Trump administration gets fake intelligence on Russia in Syria and Afghanistan
By The Wayne Madsen Report
The Trump administration, which is increasingly coming under the grip of Bush 43-era neocons, has been formally issuing and "leaking" fake intelligence reports on Russia not only being involved in the alleged April 4 Sarin gas attack by the Syrian government in the village of Khan Sheikoun but also alleged Russian military support for the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S. intelligence community appears to have taken a cue from the constantly-lying Donald Trump to come up with its own lies, in the form of "intelligence," to further its aims.
During a joint press conference with visiting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said he was open to the idea that Russia had advanced knowledge of the Syrian Sarin attack. He based his claims on information he received from Defense Secretary James Mattis and a "Pentagon group that does that kind of work." In fact, there is alternate and more credible intelligence that it was not Russia that had advance warning of a Sarin gas attack, but Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. In 2013, the Syrian government was blamed for a similar chemical gas attack on civilians in Ghouta. However, Syrian rebels admitted to the Associated Press reporter on the ground that they had been given the banned weapons by Saudi Arabia but that they exploded after being handled by the rebels improperly.
There are reports, not tainted by the Pentagon or General H. R. McMaster's National Security Council, that the Sarin was delivered by an Israeli drone that took off from the al-Tanf secret joint Israeli-Saudi base in rebel-held southern Syria, just over the Jordanian border, that is used to militarily support the Syrian rebels. The base operates with the full backing of Jordanian King Abdullah. Trump and the Jordanian king were meeting at the White House just hours after the reported Sarin gas attack took place in Syria. Trump met with the influential Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, in mid-March.
The Trump White House insists the "evidence" that Syria launched the attack is contained in a four-page highly-subjective declassified National Security Council report titled, "The Assad Regime's Use of Chemical Weapons on April 4, 2017." In the report, Syrian and Russian complicity in the attack is claimed from "signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence, laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims, as well as a significant body of credible open source reporting." The report concedes that the "open sources" that it relied upon included "pro-opposition social media reports." Moreover, there is no indication in the NSC report that U.S. imagery satellite intelligence was used to blame Syria and Russia. The report states, "Commercial satellite imagery from April 6 showed impact craters around the hospital [where the gas victims were allegedly taken] that are consistent with open source reports of a conventional attack on the hospital after the chemical attack."
The NSC is being totally disingenuous in its white paper. Commercial satellite imagery is not separate from open sources, it is an open source. If the imagery intelligence cited in the NSC is open source, what defines "signals intelligence?" Perhaps, the NSC now regards commercial and Internet radio broadcasts from the Syrian opposition as "signals intelligence." The NSC report is a shoddy piece of work that is not based on legitimate U.S. or foreign government intelligence sources but on the propaganda constantly issued forth by such tainted groups as the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and the Syrian "White Helmets."
Fake intelligence alert! Trump's NSC report alleging Syrian and Russian involvement in Khan Sheikoun gas attack was not based on U.S. intelligence imagery but that obtained from open source commercial satellite vendors.
National Security Adviser McMaster is a veteran of the "cherry picking" of intelligence to fit a pre-conceived narrative, something that was used effectively by the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency to "prove" that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Now, this same methodology is being used to justify U.S. military action against Syria and Assad's government. Unlike Iraq, however, the Trump administration is trying to paint Russian President Vladimir Putin into the circle of outlaw renegade leaders, who also include Assad and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The Trump administration has shown the world that it is as reliant on bogus military attacks as was the Obama administration. Even the two photographs of senior White House officials huddled around tables in their respective "situation rooms" -- Obama and his advisers witnessing the alleged Seal Team 6 killing of "Osama Bin Laden" at the White House and Trump and his advisers dealing with the cruise missile attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria at Mar-a-Lago -- are similar.
File:Obama and Biden await updates on bin Laden.jpg
No difference in the phoniness scale between Obama and Trump. Trump even copied Obama's pose at situation room "crisis" meeting.
Just as it is doing with regard to Syria and Russia, the Pentagon is trying to link Russia to support for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mattis and his Pentagon team are relying on reports from a dubious former Taliban leader who defected to the West that Russia is strengthening its links with the Taliban. The allegations are preposterous. Russia has been the victim of Taliban-trained jihadists, who have gone back to Russia to commit a number of bloody terrorist attacks. Russia, which was then the Soviet Union, fought a long war against CIA-supported Afghan jihadists. These jihadists ultimately morphed into the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The Pentagon is pushing unsubstantiated "intelligence" that Russian -- and Iranian -- arms are pouring into Afghanistan. In the case of Russia, weapons for the Taliban are said to be coming from Tajikistan, where Russia has important bases to check any advance of jihadists into the former "Soviet space" that includes Tajikistan.
Russia and Iran both supported the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance before the 9/11 attack. At the same time, the United States supported the Taliban, even though it was harboring Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. For Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Taliban's help in building a pipeline for UNOCAL across Afghanistan was more important than ideology. The Iranians have never forgiven the Taliban for executing 9 Iranian diplomats, an Iranian journalist, and another civilian at the Iranian consulate in Herat, Afghanistan in 1998. There is zero reason to believe that Shi'a Iran would easily forget what the extreme Sunni sect did to its citizens in Herat and suddenly "make nice" with the Taliban. Ditto the Russians. Russia is fully aware that Taliban-trained Chechen jihadists have committed some of the most horrendous attacks on Russian civilian targets, including schools, trains, and subway stations.
Mattis, McMaster, and — Trump?
Military juntas are known for telling big lies based on fake intelligence
Mattis and his advisers are either woefully ignorant of the recent history of Afghanistan and the south-central Asian region or are trying, as they and General McMaster are doing with respect to Assad and Russia, to hoodwink the American public. The Trump administration, with so many ignorant generals calling the shots, more resembles a military junta than a civilian administration. Juntas are known for spinning lies, something that was witnessed constantly by the bogus propaganda coming forth from the Galtieri junta in Argentina during the 1982 Falklands War, the Franco junta in Spain, and the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974.