“THE URGENT NEED FOR BORIS JOHNSON TO CLARIFY … ” by Habakkuk

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HABAKKUK ON THE URGENT NEED FOR BORIS JOHNSON TO CLARIFY WHAT HE IS CLAIMING ABOUT TESTS ON SAMPLES FROM KHAN SHEIKHUN. ARE THEY SUPPOSE TO MATCH THE SARIN USED AT GHOUTA, OR THAT DESTROYED ON THE M.V. ‘CAPE RAY’?

 

A letter to the Chairs of the Commons Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees, the Rt Hon Julian Lewis MP, and Crispin Blunt MP, and their colleagues, sent on 23 April.

 

Dear Dr Lewis, Mr Blunt and fellow members of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees:

 

Re: the Foreign Secretarys claims on Khan Sheikhun

 

In the light of the article published by the Foreign Secretary in the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ last weekend, and his remarks on Tuesday in the House, I clearly need to add some brief further observations to those I sent to you last week.

 

In his 5 April article in the ‘Guardian’ Martin Chulov reported that:  ‘Rescue workers have gathered soil samples from the scene of a chemical weapons attack in northern Syria and sent them to western intelligence officials’. And he went on to explain that:

 

Samples taken from the scene in Khan Sheikhun, as well as biological specimens taken from survivors and casualties, will be compared with samples taken by intelligence officials from the Syrian military stockpile when it was withdrawn from the country in late 2013. Syrias stores of sarin are known to have particular properties, which experts say can be forensically matched to samples taken in the field.

 

What the Foreign Secretary told the House on Tuesday was that ‘we know from shell fragments in the crater that sarin had not only been used, but that it was sarin carrying the specific chemical signature of sarin used by the Assad regime.’  Responding to the Khan Sheikhoun incident on 4 April, Mr Johnson asserted that ‘this bears all the hallmarks of an attack by the regime which has repeatedly used chemical weapons.’

 

So, what is the Foreign Secretary now suggesting? Is it that tests have shown that the ‘particular properties’ of the sarin found in the samples purporting to come from Khan Sheikhun have been shown to match those of the materials whose destruction on the U.S. vessel MV ‘Cape Ray’ was completed in August 2014? Or is it that they have been shown to match those identified by tests on samples from the incidents which have been adduced in support of the claim that the Syrian government ‘has repeatedly used chemical weapons’?

 

As I pointed out last week, precisely the contention of those who have argued that the 21 August 2013 atrocity at Ghouta was a ‘false flag’ is that the test results on samples from that incident, and its predecessors, demonstrate that the sarin used there did not have the ‘particular properties’ of that in the Syrian government arsenal.

 

Specifically, their case is that the results on tests from Ghouta incidents indicate that the sarin used there was, ‘not manufactured professionally’ (‘sasa wawa’, on the ‘Who Attacked Ghouta?’ blog,), ‘homemade’ (Sergei Lavrov, interviewed by the ‘Washington Post’), ‘kitchen sarin’ (Seymour Hersh – in interviews on ‘Democracy Now!’ and elsewhere).

 

The ‘chemical signature’ of the sarin used at Ghouta, those who have argued that the incident was a ‘false flag’ assert, was totally different from that of the high-quality toxin produced for the Syrian programme, intended to provide a ‘poor man’s deterrent’ against Israel.

Before we can get involved in substantive arguments about the Foreign Secretary’s assertions, we really do need to clarify precisely what it is he and his officials are claiming. The only attempt I have seen at such clarification was made by Charles Shoebridge, a former army officer and Scotland Yard detective, on ‘Twitter’.

 

His attempt was provoked by a ‘tweet’ from a British diplomat in Washington covering Syria and the Middle East, Benjamin Norman, repeating the Foreign Secretary’s claims. ‘Furthermore, “we know from shell fragments in the crater that sarin had not only been used”, but it was #Assad’s sarin’, Mr Norman ‘tweeted’. And he went on to add ‘Got cut off by Twitter character limits, but analysis of samples shows chemical markers of Assad’s sarin supply.’

 

The thread shows Shoebridge attempting to secure clarification, and in so doing putting the crucial question – which ‘chemical markers’ were at issue. At 8.46 am on 19 April he ‘tweeted’: ‘Thanks for reply: To be clear, CW from 4.4.17 an exact match of @OPCW samples of old Syria govt sarin stocks?’  At 12.48pm, Norman responded:  ‘You’re welcome! Think it is a question of same markers, but will check.’

 

So, when the Foreign Secretary was making confident assertions to the House, a British diplomat in Washington specialising in Syria did not really have a clear idea what he was claiming. It is now 22 April, and Norman has provided no clarification.  We still do now know precisely what HMG are suggesting the test results at Porton Down prove, and it is not clear whether the Foreign Secretary does either.

 

The article Mr Johnson wrote in the ‘Telegraph’ was headlined ‘Assad’s murderous behaviour offers an opportunity for Russia to end a tyranny.’  In his remarks to the House, he said that it ‘will be essential to have a political process that preserves the institutions of the Syrian state while decapitating the monster.’

 

The case that the Russian government has made is that critical evidence purporting to prove that Assad is a ‘monster’ is the product of ‘false flag’ operations. That our signal failure to ‘preserve the institutions’ of the Iraqi and Libyan states, while ‘decapitating’ them, gives reason for scepticism about our ability to do any better in Syria is also central to the case the Russians have made about how the situation there is best handled.

 

It remains uncertain how far the Russian government will go to defend what it perceives to be its interests in Syria, but the risks of war involving nuclear powers if the United States and Britain want – yet again – to pursue ‘régime change’ would seem to be not entirely negligible.

 

In this situation, for the Foreign Secretary to make a statement to the House, in which – as has happened time and again – cloudy claims about tests on samples from Syria have been produced, without any concrete evidence, and where it is not even clear what he is claiming, is remarkable. It is almost as remarkable that one of our diplomats handling these matters in Washington appears equally at sea.

 

If one adds in the fact that the only visible attempt to clarify an obvious basic question is performed a former policeman on ‘Twitter’, we would seem to be confronted by a major breakdown of parliamentary government.

 

The letter I sent you last week has been posted on Colonel Lang’s ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ blog. So also will this one be.

 

 

Sincerely,

  

David Habakkuk

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39 Responses to “THE URGENT NEED FOR BORIS JOHNSON TO CLARIFY … ” by Habakkuk

  1. Dmcna says:

    Such questions are a long way above Mr Norman’s paygrade. Have you read his tweets more generally?

  2. Marko says:

    Let’s say the chemical signature of the sarin used in the latest attack matches perfectly with that from the Assad stockpile. What then ? Assad is guilty ?
    No. Absolutely no. Either or both of AQ and ISIS may have – probably have – stashes from the Assad stockpile squirreled away in tunnels somewhere.
    Similarly , what if the signature suggests “kitchen” sarin ? Does that mean the rebels are caught red-handed ? No , again. If Assad really wanted to conduct a sarin gas attack , the dumbest thing he could do would be to use material he saved from his supposedly destroyed stockpile. Instead , he should have his chemists cook up some kitchen grade sarin , seeking to implicate the rebels. Not to mention that when his troops overrun a rebel position , there’s always a possibility they’ll run across a stash of rebel-made or procured sarin and/or precursors , in which case Assad’s chemists wouldn’t be needed.
    This is like arguing about whether Hitler’s gassing was worse than Assad’s gassing. Once you engage in that trivial debate , you’ve already conceded in the absolutely vital debate. That’s what’s about to happen here.

  3. confusedponderer says:

    Marko
    “whether Hitler’s gassing was worse than Assad’s gassing”
    Well there are two points to make:
    * Unlike the genius Spicer claimed recently in a notable and public attack of severe dementia (quite embarassingly, and actually suggesting firing him) – Hitler DID use gas on Germans – think of using Zyklon B in the holocaust and so forth. For that vile crime the bastard probably still boils in hell.
    * The second part is the suggestion that Assad did use gas on his own people in Ghouta and Khan Sheikhun, and some other place.
    There, so far, are only suggestions and claims that that is so. It is suggestive that the accusation makes rebels, despite defeats and comitted crimes, look good.
    Lets just ignore the use of gas in car bombs by ISIS in Iraq, and the mysterious (probably magical) immunity of unprotected helpers against usually quite deadly gas like Sarin.
    http://www.newsweek.com/isis-militants-chemical-weapons-attack-soldiers-iraq-585174
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/world/middleeast/isis-chemical-weapons-syria-iraq-mosul.html?_r=0
    These two things speak a clear and disturbing language about this. There would be benefit for rebels of all colours to fake such situations for PR. That is in fact so clear that just believing what they say as truth is an utter folly.
    It is quite telling that so long there are no proofs – just claims and accusations. IMO, it won’t get much better.
    Such an embarasing situation still was good enough to serve as an excuse to attack Iraq. It certainly was quite recently good enough an excuse to cruise missile Assad.
    It appears that proof or evidence are quietly quite unwanted if they, say, may get in the way of a clearly wanted policy that has been decided alreay: Policy like: * Regime Change! * Assad must go! (for gassing his people!) * No Shia ruled and/or supporting terrain from Iran to Lebanon! * etc. pp.)

  4. Ante says:

    Marko
    You are forgetting context and how this issue is framed in the mainstream media. They state that people were killed by sarin gas, dropped from Syrian jets, period. This is the pretext for 59 tomahawk missiles and a 50% drop in SAA sorties against over the past month.
    The MSM are arguing that as there were people poisoned by gas (with similar chemical markers [weasel words]) to Syria’s sarin, Assad did it, period,there can be no question.
    Asking what that gas actually was in light of symptoms shown by victims, how it could have been made (impossible as al qaeda won’t allow inspectors on the ground to obtain real samples), how it was delivered (argued quite convincingly not by jet ), why it would be delivered, these detract from the fact that Assad is the same as Hitler?
    I do not think you make a persuasive case.
    What’s important is establishing that A. the attack was not sarin gas, undermining the entire thrust of the false flag
    B. The Syrian government had no reason to use chlorine or some organophosphate poison in this random small area
    C. That the local al qaeda had the means, motive, and opportunity to effect a gas attack on the civilians of this town

  5. SQuinn says:

    The propaganda relies on short American memories (except for events 79 years ago). Popular radio talk show host Michael Savage (ranked #1 in streaming audience), who was a huge Trump supporter and no doubt was responsible for Trump’s victory, has been disgusted with Trump’s attack on Syria and caving to the neocons. He is one of the strongest voices out there against the necons and the regime change in Syria. The beginning of his show on 4/13 was awesome and he compared the characterization of Assad with that of America’s greatest hero during our Civil War. Col. Lang will especially appreciate it. It’s the first minute of his show: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=53HyoNwuMg4&feature=youtu.be

  6. Marko says:

    ” I do not think you make a persuasive case.
    What’s important is establishing that A. the attack was not sarin gas, undermining the entire thrust of the false flag…. ”
    Maybe you’ll be more persuaded when you see how this plays out. I predict your Wish A goes right down the crapper. They will conclusively find sarin with a fingerprint much more closely matching Assad’s stockpile than that of the kitchen sarin used in the previous two attacks. I think this will happen BECAUSE I think it’s a false-flag , a false-flag long-planned – not by rebels , but by outside actors . Using sarin from Assad’s stock was done explicitly to frame Assad and , based on the way everyone who rightfully expects this was a false-flag also stupidly thinks there’s no way it was sarin , or if it was sarin it couldn’t possibly have come from Assad’s stockpile , I’m convinced both Assad and almost all of his blogosphere defenders will follow precisely the path of your Wish A.
    The last thing the pro-truth crowd should care about is sarin fingerprints and they should make that clear in advance , because if they don’t , they’re going to look like they’re desperately reaching for other excuses once those final results unexpectedly come out the wrong way.
    Maybe not,though. Anything can happen. Make a wish.

  7. Babak Makkinejad says:

    David Habakkuk:
    The issues surrounding Khan Sheikhun – the nature of the incident, the identification of the perpetrators, and the appropriate response (whether international in nature or not) can no longer be separated from the political postures of the Fortress West versus Shia Islam, Judaism, and the Russian Federation.
    Here below is a link from an Australian colonel, a veteran of Iraq War of 2003, who is very clearly an enemy of the Shia and a friend of Israel.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/puppetstate-lebanon-a-pawn-for-ambitious-iran/news-story/c1941e766154a00373f2deb01a20eea7
    This is a Fortress West alliance-wide posture, in my opinion. And furthermore, I think that even a proper and dispassionate inquest into the incident in Khan Sheikhun will do nothing to dissolve this enmity toward Shia Islam or Iran.
    On the disposition of Palestine, on the disposition of Iraq, and on the security of the Persian Gulf Iran, the Shia State, and her allies are in complete disagreement with Fortress West and the Gulfies.
    On the disposition of the Levant and in Afghanistan, Iran and the Russian Federation are one side and the Fortress West (and Pakistan) are on the other.
    Neither of these postures are amenable to any amicable resolution, specially after the Iranian offer of settlement based on spheres of influence was rejected.
    I think that all sides are quite comfortable with a war of attrition; which likely will not end in our lifetimes.

  8. pmr9 says:

    I hadn’t noticed the reports of the autopsies on three victims in Turkey until b drew attention to them in an earlier thread.
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-health-ministry-says-initial-findings-point-to-sarin-gas-in-syrian-attack.aspx?pageID=517&nID=111682&NewsCatID=352
    The Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ stated that
    “An autopsy was conducted in Adana on three bodies taken from Idlib. A representative for the World Heath Organization, representatives from the OPCW and forensic experts participated in the autopsy. As a result of the autopsy, it has been determined that a chemical weapon was used. The forensic report has clearly revealed this.”
    Subsequent statements clarified that OPCW representatives were present at the autopsy but did not “participate”.
    The Turkish Health Ministry stated on 6 April that “Pulmonary edema, a rise in the weight of and bleeding in the lungs were detected in the initial findings of the autopsy,” and “Based on the test results, evidence was detected in patients which leads one to think they were exposed to a chemical substance (sarin),”
    Can any Turkish readers help to find the original text of this statement about the autopsy findings, and to provide a translation?
    Pulmonary edema is filling of the air cavities of the lung with fluid, causing the victim to drown. The build-up of fluid in the lungs can be quantified by weighing them, as described in the Turkish statement. The autopsy findings of pulmonary edema and bleeding indicate that these individuals died of acute inhalation injury. Exposure to a gas like chlorine or phosgene in a confined space would do this. Sarin, even
    impure sarin, couldn’t possibly do this because it would kill by causing respiratory paralysis before the victim inhaled enough to cause lung injury. The Turkish health ministry, and the NYT journalists who reported this are too clueless to realize that the autopsy findings debunk the sarin story.
    From the OPCW statement on 19 April, it’s clear that biomedical samples from these
    three autopsies, together with seven survivors, tested positive for
    sarin.
    https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-director-general-shares-incontrovertible-laboratory-results-concluding-exposure-to-sarin/
    ”The bio-medical samples collected from three victims during their
    autopsy were analysed at two OPCW designated laboratories. The results
    of the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to Sarin or a
    Sarin-like substance. Bio-medical samples from seven individuals
    undergoing treatment at hospitals were also analysed in two other OPCW
    designated laboratories. Similarly, the results of these analyses
    indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance.
    Director-General Üzümcü stated clearly: “The results of these analyses
    from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a
    Sarin-like substance. While further details of the laboratory analyses
    will follow, the analytical results already obtained are
    incontrovertible.””
    I don’t think you can get sarin into people after they’re dead. So these three individuals died of acute inhalation injury, but their blood samples showed exposure to sarin or a sarin-like substance, whatever that means.
    Possible explanations
    (1) the biomedical samples taken during the autopsy under OPCW supervision were substituted by samples from other people, or were spiked with sarin.
    (2) these individuals (before death), and the other seven survivors were exposed to low
    levels of sarin or a sarin-like substance, enough to make them test positive but not enough to cause severe symptoms. Tests for adducts of sarin with BChE or albumin are very sensitive, and can detect low levels of exposure.
    If we had quantitative lab results from which to estimate the dosage of sarin, it might be possible to distinguish between these two explanations.

  9. shargash says:

    I apologize if this has been posted previously (I just got back from an extended vacation without Internet and have not been able to keep up with the comments), but this is a good analysis of the victims by someone trained in neuropharmacology: http://logophere.com/Topics2017/17-04/17_017-BLA-Sarin.htm.
    Whatever killed those people, it was not Sarin. As for any soil samples, provenance of the samples, and the chain of custody, are completely unknown. Thus, they are forensically useless.

  10. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not trust any statement by the Turkish Government; whether AKP or Kemalist – they lie for expediency; like most governments in the world.

  11. Mikey says:

    The link is dead.
    Is this, perhaps, the correct one:
    http://logophere.com/Topics2017/17-04/17_015-BLA-ShajulIslam.htm

  12. Imagine says:

    Since the black-ops folks from Britain are in this up to their eyeballs, funding the White Helmets with somewhere vaguely around $50M, I believe it is wishful thinking to say that Britain will come up with anything other than “Assad Did It” in their tests. Still worth a shot though.

  13. Croesus says:

    “Hitler DID use gas on Germans – think of using Zyklon B in the holocaust and so forth. For that vile crime the bastard probably still boils in hell.”
    There’s as much solid evidence that “Hitler DID use gas on Germans [sic]” as that Assad used Sarin on Syrians.
    Max Planck Institute chemist Germar Rudolf analyzed the case of the former even more exhaustively than Habakkuk analyzed the case for the latter. Rudolf demonstrated that Xyklon-B was evident in facilities used to de-louse clothing, etc. to prevent typhus, but not in facilities alleged to have been used in a “planned, systematic, industrialized scheme to exterminate every Jew Hitler could get his hands on,” which is the dogmatic position enforced by holocaust scholars such as David Engel, prof. at New York Univ. and scholar at US taxpayer-subsidized holocaust museum in DC. Sean Spicer was forced to apologize for the Galileo crime of voicing an observed reality that contradicted that state-enforced dogma (a situation that violates several of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees).
    For his efforts, Rudolf was fined, imprisoned for ~4 years, denied his doctoral credentials, deprived of the ability to build a career on his education and training, his German residence repeatedly searched and his papers confiscated, his family life disrupted to the point of divorce and estrangement from his children. Effectively exiled from his fatherland, Germany, Rudolf sought shelter in USA, which, instead, employed trickery to return him to Germany where he was again jailed. Having served several years, Rudolf now resides in tenuous circumstances in USA. The lawyer who defended Rudolf in German courts was herself jailed.
    Take care, Habakkuk.

  14. Ante says:

    Marko
    We’re in agreement that it’s another, better executed false flag.
    However, the general argument reputing a sarin attack is the lack of signs of sarin exposure in the bodies of the victims as well as the lack of affected ‘white helmets.’ Who handled these bodies.
    Anybody can claim anything they like, but without actually being there, confidence in claims of tested samples and so on is vapor. If it’s truly a war crime and humanitarian catastrophe, why not allow neutral parties access to the site.
    If the perpetrators had access to Syrian Gov recipe sarin, then they should welcome inspectors with open arms to find obvious traces of it everywhere.
    No?

  15. Bill Herschel says:

    Off Topic. What the “West” is witnessing is the greatest triumph in the history of modern propaganda. The cherry on the sundae is Emmanuel Macron. Look at the front page of the LeMonde website: ecstatic, white, upper middle class kids (a token black kid in the background) hysterically cheering Macron’s victory. Tony Blair must be green with envy.
    Everyone in France is registered for national service, but they have an all volunteer army, an army that really doesn’t do any of the NATO heavy lifting. What is more, France, whatever it may think of Russia’s “Hitlerian invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea”, clearly has absolutely no fear at all of war. “Terrorism”? Just North Africans acting up.
    I had never heard of Michael Savage, and he does seem pretty nuts, but if he has gone bonkers over Trump’s onanism in Syria more power to him. Nevertheless the big guns are ruling the public mind.
    And I reiterate that the Korean War was finally between China and the U.S. And I reiterate that if I were Russia or China I would do my damnedest to get as many American troops fighting hot wars in as many foreign countries as possible. It is not sustainable. Propaganda is ultimately lies.

  16. optimax says:

    Theodor Postol has an update on the chemical attack entitled:
    With Error Fixed, Evidence Against ‘Sarin Attack’ Remains Convincing
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/with_error_fixed_evidence_against_sarin_attack_remains_convincing_20170421

  17. LeaNder says:

    Link is not dead. Simple delete the dot at the end.

  18. Larry Kart says:

    From no Sarin gas attack by Syria in Khan Sheikhun (I agree) to no Zyklon-B at Auschwitz in one knight’s move. Neat trick.
    Larry Kart

  19. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    For the record, I have no doubt about Zyklon-B at Auschwitz. pl

  20. Larry Kart says:

    I had no thought otherwise.

  21. Marko says:

    Yes,Ante,what I want to see is a full-blown,independent investigation.New blood and tissue and environmental samples if at all possible,but with proper handling and chain of custody this time. Find out where people were when they were affected,who they are, where they live,count the dead properly,exhume as many as you can for I.D. and samples.Where’s all that clothing they stuffed into plastic bags at the hospital? Test it.Credibly.
    The works is what I want,but something tells me that’s not what I’m going to get.
    This whole fingerprint discussion bugs me in the same way that the barrel-bomb discussion does. In both cases , it’s a distraction. The proper pro-Assad argument is not to say he doesn’t use barrel-bombs , because he does,he’s admitted as much,and they’re a perfectly reasonable and common DIY method as used by many armed forces from less-wealthy countries. The proper argument is to say it’s a stupid argument,a waste of breath.
    Now if he’s being unfairly accused of loading them up with gasses and white phosphorus , then that must be defended.But 500 lbs of explosives is going to blow a lot of crap up whether it’s in an ugly Syrian square-ended DIY abortion of a bomb or in a NATO sleek and shiny,pointy-ended one.
    Those who shout “barrel-bomb” every 10 minutes are making fools of themselves.Someone should let them know.

  22. Marko says:

    Thanks for the link.
    I’m glad to see he’s taken better account of the early-morning light winds. Shame about that 180 pivot,but it looks like he’s making the best of it.

  23. robt willmann says:

    The election in France on 23 April pushes the issue of Syria and intervention by outsiders up to the front. There will be a runoff election between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Previously a member of the Socialist Party, Mr. Macron magically became an “independent” not very long ago and and declared himself a “centrist”, with a new slogan, “En Marche!”, which some articles have translated as meaning “Forward!”. Mr. Macron wants a military intervention into Syria if the Assad government was found to have carried out an alleged chemical attack–
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-election-idUSKBN178061
    The advertising slogan “Forward” was used by former president Barack Obama when he readied for a re-election race in 2012–
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/04/obamas-new-slogan-forward/1
    Mr. Macron in 2007 married his high school French teacher, who is 24 years older than he. Do not be shocked, this is a French matter–
    http://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-emmanuel-macron-2017-3?op=1
    I do not know if France uses electronic voting machines, but regardless of whether it does nor not, if Macron wins the runoff, the war and regime change pushers about Syria will have another mouthpiece.
    Meanwhile, in scenic New Zealand, a conference gets underway this week of the “Five Eyes” surveillance nations — the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand — at the fancy Millbrook resort in Arrowtown–
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11843668
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/91820615/cia-plane-lands-at-wellington-airport-ahead-of-five-eyes-meeting
    http://www.millbrook.co.nz/
    These “public servants” who are supposed to be accountable to “the people” have, of course, not even revealed their agenda, while flying in on government or leased private jets. No United Airlines flights for them!
    While FBI director James Comey is relaxing in New Zealand, Kim Dotcom, formerly Kim Schmitz, an early creator of centralized computer storage and file sharing kind of like “The Cloud”, is stuck in his house there still litigating the attempt by the U.S. government to extradite him to the U.S. after charging him with crimes relating to “copyright infringement”, bootstrapping those allegations into “racketeering” and “money laundering”, etc.–
    https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/pressrel/press-releases/justice-department-charges-leaders-of-megaupload-with-widespread-online-copyright-infringement
    Dotcom is indeed aware of the visitors to New Zealand–
    https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/855996329775869952
    https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/855968843486838785
    On the home front, the New York Times has a long article about politics in the U.S. and FBI Dir. Comey, and far down in the article, mentions that the former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who put together the titillating “dossier” about Donald Trump and Russia, was to be paid $50,000 by the FBI if the material in the report could be properly corroborated, but apparently the corroboration never was found, and so the FBI did not pay Steele the money–
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/us/politics/james-comey-election.html
    http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/04/23/nyt-fbi-refused-to-pay-50k-for-fisa-linked-trump-dossier-after-former-mi6-agent-failed-to-corroborate-claims/

  24. Pundita says:

    Shargash, Thank you for this. The evidence presented by O’Brien is staggering when one considers the number of governments and news organizations that did not mention to the public the most striking symptoms of sarin poisoning.
    As word circulates about the true symptoms, these actors are not going to recover from the gruesome hoax they helped terrorists perpetrate. There are simply too many videos/photos available to the public of the purported sarin victims, which clearly show their symptoms could not have been from sarin.

  25. LeaNder says:

    Larry, I struggled with the admirers of these pseudo-martyrs for longer then I wish to remember on the US web. It’s gets enormously tiring after a while. Where to start? How resistant are they to reason?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolperstein

  26. jld says:

    No, it won’t do anything.
    Never underestimate the stupidity and ultra-short attention span of the public (and not just American public)

  27. confusedponderer says:

    Croesus ,
    “Rudolf demonstrated that Xyklon-B was evident in facilities used to de-louse clothing, etc. to prevent typhus, but not in facilities alleged to have been used in a “planned, systematic, industrialized scheme to exterminate every Jew Hitler could get his hands on,”
    You’re kidding?
    Well, face it: Whatever Rudolf ‘demonstrated’, apparently Zyklon B gas WAS used in the third Reich in a ‘systematic, industrialized scheme’. After all, in late 1944 Mr. Himmler ordered gassing operations TO CEASE across the Reich.
    That means there WERE gassing operations going on, beyond delousing.
    And as for “facilities alleged to have been used” … well, have you ever visited a KZ? I did, visited Dachau, and it made me want to puke every 5 minutes.
    IMO there likely was a reason why a lot of people who were involved in such gassing operations chose to commit suicide, ran away or go to hide under a new name. If they were caught, they were usually long jailed or executed for their crimes – for a reason.
    Think of the fate of Mr. Eichmann, who protocolled the Wannsee Conference, and after the war hid in Argentina re-named Ricardo Klement. He was eventually arrested, moved to Israel, tried and hanged.
    Apparently neither germans like Eichmann nor the allied or israeli trial judges did think this was just about ‘allegations’. No, this was about real and savage and utterly ruthless mass murder, and responsible criminals running away from punishment.

  28. confusedponderer says:

    Pat,
    “I have no doubt about Zyklon-B at Auschwitz. pl ”
    Amen. Neither do I,
    best,
    CP

  29. What third parties seized the Assad stockpiles and verified their contents destruction and/or distribution without destruction?

  30. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    I’ve got a lot of questions about the official Holocaust narrative. But heaven help anyone who questions the smallest part of it.
    One big problem with addressing any of that stuff is that many of the people who do seem to propagate the idea that the Nazis were nice guys and that concentration camps were just big holiday camps. I’ve spoken to two people who were long ago tracked down by the authorities in the Netherlands, robbed of their belongings, stuffed into rail cars and shipped off to work camps where they were put to work on short rations. They were not treated kindly. Even some of the most staunch admirers of the 3d Reich’s military machine who want to soft-pedal the regime behind its treatment of subject populations have to admit that the Germans and their puppet forces (like Ukrainians for instance) went through Europe like Genghis Khan went through Persia. Their whole ethos from top to bottom was rule through total abject terrorism. Turns out people didn’t respond so well to that.

  31. optimax says:

    Marko
    Postol did NOT make a 180 degree pivot. He said the the corrected wind direction is 180 degrees different than his original calculations. The dead goat is now in the opposite direction of what would have been the contaminated area and he has more to say:
    “This assessment with corrected wind directions leads to a powerful new set of questions—especially, why were the multiple sets of journalists who were filming at the crater where the alleged sarin release occurred not showing the numerous victims of the alleged release who would have been immediately next to the area?
    It is now clear that the publicly available evidence shows exactly where the mass nerve agent poisoning would have occurred if in fact there was an event where significant numbers of people were poisoned by a nerve agent release. This does not rule out the possibility of a nerve agent release somewhere else in the city. However, this completely discredits the WHR’s claims that those who wrote the report knew where the nerve agent release occurred and that they knew the nerve agent release was the result of an airdropped munition.”

  32. robt willmann says:

    Earlier today regarding Syria, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve “The Foreclosure King” Mnuchin announced sanctions against 271 Syrian scientific people, “in response to the April 4, 2017 sarin attack on innocent civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, by the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” as phrased in the press release–
    https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0056.aspx
    https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20170424.aspx
    However, someone else has surfaced who makes Mnuchin look like a choirboy. Paul Wolfowitz — remember him? — is now thinking that Trump may not be so bad after all. Like the other neocons, the motto of Wolfowitz is, “Let’s you and them fight.”–
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/24/paul-wolfowitz-donald-trump-iraq-middle-east-215065
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/17/AR2007051700216.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR
    Wolfowitz claimed that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 would largely pay for itself, and that the bulk of the money for Iraq’s reconstruction (after the U.S. smashed it) would come from Iraqis. Iraq’s reconstruction? What reconstruction?

  33. Ante says:

    Marko
    I agree with that. To use the language of the identitarian wing of the democratic party, the anti barrel bombers need ‘check their privilege.’
    Is air war simply not allowed if you can’t afford to buy gbus, jdams or the Russian and Chinese equivalents?
    Because we certainly didn’t have a problem dropping thousands of tons of dumb bombs onto Germany/Japan/Korea/Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia. We even used barrel bombs from helicopters in those later wars. Heck, even the moab is the same principle as a barrel bomb, just stick a bunch of heavy explosive in a canister and fling it out the door.
    This comes up a lot in UN meetings, lots of indignation and the central idea that if your country isn’t rich enough to buy the highest tech gear, any war you wage is evil and inhumane, even in self defense, especially in self defense. You should simply surrender.
    Reading the comments is enough to make you want to ask them wether they’d rather be targeted by a laser guided bomb or by a bomb guided by the guy in the helicopter shoving it out at just the right time. I would pick the second. What isn’t discussed in these meetings is how UN peacekeeping forces using HIND gunships indiscriminately rocket whatever the corrupt local commander calls a rebel gathering point, but I’ll save that digression.
    Especially rich were the sanctions placed on Syria that made it impossible for them, before Russia’s intervention, to buy the kind of nice guided bombs that are okay to use (and if you’re saudi, explicitly against crowds of civilians and their life giving infrastructure). But logic and critical thinking don’t matter when it’s all about narrative and framing things so you can destroy a country on behalf of maybe 50 people or so who’ll profit after the death and suffering cools down.
    War is hell. Syria is not a rich country, a good portion of the fighting age men have either left or joined the jihadi groups, the SAA/NDF/associated militias do what they can with what they have.
    The total lack of chemical or biological weapons used against huge built up ahrar al sham and al qaeda forces during the battle of east aleppo make all the claims about the desperate Assad ring hollow.
    I’m not sure what those of us in the fact based community can do other than write nice letters to our senators and communicate with our friends, make sure as many average americans know that we are supporting al qaeda and their friends, directly, (with video proof required of our friends tow missile attacks on resting soldiers of the Secular Syrian government required for the CIA guys who hand out the TOWs), with billions of dollars of materiél, training, intelligence, etc.
    I’ve found useful showing what Al Jazeera Arabic has to say about the war in comparison with what Al Jazeera english has to say. I.e. (Assad regime barrel bombs his people, what a preventable tragedy) to (Kill all rafidi scum). The minorities and the urban Sunni of Syria are fighting for their very existence and they dont’ have an easy out the way Christians in Lebanon did, they’ve also not allied with the country that wants to occupy and establish hegemony over their land. But I can’t speak to that in depth.
    Any peace will have to come with a federalized Syrian republic with Alawites, the urban Sunni, and the Kurds well represented, and those rural Sunni who supported a foreign destruction of their country are going to have to take the scraps they get, especially with the young Saudi crown prince trying to balance the books and other jihadi sponsors reliant on things being quiet, and not blowing back in their ugly shiny cities.
    Once the open combat ends, Syria will need both fight a running guerilla war and be ready for Turkish encroachment in the north and Israeli encroachment in the south. The sooner ISIS is eliminated from Iraq and Iraq’s PMUs can provide manpower, the better.
    Watching combat videos, the non elite forces of the SAA simply fight like men who don’t want to die, and I don’t blame them, because there are a lot of bad officers who get their men killed by not being able to read a battlefield. There is the core of a strong aggressive citizen army, but it’s surrounded by a lot of lightly trained neighborhood defense forces who simply run away when the enemy catches them off guard, and there seems to be a lack of secondary fighting positions to flee to. When 40 year olds are fighting as infantry, not because they have experienced and volunteered, as in novorussia, but because it’s absolutely necessary, this kind of sloppiness is to be expected.
    Iran and Russia continue to train and re-equip Syrian forces, and Syria seems to have designed a homemade suite of chains and screens that make anti tank missile hits, on t-72s, and perhaps even the thinly armored bmps into mobility kills, and they seem to be able to bring damaged vehicles back to service in short order. These are very good things, as I don’t know that the US will be so eager to provide Javelin missiles to al qaeda.
    But as we’ve seen in videos, commanders who fail to understand how to set up defensible positions and better defended rally points and then full defensible lines to fall back to are all too common. I’m sure the US/Saudi et al feed lots of real time intelligence about the quality of syrian army units to their proxies, and their proxies have their own drones, which are invaluable in urban combat, and we see a repeat. The undertrained men do their best to hold out, they’re overwhelmed when an anti tank team takes out a large group of soldiers, they flee, and it takes a week or two to move better forces, coordinate airstrikes and artillery, and retake lost ground. The only upside is that when morale is good, it’s really good, and the tactics the rebels have developed against checkpoint forces fail, the rebels don’t really know what to do, we’ve seen this in the defense of some of the besieged bases and Shia towns. They can’t win with their normal tactics so they revert to Curtis LeMay mode and indiscriminately bombard houses.
    I fear for Syria, because the gulf monarchies and the CIA seem to have no problem if this war kills every Assyrian, Alawite, Druze, Yazidi, and non takfiri Sunni in Syria.
    Russia knows how to win this sort of war. They did it in Chechnya the second time around, and it wasn’t pretty. First time, Gorbachev got a ton of conscripts slaughtered, The CIA let Saudi Arabia turn the very intriguing chechen Sufism into a wahhabi ghoulish thing, and Putin and his generals won the next war by slitting throats and using self propelled AA guns to turn urban hideaways into swish cheese, and thermobaric bombs to liquidate concentrations of enemy fighters. After the demonstration of strength, they co opted the strong and reasonable Kadyrov, who was more a traditionalist and nationalist than a suicidal freak bent on genocide, to deal with the intractable Chechens. He and his son did so, brutally. The price paid was a de facto independent state within Russia which receives buckets of subsidies, but also provides rugged infantry ready to cut throats for Russia. Very Roman, turning the barbarians to your side with continued gifts as they supply rugged auxillary troops.
    Syria seems to be addressing the grievances of its citizens with these reconciliations town by town, as a way of disempowering smaller rebel warlord, in effect, pitting them against the centrally controlled al qaeda and saudi proxies. The recent attack on the civilians in the buses was an expression of frustration by al qaeda at the fact that fighters were willing to make deals with the government, seeing it as legitimate organ to deal with if not having love for it.
    I’m also reminded of Afghanistan after the Soviet army pulled out. The official communist government managed to stand (with some advisors and piles of weapons) for almost 20 years against well funded, well planned taliban offensives. It finally took a human wave of pashtun from pakistan with tons of tanks, ballistic missiles, and manpads to take the capitol. If not for the fall of the USSR, I think they could have held out even longer.
    Sorry for the rambling and any factual inaccuracies, this is the account of the war as I’ve read it.
    To return to my original point, it’s going to take an improvement in the quality of SAA forces, perhaps an entry of the PMU, a large increase in effectiveness of the use of artillery, to reduce Idlib from Chechnya 2.0 to a government controlled province. The fractal nature of the opposition is helpful in this case. I would be on the look out for dirty tricks, like the original attempt at giving ISIS a safe corridor to exit Mosul and enter Syria, that was thankfully shut down by PMU and the Iraqi air force.
    There are enough pragmatic daesh members who know that Syrian Daeshis could just shave their beards, walk away, and continue guerilla actions against the Syrian government, and there’s reason to believe that the CIA would be happy with that outcome. The elite Chechens might stay and inflict casualties and attempt to bleed the kurds, whose force is very small. Not to mention that the city is full of more tunnels and booby traps than an indiana jones movie.
    I don’t like approve of the attempt to create a self licking ice cream cone of a sunnistan, or an Israel 2.0 in Greater Kurdistan, (Israel 2.0 in that it’s liable to be attacked by all of its neighbors at the same time, out of irredentist fury). but the YPG is smart enough not to lose half of their best fighters in hopeless urban warfare. It’s possible that they’ll attempt the same sort of siege tactics that our friend Kenneth Roth found so evil when undertaken by the SAA.
    Large columns of ISIS fighters can easily be destroyed by air, but if Iraq upsets the CIA in the meantime, I can assume they would find safe passage back to Iraq, one way or another.
    Apologies for the endless post. I would like to see these wars ended and the sovereignty of Syria and Iraq restored.

  34. Croesus says:

    “Well, face it: Whatever Rudolf ‘demonstrated’, apparently Zyklon B gas WAS used in the third Reich in a ‘systematic, industrialized scheme’. After all, in late 1944 Mr. Himmler ordered gassing operations TO CEASE across the Reich.
    That means there WERE gassing operations going on, beyond delousing.”

    On what evidence do you base the claim that “Himmler ordered gassing operations to CEASE?”

  35. Marko says:

    optimax ,
    Yes,I worded that very poorly. I only meant that it was a shame that he initially misinterpreted the wind direction by 180 degrees, which must be a bit embarrassing for him. I don’t expect it will detract much , if anything , from the thrust of his work.

  36. Adam Larson says:

    Multiple lines of evidence point to something that tests for sarin (in spots anyway) and otherwise might, has a yellow color, a strange, foul smell like rotting food perhaps, that stings the eyes and damages the lungs, causing pulmonary edema in victims studied in Turkey. This is quite like the substance used and found after the Ghouta attack and the Khan al-Assal attack, at least. Both have been blamed on “Assad,” using sarin of a kind he, therefore, has used. Best evidence implicates terrorists for both.
    And here are officials seeming to confirm that it’s the match they said they were/should have been looking for, and making it sound like it’s a match via that dubious “use.”
    Which of course it might, per what Marko notes way above. If, y’know, there were any rational motive, or actual proof, or something to say it was or likely was the government.
    Further, the phrase “or a sarin-like substance” might even suggest they didn’t use the latest fluoride ion regeneration test (IIRC) that would prove it was sarin (as Pmr9 brings up at ACLOS). IF SO, that could be because it wasn’t sarin when they did use that test, so they re-tested it to get the ‘maybe’ result.
    But… I would suspect terrorists used the same kind of crude sarin they did before. Unless they ran out…

  37. LeaNder says:

    I’ve got a lot of questions about the official Holocaust narrative.
    Hindenburg, can you give me your list of basic questions?

  38. Jan Czekajewski says:

    Sarin gas not Sarin is secondary in this pursuit of truth. Question should be: Qui Bono? or Who Profits? Assad had no interest in using any chemical weapons. Putin probably told him: “Do not even try. They are waiting for you t use it”. His enemies were waiting for an excuse to get rid of him. It is obvious to me that choice of Sarin gas was as an excuse to send a few missiles to bomb remote airfield. I surprised that Tomahawk missiles were not send to Damascus to kill Assad. Why such waist of expensive weapon? Politicians and Generals play with dangerous toys which may result in very large conflict.

  39. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    What was really going on at Auschwitz, for one. Were they really making buna? Were they generating power for a nuclear weapons programme? Would the US or Soviet authorities in the postwar era tell us the truth of the matter? Our elites are demonstrably obsessed with secrecy, so I don’t see any reason to believe much of anything from the canon.
    I’m always one to question everything, especially when multiple actors on the political scene have competing agendas behind maintaining something that’s extreme (they wanted to kill all Jews and Gypsies) in conception but logistically tricky in execution. I don’t like raising these questions online because there’s no point in inflaming people I probably agree with 90% on just about everything else.
    I’ve seen many people question various confessions by various Nazi regime police commanders, civil authorities and the like. Certainly the USSR and the US/UK had deeper agendas than they admitted at the time.
    I’m prepared likewise to question the extent of alleged crimes of the Stalin regime. The succession in the USSR was handled in such a way that Stalin had to be discredited. A lot like Thutmose III discredited his mother. For reasons both good and bad. 3500 years later, people can look at it dispassionately, but maybe in those days it was not a topic lightly raised.

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