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Parry writes: "Just as false assumptions about Iraq's WMD set off a stampede over that cliff in 2003, a similar rush to judgment regarding Syria brought the U.S. government to the edge of another precipice of war in 2013."

The New York Times building. (photo: Wikipedia)
The New York Times building. (photo: Wikipedia)


NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

30 December 13

 

he New York Times has, kind of, admitted that it messed up its big front-page story that used a "vector analysis" to pin the blame for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack on the Syrian government, an assertion that was treated by Official Washington as the slam-dunk proof that President Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people.

But you'd be forgiven if you missed the Times' embarrassing confession, since it was buried on page 8, below the fold, 18 paragraphs into a story under the not-so-eye-catching title, "New Study Refines View Of Sarin Attack in Syria."

But this Times article at least acknowledges what has been widely reported on the Internet, including at Consortiumnews.com, that the Times' "vector analysis" - showing the reverse flight paths of two missiles intersecting at a Syrian military base - has collapsed, in part, because the range of the rockets was much too limited.

There were other problems with the "vector analysis" that was pushed by the Times and Human Rights Watch, which has long wanted the U.S. military to intervene in the Syrian civil war against the Syrian government.

The analytical flaws included the fact that one of the two missiles - the one landing in Moadamiya, south of Damascus - had clipped a building during its descent making a precise calculation of its flight path impossible, plus the discovery that the Moadamiya missile contained no Sarin, making its use in the vectoring of two Sarin-laden rockets nonsensical.

But the Times' analysis ultimately fell apart amid a consensus among missile experts that the rockets would have had a maximum range of only around three kilometers when the supposed launch site is about 9.5 kilometers from the impact zones in Moadamiya and Zamalka/Ein Tarma, east of Damascus.

The Times' front-page "vectoring" article of Sept. 17 had declared: "One annex to the report [by UN inspectors] identified azimuths, or angular measurements, from where rockets had struck, back to their points of origin. When plotted and marked independently on maps by analysts from Human Rights Watch and by The New York Times, the United Nations data from two widely scattered impact sites pointed directly to a Syrian military complex."

An accompanying map on the Times' front page revealed the flight-path lines intersecting at an elite Syrian military unit, the 104th Brigade of the Republican Guard, based northwest of Damascus, near the Presidential Palace. This "evidence" was then cited by U.S. politicians and pundits as the in-your-face proof of the Syrian government's guilt.

The Times/HRW analysis was especially important because the Obama administration, in making its case against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, had refused to release any evidence that could be independently evaluated. So, the "vector analysis" was almost the only visible nail in Assad's coffin of guilt.

Short-Range Rockets

In Sunday's article - the one below the fold on page 8 - the Times reported that a new analysis by two military experts concluded that the Aug. 21 rockets had a range of about three kilometers, or less than one-third the distance needed to intersect at the Syrian military base northwest of Damascus.

The report's authors were Theodore A. Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Richard M. Lloyd, an analyst at the military contractor Tesla Laboratories.

The Times noted that "the authors said that their findings could help pinpoint accountability for the most lethal chemical warfare attack in decades, but that they also raised questions about the American government's claims about the locations of launching points, and the technical intelligence behind them. ... The analysis could also lead to calls for more transparency from the White House, as Dr. Postol said it undermined the Obama administration's assertions about the rockets' launch points."

Finally, in the article's 18th paragraph, the Times acknowledged its own role in misleading the public, noting that the rockets' estimated maximum range of three kilometers "would be less than the ranges of more than nine kilometers calculated separately by The New York Times and Human Rights Watch in mid-September. ... Those estimates had been based in part on connecting reported compass headings for two rockets cited in the United Nations' initial report on the attacks."

In other words, the much-ballyhooed "vector analysis" had collapsed under scrutiny, knocking the legs out from under Official Washington's certainty that the Syrian government carried out the Aug. 21 attack which may have killed several hundred civilians including many children.

The Times article on Sunday was authored by C.J. Chivers, who along with Rick Gladstone, was a principal writer on the now-discredited Sept. 17 article.

The erosion of that "vector analysis" article has been underway for several months - through reporting at Web sites such as WhoGhouta and Consortiumnews.com - but few Americans knew about these challenges to the Official Story because the mainstream U.S. news media had essentially blacked them out.

When renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh composed a major article  citing skepticism within the U.S. intelligence community regarding the Syrian government's guilt, he had to go to the London Review of Books to get the story published. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Deceiving the US Public on Syria."]

Even Ake Sellstrom, the head of the United Nations mission investigating chemical weapons use in Syria, challenged the vector analysis during a Dec. 13 UN press conference, citing expert estimates of the missiles' range at about two kilometers, but his remarks were almost entirely ignored. [See Consortiumnews.com's "UN Inspector Undercuts NYT on Syria."]

A Replay of Iraqi WMD

Besides the deaths from the Sarin itself, perhaps the most troubling aspect of this episode has been how close the U.S. government came to going to war with Syria based on such flimsy and dubious evidence. It seems as if Official Washington and the U.S. mainstream news media have learned nothing from the disastrous rush to war in Iraq a decade ago.

Just as false assumptions about Iraq's WMD set off a stampede over that cliff in 2003, a similar rush to judgment regarding Syria brought the U.S. government to the edge of another precipice of war in 2013.

The New York Times and other major U.S. news outlets propelled the rush to judgment in both cases, rather than questioning the official stories and demanding better evidence from U.S. government officials. In September 2002, the Times famously fronted an article linking Iraq's purchase of some aluminum tubes to a secret nuclear weapons program, which - as Americans and Iraqis painfully learned later - didn't exist.

In the case of Syria, another potential catastrophe was averted only by a strong opposition to war among the American public, as registered in opinion polls, and President Barack Obama's last-minute decision to seek congressional approval for military action and then his openness to a diplomatic settlement brokered by Russia.

To defuse the crisis, the Syrian government agreed to destroy all its chemical weapons, while still denying any role in the Aug. 21 attack, which it blamed on Syrian rebels apparently trying to create a casus belli that would precipitate a U.S. intervention.

With very few exceptions, U.S. news outlets and think tanks mocked the notion of rebel responsibility and joined the Obama administration in expressing virtual certainty that the Assad regime was guilty.

There was almost no U.S. media skepticism on Aug. 30 when the White House stoked the war fever by posting on its Web site what was called a "Government Assessment," a four-page white paper that blamed the Syrian government for the Sarin attack but presented zero evidence to support the conclusion.

Americans had to go to Internet sites to see questions raised about the peculiar presentation, since normally a decision on war would be supported by a National Intelligence Estimate containing the judgments of the 16 intelligence agencies. But an NIE would also include footnotes citing dissents from analysts who disputed the conclusion, of which I was told there were a number.

The Dogs Not Barking

As the war frenzy built in late August and early September, there was a striking absence of U.S. intelligence officials at administration briefings and congressional hearings. The dog-not-barking reason was that someone might have asked a question about whether the U.S. intelligence community was in agreement with the "Government Assessment."

But these strange aspects of the Obama administration's case were not noted by the major U.S. news media. Then, on Sept. 17 came the New York Times front-page article citing the "vector analysis." It was the Perry Mason moment. The evidence literally pointed right at the "guilty" party, an elite unit of the Syrian military.

Whatever few doubts there were about the Syrian government's guilt disappeared. From the triumphant view of Official Washington, those of us who had expressed skepticism about the U.S. government's case could only hang our heads in shame and engage in some Maoist-style self-criticism.

For me, it was like a replay of Iraq-2003. Whenever the U.S. invading force discovered a barrel of chemicals, trumpeted on Fox News as proof of WMD, I'd get e-mails calling me a Saddam Hussein apologist and demanding that I admit that I had been wrong to question President George W. Bush's WMD claims. Now, there were ugly accusations that I had been carrying water for Bashar al-Assad.

But - as John Adams once said - "facts are stubborn things." And the smug certainty of Official Washington regarding the Syrian Sarin case gradually eroded much as a similar arrogance crumbled a decade ago when Iraq's alleged WMD stockpiles never materialized.

While it's still not clear who was responsible for the Aug. 21 deaths outside Damascus - whether a unit of the Syrian military, some radical rebel group or someone mishandling a dangerous payload - the facts should be followed objectively, not simply arranged to achieve a desired political outcome.

Now, with the New York Times' grudging admission that its "vector analysis" has collapsed, the pressure should build on the Obama administration to finally put whatever evidence it has before the world's public.

[For more details on this issue, see Consortiumnews.com's "NYT Replays Its Iraq Fiasco in Syria." For more of our early reporting on the Syrian chemical weapons attack, see: "A Dodgy Dossier on Syrian War"; "Murky Clues From UN's Syria Report"; "Obama Still Withholds Syria Evidence"; "How US Pressure Bends UN Agencies"; "Fixing Intel Around the Syria Policy."]
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+34 # madams12 2013-12-30 14:58
despite a long list of predecessor "hitlers"...acc ording to the hasbaRats...(ah madinejad, saddam, khomeini ad naus)...Bassad al Assad is not his father nor a hitler...his country has long been considered 'fair game' for its southern neighbor who has always coveted more territory...tha t is their plan...Lebanon' s Litany river, Syrian Golan and anything else with water on it...so twisting facts, those pesky facts is par for the course. Once one allows oneself the opportunity to ask and answer "CUI BONO?" who benefits there is only one regional country who thirsts for both new water sources and neighboring blood...see? Gaza isn't any fun anymore...shoot ing fish in a barrel is not enough. The way to Tehran continues to be thru the destruction of Damascus for those state terrorists in Tel Aviv.
 
 
+30 # fredboy 2013-12-30 15:11
Sort of defines the difference between a free press and a wacky one. How many tens or hundreds of thousands of people were killed or displaced because of their WMD "error" ("Oops, our mistake!")?
 
 
+20 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-12-30 17:03
"Facts are stubborn things" when we know them. Israel is so eager to attack all the Muslim nations and they have their hired attack dogs in the Congress of the United States to do the dirty work for them. Lies are washed over us years after years. This Syria attack was stopped by the people in England and the working people in this nation. We stood up and said, "NO WAY" and I hope we learned that this can work. We still suffer the lack of the truth about the murder of Kennedy and the events on 9/11.

The facts are starting to leak out since two American Congressional Representatives got to read the report of the events of that day and say that it was not a terrorist attack. There is evidence that Bush was involved with the Mossad in the planning and execution of the attack. All about getting us to go to war that Israel wanted and now we have not just two insane wars but the awful attacks on our rights here in the 'homeland'---(t ranslate that to the Father Land in fascist vocabulary)

There is hope. We stopped the attack Syria and maybe we have learned that we can make the government lister to what the people say.
 
 
+33 # reiverpacific 2013-12-30 15:27
Again, if you want any reliable "furrin'" news -or indeed news about anything including US internal affairs, go to reputable "furrin''" sources like The Guardian, The Independent or even AlJazeera -anywhere but the Fragmented States' Owner-media. They're all part of the Conformist-Pres s Country Club, including PBS and most especially the major networks on the Flick'rin' Screen.
The NYT is no exception -it just gets away with more as it's articles go into some depth, often blurred by hyperbole and speculative punditry, the few times I've bought a copy of the Sunday version. There's plenty to read mind you, if you want a restaurant review or what's happening' on Broadway and some good stuff on issues peripheral to major national and International affairs but take it's headliners with a pinch of salt and a whiff of opiate.
BTW, the "WMD's" were an out-and-out lie, like the "Mushroom Cloud" and all the other war-drum justification for invasion rhetoric by the Dimwits apology for an administration and it's UK patsy Blair -like everything else it wrecked.
At least Obama proceeded with caution on Syria. If we'd been stuck with Romney, he'd have been hurling bombs all over the place including Iran, urged on by Israel's LIKUD-meister.
 
 
-21 # Penn 2013-12-30 17:51
NO WMD, eh? How did the Kurds die?
 
 
+13 # reiverpacific 2013-12-30 21:52
Quoting Penn:
NO WMD, eh? How did the Kurds die?



I've chosen to break my "Do not respond as is hopeless" status to you with this and this only.
Why the fuck would the likes of you care HOW the Kurds died (and I have my own answer to that but I'll leave it off here -you wouldn't accept it anyhow).
You don't have any points to make here; BUT you don't appear to care, or sweep under your no doubt already filthy carpet, that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of Afghanis, thousands of hoodwinked young Americans and other cannon-fodder from the "Coalition of the willing" died in the long-plotted criminal and cynical incursion into the subsequent ruin and pillage of two sovereign nations as part of a larger scheme in the New World Order or as it was latterly called "Project for a new American Century", of which Syria has always been part.
You have nothing to offer but snide pokes at that which you wantonly can't understand and refuse to even consider.
So Happy New Year, if you're capable of such a feeling but keep y'r mean-spirited, blinkered and bile-packed drudgery to yourself unless you come up with some factual and verifiable knowledge to share with us.
By-ee me ould dahlin' and get a sense of humor, if you can manage it.
 
 
+10 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-12-30 23:40
They died of Gas supplied by the Germans & approved by the USA, friend.
 
 
+5 # karenvista 2014-01-02 01:13
Quoting Penn:
NO WMD, eh? How did the Kurds die?


You are apparently so ignorant about this topic you can't even attach it to the right war.

It was during the Iran/Iraq War when Reagan/Bush were supporting both sides (without the other side knowing) that we provided chemical weapons to Saddam to use on the Iranians. It caused tens of thousands of deaths. He used the same weapons on the Kurds in the town of Halabja, he said, because they were helping the Iranians. We didn't comment on it at the time and continued to give him more weapons, including the ones used on the Iranians and Kurds.

We never brought it up until WE decided we wanted to attack Iraq in 1991 and then the "He gassed his own people" line was used to help get us into the first Gulf War during the Bush 41 administration.

Bush 43 used it as well in 2003 even though the event he kept talking about happened in 1988. Don't believe everything you are told.
 
 
+1 # crispy 2014-01-04 09:02
Penn you need to go back to FACTS: Indeed they (the Kurds) were killed by WMD gas that we allowed in or encouraged in (sold by the Germans/ I thought it was by Margaret Thatcher way back). We HOPED he'd only use them against Iranians whose lives are worthless - of course.
They were DESTROYED under the watch of UN inspectors during the long years of sanctions against the regime.
NO WND left when we went to war claiming they existed and stopping useful inspections that found none as they went.
Facts and true history are stubborn!
 
 
+11 # dquandle 2013-12-30 18:22
Obama did not proceed "with caution". He and his regime were pushing for out and out war from the get go, aided by the criminal descendants of Judith Miller at the NYT. Their rampage to war was stopped by popular outcry and refusal to believe in their lies, and the fact that they could not raise a "coalition of the gullible for empire" as Bush and his despicable congress had, in the run up to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Escape was offered by Putin, of all people, giving Obama a way out of the stinking horrendous lies and machinations his regime had planned and planted, and the impending obliteration and mass murder which they foreshadowed, which the Obama regime had fully intended to carry out.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2013-12-31 10:57
Quoting dquandle:
Obama did not proceed "with caution". He and his regime were pushing for out and out war from the get go, aided by the criminal descendants of Judith Miller at the NYT. Their rampage to war was stopped by popular outcry and refusal to believe in their lies, and the fact that they could not raise a "coalition of the gullible for empire" as Bush and his despicable congress had, in the run up to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Escape was offered by Putin, of all people, giving Obama a way out of the stinking horrendous lies and machinations his regime had planned and planted, and the impending obliteration and mass murder which they foreshadowed, which the Obama regime had fully intended to carry out.


I disagree -I followed the whole thing too- and I make the point about Romney to provide a sense of contrast. The neocons, the Israeli lobby, Nutty-yahoo and several of his own party were beating the war drums -even Kerry at one point and popular war-wearyness was indeed a factor but I hold my line about Romney and make the contrast in Dimwits wars on lies deliberately; a little credit when it's due please.
 
 
+1 # crispy 2014-01-04 09:06
I agree Obama was very hawkish and so were the French - even more so.
Putin of all "leaders" saved us from an other debacle with more death and more profit for the MIC (Military industrial Complex).
Time to abolish CIA and NSA and start NEW intelligence from scratch + cut pentagon spending by 90%.
A defense expert during Bush years said a 90% cut would NOT lower our defense capabilities... Too bad I can't remember his name. Could it be Scott Ridder??
 
 
+3 # rhgreen 2014-01-01 11:53
For reliable "furrin" news, include the BBC (BBC World on this side of the pond). Al Jazeera staff is heavily ex-BBC. And the Toronto Star, which has a good web site. Its news articles, editorials and most of its signed commentary are knowledgeable and balanced. And oddly enough the Israeli newspaper Haaretz is pretty good - though definitely a minority "liberal" Israeli view. Their journalists (e.g. Gideon Levy) often write stuff that AIPAC and its subsidized congressmen would suppress in the US.
 
 
+2 # karenvista 2014-01-02 01:20
Quoting rhgreen:
For reliable "furrin" news, include the BBC (BBC World on this side of the pond). Al Jazeera staff is heavily ex-BBC. And the Toronto Star, which has a good web site. Its news articles, editorials and most of its signed commentary are knowledgeable and balanced. And oddly enough the Israeli newspaper Haaretz is pretty good - though definitely a minority "liberal" Israeli view. Their journalists (e.g. Gideon Levy) often write stuff that AIPAC and its subsidized congressmen would suppress in the US.


I agree except that Al Jazeera America is self-censored and has hired ex-CNN people who have brought their lethargic style of journalism with them. They are walking on pins and needles and it shows. The poor Guardian is being attacked by the British government as terrorists for helping to publish Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald's work. Their associate, Laura Poitras is British and can't go home for fear of arrest. She's having to live in Germany. The press is being undermined.
 
 
+29 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-12-30 16:00
The NYT should get the neocons off its payroll.
 
 
+23 # tonenotvolume 2013-12-30 16:54
Likewise CBS.
 
 
-18 # Penn 2013-12-30 17:52
Neocons protecting Hillary with their latest bogus Benghazi story? those neocons?
 
 
+12 # dquandle 2013-12-30 18:24
That would entail purging about 90% of its reporting staff and virtually its entire editorial staff.

Which indeed would be a good thing.
 
 
+17 # CarolynScarr 2013-12-30 16:01
While the international chemical weapons inspectors are busily getting rid of Assad's chemicals, is anyone talking about eliminating the chemical weapons in the hands of the rebels? UN inspector Carla Del Ponte (sp?) has already reported they used them at least once.

Meanwhile with U.S. help our good buddy Saudi Arabia is arming a group of fundamentalist nutcases to take over Syria, a country where sectarian violence has not been the norm.
 
 
+13 # mjc 2013-12-30 16:02
Every single citizen of this country has to learn to take every horror story, foreign or domestic, with complete skepticism, a jaundiced eye, total disbelief, especially when it seems to bringing out the warmongers and war plans become the only form of communication between us and our government. Yeah, it is the NEW YORK TIMES but the reach of those who prefer fighting wars of choice into our media enterprises is very strong and quite respected, especially amongst the vaunted pundits. The reaction to these urgings reminds of how facile mass suicide...perha ps on the scale of a Jonestown massacre...can be.
 
 
+10 # hillwright 2013-12-30 16:20
During the "Cuban Missile Crisis" a number of aviation experts dubbed the Soviet missiles in Cuba as "political range ballistic missiles" since the front page maps in most newspapers showed an exaggerated range of the rockets that included cities with the largest population (and the states with the highest electoral votes).
 
 
-6 # harleysch 2013-12-30 16:43
Perhaps the NYT will next apologize for the lying cover-up article of this last weekend, which denied there were any Al-Qaeda connections to those who murdered our ambassador and three others in Benghazi! The article was, essentially, a defense of the "Responsibility to Protect" imperial fascist Susan Rice.
 
 
+8 # myungbluth 2013-12-30 16:52
Dying to hear the factual EVIDENCE that you are privy to. PLEASE tell us more! (Remember, quoting Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck doesn't count as evidence.)
 
 
+2 # skylinefirepest 2013-12-30 18:16
myungbluth...fu nny that the Intelligence Comm. comprised of Republicans AND Democrats has found the NYT story to be sort of a fairytale. But who are we to take their side over the eminent NYT???
 
 
-14 # Penn 2013-12-30 17:14
The article was written to give cover to Hillary Clinton in her run for the presidency. There was NO video that anyone saw that started any riots. There was NO protest, just a coordinated attack to kill our citizens. Those are the proven facts. Four people died and Hillary will always be known for yelling "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?". Well, it makes a difference now that she wants to run for office again. The NYT is running cover for her, an the lefty moron parasites want to believe it SOOOOOOOo bad.
 
 
+12 # ericlipps 2013-12-30 19:00
Quoting Penn:
The article was written to give cover to Hillary Clinton in her run for the presidency. There was NO video that anyone saw that started any riots. There was NO protest, just a coordinated attack to kill our citizens. Those are the proven facts. Four people died and Hillary will always be known for yelling "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?". Well, it makes a difference now that she wants to run for office again. The NYT is running cover for her, an the lefty moron parasites want to believe it SOOOOOOOo bad.

There was no video? There was no protest, just a coordinated attack? How do you know, Penn? You say these are the "proven facts"; all right, where's the proof?
 
 
+12 # intheEPZ 2013-12-30 17:33
Thank you Robert Parry for your excellent S_ _ t detector and truth telling.
 
 
+4 # robcarter.vn 2013-12-30 18:07
NYT are not forgiven they were playing the same USG game. For a decade USG have been wanting War in Middle East or somewhere else to replace the falling export of automation overproduction and job losses that are causing low domestic consumption with low disposable incomes. They see the WWII monkeys they chased into the jungles to raise export solution to their high cost product. But those emerging Nations have brought the monkeys out of the jungle and they bought US later technology. USA has older machines less effective and lower quality a Labor wage of $30k/pa against Vietnam or PRC with closer to $3k/pa wage and all lower costs, power and tax. USA workers will eventually rebel and do as Holand did once: Look up the origin of wooden shoes "Clogs" or "Sabots" and they suffered automation taking their jobs so they threw their shoesinto machines "Sabot" "Sabotaged" machines by those "Clogs" "Clogging" the machines so they got their employment back.
 
 
+13 # robcarter.vn 2013-12-30 18:22
Did Washington thank Vladimir Putin for keeping them honest?

No way! Obama now seeks to claim some glory or Brownie points for avoiding a wrong war.
 
 
+10 # robcarter.vn 2013-12-30 19:05
You remarked "U.S. invading force discovered a barrel of chemicals, trumpeted on Fox News as proof of WMD," so my question ~ didn't they give those USA chemicals to Sadam to attack Iran earlier?
 
 
+1 # karenvista 2014-01-02 01:30
Quoting robcarter.vn:
You remarked "U.S. invading force discovered a barrel of chemicals, trumpeted on Fox News as proof of WMD," so my question ~ didn't they give those USA chemicals to Sadam to attack Iran earlier?


Absolutely! I have books with copies of purchase orders and bills of lading. That's why they could say they knew they were there (at some time) unless they had been used, destroyed or deteriorated. But they didn't factor in the used, destroyed or deteriorated part. Which is what had happened to them.
 
 
+10 # brenda 2013-12-30 22:01
I'm surprised that The New York Times would stoop to such sloppy reporting. But then again, Time Magazine got us, or should I say the Chinese, into the Korean War thus fortifying that the US would have to continue fighting. Eisenhower was right, the military industrial complex wanted to party on with warfare (Corporate welfare to some).
 
 
+1 # karenvista 2014-01-02 01:52
Quoting brenda:
I'm surprised that The New York Times would stoop to such sloppy reporting. But then again, Time Magazine got us, or should I say the Chinese, into the Korean War thus fortifying that the US would have to continue fighting. Eisenhower was right, the military industrial complex wanted to party on with warfare (Corporate welfare to some).


You should look up the CIA's "Operation Mockingbird."

"After 1953 the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. By this time Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. These organizations were run by people such as William Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time Magazine and Life Magazine), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times), Dorothy Schiff (New York Post), Alfred Friendly (managing editor of the Washington Post), Barry Bingham (Louisville Courier-Journal ) and James S. Copley (Copley News Services).

Other journalists willing to promote the views of the CIA included Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (New York Times), C. D. Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), Walter Winchell (New York Daily Mirror), Drew Pearson, Walter Lippmann, William Allen White, Edgar A. Mowrer (Chicago Daily News), Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Whitelaw Reid (New York Herald Tribune)."

I doubt there was an expiration date on these agreements. CIA is the Company you can't leave.
 
 
-7 # Patrice Ayme 2013-12-31 01:07
That article is about as dishonest as the New York Times. Fact is, thousands died. That Assad's government used Sarin dozens of time is not in doubt. There were direct witnesses of Sarin usage. That 140,000 were killed in a conflict that was created by Assad is not in doubt either. Assad is a mass murdering criminal of a much higher caliber than Saddam Hussein (Hussein acted on the West's orders initially). To try to exonerate him in general because of specious vector analysis in a special case is plainly abject.

BTW, I was totally against the attack on Iraq, and view Bush as a war criminal. But so is Assad, for the same reason, war of aggression.

http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/rewilding-us/
 
 
+1 # Douglas Jack 2013-12-31 10:01
Patrice, If you are still at the place of "not-in-doubt", then you've been making judgements based on war-propaganda without discernment & without carefully vetting your sources. The problem lies in totally controlled media & educational institutions, which have fed us a completely deficient worldview based in shallow values & processes. Most popular judgements are made subconsciously on associated cultural factors which have everything to do with xenophobia & little to do with the targets of our Finance-Media-M ilitary-Industr ial-Legislative -Complex 'hates'. Read '1984' by George Orwell. Here's a compilation on Syria which will surprise you. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/e-history/8-nuclear-war

If you bought so easily into Syria, then you've probably drunk the koolaid about Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, 9/11 etc. Here's a compilation on western war crimes facilitated by the lies of Libya. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/1-converting-social-media-from-mono-to-dialogue
 
 
+1 # Patrice Ayme 2013-12-31 13:41
Dear Douglas: Maybe you should read my site, and you will find out that I am the most deeply scathing critique of plutocracy there is. I go back to 1914 and even 150 BCE. Read me, and learn.

I have read Orwell, you were not even born, considering your picture. I am also from Africa, where I was raised. Black Africa. I do not drink alcohol whatsoever, maybe that has to do with living among Sufi Muslims in childhood.

You spoke as if you know Libya. My father met with the leaders of Libya, decades ago.

Your attitude about Libya seems full of contempt for the rights of Natives there, who were oppressed for at least 14 centuries. Learn the history of a place before talking about "the lies of Libya".

Another point: you are Americano-centr ic. It does not come to your mind that Socialist France, expert on Africa, has its own means of finding the truth. That, per se, is a form of imperial brutality.

Seriously, go to my sites, and learn.
Being Americano-centr ic is still being on the side of plutocracy, however good one's intentions are.

Last point: I don't "buy" into anything. I am not like my friend Barry Obama, who is obsessed, like most Americans, by "buying". Instead, I think, and do this just for the sake of establishing the truth.

I have been in the desert, I have lived among the Touaregs, read their 3,000 year old alphabet. Let it not been said that France was not right to send them heavy weapons, and protecting them in Mali. Time for minorities right.
 
 
+1 # mjc 2013-12-31 17:07
Believe that a true critic of the capitalist plutocrats would not be so focused on the "I" and "My" in your response. Those are the same credentials that many groups believe protect their response. Responding is fine; finding problems with others who respond is the problem.
 
 
0 # Douglas Jack 2014-01-01 01:14
Thanks for your response. I look forward to reading your website & finding out about your perspectives & experience. We probably agree on more than we disagree on including George Orwell. Es ce que tu parle aussi en Française? I also don't drink alcohol. Friends of mine who have visited Libya & met Gaddafi before he was murdered speak glowingly of the Green Movement & Gaddafi. 3 Nobel Peace Prize laureates speak glowingly of Gaddafi's Libya.

My contacts & research on Assad & Syria as well contained in the e-links above point out that Assad has support of 70% of the Syrian population according to NATO polls several months ago.

More to the point, I know the politicians who in Canada (Je viens du Québec) voted for the Canadian bombing campaign of Libya & were hot to bomb Syria. Being on the executive of a local New Democratic Party riding association, I asked over 12 Members of Parliament (including 5 leaders of the NDP) & 13 of their assistants about their research into both Libya & Syria. Not one of the 25 had any knowledge of these nations or cultures but all had the self-righteousn ess to want to bomb,

Like you I'm more concerned about establishing the truth in a popular culture & politicians who will not engage their perceived opponents in debate in order to sort out points of commonality & difference. Some of your double-negative statements are unclear. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/both-sides-now-equal-time-recorded-dialogues
 
 
+1 # Lorraine B. 2013-12-31 08:30
Well, well, perhaps then we should also look askance at the Times reassessment of the Benghazi fiasco, which clearly may be read as an effort to whitewash H.C's culpability/spi n of the incident. In fact, as the bastion of the MSM, everything which the yellow journalist NYT's propounds we must perhaps view with a jaundiced eye... (pun intended!)
 
 
+1 # kenken 2014-01-03 00:37
On September 3, 2013 Huffington Post ran blog that included these words: "Without an independent inquiry, we don't know for sure who released the poison gas. We also don't know today what would be the net effect of militarily attacking the Assad regime or how great the 'collateral damage' of a Tomahawk attack would be."
 

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