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Mon May 6, 2013, 07:16 PM

Syria's Assad Likely Behind Chemical Weapons Use, White House Says

Source: Associated Press

By BRADLEY KLAPPER and MATTHEW LEE 05/06/13 04:55 PM ET EDT

--CLIP
The chemical weapons argument is now under surprising attack, with former war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte saying over the weekend she and fellow members of a four-member U.N. human rights panel have indications the nerve agent sarin was used by Syrian rebel forces, but not by government forces.

Despite a clarification from the UN that it is has not yet made any definitive determination on chemical weapons use, Washington pushed back on del Ponte's assertion, saying it's highly likely that the Assad regime, and not the rebels, has been behind any chemical weapons use in Syria.

"We are highly skeptical of suggestions that the opposition could have or did use chemical weapons," Carney said. "We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position."

The State Department said the administration continues to believe that Syria's large chemical weapons stockpiles remain securely in the regime's control.




Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/06/syria-assad-chemical-weapons-white-house_n_3224057.html

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 07:26 PM

1. There still is no definitive WH position on this. Just AP caption editor spin.

Read Carney's statement with the intended qualifications and hedging in mind:

"We are highly skeptical of suggestions that the opposition could have or did use chemical weapons," Carney said. "We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position."

In combination with Del Ponte's stated conclusions, nobody's going to be persuaded that there's a casus belli here.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Mon May 6, 2013, 07:40 PM

2. The caption editor should have written it properly and said "highly likely" and how you find the

WH has no definitive 'position' on this, I can't figure.

Here is the WH/Carney clip:

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #2)

Tue May 7, 2013, 07:33 AM

10. There is no definitive evidence of what was used and by whom, hence "any chemical weapon use that

has taken place" -- "any" being the qualifying statement.

Parsing WH press statements on Syria is like listening to old Kremlin statements on Vietnam: part exhortation to greater violence and part plausible deniability of their own role.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 08:13 PM

3. "No definitive determination on chemical weapons use"

Read that carefully, want to go to war based on that?

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Response to WHEN CRABS ROAR (Reply #3)

Mon May 6, 2013, 08:23 PM

4. Agree... Pretense for the old PNAC agenda - RT story - Syria, Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan....

http://rt.com/op-edge/iran-pakistan-syria-pipeline-843/

Yet again, while our friends at MSNBC rail against being mislead into the Iraq war - they are eating the foreign policy/petro pablum again....

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 09:09 PM

5. "He's Got 'Em, Let's Get Him!" (Sarcasm with PHOTO)

Headlines from 'The Sun' about Iraq (which turned out to be a lie):

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 09:15 PM

6. "Highly likely" isn't evidence

It's just a statement about probability, from a potentially biased source.

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Response to daleo (Reply #6)

Mon May 6, 2013, 09:28 PM

7. And merrily we march along, march along, march along and merrily we march along to fight

another war...for israel.

From the archive:

Israel To U.S.: Don't Delay Iraq Attack

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/08/18/world/main519037.shtml

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 10:23 PM

8. But the US does not base this on any empirical evidence.

Thankfully, the murk of it all might help prevent the war lobby from getting their way, if nothing else.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue May 7, 2013, 04:06 AM

9. Reminder: The U.S. Government Lies About Who Uses Chemical Weapons in the Mideast



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

Now Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN Commission on Syria, says they have "strong, concrete suspicions" that chemical weapons were used in Syria, but that they were deployed not by the Assad regime but by Syrian rebels. (Del Ponte was the lead prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic; earlier she barely escaped assassination when Sicilian organized crime attempted to blow up her house with 1000 pounds of explosives.)

And this is from March 1988, about Saddam Hussein's notorious gassing of the Iraqi city of Halabja back when Saddam was our ally:

>

Seventeen years later, investigative reporter Joost Hiltermann wrote about declassified State Department cables instructing U.S. diplomats to muddy the waters by claiming that both Iraq and Iran had used chemical weapons around Halabja and "to dodge the 'Whatís the evidence' question with the stock 'Sorry, but thatís classified information' response...In the final analysis, the only evidence for the convenient claim that Iran used chemical weapons during the war is that the US government said so."

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/reminder-us-government-lies-about-use-chemical-weapons-mideast

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #9)

Tue May 7, 2013, 07:39 AM

11. The President does not

 

have Public support to invade Syria. It shouldn't matter what anybody else says, Foreign or the paid stooges in our Congress, who no longer speak for us. When a country goes to War, the President and Congress should have Public support from the American people for it. In this case they do not. The Arab supporters of the opposition have Armed Forces if they are so concerned about Assad. Saudi Arabia has a military and an Air Force we equipped them with. Egypt does too and so does Jordan. Turkey does too. Those countries do not need the United States to attack Assad and remove him. That so called opposition group don't need to be running to us for their internal conflicts. They are crying to us, but I don't see any of these countries spilling one drop of blood from their militaries. And why does the United States have to give them our tax dollars considering how wealthy the countries of their Arab backers are? We are talking about Saudi Arabia and countries like Qatar. They have Sheiks that have Billions. It is the same deal with Kuwait.

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