Newscast Media LONDON—According to an article written by journalist Seymour Hersh
published in the London Review of Books, US President Barack Obama omitted
important intelligence, and in other instances he presented assumptions as facts.
According to Hersh, US intelligence agencies produced a series of classified reports to
set the stage for a ground invasion, based on the premise that Assad had used nerve
gas against his own people. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a
suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against
“One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s
assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current
regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama
administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and
sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days
after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack
was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin
incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security
Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam,” Hersh wrote.
In his article, Hersh revealed that the same official said there was immense frustration
inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in
the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in
the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?’”
Iran, a strong and loyal friend of Syria, was convinced that an attack on Syria was
justification for an immediate attack on Israel. A military source that spoke on
condition of anonymity told FARS News Agency, “If Damascus comes under attack,
Tel Aviv will be targeted too and a full-scale war against Syria will actually issue a
license for attacking Israel.
“We are rest assured that if Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such
an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors,” , the source said.
Russia’s Vladmir Putin played a major role in brokering a deal that averted a possible
war in the Middle East.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—International disarmament experts began on Wednesday
their mission to catalogue Syria’s chemical weapons under a deal that will see the
arms turned over for destruction by mid-2014.
The 19-member team from The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Damascus on Tuesday.
Along with 14 UN staffers, they are staying at a Damascus hotel. They set up a
logistics base after arriving, but did not appear to have left the hotel by early
“In the coming days, their efforts are expected to focus on verifying information
provided by the Syrian authorities and the initial planning phase of helping the
country destroy its chemical weapons production facilities,” a UN statement said.
This should be completed by November 1, it added. An OPCA official said, “We do not
doubt the information provided by the Syrian authorities.”
President Bashar al-Assad has said Syria will comply with the UNSC resolution as it
has already turned over, on September 19, documents detailing its chemical
On Tuesday, a team of UN experts left Damascus after probing seven alleged
chemical weapons attacks for a report expected to be released in late October.
Source: Al Manar TV news
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Moscow will soon submit to the United Nations findings indicating that the Syrian opposition had used chemical weapons during the deadly civil war, the Russian foreign minister said Wednesday.
“Reports about the use of chemical weapons [in Syria] reflect the fact that the opposition regularly resorts to provocations seeking to trigger [foreign military] strikes and intervention in Syria. We have enough evidence [to prove it],” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during the 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a Kremlin-backed discussion forum that brings together Russian and foreign politicians,
academics and other public figures.
“We have information related to the incidents that took place in August in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, a lot of information. We will take it all to the UN Security Council,” he added.
UN inspectors said Monday that they had found “clear and convincing evidence” that chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, were used in an August 21 attack in Ghouta that killed hundreds of people.
The US and some of its Western allies have attributed the attack to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Moscow and Syria have repeatedly called it a provocation by anti-Assad rebels.
Lavrov said Syrian officials had handed over evidence indicating the opposition’s possible involvement in the chemical attack to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who is currently on a visit to Damascus.
“I haven’t familiarized myself with it yet, but I’m convinced that the experts would work with it and, of course, we would submit it to the UN Security Council,” Lavrov said.
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media NAIROBI Kenya — The Pentagon has dispatched a team of arms control experts to East Africa to warn of growing threats that al-Qaeda could make biological weapons with deadly germs stolen from insecure laboratories. Spearheaded by Kenneth Myers, the director of the Pentagon’s Threat Reduction Agency, the team will inspect facilities in Kenya and Uganda where some of the world’s most infectious diseases are stored and studied.
Defense analysts are increasingly concerned that the laboratories’ security is too weak to withstand the increasing threat from regional terror groups, including al-Qaeda, who are hunting for ingredients for biological weapons.
The team includes Richard Lugar, the Republican senator who spearheaded program to destroy the former Soviet Union’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons after 1991. Meetings are planned with senior officials from the Kenyan and Ugandan governments to warn of the growing threat of bioterrorism, and to advise on stronger security systems.
“This is urgent work,” said Sen Lugar, former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“A number of African nations with active terrorist cells have unsecured facilities that are tracking and sometimes handling some of the deadliest pathogens on Earth, including Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley Fever and plague.
“These can be made into horrible weapons aimed at our troops, our friends and allies, and even the American public. This is a threat we cannot ignore.”
Research laboratories in Africa often lack basic security systems and diseases kept to be studied can be poorly stored and catalogued, meaning thefts would be almost impossible to detect or quantify.
Sen Lugar co-directed the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, set up in 1991 as the Soviet Union collapsed, which has since helped remove all nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Investigators found that Soviet scientists had used African diseases to make biological weapons during the Cold War.
“Those weapons are being destroyed,” said Sen Lugar. “Now we have to secure their sources.” But the threat from chemical warfare is now very different, the Indiana Senator told a conference on science and international security in Madrid on Monday.
“The footprint of weapons-producing laboratories and the size of today’s “strategic” weapons grow smaller every day,” he said.
“A delivery system may be as mundane as a commercial cargo carrier. In the case of infectious pathogens, the delivery system could be an individual human being. Discovering potential WMD threats is far more challenging.”
Source: The Pentagon http://newscastmedia.com/bioterrorism.htm