Sy Hersh on Osama bin Laden raid: “Not one word of it is true”

Pulitzer-prize wining journalist slams “pathetic” US media for failing to challenge White House

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
September 27, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh says that the raid which killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 is “one big lie” and that “not one word” of the Obama administration’s narrative on what happened is true.

Image: President Obama.

In a wide-ranging interview published today by the Guardian, Hersh savages the US media for failing to challenge the White House on a whole host of issues, from NSA spying, to drone attacks, to aggression against Syria.

On the subject of the Navy Seal raid that supposedly resulted in the death of the Al-Qaeda terror leader, Hersh remarked, “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true.”

Hersh added that the Obama administration habitually lies but they continue to do so because the press allows them to get away with it.

“It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama],” Hersh told the Guardian.

The raid that supposedly led to Bin Laden’s death has been shrouded in mystery for over two years. Speculation that the Obama administration may have embellished or outright lied about the true account of what happened has persisted, mainly because the White House has refused to publicly release images of Bin Laden’s body.

Although the White House said the corpse was immediately “buried at sea” in line with Islamic tradition, it quickly emerged that this was not standard practice.

Numerous analysts have claimed that Bin Laden had in fact been dead for years and that the raid on his alleged compound in Pakistan was little more than a stunt.

Other questions also persist, such as why the narrative and timeline of the raid has changed multiple times, why the White House initially claimed that “situation room” photos showed Obama watching the raid live when in fact there was a blackout on the live feed, and why neighbors in the immediate area surrounding the compound said with absolute certainty that they had never seen Bin Laden and that they knew of no evidence whatsoever to suggest he lived there.

During the rest of the Guardian interview, which is well worth reading in its entirety, Hersh lambastes the corporate press and particularly the New York Times, which he says spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would.”

Hersh’s solution is to shut down news networks like NBC and ABC and fire 90% of mainstream editors, replacing them with real journalists who are outsiders and not afraid to speak truth to power.

“The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple,” concluded Hersh.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

TIME Magazine: Sept. 11 ‘Truthers’ Mark Anniversary

With a billboard in Times Square and a global ad campaign, a group keeps questioning what happened twelve years ago
By Nate Rawlings @naterawlings Sept. 11, 2013

Smack in the middle of the northern half of Times Square there is a glass booth that sells tickets for Broadway shows. The scene is lit at all hours by hundreds of neon signs, news tickers and depictions of giant M&Ms climbing over Manhattan landmarks.

Stand by the ticket booth this week and glance across the street. Plastered to the side of the Doubletree Hotel, you’ll see an ad for a new ABC television show, digital posters for Broadway staples. Look east and you’ll see a 54-foot tall, 48-foot wide sign, that says, “Did you know a 3rd tower fell on 9/11?”

As the world marks the twelfth year since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, a campaign called the ReThink911 Coalition is drawing attention to one of the lesser-known events of that day–the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7. Prior to the Sept. 11 Attacks, 7 World Trade Center was a 47-story building just north of the Twin Towers. When the North Tower collapsed, debris hit Building 7, igniting a fire that burned out of control over the course of the day. At 5:21 pm, nearly seven hours after the North Tower came down, 7 World Trade Center crumbled quickly to the ground.

“The heat from the uncontrolled fires caused steel floor beams and girders to thermally expand, leading to a chain of events that caused a key structural column to fail,” the NIST concluded. “The failure of this structural column then initiated a fire-induced progressive collapse of the entire building.”

In 2006, Richard Gage, a San Francisco-based architect, founded Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which doubts Building 7 collapsed because of fire. Gage and other architects and engineers argue that 7 World Trade Center came down in a free fall, which could only have been cause by a deliberate demolition explosion. More than 2,000 architects and engineers have signed a petition calling for a new investigation into the building’s collapse.

The Sept. 11 attacks were barely over when the first conspiracy theories began to emerge. Some argued that the Pentagon wasn’t hit by a commercial jet, but rather a cruise missile; others contended that the Air Force shot down Flight 93; some even argued that the entire attack was staged as a pretext for war and scaling back civil liberties. Such views have always been in the minority, but, according to polling, were closer to the mainstream than perhaps most Americans imagined. Five years after the attacks, a Scripps-Howard poll found that 16 percent of Americans thought it somewhat or very likely that explosives brought the towers down. More than a third of those surveyed thought it was somewhat or very likely that the government knew about the attacks and took no action to prevent them.  Between 2006 and the 10th anniversary of the attacks, that number waned. In August 2011, a poll taken for a BBC documentary found that 15 percent of Americans still believed that the government was involved in the tragedy, while 68 percent rejected a conspiracy.

Gage’s organization has continued campaigning while many other groups have retreated from view. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 makes up large part of the ReThink911 coalition, which spent $44,000 to put the billboard in Times Square at the heart of midtown Manhattan this week. The group says it raised $225,000 from more than 2,00 donors, the majority of whom gave contributions of less than $100. They’re using the money to put up signs and billboards in seven American cities. They will be advertising in Vancouver, Toronto, London and Sydney too.

The nearly quarter million dollar campaign is well within the reach of the coalition. According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s IRS filings as a non-profit organization, the group took in $288,893 in contributions and grants in 2011, the latest year for which filings are publicly available. With an additional $180,464 in program service revenue–money an organization charges for services–giving the organization a total revenue f $469,362. City Outdoor, the owner of the billboard, said that the four-week rate to rent the space is $80,750. The company would not comment on whether it has considered rejecting the advertisement.

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/09/11/sept-11-truthers-mark-anniversary/#ixzz2edyVU5js

Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?

 Ben Swann
akaDaryaPoliticsPosted on September 05, 2013

By Joshua Cook | Sep 3, 2013   

According to Yossef Bodansky, respected scholar and Senior Editor of GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs, states, “There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters — which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the August 21, 2013, chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a pre-meditated provocation by the Syrian opposition.”

“The extent of US foreknowledge of this provocation needs further investigation because available data puts the “horror” of the Barack Obama White House in a different and disturbing light,” Bodanski said. Read article here..

Bodansky’s report along with other reports from Benswann.com have demonstrated, based on facts, a quite different narrative than what the Obama administration and hawkish Republicans are trying to sell the American people. But there are dissenting voices in both major political parties who oppose the push for a Syrian war.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D) agrees with Sen. Rand Paul not to get involved with Syria’s civil war.

Grayson told CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, “The secretary (John Kerry) said that the evidence against Assad was undeniable, well its been denied.”

In fact the Syrian government said that (a) they didn’t do it, (b) they never would do it, (c) they never will do it, and (d) they invited U.N. inspectors to prove that. To say it was undeniable is flatly false,” said Grayson.

“Even if we have undeniable evidence the simple fact is it’s not our responsibility. Sometimes everyone needs to learn the principle of minding your own business,” said Grayson.

Tapper asked, “Based on what you have seen in the media and the congressional office you’re not convinced that the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack in Syria?”

“First of all it is not even clear that it was a chemical attack. If it was a chemical attack then the residue that was left on the clothing of victims would have poisoned other people. That hasn’t happened. Secondly, it could have easily been the rebels who did it or some defective parts of the Syrian military, and third, even if it was a chemical attack, if it was the military doing it. There is no evidence that it was a deliberate decision on the part of the leadership in Syria. And I don’t like sitting here sounding like an apologist for a dictator, but the fact is if you are going to say there is clear evidence and its undeniable that’s the way it ought to be. The British put out a report that it is not undeniable and the evidence is quite unclear. We are not the world’s policeman that is not our responsibility, said Grayson.

Grayson told Tapper, “Obama is giving only one side of the story.”

Americans demand clear answers.
Bodansky poses these questions at the end of his article:

Given the extent of the involvement of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” in opposition activities, how is that US Intelligence did not know in advance about the opposition’s planned use of chemical weapons in Damascus?

And if they did know and warned the Obama White House, why then the sanctimonious rush to blame the Assad Administration?

Moreover, how can the Obama Administration continue to support and seek to empower the opposition which had just intentionally killed some 1,300 innocent civilians in order to provoke a US military intervention?

 
Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?  
Yossef Bodansky | Full Article:
Centre for Research on Globalization
 

There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters — which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the August 21, 2013, chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a pre-meditated provocation by the Syrian opposition.

The extent of US foreknowledge of this provocation needs further investigation because available data puts the “horror” of the Barack Obama White House in a different and disturbing light.
 
On August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major and irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and US Intelligence [“Mukhabarat Amriki”] took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors. Very senior opposition commanders who had arrived from Istanbul briefed the regional commanders of an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development” which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria.
 
The opposition forces had to quickly prepare their forces for exploiting the US-led bombing in order to march on Damascus and topple the Bashar al-Assad Government, the senior commanders explained. The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive.
 
Indeed, unprecedented weapons distribution started in all opposition camps in Hatay Province on August 21-23, 2013. In the Reyhanli area alone, opposition forces received well in excess of 400 tons of weapons, mainly anti-aircraft weaponry from shoulder-fired missiles to ammunition for light-guns and machineguns. The weapons were distributed from store-houses controlled by Qatari and Turkish Intelligence under the tight supervision of US Intelligence.
 
These weapons were loaded on more than 20 trailer-trucks which crossed into northern Syria and distributed the weapons to several depots. Follow-up weapon shipments, also several hundred tons, took place over the weekend of August 24-25, 2013, and included mainly sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles and rockets. Opposition officials in Hatay said that these weapon shipments were “the biggest” they had received “since the beginning of the turmoil more than two years ago”. The deliveries from Hatay went to all the rebel forces operating in the Idlib-to-Aleppo area, including the al-Qaida affiliated jihadists (who constitute the largest rebel forces in the area).
 
Several senior officials from both the Syrian opposition and sponsoring Arab states stressed that these weapon deliveries were specifically in anticipation for exploiting the impact of imminent bombing of Syria by the US and the Western allies. The latest strategy formulation and coordination meetings took place on August 26, 2013. The political coordination meeting took place in Istanbul and was attended by US Amb. Robert Ford.
 
More important were the military and operational coordination meetings at the Antakya garrison. Senior Turkish, Qatari, and US Intelligence officials attended in addition to the Syrian senior (opposition) commanders. The Syrians were informed that bombing would start in a few days.
 
“The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days,” a Syrian participant in the meeting said. Another Syrian participant said that he was convinced US bombing was scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 29, 2013. Several participants — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that the assurances of forthcoming bombing were most explicit even as formally Obama is still undecided.
 
The descriptions of these meetings raise the question of the extent of foreknowledge of US Intelligence, and therefore, the Obama White House. All the sources consulted — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that officials of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” actively participated in the meetings and briefings in Turkey. Therefore, at the very least, they should have known that the opposition leaders were anticipating “a war-changing development”: that is, a dramatic event which would provoke a US-led military intervention.
 
The mere fact that weapon storage sites under the tight supervision of US Intelligence were opened up and about a thousand tons of high-quality weapons were distributed to the opposition indicates that US Intelligence anticipated such a provocation and the opportunity for the Syrian opposition to exploit the impact of the ensuing US and allied bombing. Hence, even if the Obama White House did not know in advance of the chemical provocation, they should have concluded, or at the very least suspected, that the chemical attack was most likely the “war-changing development” anticipated by the opposition leaders as provocation of US-led bombing. Under such circumstances, the Obama White House should have refrained from rushing head-on to accuse Assad’s Damascus and threaten retaliation, thus making the Obama White House at the very least complicit after the act.
 
Meanwhile, additional data from Damascus about the actual chemical attack increases the doubts about Washington’s version of events. Immediately after the attack, three hospitals of Doctors Without Borders (MSF: médecins sans frontières) in the greater Damascus area treated more than 3,600 Syrians affected by the chemical attack, and 355 of them died. MSF performed tests on the vast majority of those treated.
 
MSF director of operations Bart Janssens summed up the findings: “MSF can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack.
 
However, the reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of the events — characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers — strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.” Simply put, even after testing some 3,600 patients, MSF failed to confirm that sarin was the cause of the injuries. According to MSF, the cause could have been nerve agents like sarin, concentrated riot control gas, or even high-concentration pesticides. Moreover, opposition reports that there was distinct stench during the attack suggest that it could have come from the “kitchen sarin” used by jihadist groups (as distinct from the odorless military-type sarin) or improvised agents like pesticides.
 
Some of the evidence touted by the Obama White House is questionable at best.
 
A small incident in Beirut raises big questions. A day after the chemical attack, Lebanese fixers working for the “Mukhabarat Amriki” succeeded to convince a Syrian male who claimed to have been injured in the chemical attack to seek medical aid in Beirut in return for a hefty sum that would effectively settle him for life. The man was put into an ambulance and transferred overnight to the Farhat Hospital in Jib Janine, Beirut. The Obama White House immediately leaked friendly media that “the Lebanese Red Cross announced that test results found traces of sarin gas in his blood.” However, this was news to Lebanese intelligence and Red Cross officials.

According to senior intelligence officials, “Red Cross Operations Director George Kettaneh told [them] that the injured Syrian fled the hospital before doctors were able to test for traces of toxic gas in his blood.” Apparently, the patient declared that he had recovered from his nausea and no longer needed medical treatment. The Lebanese security forces are still searching for the Syrian patient and his honorarium.
 
On August 24, 2013, Syrian Commando forces acted on intelligence about the possible perpetrators of the chemical attack and raided a cluster of rebel tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Jobar. Canisters of toxic material were hit in the fierce fire-fight as several Syrian soldiers suffered from suffocation and “some of the injured are in a critical condition”.
 
The Commando eventually seized an opposition warehouse containing barrels full of chemicals required for mixing “kitchen sarin”, laboratory equipment, as well as a large number of protective masks. The Syrian Commando also captured several improvised explosive devices, RPG rounds, and mortar shells. The same day, at least four HizbAllah fighters operating in Damascus near Ghouta were hit by chemical agents at the very same time the Syrian Commando unit was hit while searching a group of rebel tunnels in Jobar. Both the Syrian and the HizbAllah forces were acting on intelligence information about the real perpetrators of the chemical attack. Damascus told Moscow the Syrian troops were hit by some form of a nerve agent and sent samples (blood, tissues, and soil) and captured equipment to Russia.
 
Several Syrian leaders, many of whom are not Bashar al-Assad supporters and are even his sworn enemies, are now convinced that the Syrian opposition is responsible for the August 21, 2013, chemical attack in the Damascus area in order to provoke the US and the allies into bombing Assad’s Syria. Most explicit and eloquent is Saleh Muslim, the head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) which has been fighting the Syrian Government. Muslim doubts Assad would have used chemical weapons when he was winning the civil war.
 
“The regime in Syria … has chemical weapons, but they wouldn’t use them around Damascus, five km from the [UN] committee which is investigating chemical weapons. Of course they are not so stupid as to do so,” Muslim told Reuters on August 27, 2013. He believes the attack was “aimed at framing Assad and provoking an international reaction”. Muslim is convinced that “some other sides who want to blame the Syrian regime, who want to show them as guilty and then see action” is responsible for the chemical attack.
 
The US was exploiting the attack to further its own anti-Assad policies and should the UN inspectors find evidence that the rebels were behind the attack, then “everybody would forget it”, Muslim shrugged. “Who is the side who would be punished? Are they are going to punish the Emir of Qatar or the King of Saudi Arabia, or Mr Erdo?an of Turkey?”
 
And there remain the questions: Given the extent of the involvement of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” in opposition activities, how is that US Intelligence did not know in advance about the opposition’s planned use of chemical weapons in Damascus?
It is a colossal failure.
 
And if they did know and warned the Obama White House, why then the sanctimonious rush to blame the Assad Administration?
Moreover, how can the Obama Administration continue to support and seek to empower the opposition which had just intentionally killed some 1,300 innocent civilians in order to provoke a US military intervention?
 
 
Yossef Bodansky is the Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare at the US House of Representatives. He is also the Director of Research at the International Strategic Studies Association, as well as a Senior Editor for the Defense & Foreign Affairs group of publications.

The Wheels Just Came Off the Syria War Wagon

 

U.S. and British Intelligence Officials Admit they Don’t Know Whether the Syrian Government Or Rebels Used Chemical Weapons

A U.S. State Department spokesman admitted yesterday that the U.S. doesn’t know whether a low-level, rogue Syrian official is responsible for the chemical weapons attacks.

Today, the wheels came off the war wagon altogether.

AP reports:

An intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander, the officials said.

So while Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that links between the attack and the Assad government are “undeniable,” U.S. intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said.

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Another possibility that officials would hope to rule out: that stocks had fallen out of the government’s control and were deployed by rebels in a callous and calculated attempt to draw the West into the war.

In other words, the U.S. hasn’t yet ruled out that possibility … but only hopes to.

The New York Times writes:

American officials said Wednesday there was no “smoking gun” that directly links President Bashar al-Assad to the attack

***

It appears that the public presentation of the Syria evidence will be limited. Instead of the theater of Mr. Powell’s 2003 speech — which included satellite photographs, scratchy recordings of conversations between Iraqi officials and a vial of white powder meant to symbolize anthrax — American officials said the intelligence assessment they are preparing to make public will be similar to a modest news release that the White House issued in June to announce that the Assad government had used chemical weapons “on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

Except that – last time there was a chemical weapons attack in Syria – it turned out to have been therebels who launched the attack.

Similarly, the Guardian notes that British officials say there is not 100% certainty of who carried out the attacks, and that the conclusion of government culpability is not based on hard evidence, but a series of assumptions.

See this for background on the crisis in Syria.

Update: In a separate report, AP notes that the U.S. doesn’t even know who controls Syria’s chemical weapons stashes:

U.S. officials say the intelligence assessments are no “slam dunk,” with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons stores ….