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8 ways White House “evidence” exonerates Assad from chemical attack

The rock solid evidence that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack is weak and heavily relies on social media.

Alex Christoforou

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The White House has finally released some “evidence” they claim shows Assad carried out last week’s chemical attack, and the “evidence” was mostly derived from social media accounts, sprinkled with the standard…”we have more intelligence, but we cannot release at this time” rhetoric.

For his part, Secretary of Defense James Mattis looked to quickly quash doubts over which party was responsible for the “sarin gas” attacks, saying there was “no doubt” that the Assad regime “planned it, orchestrated it, and executed it.”

We should, of course believe the Generals and military men…they could not possibly benefit from more war, and the US Pentagon has never doctored evidence in past conflicts (Iraq, Serbia, Vietnam, Libya, Ukraine).

Much like with MH17, we have social media, from “trusted” social media accounts, being used by the White House to assign blame to Russia.  The report released blames Assad for the chemical weapons attack, but the real evil in the report is Russia and Putin.

To hell with evidence, The New York Times is happy with social media tweets and FB status updates to come to a final judgement. It’s called journalism in a millennial age…

The White House accused the Russian government on Tuesday of engaging in a cover-up of the chemical weapons attack last week by Syrian forces that prompted American missile strikes, saying that United States intelligence and numerous contemporaneous reports confirmed that the Syrians used sarin gas on their own people.

In a declassified four-page report that details United States intelligence on the chemical weapons attack and contains a point-by-point rebuttal of Moscow’s claims, the White House asserted that the Syrian and Russian governments had sought to confuse the world community about the assault through disinformation and “false narratives.”

The strongly worded document calls for international condemnation of Syria’s use of chemical weapons and harshly criticizes Russia for “shielding” an ally that has used weapons of mass destruction.

…Much of the report was devoted to rebutting Russia’s claim that the chemical attack last week was actually the result of a Syrian airstrike against a terrorist ammunition depot in Khan Sheikhoun that contained chemical weapons. The report also cited a video and commercial satellite imagery that showed that the chemical weapon had landed in the middle of a road, not at a weapons facility.

White House officials said United States intelligence agencies do not believe that the Islamic State or other terrorist groups have sarin gas.

You can view the full White House document below.

Here are some key points which prove how flimsy the evidence truly is, and how, given such flimsy evidence in a four page report, almost lead to a world war between nuclear powers, the entire world should take pause and stop Trump’s madness ASAP.


1. The White House “cannot publicly release all available intelligence on this attack due to the need to protect sources and methods.”

Of course the WH cannot release the evidence. Just trust them.

On a side note, the 2013 report from the Obama White House started almost the exact same thing, and UN determined rebels were behind the Ghouta attack.

2. All the so-called videos and satellite imagery cited in the report that traces back to Assad is nowhere to be found. No sources referenced. Nothing. Sure the report has parts which sound cinematically compelling, but with ZERO video or photographic evidence…it’s all hollywood scripted words.

There was a White House background briefing given about this report, but the Trump Administration is not releasing video of said briefing, only a transcript with a name reading, “SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL.”

3. NO ONE was willing to put their name on the report. NO ONE! This says a lot. No one wants to be on record for these lies put in writing.

4. The opening paragraph says the US is “confident” Assad carried out the attack. Not definite, not 100%, just “confident”. I am confident I will become a multi-millionaire, and own 3 homes. Confidence is nice, but it is not fact.

5. In first paragraph, the source of the claims are “observers at the scene.” ISIS and Al Qaeda observers perhaps?

6. US is confident in their assessment because they have all kinds of signals intelligence (images or video not provided), geospatial intelligence (satellite imagery not provided), laboratory samples “collected from multiple victims” and “credible open source reporting”. Would that be the credible White Helmets?

7. The problematic section entitled, “Summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Assessment of the April 4 Attack.”

Let’s take it paragraph by paragraph. Red underline highlights interesting comments and wordplay in the text.

WH Syria1

The words “maintains the capability” and “intent to use” are red flags. The US also maintains the capability and intent to launch nuclear weapons. Does not mean they will do it.

“The opposition” is interesting wordplay for ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Assad was winning not losing. This paragraph deliberately tries to assign a false motive to the crime. Fact is Assad was winning the war against ISIS in Syria. Also notice the word “probably”. Not definitely…but “probably involved.”


WH Syria2

“Pro-opposition social media reports” this simply means ISIS, Al Qaeda and White Helmets social media accounts. They have nothing to gain from baiting the US into attacking Assad…correct?


WH Syria3

“Indicates” the chemical weapon was delivered by an Su-22. No proof of this “indication”, and not backed by solid imagery. No imagery is provided to show this was indeed the aircraft claimed.

Once again the word “indicates” shows up to say that “personnel historically associated” with chemical weapons attacks were at Shayrat airbase.

Really? Who are these personnel? Names please. How does the White House know these personnel committed previous chemical weapons attacks? Is there a file and historical evidence? Please share Mr. Trump?


WH Syria4

After the attack, “there were hundred of accounts of victims” with sarin exposure symptoms. Who are these hundreds of victim accounts?

Were these accounts gathered from social media? White Helmets social media? Or ISIS social media accounts? Why not share these accounts with the public? Are they so secretive and classified that the WH cannot release these accounts which show sarin gas symptoms…diagnosed over social media?

“Open source accounts posted” from “first responders”…this is clearly White Helmets. Here is some disturbing White Helmets propaganda, as they fake saving babies, while actually killing babies. 

And since when were the White Helmets chemical weapons experts, or experts in diagnosing chemical agent exposure?


WH Syria5

“Broadcasted local videos included images”…why not share the videos and images broadcast so we can see where they came from?

“Commercial satellite imagery”…”showed impact craters around the hospital.” Craters around a war zone. That would be uncommon, right? If the imagery was commercial then why not release it? Was the hospital destroyed…photos would be useful to confirm this destruction.

Finally…“medical staff with body suits on”…you mean these guys, wearing these body suits?

fake helmets


8. The last two pages of the four page document is all about trying to explain how Moscow “misinforms” the public, and has a “history” of trying to draw attention away from Assad’s atrocities. The document spends more time trying to convince the reader how evil Russia is, then actually focusing on proving Assad committed the crime with factual evidence.

I am no lawyer, but my guess is that this argument would not even hold water in Judge Judy’s TV court room.


I am not alone in my assessment at this laughable White House document that is being used to push the world towards war. At least Colin Powell had some “anthrax” tubes to show. Trump’s war propagandists do not even treat us to visual aids to firm up this lie.


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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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