Trump was urged to seek evidence before attacking Syria

From Consortium News
April 13, 2018

In this memo to the White House, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity urge President Trump to get the evidence first before deciding to strike Syria.

Special to Consortium News

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT:  Evidence Required for Military Decision on Syria

Mr. President,

We the undersigned Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity join a number of other credible experts including former UK Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford (this recent interview on BBC Radio Scotland), former UN weapons inspectors and former military officers who are strongly recommending that you obtain and review actual evidence from the site of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, before ordering any military action. VIPS has previously reported credible evidence indicating that anti-government forces in Syria have themselves produced and used toxic chemical agents.

Contradictory indications exist given that the video and images of victims in the locations purportedly affected by chemical weapons  came from rebel-affiliated entities known as the “Douma Revolution” and the “White Helmets” while Russian military units which later got physical access to the supposed sites and Syrian Red Crescent personnel working in the area reportedly found no indication of a chemical weapon attack.

A major question for us, as former intelligence officers with some knowledge of the operational use of misinformation and false flag actions, is what motive would the Syrian government have for making a chemical weapons attack on its own civilian population, especially at a time when it has growing popular support and is having increased military success.  Why would it risk Western ire?

Rebel fighters and their families were already being evacuated to Turkish occupied Jarabulus by air-conditioned bus. As described in more detail by Scott Ritter (here), only Salafist fighters from the “Army of Islam” (Jaish al-Islam) had refused to surrender at the time of the supposed attacks.

One must therefore consider the possibility that the supposed chlorine gas attack at Douma may have been a carefully constructed propaganda fraud. Such a fraud would have as its purpose the elicitation of precisely the kind of political pressure that now has you contemplating military action. In other words, Mr. President, this may be a bid to mousetrap you into a war that neither you nor your fellow Americans want nor need.

More expert opinion and investigation needs to be applied like that voiced by former U.N. weapons inspector in Syria, Åke Sellström, (translated from original Swedish):

 The attack may have come from Assad’s regime, but you may as well have other explanations. Toxic substances can be dispersed in many ways, for example through explosions or smoke.

– There are many poisonous substances in circulation during the battle.

If the UN were to investigate the attack, it is not enough to see recordings or hear testimony, says Sellström.

It is essential that the United States have complete and compelling evidence before taking any decisive action. We therefore strongly recommend that you await the findings of the OPCW team which is now on its way to Douma to investigate at the actual site of the alleged attack.  A competent, objective group of experts needs to conduct a thorough on-the-ground investigation and collect evidence that will either implicate the Government of Syria or exonerate it.

We have, as you have noted, been down this road before with the Iraq WMD debacle in 2003.  Let us not repeat this mistake. By launching a war in Syria, we will be entering a military and political morass involving Iran and Russia that could have fatal consequences for the entire planet, especially if any of the parties feel compelled to resort to nuclear weapons.

The American people neither want nor need another military intervention in the Middle East. History tells us that any initiative centered on the use of armed force to compel acceptable behavior will not be containable and will only propagate more violence. Please do not drain the US Treasury for a war that could lead to catastrophic and unprecedented loss of life and endanger the security of Americans everywhere.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center (ret.)

Richard H. Black, Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret.); Former Chief, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) and Division Director, State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Kathleen Christison, Senior Analyst on Middle East, CIA (ret.)

Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Graham E. Fuller,Vice-Chair, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Larry C. Johnson, former CIA and State Department Counter Terrorism officer

Michael S. Kearns, Captain,Wing Commander, RAAF (ret.); Intelligence Officer & ex-Master SERE Instructor

John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, USA (ret) (associate VIPS)

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, Ph.D., former senior estimates officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst; CIA Presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council & CIA political analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Peter Van Buren, US Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel, US Army (ret.), former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State; Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary (associate VIPS)

Sarah G. Wilton, CDR, USNR, (ret.); Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)

Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)

Ann Wright, Colonel, US Army (ret.); also Foreign Service Officer who resigned in opposition to the US war on Iraq

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/04/13/trump-urged-to-seek-evidence-before-attacking-syria/

 

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America and John Bolton threatened OPCW Director General – “We know where your kids are”

Global Research, April 08, 2018
TruePublica 7 April 2018
John Bolton

José Maurício Bustani is a Brazilian diplomat who was the first director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) until he was ousted after falling out with the US government in April 2002. He was Ambassador of Brazil to the United Kingdom between 2003 and 2008 and is currently Ambassador of Brazil to France.

It was the first time in history that the head of a major international organization was removed during his/her term of office. There is much controversy surrounding the reasons behind Bustani’s removal. Bustani had been negotiating with the Iraqi government, and was hoping to persuade them to sign up to the OPCW, thus granting OPCW inspectors full access to Iraq’s purported “chemical weapons arsenal”. If Bustani had succeeded, this would have placed a formidable obstacle in the path of the Bush administration’s war plans, by removing their ostensible motive. Bustani’s supporters insist this was the reason why the US forced him out.

Image result for José Maurício Bustani

In an extraordinary interview with RT today (7th April), Bustani (image on the right) tells of having his family threatened by none other than newly appointed U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton back when Bolton was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control just prior to the Iraq war that led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and the destabilisation of the region.

Bustani tells RT that he had made a proposal for Iraq to join the OPCW and it was only a shock to the Americans “because they had plans already to take military action against Iraq.”

Bustani continues:

“It was obvious that everything (chemical weapons) had been destroyed and that there was nothing left for Iraq to be accused of in terms of still possessing chemical weapons.”

Jose Bustani was then asked by the then Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton to resign. Bustani refused.

Bolton then came to the Hague to my office and he said you have to resign and I give you 24 hours. This is what we want

Bustani objected on the grounds that he was elected by all members states of the OPCW, not just the U.S.

Bustani alleges that Bolton physically threatened members of his family if he did not comply and immediately resign.

“If you don’t there will be consequences, there will be retaliation – we know where your kids are.”

Bustani confirmed that his two sons were in New York at the time and is clearly becoming uncomfortable recounting the story for this interview.

Bustani ends the interview with the words

“he is not a man you can have a dialogue with.”

https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-threatened-opcw-director-general-we-know-where-your-kids-are/5635204

Tip-off received on Al-Nusra, White Helmets plotting chemical weapons provocation in Syria – Moscow

From RT
February 13, 2018

Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria says it’s been warned that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists brought in chlorine containers to a local village, where they aimed to work with the White Helmets to stage “a provocation.”

Late on Monday, the center received a phone call from a resident of the village of Serakab in Idlib province about the planned incident.

According to the source, on the afternoon of February 12, rebels from the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) terrorist organization brought three cars packed with more than 20 cylinders of chlorine along with personal protective equipment to Serakab.

Additionally, according to the caller, representatives of the local branch of the White Helmets, wearing individual means of protection, conducted rehearsals of “giving first aid” to “local residents” who were supposedly suffering from poisoning.

The information received from the Idlib resident raised a red flag for members of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria.

According to the center, this indicates that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists along with the White Helmets are plotting another “provocation” with the use of poisonous substances in Idlib province, aimed at accusing the Syrian authorities of using chemical weapons against local residents.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in October that the notorious Idlib chemical incident in April, which was used by the US as a pretext to strike Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, might have been staged.

Presenting photographic evidence of a crater from the scene of the chemical incident, the head of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov, told a UN briefing that the bomb which dispersed the deadly chemical agent was most likely detonated on the ground and not on impact from a Syrian airstrike. “Most likely, an improvised explosive device was located on the surface,” Ulyanov said.

The Khan Shaykhun chemical incident occurred on April 4, 2017, in the town of the same name in the Idlib Governorate, in an area that was under the control of Al-Nusra Front terrorists. The sarin gas attack, which allegedly claimed the lives of between 74 to 100 civilians, reportedly took place when the town was struck by the Syrian Air Force. Washington rushed to blame Damascus, despite the denial of the Syrian government, which destroyed all of its sarin stockpiles under the deal brokered between Russia and the US in 2013. Even though there was a lack of any hard evidence, shortly after the incident US President Donald Trump authorized the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airbase, from where US intelligence claimed the chemical attack was launched.

In late October, the US Department of State finally admitted that militants linked to Al-Nusra Front are indeed carrying out terrorist attacks using chemical weapons in Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry noted that a precedent had been set by Washington’s acknowledgement of the situation.

“This is the first official recognition by the State Department not only of the presence, but the very use of chemical weapons by Al-Nusra terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks, which we repeatedly warned about,” General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the ministry, said.

The White Helmets have been long hailed by the Western media as “peace-bearing heroes”who save human lives. However, the group has been dogged by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups.

“The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS], but also openly express positive attitudes towards them, providing them with information and even financial assistance,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in April 2017.

U.S. burns Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claims “smokescreens” (PHOTO, VIDEO)

From Rusvesna.su

June 10, 2017

US Air Force and the allied countries have been using prohibited phosphorus munition in Iraq and Syria recently. Supporting evidence have been circulating on the Internet for several weeks already. 

Ground operation on Mosul and Raqqa has led to great number of victims  among American allies: we talk about several thousands.

Being discouraged to win by traditional warfare the Americans gave green light to amunition banned by international conventions.

US-led international coalition finally admited on Friday that they used phosphorus bombs in Syria but it somehow correlates with international regulations. Besides they claim to protect civilians.

«According to its policy the coalition does not discuss dislocation, equipment (of its forces) with certain types of munition and the usage of them. Nevertheless according to the rules of engagement white phosphorus munition are being used to make up smokescreens, disguise and marking,» — says official pres-release of US-led anti-terror coalition.

This cynical claim was spread in response to Syrian state news agency SANA message which had reported about prohibited phosphorus munition being used deuring Thursday air-raids over Raqqa. That was reported to journalists by the local residents. The underlined that there were many victims after the bombardment.

The shots below demonstrate real targets of phosphorus use by US coalition forces. It is safe to say that there isn’t «making up of the smokescreens, disguise and marking». The video shows incendiary munitions use.

Using phosphorus munition as a weapon is prohibited by international conventions.

«The coalition takes all reasonable precautions to minimize the risk of incidental injury to non-combatants and damage to civilian structures. But ISIS shows disrespect to the innocent killing civilians who try to leave combat zone and teh coalition will not saty aside and let people die if we can protect them,» — says international coalition’s report.

To recap the USA have been taking on a mission in Syrian Arab Republic since 2014 without any consent of the legal authorities.

READ ALSO: Western propaganda epic fail: family of the boy appointed to be «Syrian war symbol» supported Assad (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Horrendous footage: US burn Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claim «smokescreens» (PHOTO, VIDEO) | Русская весна

Horrendous footage: US burn Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claim «smokescreens» (PHOTO, VIDEO) | Русская весна

Horrendous footage: US burn Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claim «smokescreens» (PHOTO, VIDEO) | Русская весна

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/YwJExDWyVPs&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

Источник: http://rusvesna.su/news/1497140769

http://rusvesna.su/news/1497140769

Russian Foreign Ministry: comments on French report, calls again for onsite OPCW investigation in Syria and an end to “dishonourable political games”

From the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation
April 27, 2017

A report by the French intelligence services containing France’s conclusions about the alleged use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun in Idlib Province, Syria, has been released in Paris. France is the third country after Turkey and Britain to have conducted a probe into the chemical attack. The impression is that the above countries either do not trust the OPCW or are trying to steer its investigation in a particular direction.

Even the initial analysis of the five-page French document has raised quite a few questions. First, it begs the question as to the circumstances under which France has obtained samples that it claims were taken directly at the scene of the incident. If they were taken by the French intelligence services themselves, it means they have free access to an area controlled, according to the report, by the armed groups of Syrian opposition forces linked to al-Qaeda. If the samples were obtained from a different site located, for example, on the territory of one of Syria’s neighbours, the credibility of the analysis carried out by France would immediately be called into question.

It should be said again that in keeping with the international rules, the integrity of samples taken for analysis must be ensured all the way from the scene of an incident to the laboratory.

In a bid to prove that sarin gas that was allegedly used in Khan Shaykhun was produced in Syria, the contributors to the report refer to the sarin gas formulation, saying it points to the use of the techniques developed in Syrian laboratories. It remains unclear why they are so confident since Syria has never possessed sarin gas as a finished product – they had only the precursor ingredients for this gas, the entire arsenal of which was taken out of Syria in 2014. The mobile installations that could be used to synthesise sarin have been destroyed and this has also been confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The only evidence produced by the report’s authors is the alleged similarity between the results of the analysis that has recently been carried out and those obtained by France in 2013 when it tested samples taken at the site of another incident that was also associated with the use of sarin gas. However, this argument looks inconclusive because in 2013 the UN mission failed to either independently confirm the information contained in the French report about the incident in Saraqeb or check on compliance with the procedure for ensuring the integrity of evidence, including during the transportation of the samples taken at the scene of the incident. The only material evidence which the contributors to the report refer to is a hand-grenade filled, judging by the photograph, with sarin gas, which was allegedly dropped from a Syrian helicopter. Using a grenade to deliver sarin gas is something altogether new and, as far as we know, without precedent in the history of chemical weapons. To put it mildly, this exotic chemical piece of ammunition is not safe for those who use it.

In short, there are many obvious discrepancies which testify to the poor quality of the investigation. The only real possibility of establishing the truth would be to send the OPCW fact-finding mission to Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat Airbase, where sarin gas that has been used in Khan Shaykhun was allegedly stored, to conduct a field investigation, using all the procedures provided for in the Chemical Weapons Convention and this mission’s mandate. It is also important that the make-up of the mission fully complies with Paragraph 8 of the mandate, under which the geographical basis for forming groups of experts should be as representative as possible. Only in this case, all the countries will be able to give credence to the conclusions of the international probe.

This was the aim of the draft proposal submitted recently by Russia and Iran at a special session of the OPCW Executive Committee. Regretfully, it has been vetoed primarily by Western countries, including France, which has carried out its own investigation – as an alternative to an unbiased international probe – and, frankly speaking, in terms of its professionalism, it was not perfect.

We are calling again to abandon the dishonourable political games involving the Syrian chemical track record and take the steps which Russia has been insisting on for three weeks now, that is, to send a group of specialists directly to Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat Airbase which will include  representatives of countries not blinded by the hatred of the legitimate Syrian Government.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2739484

Russian Foreign Ministry criticism of OPCW session on Syrian chemical attack: no evidence collected at location, no investigation at the site, no interest in the truth, serious damage and disruption to OPCW work

From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

April 20, 2017

Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for TASS on the OPCW Executive Council session

The outcome of today’s vote at a special session of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council shows that the Western group of countries and some of the states that joined it are not interested in establishing the truth. They failed to demonstrate their willingness to take the only right step in this situation, specifically, to send a team of investigators to the scene of the chemical incident in Khan Sheikhun and to the Al-Shayrat air base, from which the alleged “chemical attack” was supposedly carried out, as they claim. Those countries continue to stick to their line, disregarding any argument, and continue to impose on the international community the same pseudo conclusions that they pushed on the UN Security Council.

They do not need the truth. For them, everything has been settled: Damascus is to blame, according to them, and Moscow, they say, is just obscuring the matter, preventing the OPCW from doing its job.

However, without collecting evidence at the location and establishing the facts, all their accusations against the legitimate government of Syria remain groundless. The West always has its own “pocket” specialists on hand, who are ready to write any report at the first signal and fit pseudo evidence into pre-formulated conclusions. Today, our diplomats in The Hague and the Russian Defence Ministry’s official representative talked about this amply and convincingly.

We are grateful to the countries that supported the joint Russian-Iranian draft solution. We heard many reasonable arguments in statements by representatives of the countries that abstained from voting.

And we strongly condemn the irresponsible stance of those that voted against it. The Western group has once again revealed the essence of its destructive approach.

These countries caused serious damage to the reputation and authority of the OPCW. By disrupting this badly needed process, they have again complicated the search for a way out of the Syrian crisis.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2734389

U.S. has ‘no doubt’ their villain-of-the-day has banned weapons

Global Research, April 22, 2017
Moon of Alabama 21 April 2017

Mattis: ‘No doubt‘ Syrian regime has chemical weapons, April 21, 2017

“There can be no doubt in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt,” Mattis told reporters.

Full text of Dick Cheney‘s speech, August 27, 2002

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors …

 

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”― Edmund Burke