“A source told me that Pompeo had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA’s belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria two days earlier — and thus Pompeo was excluded from the larger meeting as Trump reached a contrary decision.”
Robert Parry – Consortium News
On 4 April 2017, the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib Governorate of Syria, was struck by a heavy airstrike followed by massive civilian chemical poisoning.
At the time of the attack the town was under the control of Tahrir al-Sham,formerly known as the al-Nusra Front.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, as well as the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, blamed the attack on the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while the Russian and Syrian governments said it was caused by the Syrian Air Force’s destruction of a nearby rebel-operated chemical weapons warehouse.
In response, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles at Shayrat Air Base, which U.S. Intelligence believed was the source of the attack.
According to the former CIA Analyst:
“Syrian aircraft ‘knew’ there was a weapons cache in this particular rebel-held area. That was correct, and the Syrian aircraft bombed it.
What seems not to have been known was the existence nearby of a large storage facility for chemicals. That too was damaged, releasing a cloud of chemicals that the wind blew south and poisoned those villagers.”
The most likely scenario
As I reported recently, here is what most likely happened:
The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons and explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.
We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called “first responders” handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you.
RELATED POST: Former DIA Colonel: “US strikes on Syria based on a lie”
Where is CIA Director Mike Pompeo?
As President Trump was launching his missile strike against Syria, CIA Director Pompeo and other intelligence officials were nowhere in sight.
Back row from left: Deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Sean Spicer, President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior adviser Stephen Miller, national security official Michael Anton. Front from left: Chief of staff Reince Priebus, national security adviser HR McMaster, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.
According to Spicer’s tweet, the people present are looking at a screen showing Vice-President Mike Pence, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Joseph Dunford, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Robert Parry — from Consortium News — reports the following:
“Before the photo was released on Friday (April 7 2017), a source told me that Pompeo had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA’s belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria two days earlier — and thus Pompeo was excluded from the larger meeting as Trump reached a contrary decision.”
“You don’t see Pompeo or Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats or any other intelligence official. Even The New York Times noted the oddity in its Saturday editions, writing: “If there were C.I.A. and other intelligence briefers around, … they are not in the picture.” [Robert Parry – Consortium News]
ABOUT Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John Kennedy to that of George H.W. Bush, and prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.
“Watching Michael Morell respond to those softball pitches from Charlie Rose on Monday, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that glibness, vacuousness and ambition can get you to the very top of U.S. intelligence in the Twenty-first Century – and can also make you a devoted fan of whoever is likely to be the next President. (…) Looking back at his record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants.”
Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern
According to Ray McGovern, this interview is indeed a must for all those interested in “gauging the caliber of bureaucrats who have bubbled to the top of the CIA since the disastrous tenure of George Tenet”.
McGovern seems to believe that Morell will likely be the next CIA boss.
Perhaps former CIA acting director Michael Morell’s shamefully provocative rhetoric toward Russia and Iran will prove too unhinged even for Hillary Clinton. It appears equally likely that it will succeed in earning him a senior job in a possible Clinton administration…
McGovern reminds us a few facts about Morell.
Not surprisingly, Tenet speaks well of his protégé and former executive assistant Morell. But he also reveals that Morell “coordinated the CIA review” of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s infamous Feb. 5, 2003 speech to the United Nations – a dubious distinction if there ever was one.
So Morell reviewed the “intelligence” that went into Powell’s thoroughly deceptive account of the Iraqi threat! Powell later called that dramatic speech, which wowed Washington’s media and foreign policy elites and was used to browbeat the few remaining dissenters into silence, a “blot” on his record.
In Morell’s own memoir, The Great War of Our Time, Morell apologized to former Secretary of State Powell for the bogus CIA intelligence that found its way into Powell’s address. Morell told CBS: “I thought it important to do so because … he went out there and made this case, and we were wrong.”
It is sad to have to remind folks almost 14 years later that the “intelligence” was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller described the intelligence conjured up to “justify” war on Iraq as “uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”
It strains credulity beyond the breaking point to think that Michael Morell was unaware of the fraudulent nature of the WMD propaganda campaign. Yet, like all too many others, he kept quiet and got promoted.
McGovern is hardly surprised. Five years ago, he wrote an article titled “Rise of Another CIA Yes Man.”
“Michael Morell is not a person to be taken seriously for, by trying to act tough, he is simply taking the same line as Hillary Clinton, while angling for a high position under her administration.”
Ray McGovern — Retired CIA analyst
“What they need is to have the Russians and Iranians pay a little price,” Morell said. “When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”
Morell said the killing of Russians and Iranians should be undertaken “covertly, so you don’t tell the world about it, you don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say ‘we did this.’ But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”
Morell also proposed that U.S. forces begin bombing Syrian government installations, including government offices, aircraft and presidential guard positions. The former acting CIA director said that he wanted to “scare Assad.” Morell clarified that he wasn’t actually calling for Assad’s assassination.
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern reacts to Morell’s comments
“Morell is not a serious person. He has shown himself willing to do the bidding of those who lied about the intelligence before the Iraq war, bear in mind that intelligence was not mistaken, it was fraud, and he supervised much of it.
But the notion that he can be so childish, so adolescent, so much upfront about how tough he is, how he is going to kill Russians and kill Iranians…predicts a continuation of this feckless policy from which there is no exit and which really is a fool’s errand.”
According to McGovern:
“Only people like Clinton and Morell have been in favor of what the CIA has been doing, not the Pentagon.”
PS: There is actually a “word” to describe a psychopath sucking up to his boss: PSYCHOPHANT.
Michael Morell: “Let Us Kill Iranians and Russians in Syria!”
You gotta love it, this blindingly obvious double standard schoolyard thinking.
Morell says ““When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.””
The US soldiers killing Iraqis were there illegally, in a war that was illegal and contravened International Law, based entirely on false intelligence and the word of a miffed Iraqi extremist liar. If this sounds familiar, you have been reading reports delivered to us by the terrorist affiliated White Helmets, HRW, AI, the corrupt MSM and their inventive story lines, all of which are promoted on the words of……. you guessed it?
False Intelligence – again.
A reminder of an oft quoted phrase “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”.(Marmion and the battle of Flodden Field by Walter Scott)
A merry-go-round powered by US false pride in their “exceptionalism” to include corporate greed and their covetousness, lies, hatred, hunger for power, blood lust, spite, malice, utter contempt for life, liberty and the right to live in peace, and a total denial of the right to self determination and freedom.
So that about covers Solomon’s list:
“six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him”
- A proud (vain) look
- A lying tongue.
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that deviseth wicked acts
- Feet that be swift in running to mischief
- A false witness that speaketh lies
- He that soweth discord among brethren