Secretary of State John Kerry assured the public that the Obama administration’s summary of the intelligence on which it is basing the case for military action to punish the Assad regime for an alleged use of chemical weapons was put together with an acute awareness of the fiasco of the 2002 Iraq WMD intelligence estimate.
Nevertheless, the unclassified summary of the intelligence assessment made public August 30, 2013, utilizes misleading language evocative of the infamous Iraq estimate’s deceptive phrasing. The summary cites signals, geospatial and human source intelligence that purportedly show that the Syrian government prepared, carried out and “confirmed” a chemical weapons attack on August 21. And it claims visual evidence “consistent with” a nerve gas attack.
But a careful examination of those claims reveals a series of convolutedly worded characterizations of the intelligence that don’t really mean what they appear to say at first glance.
The document displays multiple indications that the integrity of the assessment process was seriously compromised by using language that distorted the intelligence in ways that would justify an attack on Syria.
OTHER CHEMICAL WEAPONS NEWS:
- UN report on Syria chemical weapons could take three more weeks (Guardian)
- UN Admits It Didn’t Ask for Access in Syria Until Saturday (InnerCity Press)
- Yes, the Syrian Rebels DO Have Access to Chemical Weapons (Washington’s Blog)
- Germ War: the US Record (Jeffrey St. Clair)
- Winston Churchill’s shocking use of chemical weapons (Guardian)
- Is the Death Count in Syria’s Sarin Attack Phony? (Antiwar)
- The Troodos Conundrum (Craig Murray)
- Citing Hezbollah phone call, German spy agency sees Assad behind gas attack (Reuters)
- BND captures evidence of use of poison gas by Assad regime (Spiegel)
- French report concludes Syria regime used chemical weapons (AP)
- France accuses Syria of 3 chemical attacks, Assad slams Western logic (RT)
- Russia releases key findings on chemical attack near Aleppo indicating similarity with rebel-made weapons (RT)
- Vince Cable challenged to come clean about Britain’s role in selling nerve gas chemicals (Daily Record)
- Defense Minister: Iran warned US about Sarin gas in Syria (Press TV)
- Hillary Leverett: ‘This Is A Joke! Colin Powell Had More Evidence! (Al Jazeera)