28 August 2013
Commit a war crime to cover up a war crime?
This is where it all started: The Israeli intelligence front the Debkafile, which is the source of the story that implicated the Assad government and/or its military in the gas attack on East Ghouta and now forms the basis for the war on Syria.
DEBKAfile’s military sources affirm that, just as the Assad brothers orchestrated the chemical shell attack on Syrian civilians, so too did Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah set in motion the rocket attack on Israel. – ‘The sarin shells fired on Damascus – by Syrian 4th Division’s 155th Brigade – were followed by rockets on Israel and car bombings in Lebanon‘, Debkafile, 24 August 2013
Let’s try sum up what we do know:
On the 21 August from a suburb of Damascus, Douma (or Duma) then under ‘rebel’ control, two missiles were fired at another ‘rebel’ controlled suburb of Damascus called East Ghouta, killing an unknown number of people, including children. It is assumed now that some kind of nerve gas or at least poison gas was used. The New York Times have documented this here, although they’ve moved some of the locations on the map. In this regard how does the NYT reconcile their take on the source of the missiles with the Mossad version, which makes them artillery shells fired from the mountains in the South ( see the Mossad version below, such as it is). This is confirmed by Pepe Escobar’s report of Russian satellite evidence.
Within hours, or even minutes, videos of the alleged effects of the attack were circulating on the Web and without a pause for a breath (let alone any evidence), led by the UK and followed closely by France, they were blaming the Assad government for the attack and pressing for an immediate attack on Syria, with or without authorisation from the UN Security Council.
For more on this see this Wiki, where details on the launch of the two missiles can be found. It’s not exactly a coherent presentation as it’s an assemblage of links and descriptions, but it looks like the missiles were launched from a Syrian Special Forces base in Douma (or Duma) then occupied by the ‘rebels’.
For several days, in fact until today, 28 August, there was no evidence offered in the mainstream media that confirmed the allegations made by the US, the UK and France. Then a story released by the Israeli Mossad intelligence service to the German magazine Focus on the 24 August got picked up by the MSM. Today the 28th a report in the London Guardian newspaper tells us that the ‘evidence’ was from an Israeli source, specifically the 8200 intelligence unit of the Israeli Defence Forces:
“which specialises in electronic surveillance, intercepted a conversation between Syrian officials regarding the use of chemical weapons, an unnamed former Mossad official told Focus. The content of the conversation was relayed to the US, the ex-official said.” – The Guardian, 28 August 2013
A more complete article on the Israeli connection can be found in a Times of Israel article dated 27 August:
It was Brun, the IDF’s top intelligence analyst, who in April shocked the international community by declaring that the army was quite certain that Assad had used chemical weapons against rebel forces in Syria in March.
This time, too, Israeli military intelligence has reportedly played a key role in providing evidence of Assad’s chemical weapons use. On Friday, Israel’s Channel 2 reported that the weapons were fired by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, a division under the command of the Syrian president’s brother, Maher Assad. The nerve gas shells were fired from a military base in a mountain range to the west of Damascus, the TV report said.
The report did not state the source of its information. But subsequently, Germany’s Focus magazine reported that an IDF intelligence unit was listening in on senior Syrian officials when they discussed the chemical attack. According to the Focus report Saturday, a squad specializing in wire-tapping within the IDF’s prestigious 8200 intelligence unit intercepted a conversation between high-ranking regime officials regarding the use of chemical agents at the time of the attack. The report, which cited an ex-Mossad official who insisted on remaining anonymous, said the intercepted conversation proved that Assad’s regime was responsible for the use of nonconventional weapons.
Giora Inbar, the former head of the IDF’s liaison unit in southern Lebanon, said Tuesday that Israeli military intelligence made a priority of intelligence-gathering in Syria, was very well-informed, and was widely trusted. The United States was “aware of” Israel’s intelligence on the doings of the Syrian regime, he said in a Channel 2 interview, “and relies upon it.” – ‘Israeli intelligence seen as central to US case against Syria‘, Times of Israel (my emph. WB)
Here’s a Google translation of the relevant passage from the Focus article:
Mossad: “poison gas missile by Syrian government forces”
According to the findings of Israeli intelligence community, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the gas attack in Damascus. One unit of the Military Intelligence Service Amam, which specializes in wireless spy “Unit 8200”, controlled (tapped?) at the time of the gas attack, the communication of the Syrian army. A former Mossad officer told FOCUS, the analysis has clearly shown that the bombardment with poison gas missiles was made by Syrian government forces. – ‘UN calls on Syria to allow access for poison gas inspectors‘, Focus magazine, 24 August 2013
I think what’s apparent here is that Mossad used a device that is quite common when governments/intelligence agencies want to plant a phony story; release it through a relatively unknown publication and wait for it to be picked up by the MSM. After all, if the ‘crack’ 8200 Unit was actually listening in on the 21st August “at the time of the attack” to Syrian Army radio, why didn’t they immediately release the information to the world (even as it happened!)? Isn’t that what you or I would have done with that kind of war-starting information?
Then there was the panic on Saturday 24 August by the USUK to try and get the UN inspection team’s visit to Syria, cancelled. Now what was that all about? The USUK backed it up with talk about it ‘being too late’ and that the Assad regime had ‘cleaned up’ (this in an area then not controlled by the Syrian government). Too late to find out if hundreds of people had been gassed?
The sudden reversal and overt hostility toward the U.N. investigation, which coincides with indications that the administration is planning a major military strike against Syria in the coming days, suggests that the administration sees the U.N. as hindering its plans for an attack.
Kerry asserted Monday that he had warned Syrian Foreign Minister Moallem last Thursday that Syria had to give the U.N. team immediate access to the site and stop the shelling there, which he said was “systematically destroying evidence”. He called the Syria-U.N. deal to allow investigators unrestricted access “too late to be credible”. – ‘In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail U.N. Probe‘, Gareth Porter, IPS, 28 August 2013
In yet another version of the Mossad-inspired story, in the Israeli Tikum Olam we read:
It [Ynet on the 27 August] says that three senior Israeli military-intelligence officers are currently in Washington briefing their U.S. counterparts on the Unit 8200 intercepts. The paper also claims that the primary evidence the west is using on which to base its charges of Syria government responsibility is the IDF secret intercepts. This makes me nervous for several reasons: one, because IDF claims are notoriously unreliable. This brings to mind the Mossad’s notoriously biased “evidence” offered regularly to the IAEA to “prove” Iran’s intent to develop nuclear weapons. Two, it makes me wonder what Israel’s ulterior motives may be in weighing in like this. – German Report That Israel’s NSA Affirms Syria Government Responsibility for Chemical Attacks, By Richard Silverstein, Tikum Olam, 26 August 2013
And what of the UN mandate that forbade the inspection team from apportioning blame, should it be able to do that? Everything looks set to fail except the option to bomb.
Why the rush to war?
And ultimately, why the rush to war without even falsified evidence to offer until this late stage? Surely, if on the day of the attack the Israelis had released the information of an alleged gas attack by the Syrian government, it would have given the US and the UN, every (albeit twisted) justification to attack instead of relying on “belief” and “common sense” as Hague and Kerry both asserted?
I never thought I’d see the private intelligence arm of the US state, Stratfor utter the following but I think it’s another indication of a false flag plot gone seriously amiss that only an immediate attack on Syria could have masked:
Stratfor’s job is to analyze the world as objectively as possible, and the situation in Syria is among the most difficult we have seen. The problem is we really don’t know what happened. The general consensus is Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons against his enemies. The problem is trying to figure out why he would do it. He was not losing the civil war. In fact, he had achieved some limited military success recently. He knew that U.S. President Obama had said the use of chemical weapons would cross a red line. Yet Assad did it.
Or did he? Could the rebels have staged the attack in order to draw in an attack on al-Assad? Could the pictures have been faked? Could a third party, hoping to bog the United States down in another war, have done it? The answers to these questions are important, because they guide the U.S. and its allies’ response. The official explanation could be absolutely true–or not. – Stratfor Email 28 August 2013
No wonder Stratfor is circumspect about the cause of the chemical attack. Worse, it’s even doubting the US government when it says, “The official explanation could be absolutely true–or not.”
If as Gareth Porter asserts, the US wanted the inspection team canceled because I assume, it didn’t want have to bomb them as well the unfortunate Syrians, then it follows that regardless of the evidence, the Empire had planned to rain death and destruction from afar on Syria, and had planned to do so since last year. And then it was presented with the perfect opportunity until those damn UN inspectors got in the way!
Waging war would avoid the embarrassing act of actually finding out what went on and as we know the victor writes the history. By the time cooler heads get to have a look at the facts, it’s all ‘history’.