One of the world’s leading rocket scientists, national security advisor and MIT Professor Theodore Postol, who has won awards for debunking claims about missile defense systems and has been a scientific adviser to the US Chief of Naval Operations, says today in a nine-page report that a four-page report released by the Trump administration yesterday intended to blame the recent chemical attack in Syria on the Syrian government “does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack”.
Postol notes the “only source the document cites as evidence that the attack was by the Syrian government is the crater” left by a munition.
Postol located the crater via satellite and examined it himself, concluding it reveals “absolutely no evidence that the crater was created by a munition designed to disperse sarin after it is dropped from an aircraft”.
The “data cited by the White House”, he says, “is more consistent with the possibility that the munition was placed on the ground rather than dropped from a plane.” He says the evidence indicates that a tube of chemical agent was placed on the ground in the al Qaeda held area and then an explosive was placed on top of that and detonated, dispersing the chemical agent.
Trump’s claim that a chemical weapon was dropped from a plane is “erroneous”, and “no competent analyst” could avoid that conclusion.
Regarding a similar chemical attack in 2013, Postol notes the “Obama White House also issued an intelligence report containing obvious inaccuracies” (which are detailed in the report). While Obama initially blamed Assad for the attack, he received a briefing casting doubt on Assad’s guilt and, unlike Trump, refrained from launching an illegal attack at that time (though he continued illegally supporting proxy forces).
Postol notes that both the initial report blaming Assad made by the Obama White House and the one today by the Trump White House are “obviously false, misleading and amateurish” and may reflect politicization, similar, says Postol, to the way the W. Bush administration politicized ‘intelligence’ that was used to falsely claim ‘certainty’ that Saddam Husssein was stockpiling WMD in Iraq.
Award-winning journalist Robert Parry has noted evidence that Trump, like W. Bush, is simply excluding from meetings people he knows have information he doesn’t want to hear.
Postol concludes his report by noting this is a “very serious matter” and “what the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true” (emphasis in original).
Robert Parry today notes he has received reports that the chemical attack in question may have been carried out with assistance from a “Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels” with the intention of creating “an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.” Overthrowing Assad is longstanding US policy. US attempts to conquer Syria date to 1949.
Parry adds this Saudi/Israeli operation, if it is indeed what took place, has been “successful, since the Trump administration has now reversed itself and is pressing Russia to join in ousting Assad, who is getting blamed for the latest chemical-weapons incident.”
Thanks to Chris Kabusk for providing Postol’s full statement. Postol’s report includes the text of Trump’s report and quotes from the Trump White House as an appendix, bringing Postol’s full paper to 14 pages.
Robert J. Barsocchini is an independent researcher and reporter whose interest in propaganda and global force dynamics arose from working as a cross-cultural intermediary for large corporations in the US film and Television industry. His work has been cited, published, or followed by numerous professors, economists, lawyers, military and intelligence veterans, and journalists. He begins work on a Master’s Degree in American Studies in the fall.