when hersh says trump knew there was no sarin, i think he is really attacking not trump but the CIA

The media blackout of Hersh’s exposé
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Jul 3 2017

A full week has passed since the publication by a major German newspaper of Seymour Hersh’s thoroughgoing debunking of the false claim of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on Apr 4. The supposed atrocity by the Assad regime was used to justify the Apr 6 cruise missile strike on the al-Shayat air base. At least nine civilians, including four children, died when 59 Tomahawk missiles rained down on the base in western Syria. Since the German daily Die Welt published Hersh’s article, titled “Trump’s Red Line,” on Jun 25, its contents have been subjected to a total blackout by the major newspapers and broadcast and cable news networks in Pindostan. Hersh’s account makes clear that, not only was there no objective evidence to back up Faschingstein’s charges of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the fact that there was no such attack was known to the Pindosi military and intelligence apparatus even before the cruise missile strike was ordered. Hersh wrote:

The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a Jihadi meeting site on Apr 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to Pindo & vassal boxtops in Doha.

Basing himself on sources within the Pindo intelligence apparatus who spoke on condition of anonymity, as well as access to “transcripts of real-time communications, immediately following the Syrian attack on Apr 4,” Hersh establishes that a Syrian government plane dropped a conventional 500 lb bomb, not a chemical weapon, on the site of the meeting, which included “representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra.” The target was a cinder block building that served as a “command and control center” for the so-called “rebels,” who used its basement to store “rockets, weapons and ammunition,” as well as chlorine, fertilizers and insecticides, Hersh reports. He continues:

A Bomb Damage Assessment by the Pindosi military later determined that the heat and force of the 500 lb Syrian bomb triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground.

A senior adviser to Pindosi intelligence An NSC source, I think – RB told Hersh:

Did the Syrians plan the attack on Khan Sheikhoun? Absolutely. Do we have intercepts to prove it? Absolutely. Did they plan to use sarin? No. But the president did not say: “We have a problem and let’s look into it.” He wanted to bomb the shit out of Syria.

The newsworthiness and political import of Hersh’s piece was underscored just one day after its publication by an ominous and unsubstantiated statement issued by the White House which claimed:

(We have) identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children. (If Pres Assad) conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.

This was followed by an even more sweeping threat from Nikki Haley:

The goal is at this point not just to send Assad a message, but to send Russia and Iran a message … that if this happens again, we are putting you on notice.

Thus any allegation of a chemical weapons attack in Syria could serve as justification for Pindostan to go to war against Iran and a nuclear-armed Russia. The Pindo media dutifully reported the White House claims of an imminent chemical weapons attack as unquestionably true. One could be forgiven for thinking that in the context of a war threat that could drag the Pindo creeple and all of humanity into a nuclear conflagration, extensive and convincing evidence that the entire premise for this threat was a pack of lies would at the very least be acknowledged and subjected to a critical examination by the major media. To believe this, however, one would have to be unfamiliar with the modus operandi of what passes for the “Fourth Estate” in Pindostan over the past quarter-century of interrupted Pindo wars of aggression. Again and again, the Pindo media has parroted phony “human rights” pretexts for wars from Yugoslavia to Iraq, Libya and Syria, all waged in pursuit of Pindo imperialist geostrategic interests. In the run-up to the criminal Pindo invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Pindo media led by the NYT not only repeated the Bush 43 administration’s lies about WMDs but helped embellish them. The Pindo media is fully complicit in war crimes that have claimed over a million lives. Hersh himself calls attention in the article to the criminal role played by the Pindo media. He writes:

Trump, who had campaigned as someone who advocated making peace with Assad, was bombing Syria 11 weeks after taking office, and was hailed for doing so by Thugs, Demagogs and media alike. One prominent TV anchorman, Brian Williams of MSNBC, used the word ‘beautiful’ to describe the images of the Tomahawks being launched at sea. Speaking on CNN, Fareed Zakaria said: “I think Donald Trump became POTUS.” A review of the top 100 Pindo asswipes showed that 39 of them published editorials supporting the bombing in its aftermath, including the NYT, WaPo and WSJ.

The corporate media has been turned ever more openly into a propaganda instrument for the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA. It functions to spread government lies while blocking information from reaching the public that runs counter to the geostrategic intrigues of US imperialism and exposes its crimes. As the “mainstream” media has assumed the role of mouthpiece and stenographer for the capitalist state and its military and intelligence apparatus, its journalistic standards have continued to plummet, a tendency highlighted by last week’s walkout by hundreds of NYT workers in protest over the drive by the flagship of the capitalist press to “streamline” its editing process through the destruction of dozens of copy editors’ jobs. One result of the media’s slavish subordination to the government and Wall Street has been the effective blacklisting of Hersh, who used to write regularly for the New Yorker magazine. Even the LRB, whose editors first accepted and paid for his article on the Khan Sheikhoun incident, ultimately refused to publish it, telling the journalist they feared being accused of accepting “the view of the Syrian and Russian governments.” The fact that his article came out in Die Welt, part of the right-wing Springer publishing house, is revealing. It no doubt reflects the growing tensions between Pindostan and Germany, which is pursuing an imperialist foreign and military policy that is increasingly at odds with that of Faschingstein.

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