Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is challenging the Trump administration’s version of events surrounding the April 4 “chemical weapons attack” on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun – though Hersh had to find a publisher in Germany to get his information out.
In the Sunday edition of Die Welt, Hersh reports that his national security sources offered a distinctly different account, revealing President Trump rashly deciding to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase on April 6 despite the absence of intelligence supporting his conclusion that the Syrian military was guilty.
Hersh draws on the kind of inside sources from whom he has earned longstanding trust to dispute that there ever was a “chemical weapons attack” and to assert that Trump was told that no evidence existed against the Syrian government but ordered “his generals” to “retaliate” anyway.
As our interview last week with Edward Snowden ended, Edward asked Ron Paul a question while the cameras were still rolling that was so important and interesting that with his permission we decided to release the “after credit sequence.” Why so important? As a former intelligence analyst and operative, Snowden wondered how well the intelligence community had done in its mission to keep US policymakers informed on important world events. Congressman Ron Paul had for more than two decades been theoretically a “consumer” of the intelligence community’s products. Were they helpful? Listen to Dr. Paul’s answer in the segment…
It was a good question in 2003 when then Major General David Petraeus asked it as the United States invaded Iraq, an ironic one in 2011 when the US withdrew, worth revisiting in 2014 when the US reinvaded Iraq, and again in 2017 as Islamic State appears to be on its way out. Problem is we still don’t have a good answer. It could be Groundhog Day all over again in Iraq, or it could be worse.
The Groundhog Day argument, that little has changed from 2003 until now, is quite persuasive. Just look at the headlines. A massive Ramadan car bomb exploded not just in Baghdad, but in Karada, its wealthiest neighborhood, during a holiday period of heightened security, and all just outside the Green Zone were the American Embassy remains hunkered down like a medieval castle. Islamic State, like al Qaeda before it, can penetrate the heart of the capital city, even after the fall of their home base in Fallujah (2004, 2016.) Meanwhile, Mosul is under siege (2004, 2017.) Iranian forces are on the ground supporting the Baghdad central government. The Kurds seek their own state. American troops are deep in the fighting and taking casualties. The Iraqi Prime Minister seems in control at best only of the Shia areas of his country. Groundhog Day.
But maybe this time around, in what some call Iraq War 3.0, we do know how it ends.
About a hundred miles north of Bangalore, India, in the village of Thimmamma Marrimanu grows an eponymous banyan tree. There are all kinds of records for trees: the tallest, the stoutest, the oldest, and so on, but the record for the largest canopy, at an astounding five acres, is held by this banyan. And it also holds the key to the Korean enigma.
North Korea recently released University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who was comatose and substantially brain-dead, and who has now expired. He had the misfortune to become tangled up in an incident while visiting there.
Every so often it also fires off a test missile or more, and President Donald Trump, although dormant on the issue at the moment, can be expected eventually to erupt. The resulting Far East chaos could be catastrophic.
The Russia/Iran sanctions bill passed earlier this month in the Senate has stalled in the House on a procedural issue: bills dealing with revenue must originate in the House. Is there a chance the bill may be scuttled? Don’t hold your breath! Ron Paul reports: