Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2017

The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur - Khan Sheikhun Summary Report by Prof. Postol

Update - April 22: "Correction" link added, Chlorine not Sarin link added

MIT Professor Theodore Postol, a well known missile expert and former scientific advisor to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, analyzed the available evidence of the alleged April 4 Sarin attack on Khan Sheikhun in Syria. He comes to the conclusion that the White House allegations and its report are false. The White House report was not created or vetted by knowledgeable intelligence analysts. This confirms our own analysis published earlier on Moon of Alabama.

Prof. Postol's summary report: The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur, April 19 (pdf, 18 pages) and a supplementary correction to the summary report regarding the wind direction: IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur, April 21 (pdf, 6 pages).

Previously three preliminary versions of Prof. Postol's analysis were released by him:

(See also my assessment of the validity of "sarin" claims based on the early public news and records: Chlorine, Not Sarin, Was Used In The Khan Sheikhun Incident.)

Pic: NOT the site of a Sarin missile impact as claimed by the White House

source - bigger

Prof. Postol sent the following covering letter with his summary report:

The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur - Summary of Findings

This analysis contains a detailed description of the times and locations of critical events in the alleged nerve agent attack of April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – assuming that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued on April 11, 2017 correctly identified the alleged sarin release site.

Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater could be the only location affected by the alleged nerve agent release. Video data of suffocating and dead victims lying on the ground shows a different location from the predicted sarin dispersal site if it had been correctly identified by the White House.

The conclusion is that the nerve agent attack described in the White House Intelligence Report did not occur as claimed. There may well have been mass casualties from some kind of poisoning event, but that event was not the one described by the WHR.

The findings of this expanded analysis can serve two important purposes:

1. It shows exactly what needs to be determined in an international investigation of this alleged atrocity.

In particular, if an international investigation can determine where casualties from the nerve agent attack lived, it will confirm that the findings reported by the White House Report are incompatible with its own cited data.

2. It also establishes that the White House Report did not utilize simple and widely agreed upon intelligence analysis procedures to determine its conclusions.

This raises troubling questions about how the US political and military leadership determined that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged attack. It is particularly of concern that the White House Report presented itself as a report with “high confidence” findings and that numerous high-level officials in the US government have confirmed their belief that the report was correct and executed to a standard of high confidence.

Theodore A. Postol

Professor Emeritus of Science,
Technology, and National Security Policy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The "Sarin Attack on Khan Sheikhun", which the White House and its Ambassador to the UN blamed on the Syrian government, did not happen - at least not in the way that was claimed. They Syrian government had no motive at all to mount such an attack. It was in the mid of a winning streak.  The incident benefited al-Qaeda in Syria which dominates the area in question but was losing on the battle field. In "response" to the claimed attack the U.S. bombed the Syrian military airport Al Syairat. This was the main air base for the Syrian airforce involved in fighting the Islamic State in eastern-Syria. The attack amounted to U.S. air support on request of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The Trump administration initiated these events for domestic purpose. They let Trump to look sufficient belligerent and presidential and dispelled false allegations of association with Russia by the Democrats and the media. To justify the attack the White House released a report written by the National Security Council, not by intelligence services. The report was full of holes and ridiculous assertions.

In the Moon of Alabama analysis of the White House Report on April 12 we wrote:

That "intelligence community assessment" chapter title is likely already a false claim. [...] The summary assessment the White House releases has no such [intelligence] heritage. It is likely a well massaged fast write up of some flunky in the National Security Council. The release was backgrounded by dubious statements of an anonymous "Senior Administration Officials" not by "Intelligence Officials" as has been the case on other such issues.

Professor Postol writes in his Final Comments (pdf) (pg11):

[I]t is clear that the WHR was not an intelligence report. No competent intelligence professional would have made so many false claims that are totally inconsistent with the evidence. No competent intelligence professional would have accepted the findings in the WHR analysis after reviewing the data presented herein. No competent intelligence professionals would have evaluated the crater that was tampered with in terms described in the WHR. Although it is impossible to know from a technical assessment to determine the reasons for such an egregiously amateurish report, it cannot be ruled out that the WHR was fabricated to conceal critical information from the Congress and the public.

Related links:


Posted by b on April 19, 2017 at 7:16 UTC | Permalink


b: "They let Trump to look sufficient belligerent and presidential"......

It is a sad but undeniable reality that launching an unprovoked attack on a foreigner from No Good Reason At All is indeed "a Presidential look".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2017 7:38 utc | 1

Although it is impossible to know from a technical assessment to determine the reasons for such an egregiously amateurish report, it cannot be ruled out that the WHR was fabricated to conceal critical information from the Congress and the public.
Posted by b on April 19, 2017 at 03:16 AM

Heartening. Postol refutes the evidence, then rightly levels his own accusation (bolded). Validation for the sane and a triumph for logic, yes, though not sure if this alone can prevent the perfect shitstorm that is brewing in Turkey and northwestern Syria. This from Postol really needs heavy circulation...and if it weren't for the establishment growing an epic hard on for Trump since the Syria airfield strikes there'd be serious effort at impeachment.

Going to really enjoy the European NATO bobbleheads nod their shitforbrains up and down once Erdogan decides to filter these 'moderate' child killers into Europe once they've served their purpose...the same 'moderate' headchoppers Assad is doing his best to protect Syria and thus Asia, Africa and Europe from.

You reap what you sew.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 19 2017 8:09 utc | 2

Looking at the disjointed pics and videos, plus the known white helmet actors appearing as survivors, made it obvious that no gassing occurred at the hole in the road site.
Some people were gassed at a quarry it seems for the purpose of making a propaganda snuff movie. If those people at the quarry foaming at the mouth where indeed dying when AQ directed a fire hose on them, ...
Looked up the Russian FOAb the other day. Four times the power of the US bullshit. Little jihadist tikes will want to grow up to be just like their daddy. Time for a cleanup in Idlib.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 19 2017 8:20 utc | 3

As much as I appreciate the detail, depth and necessity of the analysis that disproves this event, it was never intended to be an actual rational response to a calculated action (supposedly by the Syrian government). As long as the debate continues based on that assumption, the longer we all fall deeper into the trap.

It seems to me there is a calculated strategy to Trump's actions (whoever decides them). Let me explain.

Think of Trump's strategy as 'asymmetric leadership'. In 'asymmetric warfare' the opposition is kept off-balance by using a potent mix of pointed, random attacks of wildly varying intensity with a seemingly non-coherent strategy behind it that would otherwise enable the opposition to either control the outcome or anticipate future attacks.

Trump is using the same calculated strategy that he used in settling business disputes, in the primaries and in the election. All those situations were characterized by antagonism. The asymmetrical actions raise the risk level to such a degree, business competitors settle or withdraw and take a loss. Political adversaries refuse the risk of such negative divisive stances and back off or try to fight fire with fire - and as novices, succeed only in burning themselves. Asymmetrical leadership works best where there is conflict, which is why the process of picking his staff went so badly. This does not bode well for the future if you believe in peace, but it promises to be profitable for those who sell fear.

Normally this strategy is used by the under-dog/weaker party in the conflict. This could tell us a lot about how Trump sees himself and his position in the Washington/media circus.

The problem is, that while asymmetric action is great when fighting an insurrection against an entrenched system; the same potent mix of random attacks of wildly varying intensity with no obviously coherent strategy that confuses & defeats an enemy ALSO confuses, defeats and distances allies/friends. You never know when out of the blue you are a target, or collateral damage to some other 'random' target.

Usually a population just tries to keep its head down and stay out of the way while those forces fight it out.

The problem is, with the US being a world-wide empire with MAGA as its' goal, everyone is a potential enemy and there is no where to hide. Everyone must be a slave to MAGA or become a random victim of either verbal or violent abuse. It is only a matter of time until some little or big player gets to a point where they will not back down, where Trump's asymmetrical leadership is threatened with exposure. The powers that be could never allow such a thing to stand, and escalation would follow, must follow.

There is a second set of dangers to that asymmetrical strategy. Usually such a strategy aims at high impact yet minimal substance events. It thrives on buzz and momentum. It is willing to burn its' bridges and sacrifice far more than rational in order to achieve often insignificant gains. Strip the asymmetrical force of its' media, its' momentum, and give people time to reflect and realize the true cost of those gains, and that style of leadership quickly comes under attack, becomes defensive, self-centred and willing to demonize even its' core supporters to hold onto power.

Asymmetrical leadership - that is Trump's style.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 19 2017 8:25 utc | 4

@2 mm2, 'though not sure if this alone can prevent the perfect shitstorm that is brewing in Turkey and northwestern Syria'

sanity and logic don't count for anything in the hard-core, full-court irrational tnc msm press push. robert parry recounts the nytimes attempts to sweep away sanity and logic in this very case. the position of the tnc msm is ... we've terrified the populace and they're desperate to be reassured, and they turn to us for reassurance. they don't want to know what happened they want to be reassured.

Rather than deal with the difficulty of assessing what happened in Khan Sheikhoun, which is controlled by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and where information therefore should be regarded as highly suspect, Rutenberg simply assessed that the conventional wisdom in the West must be correct.

basically - with dick cheney out of commission - they're quoting themselves as testimony to their 'thoroughness' and 'correctness', while vilifying those who 'waste time' on sanity and logic. 'who ya gonna believe? some egghead at mit and his evidence, or the nytimes and our assertions, consonant with what you wanna believe?'

@4 les7

i think the asymmetry consists of tee-rump's gals performance : his great ambitions in contrast with his limited ability.

this is just turn over the table stuff. you're right that its always been tee-rumps 'strategy', and that he's 'perfected' it ... but he did that early on, how hard is it to turn over the table?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 19 2017 9:25 utc | 5

I'm betting they'll find sarin and/or sarin decomposition products in the pothole debris that will match well with the data they have on Assad's old stockpile. Not because I think Assad is the guilty party here - I think it's most likely a false-flag - but because that's the answer everyone in the anti-Assad coalition wants to see. With no chain of custody on the sampling , there's plenty of opportunity to spike the specimens , and I'm virtually certain that the rebels/coalition intel goons have managed to lay their hands on some of Assad's stockpile that slipped thru the cracks , enough for this operation and for more to come , probably.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 19 2017 11:09 utc | 6

@ Marko | Apr 19, 2017 7:09:46 AM | 6

Guess who was the last known possessor for the destruction of Syrian CW materials? Did the job get finished or was some held back from destruction? Silence doesn't answer these questions; moving lips? - you know what that will be.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 19 2017 11:30 utc | 7

What on earth is a "WHR"???

Please stop using all these acronyms and initialisms so we can know what you are talking about!!!

Thank you!!!

Posted by: blues | Apr 19 2017 11:41 utc | 8

probably "white house report"

Posted by: Mina | Apr 19 2017 11:59 utc | 9

@8 blues, you really are As Lazy As.

If you read Postal's report you will see that the very first paragraph is:
"This analysis contains a detailed description of the times and locations of critical events in the alleged nerve agent attack of April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – assuming that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued on April 11, 2017 correctly identified the alleged sarin release site"

b actually quotes that paragraph in full in his article, so there is no excuse for not knowing what "WHR" is referring to.

Hint: it is shorthand for "White House Intelligence Report".

Honestly, if you can't even bother to read the article then why are you dissing it?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2017 12:08 utc | 10

@7 "Guess who was the last known possessor for the destruction of Syrian CW materials?"

Even that is hardly necessary. Trump's toadies can simply assert that the samples have been tested and they match Assad's stockpile.

And if anyone asks for the evidence then they can simply reply: It's a secret.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2017 12:12 utc | 11

I understand that there have been many claims that the Syrian government used sarin. Including the 2013 Ghouta attack which was also debunked. And many more claims of Assad's "attacking his own people".

IMO the debunking of these attacks is a debunking of the entire 'psy-op'-like propaganda campaign.


Dead Psy-op

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 19 2017 13:24 utc | 12

Posted by: les7 | Apr 19, 2017 4:25:12 AM | 4

Asymmetrical leadership - that is Trump's style.
You heard it here first.

Although this 'style' is called tyranny or terrorism when used by anyone else.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 19 2017 13:37 utc | 13


Yes, T-Bear , that would have been the first and best opportunity to squirrel some of Assad's stuff away , and I'd bet they did so.

Also , there's the Curveball-style defector who was a top CW guy for Assad - I suspect he had the means and opportunity to move some things around before he left. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a well-compensated U.S./coalition asset from Day One of the violence.

I do think they'll attempt to go thru the motions with regard to testing the samples as much as possible - splitting samples to two independent labs , etc. - rather than simply fudging the paperwork altogether , just for the purpose of credibility and to silence critics. If that doesn't work for some reason , they'll fudge like hell , no doubt.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 19 2017 13:57 utc | 14

Glad to see that the debunking of this false flag operation continues.

I knew that the Syrian government did not do it the instant I heard of this mess. The reason is that Bashar al-Assad had everything going his way finally after years of being behind the 8-ball. There was just no reason for the Syrian government to do it --- and every reason for the enemies of the Syrian government to do it.

I can not prove it; but my money is on the CIA being behind the ugly operation.

Posted by: Mark Stoval | Apr 19 2017 14:17 utc | 15

Re: the sarin used by the Al Q terrorists being some retained from Syrian government supplies -- somehow. IIRC there was always conjecture that the "rebels" had managed to get some of the chem weapons, the materials needed to make them, and keep such for future attacks. false flag or outright "rebel" launched.

However, Prof. Postol's main point is not about the chemical analysis of the gas in the canister, it is that the canister shows that it could not look the way it does if it had been dropped from a plane. Postol's analysis is clear on this.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 19 2017 14:43 utc | 16

On RT and French MSM: French gov promesses to prove Assad is responsible for the chemical attack.
Yesterday, convenient arrest of 2 guys preparing a terrorist attack, had a Daesh flag etc.
Just what Macron needs to have the slightest hope at the 2nd tour of elections, after Le Pen will rise up a bit thanks to the terror threat (now raised 24/7 on MSM, 'a campaign under terror threat' ' a political meeting notwithstanding the terror threat'..)
More Machiavellian than Hollande seems to be difficult.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 19 2017 16:18 utc | 17

France doesnt even see the irony - first they pass the verdict of Assad's guilt, and only now gathering the evidence - the law at its finest :) Plus I can bet their "evidence" will be regurgitating US "facts finding" from social media, so 21 century :)

Posted by: Harry | Apr 19 2017 17:56 utc | 18

thanks b.. this sums it up to me "....the WHR was not an intelligence report. No competent intelligence professional would have made so many false claims that are totally inconsistent with the evidence....." it is the idiot report to be used by trump, and the msm with the war party pulling the strings in the background.. nice try, but no cigar.. will idiot trump make war on syria? will boris johnson continue to be the bozo he is known to be? will ww3 start sometime soon? no one knows, but bullshit is in real evidence either way..

Posted by: james | Apr 19 2017 18:30 utc | 19

The OPCW has just reported that traces of sarin, or a sarin-like substance were found in the victims.

A question for those who know more about this than me:

Syria's chemical weapons (which presumably included sarin?) were sent out of the country, to be destroyed either at sea or in Finland, UK and the US. How difficult would it have been for one of these countries (presumably not Finland) to have "saved" some of the Syrian sarin (or sarin-like) chemicals and conveniently reintroduced them on scene in 2017. In which case the next announcement will be that the sarin traces just discovered have the unique "signature" of Syrian government sarin.

Or am I being unduly conspiracy-minded?

Posted by: Madeira | Apr 19 2017 19:03 utc | 20

@ Madeira | 20

Part of Syria's CW were destroyed in the US ship, and considering US history, it definitely wouldnt be beneath them to try to frame Syria by "saving up" a little bit of it.

Another source could be US supported terrorists. Out of 12 locations with CW in Syria, 10 remained under government control, 2 fell to the hands of terrorists. It was mentioned by Russian MOD recently.

As there is saying, when there is a will, there is a way. US and co are hell bent at destroying Syria, so if they wanted to do a frame job, they wouldnt have to look far.

Posted by: Harry | Apr 19 2017 19:23 utc | 21


No need to be conspiracy minded.

Al Nusra/AQ (and ISIS as this was before they split) seized some of Assad's chemical stockpiles.

All it takes is one guy to decide to release it then he gets the US to bomb Assad. Doesn't need to conspire with any foreign power, or even ask his commanders, though neither scenario should be discounted of course.

As the signature matches Assad then he gets the blame, and the above is ignored.

Posted by: Bob | Apr 19 2017 19:30 utc | 22

@ Madeira | Apr 19, 2017 3:03:37 PM | 20

Much simpler, former stocks belonging to Syrian Arab Army, stored in places overrun by the armed insurrection, were not under Syrian government control when those stocks were surrendered and assumed destroyed. Also don't forget a number of reports of such weapons being interdicted on the Turkish border, some instances under the protection of Turkish intelligence services. Still another matter not to forget - where are these claims and allegations coming from not to mention the veracity of the reporters of these claims. Anything can be alleged, and repeatedly but disproving each reiteration as it appears in differing format is a Sisyphean endeavour that pays not at all. Syria had no known sarin by international inspection, it is highly unlikely given the circumstances and costs of its removal to be replaced for use against such an insignificant target rendering no known advantage. Suspect the storytellers of false narrative first.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 19 2017 19:31 utc | 23

We shouldn't focus on the idiocy of the report, which is self-evident to anyone who investigates. But no one in the MSM investigates or cares or will seriously report on anything requiring fundamental journalism. I attended an academic lecture on Machiavelli last night and upon reflection it's clear the US strategy is to use both the fox (lies and guile) and the lion (strength = cruise missiles, terrorist support, US military forces) to get its way in Syria and elsewhere.

The 'no blood for oil' chant during protests against the impending US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was effective, although it was not the root cause of the war. But people could understand it as a rallying cry (although the massive protests didn't stop the war in the end). What is the rallying cry against US destabilization in Syria?

No Al Qaeda, No ISIS, stop feeding Middle East crisis?
Terrorists are not on our side, we shouldn't be on theirs?

I don't have a ready answer but body blows cannot be refuted via logical critique. Logic cannot reach the American people as they're not equipped to understand it.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Apr 19 2017 19:44 utc | 24

It is established that the White Helmets delivered their film to Al Jazeera before 8am.(Assad says 6.30am.) on the 4th of April (the day of the Syrian Airstrike which occurred between 11.30am. and 12.30pm). It is simply impossible, given the elevation of the sun shown in the video, for that film to have been made before 8am. on the 4th. This is irrefutable evidence that the filming was done no later than the day before the Syrian Government forces attacked.

Posted by: Brewer | Apr 19 2017 20:02 utc | 25

Sarin like is the word.
I read something a few days ago about how sarin breaks down. Apparently the traces after it has broken down (which from what I have read, is all that will be detected) can also be traces of other sarin like substances of which there are many.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 19 2017 20:16 utc | 26

WorldBLee @24

I don't have a ready answer but body blows cannot be refuted via logical critique. Logic cannot reach the American people as they're not equipped to understand it.

Which is why I think that absurd, Monty Python-like humor or mockery is best.

My "Dead Psy-op" is an adaptation of Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" sketch. (see link @12)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 19 2017 20:33 utc | 27

if isis/cia/etc uses chemical weapons on mosul, it could get interesting.. guess it won't happen as that would be too troublesome for the warmongers going after syria here.. i did read something about this, this morning, but can't find it now..

Posted by: james | Apr 19 2017 21:52 utc | 28

@28 You may be thinking of this james. It could be that some ISIS guys really don't appreciate foreign interference. But it would be hard to blame on Assad.

"Australian soldiers have been caught up in an Islamic State group chemical attack in Mosul but were not harmed, officials say.
A Defence official has told the ABC Australian and US advisers were with the unit at the time.
Australian medics provided first aid to Iraqi counter-terrorism soldiers after the attack, the Department of Defence says.
"No Australian personnel were exposed during the gas attack on Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service soldiers in Mosul," the spokesperson said."

Posted by: dh | Apr 19 2017 22:24 utc | 29

@29 dh... yeah, that is it! different source - i don't sully myself with any abc shit, lol...

Posted by: james | Apr 20 2017 0:01 utc | 30

i don't suppose they will be looking into whether it had an 'sarin wrap' on it though, or if it did, it must have been imported from damascus, as opposed to the dow chemical factory at langley..

Posted by: james | Apr 20 2017 0:04 utc | 31

the us/eu/gcc/turkey/il have zero credibility to anyone paying attention to facts. to the people who wanna/hafta believe the facts are irrelevant.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

it is as difficult to get a man or woman to understand something when his/her 'moral conscience' - that which allows him/her to crush other humans like bugs - requires his/her not understanding it. that's the case with all the residents of the 'city of light, on the hill', which is their 'understanding' of the usofa.

americans have repeated their story of altruistic imperialism - lawrence davidson's term - to themselves for so long that it no longer requires proof, is an article of faith - adopted from the uk and all the other european imperialists before them, the dispensers of the faith, and is criminal to question.

there can be no 'moral equivalence' between the us/eu/il and 'the rest of the world'. between the chosen people and the damned - and, just as so many complicit peoples before them, al-cia-duh and the fanatic wahabists have now been 'promoted' to 'white people'.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 20 2017 1:02 utc | 32

It seems to me there is a calculated strategy to Trump's actions (whoever decides them). Let me explain.

Think of Trump's strategy as 'asymmetric leadership'. In 'asymmetric warfare' the opposition is kept off-balance by using a potent mix of pointed, random attacks of wildly varying intensity with a seemingly non-coherent strategy behind it that would otherwise enable the opposition to either control the outcome or anticipate future attacks.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 19, 2017 4:25:12 AM | 4

What? Trump is "seemingly non-coherent"? And babies are "seemingly non-mature"? Parrots "seem to lack originality"?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 20 2017 1:16 utc | 33

ot from intel today, today.. - “A no-fly zone is currently being discussed in the Pentagon. A no-fly zone would be toe-to-toe with the Russkies to see who would blink first.” Former CIA Analyst Phil Giraldi

Posted by: james | Apr 20 2017 1:51 utc | 34

Rex did such a good job with Russia let's see if he can get Iran stirred up.

"US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" to destabilise countries in the Middle East as the Trump administration launched a review of its policy towards Tehran.
Tillerson told reporters the review, which he announced on Tuesday, would not only look at Tehran's compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal but also its behaviour in the region which he said undermined US interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
His tough words matched those of US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who said in a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that Iran's destabilising influence would have to be overcome to end the conflict in Yemen."

Posted by: dh | Apr 20 2017 2:10 utc | 35

Has anyone noticed that Postol uses the reported wind direction as where the wind is blowing to, instead of the traditional where the wind is coming from?

Not that this invalidates his larger points, but it's a boner mistake. And I'd like to see the link to the weather data source as well as how that source gets hourly information.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 20 2017 2:39 utc | 36

I wonder if the French gov is not going to try to postpone the election. They have a golden opportunity: the general strike is still going on in French Guyane and the roads are blockes so that it will be difficult to organize the polls, which start saturday there.
The WH video with the crying photographer (headline in le monde yesterday )
seems to be useful for the very purpose of showing that WH can be there to help Shiites too.
Announcing they have proofs "but will make them available in a few days" with polls scheduled for Sunday is a little odd, unless more is to come.
And the US is now blaming Iran for destabilizing the Middle East.
France's second tour is May 7th, a lot can happen and Hollande will make everything to chain his successor in his own Gulf deals. The desperate tone of the establishment journalists these days show they know that Macron and Hamon are not doing so good with their campaigns.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 20 2017 6:02 utc | 37

Add to this Rony Brauman, former MSF president, who (unvoluntarily?) leaked in a radio program that "even if Asad is not responsible but has no control on who is using chemicals he is to blame", which should translate into: 'we need to invade Syria because of wmd'.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 20 2017 6:21 utc | 38

Posted by: dh | Apr 19, 2017 10:10:11 PM | 35

It is phantom empire pains. They will get used to talking like everybody else.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 20 2017 6:23 utc | 39

james 30

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
American Broadcasting Company

The Au Government version perhaps better than the US commercial station.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 20 2017 6:30 utc | 40


the us invaded, occupied, destroyed iraq; together with ksa, turkey, the gcc and il destroyed syria ... but it's iran that is destabilizing the area.

ya gotta wanna believe to take any of this seriously ...

it's a question, i guess, of how many americans wanna believe. surely all those in ac/dc do, and those others on the ac/dc payroll. and they are faithfully echoed in the corporate media. that makes them look a lot larger than they are. they're maybe - 15-20%? of americans.

maybe a few more - 25%? - of the other 5-eyes and europeans.

surely many fewer - 5-10%? - of the world at large.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 20 2017 6:56 utc | 41

..the frogs are croaking something about Assad dunnit, and the Nutty zionist is making headlines saying Assad still has tons of CW's. Looks like a media build up for a US attack on Syria?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 20 2017 7:53 utc | 42

Felt like posting a history lesson, or reminder if you're already familiar with the Racak Massacre [that never occurred] roughly 20 years ago in breakaway region Kosovo, which played a huge role in preparing the masses for the much anticipated Nato bombing campaign against, and subsequent dismemberment of Yugoslavia.

The Finnish (EU) team, headed by pathologist Helena Ranta, began its own autopsy on 21 January and released its initial findings on 17 March. The introduction to the report stressed that it was Ranta's personal view, and not the position of the team.

Ranta testified at the subsequent ICTY trial of Slobodan Milošević, stating that retrieved bullets, bullet casings and entry and exit wounds indicated that the victims were killed where their bodies were found and at approximately the same time. A later Finnish report showed that only one victim had provably been shot at close range.

Truth of the matter is, we've been here time and time again and still 'We' are inclined to put our absolute trust in power against all common sense.

Posted by: never mind | Apr 20 2017 8:40 utc | 43

Robert Fisk at it again. Recommended:

Posted by: Cousin Jack | Apr 20 2017 10:17 utc | 44

Although no allegations that Syria uses CW have ever been proved, Al Qaeda/Al Nusra and ISIS are known to have made a number of such attacks. Just yesterday ISIS made three CW attacks in Mosul in Iraq:

Posted by: Gen Dau | Apr 20 2017 14:23 utc | 45

Posted by: never mind | Apr 20, 2017 4:40:46 AM | 43
Kosovo is not a region but the autonomous province of Serbia.
By the time of the Račak event, SFR Yugoslavia was already dismembered.
The remaining union of Serbia and Montenegro (now defunct) was Yugoslavia only by name. Cheap trick used by Milošević regime nobody was buying.
Nobody in Serbia anticipated the NATO bombing. It was a shock when it started. NATO has committed an act of war aggression on a country that posed no threat to any of its members.
The bombing has shown that there are way bigger thugs and criminals on the world scene than a little Sloba.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 20 2017 14:31 utc | 46

les7 @ 4.

A method behind Trump’s seeming madness? .. yes. Imho. DT applies behavioral, interactive, ‘negotiation’, ‘domination’ moves straight from his Noo-Yawk Biz World.

Like and trust and listen thru personal contact. DT does not understand the degree/type of representation, of distancing, of long-term vision/planning that applies in world geo-politics. Follows, he does not grasp the hypocrisy and can’t read the codes, can’t attain ‘real’ alliances … biz handshakes are for profit-sharing merely. The main reason he has trouble getting a team (should be a Gvmt!) together and/or even nominating anyone to x post (-> no core politics.)

Decisionary + action powers are awarded, delegated, ad hoc, adjusted to suit short-term circumstance, as are authoritarian moves (supervision, punishment, ousting, etc.) The way of medium-to-large corporations! .. Jack can handle French-end, Marieke is doing a bigly fantastic job in Holland, etc. Oh oh! the differences in the ‘risk’ column: lose a tender, a sub-co, share price-slump, vs. nuclear war. Hmm.

Unpredictability and evidencing asymmetry are signs, appurtenances of power, which don't work in global geo-politics.

Paradoxically, Trump’s mind-set and vision don’t allow him to actually take on and wield the power he has! OK, one can say USA prezzies are puppets, DT is now zombified by the Deep State, he flipped under threat (blackmail? …?), made a 180 degree turn, Jared + Ivanka influence him, etc. etc. Yes, maybe, partly, but world politics is not the outcome of gossip-column trivia.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 20 2017 14:45 utc | 47

Talk about compassion for the victims...

"Hundreds of frightened Syrians being evacuated from besieged towns were stuck Thursday at a rebel-held transit point where dozens of their fellow townspeople were killed in a weekend bombing....
"The convoys will not move until after the release of 750 prisoners -- men and women -- from regime prisons and their arrival in rebel-held areas," the British-based monitoring group said."

Posted by: Mina | Apr 20 2017 15:19 utc | 48

@40 peter au.. thanks.. i missed that! that was the story either way - thanks dh. and i agree with you @42 as well.

@44 cousin jack.. what bullshit... i wish those freaks in the uk would give an overview on the gcc dictatorships.. they never do, but instead would like to turn syria into another one... the independent - piece of garbage media outlet..

@45 gen dau.. that is what i was saying @28!

Posted by: james | Apr 20 2017 16:03 utc | 49


I believe you'll find Pepe Escobar's take on the French Election curious, and a comment about it from you would be appreciated,

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2017 17:53 utc | 50

re 36

Has anyone noticed that Postol uses the reported wind direction as where the wind is blowing to, instead of the traditional where the wind is coming from?
I couldn't see the point of that. The wind doesn't change direction over the point in question. The issue was where the gas was carried to.

re 49

Pepe Escobar didn't really have anything new to say. It's

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 20 2017 18:59 utc | 51

*(Escobar) is only doing a roundup of what is in the French press. We have to wait for the first round on Sunday to see which way the election will go. The two surviving candidates for the second round could be any of four - Macron, Le Pen, Fillon, Mélenchon. Macron is actually the front-runner in the polls, not Le Pen, as all the Trumpists and Brexiters hope.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 20 2017 19:11 utc | 52

Laguerre @51--

So, Pepe's "roundup of what is in the French press" is accurate? What about the accuracy of the French press's assessments of the candidates?

Thanks for posting your reply!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2017 19:16 utc | 53

Shooting on the Champes-Elysées tonight. Some must be dreaming of postponing the elections.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 20 2017 19:33 utc | 54

Pepe is excellent, as usual. He must have the best network of informers on the planet, that's it.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 20 2017 19:37 utc | 55

re 52

So, Pepe's "roundup of what is in the French press" is accurate?
Yes, reasonably. All the four candidates could go through to the second round, within the limits of the polls. But only two will, according to the rules.

According to the polls, it will be the two front-runners, Macron/Le Pen, but it could be different. I really couldn't say which way it will go in the end. Ask me again next week.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 20 2017 19:53 utc | 56

Shooting on the Champes-Elysées tonight.
So what's new? How much does a Kalashnikov cost in Marseille? $200? $2000? Not much anyway. Not very different from the US.

A bit of shooting, right and left, is par for the course in France. My Parisian friend explained it to me. At the end of the Algerian war in 1962, Paris was an armed camp. her father was held hostage by an armed Tunisian. Today is not so different.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 20 2017 20:31 utc | 57

From Pepe's French Election piece (2nd last paragraph):

Conversations with EU diplomats reveal that the Nato deep state is confident of being in control of the narrative. The French establishment is now as Russophobic as in the US.

Given the controlled narrative, how reliable are the French polls...? Brexit polls was off 10pts, US polls got the popular vote right but got pounded by the electoral college, Dutch polls called the election well there some weeks back - but probably didn't gauge the boost Rutte received by using Erdogan as a verbal punching bag late on.

Maybe neolib greaseball Macron will need to shadow a couple of right hooks Erdogan's way too, because the Paris shooting - any shooting with this timing - fits hand in glove with Le Pen's long time narrative. Tough to counter that with corp.western media as sensational as it is.

A 4 horse race is a nice change though.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 20 2017 21:11 utc | 58

Re 51,

That means the sarin drifted NW, not SE.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 20 2017 21:22 utc | 59


interesting point. i would imagine that postel inverted the usual convention because he was discussing the downwind phenomenon ... he needs to publish his weather source. hard for me to believe that a powerhouse from mit got the wind direction ass-backwards ... but anything is possible.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 21 2017 0:12 utc | 60

don't know much about french politics ...

Mélenchon’s current, unstoppable rise reflects the average citizen’s disgust with the whole “system.” He is betting on a sort of third way beyond neoliberal globalization and protectionist nationalism. That implies strong – owned and provided – public services; a mostly green economy; and no financialization

... but he's my man! hope marianne can pull up her stockings, hook his arm, and show the world the way forward. sounds like folks with skin in the game like mina - we all have skin in the game, will take inspiration where we find it - agree? ... noirette? 'unstoppable rise' ... love it!

Posted by: jfl | Apr 21 2017 0:35 utc | 61

@61 Bernard Henri-Levy has promised to leave France if Melenchon is elected. That should give Melenchon a boost. Lots of speculation as to where BHL will go. Libya being one possibility.

"Bernard Henry Lévy a annoncé qu’il quitterait l’hexagone si Jean-Luc Mélenchon était élu à la présidence de la République."

Posted by: dh | Apr 21 2017 1:13 utc | 62


here's the apparent source of postol's weather information (i misspelt his name above)

type in the date and bring it up.

i've sent an email to postol asking him what's up. have no idea if he'll respond. certainly i expect he's received same from others and will respond at some point.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 21 2017 1:21 utc | 63


looking at postol's map of the area his points still hold up.

What is absolutely clear from the videos is that the location of the sarin dispersal site alleged by WHR and the mass casualty site that would have had to be generated if the sarin dispersal actually occurred, are not in any way related to the scenes of victims shown in the other videos. The conclusion is obvious, the alleged attack described in WHR never occurred.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 21 2017 1:29 utc | 64


if that doesn't put Mélenchon over the top i'll be a monkey's uncle.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 21 2017 1:37 utc | 65

wget says 404, not found

Posted by: jfl | Apr 22 2017 14:53 utc | 67

You get Postol's "error fixed" here

Posted by: somebody | Apr 22 2017 15:38 utc | 68

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