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Doubts linger over Syrian gas attack responsibility

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By ZEINA KARAM and KIMBERLY DOZIER

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47 Comments
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But multiple requests to view that satellite imagery have been denied

Please show a bit of patience. These things can't be doctored overnight.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

In its absence, Damascus and its ally Russia have aggressively pushed another scenario: that rebels carried out the Aug. 21 chemical attack. Neither has produced evidence for that case, either. That’s left more questions than answers as the U.S. threatens a possible military strike.

Evidence needs to be presented.

70,000 defectors from the Syrian military

Wow.

He claimed Syrian insurgents have acquired chemical weapons, bought from tribes in Libya after the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, through Saudi interlocutors. Other weapons from Libya have been used in the conflict, though Jaber did not offer evidence to support his chemical weapon claim.

Thanks, Europe.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One claim of President Obama and the US officials is that the credibility of the US's commitment to the upholding of international norms would be gravely diminished if nothing were done about the gas attack(s) in Syria.

The opposite of this coin is that that very same credibility would be destroyed if the US gets it wrong (concerning intelligence that the Syrian regime is responsible for the gas attack) again.

The fact that the best and brightest were way off the mark concerning WMDs in Iraq does show that it is now more necessary to release all the evidence that they have, even if it does compromise some intelligence gathering technology or assets.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I sure as Hell don't want America sending Any support to either side! Some news reporters say that the people of the U.S. are "War Weary" , well We are Weary of adventurists who for Their Own Gains ,send Our young generation into harms way under the guise of Democracy.We buried a fine young man who served three tours of duty and was K.I.A. We are indeed tired of a government that refuses to take on the war at home while sending Billions to Dictatorships and Rebels alike at the same time while our True National Security, which is the Homefront, goes to Hell!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Granted there is no ONE thing, but the totality of the evidence is overwhelming. Who had both the motive and opportunity to release advanced chems in a large-scale fashion. Only Assad. This wasn't an Aum Shinrikyo umbrella pokein the bag dispersal. This was a pro job. The rebels have neither this quantity of chems, nor the means to disperse them.

Also there is abundant electronic traffic by the regime and it's fops admitting to what they have done.

Finally, lets look at the denials. Perhaps the rebels did it. Perhaps Obama is making it up. Perhaps all the evidence is a coincidence. Yeah, and perhaps monkeys will spontaneously depart my rectum.

Those that think anyone other than the Assad regime are responsible are sociopathic (Putin), unrealistic idealists (Liberal Democrats, most of Europe), or are living in la-la land (U.S. Tea-baggers).

There are some things that just are not done (anymore. God rest your souls, Iraqi Kurds of 1987). We the world told Assad not to do it. He did it anyway. Now what do we do? Pass a resolution ala the DPRK? Call for dialogue? (Gasser, gasse. Gasse, gasser. I'll just let you two get acquainted.)

The world must act. (Actually, most of the world must watch while America and France act.). I will give opponents a bone. I'm not sure how much blowing Assad (or at least his apparatus) up will help. There could be tough consequences. But I do know what happens if we don't act. Iran, N. Korea and very other psychopath with WMD will think they get a pass as well. The usage threshold will be lessened, and once again the West will overlook the slaughter of innocents because we lacked the will to act in accordance with our stated ideals (Yugoslavia anyone?).

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Graham DeShazo -

Granted there is no ONE thing, but the totality of the evidence is overwhelming

That's what they said about Iraq. Careful of those monkeys.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

If there is evidence, let us see it. Fiction to start wars is an American disease. Pity Obama caught it.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

An informative article, a good piece of journalism. They are right, no hard evidence has been produced to the world community, With so many scenarios on the table, without hard factual evidence being produced they don't have case. In a court of law if the prosecution couldn't produce proof of a crime, a judge would throw out the case. Is this any different. International laws are in place, unfortunately these have been abused in the past, but they are still in place. If those international laws are broken then those countries or persons in charge should be punished.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Advisor #1: Boy this NSA surveillance stuff sure is hard to explain...the public's not buying it...what can we tell them next?

Advisor #2: How about we whip up some kind of controversy about military action, you know, mention words like 'protect international humanitarian norms', 'terrorists', 'protect US interests" and 'potential threat to US Homeland..?

Advisor #1: OK sounds good, what do we have?

Advisor #2: Well there's a long list, but my former and future employer Halliburton, and your old outfit Raytheon, are suggesting this "chemical weapons in Syria" thing.

Advisor #1: Great, people know nothing about Syria and the place has no powerful friends, I like the missile strikes, those things cost over $1M million each. We may need to use dozens and leave the door open for further action.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Great. Now even the White House admits they have no hard evidence, only hearsay. Barry and his two Johns can march into Syria themselves with their pal Francois, but most citizens EVERYWHERE oppose any strike. Oddly, the Saudis and Israelis(elites, not people) are in bed on this, and would like the US pawns to do their bidding. They can pack sand.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In January 29, 2013, Britain’s most popular Daily Newspaper, in its online version Dailymail.co.uk published an article titled: U.S. ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime’

A few days later they pulled the article.

This is a a cached version of the article.

http://web.archive.org/web/20130129213824/http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270219/U-S-planned-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-Syria-blame-Assad.html

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Congresds should say no and that will be the end of it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What a mess! Sorry, yes I did VOTE for Mr.Obama and NEVER for Bush, but I have to say, Mr.Obama is making the lamest excuse for the USA having to attack Syria. Bush lied to us about the WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION and now, sadly enough the same smell of BS is wreaking out of the US White House, but now under Mr. Obama. We have no business in getting involved there in Syria. The other day, I saw a horrible video of a Syrian rebel, not only killing a Syrian soldier, but CUTTING HIS HEART out, then his KIDNEYS and then eating these bloody parts in front of the cameras!! Do we really want to support animals like these terrorists?? I sure as hell do not. Let Assad gas them, do what ever he thinks is necessary. If Assad, the Iranians etc..try to export Hezbolah etc..to other countries, then that is another story.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Pulled because it was utter crap. This is not the regime change-happy Bush administration.

President Obama wound down Iraq, is winding down Afghanistan and has made no bones about not wanting any part of Syria. His administration has been dragged kicking and screaming to this point.

Anybody who would honestly believe that the Obama administration would violate the Chemical Weapons Convention to start another U.S. campaign in the Middle East needs a neurological exam. Not even Tom Clancey would postulate anything so stupid.

Btw, I read the "article." I can't remember which Murdoch-owned rag this is, but a credible source of journalism it is not.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

US want to claim insurance they did for their 6 aircraft carriers deployed for Syria. After all they know that all these JUNK along with their expired Tom Hawk missiles of no use.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Obama is worse than Bush. His drone killings not only done by the CIA but also by the JSOC. His dirty war in Yemen and so on and so on. I dont' say the above Daily Mail article was true, but there is a small chance that it is, if you consider the history of the US.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I dont' say the above Daily Mail article was true.....

Please, that is as farcical as when Glenn "I was too crazy for even Fox" Beck says, "I'm not saying that Obama is a crypto-Muslim in the service of atheistic Socialists. I'm just saying..."

If you're going to post a ridiculous rumor be a third-rate "paper" then own up to it.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Meanwhile, the NSA is still spying on everyone all over the world, the US government (with help) is trying to shut down the internet (SOPA or whatever else they're calling it), and making the most aggressive tax laws I've ever seen. I guess this is working to distract from all of that! On top of that, we get another war we can't afford, in a country far from home, about something that doesn't concern us! Thanks, Obama. No more hope and change, please, I can't take any more.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

“made in Saudi Arabia”

says it all doesn't it?

Who benefits from a Syrian bust-up?

Right!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If the evidence is so clear, why it is not shown to the public or to the UN? And that the UN security council is weak and useless, has a lot to do with the USA. Their countless vetoes when a resolution was pending criticizing Israel. It looks all very much made up by the US. Till 2011 Assad was still a close ally of the US. And by the way, if Obama would attack Syria it would be against international law.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

" His administration has been dragged kicking and screaming to this point."

That's the most ridiculous thing I've read or heard. Must be under very heavy Kool-Aid influence to write that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Doubts linger over Syria gas attack evidence

an article from the "Detroit News"

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130908/NATION/309080015<>

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Saudi Arabia who is the number one sponsor of Wahhabism is basically pushing for the attack on Syria and we see the beholding of the President of the United States to Saudi Arabian interests.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Jean: Now even the White House admits they have no hard evidence

Assad could have a press conference tomorrow claiming responsibility, and your response would be that it's evidence of an even deeper conspiracy that only special people such as yourself can see.

Oddly, the Saudis and Israelis(elites, not people) are in bed on this, and would like the US pawns to do their bidding.

You have hard evidence of Israeli involvement? ;)

What I find strange is that some people claim it's the rebels, yet there is no push to build a case against them or any government that might support them. Why isn't Russia leading the charge for an investigation into Saudi Arabia, especially since it would clear the name of their ally?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

SuperGlib, " Assad could have a press conference tomorrow claiming responsibility, and your response would be that it's evidence of an even deeper conspiracy that only special people such as yourself can see."

Ha! Patently false. IF Assad claimed responsibility, I would accept it. Likewise, if it were physically verified which group was responsible, backed by physical evidence and not classified hearsay, I'd accept that as well. Actual evidence is required.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You really have to wonder. I went to the link someone gave on the Daily Mail story about US planned a chemical attack they would then blame on the Syrians. The message comes up that this page could not be found. But when you then click to go back to previous page the Mail story flicks up for a moment or two and then reverts back to the page could not be found message. And the same happens when I try again. Then I go to the link from the Detroit times. Message comes up that this page has been deleted or expired. I'm not accessing the internet from Japan at the moment but you have to think that (US) government control of the media is reaching new heights. Could be a coincidence I suppose but I think not.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If concrete evidence of the Syrian government ordering the attack was to to appear then fine, I'd accept it... but all we have is supposition and cries of "we know..." Well, if you know, prove it!

Assad's forces may have had motive... but why, when there are UN inspectors in town, would you unleash the very weapons they are there to check on? It doesn't make sense. There are least three sides in this war, with the civvies stuck in the middle: you have moderate rebels (moderate by what standards though?), Jihadists and the army (supported by Hezbolah(sic)) There is also the possibility, however remote, that a rogue unit of the army could have launched the attack. Point is.... we don't know. What we DO know is that there was a chemical attack... and 1400 people died. That's all we DO know.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The article "Doubts linger over Syria gas attack responsibility" is still online, but not from The Detroit news anymore. It was written by ZEINA KARAM. She works for AP. You can still find it here< http://cnsnews.com/news/article/doubts-linger-over-syria-gas-attack-responsibility>

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just for the sake of argument, let's assume that the Assad regime did 100% do this attack.

It changes nothing.

First of all, Syria is not a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Ban treaty. Second, the treaty does NOT allow any member to use military force to enforce the treaty. The treaty mandates that, when there is evidence of chemical weapons usage, the matter be referred to the UN Security Council.

And finally, there is no clear danger to the US. Assad did not use the weapons on US troops. He has not threatened to do so either. The US has not gotten concrete guarantees of direct support from any other country.

There is no "good guy" side in Syria to support. The best thing to do is take the money that would to armed intervention and instead put it to refugee relief. That may buy the US some goodwill in the region. But bombng will not.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It is the same cooked-up story with Iraq. U.S. intelligence insisted that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and used that as justification for the invasion of Iraq that killed thousands of people, displaced many thousands more, destroyed critical infrastructure and left the country totally unstable and worse than when Saddam Hussein was in power. So, this is the way America justifies its attacks on sovereign states. Isn't it about time people start to see through their lies and those suggesting proof and pushing for war from American and western media?There is absolutely no reason for U.S. involvement in Syria. The culprits pushing for war are the Saudis who, according to John Kerry, have agreed to finance the war. It looks like America with all its debts is a killer for hire; a mercenary for use in the international abuse of other countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you tube video analysis performed - intelligence forces decide that everything on the internet is TRUE.

US invests into Nigerien banking schemes to improve US economy-= oh yes there is that Syrian angle as well......

c'mon- no one wants to display evidence? the only reported evidence is you tube videos that are not agreed on by medical experts>?

and of course you don';t want to wait until the lab tests are back nor find out who really performed an attack anyway

finally - who is the US supporting? Al-Queda? who will be the clear winner since they are the most organized and numerous amongst the rebels? oh boy that will make the whole area wonderful for Iraq and for Israel ( and for the USA)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no "good guy" side in Syria to support. The best thing to do is take the money that would to armed intervention and instead put it to refugee relief. That may buy the US some goodwill in the region. But bombng will not.

Exactly my sentiments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/syria-john-kerry-unbelievably-small-comment-96461.html

Politically, this is getting laughable.

As a national security matter, however, this is getting worrisome.

Incompetents in office is always dangerous.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

SimondB, I had no problem accessing the DailyMail link.

http://web.archive.org/web/20130129213824/http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270219/U-S-planned-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-Syria-blame-Assad.html

Just checked again. No problem. Iron Internet Curtain, perhaps?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The chemical weapons used by the Syrian government were sold to them by Russia, hence the protest, and the lack of investigation. If the Syrian government falls that's a lack of cash-flow to Russia.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The chemical weapons used by the Syrian government were sold to them by Russia,

So you can prove ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the Syrian government falls that's a lack of cash-flow to Russia.

Isn't it more that the gulf Arabs and Turks want a new gas pipeline to Europe so they both support the imported al Qaeda fighters who are trying to overthrow Assad. Russia does not want the proposed Quatar gas pipeline to Europe, where they export most of their gas. So they support the Assad military dictatorship, their client and puppet, who has blocked it on their behalf...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Isn't it more that the gulf Arabs and Turks want a new gas pipeline to Europe

As a result thousands of people were killed ??

Good business !

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Olgek: "So you can prove ?"

Proof is obvious. Why is Russia so against any action?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/middle-east-live/2013/may/28/eu-lifts-arms-embargo-on-syrian-rebels-live-updates

Do you need any other of the 58 million links?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only way this scam would have worked was if Obama had gone total cowboy and launched an attack right away. Imagine the conversation the world community would be having if that was the case. It would be much louder, way shriller and extremely more dangerous.

Time has expired on the maximum impact outcome that whoever was responsible for this was looking for. Things are cooling down and public interest is waning. Yet all the while, evidence is being collected and analyzed, diplomatic efforts are ongoing and the world is getting closer to having some answers. Whatever those answers might be, it is certain that there will be vigorous debate from both sides and this debate will go on and on and on. And that is a good thing.

If during this conversation, and the attention it will bring; there are no more chemical attacks in Syria and the US doesn’t launch a unilateral military intervention, then it would be a winning proposition for a whole lot of people.

Of course some folks will not happy with the way things are going; but I’m sure they’re not ready to cede the game just yet. The sad thing about this whole situation is, that for people like Putin and Obama it really is a game. The stakes are high and lives are at risk but for them, and people like them, it’s still just a fricking game. Everyone else is just a pawn.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OlegekSep. 10, 2013 - 01:12AM JST

The chemical weapons used by the Syrian government were sold to them by Russia,

So you can prove ?

Yes, Russian government themselves admitted that. What else do you need for the proof, Olegek? In addition, German chemical companies exported some to Syria. That's why German has been very quiet on this issue. Did I answer to your question?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The U.S. ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention years ago. Agreeing to stop producing chemical weapons and to destroy all existing stockpiles under international supervision. All but seven nations on have done the same. Syria is one of the holdouts. There is more evidence that the rebels have used sarin gas. They would have no problem using it against their own to advance their agenda and get the U.S. involved to help them take out Assad and get control. What it really is, is an attempt to stop the natural gas pipeline deals with Syria, Iran and Russia. Running those pipelines to Damascus will rewrite eastern energy dependence and Western interests will lose billions. That is why the Saudis have volunteered to pay for it. If Syria doesn't get those pipelines they will be built across Saudi lands and they will make billions

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I am curious what the legal basis is for enforcing a treaty against a country that did not sign it. Especially a treaty that does not include enforcement measures.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Olegek The chemical weapons used by the Syrian government were sold to them by Russia, So you can prove ? globalwatcherYes, Russian government themselves admitted that.

Any links ??

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That's because John Kerry's former Advisers Elizabeth Obagy not only had terrorist ties, but a fake degree! John and McCain both quoted from her! We know beyond all doubt the foreign rebels, not the FSA nor the Liberation Front, the Al-Qaeda Jabhat al Nusra whom our contractors trained to use chemical weapons, claim responsibility. there is even video of it. Iraq warned us last June that the Al-Qaeda Jabhat al Nusra were getting ready to use the weapons. Oh, Obagy, the adviser, a contractor also, has direct ties tot he Al-Qaeda Jabhat al Nusra.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sfjp330Sep. 10, 2013 - 05:47AM JST The U.S. ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention years ago. Agreeing to stop producing chemical weapons and to destroy all existing stockpiles under international supervision.

The U.S. still has massive stockpiles and is producing and buying more. I guess the U.S. is adopting its standard approach to conventions and treaties it signs, which is, "We expect everyone else to hold up their side of the deal while we do what we like.".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcherSep. 10, 2013 - 05:27AM JST

OlegekSep. 10, 2013 - 01:12AM JST

The chemical weapons used by the Syrian government were sold to them by Russia,

So you can prove ?

Yes, Russian government themselves admitted that. What else do you need for the proof, Olegek? In addition, German chemical companies exported some to Syria. That's why German has been very quiet on this issue. Did I answer to your question?

Here is a story of German involvement of Sarin gas material that was exported to Syria I have mentioned as listed above. I am posting this to make sure that people do not think I was giving a bogus story. This is it.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/germany-supplied-dual-chemicals-syria-20295318

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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