enough to cause symptoms similar to poison gas, up to and incuding death. Burning pesticides are likely to be at least as bad.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by moondrake on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:14PM

      by moondrake (2658) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @04:14PM (#534820)

      Not paint, but a lot of other stuff (soil, vegetation, clothing, dead animals and human samples) were analyzed [opcw.org]. Most of those test positive for sarin (either sarin in low amounts, its by-products or its direct degradation products), or a very similar substance (certainly not chlorine or fertilizer). It looks like the only thing that could not be fully established is that it is not sure that the sarin at the site was dropped by the airplane (but it did originate very close to the site of in pact which is a crater in a road).

      Unless the linked report is completely faked and the OPCW is totally corrupt (and I think not even Trump can pull that off), I think Mr. Hersh is dead wrong here. The only possible explanation other then a direct sarin attach, is that there was sarin already at the site, but I think this is an unlikely explanation (the rebels are unlikely to have the ability to produce it and would have difficulties in using it effectively, it makes no sense to me).

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hartree on Tuesday July 04 2017, @10:20PM (2 children)

    by Hartree (195) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @10:20PM (#534954)

    Bellingcat is a website that does analysis of a variety of military subjects. Elliot Higgins wrote up a piece on this. He has emailed some questions to Hersh but hasn't received answers. He doesn't consider Hersh's story to be very credible.

    Here's the link: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/07/04/opcw-just-trashed-seymour-hershs-khan-sheikhoun-conspiracy-theory/ [bellingcat.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05 2017, @09:28AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05 2017, @09:28AM (#535116)

      Hard to take seriously when first problem they have is arguing over the definition of the word "morning", arguing that the official time of the bombing (11:30, no time zone) is hours later than "morning".

      As for the rest, their argument is based on a report that - according to the comments - itself makes note that those writing the report have had no access to the evidence, and the only sources they have been allowed have been those who already have a vested interest in the conclusion.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by moondrake on Wednesday July 05 2017, @10:03AM

        by moondrake (2658) on Wednesday July 05 2017, @10:03AM (#535123)

        Read the OPCW report yourself, then come back again with an apology. (Short version: the investigators relied on samples collected by people at the site and were in several cases present when samples were took from victims. They did not visit the site in person, but there is a preponderance of evidence. If you do not agree, tell me so many of the victims are pissing IMPA).

        I would like to be wrong (as I do think the western viewpoint is also biased), but Hersh is being a fool here.

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