Monday, September 9, 2013


OK, so there has been a lot of talk about 'proof' that Assad gave the order to use sarin on civilians... This blogger observes that much of it seems to be of the 'well it's obvious that only Assad (or the Syrian army) could have done this' type statements, and that the administration seems to labor under the misapprehension that the continued repetition of statements such as this by multiple administration officials in multiple venues adds to the "proof."

However, let's look closely at what has been reported on this topic by segments of the press based on purported statements by German officials. First reports surfaced that the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND, or German intelligence) had wiretap evidence! As the story goes the Germans had intercepted communications between an operative of Assad ally Hezbollah and Iran, and that "... Assad was desperate to halt the rebel advances in the suburbs of Syria's capital after a mortar attack on the president's motorcade as he traveled to a mosque during Ramadan." As a result Assad  "lost his nerve" and "made a big mistake" by ordering the attack..

Wow, sure sounds definitive! Also, this would seem to answer a question raised by many, asking why Assad would choose to openly use chemical weapons just as U.N. chemical weapons inspectors were in the country... and that a mere 10 minutes drive away from their hotel room! He "lost his nerve" after a mortar attack on his motorcade!

Umm, one small problem with this time line - Ramadan ended on August 7th and the Ghouta attack occurred on August 21st. Not exactly indicative of a "lost his nerve," panicked response... It was, however, a nice touch attributing the "proof" to Hezbollah!

Then soon thereafter different reports were that the BND said that the chemical weapons attacks “might not have been sanctioned by Assad.” 

And this blogger's absolute favorite - an article that has both versions in the exact same article! "... President Bashar al-Assad did not personally order last month's chemical weapons attack near Damascus that has triggered calls for US military intervention, and blocked numerous requests from his military commanders to use chemical weapons against regime opponents in recent months, a German newspaper has reported , citing unidentified, high-level national security sources....  

Schindler said that BND had intercepted a telephone call in which a high-ranking member of Hezbollah in Lebanon told the Iranian embassy in Damascus that Assad had made a big mistake when he gave the order to use the chemicals, the magazine Der Spiegel said."

Wow, just wow.

Syria Crisis: Hezbollah Wiretaps Reveal Assad Ordered Sarin Attacks after 'Losing his Nerve'
Gas Attack: Germany Offers Clue in Search for Truth in Syria
German intelligence concludes sarin gas used on Assad’s orders – reports

Syria Chemical Weapons Attack ‘Not Ordered’ by Assad – Report

Assad did not order Syria chemical weapons attack, says German press

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