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The PJ Tatler

Rick Moran


September 8, 2013 - 9:05 am

President Bashar Assad told CBS News, “There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people.”

While most people are skeptics about anything Assad might say in his defense, the facts are clear: with all the horrific pictures of victims and leaks about intel showing the Assad government definitely being responsible for the gas attack, any kind of hard evidence coming from the Obama administration proving that contention has been sorely lacking.

The Associated Press reports:

The U.S. government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence produced by U.S. intelligence — no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications — connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people.

In its absence, Damascus and its ally Russia have aggressively pushed another scenario: that rebels carried out the Aug. 21 chemical attack. Neither has produced evidence for that case, either. That’s left more questions than answers as the U.S. threatens a possible military strike.

The early morning assault in a rebel-held Damascus suburb known as Ghouta was said to be the deadliest chemical weapons attack in Syria’s 2½-year civil war. Survivors’ accounts, photographs of many of the dead wrapped peacefully in white sheets and dozens of videos showing victims in spasms and gasping for breath shocked the world and moved President Barack Obama to call for action because the use of chemical weapons crossed the red line he had drawn a year earlier.

Yet one week after Secretary of State John Kerry outlined the case against Assad, Americans — at least those without access to classified reports — haven’t seen a shred of his proof.

There is open-source evidence that provides clues about the attack, including videos of fragments from the rockets that analysts believe were likely used. U.S. officials on Saturday released a compilation of videos showing victims, including children, exhibiting what appear to be symptoms of nerve gas poisoning. Some experts think the size of the strike, and the amount of toxic chemicals that appear to have been delivered, make it doubtful that the rebels could have carried it out.

What’s missing from the public record is direct proof, rather than circumstantial evidence, tying this to the regime.

The U.S. has acted in the past on a lot less evidence than is being demanded here. We bombed Muammar Gaddafi following a bomb blast at a Berlin disco in 1986, with the public being told of intelligence that confirmed Gaddafi was at fault, thought it was never revealed.

Given the perfidy of the administration on Benghazi, asking for direct proof is more than justified. We can certainly understand not revealing sources, or even much in the way of methods of how we collect intelligence. But there has to be something the administration can release to justify going to war.

Perhaps the president, in an effort to sell the strike to the American people, will reveal some intel during his speech to the nation on Tuesday night. If he does, it better be more than simply rehashed YouTube videos of the aftermath of the attack. Preying upon the emotions of Americans by showing suffering people isn’t enough. There has got to be something showing a direct link between the attack and the Syrian government if the president hopes to turn the situation on the Hill around.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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What, precisely, is the alternative theory?

That al Qaeda rebels, whose outfits have been trying to get chemical weapons for decades, managed finally to get their hands on some and instead of hoarding them for attacks against the West, smuggled the unstable and dangerous stockpile into the Syrian war zone to use against their own supporters to make Assad look bad?

Someone call Alex Jones to come pick up the conspiracy nuts who have escaped his asylum.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No matter how you analyze it, there is no plausible logic behind a relatively feeble and localized attack by Assad using chemical weapons. Assad may be a monster, but he is not a stupid one, or he would not have survived as long as he has. He clearly was aware of strong pressures within the U.S. for intervention on the side of the "rebels". He also must have heard of Obama's "red line" declaration.

In the face of those known risk factors, we are asked to believe that Assad frivolously ordered an attack, the main effect of which appears to have been the excruciating deaths of 1400 persons, most of whom were apparently non-combatants. Assad's forces won a trivial small battle, and virtually invited a massive counterattack by the U.S. He could hardly have anticipated that our response would have been so stupefyingly stupid as to announce it in advance and to declare our intent to essentially avoid serious damage to his military assets.

It is also somewhat mystifying, that there was relatively extensive television coverage of the immediately toxic effects of the attack, even showing victims suffering seizures and convulsions, grotesquely foaming at the mouth, etc., although the lethal effects of Sarin occur within seconds to a very few minutes. They must have been waiting just around the corner!

The “rebels” were also assuredly aware of Obama’s red line, an open invitation to skullduggery, and they had much more to gain from suffering a chemical weapons attack, than Assad could hope to gain by attacking them. Since many members of the rebel forces opposing Assad, the Free Syrian Army, are composed of parts of his military that have changed sides, they would likely have access to some captured chemical weapons stores, as well as the expertise to make use of them.

A “false flag” attack by the rebels upon non-combatants in territory they controlled, accompanied by organized television coverage to depict the pitiful effects, would make far more sense, would not be the first time these savages have done it, and would easily deceive thinkers eager to be fooled, such as John McCain, John Kerry, and that most brilliant of men, our erstwhile president.

Fortunately, the American people are not so gullible, and even enough of our elected representatives appear to be sufficiently skeptical to prevent this crackpot adventure.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As far as officially-sanctioned massacres go in Syria, this one is in all sense of the word of middling variety, but for the use of chemical weapons. In eight different occassions since 1800, the Syrians have massacred thousands of civilians using a variety of methods. The massacre at Hama in the 1980s is largely unknown, given the lack of the internet or media coverage, slaughtering 10,000 or more.

We act like muslims slaughtering muslims is newsworthy, when it is ordinary conduct.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In the immortal words of The Hildabeast - "at this point in time WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES It MAKE" that Assad used chemical weapons or not? Obama wants to take Assad out and thats that. The reason? Not for using chemical weapons but to make room for some other bad actors - the muslim brotherhood or AQ - makes no difference - either will promote islam - and that is the goal of this president. To aid and abet enemies of this country. Can impeachment be far behind? If he does an end-run around congress it could happen. Right after Boner is removed from the speaker's chair.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If the Syrian Army used chemical weapons, wouldn't there be a paperwork trail? An inventory trail? Do Syrians use computers for that?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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