Nel's New Day

June 22, 2019

DDT: Week 126, Threat Balloons Backfire, More Lies

This blog refers to the man inaugurated in 2016 and limited by the U.S. Constitution to two four-year terms as “dictator.” A video from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) shows his interest in being “president for life”—up until the year 10,000.

In his interview with Chuck Todd about the proposed preemptive strike on Iran, to be shown on Sunday, DDT claimed no planes in the air and no final approval. Planes were most likely in the air, however, because the operation required them to go from distant bases hours away from Iran. Unless there was an operation. DDT did declare that his on Iran would be “obliteration like you’ve never seen before.” People in the U.S. could be the ones obliterated. Even Fox network figured out that he is lying: Shep Smith and Chris Wallace both questioned DDT’s statements

Increasingly disenchanted with Fox, DDT also accusing them of “fake news” because of Fox polls showing Biden leading over DDT in several battleground states and disputing the Fox report that DDT spend 30 hours with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos—which he did. Fox’s Sean Hannity, who reportedly has nightly telephone pillow talk with DDT, is not as popular with DDT as shown by DDT’s comment that Hannity is motivated more by ratings than by patriotism. DDT also mocks Hannity’s fawning behind closed doors as dull and unchallenging. DDT may no longer need Hannity Since Paul Manafort is in prison for 7.5 years, DDT may not need Hannity who apparently illegally passed information between Manafort and DDT while Manafort waited in jail for his trial. A judge unsealed hundreds of emails between Hannity and Manafort, some of the time when Manafort was under a gag order not to communicate with anyone except lawyers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told DDT not to go through with his misbegotten war plans when DDT briefed her, joined in the White House by other congressional leaders Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). About the 3:00 pm meeting, Pelosi said, “Democratic leaders emphasized that hostilities must not be initiated without the approval of Congress.” DDT supposedly called off the strike at 7:00 pm, about two hours before the scheduled finale. Perhaps DDT obeyed Russia’s president Vladimir Putin who said that a U.S. attack on Iran would be a “catastrophe.” Bully and television performer, DDT loves drama and sends up threat balloons to find a reaction; hopefully the backlash was too much for him.

In another failed threat balloon, DDT defended his plan to deport “millions” tomorrow before tweeting that he was delaying the deportation “for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans” can agree on an (unidentified) resolution for “Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.” There won’t be a resolution because Republicans don’t want one. Pelosi tweeted, “Families belong together.” DDT disagrees although he lies about his position and blames the non-existent “sanctuary cities.” Houston police chief Art Acevedo in Houston, nowhere near giving sanctuary, tweeted his approval of blocking deportations:

“Rhetoric that causes fear & panic & pushes folks further into the dark places all at risk.”

Even acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who supervises ICE, knows that separating children from their parents is becoming political suicide. That’s the reason that GOP senators are crying “humanitarian” on a bill designed to get more money to separate families and cage children. The bill escaped a committee, but questions have been raised since publicity about the neglect and abuse of children on the southern border. Democrats need to be careful; DDT considers a wall “humanitarian aid.” DDT is good for human smuggling across the southern border. Every time he mentions his wall, more migrants head toward the United States. While DDT pushes billions for a southern border wall because of the illegal drug trade, $1.2 billion worth of cocaine was shipped into a Philadelphia port out of Chile, Panama, and the Bahamas—one of the biggest drug seizures in U.S. history. Although this shipment was discovered, Joaquín Guzman (“El Chapo”) has talked extensively about smuggling drugs through ports of entry.

The Senate is running short on time. Within 40 “working” days, the U.S. is ripe for a shutdown because of no bills for raising the debt ceiling and passing appropriations bills. GOP congressional leaders have a bipartisan deadlock with DDT on budgeting because acting chief of staff and budget director Mick Mulvaney’s agenda disagrees with DDT’s desires. The actions of Mulvaney, formerly a South Carolina GOP representative, are particularly galling to Republicans. During a White House meeting last Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested a one-year stopgap measure that keeps funding at its current levels with a one-year debt limit suspension, unpopular with Democrats. Schumer pointed out that McConnell blocked moving 2020 spending bills under “regular order” to please DDT. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said:

“Mulvaney does not want a deal, and I think that’s the biggest point.”

The group didn’t discuss offsets to pay for the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, a serious problem because Republicans will want to take money for the bottom 80 percent.

In an interview with Time, DDT lied when he said he never separated children from their parents. He falsely claimed, several times, that President Obama separated families and he (DDT) “ended separation.” A court ruled against DDT’s family separation, but he continued the practice after the court’s decision. DDT repeated his lies to José Díaz-Balart, anchor of “Noticias Telemundo,” in his first interview on a Spanish-language network. The rare occasions when President Obama separated children was for threats to children or adults detained for criminal convictions or felonies such as carrying drugs. In April 2018, the DOJ under former AG Jeff Sessions ordered every illegal entry case to be prosecuted, separating children from parents even if parents only committed a misdemeanor by crossing the border. Children were put in cages and sometimes didn’t recognize their parents after lengthy separations. 

In the Time interview reporters, DDT threatened a journalist with prison after he tried to take a picture of a letter that DDT claimed was “written by Kim Jong Un. It was delivered to me yesterday. By hand.” DDT went off the record for a few minutes, and a reporter later brought up the issue about DDT trying to “limit Mueller’s Russia probe to only future election meddling” and dictating a letter to Corey Lewandowski, “telling him to tell” former attorney general Jeff Sessions “to limit the investigation.” DDT told the journalist that “you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you—” Asked if he was threatening prison for the journalist, DDT went off on a rant, including how Time should make him “man of the year.” They did, just three years ago.

Some of DDT aides think they are above the law, just as DDT does. Kellyanne Conway indicated that the Hatch Act, that prevents all federal employees except DDT and the vice president from campaigning for candidate, doesn’t apply to her. DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is also being investigated about his possible violation of the law preventing federal employees from political activities after the media reported that he is working with DDT’s campaign officials to work on fundraising strategies. Kushner is supposedly “the campaign’s key liaison in the West Wing” and has “multiple daily conversations” with campaign manager, Brad Parscale. In 2016, Kushner’s companies were also flagged for suspicious activity in Deutsche Bank money-laundering reviews. Ivanka Trump’s tweet with DDT’s campaign slogan “Make America Great” and her claim that “the best is yet to come” on her government Twitter account may also violate  the Hatch Act:

“Four years ago today, I introduced my father @realDonaldTrump when he launched a Campaign that would forever change America. Because of his courage, Americans are safer and more prosperous…and the best is yet to come!”

Last week when DDT kicked off his 2020 campaign in Orlando, a place surrounded by swamp, the city’s newspaper Orlando Sentinel, traditionally endorsing Republicans, made its 2020 endorsement: not DDT.

“After 2½ years we’ve seen enough. Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies. So many lies—from white lies to whoppers—told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity. The nation must endure another 1½ years of Trump. But it needn’t suffer another four beyond that. We can do better. We have to do better.”

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial wasn’t much more supportive, asking why DDT should be re-elected if he didn’t do anything in his first term. About DDT’s Orlando speech:

“The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was. Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile. [The people who aren’t core supporters] want to know why they should take a risk on Mr. Trump and his volatile character for another term.

“On immigration, however, the President missed a chance to strike a deal trading more border security (including his wall) for legalizing Dreamers. On trade, Mr. Trump has disrupted global rules but has put nothing new and stable in their place. Asking voters to believe he’ll do better on these issues in a second term isn’t likely to turn many swing voters his way.”

DDT’s staunch supporter, The Washington Examiner, retracted a story repeating DDT’s lies that a New York Times “fed information” to the FBI about Jared Kushner. The complete story is here.

DDT’s lies and chaos have lost him some right-wing media.

May 27, 2019

DDT Commemorates Memorial Day by Pardoning War Criminals, Moving toward War

Today is Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor lost veterans. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is out of the country—this year in Japan where he told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he is not “disturbed” about all of North Korea’s missile testing, an hour away from Japan and near tens of thousands of active military members. He also plans to “honor” veterans who sacrificed their lives to protect democracy and the integrity of U.S. values by pardoning men in the military convicted of war crimes while they were in service because of witnesses or confessions:

  • Former U.S. Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna, already pardoned by DDT, was convicted of stripping naked, torturing, and then executing an unarmed Iraqi man in 2008 after military authorities could not connect the man to a roadside bombing.
  • Navy Seal Edward Gallagher, scheduled for court-martial in June for multiple counts of murder, obstruction of justice, and bringing “discredit upon the armed forces,” allegedly used his sniper rifle to kill an unarmed elderly Iraqi man and school-aged girl who posed to no threat to anyone. Gallagher also stabbed to death a teenage Islamic prisoner and then proudly posing for photographs with the corpse.
  • Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret, is accused of killing an unarmed Afghan in 2010.
  • Three Marine snipers have been charged with urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban fighters.
  • Private for-profit Blackwater security firm employees, not all military veterans, were convicted of unlawfully killing 14 Iraqi citizens and injuring another 18 on 9/16/07 in the Nisour Square massacre, described as “among the most abominable abuses committed by Americans during the Iraqi war.” Nicholas Slatten, one of the convicted, called Iraqis “animals” and “less than human”; he said their lives were worth “nothing.” With no legal justification, he killed a 19-year-old man driving his mother to a local hospital where she was a doctor and then prompted other Blackwater members to kill 14 more unarmed Iraqis and injure another dozen.

DDT’s actions endanger military members currently in the world’s hostile areas and sends a message that immorality is to be admired. The man who faked bone spurs to escape the military during the Vietnam War dishonors the vast majority of service members who value and fight to preserve the rule of law by pardoning the men who committed these despicable and undisciplined acts. To grant pardons to military and contractor personnel accused or convicted of war crimes may be a violation of the laws of war, if not a war crime. It certainly is not a way to honor dead veterans on Memorial Day.

In another way to create more dead military members, DDT is threatening a war with Iran. Ten days ago, a reporter asked him, “Are we going to war with Iran?” DDT answered, “Hope not.” Not exactly definitive, especially after regime-changers State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton falsely accuse Iran of war-like actions. Since then, DDT has tweeted about unprovoked attacks against Iran, withdrawn nonessential U.S. personnel in nearby Iraq, and deployed forces to the Gulf. Employees of energy giant ExxonMobil are evacuating employees from its oil field in the southern Iraqi province of Basra. The State Department issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory for Iraq and warned of a “high risk for violence and kidnapping.” Everything happening with Iran smacks of George W. Bush’s lead-up to his preemptive attack on Iraq.

DDT says that he’s open to Iranian officials coming to him for talks, but he hasn’t reached out to any of them. Some people claim that he doesn’t want “to be pushed into a war,” but his supporters can push him into anything. And the slightest mistake can end up in full-blown war. One week ago, DDT tweeted the “official end of Iran” if leaders in Tehran dare threaten the U.S. The impetus was likely Fox network’s report on a rocket attack in the neighborhood of the U.S. huge embassy in Baghdad. Iraq blamed Iranian Shiites and the false information about a heightened threat that officials claim was misinterpreted. Saudi Arabia also blamed Iran for drone strikes at two oil pumping stations.

Twenty-two Republican representatives voted to let DDT declare war on Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, or any other country instead of taking back to constitutional right to wage war for Congress. George W. Bush started his preemptive wars against Iraq and Afghanistan after Congress passed the AUMF immediately after 9/11 attacks by 19 people, 15 of them Saudi Arabians. Presidents have used the law for 37 conflicts in 18 countries since then. Thirty Democrats voted to sunset the authorization for a president to start a war. That amendment passed the House last year, but then House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) removed it. The Pentagon had plans to send an additional 10,000 service members to the Middle East before the number was recently dropped to 1,500.

Some Republicans call a war “easy”—shades of Iraq 16 years ago—and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) declared that the win would come from just “Two strikes: the first strike and a last strike.” Military strategists disagree. A war with Iran could be even worse than the one with Iraq that started over 16 years ago. Iran has key access to major bodies of water like the Persian Gulf and trade routes like the Strait of Hormuz, connecting regional oil producers with the world. Far larger and in the midst of where the U.S. has several “conflicts,” Iran may have an arsenal of ballistic missiles, “midget” submarines, and an army of over 500,000 along with better strategic military moves. When W. attacked Iraq in 2003, its aging fleet of armored vehicles was short on parts and totally outmatched by American tanks, and all the planes were pre-1980s. That “easy” war killed 4,400 U.S. soldiers, injured over 31,000, and murdered from 150,000 to over 650,000 civilians with a tremendous rise in international terrorism.

A U.S. preemptive war would spread throughout the Middle East and involve the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon to carry out indirect attacks throughout the region. A war could destroy the world economy, including that in the United States. The U.S. also has no support from Europe and Australia as it initially did for the Iraq war.

Eight years ago, DDT predicted almost a dozen times that a U.S. president would start a war with Iran in a “desperate” attempt to win reelection. At that time, President Obama was running for re-election, but DDT’s accusation shows that he already had this idea in his mind. In his second term, President Obama helped orchestrate the historic deal with Iran that blocked it from nuclear weapons, a deal that DDT threw away. By doing so, DDT showed that the United States cannot be trusted to abide by international agreements.

DDT campaigned against Middle East wars, but he kept troops in Iraq. A major reason for DDT’s saber rattling against Iran and Venezuela comes from the multiple investigations into his possible corrupt finances: every time the House submits a subpoena, he makes belligerent statements about these or other countries. Republicans desperately support his irrational behavior for fear that he will sabotage their re-elections. Their latest support for DDT is trying to destroy federal intelligence agencies by crying treason—defined in the U.S. Constitution as levying war against one’s country or giving enemies aid and comfort.

Like pardoning war criminals, DDT would violate U.S. and international law with a preemptive war against a country that provides no threat to the U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), a Marine veteran who received the same classified briefings as Cotton, said that intelligence doesn’t show any threats to the U.S., unlike what Cotton claims. The U.S. also fabricated a story about burning oil tankers outside the UAE.

Iran is following the its agreement with the four other countries, and even U.S. military and intelligence officials claim that DDT is making the aggressive moves, not Iran. Almost a year ago, the Pentagon was making plans to wage a high-intensity air war in coordination with Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iranian strategic targets, illegal actions under the UN Charter and War Powers Resolution which the U.S. ratified in 1945. Only in the case of an armed attack, can the U.S. claim self-defense, according to the UN agreement. According to the congressional AUMF, a president can declare war only in connection with attacks on 9/11/01 or an Iraqi threat. Iran has no ties to al-Qaeda and no connection to any Iraqi threats. No “national emergency” has occurred.

Today is Memorial Day, and DDT commemorated it by siding with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un in mocking Joe Biden, a former U.S. senator and vice-president. DDT has created so much damage in the Middle East, that Iraq is offering to mediate a crisis between the United States and Iran. Although DDT says he has no interest in regime change in Iran and will let Japan mediate between the U.S. and Iran, he tells so many lies and reverses his positions so many times that no one knows what he’ll say in the next hour.

June 8, 2017

50th Anniversary of Israeli Preemptive Strike against U.S.

Today, June 8, is USS Liberty Remembrance Day to commemorate a little-known event—the first and only time that a Middle East country attacked the United States. On that day, 50 years ago, Israel attacked the USS Liberty in international waters about 25 miles off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula. Flying the U.S. flag, the largely unarmed intelligence ship was monitoring communications between the USSR and Egypt to anticipate intervention in Israel’s Six Day War with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

Israeli planes and torpedo boats attacked this US Navy research ship, the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean Sea near the Sinai Peninsula 6/8. 

After observing the ship with radar tracking and hourly aircraft-over flights for more than nine hours, unmarked Israeli warplanes led an air attack followed by three Israeli torpedo boats. Of the 821 holes in the USS Liberty, a 40-foot one was in the hull. The hour-long attack included napalm munitions dropped on the decks and machine gun fire on stretcher-bearers and life rafts. Ultimately, Israelis killed 34 U.S. sailors and injured another 17. With transmission equipment destroyed and all but one of the six U.S. radio frequencies jammed, the ship sent one “mayday.” Although defensive aircraft was launched from a nearby carrier group, the White House recalled them. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara stated, “President Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors.” Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State, disagreed:

“I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.”

Despite Israelis’ claim that they misidentified the vessel, the jamming of U.S. frequencies, testimony from survivors about low surveillance flyovers, and intercepted radio transmissions between the Israelis and Tel Aviv proved differently. One Israeli pilot who refused to attack was later court-martialed. According to CIA sources, Gen. Moshe Dayan, commander of Israeli forces during the Six Day War, had ordered the Liberty attacked and sunk.

Liberty survivors were threatened with court-martial if they told the truth, yet at least four of them have written books about the event. The U.S. government told the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, Adm. Thomas Moorer, not to investigate. After he retired, Moorer led a blue-ribbon, independent commission that included testimony from Capt. Ward Boston, the Navy’s chief military attorney in the original hearing. He confirmed that the original hearing into the attack had whitewashed the entire event.

Before Moorer died in 2004, he said, “I’ve never seen a President … stand up to Israel. … If the American people understood what a grip these people have on our government, they would rise up in arms.” Former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck echoed Moorer when he described the federal government’s attitude toward Israel as “obsequious, unctuous subservience … at the cost of the lives and morale of our own service members and their families.”

Moorer’s commission concluded that “Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew” and that “Israel committed acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States.” It recommended the annual remembrance day to “commemorate the Liberty’s heroic crew; and to educate the American people of the danger to our national security inherent in any passionate attachment of our elected officials for any foreign nation.”

Many people in the U.S. think that Israelis fought the Six Day War to protect themselves from Egypt. Largely ignored is a statement from former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1982 that described Israel’s preemptive Six Day War in 1967, a war leading to the displacement of over one million Palestinians:

“In June 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that [Egyptian President] Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

Lieutenant Commander David Lewis, the Liberty’s senior Naval Security Group officer stated:

“They took out all of our transmitting antennas, and shortly thereafter deposited napalm there on the deck. It appeared to me that it was the intent of the attacker to take out all communications and keep all people off deck so they couldn’t re-establish any sort of antennas or communication system. If it was an accident, it was the best planned accident I ever heard of. The only reason we got the SOS out was because my crazy troops were climbing the antenna string and long wire while they were being shot at.”

A BBC film, USS Liberty Dead in the Water, details the attack and argues that the attack was to keep the U.S. from knowing about the forthcoming attack in the Golan Heights, which would violate a cease-fire agreement. The 68-minute video is available here. More information is in an article by Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst in 1967,and a Wikipedia piece. Also interesting are an Intercept about the coverup and photographs from the USS Liberty.

The USS Liberty was attacked 50 years ago. Today, the man inaugurated on January 20, 2017, is instigating war with around the world. In the past week, he alienated Qatar by siding with Saudi Arabia and goaded Iran with the tweet to about the attack in Tehran by Iranians recruited by ISIS causing at least 17 dead and 52 wounded:

 “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called the message “repugnant … as Iranians counter terror backed by US clients.” Weapons killing people in the Middle East come from the U.S., both those sold to Middle East countries and those the U.S. lost in Iraq,  including more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment” channeled to Iraq under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF).

Last month DDT worked on attacking North Korea, and the conflict has again reared its ugly head. North Korea keeps firing missiles, and the U.S. has two aircraft carriers within attacking distance of the country. Right now DDT likes China because they gave him copyrights and he thinks he needs them as protection against North Korea after he dumped NATO. But what happens if he loses his temper and goes after China?

At this time, DDT is at war with the press and the Department of Justice. He wants tens of billions more for the military and has turned all decisions over to the Pentagon that will “protect” the country with munitions. He no longer protects people in the U.S. from domestic terrorism if it is perpetrated by white supremacists. The U.S. is at the mercy of a twitch of his finger on a button that he may confuse with the button to order more Diet Coke. Our nation has developed a great fondness for preemptive attacks—like Israel. Congress is supposed to be able to stop the president from starting wars. But the U.S. has not had any wars since World War II; it merely has “conflicts,” that might be started without any congressional authorization. With Jared Kushner in trouble, white supremacist Steve Bannon is back in charge of the White House. In March 2016, he stated, “We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years.” The question is how long it will take for Republicans to understand how close the nation is to a nuclear war—if they ever do.

Or maybe DDT is just all fake news. The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia doesn’t exist, his order to privatize the air traffic controllers is just an order to develop “principles.” There is no tax bill, and GOP congressional members hate his budget. A parliamentarian shot down the senate version of Trumpcare at a time when GOP senators are at each other’s throats. And Congress will be in session only 36 days during the next four months when the deadline comes for raising the debt ceiling—always an exciting process—and passing a budget to avoid a government shutdown. Maybe, like the past six years, the GOP won’t be able to do anything, and DDT will be tweeting about James Comey.

The world may be turning around. Today in Great Britain, people may have voted against the conservatives, Prime Minister Teresa May, and the large support for Brexit—leaving the European Union. May had called for a “snap” election seven weeks ago with the hopes of reinforcing her position. Now it appears that the Conservatives won’t have a majority in Parliament, and she may even lose her position. Here’s an early analysis. For more detail, The Guardian is running frequent updates.

[Thanks to Jack Dresser, national vice-chairman of the Veterans for Peace working group on Palestine and the Middle East and co-director of Al-Nakba Awareness Project in Eugene, for educating me about the USS Liberty Remembrance Day and its background.]

September 3, 2013

Deja Vu: Too Many Holes in Syrian ‘Intelligence’

Ten years ago, George W. Bush and his administration so convinced people in the country that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” that some people—even those in Congress—haven’t given up on that notion. Even then-Secretary of State Colin Powell got snookered into the myth for a while. Yet despite the embarrassment of finding out that Iraq had no WMD, the administration plodded along, sending cash, service members, and military supplies to the Middle East while creating great profits for companies such as then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and destroying the possibility of the U.S. repairing its infrastructure, increasing employment, and building a healthy economy.

Now the country is on the verge of another disaster in Syria after Secretary of State John Kerry promised everyone that the rebels need rescuing.  Once again we’re heading a preemptive war. The president has promised just a little bit of bombing before we’re out of there. Loosely translated, that means killing more people, many of them probably innocent Syrian citizens, and probably accelerating into full-fledged military action.

Even worse, Kerry has made claims disputed by the United Nations, inconsistent with British intelligence reports, and giving information that international chemical weapons experts cannot accept. Kerry’s speeches contain the same misleading information found in promoting the U.S. attack on Iraq.

The communications that Kerry said was intercepted couldn’t have come through channels because Britain would have received the same information. Instead it most likely came from Israel who leaked it to a German magazine. Former British Ambassador Craig Murray thinks this intelligence is fraudulent because Israelis want the U.S. to attack Syria.

If one were to give this information the benefit of the doubt, the communications consisted of “panicked phone calls” between a Syrian Defense Ministry official and someone in a chemical weapons unit because the official was “demanding answers for [about?] a nerve agent strike.” The questions were prompted by charges from rebels in Ghouta, and intelligence doesn’t answer the question of whether the regime had used chemical weapons.

When the U.N. asked for access to investigate, the regime agreed within 24 hours to let them have free reign to the area. U.N. investigators were in Damascus because the Assad regime asked them to look into a gas attack that they said was carried out by rebels on March 19. A two-page assessment by the British Joint Intelligence Organization, released August 29, stated: “There is no obvious political or military trigger for regime use of Chemical War on an apparently larger scale now, particularly given the current presence of the UN investigating team.”

Regime personnel were “near an area that the regime uses to mix chemical weapons, including sarin,” according to U.S. geospatial and signals intelligence. Yet there is no information about any problemactic activities in this area. Instead the presence of the tracked individual area was viewed as “nothing out of the ordinary” until the U.S. suspected the use of chemical weapons. At that time, they changed the report to “streams of human signals and geospatial intelligence that revealed regime activities that we assessed were associated with preparations for a chemical attack.” From no indication of “preparations,” intelligence moved to getting ready for chemical warfare.

A description in the summary explained that “a Syrian regime element prepared for a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area, including through the utilization of gas masks” but didn’t explain whether it was intent to attack or anticipation of rebel chemical attack. The summary also stated that the intelligence community had “high confidence” that the government had carried out a “chemical weapons attack” but nothing about any confidence when they said “that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.”

A huge question about the intelligence is the assumption that chemical weapons were used because of no wounds on the bodies. Symptoms of a nerve agent are initial tightness of chest, pinpoint pupils, and running nose followed by uncontrollable vomiting, defecating, and urinating, and culminating in twitching and jerking before coma and suffocation in convulsive spasms. Videos in Ghouta didn’t display these symptoms.

In another anomaly, far more of the treated people survived than died, contrary to a nerve gas attack. Reports show that out of 4,500 people treated, 425 people died—the opposite of what would be expected. Although some people have guessed that the chemicals were diluted, Dan Kaszeta, a specialist on chemical, biological and radiological weapons, said, “There’s not much leeway between the incapacitating doses and lethal doses with sarin.” The concentration causing any symptoms at all, he said, “would quickly lead to absorption of a lethal dose.” The fact that none of the people treating casualties were suffering obvious symptoms “would seem to rule out most types of military-grade chemical weapons,” Kaszeta added.

The rebels gave the intelligence community information about the numbers and cause of death. The precise estimate of 1,429 people killed by chemical weapons, including “at least 426 children,” has no source. Normally, intelligence would use a range of figures from different data. The main center for the intelligence community’s analysis is the CIA’s Office of Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control (WINPAC) Center which made assumptions about the 2002 Iraq estimate that were unsupported by technical facts. Thus WINPAC reversed the normal intelligence analysis burden of proof and instead operated on the assumption that Iraq had the non-existent WMD programs.

Kerry’s only attribution for the number was “a preliminary government assessment,” but people are now accepting his guesstimate as gospel. Anthony Cordesman, a former senior defense official who’s now with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted that Kerry’s number doesn’t agree with the British assessment of “at least 350 fatalities,” the Syrian rebels’ confirmation of 502 dead, or the French figure of 281 fatalities.

Only the U.N. inspectors can solve the issue of chemical weapons, but those advocating an attack on Syria don’t want evidence from U.N. investigators. National Security Adviser Susan Rice sent an e-mail to key officials August 25 asserting that the U.N. investigation was pointless, and administration officials have dismissed the U.N. investigation as representing a Syrian political tactic. Kerry said that access “was restricted and controlled” although Farhan Haq, the associate spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who receives regular reports from the UN team on its work in Syria, said he was unaware of any restrictions on the team’s work.

Kerry declared two days ago that samples of blood and hair from medical personnel in eastern Ghouta had been found to contain the signature of sarin nerve gas. These samples did not go through U.N. investigators but were smuggled out of Syria by rebels. The spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme National Council, Khaled Saleh, announced August 22 that “activists” had collected their own hair, blood, and soil samples and were smuggling them out of the country. Even the Obama administration admits that they can’t be sure about the accuracy of this assumption without appropriate chain of custody, but they are now claiming that it is “impossible that the opposition is faking the stuff.”

Kerry has never actually said that the bodies tested positive for sarin. “It has tested positive for signatures of Sarin,” he said. But “signature” isn’t proof of sarin. The U.S. Army book Medical Aspects of Chemical Warfare explicitly says that concluding on a chemical agent exposure from “signatures” in bio-samples is false:

“Analyzing for parent nerve agents from biomedical matrices, such as blood or urine, is not a viable diagnostic technique for retrospective detection of exposure.”

Because sarin quickly decomposes within a few hours, it is almost impossible to find pure sarin samples on or within a body. What is shown are the decomposition products of sarin, similar to those from other chemical substances such as farming insecticides. There was no sarin in the samples from the insecure custody chain of evidence, only the decomposition products.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, Kerry was asked if the intelligence had any dissent or uncertainty about Assad’s use of chemical weapons. “I have no knowledge of any agency that was a dissenter, or anybody that had an alternative theory,” he answered. Not a flat no—he just didn’t know anybody who disagreed.

Like the lead-in to the preemptive war against Iraq, a president is beating the drums for attack and trying to stir up everyone with potentially false information. The only “intelligence” comes from Israel and Syrian rebels who want the U.S. to attack.

A new poll today shows that only 29 percent of people in the U.S. want even airstrikes in Syria whereas 48 percent of the population opposed doing this. The Washington Post/ABC News poll indicates an even stronger opposition, 36 percent in favor and 59 percent opposed. In a few years, the minority of the people may discover in a few years that once again they were hoodwinked.

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