• ‘No smoking gun’ evidence that Syria used chemical weapons
• Israel the source for current charges of sarin gas use by Assad
By Michael Collins Piper
One of America’s most respected military figures charged publicly that long-standing allegations about the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons may have been, in his words, “an Israeli false flag operation” calculated to stir up opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, long perceived by Israel as a threat to its geopolitical agenda.
And now that the United States seems poised to attack Syria on the basis of new claims about the use of such weapons, what former U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson told Current TV on May 3 bears noting.
A longtime military intimate of U.S. General Colin Powell, and later his chief of staff when Powell was secretary of state under “W” Bush, Wilkerson said his intelligence sources dismissed claims at that time that Assad’s military had used chemical weapons against terrorist forces.
Having loomed over Assad for months, that charge has been reinvigorated and the media revels in the possibility the U.S. will now attack Syria.
However, the Los Angeles Times reported August 27 that Germany’s Focus magazine—citing a former Israeli intelligence official—said Israel was the primary source for current charges about Syria’s alleged use of chemical warfare.
Noting “U.S. intelligence sources long have relied on Israel to help provide intelligence about Syria” the Times didn’t mention it was also Israel that previously supplied the Bush administration much of the false data about supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which provided the pretext for the invasion of that Arab republic.*
The mainstream media carefully suppresses the fact that—as demanded by the Israeli lobby in Washington—U.S. tax dollars (underwriting Israeli covert expertise) instigated the rebellion against Assad that led to the civil war that U.S. blood and treasure are now expected to resolve in a manner satisfactory to Israel.
Although the media suggests the Pentagon is eager for war on Syria, the fact is that—just as before the Iraq war when multiple military leaders were warning of the dangers of such a venture—top brass are likewise urging restraint vis-à-vis Syria. Even Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey recently told Congress that U.S. intervention in Syria would not be in America’s interests.
Yet, despite widespread public opposition to war, many Republicans and Democrats alike—bankrolled by pro-Israel campaign contributors—are clamoring for action.
* See THE GOLEM: Israel’s Nuclear Hell Bomb and the Road to Global Armageddon for more data on this little-known scandal.
Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.
War Crimes Investigator Censored; Claims Rebels Are Using Poison Gas
• D.C., London, Paris move to silence truth about illegal war against Syria
By Richard Walker
The recent knee-jerk reaction by the mainstream media and others accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons to kill as many as 1,300 Syrians typified the way Washington and its allies have consistently ignored important facts in the conflict.
When Syrian rebels claimed there had been a massive chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus, the first reactions included France calling for military intervention followed by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), predicting United States intervention would be “easy and quick.”
McCain’s position symbolized that of fellow warmongers, who have advocated using military force to overthrow the government led by President Bashar al-Assad.
He boasted the U.S. had “stand-off weapons” that would not require boots on the ground. In his opinion, the U.S. military should bomb Assad’s runways and military installations and arm the rebels. He failed to mention that some of those rebels would like to attack America.
One of the most surprising things about the reports of a massive chemical attack was that no one has ever verified the death toll claimed by the rebels. That did not stop the mainstream media and Washington’s allies in the Middle East from accepting the figure. Also, it did not seem to matter that there has been no evidence chemical weapons were used.
Most startling was the fact none of the warmongers asked why the Syrian government, which is clearly winning the war, would resort to using chemical weapons at this time.
The only people who could possibly benefit from a chemical attack would be the rebels. In the past 18 months, rebels have lodged multiple unsubstantiated charges of chemical attacks by the Syrian military, which have provoked outrage against Assad and have led to demands for intervention on the part of the U.S. and its allies.
It makes no sense with Assad winning the war that he would suddenly resort to launching a massive chemical attack when he knows it could provide Washington, Israel, Saudi Arabia and others with a reason to target his military. All along, he has assured his primary backer, Moscow, that he would never use such weapons on his own people.
Russia was quick to react to the international hoopla coming out of Washington and other capitals in the wake of the recent rebel claims. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich suggested the instantaneous mass media response appeared to be a “well-planned provocation” by the rebels, coming days after the Syrian government invited United Nations (UN) teams into Damascus to investigate previous claims of chemical attacks.
“We are urging again all those who have the opportunity to influence armed extremists to make every effort to put an end to provocations with the use of poisonous chemical substances,” he said.
It is worth noting that Washington and the mass media ignored the announcement by the Iraqi authorities on June 2, 2013 that Iraqi law enforcement had uncovered two facilities run by Islamic militants in Baghdad, which were manufacturing sarin and mustard gas for attacks in Syria and in Europe. That followed revelations by war crimes investigator Carla Del Ponte about how she was startled to learn anti-Assad rebels had used sarin gas in Syria. She was part of a United Nations team investigating war crimes in Syria.
A European intelligence source speaking on condition of anonymity told AMERICAN FREE PRESS that the moment Del Ponte made what was a startling statement there were moves behind the scenes to suppress her comments.
“Moscow believes Washington, London and Paris put pressure on the UN to dismiss Del Ponte’s findings,” he said. “The UN subsequently issued its own statement, saying it could not substantiate Del Ponte’s claims about the rebels. The bottom line was, it did not suit Washington and its fellow travelers to be seen working hand in glove with rebels, who had access to chemical weapons and were using them.”
Former Deputy CIA Chief Admits Collapse of Syria Means Disaster
President Barack Obama’s support of Sunni revolutionaries’ efforts to bring down the Syrian government has the potential to invite retaliation against America.
The collapse of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the disintegration of the country could provide rebels, who despise the United States, with access to the kinds of armaments it only dreams of, namely chemical weapons and the most modern Russian-made ground-to-air missiles.
The prospect of this happening is far from fantasy as indicated by Michael J. Morell, the recently retired deputy CIA chief. Morell, who also served under President Bush, believes the fall of Assad would present the United States with its greatest national security threat since 9-11. He predicted Arab revolutionaries would be the major beneficiaries of a regime collapse since the Syrian arsenal would be available to a range of players unless Washington was ready to act militarily to stop that happening.
His views, expressed to The Wall Street Journal, are startling in light of congressional backing for arming the Syrian rebels, who include the Al-Nusra Front and other extreme Islamic militias. The front has been guilty of some of the most hideous atrocities in Syria’s conflict.
One would have to conclude Morell also conveyed his dire analysis to the White House, as well as House and Senate intelligence committees. If he did so, his words clearly fell on deaf ears.
His reading of the Syrian conflict falls directly into line with advice offered to the White House by Moscow. It reminded Obama several times in the past year his support for the Syrian rebels could open up a Pandora’s box of problems, leading to sectarian strife spreading from Syria into Lebanon and Iraq. The Russians have good reason to be concerned with the prospect of Islamic groups armed with chemical and other weapons since the Caucasus, where Islamic militancy is on the rise, is no more than a stone’s throw from Syria and the borders of the Russian Federation.
A senior East European intelligence figure, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, repeated warnings he articulated a year ago about Syria. He said Russia and America have been watching “storm clouds gathering” in the Middle East for some time and should be united in making sure the Assad government does not collapse.
“Washington should know that backing the rebels invites a disaster of perhaps a greater scale than 9-11,” he said. “The Saudis, not Qatar, are now in charge of supplying the rebels, and they think they will control the situation if Assad falls. They are deluding themselves, and Moscow has told them so. Washington should be careful about letting them run the show.”
A sure sign Riyadh is orchestrating the rebel push in Syria has been the sudden appearance of Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar bin al-Sultan. He went into hiding after a Syrian-Iranian-inspired attempt on his life in July 2012. He was injured when a bomb exploded inside the Saudi intelligence headquarters at the time. A personal friend of the Bush family, Bandar was known to have been hatching plans to destroy the Syrian government long before the attempt on his life. He made a recent visit to Moscow to plead with the Russians to stop backing Assad and was sent packing. According to AFP’s intelligence source, Bandar’s advice may be driving D.C.’s Syria policy.
Message to Obama from Congress: No War on Syria Without Our OK
• 116 Congressmen tell Obama in letter he cannot commit to war unilaterally
By Mark Anderson
BATTLE CREEK, Mich.—Representative Justin Amash, on a swing through his West Michigan district during the latter part of the August recess of Congress, told this writer and a gathering of voters that he is among the signers of an urgent August 28 letter to President Obama, pressing him to get Congressional approval on whether or not to launch military action against Syria.
Amash, a promising freshman Republican congressman, spoke to about 50 receptive voters at Brownstone Coffeehouse downtown. The imminent threat of war posed by the large U.S.-led naval armada, reportedly parked off the Syrian coast, was on the minds of many. The letter, signed by a bipartisan coalition of House members, was transmitted to the White House on August 28—the very day of the coffeehouse gathering and one other nearby meeting in Battle Creek that Amash held with his constituents.
As of this writing, Obama’s specific reaction to this letter was not yet known, as Amash told AFP on August 28.
But as September rolled around, Obama basically said that he desired Congress’s input before committing to any military action against Syria.
When this writer pressed Amash on whether Congress should initiate or even demand an emergency session in Washington at such a pivotal time—considering an attack on Syria could invite counteractions by Russia, a strong Syrian ally, and spark other dangers—Amash generally agreed that Congress should act soon, while stressing that the letter to Obama shows that Congress is serious in wanting to regain its traditional role in authorizing the use of force.
The letter itself, however, indicates that the signers were content to leave it up to Obama on whether to call for a special congressional session: “If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request,” the letter itself states. “We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement . . .”
The letter was originated by Representative Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and sent to Obama on behalf of 116 Congressmen. Rigell’s website provides additional information on the basis for his actions.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973, Amash added, simply gives the president sufficient leeway to activate military action only in a purely defensive posture in emergency situations—such as repelling an actual invasion of the U.S. So, Amash reasoned that in the current Syrian situation, there is no legal avenue for the White House to launch an attack without Congressional approval. Amash also cited the Constitution’s provision that only Congress can declare war.
“Obama once said [when he was a Senator] that there should be no war without Congress’s authorization,” Amash remarked, adding it’s ironic that the last time a major attack was launched, against Libya, Congress was out of session then, too.
While the Syrian government might be suspected by some to be guilty of using chemical weapons to kill its own people—the main justification for the armada, though it’s highly disputed by various analysts—various mercenaries and al Qaeda elements wreaking horrific havoc on Syria’s civilian population and its government also seem untrustworthy to Amash. He basically concluded: If the U.S. is not directly attacked, it should not initiative military force—period.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving reporter. Listen to Mark’s weekly radio show on the AMERICAN FREE PRESS RADIO NETWORK.