"Contrary to the general impression in Congress and the news media, the Syria chemical warfare intelligence summary released by the Barack Obama administration Aug. 30 did not represent an intelligence community assessment, an IPS analysis and interviews with former intelligence officials reveals.
The evidence indicates that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper culled intelligence analyses from various agencies and by the White House itself, but that the White House itself had the final say in the contents of the document.
Leading members of Congress to believe that the document was an intelligence community assessment and thus represents a credible picture of the intelligence on the alleged chemical attack of Aug. 21 has been a central element in the Obama administration’s case for war in Syria.
That part of the strategy, at least, has been successful. Despite strong opposition in Congress to the proposed military strike in Syria, no one in either chamber has yet challenged the administration’s characterisation of the intelligence. But the administration is vulnerable to the charge that it has put out an intelligence document that does not fully and accurately reflect the views of intelligence analysts.
Former intelligence officials told IPS that that the paper does not represent a genuine intelligence community assessment but rather one reflecting a predominantly Obama administration influence.
In essence, the White House selected those elements of the intelligence community assessments that supported the administration’s policy of planning a strike against the Syrian government force and omitted those that didn’t.
In a radical departure from normal practice involving summaries or excerpts of intelligence documents that are made public, the Syria chemical weapons intelligence summary document was not released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence but by the White House Office of the Press Secretary." Gareth Porter
Nathan Hale told the British soldier who put the noose around his neck that he regretted that he had but one life to give for his country. A statue of Hale standing with his hands tied behind him is placed in front of the old building at CIA headquarters as well as this one at Yale.
James Clapper, Lieutenant General (ret.) USAF is currently Director of National Intelligence for the United States of America.
According to Porter, Clapper "cherry-picked" across the IC to find bits and pieces of opinion and "data" with which to construct a document that he then did not sign. This is why the document was issued by the WH press office rather than as an IC assessment.
Perhasps he has some fear of the judgment of history.
This procedure of constructing public "reality" through control of the narrative is identical to that followed by the Iraq Group in Cheney's White House and the Office of Special Plans in Rumsfeld's office. The level of contempt displayed for the citizenry is equal to that of the Bush Administration.
We are coming to the end of the Republic that our fathers built. The Principate approaches. pl
If I am remembering correctly, I think that quite a while back, Col. Lang suggested on this site that Syria get rid of its chemical weapons.
Now, as of about 11:15 a.m. central time, unless it is a hoax, a variation of that may be underway, as Russia may be playing chess.
Check. Russia suggests that Syria put its chemical weapons under international control–
Checkmate. Syria says OK–
If true, this is 100% funny. We can look forward to the next instance of Sec. State John Kerry howling at the moon.
Luckily the competence of the current Sec State is much smaller than those of his Russian counterparts.
Kerry made an offhand remark about Assad giving up his chem weapons. Then the State Department tried immediately to walk back that offer. But Lavrov called checkmate and offered to put Syria’s chem weapons under “international control”. Syria accepted. Russian officers will watch those weapons and thereby become human shields to prevent U.S./Israeli attacks on these weapons and the Obama administration is now left without any reason to start its war on Syria.
Destroying those chem weapons will take a decade or two leaving enough time for Syria to build up alternatives.
The insurgents and terrorists in Syria will be without U.S. air cover and will be fought down in a year or two.
It’s not me. that is largely trade jargon. pl
We will see what happens, but I remember the public mood after the trade centre bombings and before the Iraq war.
EVERYONE wanted the USA to find and punish somebody. They wanted the USA to strike back! To fix what had happened.
But then came the results:
No clear cut victory.
Endless worry about terrorism.
Economic malaise with lower standard of living for the bottom majority of Americans
Returning vets with all kinds of problems
Loss of civil rights and personal privacy.
People have wised up.
Now NOBODY wants anymore wars for a while.
A 180 degree turn.
I’m Surprised the Pres. did not clearly see this.
I’m not sure that Obama’s heart is in this fight but he found himself trapped in a predicament that he put himself and the nation in with those words red line. Going to Congress to ask for their okay, when he knows that the house will not okay anything he wants is a good way to get out of it.
It will be interesting to see what he says to the nation on Tuesday. If he is very convincing and strong then I am wrong, but if he remains weak and unconvincing, it could be a passive way out of a bad situation.
I am not saying this is a good way to lead the country but in my book it beats attacking a country that poses not danger to us.
Col Lang, There is a vital last minute information that can put to rest once and for all the claim that Assad forces used the chemical weapons. It is coming from the Italian and Belgian journalists who were kidnapped by the rebels and have been release this monday morning. They claim to have first hand proof that it was the rebels who used the chemical weapons they were held by the rebels and supported the free Syrian army this is a bombshell. Here is the article in french and the interview with belgian TV. The chichen hawks are standing on quick sand… Here’s the link. http://www.rtl.be/videos/video/456856.aspx
“reasoning from a conclusion” is a sure path to perdition.
Would it ever be possible that a neutral party could be found that would negotiate peace in the Middle East? Start with Syria and not insist on regime change, but listen to the parties involved that would include all the countries including Saudia Arabia, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and anyone else that needs to be involved in the process, which possibly could include representatives from the United States.
Al Qaeda Jihadists need rooting out from all the countries.
Only by listening to all the issues presented could a peace proposal possibly succeed. Millions of people are suffering from displacement within countries. More civil wars will erupt in the middle east.
A sustainable solution needs finding which could involve redrawing of boundaries but only if countries agree on the new geographical lines.
No country should have superiority over others such as none having veto powers.
Perhaps Switzerland would agree to be a host to the talks that would last a very long time–a cessation of hostilities would allow countries to handle the current refugee displacements.
If Russia and Syria are being sincere on this, then the Obama Administration will pretend that it is not “for real” or “not fast enough” to start the war he/they want to start.
I called my 2 Senators’ DC and local offices. Stabenow DC ONly had a taped message machine. So I left my comment there. Levin’s DC office had a way to reach a real staffer. So I started by saying I’m from Michigan and then tried listing in order how I would vote next election based on how Levin votes on the war resolution. Since I began with “If Levin votes for the resolution I will vote for Levin’s Republican wannabe successor.” The staffer cut me off after just a few more words. The lesson for me is: next time start with ” if the Senator votes against, I will vote for” so the staffer starts off happier.
Now Kerry is bigging up the Syrian CW stockpile. Perhaps he has forgotten that the US undertook to destroy its own stock by April of last year (after an extension). Currently it expects to achieve total destruction by 2020. More than 10% of its stocks remain intact in two depots in Colorado and Kentucky. The US still has probably 10 times the amount available to Syria at the very least. Russia has more than that, though it has destroyed a greater quantity than the US. So Syria ‘may’ have 100s of litres of VX, in addition to older nerve agents and mustard. This still pales into insignificance when one considers the probable holdings of Israel, Egypt, Iran and others. However Iran, unlike Syria, Israel and Egypt has signed and ratified the CWC and submitted to inspection.
Ah, Clapper! A credible source! Lied to Congress, lied about Syrian intelligence.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
And this whole charade is about American credibility? I’d say Clapper has pretty well destroyed it.
not sure if you saw this one–
potential hoax but rather extensive. Senior U.S. Intelligence Col. Anthony MacDonald congratulates colleague on staging things well Aug 21, comforts wife that the “dead” kids in the video aren’t really dead. Takes bio down from LinkedIn.
contrast this with working pages
that also point to at least one crew of creative videographers.
wrt Syria/Russia: Congrats on peace, great move.
Iran has consistently denounced usage of chemical weapons. It is critical to hear this. 67% of Israelis are also willing to join NPT/MENWFZ if Iran does. Smart people will bundle a treaty with Iran and Israel while the iron is hot.
The Principate approaches—–
We get closer and closer.
Let us pray that the Russians get in between President Obama and the Syria’s chemical weapons. Please read Brigadier General FB Ali’s comment in the previous post.
This has been very difficult. It is hard to watch a young Vietnam Vet, who asked who would be the last to die for a mistake, transform himself into a botox addicted, Secretary of State, channeling the mad dog persona of President Nixon and Senator McCain, chanting “Bomb Bomb Syria”.
Colonel, when is someone going to point the finger at this loud and clear?
From mjayrosenberg.com, today.
Will AIPAC Allow Obama To Cut A Deal To Avoid War?
National Security Adviser, Susan Rice indicates that the administration may not be interested in avoiding war in Syria.
Rice, who famously said, that defending Israel’s actions is part of her job, said this afternoon that unless the U.S. acts in Syria it could allow “an aspiring nuclear Iran, to believe that we are shying away from our determination to back up our longstanding warnings.”
Although the Obama administration is full of officials who take their cues from AIPAC, Susan Rice and her successor at the UN, Samantha Power, might as well be AIPAC employees. Neither would be in their current jobs if they had not cynically decided a long time ago that being a lobby cutout was the ticket to power.
If Rice is indicating that the Syrian-Russian offer is not good enough, that means that AIPAC feels the same way. The logic is that avoiding war in favor of a nonviolent solution with Syria now would set a terrible precedent with Iran later.
Let’s see what happens. AIPAC may insist on war.
Gareth Porter’s assessment of Rice and Kerry yesterday on Scott Horton’s radio show was a masterful understatement…a side remark that they have personal problems.
I’ll try to find the minute. Porter is talking about the article that PL excerpted above, and talks about his sources. the rice/Kerry thing starts at 24:30, then picks it up again 1.5 minutes later.
So why do we pay $100B a year if cherries are to be picked?
We are coming to the end of the Republic that our fathers built. The Principate approaches. pl
You mean Sandy “the fact checker” Crowley or George “Mr. Contraception” Stephanopoulos were not enough to convince the American people of the dangers of moral relativism?
panem et circenses
So has Kerry become the “Accidential
Tourist”? stumbling his way through
possibly the decisive moment of this
momentous process? Could this admin-
istration be chess moves ahead or is
it fortuitous bumbling as many have
claimed. The unfolding events are any-
thing but predictable at this time.
Possibly “the” seismic shift in foreign
policy in the last 50 years.
You know, after having talked to some people I know about this folly of interventionism, I’m pretty shocked at how quickly things get ugly with those who are awfully gung ho about how this intervention is different, and many of these people are the same people who were willing to impeach GWB or worse for having “done” Iraq! Is Assad such a “clearly worse” thug than Hussein? Where do these people come from anyways?
One addendum I’d like to add to the last is the incredible arrogance of these interventionists: we can’t allow Assad to do X, Y, or Z, and many of these X, Y, or Z have nothing to do with chemical weapons per se–they just don’t like Assad, they don’t like his existence, and they just want to use this as excuse to be rid of him. But this is not an attitude limited only to this sordid exercise or even foreign policy realm in general: I’ve seen many people–from both parties–who talk thusly on matters of domestic politics as well: How they can’t “allow” their political enemies, essentially, to exist and engage in politics. What are they? A race of gods endowed with absolute power over us mere mortals, who may only be allowed to act, talk, and think as they please? Truly, partisans (pun intended) for a principate, the whole lot of them, regardless of which “party” they belong to….
You stated “We are coming to the end of the Republic that our fathers built. The Principate approaches.” Would you care to discuss how things came to this pass in the USA: due to complacency and neglect, or through malicious intent? Your analysis would be-as usual-very valuable to some of us.
In Turkey, unless we, Turks, put a stop to it-and I hope we will-the approaching darkness is the caliphate. As opposed to Kunuri, I think this can be accomplished only through force. For the record, part of the responsibility for the Turkish debacle can be laid at the door of those who preached democracy and facilitated the power grab by the islamists for the first 10 years of the erdogan regime. Some of these folks-a good example is Henri Barkey-a Sephardic Jew born and educated until college in Istanbul-seem to be “rethinking” their support. As usual, these “prophets” are a day late and a dollar short, and we will have to do the clean up.
We live in interesting times.
In this country misguided ideolgues like Henri Barkey and a dumbed-down citizenry are to blame. In olden times, the concept of citizen was far more narrowly understood and the franchise restricted to “stakeholders” in the social order as it was conceived by the founders and framers. In reaction to that, the intelligentsia proposed and has largely achieved a situation in which any fool can vote and in which the fool’s vote is for sale in terms of government money. De Toqueville predicted it would be thus and that the Republic would die when the government comprehended that “the people” (the mob) could be bribed with other Americans’ money. A wiser course of action would have been to find ways to include as “Stakeholders” those women, Blacks and others who were qualified to be fully robed in the status of Citizen and to make citizenship a prize to be won in each generation by all. Instead, we have a bovine public, poorly educated if at all that is easily led by propaganda deliberately applied as in the present Syrian imbroglio. It is a sad thing when the process of state deliberation is dependant for Hegelian balance on the efforts of greybeards and other “outliers” in society. The content of world culture and civilization is now disdained in the US. Such business oriented skills as “rhetoric are valued over the humanities. The products of such a system will lie well and without conscience. As you know I served three years in Izmir on the Staff of the NATO command for SE Europe. I loved my time in Turkey, as did my wife. I think you are right. The cancer of political Islamism is too deeply embedded in Turkey now to be removed without surgery. pl
I think that if Obama was 100% behind an attack in Syria, it would have already happened. The Russian/Syrian proposal just offered him a face-saving way out of a mess he let himself get dragged into, and Obama jumped at it.
“The stakes are high, but they are long term,” he said, adding that he did not “foresee a succession of votes this week, or any time in the immediate future”
I am one who was willing to impeach President Bush for what was in my opinion a war of aggression in Iraq. I am also quite willing to impeach President Obama for what I would consider another elective war of aggression in Syria-should he go after Assad. I do know that there are many scholars and international lawyer here on SST and elsewhere that would say that Bushcheney got their AUMF , and BHO could potentially get his AUMF for Syria as well . But to that I would say that if the intelligence was a pack of lies for both Iraq & Syria – then why not start impeachment proceedings – since that is the indictment part of removing our Executive , and then let the Senate be the trier of facts to test if the cooked intelligence willfully done is not a war of aggression otherwise .
PS – I also thought that President Clinton should not have been impeached for having a girlfriend .
Many of us could be persuaded that USA citizenship should be earned , – what would be your criteria ?
Mine would be some type of national service.
Owning property perhaps.
A test for Civics – how does the government work ?
A History test ?
this is a very good idea I think ..
Will early national elections be called in Turkey ? And if so is there any small hope that Erdogan and entourage might be defeated in this election , or at least made to mitigate the Islamist agenda ?
That is what I do not understand either.
He was elected on a Peace platform and had no political obligation to go propose to go war in Syria.
Did someone advise him to do so?
Was it his own choice?
And why isn’t anyone fired for this?
Well Well Well you have to give it to HWR.
They beat the OPCW/UN team in their revelations ( insert sarcasm):
I’m pretty sure you’ve read Heinlein; think I recall seeing his name bandied about here. In “Starship Troopers” he postulates a society where only those who have successfully completed a term of national service are entitled to vote. Such service is not limited to military, can be administrative or other civil service, but it must be completed.
In discussion of why the system was used he says “because it works” and other systems, including universal voting, failed miserably. I always thought his point, fiction or not, was well taken, and this was back in the fifties.
I also rather thought that his system might work a lot better than our present one.
My Canadian friend,
The only problem here is that none of the players in this “Theater” see eye-to-eye.
IMO Heinlein’s prescription of national service as a pre-requisite for the franchise would be my choice. In Heinlein’s version of this such service must voluntary, a couple of years in length, onerous and dangerous. Military service is only one of the possibilities and it should be the responsibility of the government to find some possibility of service for one and all regardless of physical infermities. All the other aspects of citizenship would be unaffected by the absence of voting rights in an individual. IMO there would be many who would decide that they did not need to vote. Only the devoted deserve the vote. pl
Seems to me that the “what’s different this time” question cuts both ways. Many regulars here (SST) were quite opposed to the invasion of Iraq, but I don’t recall much discussion of Impeachment in that case.
I think there are two parts to the problem you’re pointing out.
One is the worsening partisan/cultural divide in this country. There are many roots to this, but frankly, I place much of the blame for the decline in civility on the vitriol spewed by Rush Limbaugh & his ilk.
The other effect is that the excuses for this “intervention” are aimed more at liberals & women. Bush/Cheney played the R2P card too, but the real “sell” for Iraq was 1) redirected vengeance for 9-11, and 2) absurd claims of threats to our “homeland” (mushrooms). In both cases, AIPAC was in favor of war, and the MSM jumped on board (I don’t think that’s a coincidence, but the linkage is fuzzy).
Many liberals who were rightly skeptical of Bush/Cheney “evidence” were swayed by Powell’s UN show. Who’s playing that role now? Kerry? McCain? hahahahahaha, oh, that hurts…
Clinton was impeached for being a Democrat & President at the same time.
RE: The content of world culture and civilization is now disdained in the US. Such business oriented skills as “rhetoric are valued over the humanities.
What a Great Loss for the youth in America.
Col. sir, “Rhetoric” is for the Weasels & I for one am [unfortunately] acquainted with a great number of them…
Starship Troopers, a fun movie, especially if you’re not fond of insects. I own it on dvd.
Anyway, perhaps our system of voting is flawed for another reason? It’s not mandatory. Only about 60% of eligible Americans are registered to vote, and of them just less than 60% actually come out to vote. How can you have tyranny of the majority, when the majority does not vote?
Col., I would ask how Locke’s idea of property arising out of labor fits into your view of ‘stakeholders’? I value your opinions.
“In other words, unless you have served in furtherence of this, or the previous regime, your vote or views don’t count?. You really want that? DaveGood” You are inventing your own text and attributing it to others. Nobody said that except you. such qualification for the franchise would be for life without reference to who is in power. pl
Paul Verhoeven, the producer of that abysmally bad film admitted that he had not read the book. Have you? I am not interested in any idea of a qualification to vote based on ownership of anything on any basis. pl
You need to have some built-in mechanism to protect the young women in such a setting – specially from those in the hierarchy.
What do you suggest, some sort of nunnery? I am not interested in protecting anyone’s virginity. The crime of rape should remain a felonious assault. pl
No Sir, I have not read the book. But please don’t mistake that for criticism, I really did enjoy the movie. So bad, it’s good. Do you recommend the book? I enjoy a good read.
You mentioned above “In olden times, the concept of citizen was far more narrowly understood and the franchise restricted to “stakeholders” in the social order as it was conceived by the founders and framers”
I have always understood this to mean owners of real property. Have I misunderstood?
US credibility has been on the ropes since Bush II. Hearing people in Obama’s cabinet recycle Dubya’s faulty rhetoric is just a reminder of the state of things.
I read the book when it was published. I think I was 19. I do recommend the book. It is a good adventure story and an interesting political tract. the movie is absurd and terrible. I prefer “Troll Hunter” as an escape into the absurd. pl
I’ve heard good things about Troll Hunter and it is on my list. *sigh* I wonder what Alan Farrell would have to say about that one?
I just now wrote to ask him for a review. He is still sulking in his cabin/tent on Stalling’s Mountain at Glasgow, Virginia. pl
I think that Iranian leaders are always ready for a deal but the deal acceptable to them is not on the table.
No, there is a need to make a situation in which Power will not be used to give access to young women by older men while the young men are not getting it.
As is today, young men in US have nothing, while young women use their sexual powers to the hilt.
In this “National Service” scheme, young men will be subject to the discipline and power of older men while young women can “get away with it.”
Rhetoric is being give a bad wrap here; it was part of the Platonic Trivium and to this day it is taught all over the world where intellectual education has survived – even in the religious schools of Qum, Najaf, Cairo it is taught.
Its abuse by propagandist does not lessen its importance as a tool for the Inellect.
I have no problem with “rhetoric” as a tool. I have a great of trouble with the notion of sustituting this tool for the study of content in the academy. pl
IMO you are overly concerned with sexual politics. What do you make of the fact that most reported sexual “assaults” in the US military are male on male? pl
Having been around many foreign nationals that became US citizens, I’ve always thought the test given for citizenship by the INS would be a good start in applying for a voter registration card. Or resurrect Universal Military Training. http://www.historians.org/projects/GIRoundtable/UMT/UMT_TOC.html
Yes, I agree.
Now it is the young men of substance who study the content in the academy and go on to solve the problems at the end of the chapter while other young men and women are partying.
Yes, but the very structure of higher education is being altered to accomodate and create philistinism. For exampl the English Department at my alma mater is now “The Department of English, Rhetoric anbd Humanistic Studies.” How convenient! Put all the disdained subjects in one department and then starve it until you can drown it. pl
It is much the same in other fields.
I am well-aware of the colonel’s disdain for “political science,” but, traditionally, this was a discipline (for a large segment of its practitioners) dedicated to the understanding of what goes on in politics–“we are trying to understand politics, not become politicians” used to be the de facto motto for much of the field. Its transformation into an industry (seemingly) dedicated to dispensing grandiloquent advice to politicians about what we “should” do to the rest of the world is largely a post world war 2 phenomenon. Last couple of decades, though, saw the latter category of charlatans increasingly displace the former as academia increasingly tries to become “relevant” and “practical.”
The Principate approaches…
Yes – we should all have to pass basic Citizen’s of these United States competence test , a very good idea.
It is my opinion that Robert H Heinlein is a Classic American Author – just as much as Samuel Clemons or James Fenimore Cooper . I had forgotten that in Starship Trooper you have had to serve to vote . In the Moon is a harsh Mistress – the moon colony rebelled for many of the same reasons we are faced with today . Some day when I retire I will reread Heinlein’s works I remember that Farnham’s Freehold is quite likely germane to current discussions here at SST .
Rape should be a capital offense – period .
The Colonel has already responded to your question. These folks will not leave quietly. They are afraid of the aftermath. We will need surgery.
Troll Hunter! I enjoyed it immensely.
Thanks for holding this administration’s feet to the fire.
I’m surprised how insulated the media seem from public opinion. I prefer internet access to cable or satellite TV, though; I like to pick my news and not be force fed. (Had to look up ‘Principate’ on Wikipedia. The definition will not be found on cable TV!)
Haven’t seen that movie yet but just read Alan’s book of poetry,
“Expended Casings” while sitting by the campfire a few miles West of Gettysburg.
It is well worth reading if you haven’t. Done so already.
Alan is an older version of the young man in Walker Percy’s “Lancelot” who is depicted as sitting in the moonlight on a mountain top in the Blue Ridge near Glasgow with a rifle across his knees. Alan has a way of saying things that old men like some of us here try to treasure but also to conceal from ourselves. In one of his poems he speaks of what it is like to stand with comrades around a rubber poncho laid on the ground, a poncho that bears the reverently placed “something” that was a friend a few minutes before. “Love makes memory eternal.” pl
Mr Zechariah ,
God Speed Sir – and we wish you a speedy recovery from the surgery .
Thanks for the heads up on that, Fred. I’ve sent myself a link to peruse later.
Amusing me to no end the address I got included “Unlucky Mountain”. . . On your reccco I watched Trollhunter it is absurd, delightfully so. . . check out this version of Beowulf: Beowolf and Grendel, its gloomily bloodily fantastic, has great Trolls in it.
SST come to be a big part of my academy.. . Clifford K used to leave a trail of cites kept me busy all winter trying to hunt down some connection with all his Guilds and Leagues and my old obsession with General Chennault and the Soongs. . .
thanks for the tip
I took some inspiration from Heinlein for my novel but tried to avoid the lengthy political expositions that he was known for.
Verhoeven is a hack and should have been hung from his toes for that film.