US Unveils Iraq WMD “Curveball-Style” Lies Vs. Syria

Tony Cartalucci
April 26, 2013

The last two weeks have seen a series of victories for the Syrian Army across Syria. It appears that 2 full companies of so-called “Free Syrian Army” fighters have been annihilated near Damascus, while government forces have restored order in parts of Homs and along the previously porous Lebanese-Syrian border.

Time has run out for the West, and it appears that they are desperately seeking any excuse to rescue their failing proxy war. When urgent, but otherwise unjustified military intervention is needed, a “humanitarian” pretext is usually invented – as it was in Libya. Failing that, as the West has already clearly done in Syria, an even more tenuous narrative has been resurrected from its well-earned grave. CNN has reported in their article, “Hagel: Evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria,” that:

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Thursday that the United States has evidence that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.

This comes a couple of days after an Israeli intelligence official said Damascus was using weapons banned under international law against its own people in the country’s civil war. Syria has said rebels have used chemical weapons.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against its own people in the country would be a “game changer.”

Astonishingly, the West is attempting to repeat tales of “WMD’s” in Syria, just as it infamously did in Iraq. In the Washington Post’s “U.S. intelligence agencies: Assad used chemical weapons ‘on a small scale’,” the nature of this “evidence” is elaborated on (emphasis added):

Hagel said the intelligence agencies’ assessment was reached with “varying degrees of confidence,” meaning that they lacked proof or overwhelming evidence. He said the conclusion was “reached within the last 24 hours” and that the White House delivered a letter outlining the findings to Congress Thursday morning.

A letter from the White House via the Washington Post exposed further just how tenuous the evidence actually is (emphasis added):

Capture letter 1

Capture letter 2

Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin. This assessment is based in part on physiological samples. Our standard of evidence must build on these intelligence assessments as we seek to establish credible and corroborated facts. For example, the chain of custody is not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions. We do believe that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would very likely have originated with the Assad regime.

Physiological samples indicating sarin – in other words – samples taken from people exposed to sarin, could have been produced in a number of ways. It is confirmed that Libya’s chemical weapon stockpiles included sarin and mustard gas. In the Washington Post’s 2011 “Libya’s poison gas unaffected by turmoil, official says,” it was stated:

Experts believe that Libya destroyed about 3,300 bombshells designed to carry mustard and sarin gas chemicals years ago, as part of its deal to end decades of economic and diplomatic isolation with the West.

But some 10 metric tons of mustard sulfate and sarin gas precursor remain stockpiled in barrels at three locations in the Libyan desert south of Tripoli, where Moammar Gaddafi has holed up in a last-ditch fight to keep from being overthrown.

Many experts worry that the barrels are ripe for picking by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda.

Of course, since 2011, it is now confirmed that the so-called “Libyan rebels” were actually Al Qaeda terrorists operating under the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which has been confirmed to have subsequently traveled  to Syria to join Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra franchise in NATO’s proxy war there.

It is just as likely that NATO’s proxy forces brought along with them not only small arms and cash from Libya, but also heavier weapons, including possibly chemical weapons – and specifically – sarin and mustard gas.


Considering that the Syrian government knows the use of chemical weapons would basically hand the moral, strategic, and geopolitical initiative over to the West, and in light of its recent gains made using conventional weapons and tactics, it makes it all the more likely any real sarin to be found and used in Syria was the work of NATO proxies attempting to produce a plausible casus belli. Terrorists operating in Syria have already been caught using other chemical weapons.

And yet still, despite all of this doubt, the Western political establishment has hailed the so-called “findings” as the “game changer” required to green-light US military intervention.

Remember “Curveball”

It is absolutely imperative to recall the propaganda campaign conducted prior to invading Iraq in 2003. Chemical weapons were also used as a pretext for an otherwise unjustified war. The “intelligence” used by Hagel’s predecessors was admittedly fabricated on-demand.

In the British Independent’s article, “Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all: Defector tells how US officials ‘sexed up’ his fictions to make the case for 2003 invasion,” it stated:

A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow.

“Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi’s lies used to justify the Iraq war.

He tries to defend his actions: “My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime’s oppression.”

We can already envision the establishment defending in hindsight its next “noble lie” to unseat “the tyrant in Syria.”

The Independent continues:

But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of it was true. When it is put to him “we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, he simply replies: “Yes.”

US officials “sexed up” Mr Janabi’s drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell’s former chief of staff. “I brought the White House team in to do the graphics,” he says, adding how “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy”.

How “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy,” indeed is the most important aspect of the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, and is without doubt what is being done in Washington, Doha, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv in regards to Syria now.

The “Curveball-style” lies told about Iraq are now being repeated about Syria by an increasingly unhinged West who has tried every trick in the book, and is flipping back to the beginning to start over again. The question is, can the world afford to be led down this path again, knowing exactly where it ends? Nations and people outside the Wall Street-London international order are tasked with foiling this criminal war of aggression – unable this time to plead ignorance to the West’s true intentions.

Tony Cartalucci is the writer and editor at Land Destroyer


U.S. officials say Assad probably used chemical weapons on ‘small scale’

Video: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Syrian regime has likely used chemical weapons on a "small scale."

By Anne Gearan and Craig Whitlock, Published: April 25

The Obama administration said Thursday that the Syrian government is likely to have used chemical weapons on a small scale against its own people, but it stopped short of threatening military action against President Bashar al-Assad.

In a letter to key lawmakers, the White House said U.S. intelligence agencies “assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin.”

Defense secretary says of failure to mention assessment in meetings: “I guess it wasn’t complete.”

Despite the caveats, the disclosure puts President Obama under new pressure to respond because it is the first time that the United States has joined other countries in suggesting that the Assad government is likely to have deployed chemical weapons over the course of Syria’s two-year-old conflict.

A senior administration official reaffirmed that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross the “red line” described by Obama many times in recent months in warnings to Assad. The official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity to be candid, said the administration was waiting for a “definitive judgment.”

Instead of outlining specific action, the administration reiterated its support for a comprehensive U.N. investigation inside Syria to gather concrete evidence. Assad has refused to allow the U.N. team into the country amid a dispute over the scope of the investigation.

The U.S. disclosure brought a swift response from Congress, particularly from members who have argued for deeper involvement on the side of the rebels. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said it was “pretty obvious that a red line has been crossed.” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) accused the administration of outsourcing national security to the United Nations.

Senior Democrats also voiced concerns. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said the Syrian government had “crossed a red line by using chemical weapons, which forces us to consider all options as to how we act to influence the balance of the conflict.”

The U.S. conclusions echoed those ofBritain, France and Israel, which have suggested in recent days that forces loyal to Assad have probably used sarin. The U.S. assessment, which was compiled from many intelligence agencies and finalized in recent days, marks an easing of the official skepticism that greeted the Israeli assertions just two days earlier.

The White House made clear, however, that it is resisting congressional and international calls to arm the Syrian rebels or take direct military action against Assad’s forces.

“The United States and the international community have a number of potential responses available, and no option is off the table,” said the White House letter, which was addressed to McCain and other lawmakers who had sought an administration response to Israel’s claims.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was traveling in the Middle East, was the first U.S. official to describe the new findings. He did not say how the administration would respond but noted, “My job is to give the president options. . . . We’ll be prepared to do that.”

Faced with difficult choices

Syria possesses one of the world’s largest inventories of chemical weapons, including sarin and other nerve agents banned by an international treaty that Assad’s government has refused to sign. The administration said Assad remains in control of the weapons, but U.S. officials have expressed concerns that the lethal material could fall into the hands of extremists within the Syrian opposition or Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group fighting alongside Syrian troops.

Pentagon officials have said that it could take tens of thousands of U.S. troops to secure Syria’s chemical weapons as long as the civil war is raging. If the U.S. military intervened in Syria, it would almost certainly face attacks from Assad’s forces. Rebel fighters allied with al-Qaeda also would pose a threat.

Bombing Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile could be even riskier, military analysts said. Airstrikes could easily backfire by dispersing nerve gases and other chemicals over populated areas.

Last week, the Pentagon announced that additional U.S. troops would go to Jordan to help cope with a flood of refugees crossing the border from Syria, but also to plan for possible responses to any outbreak of chemical warfare. The new troops will bring the U.S. total to about 200.

The civil war in Syria has killed more than 70,000 people and turned more than 1 million Syrians into refugees. Despite the humanitarian toll, Obama has been wary of U.S. military involvement. The administration, however, has widened defensive and humanitarian support for the Syrian rebels.

U.S. caution irks rebels

The main Syrian rebel group criticized what it described as a tepid U.S. assessment of the chemical weapons claims.

“ ‘Small scale? Varying degrees of confidence?’ The leaders of the Free Syrian Army are certain that chemical weapons are being used in Syria, so we find this whole statement odd,” said Musab Abu Qatada, a spokesman for the Damascus military council, which is part of the Free Syrian Army.

U.S. officials invoked the mistakes of the Iraq war as they urged caution. The administration of George W. Bush deposed Saddam Hussein in 2003 based on notoriously erroneous intelligence that he possessed weapons of mass destruction.

“Don’t take from this that this is an automatic trigger,” said a senior defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “We have seen very bad movies before when intelligence is perceived to have driven policy decisions that, in the cold light of day, have been proven wrong.”

The administration provided no evidence in public Thursday that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, saying only that its conclusion was partly based on “physiological” data. That presumably means analyses of blood samples from victims, dead or alive, of at least one of four suspected instances of chemical weapons use since December.

Calls for tougher U.S. action have grown in recent weeks as claims that Assad loyalists have used chemical weapons have increased. Britain and France sent letters to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this month saying they had credible evidence that chemical weapons had been deployed.

According to senior diplomats and officials briefed on the British and French accounts, the evidence included soil samples and witness interviews that point toward the use of nerve agents in and around the cities of Aleppo, Homs and Damascus.

On Tuesday, two senior Israeli military officials said research concluded that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons on several occasions to kill dozens of rebel fighters. They said the evidence made them “nearly 100 percent certain.”

Whitlock reported from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Abigail Hauslohner and Ahmed Ramadan in Beirut, Colum Lynch at the United Nations and Greg Miller in Washington contributed to this report.


Libya’s poison gas unaffected by turmoil, official says

By Jeff Stein

A senior administration official said Monday that the White House had no reason to believe the current turmoil in Libya has made its chemical weapons stockpiles more vulnerable to theft.

Experts believe that Libya destroyed about 3,300 bombshells designed to carry mustard and sarin gas chemicals years ago, as part of its deal to end decades of economic and diplomatic isolation with the West.

But some 10 metric tons of mustard sulfate and sarin gas precursor remain stockpiled in barrels at three locations in the Libyan desert south of Tripoli, where Moammar Gaddafi has holed up in a last-ditch fight to keep from being overthrown.

Many experts worry that the barrels are ripe for picking by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda. Rumors abound, says an intelligence source with deep experience in the region, that British SAS commandos are preparing to secure the materials. Over the weekend SAS and Special Boat Service commandos rescued about 150 civilians.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue, the administration official suggested the Libyans have moved to bolster the security of the material since protests erupted earlier this month, but he refused to specify what those steps were or how the administration had communicated with the Libyans.

“We have continued to urge the Libyans to safely complete destruction of their remaining chemical weapons agent as quickly as possible,” the official said. “As part of that process, the Libyans have taken appropriate steps to secure their CW [chemical weapons] from unauthorized access.”

He added, “We have no information to suggest that recent events in Libya have impacted these security provisions or placed Libya’s CW material at risk of unauthorized access.”

On the other hand, he said, the administration views “the possibility of CW material falling into the wrong hands [as] deeply concerning,” adding that “we are doing what we can to maintain awareness as to the security of these materials.”

Libya’s progress on eradicating its mustard and sarin gas stocks has been slow. In December it asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — established in 1997 to oversee global progress on disarmament — for a deadline extension to May. It was granted.

“The entire stockpile of agent was supposed to have been destroyed in a destruction facility at Rabta, 65 kilometers southwest of Tripoli, by the end of last year, but because of delays only about 50 percent of the original 25 metric tons of agent has been destroyed to date,” said Jonathan Tucker, a Washington expert on chemical and biological weapons policy.

“We believe that whatever they have at this point is not in weaponized form,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. "We continue to monitor their residual chemical materials," he later added.

Libya also has a civilian nuclear research center in Tajura, about 10 miles east of Tripoli, with a small research reactor, said Wyn Bowen, an expert on weapons of mass destruction at King’s College, London.

"It’s something to think about in terms of securing," he said.

By Jeff Stein  | February 28, 2011; 3:30 PM ET