“In the coming days the American people will learn that the [US]Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib.”
Former DIA Colonel Patrick Lang
“This perversion of principles – twisting information to fit a desired conclusion – became the modus vivendi of American politics and journalism. And those of us who insisted on defending the journalistic principles of skepticism and evenhandedness were increasingly shunned by our colleagues, a hostility that first emerged on the Right and among neoconservatives but eventually sucked in the progressive world as well. Everything became “information warfare.”
Robert Parry — Consortium News
Patrick Lang — a former DIA Colonel — does not mince words about the US attacks on Syria. Lang claims that Donald Trump’s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie.
This post was first published on April 7 2017. The story went viral in a few hours. Once upon a time, most people had a blind faith in the US Government. But after the Iraqi WMDs fiasco, many have learned better. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Today, most people want to see hard facts and evidence before going to another war on the basis of a flimsy piece of bogus intelligence.
RELATED POST: INTEL TODAY — Top 10 Stories of 2017
In the days following the publication of this post, a MIT professor (Theodore A. Postol), several renown journalists (Robert Parry, Hersh Seymour), many former members of the US IC (Including ex-CIA Ray McGovern), former diplomats and even Colonel Wilkerson (Former Chief of staff of General Colin Powell) went public to denounce the official narrative of the Kahn Shaykhun attack. We should all be thankful to these men for their wisdom and courage.
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RELATED POST : Khan Shaykhun — UN Report Paradoxical; Real Experts Needed
Patrick Lang is truly a top expert on the Middle-East. The former DIA Colonel is highly respected for his deep knowledge and absolute honesty.
[NOTE: Many years ago, Lang helped me to understand a very ‘murky’ dossier regarding Libya. I trust his analysis 100%. Last week — knowing full well that the thing was going to hit the fan — I asked him permission to reproduce his posts on my blog. Colonel Lang kindly agreed.]
ANALYSIS by retired Col. Patrick LANG
Donald Trump’s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened.
1. The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
2. The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
3. The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
4. There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.
5. We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called “first responders” handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through “Live Agent” training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.
There are members of the U.S. military who were aware this strike would occur and it was recorded. There is a film record. At least the Defense Intelligence Agency knows that this was not a chemical weapon attack. In fact, Syrian military chemical weapons were destroyed with the help of Russia.
This is Gulf of Tonkin 2. How ironic. Donald Trump correctly castigated George W. Bush for launching an unprovoked, unjustified attack on Iraq in 2003. Now we have President Donald Trump doing the same damn thing. Worse in fact. Because the intelligence community had information showing that there was no chemical weapon launched by the Syrian Air Force.
Here’s the good news. The Russians and Syrians were informed, or at least were aware, that the attack was coming. They were able to remove a large number of their assets. The base the United States hit was something of a backwater. Donald Trump gets to pretend that he is a tough guy. He is not. He is a fool.
This attack was violation of international law. Donald Trump authorized an unjustified attack on a sovereign country. What is even more disturbing is that people like Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and NSA Director General McMaster went along with this charade.
Front line troops know the truth. These facts will eventually come out. Donald Trump will most likely not finish his term as President. He will be impeached, I believe, once Congress is presented with irrefutable proof that he ignored and rejected intelligence that did not support the myth that Syria attacked with chemical weapons.
It should also alarm American taxpayers that we launched $100 million dollars of missiles to blow up sand and camel shit. The Russians were aware that a strike was coming. I’m hoping that they and the Syrians withdrew their forces and aircraft from the base.
Whatever hope I had that Donald Trump would be a new kind of President, that hope is extinguished. He is a child and a moron.
He committed an act of war without justification. But the fault is not his alone. Those who sit atop the NSC, the DOD, the CIA, the Department of State should have resigned in protest. They did not. They are complicit in a war crime.
About Patrick Lang
Walter Patrick “Pat” Lang, Jr. (born May 31, 1940) is a commentator on the Middle East, a retired US Army officer and private intelligence analyst, and an author.
After leaving uniformed military service as a Colonel, he held high-level posts in military intelligence as a civilian. He led intelligence analysis of the Middle East and South Asia for the Defense Department and world-wide HUMINT activities in a high-level equivalent to the rank of a lieutenant-general. [WIKIPEDIA]
UPDATE I — On July 11 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo was the keynote speaker at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) dinner, and was afterward interviewed by Charlie Allen, a senior intelligence adviser at INSA.
The text of the speech has been posted on the CIA website on July 11 2017 and ‘updated’ on July 14 2017. The version currently posted does not correspond to what Pompeo actually said regarding the Khan Shaykhoun chemical attack. I believe that the differences are intentional and highly significant.
Here is what Pompeo actually (verbatim) said [@19:20 mark] :
I’ve now spent six months nearly working for president trump. He is a demanding customer, and frankly, we like it that way. It shows he depends on us and values what we do. Let me give you a brief example to illustrate that point.
Back in April one afternoon, I got a call from the president. He wants to talk about some disturbing images that he saw coming in from Syria. I’m sure you saw many of them yourselves, scenes of innocent civilians writhing in agony, the apparent victims of chemical weapon attacks. The president had a very direct message for me. He wanted to know exactly what had happened and he wants to know quickly. So, we assembled a crack team —a couple hundred folks at the Agency — to begin to diagnose and understand what had taken place. They began piecing together evidence, working closely with some outstanding partners from across the Intelligence Community.
The next day the president called the cabinet together. Then he turned to me and asked what we had learned. Several of us shared what we now knew. I told them that the intelligence community had concluded that chemical weapon had indeed been used in the attack and launched by the Syrian regime.
And here is the transcript currently posted on the CIA website:
The President is a demanding customer. And we like it that way, because it shows that he depends on us and values what we do. Let me give you an example to illustrate the point.
I got a call from the President one afternoon back in April. He wanted to talk about some disturbing images that were coming in from Syria. I’m sure you saw many of them yourselves—scenes of innocent civilians writhing in agony, the apparent victims of a chemical weapons attack.
The President had a very direct message for me: Find out what happened. So we immediately assembled a crack team of Agency experts. They began piecing together the evidence, working closely with some outstanding partners from across the Intelligence Community.
The next day the President called his cabinet together. As we sat down, he turned to me and asked what we had learned. I told him that the IC had concluded that a chemical weapon had indeed been used in the attack, and that it had been launched by the Syrian regime.
You notice that three key pieces of information have been deleted.
As soon as I heard that part of the speech, I felt something was wrong. ‘You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.’ And you sure cannot produce a complex intelligence report in less than 24 hours by assembling 200 analysts…
I believe that Pompeo told the truth when he said that Trump wanted a quick result. Ask yourself what was the urgency to get a guilty verdict against the Syrian regime?
And — of course — Pompeo had to somehow explain how on earth the CIA could come up with such a result in so little time, thus the 200 experts…
Then, someone must have realized that Pompeo had made a blunder when he revealed that Trump wanted an immediate result. And this surely explains why the official transcript of the speech was edited.
Commenting on the bombing of the Shayrat Air Base, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria pompously declared:
“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States.”
Finally, ask yourself why the sentence “Several of us shared what we now knew.” has been deleted? Perhaps, Pompeo has learned that it can be lonely at the top… I suspect that no CIA analysts are willing to back up his narrative of the event.
END OF UPDATE I
UPDATE II — The United Nations-sponsored report on the April 4 sarin incident in an Al Qaeda-controlled town in Syria blames Bashar al-Assad’s government for the atrocity. However, a carefull reading of its “Annex II” demonstrates that the conclusion is hardly facts-based.
The UN “Joint Investigative Mechanism” Report states that “Witnesses reported that the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017 was carried out by an airplane between 0630 and 0700 hours.
At the same time, the medical records of the first victims appear to contradict the main finding of the “Mechanism” Report as several hospitals appeared to start admitting casualties before the attack allegedly occurred!
The admission times of the records range between 0600 and 1600 hours. Analysis of the aforementioned medical records revealed that in 57 cases, patients were admitted in five hospitals before the incident in Khan Shaykhun (at 0600, 0620 and 0640 hours).
And yet, the UN Report — and most of the mainstream media — simply concludes that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017. Amazing!
“The irregularities described in this annex are not of such a nature as to call into question the aforementioned findings.
There are none so blind as those who will not see. END OF UPDATE II
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