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German Tabloid: Assad Did Not Order Gas Attacks

First we have this via our stateside tabloid, the New York Times:

Assad Denies Gas Attack; White House Presses a Strike

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT | September 8, 2013

The White House chief of staff, Denis R. McDonough… appeared on all five major Sunday morning news shows to make the administration’s case that Congress should authorize an airstrike against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

Mr. Assad, for his part, said in an interview with Charlie Rose of CBS News that his government was not behind a chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians and injured many more. In the interview, to be broadcast on Monday, Mr. Assad also said that Syria might retaliate if attacked.

Mr. Assad, who previously denied he was behind the attack, “suggested that there would be, among people that are aligned with him, some kind of retaliation if a strike was made,” Mr. Rose said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Mr. McDonough… emphasized that a strike on Syria would be narrow in scope.

“This is not Iraq or Afghanistan; this is not Libya; this is not an extended air campaign,” Mr. McDonough said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is something that’s targeted, limited and effective so as to underscore that he should not think that he can get away with this again.” …

If, this is going to be less of an attack than Libya, how is Assad not ‘getting away’ with it?

Mr. McDonough said there was no longer any debate about the veracity of American intelligence on the chemical attack last month….

Really? That’s news to us.

“Not a single [person] so far has rebutted or refused the intelligence, which is to say, everybody agrees that on Aug. 21, Assad used chemical weapons against his own people,” Mr. McDonough said on the ABC News program “This Week,” referring to members of Congress he has spoken to in recent days.

How could a Congressman be any position to rebut these intelligence reports?

He added: “The answer to that question will be followed closely in Tehran; the answer to that question will be followed closely in Damascus; the answer to that question will be followed very closely by members of Lebanese Hezbollah.”

And a slap on the wrist slap for using chemical weapons will send them what kind of message?

Meanwhile we have this, via the UK’s Guardian:

Assad did not order Syria chemical weapons attack, says German press

Bild am Sonntag cites high-level German surveillance source suggesting Syrian president was not personally behind attacks

By Simon Tisdall and Josie Le Blond | 8 September 2013

President Bashar al-Assad did not personally order last month’s chemical weapons attack near Damascus that has triggered calls for US military intervention, and blocked numerous requests from his military commanders to use chemical weapons against regime opponents in recent months, a German newspaper has reported , citing unidentified, high-level national security sources.

For the record, Bild am Sonntag is not the most reliable paper in the world. It’s a tabloid, the UK Sun of Germany.

The intelligence findings were based on phone calls intercepted by a German surveillance ship operated by the BND, the German intelligence service, and deployed off the Syrian coast, Bild am Sonntag said.

Gott in himmel! German intelligence agencies monitor phone calls? What an outrage!

The intercepted communications suggested Assad, who is accused of war crimes by the west, including foreign secretary William Hague, was not himself involved in last month’s attack or in other instances when government forces have allegedly used chemical weapons

Well, Hitler was not personally involved in the gassing of the Jews, either.

But the intercepts tended to add weight to the claims of the Obama administration and Britain and France that elements of the Assad regime, and not renegade rebel groups, were responsible for the attack in the suburb of Ghouta, Bild said…

The German intelligence findings concerning Assad’s personal role may complicate US-led efforts to persuade the international community that punitive military action is justified. They could also strengthen suspicions that Assad no longer fully controls the country’s security apparatus.

We would think it also suggests he might not control the country’s chemical weapons.

Addressing a closed meeting of the German parliamentary committee last week, the BND chief Gerhard Schindler said his agency shared the US view that the attack had been launched by the regime and not the rebels. But he said the spy agency had not have conclusive evidence either way, German media reported.

And yet we’re told by Kerry that the evidence if beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Schindler said that BND had intercepted a telephone call in which a high-ranking member of Hezbollah in Lebanon told the Iranian embassy in Damascus that Assad had made a big mistake when he gave the order to use the chemicals, the magazine Der Spiegel said.

Hezbollah might not know any better. Or, they might know their phone calls are being monitored.

Schindler added that German intelligence believed Assad would likely remain in power for some time – irrespective of any potential US-led military intervention – and that the civil war could drag on for years.

Again, if Assad remains in power, how is what kind of message does that send to Iran?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 9th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “German Tabloid: Assad Did Not Order Gas Attacks”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    Why do Christians have to get involved in a Muslim vs. Muslim fight?

    Did we get involved and send troops in, during the Iran vs. Iraq war? No. GAS was used, where were we? –not involved.

    Should we help the crazies turn Syria in to Lebanon? Remember when Lebanon was more secular and hospitable to Christians? Not anymore.

    What about North Korea? They have concentration camps and I thought we weren’t going to tolerate those things anymore after W.W.II? Unfounded gas attacks, BUT REAL EVIDENCE of concentration camps. When will we liberate North Koreans from their oppressors? There is very low hanging fruit there, where is the WORLD COMMUNITY? Where are the Arabs wringing their hands about N.Korea?

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