He may be old but he’s still young at heart when it comes to investigative journalism. I am talking about that crusty, cantankerous guy whose record for breaking seminal news stories has no parallel. He was the first to expose CIA spying inside the United States during the Vietnam War. He broke the details about the mass murder of Vietnamese at My Lai at the hands of US troops in the 1970s and blew the whistle on US torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. And today? He’s out with a story in the London Review of Books exposing how Barack Obama lied to the American public and tried to build a false case for going to war in Syria last September.
The administration buried intelligence on the fundamentalist group/rebel group al-Nusra. It was seen, Hersh says, as an alarming threat by May, with the U.S. being aware of al-Nusra member able to make and use sarin, and yet the group – associated with the rebel opposition in Syria – was never considered a suspect in the sarin attacks. Hersh refers to a top-secret June cable sent to the deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency that said al-Nusra could acquire and use sarin. But the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Defense Intelligence Agency could not find the document in question, even when given its specific codes. . . .
The administration was learning about the attack at roughly the same speed civilians were. Hersh says the thorough daily intelligence briefings in the days surrounding the gas attack did not make a single mention of Syria, even as videos and photos of the attack went viral across the Internet. He added that there was revealed a sensor system in Syria that had, in December 2012, shown sarin production at a chemical weapons depot arranged by the Syrian army. Though it was unclear whether this was a simulation or not – all militaries, Hersh says, practice simulations of such things – Obama promptly warned Syria that use of sarin gas would be “unacceptable.”
‘If what the sensors saw last December was so important that the president had to call and say, “Knock it off,” why didn’t the president issue the same warning three days before the gas attack in August?’. . . .
The media succumbed to confirmation bias in response to a UN report on the attack. That report, which is less than certain in its terms, said that the spent weapon “indicatively matches” the specifics of a 330mm calibre artillery rocket. MIT professor Theodore Postol and other munitions experts later reviewed the photos and said that it was improvised, likely made locally, didn’t match anything in the Syrian arsenal and would not have been able to travel the nine kilometres from the Syrian army base that the media presumed it was fired from.
Amy Goodman, not exactly known as an Obama hater, had Sy on this morning to talk about the Obama Administration’s push back on the story:
The story reported by Sy Hersh is compelling and well documented. It merits the attention of thoughtful people.
UPDATE–Normally, I would let the inane comments of the Obot “TOM,” (his comments are below) go without further comment. But this is too funny. You need to know more about what total tool of a clown this pathetic soul is. Meet Fissherman Tom.
To reiterate the point I made about Sy’s article–it merits the attention of thoughtful people. This buffoon, Tom, is not thoughtful.