The Pronk Pops Show 868, April 6, 2017, Story 1: Neoconservatives and Progressive Global Interventionists Elite Banging The War Drums For American Empire Warfare and Welfare State vs. We The People America First Non-interventionists For American Republic Peace and Prosperity Economy — American People Not Readily Accepting Big Lie Media Propaganda on Syria Chemical Gas Air Attack — Another False Flag — Sunni and Shia Have Being Killing Each Other For Hundreds of Years — Stop Being Imperial Umpire For A Religious Sectarian Civil War and Proxy War — National Interest — Oil and Gas — Videos

Posted on April 6, 2017. Filed under: American History, Benghazi, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Cruise Missiles, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Egypt, Elections, Empires, European History, European Union, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Great Britain, Hate Speech, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Iraq, Islam, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, Jordan, Law, Libya, Life, Lying, Marco Rubio, Media, Medicare, Middle East, MIssiles, National Security Agency, Nerve Gas, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Qatar, Radio, Rand Paul, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Rifles, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Syria, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, U.S. Negotiations with Islamic Republic of Iran, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 860: March 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 859: March 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 858: March 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 857: March 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 850: March 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 848: February 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 847: February 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 846: February 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 845: February 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 844: February 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 843: February 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 842: February 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 841: February 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 840: February 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 839: February 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 838: February 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 837: February 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 836: February 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 835: February 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 834: February 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 833: February 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 832: February 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 831: February 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 830: February 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 829: February 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 828: January 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 827: January 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 826: January 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 825: January 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 824: January 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 823: January 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 822: January 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 821: January 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 820: January 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 819: January 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 818: January 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 817: January 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 816: January 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 815: January 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 814: January 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 813: January 9, 2017

Updated

Breaking News

Undeclared War!

President Trump Launches 59 Cruise Missile Attack From Two U.S. Destroyers Against Syrian Air Base 

President Trump Neoconned!

Trump Orders ATTACK on Syria – April 6, 2017 – FULL Press Conference

RAW USA launches cruise missile strike on Syria Regime Breaking News April 6 2017 

RAW USA launches cruise missiles strike on Syria RUSSIA IRAN backed ASSAD Regime after chemical Warfare weapons attack Breaking News April 6 2017

Neo-CONNED speech by Ron Paul

U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base After Chemical Weapons Attack

The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was Syria’s use of banned chemical weapons that killed at least 100 people, U.S. military officials told NBC News.

Two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea fired 59 Tomahawk missiles intended for a single target — Ash Sha’irat in Homs province in western Syria, the officials said. That’s the airfield from which the United States believes the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired the banned weapons.

There was no immediate word on casualties. U.S. officials told NBC News that people were not targeted and that aircraft and infrastructure at the site were hit, including the runway and gas fuel pumps.y

Trump Speaks on Missile Strike in Syria 2:48

“Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children,” President Donald Trump said in remarks from Mar-a-Lago, his family compound in Palm Beach, Florida.

“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” said Trump, who called on other countries to end the bloodshed in Syria.

Related: Trump: Why I Launched a Missile Attack on Syria

Trump is in Florida for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinpeng. Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster traveled to Florida with him.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster traveled to Florida with Trump. In Washington, Vice President Mike Pence returned to the White House after having gone home for dinner Thursday evening.

Syrian television characterized the missile strike “as American aggression” Friday morning. But Ahrar Al Sham, the largest Syrian armed rebel group, told NBC News it “welcomes any U.S. intervention through surgical strikes that would deter the Assad regime capabilities to kill civilians and shorten the suffering of our people.”

Syria Crisis: Trump Given Military Options After Chemical Attack 2:25

Tillerson and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, have bluntly blamed Syria for the chemical weapons attack, whose victims included at least 25 children.

Tillerson told reporters on Thursday that “there is no doubt in our minds” that the Syrian regime was responsible for the attack. And in a combative speech at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, Haley warned: “When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action.”y

Tillerson on Assad Regime: He Has ‘No Role’ to Govern Syria0:58

NBC News reported Thursday that Defense Secretary James Mattis briefed President Donald Trump on U.S. military options, which included carrying out targeted strikes against those responsible for Tuesday’s attack.

There was no immediate reaction from Russia, which Tillerson and Haley have accused of turning a blind eye to Syria’s transgressions.

“Russia cannot escape responsibility for this,” Haley said at the United Nations. “They chose to close their eyes to the barbarity. They defied the conscience of the world.”

Thursday, Tillerson urged Russia to “consider carefully their continued support of the Assad regime.”

Story 1: Progressive Global Interventionists Elite Banging The War Drums For American Empire Warfare and Welfare State vs. We The People America First Non-interventionists For American Republic Peace and Prosperity Economy — American People Not Readily Accepting Big Lie Media Propaganda on Syria Chemical Gas Air Attack — Another False Flag — Sunni and Shia Have Being Killing Each Other For Hundreds of Years — Stop Being Imperial Umpire For A Religious Sectarian Civil War — National Interest — Oil and Gas — Videos

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President Trump may be considering military action in Syria

Gen. Keane on the possibility of US military action in Syria

Trump Orders Attack On Syria! Will Russia Respond? Is Trump Wrong?

Syria Gas Attack: Assad’s Doing…Or False Flag?

Streamed live on Apr 5, 2017

Just days after the US Administration changed course on Syrian President Assad, saying he could stay, an alleged chemical weapon attack that killed dozens of civilians has been blamed on the Syrian government. Did Assad sign his own death warrant with such an attack…or does some other entity benefit?

[youytube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LULzvg1gA5U]

Ron Paul: The Word That Best Defines Libertarianism Is Non-Intervention

Sen. John Barrasso Speaking on Trump Considering Military Action in Syria & North Korea

Cotton: President Trump struck the ‘right tone’ on Syria

Corker Comments on Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

Rubio, Cardin call for Assad, Putin to be held accountable for Syria chemical weapons attack

Will the U.S. take military action in Syria?

Do powerful people in Washington want to know the truth?

Syrian Chemical False Flag Exposed

Laura Ingraham Show PODCAST April 6, 2017 – Bob Costa: ‘Trump Has Always Used His Family In Business

Unconfirmed Syria Chemical Weapons Attack is Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction REDUX

What we know about the chemical attack in Syria

Syria Gas Attack: Assad’s Doing…Or False Flag?

Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why?

Was Syrian Chemical Attack A False Flag?

Understanding the Refugee Crisis in Europe, Syria, and around the World

Aftermath of Syrian chemical attack sparks outrage

World leaders condemn the Syrian chemical attack

Syria nerve gas attack: Chemical weapons expert debunks Assad’s defense

War in Syria: Russia and West clash over Idlib gas attack (part 1)

Published on Apr 5, 2017

Subscribe to France 24 now:
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FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7
http://f24.my/YTliveEN

On Tuesday in Idlib, a province in the Northwest of Syria, at least seventy people were killed, 20 of them children, in what appears to have been a chemical weapon attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Initial reports point to the nerve agent Sarin gas. Our panel of experts asks who was behind this attack. What explanations are being given, and do they stack up?
Click here for PART TWO.

Another suspected chemical weapons attack is latest chapter in brutal Syrian conflict

‘Assad Has Unleashed Horror in Syria’: World Reacts to Alleged Chemical Attack

Syria Gas Attack: Russia says chemical depot held by rebels bombed

Turkish President Erdogan calls chemical attack in Syria “inhuman and unacceptable”

“The Desperate BBC Propaganda Machine Blames Assad For Chemical Attack Before Any Investigation.”

Russia denies involvement in reported Syrian chemical attack

Children caught in Syria ‘chemical attack’- BBC News

Published on Apr 5, 2017

The UN Security Council has held an emergency session to discuss the suspected gas attack on a rebel-held town in Syria. The attack is believed to have killed more than 70 people, including children. The Syrian government has denied responsibility, while its ally Russia says the gas came from rebel weapons on the ground. But those claims have been widely rejected by western governments, as our Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet reports.

Syria conflict: ‘Chemical attack’ in Idlib kills 58 – BBC News

Published on Apr 4, 2017

At least 58 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in north-western Syria, a monitoring group says. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that strikes on Khan Sheikhoun by Syrian government or Russian jets had caused many people to choke. Later, aircraft fired rockets at local clinics treating some of the survivors, medics and opposition activists said. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Condemns Russia, Iran After Chemical Attack In Syria | NBC News

UK: Chemical Attack Bears All Hallmarks of Assad

UNSC holds emergency meeting on Syria chemical attack

WATCH LIVE: U.N. Security Council Holds Emergency Meeting On Syria Chemical Attack | TIME

The TRUTH About the Syria Gas Attack

Hillary in Rat Line for Syria False Flag Sarin Gas Attack says Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

Sy Hersh Reveals Potential Turkish Role in Syria Chemical Strike That Almost Sparked U.S. Bombing

Global Empire – The World According to Seymour Hersh [Part Two]

Published on Aug 10, 2016

Tariq Ali talks to investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, about his revelations concerning the chemical attack at Ghouta, Syria in August 2013.

Seymour Hersh Exposes Erdogan’s Chemical Adventure in Syria

Published on Apr 8, 2014

The US author reveals secret US reports warning that Al-Nusrah terrorist group affiliated with Qatar and Turkey, posses a chemical weapons cell. Worst threat since 9/11.

Global Empire – The World According to Seymour Hersh [Part One]

Published on Aug 10, 2016

Tariq Ali talks to investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, about the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011 and describes what the Americans and Pakistanis knew about his whereabouts.

Global Empire – Syria After Trump

Seymour Hersh: Obama “Cherry-Picked” Intelligence on Syrian Chemical Attack to Justify U.S. Strike

Published on Dec 9, 2013

Writing in the London Review of Books, Hersh argues that the Obama administration “cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.” The administration failed to disclose it knew Syrian rebels in the al-Nusra Front had the ability to produce chemical weapons. Evidence obtained in the days after the attack was also allegedly distorted to make it appear it was gathered in real time.

Whose sarin? Seymour M. Hersh
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded — without assessing responsibility — had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order — a planning document that precedes a ground invasion — citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

In his nationally televised speech about Syria on 10 September, Obama laid the blame for the nerve gas attack on the rebel-held suburb of Eastern Ghouta firmly on Assad’s government, and made it clear he was prepared to back up his earlier public warnings that any use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘red line’: ‘Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people,’ he said. ‘We know the Assad regime was responsible … And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.’ Obama was going to war to back up a public threat, but he was doing so without knowing for sure who did what in the early morning of 21 August.

He cited a list of what appeared to be hard-won evidence of Assad’s culpability: ‘In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighbourhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.’ Obama’s certainty was echoed at the time by Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, who told the New York Times: ‘No one with whom I’ve spoken doubts the intelligence’ directly linking Assad and his regime to the sarin attacks.

But in recent interviews with intelligence and military officers and consultants past and present, I found intense concern, and on occasion anger, over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information — in terms of its timing and sequence — to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analyzed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” — Obama — “when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”‘…()

Obama Was Lying!

President Obama’s Syria Address [FULL SPEECH]

Seymour Hersh’s Latest Bombshell: U.S. Military Undermined Obama on Syria with Tacit Help to Assad

Published on Dec 22, 2015

A new report by the Pulitzer-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh says the Joints Chiefs of Staff has indirectly supported Bashar al-Assad in an effort to help him defeat jihadist groups. Hersh reports the Joint Chiefs sent intelligence via Russia, Germany and Israel on the understanding it would be transmitted to help Assad push back Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Hersh also claims the military even undermined a U.S. effort to arm Syrian rebels in a bid to prove it was serious about helping Assad fight their common enemies. Hersh says the Joints Chiefs’ maneuvering was rooted in several concerns, including the U.S. arming of unvetted Syrian rebels with jihadist ties, a belief the administration was overly focused on confronting Assad’s ally in Moscow, and anger the White House was unwilling to challenge Turkey and Saudi Arabia over their support of extremist groups in Syria. Hersh joins us to detail his claims and respond to his critics.

US, Russia Announce Syria Chemical Weapons Deal

U.S. Ship Begins Neutralizing Syrian Chemical Weapons

MV Cape Ray Storage Area Tour

MV Cape Ray Disposal Practice

MV Cape Ray FDHS

Published on Jul 2, 2014

As part of the U.N. Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Joint Mission to eliminate chemical materials from the Syrian Arab Republic, the U.S. will destroy approximately 700 metric tons of chemicals aboard the MV Cape Ray. Danish and Norwegian vessels will transport the chemicals to a yet-unnamed Italian port for transfer to the MV Cape Ray. The MV Cape Ray, part of the U.S. Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Fleet, has been retrofitted with two field-deployable hydrolysis systems designed to neutralize the dangerous chemicals before disposal at a commercial facility.

MV Cape Ray’s Bridge

MV Cape Ray Command Post Tour

MV Cape Ray Laboratory Tour

False flag

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“False colors” redirects here. For the imaging technique, see False-color.

This US Douglas A-26 C Invader was painted in fake Cuban Air Force colors for the military invasion of Cuba undertaken by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506 in April 1961.

The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.[1]

Historically, the term “false flag” has its origins in naval warfare where the use of a flag other than the belligerent’s true battle flag before (but not while) engaging the enemy has long been accepted as a permissible ruse de guerre; by contrast, flying a false flag while engaging the enemy constitutes perfidy.[1]

Operations carried out during peace-time by civilian organizations, as well as covert government agencies, can (by extension) also be called false flag operations if they seek to hide the real organization behind an operation.[citation needed]

Use in warfare

In land warfare such operations are generally deemed acceptable in certain circumstances, such as to deceive enemies providing that the deception is not perfidious and all such deceptions are discarded before opening fire upon the enemy. Similarly in naval warfare such a deception is considered permissible provided the false flag is lowered and the true flag raised before engaging in battle:[2]auxiliary cruisers operated in such a fashion in both World Wars, as did Q-ships, while merchant vessels were encouraged to use false flags for protection.

Such masquerades promoted confusion not just of the enemy but of historical accounts: in 1914 the Battle of Trindade was fought between the British auxiliary cruiser RMS Carmania and the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Cap Trafalgar which had been altered to look like Carmania. (Contrary to some possibly mendacious accounts, the RMS Carmania had not been altered to resemble the Cap Trafalgar.)

Another notable example was the World War II German commerce raider Kormoran which surprised and sank the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney in 1941 while disguised as a Dutch merchant ship, causing the greatest recorded loss of life on an Australian warship. While Kormoran was fatally damaged in the engagement and its crew captured the outcome represented a considerable psychological victory for the Germans.[3]

Other examples from WWII included a Kriegsmarineensign in the St Nazaire Raid and captured a German code book: the old destroyer Campbeltown, which the British planned to sacrifice in the operation, was provided with cosmetic modifications that involved cutting the ship’s funnels and chamfering the edges to resemble a German Type 23torpedo boat.

By this ruse the British were able to get within two miles (3 km) of the harbour before the defences responded, where the explosive-rigged Campbeltown and commandos successfully disabled or destroyed the key dock structures of the port.[4][5]

Air warfare

In December 1922–February 1923, Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, drafted by a commission of jurists at the Hague regulates:[6]

Art. 3. A military aircraft must carry an exterior mark indicating its nationality and its military character.
Art. 19. The use of false exterior marks is forbidden.

This draft was never adopted as a legally binding treaty, but the ICRC states in its introduction on the draft that ‘To a great extent, [the draft rules] correspond to the customary rules and general principles underlying treaties on the law of war on land and at sea’,[7] and as such these two non–controversial articles were already part of customary law.[8]

Land warfare

In land warfare, the use of a false flag is similar to that of naval warfare: the trial of Otto Skorzeny, who planned and commanded Operation Greif, by a U.S. military tribunal at the Dachau Trials included a finding that Skorzeny was not guilty of a crime by ordering his men into action in American uniforms. He had relayed to his men the warning of German legal experts: that if they fought in American uniforms, they would be breaking the laws of war; however, they probably were not doing so simply by wearing the American uniforms. During the trial, a number of arguments were advanced to substantiate this position and the German and U.S. military seem to have been in agreement.

In the transcript of the trial,[9] it is mentioned that Paragraph 43 of the Field Manual published by the War Department, United States Army, on 1 October 1940, under the entry Rules of Land Warfare states “National flags, insignias and uniforms as a ruse – in practice it has been authorized to make use of these as a ruse. The foregoing rule (Article 23 of the Annex of the IVth Hague Convention), does not prohibit such use, but does prohibit their improper use. It is certainly forbidden to make use of them during a combat. Before opening fire upon the enemy, they must be discarded’.”

The American Soldiers’ Handbook was also quoted by Defense Counsel: “The use of the enemy flag, insignia, and uniform is permitted under some circumstances. They are not to be used during actual fighting, and if used in order to approach the enemy without drawing fire, should be thrown away or removed as soon as fighting begins.” Subsequently, the outcome of the trial has been codified in the 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Protocol I):

Article 37. – Prohibition of perfidy

1. It is prohibited to kill, injure, or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. The following acts are examples of perfidy:
(a) The feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender;
(b) The feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness;
(c) The feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and
(d) The feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.
2. Ruses of war are not prohibited. Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no rule of international law applicable in armed conflict and which are not perfidious because they do not invite the confidence of an adversary with respect to protection under that law. The following are examples of such ruses: the use of camouflage, decoys, mock operations and disinformation.

Article 38. – Recognized emblems

1. It is prohibited to make improper use of the distinctive emblem of the Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Lion and Sun or of other emblems, signs or signals provided for by the Conventions or by this Protocol. It is also prohibited to misuse deliberately in an armed conflict other internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals, including the flag of truce, and the protective emblem of cultural property.
2. It is prohibited to make use of the distinctive emblem of the United Nations, except as authorized by that Organization.

Article 39. – Emblems of nationality

1. It is prohibited to make use in an armed conflict of the flags or military emblems, insignia or uniforms of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.
2. It is prohibited to make use of the flags or military emblems, insignia or uniforms of adverse Parties while engaging in attacks or in order to shield, favour, protect or impede military operations.
3. Nothing in this Article or in Article 37, paragraph 1 ( d ), shall affect the existing generally recognized rules of international law applicable to espionage or to the use of flags in the conduct of armed conflict at sea.

Cyber warfare

A false flag in the cyber domain is slightly different and easier to perpetrate than in other physical theaters of war. Cyber false flags refer to tactics used in covert cyber attacks by a perpetrator to deceive or misguide attribution attempts including the attacker’s origin, identity, movement, and/or code/exploitation. This misdirection tactic can cause misattribution (permitting response and/or counterattack as a condiciosine qua non under international law) or misperception which can lead to retaliation against the wrong adversary.

Cyber false flags can exist in the cyber domain when:

  1. Weaponized cyber exploits use recycled code/variants from previous attacks;
  2. Exploits are developed to mimic the scope and complexity of other malware;
  3. Exploits are procured rather than developed;
  4. Exploits are executed from new/unknown operator command servers;
  5. Malware calls out to or connects to known operator command servers;
  6. The action or attack is outsourced;
  7. The compromise is socially engineered to misguide investigations towards other operators;
  8. The audit trail or lack thereof conceals actual intent or actions with other exploits designed to mislead investigators.

As pretexts for war

Russo-Swedish War

In 1788, the head tailor at the Royal Swedish Opera received an order to sew a number of Russian military uniforms. These were then used by the Swedes to stage an attack on Puumala, a Swedish outpost on the Russo-Swedish border, on 27 June 1788. This caused an outrage in Stockholm and impressed the Riksdag of the Estates, the Swedish national assembly, who until then had refused to agree to an offensive war against Russia. The Puumala incident allowed King Gustav III of Sweden, who lacked the constitutional authority to initiate unprovoked hostilities without the Estates’ consent, to launch the Russo-Swedish War (1788–1790).[10]

Second Sino-Japanese War

Japanese experts inspect the scene of the ‘railway sabotage’ on South Manchurian Railway

In September 1931, Japanese officers fabricated a pretext for invading Manchuria by blowing up a section of railway. Though the explosion was too weak to disrupt operations on the rail line, the Japanese nevertheless used this Mukden incident to seize Manchuria and create a puppet government for what they termed the “independent” state of Manchukuo.[11]

World War II

Gleiwitz incident

Alfred Naujocks

The Gleiwitz incident in 1939 involved Reinhard Heydrich fabricating evidence of a Polish attack against Germany to mobilize German public opinion for war and to justify the war with Poland. Alfred Naujocks was a key organiser of the operation under orders from Heydrich. It led to the deaths of Nazi concentration camp victims who were dressed as German soldiers and then shot by the Gestapo to make it seem that they had been shot by Polish soldiers. This, along with other false flag operations in Operation Himmler, would be used to mobilize support from the German population for the start of World War II in Europe.[12]

The operation failed to convince international public opinion of the German claims, and both Britain and France—Poland’s allies—declared war two days after Germany invaded Poland.[13]

Winter War

On November 26, 1939, the Soviet armyshelled Mainila, a Russian village near the Finnish border. Soviet authorities blamed Finland for the attack and used the incident as a pretext to invade Finland, starting the Winter War, four days later.[14]

Cuban Revolution

Operation Northwoods

Operation Northwoods memorandum (13 March 1962)[15]

The proposed, but never executed, 1962 Operation Northwoods plot by the U.S. Department of Defense for a war with Cuba involved scenarios such as fabricating the hijacking or shooting down of passenger and military planes, sinking a U.S. ship in the vicinity of Cuba, burning crops, sinking a boat filled with Cuban refugees, attacks by alleged Cuban infiltrators inside the United States, and harassment of U.S. aircraft and shipping and the destruction of aerial drones by aircraft disguised as Cuban MiGs.[16] These actions would be blamed on Cuba, and would be a pretext for an invasion of Cuba and the overthrow of Fidel Castro‘s communist government. It was authored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy. The surprise discovery of the documents relating to Operation Northwoods was a result of the comprehensive search for records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by the Assassination Records Review Board in the mid-1990s.[17] Information about Operation Northwoods was later publicized by James Bamford.[18]

As a tactic to undermine political opponents

Reichstag fire

Main article: Reichstag fire

The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The fire started in the Session Chamber,[19] and, by the time the police and firemen arrived, the main Chamber of Deputies was engulfed in flames. Police searched the building and found Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutchcouncil communist and unemployed bricklayer, who had recently arrived in Germany to carry out political activities.[citation needed]

The fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Van der Lubbe and four Communist leaders were subsequently arrested. Adolf Hitler, who was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany four weeks before, on 30 January, urged President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the “ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany“.[20] With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates. With their bitter rival Communists gone and their seats empty, the National Socialist German Workers Party went from being a plurality party to the majority; subsequent elections confirmed this position and thus allowed Hitler to consolidate his power.[citation needed]

Historians disagree as to whether Van der Lubbe acted alone, as he said, to protest the condition of the German working class, or whether the arson was planned and ordered by the Nazis, then dominant in the government themselves, as a false flag operation.[21][22]

Project TP-Ajax

On 4 April 1953, the CIA was ordered to undermine the government of Iran over a four-month period, as a precursor to overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.[23] One tactic used to undermine Mosaddegh was to carry out false flag attacks “on mosques and key public figures”, to be blamed on Iranian communists loyal to the government.[23]

The CIA project was code-named TP-Ajax, and the tactic of a “directed campaign of bombings by Iranians posing as members of the Communist party”,[24] involved the bombing of “at least” one well known Muslim’s house by CIA agents posing as Communists.[24] The CIA determined that the tactic of false flag attacks added to the “positive outcome” of Project TPAJAX.[23]

However, as “the C.I.A. burned nearly all of its files on its role in the 1953 coup in Iran”, the true extent of the tactic has been difficult for historians to discern.[25]

Pseudo-operations

Pseudo-operations are those in which forces of one power disguise themselves as enemy forces. For example, a state power may disguise teams of operatives as insurgents and, with the aid of defectors, infiltrate insurgent areas.[26] The aim of such pseudo-operations may be to gather short or long-term intelligence or to engage in active operations, in particularassassinations of important enemies. However, they usually involve both, as the risks of exposure rapidly increase with time and intelligence gathering eventually leads to violent confrontation. Pseudo-operations may be directed by military or police forces, or both. Police forces are usually best suited to intelligence tasks; however, military provide the structure needed to back up such pseudo-ops with military response forces. According to US military expert Lawrence Cline (2005), “the teams typically have been controlled by police services, but this largely was due to the weaknesses in the respective military intelligence systems.”[citation needed]

Charlemagne Péralte of Haiti was assassinated in 1919, after checkpoints were passed by military disguised as guerrilla fighters.

The State Political Directorate (OGPU) of the Soviet Union set up such an operation from 1921 to 1926. During Operation Trust, they used loose networks of White Army supporters and extended them, creating the pseudo-“Monarchist Union of Central Russia” (MUCR) in order to help the OGPU identify real monarchists and anti-Bolsheviks.[citation needed]

An example of a successful assassination was United States MarineSergeantHerman H. Hanneken leading a patrol of his HaitianGendarmerie disguised as enemy guerrillas in 1919. The Patrol successfully passed several enemy checkpoints in order to assassinate the guerilla leader Charlemagne Péralte near Grande-Rivière-du-Nord. Hanneken was awarded the Medal of Honor and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant for his deed.[citation needed]

During the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s, captured Mau Mau members who switched sides and specially trained British troops initiated the pseudo-gang concept to successfully counter Mau Mau. In 1960 Frank Kitson, (who was later involved in the Northern Irish conflict and is now a retired British General), published Gangs and Counter-gangs, an account of his experiences with the technique in Kenya; information included how to counter gangs and measures of deception, including the use of defectors, which brought the issue a wider audience.[citation needed]

Another example of combined police and military oversight of pseudo-operations include the Selous Scouts in the former country Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), governed by white minority rule until 1980. The Selous Scouts were formed at the beginning of Operation Hurricane, in November 1973, by Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Ronald Reid-Daly. As with all Special Forces in Rhodesia, by 1977 they were controlled by COMOPS (Commander, Combined Operations) Commander Lieutenant General Peter Walls. The Selous Scouts were originally composed of 120 members, with all officers being white and the highest rank initially available for black soldiers being colour sergeant. They succeeded in turning approximately 800 insurgents who were then paid by Special Branch, ultimately reaching the number of 1,500 members. Engaging mainly in long-range reconnaissance and surveillance missions, they increasingly turned to offensive actions, including the attempted assassination of Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army leader Joshua Nkomo in Zambia. This mission was finally aborted by the Selous Scouts, and attempted again, unsuccessfully, by the Rhodesian Special Air Service.[27]

Some offensive operations attracted international condemnation, in particular the Selous Scouts’ raid on a Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) camp at Nyadzonya Pungwe, Mozambique in August 1976. ZANLA was then led by Josiah Tongogara. Using Rhodesian trucks and armored cars disguised as Mozambique military vehicles, 84 scouts killed 1,284 people in the camp-the camp was registered as a refugee camp by the United Nations (UN). Even according to Reid-Daly, most of those killed were unarmed guerrillas standing in formation for a parade. The camp hospital was also set ablaze by the rounds fired by the Scouts, killing all patients.[28] According to David Martin and Phyllis Johnson, who visited the camp shortly before the raid, it was only a refugee camp that did not host any guerrillas. It was staged for UN approval.[29]

According to a 1978 study by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, 68% of all insurgent deaths inside Rhodesia could be attributed to the Selous Scouts, who were disbanded in 1980.[30]

If the action is a police action, then these tactics would fall within the laws of the state initiating the pseudo, but if such actions are taken in a civil war or during a belligerent military occupation then those who participate in such actions would not be privileged belligerents. The principle of plausible deniability is usually applied for pseudo-teams. (See the above section Laws of war). Some false flag operations have been described by Lawrence E. Cline, a retired US Army intelligence officer, as pseudo-operations, or “the use of organized teams which are disguised as guerrilla groups for long- or short-term penetration of insurgent-controlled areas.”[citation needed]

Pseudo Operations should be distinguished, notes Cline, from the more common police or intelligence infiltration of guerrilla or criminal organizations. In the latter case, infiltration is normally done by individuals. Pseudo teams, on the other hand, are formed as needed from organized units, usually military or paramilitary. The use of pseudo teams has been a hallmark of a number of foreign counterinsurgency campaigns.”[26]

Similar false flag tactics were also employed during the Algerian civil war, starting in the middle of 1994. Death squads composed of Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS) security forces disguised themselves as Islamist terrorists and committed false flag terror attacks. Such groups included the Organisation of Young Free Algerians (OJAL) or the Secret Organisation for the Safeguard of the Algerian Republic (OSSRA)[31] According to Roger Faligot and Pascal Kropp (1999), the OJAL was reminiscent of “the Organization of the French Algerian Resistance (ORAF), a group of counter-terrorists created in December 1956 by the Direction de la surveillance du territoire (Territorial Surveillance Directorate, or DST) whose mission was to carry out terrorist attacks with the aim of quashing any hopes of political compromise”.[32]

Espionage

Main article: False flag penetrator

In espionage the term “false flag” describes the recruiting of agents by operatives posing as representatives of a cause the prospective agents are sympathetic to, or even the agents’ own government. For example, during the Cold War, several female West German civil servants were tricked into stealing classified documents by agents of the East GermanStasi intelligence service, pretending to be members of West German peace advocacy groups (the Stasi agents were also described as “Romeos,” indicating that they also used their sex appeal to manipulate their targets, making this operation a combination of the false flag and “honey trap” techniques).[33]

The technique can also be used to expose enemy agents in one’s own service, by having someone approach the suspect and pose as an agent of the enemy. Earl Edwin Pitts, a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and an attorney, was caught when he was approached by FBI agents posing as Russian agents.[citation needed]

British intelligence officials in World War II allowed double agents to fire-bomb a power station and a food dump in the UK to protect their cover, according to declassified documents. The documents stated the agents took precautions to ensure they did not cause serious damage. One of the documents released also stated: “It should be recognised that friends as well as enemies must be completely deceived.”[34]

Civilian usage

While false flag operations originate in warfare and government, they also can occur in civilian settings among certain factions, such as businesses, special interest groups, religions, political ideologies and campaigns for office.[citation needed]

Businesses

In business and marketing, similar operations are being employed in some public relations campaigns (see Astroturfing). Telemarketing firms practice false flag type behavior when they pretend to be a market research firm (referred to as “sugging“). In some rare cases, members of an unsuccessful business will destroy some of their own property to conceal an unrelated crime (e.g., safety violations, embezzlement) but make it appear as though the destruction was done by a rival company.[citation needed]

Political campaigning

Political campaigning has a long history of this tactic in various forms, including in person, print media and electronically in recent years. This can involve when supporters of one candidate pose as supporters of another, or act as “straw men” for their preferred candidate to debate against. This can happen with or without the candidate’s knowledge. The Canuck letter is an example of one candidate creating a false document and attributing it as coming from another candidate in order to discredit that candidate.[citation needed]

In the final days of Florida’s 1994 gubernatorial campaign, Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles ran a false flag operation that paid for tens of thousands of calls to elderly voters using false organization names. The calls purported to be from Republican groups and told voters that Jeb Bush was against Social Security and seniors. Chiles denied his campaign was behind the calls. After winning re-election and facing an investigation, Chiles admitted the truth in November 1995.[35]

In 2006, individuals practicing false flag behavior were discovered and “outed” in New Hampshire[36][37] and New Jersey[38] after blog comments claiming to be from supporters of a political candidate were traced to the IP address of paid staffers for that candidate’s opponent.

On 19 February 2011, Indiana Deputy Prosecutor Carlos Lam sent a private email to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suggesting that he run a “‘false flag’ operation” to counter the protests against Walker’s proposed restrictions on public employees’ collective bargaining rights:

If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions … Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.[39][40]

The press had acquired a court order to access all of Walker’s emails and Lam’s email was exposed. At first, Lam vehemently denied it, but eventually admitted it and resigned.[40]

Ideological

A bomb threat forged by Scientology operatives.

Proponents of political or religious ideologies will sometimes use false flag tactics. This can be done to discredit or implicate rival groups, create the appearance of enemies when none exist, or create the illusion of organized and directed persecution. This can be used to gain attention and sympathy from outsiders, in particular the media, or to convince others within the group that their beliefs are under attack and in need of protection.

In retaliation for writing The Scandal of Scientology, some members of the Church of Scientology stole stationery from author Paulette Cooper‘s home and then used that stationery to forge bomb threats and have them mailed to a Scientology office. The Guardian’s Office also had a plan for further operations to discredit Cooper known as Operation Freakout, but several Scientology operatives were arrested in a separate investigation and the plan was exposed.[41]

See also

Concepts

Examples

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag

42 FALSE-FLAG ATTACKS OFFICIALY ADMITTED TO

Mirrored from Washington’s Blog (due to their server being swamped)

Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror

In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.

(6) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this, this and this).

(7) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).

(8) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950’s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.

(9) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.

(10) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.

(11) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries.

False flag attacks carried out pursuant to this program include – by way of example only:

(12) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]”.

(13) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(14) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(15) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(16) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(17) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.

(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(19) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”.

(20) A declassified 1973 CIA document reveals a program to train foreign police and troops on how to make booby traps, pretending that they were training them on how to investigate terrorist acts:

The Agency maintains liaison in varying degrees with foreign police/security organizations through its field stations ….

[CIA provides training sessions as follows:]

a. Providing trainees with basic knowledge in the uses of commercial and military demolitions and incendiaries as they may be applied in terrorism and industrial sabotage operations.

b. Introducing the trainees to commercially available materials and home laboratory techniques, likely to he used in the manufacture of explosives and incendiaries by terrorists or saboteurs.

c. Familiarizing the trainees with the concept of target analysis and operational planning that a saboteur or terrorist must employ.

d. Introducing the trainees to booby trapping devices and techniques giving practical experience with both manufactured and improvised devices through actual fabrication.

***

The program provides the trainees with ample opportunity to develop basic familiarity and use proficiently through handling, preparing and applying the various explosive charges, incendiary agents, terrorist devices and sabotage techniques.

(21) The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.

(22) A Mossad agent admits that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

(23) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing.

(24) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author).

(25) The United States Army’s 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces – updated in 2004 – recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA’s “Dirty Wars“. And see this.

(26) Similarly, a CIA “psychological operations” manual prepared by a CIA contractor for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels noted the value of assassinating someone on your own side to create a “martyr” for the cause. The manual was authenticated by the U.S. government. The manual received so much publicity from Associated Press, Washington Post and other news coverage that – during the 1984 presidential debate – President Reagan was confronted with the following question on national television:

At this moment, we are confronted with the extraordinary story of a CIA guerrilla manual for the anti-Sandinista contras whom we are backing, which advocates not only assassinations of Sandinistas but the hiring of criminals to assassinate the guerrillas we are supporting in order to create martyrs.

(27) An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked“.

(28) Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).

(29) As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”.

(30)  At the July 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, black-clad thugs were videotaped getting out of police cars, and were seen by an Italian MP carrying “iron bars inside the police station”.  Subsequently, senior police officials in Genoa subsequently  admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer at the G8 Summit, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(31) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government; but such a claim is beyond the scope of this discussion. The key point is that the U.S. falsely blamed it on Iraq, when it knew Iraq had nothing to do with it.).

(32) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country.

(33) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

(34) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(35) Police outside of a 2003 European Union summit in Greece were filmed planting Molotov cocktails on a peaceful protester

(36) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launchfake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

(37) Similarly, in 2005, Professor John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School – a renowned US defense analyst credited with developing the concept of ‘netwar’ – called for western intelligence services to create new “pseudo gang” terrorist groups, as a way of undermining “real” terror networks. According to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, Arquilla’s ‘pseudo-gang’ strategy was, Hersh reported, already being implemented by the Pentagon:

“Under Rumsfeld’s new approach, I was told, US military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists

The new rules will enable the Special Forces community to set up what it calls ‘action teams’ in the target countries overseas which can be used to find and eliminate terrorist organizations. ‘Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?’ the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. ‘We founded them and we financed them,’ he said. ‘The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren’t going to tell Congress about it.’ A former military officer, who has knowledge of the Pentagon’s commando capabilities, said, ‘We’re going to be riding with the bad boys.'”

(38) United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

(39) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

(40) Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).

(41) A 2008 US Army special operations field manual recommends that the U.S. military use surrogate non-state groups such as “paramilitary forces, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistant or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political ‘undesirables.'” The manual specifically acknowledged that U.S. special operations can involve both counterterrorism and “Terrorism” (as well as “transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms-dealing, and illegal financial transactions.”)

(42)  The former head of Secret Services and Head of State of Italy (Francesco Cossiga) advised the 2008 minister in charge of the police, on how to deal with protests from teachers and students:

He should do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior … infiltrate the movement with agents provocateurs inclined to do anything …. And after that, with the strength of the gained population consent,  … beat them for blood and beat for blood also those teachers that incite them. Especially the teachers. Not the elderly, of course, but the girl teachers yes.

(43) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

(44) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(45) Rioters who discredited the peaceful protests against the swearing in of the Mexican president in 2012 admitted that they were paid 300 pesos each to destroy everything in their path. According to Wikipedia, photos also show the vandals waiting in groups behind police lines prior to the violence.

(46) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.

(47) On November 20, 2014, Mexican agent provocateurs were transported by army vehicles to participate in the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping protests, as was shown by videos and pictures distributed via social networks.

(48) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.

(49) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(50) The Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others. Ukrainian officials admit that the Ukrainian snipers fired on both sides, to create maximum chaos.

(51) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.

(52) U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants

(53) Similarly, police frame innocent people for crimes they didn’t commit. The practice is so well-known that the New York Times noted in 1981:

In police jargon, a throwdown is a weapon planted on a victim.

Newsweek reported in 1999:

Perez, himself a former [Los Angeles Police Department] cop, was caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from police evidence lockers. After pleading guilty in September, he bargained for a lighter sentence by telling an appalling story of attempted murder and a “throwdown”-police slang for a weapon planted by cops to make a shooting legally justifiable. Perez said he and his partner, Officer Nino Durden, shot an unarmed 18th Street Gang member named Javier Ovando, then planted a semiautomatic rifle on the unconscious suspect and claimed that Ovando had tried to shoot them during a stakeout.

Wikipedia notes:

As part of his plea bargain, Perez implicated scores of officers from the Rampart Division’s anti-gang unit, describing routinely beating gang members, planting evidence on suspects, falsifying reports and covering up unprovoked shootings.

(As a side note – and while not technically false flag attacks – police have been busted framing innocent people in many other ways, as well.)

(54) A former U.S. intelligence officer recently alleged:

Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.

(55) The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by the CIA and FBI as false flags.  Similarly, the director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said:

By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ’78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here).

(56) Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the “benefits” of of false flags to justify their political agenda:

Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin

Postscript: Private parties – such as NBC News, as well as Muslims, Jews, Scientologists, African-Americans and Neo-Nazis – play this game as well.

www.whatreallyhappened.comhttp://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/42falseflags.php#ixzz4dVI2Q7La

The Red Line and the Rat Line

Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels

In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.

Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack.

For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’

The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’. (According to a Defense Department consultant, US intelligence has long known that al-Qaida experimented with chemical weapons, and has a video of one of its gas experiments with dogs.) The DIA paper went on: ‘Previous IC [intelligence community] focus had been almost entirely on Syrian CW [chemical weapons] stockpiles; now we see ANF attempting to make its own CW … Al-Nusrah Front’s relative freedom of operation within Syria leads us to assess the group’s CW aspirations will be difficult to disrupt in the future.’ The paper drew on classified intelligence from numerous agencies: ‘Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators,’ it said, ‘were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria.’ (Asked about the DIA paper, a spokesperson for the director of national intelligence said: ‘No such paper was ever requested or produced by intelligence community analysts.’)

Last May, more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms of sarin. In a 130-page indictment the group was accused of attempting to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars, and chemical precursors for sarin. Five of those arrested were freed after a brief detention. The others, including the ringleader, Haytham Qassab, for whom the prosecutor requested a prison sentence of 25 years, were released pending trial. In the meantime the Turkish press has been rife with speculation that the Erdoğan administration has been covering up the extent of its involvement with the rebels. In a news conference last summer, Aydin Sezgin, Turkey’s ambassador to Moscow, dismissed the arrests and claimed to reporters that the recovered ‘sarin’ was merely ‘anti-freeze’.

The DIA paper took the arrests as evidence that al-Nusra was expanding its access to chemical weapons. It said Qassab had ‘self-identified’ as a member of al-Nusra, and that he was directly connected to Abd-al-Ghani, the ‘ANF emir for military manufacturing’. Qassab and his associate Khalid Ousta worked with Halit Unalkaya, an employee of a Turkish firm called Zirve Export, who provided ‘price quotes for bulk quantities of sarin precursors’. Abd-al-Ghani’s plan was for two associates to ‘perfect a process for making sarin, then go to Syria to train others to begin large scale production at an unidentified lab in Syria’. The DIA paper said that one of his operatives had purchased a precursor on the ‘Baghdad chemical market’, which ‘has supported at least seven CW efforts since 2004’.

A series of chemical weapon attacks in March and April 2013 was investigated over the next few months by a special UN mission to Syria. A person with close knowledge of the UN’s activity in Syria told me that there was evidence linking the Syrian opposition to the first gas attack, on 19 March in Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo. In its final report in December, the mission said that at least 19 civilians and one Syrian soldier were among the fatalities, along with scores of injured. It had no mandate to assign responsibility for the attack, but the person with knowledge of the UN’s activities said: ‘Investigators interviewed the people who were there, including the doctors who treated the victims. It was clear that the rebels used the gas. It did not come out in public because no one wanted to know.’

In the months before the attacks began, a former senior Defense Department official told me, the DIA was circulating a daily classified report known as SYRUP on all intelligence related to the Syrian conflict, including material on chemical weapons. But in the spring, distribution of the part of the report concerning chemical weapons was severely curtailed on the orders of Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff. ‘Something was in there that triggered a shit fit by McDonough,’ the former Defense Department official said. ‘One day it was a huge deal, and then, after the March and April sarin attacks’ – he snapped his fingers – ‘it’s no longer there.’ The decision to restrict distribution was made as the joint chiefs ordered intensive contingency planning for a possible ground invasion of Syria whose primary objective would be the elimination of chemical weapons.

In the aftermath of the 21 August attack Obama ordered the Pentagon to draw up targets for bombing. Early in the process, the former intelligence official said, ‘the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently “painful” to the Assad regime.’ The original targets included only military sites and nothing by way of civilian infrastructure. Under White House pressure, the US attack plan evolved into ‘a monster strike’: two wings of B-52 bombers were shifted to airbases close to Syria, and navy submarines and ships equipped with Tomahawk missiles were deployed. ‘Every day the target list was getting longer,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The Pentagon planners said we can’t use only Tomahawks to strike at Syria’s missile sites because their warheads are buried too far below ground, so the two B-52 air wings with two-thousand pound bombs were assigned to the mission. Then we’ll need standby search-and-rescue teams to recover downed pilots and drones for target selection. It became huge.’ The new target list was meant to ‘completely eradicate any military capabilities Assad had’, the former intelligence official said. The core targets included electric power grids, oil and gas depots, all known logistic and weapons depots, all known command and control facilities, and all known military and intelligence buildings.

Britain and France were both to play a part. On 29 August, the day Parliament voted against Cameron’s bid to join the intervention, the Guardian reported that he had already ordered six RAF Typhoon fighter jets to be deployed to Cyprus, and had volunteered a submarine capable of launching Tomahawk missiles. The French air force – a crucial player in the 2011 strikes on Libya – was deeply committed, according to an account in Le Nouvel Observateur; François Hollande had ordered several Rafale fighter-bombers to join the American assault. Their targets were reported to be in western Syria.

By the last days of August the president had given the Joint Chiefs a fixed deadline for the launch. ‘H hour was to begin no later than Monday morning [2 September], a massive assault to neutralise Assad,’ the former intelligence official said. So it was a surprise to many when during a speech in the White House Rose Garden on 31 August Obama said that the attack would be put on hold, and he would turn to Congress and put it to a vote.

At this stage, Obama’s premise – that only the Syrian army was capable of deploying sarin – was unravelling. Within a few days of the 21 August attack, the former intelligence official told me, Russian military intelligence operatives had recovered samples of the chemical agent from Ghouta. They analysed it and passed it on to British military intelligence; this was the material sent to Porton Down. (A spokesperson for Porton Down said: ‘Many of the samples analysed in the UK tested positive for the nerve agent sarin.’ MI6 said that it doesn’t comment on intelligence matters.)

The former intelligence official said the Russian who delivered the sample to the UK was ‘a good source – someone with access, knowledge and a record of being trustworthy’. After the first reported uses of chemical weapons in Syria last year, American and allied intelligence agencies ‘made an effort to find the answer as to what if anything, was used – and its source’, the former intelligence official said. ‘We use data exchanged as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The DIA’s baseline consisted of knowing the composition of each batch of Soviet-manufactured chemical weapons. But we didn’t know which batches the Assad government currently had in its arsenal. Within days of the Damascus incident we asked a source in the Syrian government to give us a list of the batches the government currently had. This is why we could confirm the difference so quickly.’

The process hadn’t worked as smoothly in the spring, the former intelligence official said, because the studies done by Western intelligence ‘were inconclusive as to the type of gas it was. The word “sarin” didn’t come up. There was a great deal of discussion about this, but since no one could conclude what gas it was, you could not say that Assad had crossed the president’s red line.’ By 21 August, the former intelligence official went on, ‘the Syrian opposition clearly had learned from this and announced that “sarin” from the Syrian army had been used, before any analysis could be made, and the press and White House jumped at it. Since it now was sarin, “It had to be Assad.”’

The UK defence staff who relayed the Porton Down findings to the joint chiefs were sending the Americans a message, the former intelligence official said: ‘We’re being set up here.’ (This account made sense of a terse message a senior official in the CIA sent in late August: ‘It was not the result of the current regime. UK & US know this.’) By then the attack was a few days away and American, British and French planes, ships and submarines were at the ready.

The officer ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of the attack was General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs. From the beginning of the crisis, the former intelligence official said, the joint chiefs had been sceptical of the administration’s argument that it had the facts to back up its belief in Assad’s guilt. They pressed the DIA and other agencies for more substantial evidence. ‘There was no way they thought Syria would use nerve gas at that stage, because Assad was winning the war,’ the former intelligence official said. Dempsey had irritated many in the Obama administration by repeatedly warning Congress over the summer of the danger of American military involvement in Syria. Last April, after an optimistic assessment of rebel progress by the secretary of state, John Kerry, in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘there’s a risk that this conflict has become stalemated.’

Dempsey’s initial view after 21 August was that a US strike on Syria – under the assumption that the Assad government was responsible for the sarin attack – would be a military blunder, the former intelligence official said. The Porton Down report caused the joint chiefs to go to the president with a more serious worry: that the attack sought by the White House would be an unjustified act of aggression. It was the joint chiefs who led Obama to change course. The official White House explanation for the turnabout – the story the press corps told – was that the president, during a walk in the Rose Garden with Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, suddenly decided to seek approval for the strike from a bitterly divided Congress with which he’d been in conflict for years. The former Defense Department official told me that the White House provided a different explanation to members of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon: the bombing had been called off because there was intelligence ‘that the Middle East would go up in smoke’ if it was carried out.

The president’s decision to go to Congress was initially seen by senior aides in the White House, the former intelligence official said, as a replay of George W. Bush’s gambit in the autumn of 2002 before the invasion of Iraq: ‘When it became clear that there were no WMD in Iraq, Congress, which had endorsed the Iraqi war, and the White House both shared the blame and repeatedly cited faulty intelligence. If the current Congress were to vote to endorse the strike, the White House could again have it both ways – wallop Syria with a massive attack and validate the president’s red line commitment, while also being able to share the blame with Congress if it came out that the Syrian military wasn’t behind the attack.’ The turnabout came as a surprise even to the Democratic leadership in Congress. In September the Wall Street Journal reported that three days before his Rose Garden speech Obama had telephoned Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, ‘to talk through the options’. She later told colleagues, according to the Journal, that she hadn’t asked the president to put the bombing to a congressional vote.

bama’s move for congressional approval quickly became a dead end. ‘Congress was not going to let this go by,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Congress made it known that, unlike the authorisation for the Iraq war, there would be substantive hearings.’ At this point, there was a sense of desperation in the White House, the former intelligence official said. ‘And so out comes Plan B. Call off the bombing strike and Assad would agree to unilaterally sign the chemical warfare treaty and agree to the destruction of all of chemical weapons under UN supervision.’ At a press conference in London on 9 September, Kerry was still talking about intervention: ‘The risk of not acting is greater than the risk of acting.’ But when a reporter asked if there was anything Assad could do to stop the bombing, Kerry said: ‘Sure. He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week … But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.’ As the New York Times reported the next day, the Russian-brokered deal that emerged shortly afterwards had first been discussed by Obama and Putin in the summer of 2012. Although the strike plans were shelved, the administration didn’t change its public assessment of the justification for going to war. ‘There is zero tolerance at that level for the existence of error,’ the former intelligence official said of the senior officials in the White House. ‘They could not afford to say: “We were wrong.”’ (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The Assad regime, and only the Assad regime, could have been responsible for the chemical weapons attack that took place on 21 August.’)

*The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter. ‘The Obama administration,’ Warrick wrote, ‘has steadfastly opposed arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down commercial aircraft.’ Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that the rebels’ possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control.

By the end of 2012, it was believed throughout the American intelligence community that the rebels were losing the war. ‘Erdoğan was pissed,’ the former intelligence official said, ‘and felt he was left hanging on the vine. It was his money and the cut-off was seen as a betrayal.’ In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability. ‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line. But Obama didn’t respond in March and April.’

There was no public sign of discord when Erdoğan and Obama met on 16 May 2013 at the White House. At a later press conference Obama said that they had agreed that Assad ‘needs to go’. Asked whether he thought Syria had crossed the red line, Obama acknowledged that there was evidence such weapons had been used, but added, ‘it is important for us to make sure that we’re able to get more specific information about what exactly is happening there.’ The red line was still intact.

The foreign policy expert told me that the account he heard originated with Donilon. (It was later corroborated by a former US official, who learned of it from a senior Turkish diplomat.) According to the expert, Erdoğan had sought the meeting to demonstrate to Obama that the red line had been crossed, and had brought Fidan along to state the case. When Erdoğan tried to draw Fidan into the conversation, and Fidan began speaking, Obama cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ Erdoğan tried to bring Fidan in a second time, and Obama again cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ At that point, an exasperated Erdoğan said, ‘But your red line has been crossed!’ and, the expert told me, ‘Donilon said Erdoğan “fucking waved his finger at the president inside the White House”.’ Obama then pointed at Fidan and said: ‘We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria.’ (Donilon, who joined the Council on Foreign Relations last July, didn’t respond to questions about this story. The Turkish Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to questions about the dinner. A spokesperson for the National Security Council confirmed that the dinner took place and provided a photograph showing Obama, Kerry, Donilon, Erdoğan, Fidan and Davutoğlu sitting at a table. ‘Beyond that,’ she said, ‘I’m not going to read out the details of their discussions.’)

But Erdoğan did not leave empty handed. Obama was still permitting Turkey to continue to exploit a loophole in a presidential executive order prohibiting the export of gold to Iran, part of the US sanctions regime against the country. In March 2012, responding to sanctions of Iranian banks by the EU, the SWIFT electronic payment system, which facilitates cross-border payments, expelled dozens of Iranian financial institutions, severely restricting the country’s ability to conduct international trade. The US followed with the executive order in July, but left what came to be known as a ‘golden loophole’: gold shipments to private Iranian entities could continue. Turkey is a major purchaser of Iranian oil and gas, and it took advantage of the loophole by depositing its energy payments in Turkish lira in an Iranian account in Turkey; these funds were then used to purchase Turkish gold for export to confederates in Iran. Gold to the value of $13 billion reportedly entered Iran in this way between March 2012 and July 2013.

The programme quickly became a cash cow for corrupt politicians and traders in Turkey, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. ‘The middlemen did what they always do,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Take 15 per cent. The CIA had estimated that there was as much as two billion dollars in skim. Gold and Turkish lira were sticking to fingers.’ The illicit skimming flared into a public ‘gas for gold’ scandal in Turkey in December, and resulted in charges against two dozen people, including prominent businessmen and relatives of government officials, as well as the resignations of three ministers, one of whom called for Erdoğan to resign. The chief executive of a Turkish state-controlled bank that was in the middle of the scandal insisted that more than $4.5 million in cash found by police in shoeboxes during a search of his home was for charitable donations.

Late last year Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz reported in Foreign Policy that the Obama administration closed the golden loophole in January 2013, but ‘lobbied to make sure the legislation … did not take effect for six months’. They speculated that the administration wanted to use the delay as an incentive to bring Iran to the bargaining table over its nuclear programme, or to placate its Turkish ally in the Syrian civil war. The delay permitted Iran to ‘accrue billions of dollars more in gold, further undermining the sanctions regime’.*

The American decision to end CIA support of the weapons shipments into Syria left Erdoğan exposed politically and militarily. ‘One of the issues at that May summit was the fact that Turkey is the only avenue to supply the rebels in Syria,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘It can’t come through Jordan because the terrain in the south is wide open and the Syrians are all over it. And it can’t come through the valleys and hills of Lebanon – you can’t be sure who you’d meet on the other side.’ Without US military support for the rebels, the former intelligence official said, ‘Erdoğan’s dream of having a client state in Syria is evaporating and he thinks we’re the reason why. When Syria wins the war, he knows the rebels are just as likely to turn on him – where else can they go? So now he will have thousands of radicals in his backyard.’

A US intelligence consultant told me that a few weeks before 21 August he saw a highly classified briefing prepared for Dempsey and the defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, which described ‘the acute anxiety’ of the Erdoğan administration about the rebels’ dwindling prospects. The analysis warned that the Turkish leadership had expressed ‘the need to do something that would precipitate a US military response’. By late summer, the Syrian army still had the advantage over the rebels, the former intelligence official said, and only American air power could turn the tide. In the autumn, the former intelligence official went on, the US intelligence analysts who kept working on the events of 21 August ‘sensed that Syria had not done the gas attack. But the 500 pound gorilla was, how did it happen? The immediate suspect was the Turks, because they had all the pieces to make it happen.’

As intercepts and other data related to the 21 August attacks were gathered, the intelligence community saw evidence to support its suspicions. ‘We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors’ – who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas – ‘were there. The deal was to do something spectacular. Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey – that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.’ Much of the support for that assessment came from the Turks themselves, via intercepted conversations in the immediate aftermath of the attack. ‘Principal evidence came from the Turkish post-attack joy and back-slapping in numerous intercepts. Operations are always so super-secret in the planning but that all flies out the window when it comes to crowing afterwards. There is no greater vulnerability than in the perpetrators claiming credit for success.’ Erdoğan’s problems in Syria would soon be over: ‘Off goes the gas and Obama will say red line and America is going to attack Syria, or at least that was the idea. But it did not work out that way.’

The post-attack intelligence on Turkey did not make its way to the White House. ‘Nobody wants to talk about all this,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘There is great reluctance to contradict the president, although no all-source intelligence community analysis supported his leap to convict. There has not been one single piece of additional evidence of Syrian involvement in the sarin attack produced by the White House since the bombing raid was called off. My government can’t say anything because we have acted so irresponsibly. And since we blamed Assad, we can’t go back and blame Erdoğan.’

Barring a major change in policy by Obama, Turkey’s meddling in the Syrian civil war is likely to go on. ‘I asked my colleagues if there was any way to stop Erdoğan’s continued support for the rebels, especially now that it’s going so wrong,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The answer was: “We’re screwed.” We could go public if it was somebody other than Erdoğan, but Turkey is a special case. They’re a Nato ally. The Turks don’t trust the West. They can’t live with us if we take any active role against Turkish interests. If we went public with what we know about Erdoğan’s role with the gas, it’d be disastrous. The Turks would say: “We hate you for telling us what we can and can’t do.”’

4 April

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

Ghouta chemical attack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ghouta chemical attack
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Ghouta massacre1.JPG

Some of the victims of the Ghouta chemical attack
Location Ghouta, Syria
Coordinates Eastern Ghouta: within 750 meters (2,460 ft) from[1]
33.5238301°N 36.3566995°E
Western Ghouta: within 500 meters (1,600 ft) from[1]
33.4602966°N 36.1972287°E
Date 21 August 2013[2]
Attack type
Chemical attack
Deaths Various estimates:
at least 281 (French intelligence)[3]
at least 350 (UK intelligence)[4]
355 (MSF)[5]
494 (Damascus Media Office)[6]
502 (SOHR)[7]
635 (SRGC)[8]
923 (VDC)[9]
1,300 (SNC)[10]
1,338 (LCC)[11]
1,429 (United States)[12][13]
1,729 (FSA)[14]
Non-fatal injuries
3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms in 3 hospitals supported by MSF[5]
Perpetrators Unknown

The Ghouta chemical attack occurred in Ghouta, Syria, during the Syrian Civil War in the early hours of 21 August 2013. Two opposition-controlled areas in the suburbs around Damascus, Syria were struck by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin. Estimates of the death toll range from at least 281 people[3] to 1,729.[14] The attack was the deadliest use of chemical weapons since the Iran–Iraq War.[15][16][17]

Inspectors from the United Nations Mission already in Syria to investigate an earlier alleged chemical weapons attack,[18](p6)[19] requested access to sites in Ghouta the day after the attack,[20][21][22][22][23][24] and called for a ceasefire to allow inspectors to visit the Ghouta sites.[20] The Syrian government granted the UN’s request on 25 August,[25][26][27] and inspectors visited and investigated Moadamiyah in Western Ghouta the next day, and Zamalka and Ein Tarma in Eastern Ghouta on 28 and 29 August.[18](p6)[28][29]

The UN investigation team confirmed “clear and convincing evidence” of the use of sarin delivered by surface-to-surface rockets,[18][30] and a 2014 report by the UN Human Rights Council found that “significant quantities of sarin were used in a well-planned indiscriminate attack targeting civilian-inhabited areas, causing mass casualties. The evidence available concerning the nature, quality and quantity of the agents used on 21 August indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to the chemical weapons stockpile of the Syrian military, as well as the expertise and equipment necessary to manipulate safely large amount of chemical agents.”[31] It also stated that the chemical agents used in the Khan al-Assal chemical attack “bore the same unique hallmarks as those used in Al-Ghouta.”[32][31][33]

The Syrian opposition,[34] as well as many governments, the Arab League and the European Union[35][36][37] stated the attack was carried out by forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[38] The Syrian and Russian governments blamed the opposition for the attack,[34] the Russian government calling the attack a false flag operation by the opposition to draw foreign powers into the civil war on the rebels’ side.[39]Åke Sellström, the leader of the UN Mission, characterized government explanations of rebel chemical weapons acquisition as unconvincing, resting in part upon “poor theories.”[40]

Several countries including France, the United Kingdom, and the United States debated whether to intervene militarily against Syrian government forces.[41][42][43][44] On 6 September 2013, the United States Senate filed a resolution to authorize use of military force against the Syrian military in response to the Ghouta attack.[45] On 10 September 2013, the military intervention was averted when the Syrian government accepted a US–Russian negotiated deal to turn over “every single bit” of its chemical weapons stockpiles for destruction and declared its intention to join the Chemical Weapons Convention.[46][47]

Background

The Ghouta area is composed of densely populated suburbs to the east and south of Damascus, part of the province of Rif Dimashq.[48] Ghouta is a primarily conservative Sunni region.[49] Since early in the civil war, civilians in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta have almost entirely sided with the opposition to Syria’s government.[50][51] The opposition has controlled much of Eastern Ghouta since 2012, partly cutting off Damascus from the countryside.[48]Muadamiyat al-Sham in Western Ghouta had been under government siege since April 2013.[52] Ghouta had been the scene of continuing clashes for more than a year before the chemical attack, with government forces launching repeated missile assaults trying to dislodge the rebels. The week of the attack, the Syrian government launched an offensive to capture opposition-held Damascus suburbs.[51]

The attack came one year and one day after US President Barack Obama‘s 20 August 2012 “red line” remarks, in which he warned: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”[53][54][55] Syria was one of five non-signatories to the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention at the time. After the “red line” remarks, and before the chemical attack in Ghouta, chemical weapons were suspected to have been used in four attacks in the country.[56]

Khan al-Assal chemical attack

The Khan al-Assal chemical attack occurred on 19 March 2013, when a government-controlled area of Khan al-Asal, a district of Aleppo in northern Syria, was struck by a rocket containing the nerve agent sarin. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights the attack resulted in at least 26 fatalities, including 16 government soldiers and 10 civilians.[57] The Syrian government later reported to the United Nations that one soldier and 19 civilians died and that 17 soldiers and 107 civilians were injured.[2](p32) A medic at the local civilian hospital said he personally had witnessed Syrian army soldiers helping the wounded and dealing with fatalities at the scene.[58]

The sarin used in the Khan al-Assal attack “bore the same unique hallmarks” as the sarin used in the Ghouta attack.[32][31](p19)

Independent International Commission of Inquiry

The United Nations Human Rights Council established the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic on 22 August 2011 to investigate human rights violations during the Syrian civil war. One of the topics the commission investigated was possible use of chemical weapons. In early June 2013, the Fifth Report of the Commission of Inquiry stated that there were reasonable grounds to believe that limited amounts of toxic chemicals were used in four attacks, but more evidence was needed “to determine the precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems or the perpetrator.”[59](p21)[60][61] On 22 June, the head of the Commission of Inquiry, Paulo Pinheiro, said the UN could not determine who used chemical weapons in Syria based on evidence sent by the United States, Britain and France.[62]

Assessments prior to the attack

US assessment

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated on 25 April that US intelligence showed the Assad government had likely used sarin on a small scale.[63] However, the White House announced that “much more” work had to be done to verify the intelligence assessments.[64]

On 13 June 2013, the United States government publicly announced it had concluded that the Assad government had used limited amounts of chemical weapons on multiple occasions against rebel forces, killing 100 to 150 people. US officials stated that sarin was the agent used.[65] Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes did not say whether this showed that Syria had crossed the “red line” established by President Obama in August 2012. Rhodes stated: “The president has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has.”[66] The French government announced that its own tests confirmed US assertions.[67]

Russian assessment

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “the accusations of Damascus using chemical weapons put forth by the USA are not backed by credible facts.”[68] Lavrov further stated that the Syrian government had no motive to use chemical weapons since the government already maintained a military advantage over the rebel fighters.[69]

Attacks

The attacks affected two separate opposition-controlled districts in the Damascus suburbs, located 16 kilometres apart.[1](p1)

Eastern Ghouta attack

The first attack took place around 2:30 a.m. on 21 August 2013[70][71] in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb to the east of Damascus.[72] The area was on a rebel weapons supply route from Jordan and had been under siege by the Syrian military and Hezbollah for months.[73][74]

At least 8, and possibly 12, rockets struck within a 1500 by 500 meter area in the Zamalka and nearby Ein Tarma neighborhoods.[note 1] The rockets were all of the same improvised type, each with an estimated capacity to carry 50–60 liters (11–13 imp gal; 13–16 U.S. gal) of sarin.[1](p9)[18](p24) The rocket engine was similar in type and parameters to a 122 mm GRAD unguided surface-to-surface rocket, while the chemical warhead and the stabilization fin was of an artisan-type.[1][75] One (or both) of the labs examining the environmental samples taken from Zamalka (and Ein Tarma[18](pp28–29)) found at least traces of sarin in 14 of the 17 cases.[2](pp45–49) One of the labs described the sarin level as a “high level concentration” in 4 of the 17 samples.[2](pp45–49)

Western Ghouta attack

The second attack took place in the Western Ghouta area around 5:00 in the morning on 21 August. On 22 August, a witness who works for Moadamiya media center said he had counted seven rockets that fell in two areas of Moadamiya during the early morning of 21 August. He said four rockets hit next to the Rawda Mosque and another three in the area between Qahweh Street and Zeytouneh Street, which he said was approximately 500 meters to the east of the Rawda Mosque. He said all the rockets were of the same type.[1]

While no chemical warhead was ever found in the Western Ghouta area, one rocket engine has been identified as a 140mm M-14 unguided surface-to-surface rocket. This type of rocket can be fitted with three types of warheads: high explosive-fragmentation, white phosphorus smoke, or a chemical warhead containing 2 liters (0.44 imp gal; 0.53 U.S. gal) of sarin.[1](p5) None of the 13 environmental samples taken from Western Ghouta tested positive for sarin, although three had “degradation and/or by-products.”[2](pp43–45)

Chemical weapons capability

At the time of the attack, Syria was not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention,[76] which prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons, although in 1968 it acceded to the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases. In 2012 Syria publicly stated it possessed chemical and biological weapons and would use them if it faced a foreign attack.[77]

According to French intelligence, the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) is responsible for producing toxic agents for use in war. A group named “Branch 450” is allegedly responsible for filling munitions with chemicals and maintaining security of the chemical agent stockpiles.[78] As of September 2013, French intelligence estimated the Syrian stockpile at 1,000 tonnes, including Yperite, VX and “several hundred tonnes of sarin.”[78]

The UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee publicly dismissed the possibility of rebel responsibility for the attack in Ghouta, stating that rebels are incapable of an attack of its scale.[79] The Committee stated that “there is no credible intelligence or evidence to substantiate the claims or the possession of CW by the opposition.”[80]

Åke Sellström, a Swedish scientist who led the UN mission to investigate the attacks, said it was difficult to see how rebels could have weaponized the toxins,[81] but admitted that he didn’t know who the perpetrator was.[40]According to the Associated Press, “chemical and biological weapons experts have been relatively consistent in their analysis, saying only a military force with access to and knowledge of missile delivery systems and the sarin gas suspected in Ghouta could have carried out an attack capable of killing hundreds of people.”[82]

Initial claims

Both the opposition and the Syrian government said a chemical attack was carried out in the suburbs around Damascus on 21 August 2013. Anti-government activists said the Syrian government was to blame for the attack, while the Syrian government said foreign fighters and their international backers were to blame.[71][83]

Opposition claims

On the day of the attack, George Sabra, the head of the Syrian National Council, said 1,300 people had been killed as shells loaded with poisonous gas rained down on the capital’s eastern suburbs of Douma, Jobar, Zamalka, Arbeen and Ein Tarma.[84] A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council, Qassim Saadeddine, said, “people are growing desperate as they watch another round of political statements and UN meetings without any hope of action.”[72]Ahmad Jarba, who was the president of the Syrian National Coalition at the time of the attack, called on the UN investigators to travel to “the site of the massacre” and for an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting on the subject.[10] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack was committed by the Syrian regime and called on Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, “to apply all pressure within his powers to pressure the Syrian regime.”[85][86]

The next day, a spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition, Khaled al-Saleh, said at least six doctors died after treating victims, and that they didn’t yet have the number of dead first responders.[87]

Government claims

Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Qadri Jamil, said foreign fighters and their international backers were to blame for the attack.[83] Syrian state television, SANA, said the accusations were fabricated to distract a team of UN chemical weapons experts which had arrived three days before the attacks.[6] Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the claims that his government had used chemical weapons would go against elementary logic and that “accusations of this kind are entirely political.”[88][89]

UN investigation

On 19 March 2013, the Syrian government reported to the UN Security Council that the rebels had fired a rocket containing chemical materials into a government controlled part of Khan al-Asal, a district of Aleppo in northern Syria,[90] and requested a UN mission to investigate it.[91][92] As a response, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon created the “United Nations Mission to Investigate Alleged Uses of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.”[92][93] The Syrian government first refused to allow the UN mission to be expanded to places outside Khan al-Assal,[94] but agreed in July 2013 to also allow investigation of the alleged attack in Sheikh Maqsood on 13 April 2013 and the alleged attack in Saraqib on 29 April 2013.[95][2](p7)

On 23 April 2013, the New York Times reported that the British and French governments had sent a confidential letter to the UN Secretary-General, stating there was evidence that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in Aleppo, Homs and perhaps Damascus. Israel also claimed that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on 19 March near Aleppo and Damascus.[96] On 24 April, Syria blocked UN investigators from entering Syria, while UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said this would not prevent an inquiry from being carried out.[97]

On 18 August 2013, three days before the Ghouta attack, a UN mission headed by Åke Sellström[18] arrived in Damascus with permission from the Syrian government to investigate earlier alleged chemical weapons use.[98] On the day of the attack, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “the need to investigate [the Ghouta incident as] soon as possible,” hoping for consent from the Syrian government.[98] The next day, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged government and opposition forces to allow an investigation[99] and Ban requested the government provide immediate access.[25][100] On 23 August, clashes between rebel and government forces continued in and around Ghouta, government shelling continued and UN inspectors were denied access for a second day.[22][24]White House officials were convinced that the Syrian government was trying to hide the evidence of chemical weapons use by shelling the sites and delaying their inspection.[25] Ban called for a ceasefire to allow the inspectors to visit the attack sites.[20] On 25 August the government and various rebel factions agreed to a ceasefire for five hours each day from 26 to 29 August.[101][102]

Early in the morning of 26 August several mortars hit central Damascus, including one that fell near the Four Seasons Hotel where the UN inspectors were staying.[103] Later in the day the UN team came under sniper fire en route to Moadamiyah in western Ghouta (to the southwest of central Damascus), forcing them to return to their hotel and replace one of their vehicles before continuing their investigation four hours later.[104][105] The attack prompted a rebuke from Ban toward the fighters.[106][107] After returning to Moadamiyah the UN team visited clinics and makeshift field hospitals, collected samples and conducted interviews with witnesses, survivors and doctors.[104] The inspectors spoke with 20 victims of the attacks and took blood and hair samples, soil samples, and samples from domestic animals.[107] As a result of the delay caused by the sniper attack, the team’s time in Moadamiyah was substantially shortened, with the scheduled expiry of the daily cease-fire leaving them around 90 minutes on the ground.[102][107][108]

On 28 and 29 August the UN team visited Zamalka and Ein Tarma in Eastern Ghouta, east of central Damascus, for a total time of five-and-a-half hours.[18](p6) On 30 August the team visited a Syrian government military hospital in Mazzeh and collected samples.[109] The mission left Syria early on August 31,[110] promising to return to complete the original objective to investigate the previously alleged attack sites. The Syrian government wanted the mission to stay and investigate them at that time.[111]

UN Ghouta Area report

The UN report on the investigation into the Ghouta chemical attacks was published on 16 September 2013. The report stated: “the environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.”[18](p8)[30] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the findings “beyond doubt and beyond the pale,” and clear evidence of a war crime. “The results are overwhelming and indisputable,” he said. Ban stated a majority of the blood samples, environmental samples and rockets or rocket fragments recovered tested positive for sarin.[112] The report, which was “careful not to blame either side,” said that during the mission’s work in areas under rebel control, “individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.”[113] The UN investigators were accompanied by a rebel leader:

A leader of the local opposition forces … was identified and requested to take ‘custody’ of the Mission … to ensure the security and movement of the Mission, to facilitate the access to the most critical cases/witnesses to be interviewed and sampled by the Mission and to control patients and crowd in order for the Mission to focus on its main activities.[18](p13)

The British UN Ambassador stated that the report’s lead author, Åke Sellström, said the quality of the sarin used in the attack was higher than that used by Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war,[114] implying a purity higher than the Iraqi chemical weapons program‘s low purity of 45–60%.[115] (By comparison, Aum Shinrikyo used nearly pure sarin in the 1994 Matsumoto incident.[116])

Responses

According to Human Rights Watch, hundreds of kilograms of sarin were used in the attack, which it said suggested government responsibility, as opposition forces were not known to possess significant amounts of sarin.[117]

The Russian government dismissed the initial UN report after it was released, calling it “one-sided” and “distorted.”[118] On 17 September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated his government’s belief that the opposition carried out the attacks as a “provocation.”[119] The United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane said the inspection team would review Russia’s objections.[111]

An August 2013 Scientific American article described difficulties that could arise when attempting to identify the manufacturer of sarin from soil or tissue samples.[120]

An Iranian chemical weapons expert, Abbas Foroutan, said in October 2013 that the UN should publish more details about the investigation than were provided in the report, including victims’ pulse rates and blood pressure and their response to the atropine treatment, the victims’ levels of acetylcholinesterase (sarin is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor) and more technical details on the lab testing process.[121][122]

Final UN Mission report

The UN inspection team returned to Syria to continue investigations into other alleged chemical attacks in late September 2013. A final report on Ghouta and six other alleged attacks (including three alleged to have occurred after the Ghouta attack) was released in December 2013.[111] The inspectors wrote that they “collected clear and convincing evidence that chemical weapons were used also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale in the Ghouta area of Damascus on 21 August 2013.” The conclusion was based on:

  • Impacted and exploded surface-to-surface rockets, capable to carry a chemical payload, were found to contain sarin;
  • Close to the rocket impact sites, in the area where patients were affected, the environment was found to be contaminated by sarin;
  • The epidemiology of over fifty interviews given by survivors and health care workers provided ample corroboration of the medical and scientific results;
  • A number of patients/survivors were clearly diagnosed as intoxicated by an organophosphorous compound;
  • Blood and urine samples from the same patients were found positive for sarin and sarin signatures.[2](p19)

UN Human Rights Council report

The 7th Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, a different group than the UN fact-finding mission, stated the sarin used in the Ghouta attack bore the “same unique hallmarks” as the sarin used in the Khan al-Assal attack. The report, dated 12 February 2014, also indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to the chemical weapons stockpile of the Syrian military. These conclusions were based on the fact-finding mission’s evidence, as the Commission of Inquiry did not conduct its own investigation of either chemical attack.[31]

Aftermath

The continuous fighting has severely limited the quality of medical care for injured survivors of the attack. A month after the attack, approximately 450 survivors still required medical attention for lingering symptoms such as respiratory and vision problems.[123] By early October 2013, the 13,000 residents of Moadhamiya, one of the places targeted in the August attack, had been surrounded by pro-government forces and under siege for five months. Severe malnourishment and medical emergencies become pressing as all supply lines had stopped.[124] Care for chronic symptoms of sarin exposure had become “just one among a sea of concerns.”[123]

As countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom debated their response to the attacks, they encountered significant popular and legislative resistance to military intervention. In particular, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s request to the House of Commons to use military force was declined by a 285–272 margin.[125][126] UK government policy subsequently focused on providing humanitarian assistance inside Syria and to refugees in neighboring countries.[127]

Within a month of the attacks, Syria agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention and allow all its stockpiles to be destroyed.[128]The destruction began under OPCW supervision on 6 October 2013.[129] On 23 June 2014, the last shipment of Syria’s declared chemical weapons was shipped out of the country for destruction.[130] By 18 August 2014, all toxic chemicals were destroyed aboard the US naval vessel MV Cape Ray.[131]

Nine months after the attack, there is evidence that mothers from the affected areas are giving birth to children with defects and as stillborn.[132][133]

Evidence

Witness statements and victim symptoms

Syrian human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh, who was present in Eastern Ghouta, stated, “Hours [after the shelling], we started to visit the medical points in Ghouta to where injured were removed, and we couldn’t believe our eyes. I haven’t seen such death in my whole life. People were lying on the ground in hallways, on roadsides, in hundreds.”[134] Several medics working in Ghouta reported the administration of large quantities of atropine, a common antidote for nerve agent toxicity, to treat victims.[135][136]

Doctors Without Borders said the three hospitals it supports in Eastern Ghouta reported receiving roughly 3,600 patients with “neurotoxic symptoms” over less than three hours during the early morning of 21 August. Of those, 355 died.[137] The Local Coordination Committees of Syria claimed that of the 1,338 victims, 1,000 were in Zamalka, of which 600 bodies were transferred to medical points in other towns and 400 remained at a Zamalka medical center.[11] Some of the fatalities were rebel fighters.[138] The deadliness of the attack is believed to have been increased due to civilians reacting to the chemical attack as if it was typical government bombardment. For conventional artillery and rocket attacks, residents usually went to the basements of buildings, where in this case the heavier-than-air sarin sank into these below-ground, poorly ventilated areas.[139] Some of the victims died while sleeping.[72]

Abu Omar of the Free Syrian Army told The Guardian that the rockets involved in the attack were unusual because “you could hear the sound of the rocket in the air but you could not hear any sound of explosion” and no obvious damage to buildings occurred.[140] Human Rights Watch’s witnesses reported “symptoms and delivery methods consistent with the use of chemical nerve agents.”[19] Activists and local residents contacted by The Guardian said that “the remains of 20 rockets [thought to have been carrying neurotoxic gas] were found in the affected areas. Many [remained] mostly intact, suggesting that they did not detonate on impact and potentially dispersed gas before hitting the ground.”[141]

Child frothing at the mouth.

A child in Ghouta froths from the mouth, a medical condition “associated with exposure to nerve agents such as Sarin.”[142][143]

Doctors Without Borders also reported seeing a “large number of victims arriving with symptoms including convulsions, excessive saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress.”[144] Symptoms reported by Ghouta residents and doctors to Human Rights Watch included “suffocation, muscle spasms and frothing at the mouth.”[19]

Witness statements to The Guardian about symptoms included “people who were sleeping in their homes [who] died in their beds,” headaches and nausea, “foam coming out of [victims’] mouths and noses,” a “smell something like vinegar and rotten eggs,” suffocation, “bodies [that] were turning blue,” a “smell like cooking gas” and redness and itching of the eyes.[140]Richard Spencer of The Telegraph summarised witness statements, stating, “The poison … may have killed hundreds, but it has left twitching, fainting, confused but compelling survivors.”[145]

On 22 August, the Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria published numerous testimonies. It summarised doctors’ and paramedics’ descriptions of the symptoms as “vomiting, foamy salivation, severe agitation, [pinpoint] pupils, redness of the eyes, dyspnea, neurological convulsions, respiratory and heart failure, blood out of the nose and mouth and, in some cases, hallucinations and memory loss”.[146]

Analysis of symptoms

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior associate for the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said the reported symptoms are a textbook case of nerve-agent poisoning.[144]

Médecins Sans Frontières Director of Operations Bart Janssens stated that MSF “can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack. However, the reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of the events – characterised by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers – strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.”[5]

Gwyn Winfield, Editorial Director at CBRNe World, analysed some videos from the day of the attack and wrote on the magazine’s website: “It is difficult to define [an] agent by the signs and symptoms. Clearly respiratory distress, some nerve spasms and a half hearted washdown (involving water and bare hands?!), but it could equally be a riot control agent as a [chemical warfare agent].”[147]

Rockets

A RPU-14 multiple rocket launcher, of a type that may have launched M-14 munitions found by UN inspectors on 26 August at a site in Moadamiyah.[148]

Human Rights Watch reported that two types of rockets were used: in Western Ghouta, a 140mm rocket made in the Soviet Union in 1967 and exported to Syria;[1](p5) and in Eastern Ghouta, a 330mm rocket of unknown origin.[1](p9) HRW also reported that at the time of the attack, Syrian rebels were not known to be in possession of the rockets used.[1](p20)[149]

Seymour Hersh has suggested that the 330mm rockets may have been produced locally, and with a limited range.[150] Blogger Eliot Higgins has looked at the munitions linked to the attack and analysed footage of the putative launchers inside government territory.[151]

According to a study published in January 2014 by Theodore Postol and Richard Lloyd, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the rockets used in the attack had a range of about two kilometers, indicating the munitions could not have been fired from the ‘heart’ or from the Eastern edge of the Syrian Government Controlled Area shown in the Intelligence Map published by the White House on 30 August 2013.[75][152][153] A response from Higgins and Kaszeta included an observation that the Russian-language news site ANNA News had posted videos showing a Syrian government military operation running from June to August 2013 to clear positions between Jobar and Qaboun, a strip of land about 2 km away from the 21 August impact sites.[154] MIT Professor Theodore Postol contacted Dan Kaszeta and asked him how he came to the conclusion that Hexamine was the “smoking gun” regarding the alleged culpability of the Syrian Government. Åke Sellström told Postol that indeed “the presence of hexamine may mean that this substance was used as scavenger for protons when producing sarin” but that it was a common substance and not conclusive evidence implicating the Syrian government.[155]

Many of the munitions and their fragments had been moved; however, in two cases, the UN could identify the likely launch azimuths.[156] Triangulating rocket trajectories suggests that the origin of the attack may have been within government or rebel-held territory. Consideration of missile ranges influences calculations as to whether rockets originated from the government or rebel-held regions.[150][157]

Communications

Two purported intercepts of communications that appeared to implicate the Syrian government received prominent media coverage. One was a phone call allegedly between Syrian officials which Israel’s Unit 8200 was said to have intercepted and passed to the US.[158] The other was a phone call which the German Bundesnachrichtendienst said it had intercepted, between a high-ranking representative of Hezbollah and the Iranian embassy, in which the purported Hezbollah official said that poison gas had been used and that Assad’s order to attack with chemical weapons had been a strategic error.[159][160]

On 29 August the Associated Press reported that, according to two U.S. intelligence officials and two other U.S. officials, the U.S. intercept was a conversation between “low-level” Syrian officials with no direct link to the upper echelons of the government or military.[161]

The Bild am Sonntag newspaper subsequently reported that German intelligence indicated that Assad had likely not ordered the attacks.[162] According to Bild, “intelligence interception specialists” relying on communications intercepted by the German vessel Oker said that Syrian military commanders had repeatedly been asking permission to launch chemical attacks for around four months, with permission always being denied from the presidential palace. The sources concluded that 21 August attack had probably not been approved by Bashar al-Assad.[162][163][164]

Video

Murad Abu Bilal, Khaled Naddaf and other Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria and Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC) media staff went to Zamalka soon after the attacks to film and obtain other documentary evidence. Almost all the journalists died from inhalation of the neurotoxins, except Murad Abu Bilal, who was the only Zamalka LCC media member to survive.[165][166] The videos were published on YouTube, attracting worldwide media attention.[167]

Experts who have analysed the first video said it shows the strongest evidence yet consistent with the use of a lethal toxic agent. Visible symptoms reportedly included rolling eyes, foaming at the mouth, and tremors. There was at least one image of a child suffering miosis, the pin-point pupil effect associated with the nerve agent Sarin, a powerful neurotoxin reportedly used before in Syria. Ralph Trapp, a former scientist at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said the footage showed what a chemical weapons attack on a civilian area would look like, and went on to note “This is one of the first videos I’ve seen from Syria where the numbers start to make sense. If you have a gas attack you would expect large numbers of people, children and adults, to be affected, particularly if it’s in a built-up area.”[167]

Some experts, among them Jean Pascal Zanders, initially stated that evidence that sarin was used, as claimed by pro-rebel sources, was still lacking and highlighted the lack of second-hand contaminations typically associated with use of weapons-grade nerve agents: “I remain sceptical that it was a nerve agent like sarin. I would have expected to see more convulsions,” he said. “The other thing that seems inconsistent with sarin is that, given the footage of first responders treating victims without proper protective equipment, you would expect to see considerable secondary casualties from contamination – which does not appear to be evident.” However, after Zanders saw footage imminently after the attack, he changed his mind, saying: “The video footage and pictures this time are of a far better quality. You can clearly see the typical signs of asphyxiation, including a pinkish blueish tinge to the skin colour. There is one image of an adult woman where you can see the tell-tale blackish mark around her mouth, all of which suggests death from asphyxiation.”[167] Zanders however cautioned that these symptoms covered a range of neurotoxicants, including some available for civilian use as pest control agents, and said that until the UN reported its analysis of samples, “I can’t make a judgement. I have to keep an open mind.”[168]

According to a report by The Daily Telegraph, “videos uploaded to YouTube by activists showed rows of motionless bodies and medics attending to patients apparently in the grip of seizures. In one piece of footage, a young boy appeared to be foaming at the mouth while convulsing.”[84]

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of British Chemical and Biological counterterrorism forces,[169] told BBC that the images were very similar to previous incidents he had witnessed, although he could not verify the footage.[170]

Foreign government assessments

According to public statements, intelligence agencies in Israel,[171] the United Kingdom,[172] the United States,[12] France,[173]Turkey,[174] and Germany[175] concluded that the Syrian government was most likely responsible for the attacks. Western intelligence agencies agreed that video evidence is consistent with the use of a nerve agent, such as sarin. Laboratory tests showed traces of sarin, in blood and hair samples collected from emergency workers who responded to the attacks.[176]

Russia said there was no evidence tying the Syrian government to the attack and that it was likely carried out by an opposition group.[177]

France

On 2 September, the French government published a nine-page intelligence report blaming the Syrian government for the Ghouta attacks.[3][78][178] An unnamed French government official said that the analysis was carried out by the Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) and Direction du renseignement militaire (DRM) based on satellite and video images, on-the-ground sources, and samples collected from two April attacks.[179] The report said analysis of samples collected from attacks in Saraqeb and Jobar in April 2013 had confirmed the use of sarin.[78]

The Guardian reported that French intelligence had images that showed rocket attacks on opposition neighborhoods from government-controlled areas to the east and west of Damascus. The report said that the government later launched conventional bombing of those neighborhoods in order to destroy evidence of a chemical attack.[180] Based on analysis of 47 videos, the report said at least 281 fatalities occurred. Using other sources and extrapolation a chemical attack model estimated the total number of death at approximately 1,500.[3]

Germany

The Bundesnachrichtendienst said it intercepted a phone call between a Hezbollah official and the Iranian Embassy in which the Hezbollah representative criticised Assad’s decision to attack with poison gas, apparently confirming its use by the Syrian government.[159][160] German newspaper Der Spiegel reported on 3 September that BND President Gerhard Schindler told them that based on the agency’s evidence, Germany now shared the United Kingdom, United States, and France’s view that the attacks were carried out by the Syrian government. However, they also said the attack may have been much more potent than intended, speculating that there may have been an error in mixing the chemical weapons used.[181][182]

Israel

Without going into detail, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on 22 August 2013 that Israel’s intelligence assessment was that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in the Damascus area.[171] Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the Syrian government had already used chemical weapons against the rebels on a smaller scale multiple times prior to the Ghouta attacks.[183]Fox News reported that Unit 8200 helped provide intelligence to the United States, Israel’s closest international ally, implicating the Syrian government in the attacks.[184] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the General debate of the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly that Syrian government used the chemical weapons against its own people.[185]

Russia

Russian officials said that there was no proof that the government of Syria had a hand in the chemical attacks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the American, British and French intelligence reports as “unconvincing”[186] and said at a joint news conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius after the release of the United Nations report in mid-September that he continued to believe the rebels carried out the attack.[177]Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted to see evidence that would make it “obvious” who used chemical weapons in Ghouta.[187]

In a commentary published in The New York Times on 11 September 2013, Putin wrote that “there is every reason to believe [poison gas] was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons,”.[39] Lavrov said on 18 September that “new evidence” given to Russia by the Syrian government would be forthcoming.[188]

Turkey

The Turkish government-run Anadolu Agency published an unconfirmed report on 30 August 2013, pointing to the Syrian 155th Missile Brigade and the 4th Armored Division as the perpetrators of the two attacks. It said the attack had involved 15 to 20 missiles with chemical warheads at around 02:45 on 21 August, targeting residential areas between Douma and Zamalka in Eastern Ghouta. It claimed that the 155th Missile Brigade had used 9K52 Luna-M missiles, M600 missiles, or both, fired from Kufeyte, while other rockets with a 15- to 70-kilometer range were fired by the 4th Armored Division from Mount Qasioun. The agency did not explain its source.[189]

United Kingdom

A report on the attacks by the United Kingdom’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) was published on 29 August 2013 prior to a vote on intervention by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The report said at least 350 people were killed and that it was “highly likely” that the attacks had been carried out by the Syrian government, resting in part on the firm view that the Syrian opposition was not capable of carrying out a chemical weapons attack on this scale, and on the JIC view that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war on a small scale on 14 previous occasions.[4] Analysis of the Ghouta attacks themselves was based largely on reviewing video footage and publicly available witness evidence. The report conceded problems with motivation for the attacks, saying there was “no obvious political or military trigger for regime use of CW on an apparently larger scale now.”[79][190][191][192] British officials said they believe the Syrian military used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition on at least 14 times prior to the Ghouta attacks and described “a clear pattern of regime use” of the nerve agent since 2012.[193]

The report was met with substantial scepticism in the British media, with the Daily Mail explicitly comparing it with the “dodgy dossier” the UK government had published in 2003 prior to the Iraq War.[194] A vote in the House of Commons to approve UK participation in military action against Syria was narrowly rejected, with some MPs arguing that the case for Syrian government culpability was not sufficiently strong to justify approving action.[195][196]Prime Minister David Cameron himself had been forced to concede that “in the end there is no 100 percent certainty about who is responsible.”[197][198]

United States

The map of “Areas of Influence” and “Areas Reportedly affected by the 21 August Chemical Attack” that was published by the White House on 30 August 2013.[12]

A controversial “US government assessment of the Ghouta attacks” was published by the White House on 30 August 2013, with a longer classified version made available to members of Congress. The report blamed the chemical attacks on the Syrian government, saying rockets containing a nerve agent were fired from government-held territory into neighborhoods in the early morning, impacting at least 12 locations. It stated 1,429 people were killed, including at least 426 children. It dismissed the possibility that evidence supporting the US government’s conclusion could have been manufactured by the opposition, stating it “does not have the capability” to fabricate videos, eyewitness accounts, and other information. The report also said that the US believed Syrian officials directed the attacks, based on “intercepted communications.”[12] A major element, as reported by news media, was an intercepted telephone call between a Syrian Ministry of Defense official and a Syrian 155th Brigade chemical weapons unit commander in which the former demanded answers for the attacks.[199] According to some reports, this phone intercept was provided to the U.S. by Israeli Intelligence CorpsUnit 8200.[158]

The U.S. government assessment suggested a motive for the attack, describing it as “a desperate effort to push back rebels from several areas in the capital’s densely packed eastern suburbs.” The report then states that evidence suggests “the high civilian death toll surprised and panicked senior Syrian officials, who called off the attack and then tried to cover it up.”[200] Secretary of State John Kerry later announced that hair, blood, soil, and cloth samples collected from the attack sites had tested positive for sarin or its immediate breakdown products.[201][202]

At least three members of Congress, including at least one member of President Barack Obama‘s Democratic Party, expressed skepticism about the US intelligence report, calling the evidence circumstantial and thin.[203][204][205][206] Obama’s request that Congress authorize military force was not put to a vote of either the House of Representatives or the Senate, and the president ultimately admitted that “I wouldn’t say I’m confident” that he could convince Congress to support strikes against Syria.[207]

Democratic Party Representative Alan Grayson offered some details regarding the classified report, which he described as 12 pages long, and criticized both the four-page public summary and the classified report. Grayson said the unclassified summary relied on “intercepted telephone calls, ‘social media’ postings and the like, but not one of these is actually quoted or attached … (As to whether the classified summary is the same, I couldn’t possibly comment, but again, draw your own conclusion.)” Grayson cited as a problematic example the intercepted phone call between a Syrian Ministry of Defense official and the Syrian 155th Brigade, the transcript of which was not provided in the classified report, leaving Grayson unable to judge the accuracy of a report in The Daily Caller that the call’s implications had been misrepresented in the report.[205][206]

The AP quoted anonymous US intelligence officials as saying that the evidence presented in the report linking Assad to the attack was “not a slam dunk.”[161]Jeffrey Goldberg also reported that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, personally told President Obama that the case for the Syrian government’s responsibility was strong but not a “slam dunk.”[208] The AP later characterized the evidence released by the administration as circumstantial and said the government had denied its requests for more direct evidence, including satellite imagery and communications intercepts cited in the government assessment.[209]

IPS news analyst Gareth Porter questioned why the report was released by the White House as a “government assessment” as opposed being released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as an “intelligence community assessment.” Porter quoted former intelligence officials who said the report was “evidently an administration document” and who also suggested evidence was “cherry-picked” to support the conclusion that the Syrian government carried out the attacks.[210]

On 8 September 2013, the then White House Chief-of-Staff, Denis McDonough said the administration lacks the “irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence”, but that a “common-sense test” implicates Assad.[211] The U.S. publicly stated there was no “reliable” evidence that the opposition had access to chemical weapons, although Seymour Hersh reported that U.S. intelligence agencies privately assessed some rebel factions to be capable of sarin production.[150]

Legal status

Attack

At the time of the attack, Syria was not a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention. However, Human Rights Watch argues that the Ghouta chemical attack was illegal under a different international agreement:

Syria is a party to the 1925 Geneva Gas protocol, which bans the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices. The use of chemical weapons is also prohibited as a matter of customary international humanitarian law, or the laws of war. The prohibition on the use of chemical weapons applies to all armed conflicts, including so-called non-international armed conflicts such as the current fighting in Syria. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in the Tadic case, stated “there undisputedly emerged a general consensus in the international community on the principle that the use of [chemical] weapons is also prohibited in internal armed conflicts.”[1](p21)

International Criminal Court referral

Human Rights Watch stated that the UN Security Council should refer the Syria situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) “to ensure accountability for all war crimes and crimes against humanity.”[136]Amnesty International also said that the Syria situation should be referred to the ICC because “the best way for the United States to signal its abhorrence for war crimes and crimes against humanity and to promote justice in Syria, would be to reaffirm its support for the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court.”[212] However, as the amendment to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court explicitly making it a war crime to use chemical weapons in an internal conflict has not been ratified by any major state nor Syria, the legal situation is complex and reliant on the attack being a part of a wider war crime.[213]

Reactions

Domestic

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi was quoted by the official state news agency, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), as saying that the government did not and would not use such weapons, if in fact they even existed. Al-Zoubi said, “everything that has been said is absurd, primitive, illogical and fabricated. What we say is what we mean: there is no use of such things (chemical weapons) at all, at least not by the Syrian army or the Syrian state, and it’s easy to prove and it is not that complicated.”[214] SANA called the reports of chemical attacks as “untrue and designed to derail the ongoing UN inquiry.” A Syrian military official appeared on state television denouncing the reports as “a desperate opposition attempt to make up for rebel defeats on the ground.”[71] Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad declared it a tactic by the rebels to turn around the civil war which he said “they were losing” and that, though the government had admitted to having stocks of chemical weapons, stated they would never be used “inside Syria”.[215]Democratic Union Party leader Salih Muslim said he doubted that the Syrian government carried out the chemical attack.[216]

The National Coalition called the attack a “coup de grace that kills all hopes for a political solution in Syria.”[217] In a statement on Facebook, the Coventry-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-government activist network, blamed the attack on the Syrian military and said of the incident that “we assure the world that silence and inaction in the face of such gross and large-scale war crimes, committed in this instance by the Syrian regime, will only embolden the criminals to continue in this path. The international community is thus complicit in these crimes because of its [polarisation], silence and inability to work on a settlement that would lead to the end of the daily bloodshed in Syria.”[218]

International

The international community condemned the attacks. United States President Barack Obama said the US military should strike targets in Syria to retaliate for the government’s purported use of chemical weapons, a proposal publicly supported by French President François Hollande, but condemned by Russia and Iran.[219][220] The Arab League stated it would support military action against Syria in the event of UN support, though member states Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Tunisia opposed it.[221]

At the end of August, the House of Commons of the United Kingdom voted against military intervention in Syria.[222] In early September, the United States Congress began debating a proposed authorisation to use military force, although votes on the resolution were indefinitely postponed amid opposition from many legislators[223] and tentative agreement between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on an alternative proposal, under which Syria would declare and surrender its chemical weapons to be destroyed under international supervision.[224]

In contrast to the positions of their governments, polls in early September indicated that most people in the US, UK, Germany and France opposed military intervention in Syria.[225][226][227][228][229] One poll indicated that 50% of Americans could support military intervention with cruise missiles only, “meant to destroy military units and infrastructure that have been used to carry out chemical attacks.”[230] In a survey of American military personnel, around 75% said they opposed air strikes on Syria, with 80% saying an attack would not be “in the U.S. national interest”.[231] Meanwhile, a Russian poll suggested that most Russians supported neither side in the conflict, with less than 10% saying they supported Assad.[232]

Allegations of false flag attack

The attacks prompted some U.S. intelligence officials to speculate they were meant to draw the West into the war,[161] a concept dismissed by others.[233][234] In December 2013 Seymour Hersh wrote that in the days before and after the attack, sensors notifying U.S. intelligence agencies of Syrian chemical weapons deployment did not activate, and intelligence briefings shown to the U.S. president contained no information about an impending government chemical weapons attack.[150] Publicly, the U.S. government cited classified intercepts of communications it said were between Syrian officials, unavailable to the public, which they state prove Syrian government forces carried out the chemical attack.[12] Criticizing what they called a misleading presentation of intelligence, a former senior U.S. intelligence official quoted by Seymour Hersh said the transcript actually included intercepts from many months prior to the attack, collated to make them appear related to the Ghouta attacks.[150]

In April 2014 Hersh wrote an article proposing the attacks were committed by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, whom Hersh writes were supplied with sarin by Turkey.[235][236] Hersh’s argument received some support,[237][238]but was dismissed by other commentators.[239][240] The US and Turkish governments denied the accuracy of Hersh’s article.[241] On October 20, 2015, Republican People’s Party deputy Eren Erdem stated that documents from a Turkish government investigation showed that ISIL and affiliated groups received help from Turkish intelligence to carry out the Ghouta chemical attack.[242][243]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghouta_chemical_attack

The victims of a bombing in northern Syria this week were exposed to sarin, a banned but easily manufactured poison that has been widely used in chemical weapons, Turkish officials who conducted autopsies on the victims said on Thursday.

What is sarin?

Sarin is a nerve agent, one of a class of chemical weapons that affect the brain’s ability to communicate with the body’s organs through the nervous system. It is a colorless, tasteless, odorless liquid that was first synthesized in Germany in 1938 as a potential pesticide.

Sarin is considered “the most volatile of the nerve agents,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This means it can easily and quickly evaporate from a liquid into a vapor and spread into the environment.”

Sarin vapor does not last long, but it can be deadly if inhaled. Contact with sarin liquid on exposed surfaces, in food, or in water can also be fatal. Its effects may strike quickly or be delayed after exposure.

How does it work?

All nerve agents belong to a class of organic compounds that contain phosphorous, and work in essentially the same way, by inhibiting the action of a crucial enzyme in the body that allows muscles and organs to contract. Without the enzyme’s action, the muscles and organs are constantly stimulated and stop working properly; asphyxiation soon follows.

How is it weaponized?

Sarin is dangerous to handle and has a short shelf life, so it is usually stored in the form of two separate precursor compounds that will produce sarin when mixed together.

On the battlefield, sarin and other nerve agents can be used against targets by spraying them as a liquid or an aerosol. Chemical bombs are designed to spray out the liquid on detonation. The Syrian government is believed to have used such a bomb this week in Idlib Province.

The United Nations Chemical Convention, which bans the use of sarin in war, went into effect in 1997. The Syrian government agreed in 2013 to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, including sarin.

How toxic is it?

According to the United States military, sarin is 81 times as toxic as cyanide and 543 times as toxic as chlorine, which has been used in Syria as a chemical weapon. Chlorine has legitimate commercial uses and is not banned.

What are the symptoms of exposure?

Symptoms of exposure may include the pupils of the eyes shrinking to pinpoints, rapid breathing, vomiting, convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure. Swift medical attention can reverse the effects of low levels of exposure.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/world/middleeast/sarin-nerve-agent.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-1&action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

Sarin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Sarin (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Serine, Sarrin, or Saran (disambiguation).
Sarin[1]
Sarin-2D-by-AHRLS-2011.png
Sarin-3D-balls-by-AHRLS-2012.png
Names
Preferred IUPAC name

(RS)-Propan-2-yl methylphosphonofluoridate
Other names

(RS)-O-Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate; IMPF;
GB;[2]
2-(Fluoro-methylphosphoryl)oxypropane;
Phosphonofluoridic acid, P-methyl-, 1-methylethyl ester
Identifiers
3D model (Jmol)
ChEBI
ChemSpider
UNII
Properties
C4H10FO2P
Molar mass 140.09 g·mol−1
Appearance Clear colorless liquid
Odor Odorless in pure form. Impure sarin can smell like mustard or burned rubber.
Density 1.0887 g/cm3 (25 °C)
1.102 g/cm3 (20 °C)
Melting point −56 °C (−69 °F; 217 K)
Boiling point 158 °C (316 °F; 431 K)
Miscible
log P 0.30
Hazards
Main hazards It is a lethal cholinergic agent.
Safety data sheet Lethal Nerve Agent Sarin (GB)
Extremely Toxic (T+)[3]
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 4: Very short exposure could cause death or major residual injury. E.g., VX gas Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no code

NFPA 704 four-colored diamond

Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
550 ug/kg (rat, oral) [4]
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
 verify (what is Yes ?)
Infobox references

Sarin, or GB (G-series, ‘B’), is a colorless, odorless liquid,[5] used as a chemical weapon due to its extreme potency as a nerve agent. It is generally considered a weapon of mass destruction. Production and stockpiling of sarin was outlawed as of April 1997 by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance. In June 1994, the UN Special Commission on Iraqi disarmament destroyed the nerve agent sarin under Security Council resolution 687 (1991) concerning the disposal of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.[6]

Sarin is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [(CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F. It can be lethal even at very low concentrations, where death can occur within one[7][8] to ten minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose, due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless some antidotes, typically atropine and an oxime, such as pralidoxime, are quickly administered.[5] People who absorb a non-lethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage.

Production and structure

Sarin is a chiral molecule because it has four chemically distinct substituents attached to the tetrahedral phosphorus center.[9] The SP form (the (–) optical isomer) is the more active enantiomer due to its greater binding affinity to acetylcholinesterase.[10][11] The P-F bond is easily broken by nucleophilic agents, such as water and hydroxide. At high pH, sarin decomposes rapidly to nontoxic phosphonic acid derivatives.

It is usually manufactured and weaponized as a racemic mixture—an equal mixture of both enantiomeric forms, as this is a simpler process and provides an adequate weapon.

A number of production pathways can be used to create sarin. The final reaction typically involves attachment of the isopropoxy group to the phosphorus with an alcoholysis with isopropyl alcohol. Two variants of this process are common. One is the reaction of methylphosphonyl difluoride with isopropyl alcohol, which produces hydrofluoric acid as a byproduct:

Sarin synth with racemic stereochemistry.png

The second process, uses equal quantities of methylphosphonyl difluoride and methylphosphonic dichloride, a mixture “Di-Di” in this process, rather than just the difluoride. This reaction also gives sarin, but hydrochloric acid as a byproduct instead. The Di-Di process was used by the United States for the production of its unitary sarin stockpile.[12]

The scheme below describes an example of Di-Di process. The selection of reagents is arbitrary and reaction conditions and product yield depend on the selected reagents. Inert atmosphere and anhydrous conditions are used for synthesis of sarin and other organophosphates.

An example of

As both reactions leave considerable acid in the product, bulk sarin produced without further treatment has a very poor shelf life and would be rather destructive to containers or weapon systems. Various methods have been tried to resolve these problems. In addition to industrial refining techniques to purify the chemical itself, various additives have been tried to combat the effects of the acid, such as:

Another byproduct of these two chemical processes is diisopropyl methylphosphonate, formed when a second isopropyl alcohol reacts with the sarin itself. This chemical degrades into isopropyl methylphosphonic acid.[19]

Biological effects

Sarin (red), acetylcholinesterase (yellow), acetylcholine (blue)

Like all other nerve agents, sarin attacks the nervous system by interfering with the degradation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions. Death will usually occur as a result of asphyxia due to the inability to control the muscles involved in breathing function.

Specifically, sarin is a potent inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase,[20] an enzyme that degrades the neurotransmitter acetylcholine after it is released into the synaptic cleft. In vertebrates, acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter used at the neuromuscular junction, where signals are transmitted between neurons from the central nervous systems to muscle fibres. Normally, acetylcholine is released from the neuron to stimulate the muscle, after which it is degraded by acetylcholinesterase, allowing the muscle to relax. A build-up of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft, due to the inhibition of cholinesterase, means the neurotransmitter continues to act on the muscle fibre, so that any nerve impulses are effectively continually transmitted.

Sarin acts on cholinesterase by forming a covalent bond with the particular serine residue at the active site. Fluoride is the leaving group, and the resulting phosphoester is robust and biologically inactive.[21][22]

Its mechanism of action resembles that of some commonly used insecticides, such as malathion. In terms of biological activity, it resembles carbamate insecticides, such as Sevin, and the medicines pyridostigmine, neostigmine, and physostigmine.

Degradation and shelf life

Rabbit used to check for leaks at former sarin production plant (Rocky Mountain Arsenal), 1970

The most important chemical reactions of phosphoryl halides is the hydrolysis of the bond between phosphorus and the fluoride. This P-F bond is easily broken by nucleophilic agents, such as water and hydroxide. At high pH, sarin decomposes rapidly to nontoxic phosphonic acid derivatives.[23][24] The initial breakdown of sarin is into isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA), a chemical that is not commonly found in nature except as a breakdown product of sarin (this is useful for detecting the recent deployment of sarin as a weapon). IMPA then degrades into methylphosphonic acid (MPA), which can also be produced by other organophosphates.[25]

Sarin without the residual acid removed degrades after a period of several weeks to several months. The shelf life can be shortened by impurities in precursor materials. According to the CIA, some Iraqi sarin had a shelf life of only a few weeks, owing mostly to impure precursors.[26]

Along with nerve agents such as tabun and VX, sarin can have a maximum shelf-life of five years.[27] Sarin’s otherwise-short shelf life can be extended by increasing the purity of the precursor and intermediates and incorporating stabilizers such as tributylamine. In some formulations, tributylamine is replaced by diisopropylcarbodiimide (DIC), allowing sarin to be stored in aluminium casings. In binary chemical weapons, the two precursors are stored separately in the same shell and mixed to form the agent immediately before or when the shell is in flight. This approach has the dual benefit of solving the stability issue and increasing the safety of sarin munitions.

Effects and treatment]

Sarin has a high volatility (ease with which a liquid can turn into a gas) relative to similar nerve agents, therefore inhalation can be very dangerous and even vapor concentrations may immediately penetrate the skin. A person’s clothing can release sarin for about 30 minutes after it has come in contact with sarin gas, which can lead to exposure of other people.[28]

Even at very low concentrations, sarin can be fatal. Death may follow in 1 to 10 minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose unless antidotes, typically atropine and pralidoxime, are quickly administered.[5] Atropine, an antagonist to muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, is given to treat the physiological symptoms of poisoning. Since muscular response to acetylcholine is mediated through nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, atropine does not counteract the muscular symptoms. Pralidoxime can regenerate cholinesterases if administered within approximately five hours. Biperiden, a synthetic acetylcholine antagonist, has been suggested as an alternative to atropine due to its better blood–brain barrier penetration and higher efficacy.[29]

As a nerve gas, sarin in its purest form is estimated to be 26 times more deadly than cyanide.[30] The LD50 of subcutaneously injected sarin in mice is 172 μg/kg.[31] Treatment measures have been described.[32]

Initial symptoms following exposure to sarin are a runny nose, tightness in the chest and constriction of the pupils. Soon after, the victim has difficulty breathing and experiences nausea and drooling. As the victim continues to lose control of bodily functions, the victim vomits, defecates and urinates. This phase is followed by twitching and jerking. Ultimately, the victim becomes comatose and suffocates in a series of convulsive spasms. Moreover, common mnemonics for the symptomatology of organophosphate poisoning, including sarin gas, are the “killer B’s” of bronchorrhea and bronchospasm because they are the leading cause of death,[33] and SLUDGE – Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation, Gastrointestinal distress, and Emesis.

Diagnostic tests

Controlled studies in healthy men have shown that a nontoxic 0.43 mg oral dose administered in several portions over a 3-day interval caused average maximum depressions of 22 and 30%, respectively, in plasma and erythrocyte cholinesterase levels. A single acute 0.5 mg dose caused mild symptoms of intoxication and an average reduction of 38% in both measures of cholinesterase activity. Sarin in blood is rapidly degraded either in vivo or in vitro. Its primary inactive metabolites have in vivo serum half-lives of approximately 24 hours. The serum level of unbound isopropylmethylphosphonic acid (IMPA), a sarin hydrolysis product, ranged from 2-135 µg/L in survivors of a terrorist attack during the first 4 hours post-exposure. Sarin or its metabolites may be determined in blood or urine by gas or liquid chromatography, while cholinesterase activity is usually measured by enzymatic methods.[34]

A newer method called “Fluoride Regeneration” or “Fluoride Reactivation” detects the presence of nerve agents for a longer period after exposure than the methods described above. Fluoride reactivation is a technique has been explored since at least the early 2000s. This technique obviates some of the deficiencies of older procedures. Sarin not only reacts with the water in the blood plasma through hydrolysis (forming so-called ‘free metabolites’), but also reacts with various proteins to form ‘protein adducts’. These protein adducts are not so easily removed from the body, and remain for a longer period of time than the free metabolites. One clear advantage of this process is that the period, post-exposure, for determination of Sarin exposure is much longer, possibly 5 to 8 weeks according to at least one study.[35][36]

Toxicity

Sarin is highly toxic, whether by respiratory or dermal exposure. The toxicity of sarin in humans is largely based on calculations from studies with animals. The general consensus is that the lethal concentration of sarin in air is approximately 35 mg per cubic meter per minute for a two-minute exposure time by a healthy adult breathing normally (exchanging 15 liters of air per minute). This number represents the estimated lethal concentration for 50% of exposed victims, the LCt50 value. There are many ways to make relative comparisons between toxic substances. The list below compares some current and historic chemical warfare agents with sarin, with a direct comparison to the respiratory Lct50:

History

Sarin was discovered in 1938 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld in Germany by scientists at IG Farben who were attempting to create stronger pesticides; it is the most toxic of the four G-Series nerve agents made by Germany. The compound, which followed the discovery of the nerve agent tabun, was named in honor of its discoverers: Schrader, Ambros, Gerhard Ritter, and von der Linde.[39]

Use as a weapon

In mid-1939, the formula for the agent was passed to the chemical warfare section of the German Army Weapons Office, which ordered that it be brought into mass production for wartime use. Pilot plants were built, and a high-production facility was under construction (but was not finished) by the end of World War II. Estimates for total sarin production by Nazi Germany range from 500 kg to 10 tons.[40] Though sarin, tabun and soman were incorporated into artillery shells, Germany did not use nerve agents against Allied targets.

U.S. Honest John missile warhead cutaway, showing M134 sarin bomblets (c. 1960)

  • 1950s (early): NATO adopted sarin as a standard chemical weapon, and both the USSR and the United States produced sarin for military purposes.
  • 1953: 20-year-old Ronald Maddison, a Royal Air Force engineer from Consett, County Durham, died in human testing of sarin at the Porton Down chemical warfare testing facility in Wiltshire, England. Ten days after his death an inquest was held in secret which returned a verdict of “misadventure”. In 2004, the inquest was reopened and, after a 64-day inquest hearing, the jury ruled that Maddison had been unlawfully killed by the “application of a nerve agent in a non-therapeutic experiment”.[41]
  • 1957: Regular production of sarin chemical weapons ceased in the United States, though existing stocks of bulk sarin were re-distilled until 1970.[42]
  • 1976: Chile’s intelligence service, DINA, assigns biochemist Eugenio Berríos to develop sarin gas within its program Proyecto Andrea, to be used as a weapon against its opponents.[43]One of DINA’s goals was to package it in spray cans for easy use, which, according to testimony by former DINA agent Michael Townley, was one of the planned procedures in the 1976 assassination of Letelier.[43] Berríos later testified that it was used in a number of assassinations.[44][45]
  • March 1988: Over two days in March, the ethnic Kurd city of Halabja in northern Iraq (population 70,000) was bombarded with chemical bombs, which included sarin, in the Halabja poison gas attack. An estimated 5,000 people died.[46]
  • April 1988: Sarin was used four times against Iranian soldiers at the end of the Iran–Iraq War, helping Iraqi forces to retake control of the al-Faw Peninsula during the Second Battle of al-Faw.
  • 1993: The United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention was signed by 162 member countries, banning the production and stockpiling of many chemical weapons, including sarin. It went into effect on April 29, 1997, and called for the complete destruction of all specified stockpiles of chemical weapons by April 2007.[47] When the convention entered force, the parties declared worldwide stockpiles of 15,047 tonnes of sarin. As of December 2015, 89% of the stockpiles had been destroyed.[48]
  • 1994: Matsumoto incident; the Japanese religious sect Aum Shinrikyo released an impure form of sarin in Matsumoto, Nagano, killing eight people and harming over 200. The Australian sheep station Banjawarn was a testing ground.
  • 1995: Tokyo subway sarin attack; the Aum Shinrikyo sect released an impure form of sarin in the Tokyo Metro. Twelve people died.[49]
  • 2004: Iraqi insurgents detonated a 155 mm shell containing binary precursors for sarin near a U.S. convoy in Iraq. The shell was designed to mix the chemicals as it spun during flight. The detonated shell released only a small amount of sarin gas, either because the explosion failed to mix the binary agents properly or because the chemicals inside the shell had degraded with age. Two United States soldiers were treated after displaying the early symptoms of exposure to sarin.[50]
  • 2013: Ghouta chemical attack; sarin was used in an attack in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria during the Syrian civil war.[51] Varying[52] sources gave a death toll of 322[53] to 1,729.[54]
  • 2017: Khan Shaykhun chemical attack; sarin gas was allegedly used on the rebel-held Idlib Province in Syria. Civilian death toll of ~100 reported, over 300 more injured.[55][56]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin

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The Pronk Pops Show 843, February 21, 2017, Story 1: VICTOR DAVIS HANSON Nails The Big Lie Media and The Threat of Lying Lunatic Left Losers and Deep State Moles and Leakers — JFK Secret Societies Speech Warning — Seven Days In May — Videos — Story 2: The Power Elite’s Greatest Fear — President Trump Succeeds With A Booming Economy of Peace and Prosperity — Videos

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Story 1: VICTOR DAVIS HANSON Nails The Big Lie Media and The Threat of Lying Lunatic Left Losers and Deep State Moles and Leakers — Videos

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Pat Buchanan: The establishment is in a panic over Trump

Pat Buchanan DESTROYS CUCK CNN Anchor On Donald Trump

Why Globalism Threatens Western Civilization | G. Edward Griffin and Stefan Molyneux

CIA Traitor Calls Trump Domestic Enemy

Former CIA Operative: Trump Is Battling Pedophile Network

JFK – The Speech That Killed Him

JFK Secret Societies Speech (full version)

JFK wanted movie “Seven Days in May” made

Seven Days in May (1964) – John Frankenheimer

Seven Days in May Trailer

Seven Days in May – Closing speech by President

Seven Days in February

 by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON February 20, 2017 7:31 PM @VDHANSON

Trumps’ critics, left and right, aim to bring about the cataclysm they predicted.

A 1964 political melodrama, Seven Days in May, envisioned a futuristic (1970s) failed military cabal that sought to sideline the president of the United States over his proposed nuclear-disarmament treaty with the Soviets.

Something far less dramatic but perhaps as disturbing as Hollywood fiction played out this February. The Teeth-Gnashing of Deep Government Currently, the political and media opponents of Donald Trump are seeking to subvert his presidency in a manner unprecedented in the recent history of American politics. The so-called resistance among EPA federal employees is trying to disrupt Trump administration reform; immigration activists promise to flood the judiciary to render executive orders inoperative.

Intelligence agencies had earlier leaked fake news briefings about the purported escapades of President-elect Trump in Moscow — stories that were quickly exposed as politically driven concoctions. Nearly one-third of House Democrats boycotted the Inauguration. Celebrities such as Ashley Judd and Madonna shouted obscenities to crowds of protesters; Madonna voiced her dreams of Trump’s death by saying she’d been thinking a lot about blowing up the White House.

But all that pushback was merely the clownish preliminary to the full-fledged assault in mid February.

Career intelligence officers leaked their own transcripts of a phone call that National Security Advisor–designate Michael Flynn had made to a Russian official.

The media charge against Flynn was that he had nefariously talked to higher-ups in Russia before he took office. Obama-administration officials did much the same, before Inauguration Day 2009, and spoke with Syrian, Iranian, and Russian counterparts. But they faced no interference from the outgoing Bush administration.

No doubt the designated security officials of most incoming administrations do not wait until being sworn in to sound out foreign officials. Most plan to reset the policies of their predecessors. The question, then, arises: Why were former Obama-administration appointees or careerist officials tapping the phone calls of an incoming Trump designate (and Trump himself?) and then leaking the tapes to their pets in the press? For what purpose?

Indeed, Trump’s own proposed outreach to Russia so far is not quite of the magnitude of Obama’s in 2009, when the State Department staged the red-reset-button event to appease Putin; at the time, Russia was getting set to swallow the Crimea and all but absorb Eastern Ukraine. Trump certainly did not approve the sale of some 20 percent of North American uranium holdings to Russian interests, in the quid pro quo fashion that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did, apparently in concert with Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation — and to general indifference of both the press and the intelligence community.

Why were former Obama-administration appointees or careerist officials tapping the phone calls of an incoming Trump designate and then leaking the tapes to their pets in the press?

In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that career intelligence officers have decided to withhold information from the president, on the apparent premise that he is unfit, in their view, to receive it. If true, that disclosure would mean that elements of the federal government are now actively opposing the duly elected president of the United States. That chilling assessment gains credence from the likelihood that the president’s private calls to Mexican and Australian heads of state were likewise recorded, and selected segments were leaked to suggest that Trump was either trigger-happy or a buffoon.

Oddly, in early January, Senator Charles Schumer had essentially warned Trump that he would pay for his criticism of career intelligence officials. In an astounding shot across his bow, which was followed up by an onslaught in February, Schumer said: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. . . . So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Schumer was evidently not disturbed about rogue intelligence agencies conspiring to destroy a shared political enemy — the president of the United States. What surprised him was how naïve Trump was in not assessing the anti-constitutional forces arrayed against him.

Trump-Removal Chic

The elite efforts to emasculate the president have sometimes taken on an eerie turn. The publisher-editor of the German weekly magazine Zeit raised the topic on German television of killing Trump to end the “Trump catastrophe.” So did British Sunday Times columnist India Knight, who tweeted, “The assassination is taking such a long time.” A former Obama Pentagon official, Rosa Brooks, recently mused about theoretical ways to remove Trump, including a military coup, should other avenues such as impeachment or medically forced removal fail: “The fourth possibility is one that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders.”

The Atlantic now darkly warns that Trump is trying to create an autocracy. Former Weekly Standard editor in chief Bill Kristol suggested in a tweet that if he faced a choice (and under what surreal circumstances would that happen?) between the constitutionally, democratically elected president and career government officials’ efforts to thwart or remove him, he would come down on the side of the revolutionary, anti-democratic “deep state”:

“Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it [emphasis added], prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

No doubt some readers interpreted that as a call to side with anti-constitutional forces against an elected U.S. president. Hollywood stars such as Meryl Streep equate the president with brownshirts and assorted fascists. A CNN reporter announced that Trump was Hitlerian; another mused about his plane’s crashing. Prominent conservative legal scholar Richard Epstein recently called for Trump to resign after less than a month in office, largely on grounds that Trump’s rhetoric is unbridled and indiscreet — although Epstein cited no indictable or impeachable offenses that would justify the dispatch of a constitutionally elected president. Earlier, Republican columnists David Frum and Jennifer Rubin had theorized that the 25th Amendment might provide a way to remove Trump from office as unfit to serve. The New Republic published an unfounded theory, based on no empirical evidence, alleging that Trump suffers from neurosyphilis and thus is mentally not up to his office.

Former president Barack Obama — quite unlike prior presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, who all refrained from attacking their successors — is now reportedly ready to join the efforts of a well-funded political action committee to undermine the Trump presidency.

The Police Need Policing

Fake news proliferates. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Elijah Cummings recently attacked departing national-security advisor Michael Flynn by reading a supposed Flynn tweet that was a pure invention. Nor did Trump, as reported, have a serious plan to mobilize “100,000” National Guard troops to enforce deportations.

Other false stories claimed that Trump had pondered invading Mexico, that his lawyer had gone to Prague to meet with the Russians, and that he had removed from the Oval Office a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. — sure proof of Trump’s racism. Journalists — including even “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post — reposted fake news reports that Trump’s father had run a campaign for the New York mayorship during which he’d aired racist TV ads. Celebrities and writers have attacked Trump’s eleven-year-old son Barron as a sociopath-to-be.

Nor is the Trump family immune from constant attack. Daughter Ivanka Trump was recently cornered on an airline flight, while traveling with her three young children three days before Christmas, and bullied by a screaming activist passenger. Her private fashion business is the target of a national progressive-orchestrated boycott. Celebrities and writers have attacked Trump’s eleven-year-old son Barron as a sociopath-to-be or as a boy trapped in an autistic bubble. First Lady Melania Trump sued the Daily Mail after it trafficked in reports that she had once been a paid escort — a lie that was recently recirculated by a New York Times reporter.  Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka are routinely smeared as anti-Semites and fascists. One Trump critic berated Gorka as a Nazi sympathizer for wearing a commemorative medal once awarded his father for his role in the resistance to the Communist takeover of Hungary. What has the often boisterous Trump done in his first month to earn calls for his death, forced removal, or resignation? Dangerous Style or Substance?

The stock market is reaching all-time highs. Polls show business optimism rising. The Rasmussen poll puts Trump’s approval rating at 55 percent.

Compared with Obama in 2009, at the same point in his young administration, Trump has issued about the same number of executive orders. For all his war on the press, Trump has so far not ordered wiretaps on any reporter on the grounds that he is a “criminal co-conspirator,” nor has he gone after the phone records of the Associated Press — Barack Obama’s Justice Department did both, to little notice in the media.

Trump’s edicts are mostly common-sense and non-controversial: green-lighting the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, freezing federal hiring, resuming work on a previously approved wall along the Mexican border, prohibiting retiring federal officials from lobbying activity for five years, and pruning away regulations.

His promises to deport illegal aliens with past records of criminal activity or gang affiliation have, by design, sidestepped so-called dreamers and the illegal aliens who are currently working, without criminal backgrounds, and with some record of lengthy residence.

In his executive order to temporarily suspend immigration from seven war-torn Middle East states, Trump channeled Barack Obama’s prior targeting of immigration trouble spots. At first, Trump’s order was poorly worded and clumsily ushered in; then it was reformulated. It is supported by the public but nonetheless earned a hysterical response from federal judges who seemed to invent new jurisprudence stating that foreign nationals abroad enjoy U.S. constitutional protections.

On more substantive reforms, such as repealing Obamacare, reforming the tax code, and rebuilding infrastructure, Trump awaits proposed legislation from the Republican congressional majority. By all accounts, Trump’s initial meetings or phone calls with British, Israeli, Japanese, and Russian heads of states have gone well.

Trump has had fewer Cabinet appointees bow out than did Barack Obama. Most believe that the vast majority of his selections are inspired. The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch was a widely praised move. The defense secretary, retired general James Mattis has echoed Trump’s earlier calls for European NATO members to step up and meet their contracted obligations to the alliance.

Clearly in empirical terms, nothing that Trump in his first month in office has done seems to have justified calls for violence against his person or his removal from office. What then accounts for the unprecedented venom?

1) As we saw from his recent free-wheeling press conference, Trump’s loud, take-no-prisoners style is certainly anti-Washington, anti-media, anti-elite, and anti-liberal. He often unsettles reporters with bombast and invective, when most are accustomed to dealing with career politicians or fellow liberal officeholders who share their same beliefs. As part of Trump’s art-of-the-deal tactics, he often blusters, rails, and asks for three times what he might eventually settle for, on the expectation that critics of his style will be soon silenced by the undeniable upside of his eventual achievements. This is a long-term strategy that in the short term allows journalists to fault the present means rather than the future ends. Trump’s unconventional bluster, not his record so far, fuels the animosity of elites who seek to delegitimize him and fear that their reputations and careers can be rendered irrelevant by his roughshod populism. He also has reminded the country that some of the mainstream media and Washington–New York elite are often mediocre and boring.

2) The Democratic party has been absorbed by its left wing and is beginning to resemble the impotent British Labour party. Certainly it no longer is a national party. Mostly it’s a local and municipal coastal force, galvanized to promote a race and gender agenda and opposed to conservatism yet without a pragmatic alternative vision. Its dilemma is largely due to the personal success but presidential failure of Barack Obama, who moved the party leftward and yet bequeathed an electoral matrix that will deprive future national candidates of swing-state constituencies without compensating for that downside with massive minority turnouts, which were unique to Obama’s candidacy. The Democratic party bites its tail in endless paroxysms of electoral frustration — given that the medicine of broadening support to win back the white poor and working classes is deemed worse than the disease of losing the state governorships and legislatures, the Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

3) Usually conservative pundits and journalists would push back against this extraordinary effort to delegitimize a Republican president. But due to a year of Never Trump politicking and opposition, and Trump’s own in-your-face, unorthodox style and grating temperament, hundreds of Republican intellectuals and journalists, former officeholders and current politicians — who shared a common belief that Trump had no chance of winning and thus could be safely written off — find themselves without influence in either the White House or indeed in their own party, over 90 percent of which voted for Trump. In other words, the Right ruling class is still in a civil war of sorts. It is no accident that many of those calling for his resignation or removal are frustrated that, for the first time in a generation, they will have no influence in a Republican administration or indeed among most Republicans. For some, the best pathway to redemption is apparently to criticize Trump to such an extent that their prior prophecies of his preordained failure in the election will be partially redeemed by an imploding presidency. It is no accident that many of those calling for his resignation or removal are frustrated that, for the first time in a generation, they will have no influence in a Republican administration or indeed among most Republicans. Yet, in private, they accept that Trump’s actual appointments, executive orders, and announced policies are mostly orthodox conservative — a fact that was supposed to have been impossible.

4) Since 2000, what might have been seen as irrational and abnormal has become institutionalized and commonplace: record U.S. debt approaching $20 trillion, chronic trade deficits, an often destructive globalization, Hoover-era anemic economic growth, polarizing racial identity politics, open borders, steady growth in the size of government, sanctuary cities, unmet NATO obligations abroad, crumbling faith that the European Union is sustainable and democratic, and a gradual symbiosis between the two parties, both of which ignored the working classes as either demographically doomed or as a spent force of deplorables and irredeemables (or both).

Trump’s efforts to return politics to the center — enforce existing laws, complete previously approved projects, rein in government regulations and growth, recalibrate U.S. alliances to reflect current realities, unapologetically side with friends and punish enemies — were viewed as revolutionary rather than as a return to conventionality, in part because they threatened status quo careers and commerce. Trumpism is more or less akin to the Gingrich-Clinton compromises of the early 1990s or to what Reagan often did rather than what he sometimes said. But what was then bipartisan and centrist today appears revolutionary and nihilistic.

For now, chic Trump hatred and sick talks of coups — or worse — hinge on economic growth. If Trump’s agenda hits 3 percent GDP growth or above by 2018, then his critics — progressive shock troops, Democratic grandees, mainstream media, Never Trump Republicans — will either shift strategies or face prolonged irrelevance.

But for now, ending Trump one way or another is apparently the tortured pathway his critics are taking to exit their self-created labyrinth of irrelevance.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445091/never-trumpers-subvert-presidency-talk-coup-impeachment-assassination

Seven Days in May

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Seven Days in May
theatrical release poster

Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Produced by Edward Lewis
Screenplay by Rod Serling
Based on the novel by
Fletcher Knebel
& Charles W. Bailey II
Starring
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Ellsworth Fredricks A.S.C.
Edited by Ferris Webster
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • February 12, 1964(Washington, DC)
Running time
118 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.2 million
Box office $3,650,000 (rentals)[1]

Seven Days in May is a 1964 American political thriller motion picture about a military-political cabal‘s planned take-over of the United States government in reaction to the president’s negotiation of a disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. Directed by John Frankenheimer, it stars Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, and Ava Gardner. The screenplay was written by Rod Serling based on the novel of the same name by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, published in September 1962.[2]

Background

The book was written in late 1961 and into early 1962, during the first year of the Kennedy administration, reflecting some of the events of that era. In November 1961, President John F. Kennedy accepted the resignation of vociferously anti-Communist General Edwin Walker who was indoctrinating the troops under his command with personal political opinions and had described former President Harry S. Truman, former United States Secretary of State Dean Acheson, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and other recent still-active public figures as Communist sympathizers.[3] Although no longer in uniform, Walker continued to be in the news as he attempted to run for Governor of Texas and made speeches promoting strongly right-wing views. In the film version of Seven Days in May, Fredric March, portraying the narrative’s fictional President Jordan Lyman, mentions General Walker as one of the “false prophets” who were offering themselves to the public as leaders. (Accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald purportedly fired rifle shots into the home of General Walker in April 1963.[4])

As they collaborated on the novel, Knebel and Bailey, who were primarily political journalists and columnists, also conducted interviews with another controversial military commander, the newly appointed Air Force Chief of Staff, Curtis LeMay, an advocate of preventive first-strike nuclear option.[5][6]

President Kennedy had read Seven Days in May shortly after its publication and believed the scenario as described could actually occur in the United States. According to Frankenheimer in his director’s commentary, production of the film received encouragement and assistance from Kennedy through White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, who conveyed to Frankenheimer Kennedy’s wish that the film be produced and that, although the Pentagon did not want the film made, the President would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House.[7]

Plot

The story is set in the early 1970s, ten years in the future at the time of the film’s 1964 release, and the Cold War is still a problem (in the 1962 book, the setting was May 1974). U.S. President Jordan Lyman has recently signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union, and the subsequent ratification has produced a wave of public dissatisfaction, especially among the President’s opposition and the military, who believe the Soviets cannot be trusted.

As the debate rages, a Pentagon insider, United States Marine Corps Colonel Martin “Jiggs” Casey (the Director of the Joint Staff), becomes suspicious of behavior among the Joint Chiefs of Staff and comes to a shocking conclusion: the Joint Chiefs, led by the charismatic Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, intend to stage a coup d’etat to remove President Lyman and his cabinet in seven days. According to the plan, an undisclosed Army combat unit known as ECOMCON (Emergency COMmunications CONtrol) will seize control of the country’s telephone, radio, and television networks, while Congress is prevented from implementing the treaty.

Although personally opposed to President Lyman’s position, Casey, implied to be a lawyer in private life, is appalled by the unconstitutional cabal and alerts the President of the potential threat. Lyman forms a small inner circle of trusted advisors and friends to investigate, including Secret Service White House Detail Chief Art Corwin, Treasury Secretary Christopher Todd, advisor Paul Girard, and U.S. Senator Raymond Clark of Georgia.

Casey makes the pretense of a social visit to General Scott’s former mistress, the vulnerable Ellie Holbrook, in New York City to ferret out potential secrets that can be used against him. The aging, alcoholic Clark is sent to El Paso, Texas, to locate the supposed “Site Y” military base, while Girard leaves for the Mediterranean to obtain a written confession from Vice Admiral Farley C. Barnswell, who is believed to have declined participation in the coup. Girard gets the written confession, but is killed when his flight crashes into a mountain in Spain, while Senator Clark is taken captive by conspirator Colonel Broderick upon finding the secret base and is held incommunicado. The senator convinces Colonel Mutt Henderson, the base’s deputy commander and nonparticipant in the coup, to help him escape. They succeed, though when Clark makes a call to the President, Henderson is arrested by Scott’s men.

A meeting with Scott is scheduled in the Oval Office, with the President confronting him and demanding his resignation and that of all Joint Chiefs involved in the plot. Scott initially denies any guilt, claiming that the President had verbally approved the secret base in Texas, before freely challenging the treaty, arguing it would weaken the U.S. and lead to an attack by the Soviets. Lyman counters with the suggestion that a military coup could result in a preemptive strike by Moscow. Scott is unmoved, stating that he feels the American people are behind him and his position. Lyman considers using the blackmail letters, but decides against it, and allows Scott to leave.

Shortly thereafter, Scott briefs the other three Joint Chiefs, demanding they stay in line and reminding them that the president does not seem to have the evidence they would need for charging them with treason. Somewhat reassured, the others agree to stick to the plan to appear on all television and radio networks simultaneously on Sunday to denounce the President. However, Lyman first holds a press conference where he demands the resignation of Scott and all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, interrupted only by an attaché from the U.S. Embassy in Spain bringing Barnswell’s hand-written confession, recovered from the plane crash. A copy is given to Scott and the other officers in on the plot, who have no choice but to resign and call off the coup. The ending has Lyman addressing the American people on the country’s future.

Cast

  • Andrew Duggan as Colonel William “Mutt” Henderson, friend of Jiggs Casey
  • Hugh Marlowe as Harold McPherson, T.V. commentator who is one of the conspirators
  • Whit Bissell as Senator Fred Prentice, another conspirator
  • Helen Kleeb as Esther Townsend, secretary to the president
  • George Macready as Chris Todd, member of the president’s cabinet
  • Richard Anderson as Colonel Ben Murdock, also a conspirator
  • Bart Burns as Art Corwin, head of Secret Service

Unbilled speaking roles (in order of appearance)[edit]

  • Malcolm Atterbury (Horace, president’s physician: “Why, in God’s name, do we elect a man president and then try to see how fast we can kill him?“)
  • Jack Mullaney (“All properly decoded in 4.0 fashion and respectfully submitted by yours truly, Lieutenant junior grade, Dorsey Grayson.“)
  • Charles Watts (Stu Dillard, Washington insider: “Oh, Senator, pardon me, come along, I want you to meet the wife of the Indian ambassador.“)
  • John Larkin (Colonel John Broderick, one of the conspirators: “Well, well, well, if it isn’t my favorite jarhead himself, Jiggs Casey.“)
  • Colette Jackson (Girl in Charlie’s Bar, near secret base in Texas: “You wonder what the country’s comin’ to. All those boys sittin’ up in the desert never seein’ no girls. Why, they might as well be in stir.“)
  • John Houseman (Vice Admiral Farley C. Barnswell, declined conspirator: “I’m sorry, sir. I can only recount to you the situation as it occurred. I signed no paper. He took nothing with him.“)
  • Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. (Captain Ortega, commander at airplane crash site in Spain: “There were only two American nationals on board — a Mrs. Agnes Buchanan from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a Mr. Paul Girard. His destination was Washington.“)
  • Fredd Wayne (Henry Whitney, official from American embassy in Spain: “You find any effects of the Americans? Anything at all?“)
  • Tyler McVey (General Hardesty, another conspirator: “Barney Rutkowski, Air Defense. He’s screaming bloody murder about those twelve troop carriers dispatched to El Paso.“)
  • Ferris Webster [editor of Seven Days in May] (General Barney Rutkowski: “There’s some kind of a secret base out there, Mr. President, and I think I should have been notified of it.“)

Character names

Other than the billing, “Also starring Ava Gardner as Eleanor Holbrook”, none of the other characters are identified by name in the credits, thus although Kirk Douglas‘ “Jiggs Casey” and Andrew Duggan‘s “Mutt Henderson” are described in the book as having the given names of “Martin” and “William”, respectively, those names are never mentioned in the film. Also, while Rod Serling’s screenplay names the head of the White House Secret Service as “Art Corwin”, in the film he is only referred to as “Art” or “Arthur”. The surname “Corwin” was a tribute to the radio drama writer Serling described as his idol, Norman Corwin,[8] while the given name “Art” was a nod to Serling’s personal favorite, Art Carney, who played a fictionalized version of Serling in Serling’s autobiographical 1959 Playhouse 90 drama, “The Velvet Alley”, as well as the reincarnated Santa Claus, “Henry Corwin”, in “The Night of the Meek“, Serling’s 1960 Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone.

Cast members whose participation has been noted in various sources[edit]

  • At the 35th Academy Awards on April 8, 1963, while Seven Days in May was still in its pre-production and casting stages, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?s Victor Buono was one of the four unsuccessful nominees vying for Best Supporting Actor. His name appears on a list of actors engaged for the production, but there is no confirmation of his actual participation in the filming.
  • On September 17, 1963, as Seven Days in May was in initial production days, ABC showcased the premiere episode of its new TV series, The Fugitive, which prominently featured one-armed bit player Bill Raisch in the iconic, non-speaking, intermittent role of the killer. He is also listed among those who were scheduled to play a part in the filming, but whether he ultimately did has not been confirmed. Raisch was previously used by Kirk Douglas for a notorious scene in his 1960 film epic Spartacus in which, playing a Roman soldier, Raisch had a specially-fitted prosthetic arm chopped off in battle. Douglas engaged him again for a dramatic fight scene in his 1962 modern-day western Lonely Are the Brave.
  • Although he cannot be discerned in the release version of Seven Days in May, minor supporting actor Leonard Nimoy, who gained stardom three years later, in 1966, as Star Treks Mr. Spock, likewise appears in the production company’s casting list among the unbilled actors whose services were retained for this film.[9]

Production

Kirk Douglas and director John Frankenheimer were the moving forces behind the filming of Seven Days in May; the film was produced by Edward Lewis through Douglas’s company Joel Productions and Seven Arts Productions. Frankenheimer wanted the screenwriter to be a partner in the production, and Rod Serling agreed to this arrangement. Douglas agreed to star in it, but he also wanted his frequent co-star Burt Lancaster to star in the film as well. This almost caused Frankenheimer to back out, since he and Lancaster had butted heads on Birdman of Alcatraz two years earlier. Only Douglas’s assurances that Lancaster would behave kept the director on the project.[10] Ironically, Lancaster and Frankenheimer became close friends during the filming, while Douglas and the director had a falling out.[11][12] Frankenheimer was also very happy with Lancaster’s performance, and noted in the long scene toward the end between Lancaster and March, probably his all-time favourite directed scene, that Lancaster was “perfect” in his delivery and that no other actor could have done it better.[13] Most of the actors in the film Frankenheimer had worked with previously, a directorial preference. Frankenheimer, in the DVD commentary for the film, stated that he would not have made the movie any differently decades later and that it was one of the films he was most satisfied with.[13] He saw it as a chance to “put a nail in the coffin of McCarthy“.[13]

Many of Lancaster’s scenes were shot later on as he was recovering from hepatitis.[13] The filming took 51 days and according to the director the production was a happy affair, and all of the actors and crew displayed great reverence for Fredric March.[13] Ava Gardner, whose scenes were shot in just six days, however, thought that Frankenheimer favored the other actors over her and Martin Balsam objected to his habit of shooting off pistols behind him during important scenes.[10] Frankenheimer remarked that she was a “lovely person” and overwhelmingly beautiful, but at times “difficult” to work with.[13] Interiors for Seven Days in May were shot at the Paramount studios in Hollywood, and on location in Paris, France, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Arizona and in California’s Imperial Valley.[14][15] The director had formerly been in the military and had been inside the Pentagon so didn’t have to conduct much research for the film; he stated that the sets were totally authentic, praising the production designer.[13] In addition, many of the scenes in the film were loosely based on real-life events of the Cold War to provide authenticity.[16]

Supercarrier Kitty Hawk in 2002

In an early example of guerrilla filmmaking, Frankenheimer photographed Martin Balsam being ferried out to the supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk, berthed at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego (standing in for Gibraltar), without prior Defense Department permission. Frankenheimer needed a commanding figure to play Vice-Admiral Farley C. Barnswell and asked his friend, well-known producer John Houseman to play him, to which he agreed, on condition that he have a fine bottle of wine (which is seen during the telephone scene), although he was uncredited for it. It was Houseman’s American acting debut, and he would not appear onscreen again until his Oscar-winning role in 1973’s The Paper Chase. Frankenheimer also wanted a shot of Kirk Douglas entering the Pentagon, but could not get permission because of security considerations, so he rigged a movie camera in a parked station wagon to photograph Douglas walking up to the Pentagon. Douglas actually received salutes from military personnel inasmuch as he was wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine Corps colonel.[17] Several scenes, including one with nuns in the background, were shot inside Washington Dulles International Airport which had recently been built, and the production team were the first ever to film there.[13] The alley and car park scene was shot in Hollywood, and other footage was shot in the Californian desert in 110 degree heat. The secret base and airstrip was specially built in the desert near Indio, California, and they borrowed an aircraft tail in one shot to make it look like a whole plane was off the picture.[13] Originally the script had Lancaster die in a car crash at the end after hitting a bus, but finally this was edited out in favour of a small scene of him departing by taxi which was shot on a Sunday in Paris after the filming of the train scene in France.[13]

Getting permission near the White House was easier. Frankenheimer said that Pierre Salinger conveyed to him President Kennedy‘s wish that the film be made, “these were the days of General Walker” and, though the Pentagon did not want the film made, the president would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot a staged riot outside the White House.[18] Kirk Douglas recalled President Kennedy approving of the making of the film.[19] The director considered the scene in which Douglas’s character visits the president to be a masterful scene of acting which would have been technically very difficult for most actors to sustain.[13] He had done similar scenes on many television shows, and every camera angle and shot was extensively planned and rehearsed as was the acting in the scene by the actors. Frankenheimer paid particular attention to ensuring that the three actors in the scene were all in focus for dramatic impact. Many of Frankenheimer’s signature shots were used in scenes such as this throughout the film, including his “depth of focus” shot with one or two people near the camera and another or others in the distance and the “low angle, wide-angle lens” (set at f/11) which he considered to give “tremendous impact” on a scene.[13]

Some efforts were made in the film to have the movie appear to take place in the near future, for instance the use of the then-futuristic technology of video teleconferencing, and of the use of (more exotic) foreign cars in place of (more ordinary) American cars. The film also featured the then recently issued M16 rifle.

David Amram, who had previously scored Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate, originally provided music for the film; however Lewis was unsatisfied with his work. Jerry Goldsmith, who had worked with the producer and Douglas on Lonely are the Brave and The List of Adrian Messenger, was signed to rescore the project (although a brief source cue by Amram remains in the finished film). Goldsmith composed a very brief score (lasting around 15 minutes) using only pianos and percussion; he later scored Seconds and The Challenge for Frankenheimer.[20] In 2013 Intrada Records released Goldsmith’s music for the film on a limited edition CD (paired with Maurice Jarre‘s score for The Mackintosh Man – although that film was produced by Warner Bros. while Seven Days in May was theatrically released by Paramount, the entire Seven Arts Productions library was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1967, meaning both films are now owned by WB).

Alternate ending

According to Douglas, an alternate ending was shot, but discarded:

General Scott, the treacherous Burt Lancaster character, goes off in his sports car, and dies in a wreck. Was it an accident or suicide? Coming up out of the wreckage over the car radio is President Jordan Lyman’s speech about the sanctity of the Constitution.[12]

This alternate ending echoes the novel, which ends with the apparent vehicular suicide of Senator Prentice.

Reception

Seven Days in May premièred on 12 February 1964, appropriately in Washington, D.C.[21] It opened to good critical notices and audience response.[10]

The film was nominated for two 1965 Academy Awards,[22] for Edmond O’Brien for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role”, and for “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration/Black-and-White” for Cary Odell and Edward G. Boyle. In that year’s Golden Globe Awards, O’Brien won for “Best Supporting Actor”, while Fredric March, John Frankenheimer and composer Jerry Goldsmith received nominations.

Frankenheimer won a Danish Bodil Award for directing the “Best Non-European Film” and Rod Serling was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for “Best Written American Drama”.

Evaluation in film guides

Steven H. Scheuer’s Movies on TV (1972–73 edition) gives Seven Days in May its highest rating of 4 stars, recommending it as “[A]n exciting suspense drama concerned with politics and the problems of sanity and survival in a nuclear age”, with the concluding sentences stating, “[B]enefits from taut screenplay by Rod Serling and the direction of John Frankenheimer, which artfully builds interest leading to the finale. March is a standout in a uniformly fine cast. So many American-made films dealing with political subjects are so naive and simple-minded that the thoughtful and, in this case, the optimistic statement of the film is a welcome surprise.” By the 1986–87 edition, Scheuer’s rating was lowered to 3½ and the conclusion shortened to, “which artfully builds to the finale”, with the final sentences deleted. Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies & Video Guide (1989 edition) gives it a still lower 3 stars (out of 4), originally describing it as “[A]bsorbing story of military scheme to overthrow the government”, with later editions (including 2014) adding one word, “[A]bsorbing, believable story…”

Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever follows Scheuer’s later example, with 3½ bones (out of 4), calling it “[T]opical but still gripping Cold War nuclear-peril thriller” and, in the end, “[H]ighly suspenseful, with a breathtaking climax.” Mick Martin’s & Marsha Porter’s DVD & Video Guide also puts its rating high, at 4 stars (out of 5) finding it, as Videohound did, “[A] highly suspenseful account of an attempted military takeover…” and indicating that “the movie’s tension snowballs toward a thrilling conclusion. This is one of those rare films that treat their audiences with respect.” Assigning the equally high rating of 4 stars (out of 5), The Motion Picture Guide begins its description with “[A] taut, gripping, and suspenseful political thriller which sports superb performances from the entire cast”, goes to state, in the middle, that “proceeding to unravel its complicated plot at a rapid clip, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY is a surprisingly exciting film that also packs a grim warning”, and ends with “Lancaster underplays the part of the slightly crazed general and makes him seem quite rational and persuasive. It is a frightening performance. Douglas is also quite good as the loyal aide who uncovers the fantastic plot that could destroy the entire country. March, Balsam, O’Brien, Bissell, and Houseman all turn in topnotch performances and it is through their conviction that the viewer becomes engrossed in this outlandish tale.”

British references also show high regard for the film, with TimeOut Film Guides founding editor Tom Milne indicating that “[C]onspiracy movies may have become more darkly complex in these post-Watergate days of Pakula and paranoia, but Frankenheimer’s fascination with gadgetry (in his compositions, the ubiquitous helicopters, TV screens, hidden cameras and electronic devices literally edge the human characters into insignificance) is used to create a striking visual metaphor for control by the military machine. Highly enjoyable.” In his Film Guide, Leslie Halliwell provided 3 stars (out of 4), describing it as “[A]bsorbing political mystery drama marred only by the unnecessary introduction of a female character. Stimulating entertainment.” David Shipman in his 1984 The Good Film and Video Guide gives 2 (out of 4) stars, noting that it is “[A] tense political thriller whose plot is plotting”.

Remake

The film was remade in 1994 by HBO as The Enemy Within with Sam Waterston as “President William Foster”, Jason Robards as “General R. Pendleton Lloyd”, and Forest Whitaker as “Colonel MacKenzie ‘Mac’ Casey”. This version followed many parts of the original plot closely, while updating it for the post–Cold War world, omitting certain incidents, and changing the ending.

See also

References

Notes

  1. Jump up^ “Big Rental Pictures of 1964”, Variety, p. 39, 6 January 1965.
  2. Jump up^ “Seven Days in May” (Kirkus Reviews, September 10, 1962)
  3. Jump up^ “Armed Forces: I Must Be Free…” (Time Magazine, November 10, 1961)
  4. Jump up^ United States. Warren Commission (1964). Report of the Warren Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. McGraw-Hill Book Company. pp. 282–.
  5. Jump up^ Stoddard, Brooke C. “Seven Days in May: Remembrance of Books Past” (Washington Independent Review of Books, November 27, 2012)
  6. Jump up^ Steed, Mark S. “Seven Days in May by Knebel and Bailey – Book Review” (An Independent Head, October 26, 2013)
  7. Jump up^ Kakutani, Michiko. Kennedy, and What Might Have Been: ‘JFK’s Last Hundred Days’ by Thurston Clarke, page 95 (The New York Times, August 12, 2013)
  8. Jump up^ Romano, Carlin, Inquirer book critic. “He Was So Outspoken About TV He Was Called Its Leading Critic in 1961. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 2, 1993)”
  9. Jump up^ Tom. “Missing Cast Members” (The Old Movie House, February 8, 2012)
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c Stafford, Jeff, Seven Days in May (article), TCM.
  11. Jump up^ Frankenheimer, John and Champlin, Charles. John Frankenheimer : A Conversation Riverwood Press, 1995. ISBN 978-1-880756-13-3
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Douglas, Kirk. The Ragman’s Son. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l Frankenheimer, John, Seven Days in May DVD Commentary, Warner Home Video, May 16, 2000
  14. Jump up^ IMDb Filming Locations
  15. Jump up^ Notes, TCM.
  16. Jump up^ Antulov, Dragan. “All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review Seven Days In May” (All-Reviews, 2002)
  17. Jump up^ Pratley, Gerald. The Cinema of John Frankenheimer London: A. Zwemmer, 1969. ISBN 978-0-302-02000-5.
  18. Jump up^ Arthur Meier Schlesinger (1978). Robert Kennedy and His Times. ISBN 978-0-7088-1633-2.
  19. Jump up^ Seven Days in May commentary as part of the Kirk Douglas Featured Collection at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
  20. Jump up^ Scott Bettencourt, liner notes, soundtrack album, Intrada Special Collection Vol. 235
  21. Jump up^ Overview, TCM.
  22. Jump up^ “Seven Days in May”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-25.

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Days_in_May

With NAFTA in Trump’s crosshairs, Mexico’s border factories brace for the unknown

February 21 at 6:45 PM

If you sleep on a memory foam mattress, chances are good that its fabric cover was made here in a small factory in this desert border town on the westernmost edge of Texas.

Well, here and over there, across the Rio Grande in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city where pieces of fabric cut in El Paso are stitched together and shipped back across the border. The supply of cheap labor in Mexico has fueled the rise of manufacturing plants dotting the border known as maquiladoras.

The journey of this mattress cover, from El Paso to Ciudad Juarez and back, illustrates the far-reaching tentacles of free trade and its impact on the border economy and across the United States. It’s a journey now fraught with tension as President Trump moves to renegotiate — or even unilaterally withdraw the country from — the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has allowed maquiladoras to flourish but that Trump and some Rust Belt communities blame for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Perhaps no one knows the complex implications of trade agreements better than a family whose prosperity and company profits were built on their promises. MFI International is a U.S. textiles manufacturing firm that has operated on the border for three decades. Now, in a moment of uncertainty and flux, the tweaking of any trade deal will change the foundation on which the company runs as well as the economic fates of two cities that are inextricably linked.

“We are in the desert where things don’t look that green, but what makes our area very fertile is our people on both sides of the border who work in the manufacturing industry,” said Cecilia Levine, who, along with her husband and son, owns MFI International. “Every job in Mexico produces jobs in the United States.”

Altering NAFTA could raise another complexity — the higher prices likely to follow would make U.S. companies less competitive against manufacturers overseas.

“Stopping NAFTA doesn’t stop the flow of goods coming in from China,” Levine said.

NAFTA, which Trump has called “the worst trade deal in history,” set the foundation for the current economic ecosystem in border towns by allowing companies in the United States to send raw materials to their plants in Mexico for assembly and import the finished product back to the United States — generally without paying duties.

The result for consumers: finished goods at a lower price.

On a recent morning in an industrial park on the eastern outskirts of town, rolls of bound cloth waited to be inspected and processed by the 100 or so workers in MFI’s El Paso plant. A worker used a knife to manually cut patterns from a three-inch stack of polyester material as cumbia music echoed through the factory.

Once the pieces for the mattress cover are cut, they are loaded onto semi-trucks bound for Ciudad Juarez, where workers earning less than half the salary of their U.S. counterparts sew the pieces together.

‘Economies are intertwined’

Cecilia Levine used to cross the U.S.-Mexico border four to six times each day.

She started manufacturing plus-size fashion in Ciudad Juarez with a six-person plant in 1986, seeking to take advantage of a previous customs rule that allowed U.S. materials to enter Mexico duty free as long as the manufactured products were exported back to the United States. Within a couple years, her factory had grown to 260 workers.

Then a single mom, she recalled her daily routine of piling her three young children in the car and driving from their El Paso home over the bridge to Ciudad Juarez to open the factory by 6:30 each morning before schlepping them back to El Paso in time for school. Her American children grew up in the factories, doing their homework, learning to sew and driving forklifts.

Shortly thereafter, she met Lance Levine, who had just moved his vacuum cleaner filter factories from New York and Illinois to El Paso and Ciudad Juarez to better compete with the Asian market. He was expanding manufacturing to include other goods such as jock straps and baby carriers. She snagged a contract away from him to make slippers, and they fell in love. She sold her company and joined his, as the chief of operations.

Business boomed after NAFTA came into force in 1994. In addition to lowering tariffs among the United States, Canada and Mexico, the trade agreement created a common set of rules, regulations and practices among the countries. That made companies feel more comfortable about the long-term stability of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, prompting them to invest in manufacturing operations along the border, Lance Levine said.

Maquiladora employment in Mexico grew 86 percent in the first five years after the onset of ­NAFTA, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. MFI ­expanded the number of workers in both its El Paso and Ciudad Juarez plants.

Then China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, opening up the world economy for Chinese exports. Nearly all textiles manufacturing migrated to China, where production costs were much smaller in comparison.

“We got killed. Virtually the entire textile industry in the U.S. was destroyed. We just couldn’t compete with Chinese prices,” said Lance Levine, accusing China of currency manipulation and government subsidies that he said prevented fair competition. “Our trade policies just allowed that to happen.”

At the time, Lance Levine sat on an International Trade Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commerce Department. Cecilia Levine served on President George W. Bush’s Export Council. Together they raised concerns to the U.S. government about American businesses losing their competitive edge to China. Cecilia even traveled to China with then-
Commerce Secretary Donald Evans to meet with the Chinese government about leveling the playing field — to no avail.

“It was like a nightmare. All our baby products went away. Clothing went away. Home furnishings went away,” Cecilia Levine said. “Other companies that only made pants and shirts disappeared. But we were flexible. If I’d only known how to make jeans and those jeans went away, I could have sat there and cried. I learned to make something else.”

MFI switched to manufacturing larger products, such as mattress and couch covers, that would cost more to transport from China to the United States.

The Levines’ concerns over unfair foreign competition is reflected in Trump’s trade rhetoric. Trump has already withdrawn the United States from the ­Trans-Pacific Partnership, a ­12-nation trade agreement designed during the Obama administration to help the countries compete against China’s growing economic clout. But Trump argued that the deal would have put U.S. workers at a disadvantage to cheaper labor in countries that were also part of the deal, such as Vietnam. Instead, Trump has threatened to impose high tariffs on Chinese, as well as Mexican, goods.

Economists say NAFTA has benefited the United States overall and that raising tariffs would risk sparking a trade war and wreak havoc on the manufacturing supply chain. Slapping a 35 percent import tariff, as Trump has threatened with Mexico, would be “bad for growth, bad for business, bad for jobs,” said Caroline Freund, senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

Freund chalks up Trump’s talk of high tariffs and withdrawal from NAFTA as negotiating ploys. A more likely scenario floated by the administration, she said, would be to push for rules mandating that a higher percentage of parts and materials originate in North America in order for traded products to be exempt from tariffs. That would limit imported materials from Asia, where MFI gets much of its fabric.

But even that change could have negative consequences, ­Freund said, “making production less efficient and making our companies less competitive globally,” she said.

Others are more supportive of the Trump administration’s attempt to renegotiate NAFTA. Raising the requirement for parts originating in North America would encourage foreign companies to locate production plants in North America and prevent “free-riding imports” from China and elsewhere, said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

MFI currently imports about 20 percent of its cloth from Asia because it’s cheaper than domestic cloth. Certain types of material are no longer available in the United States because the textiles mills have either closed or moved to Asia over the past two decades, said Lance Levine. Even most of the U.S. fabric used by MFI is woven or knit from Asian yarn.

Still, Lance Levine said, finished goods are arriving in the United States from China at a lower cost than the materials themselves. Unless the United States increases tariffs on those finished products, U.S. manufacturers would still lose, Levine said, because renegotiating NAFTA to raise the percentage of materials sourced from North America would result in higher priced mattresses made in the United States and Mexico.

Already, MFI produces some “Made in the USA” mattress covers completely assembled in El Paso for mattress companies who request them — at a higher cost.

“If my products were to become more expensive, I guarantee you my clients are going to buy where they can get equal products at lower cost,” Levine said. “They have to be competitive worldwide. This is not as easy as it first seemed on the campaign trail. There are a lot of sensitive negotiations here.”

Cross-border trade existed in this region long before NAFTA and will continue no matter what Trump does, Cecilia Levine figures. One of her great-grandfathers traded cattle with Mexico. Another operated gold mines in Mexico as well as luxury department stores in both the United States and Mexico. Her father ran cotton gins in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua and sold Pima cotton to the United States.

International trade, she said, is in her blood — and the country’s.

“Mexico makes the perfect partner with the U.S.,” she said. “Our economies are intertwined.”

‘The stakes are very high’

In an industrial park in Ciudad Juarez, about a 20-minute drive from MFI’s El Paso factory, workers sit in clusters surrounded by plastic crates overflowing with pieces of cloth. Some sew covers for a major memory foam mattress brand, assembling zippers, adding labels, topstitching fabric panels. Others do the same for a start-up “bed-in-a-box” company. Altogether, MFI produces mattress covers for seven U.S. memory foam bedding companies.

A child Jesus doll, Santo Nino de Atocha, watches over them from his perch on a little wooden chair nailed to the white cinder block wall. So does Saint Jude, a saint of miracles — as well as a screen displaying their productivity in real time.

The factory’s 650 workers come in two shifts — the first from 6 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., the second until half past midnight, five days a week. They are paid by seniority and skill set, with a seamstress earning, on average, $147 a week including benefits.

Many of the employees have been with MFI for more than 20 years, met their spouses here and witnessed Cecilia’s children grow up in the factory. Now her son, Lawrence Wollschlager, is taking over the family business as MFI International’s president and chief operating officer. When he walks onto the factory floor, cutting a striking figure in his well-tailored suit and brown and blue leather oxford shoes, the women pretend to swoon over their sewing machines.

But workers have been harder to find these days. Maquiladoras in Ciudad Juarez were short about 30,000 workers in 2016, according to local business associations. That deficit has dropped dramatically in 2017, to between 3,000 and 6,000, according to the Industria de Exportación, a nonprofit representing Mexican export companies, because companies are not growing as quickly given the uncertain political and economic climate.

While many workers moved to Ciudad Juarez from elsewhere in Mexico for these factory jobs, thousands more moved out in recent years when the city was racked by violence. The crime has subsided, and “vacantes” signs advertising job openings have sprung up on fences around the industrial parks. An increase in auto manufacturing plants contributed to the worker shortage, Wollschlager said, as well as an aging workforce. Young people in Mexico simply don’t find factory work to be all that attractive these days, he said.

To lure workers from the south, maquiladoras in Ciudad Juarez began offering benefits such as two square meals a day and transportation from their homes to the factories. The commute to MFI’s plant on refurbished school buses painted white could stretch to more than two hours amid afternoon traffic. The factory also offers workers a chance to complete their elementary and secondary educations, with lessons squeezed in before or after their shifts.

The worker shortage in the north recently prompted MFI to open a second Mexico plant farther south, in Jimenez, Chihuahua, where the company employs close to 100 operators.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 6 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico. Many are on the border; a 10 percent increase in manufacturing on the Mexican side increases employment in El Paso by 2.8 percent, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In addition to factory work making parts for the supply chain of cars, medical devices and electronics, thousands of U.S. warehousing and logistics jobs are driven by cross-border operations.

In Ciudad Juarez, the number of maquiladoras has risen by more than 40 percent since NAFTA to 327 plants today, according to research by the University of Texas at El Paso Border Region Modeling Project.

But the business community here is on edge. More than two dozen business leaders and mayors recently penned a letter to Congress warning that retreating from NAFTA would cripple trade and cause recessions in border communities and elsewhere in the United States.

Uncertainty over NAFTA has frozen investments in the region, with hiring and land purchases slowing, said Jon Barela, chief executive of the Borderplex Alliance, a nonprofit focused on promoting economic opportunity in El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and southern New Mexico. In one week alone, he said, at least a dozen companies have frozen capital investments on both sides of the border, delayed hiring and canceled factory orders from U.S. suppliers as well as transportation contracts with trucking companies.

“The stakes are very high,” Barela said. “For decades the two nations have worked to develop a relationship that Trump has blown apart in a matter of a week.”

‘Difficult to stay open’

Delighted whoops and hollers erupt from a sewing cluster in another corner of MFI’s Ciudad Juarez plant. Geronimo Renteria, a 62-year-old nicknamed “El Gallo” (The Rooster), entertains his colleagues with his realistic clucking and crowing. Renteria stood out in his white fedora, which he’s allowed to wear only on Fridays because he and his colleagues go dancing after work.

Renteria said he came to MFI three years ago because he likes to sew. Previously he was making wiring harnesses for airplanes at another maquiladora. That factory did not allow him to wear his fedora.

“A lot of other companies don’t take the elders. If you’re 50, forget it. But here, we embrace the elders,” said Cecilia Levine.

It would be a mistake to think that all these jobs in Ciudad Juarez would return to El Paso if the United States pulled out of ­NAFTA, she said. What would more likely happen, she said, is that the mattress companies, too, would decamp for China, taking the jobs in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso along with them.

“It would be very difficult to stay open,” she said. “You are talking about a U.S. company that would suffer.”

Once the mattress covers are complete, workers load crates of finished covers into the back of a semi-truck, ready to return to El Paso. From there, the covers will be shipped to various mattress companies around the United States to be stuffed with memory foam and sold in stores.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/with-nafta-in-trumps-crosshairs-mexicos-border-factories-brace-for-the-unknown/2017/02/21/f91a3960-ee49-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?utm_term=.777dba3e7ba1

Story 2: The Power Elite’s Greatest Fear — President Trump Succeeds With A Booming Economy of Peace and Prosperity — Videos

Obama: If Trump succeeds, America succeeds

CNN Commentator: If Trump Succeeds, ‘America Fails’

Donald Trump’s success reveals a frightening weakness in American democracy

Civil War Begins In Washington

Left Imploding: Democrats For Trump Speaks Out

Confirmation: Next Phase Of The Attack On Trump

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The Pronk Pops Show 805, Story 1: Trump Speech At Carrier — Saved 1,100 American Jobs — 1,300 Jobs Losted To Mexico — Winners and Losers — Videos — Story 2: Trump Thank You Tour Rally in Cincinnati, Ohio — Don’t Tell Anybody — Trump Selects Retired Marine James General Mattis As Secretary of Defense — Trump Making America Great Again! — Videos

Posted on December 2, 2016. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Fast and Furious, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, News, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

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Story 1: Trump Speech At Carrier — Videos — 

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Trump Celebrates Saved Carrier Jobs While Nearby Plant Plans Mexico Move

MUST WATCH: First MAJOR Donald Trump Speech Since Winning Election – Carrier Victory Lap in Indiana

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Story 2: Trump Thank You Tour Rally in Cincinnati, Ohio — Videos

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Full Speech: President-Elect Donald Trump “THANK YOU” Rally in Cincinnati, Ohio (12-1-2016)

Donald Trump Thank You Tour FULL SPEECH – Donald Trump’s Victory Tour Speech

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President-elect Donald Trump’s First Thank You Tour Full Speech | The New York Times

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The Pronk Pops Show 762, September 23, 2016, Story 1: Who Do The American People Trust To Be Next President of The United States? Do You Trust Your Wife? — Videos — Story 2: Do You Trust Big Lie Media? Nobody Does Except The Kool Aid Drinkers — Videos

Posted on September 23, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, American History, Banking System, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Budgetary Policy, Business, Coal, Coal, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Energy, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Dependency, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Law, Lying, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Scandals, Security, Senate, Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 762: September 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 761: September 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 760: September 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 759: September 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 758: September 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 757: September 16, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 755: September 14, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 751: September 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 750: September 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 749: September 2, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 747: August 31, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 739: August 18, 2016

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Story 1: Who Do The American People Trust To Be Next President of The United States? Do You Trust Your Wife? — Videos —

Image result for cartoons kool aid drinkers for hillary clinton

Image result for kool aid drinkers hillary clinton

Image result for cartoons kool aid drinkers for hillary clinton

Image result for cartoons kool aid drinkers for donald trump

Image result for cartoons the media are the kool aid makers

Image result for cartoons kool aid drinkers for donald trump

Image result for cartoons kool aid drinkers for donald trumpImage result for cartoons kool aid drinkers the media

Image result for cartoons kool aid drinkers the media

Image result for cartoons the media are the kool aid makers

 

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein

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Polling Data

Poll Date Sample MoE
Clinton (D)
Trump (R)
Johnson (L)
Stein (G)
Spread
RCP Average 9/8 – 9/21 41.8 39.7 8.9 2.9 Clinton +2.1
McClatchy/Marist 9/15 – 9/20 758 LV 3.6 45 39 10 4 Clinton +6
Rasmussen Reports 9/20 – 9/21 1000 LV 3.0 39 44 8 2 Trump +5
Economist/YouGov 9/18 – 9/19 936 RV 4.0 40 38 7 2 Clinton +2
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 9/16 – 9/19 922 LV 3.2 43 37 9 2 Clinton +6
Reuters/Ipsos 9/15 – 9/19 1111 LV 3.4 37 39 7 2 Trump +2
Associated Press-GfK 9/15 – 9/16 1251 LV 45 39 9 2 Clinton +6
NBC News/SM 9/12 – 9/18 13320 LV 1.2 45 40 10 4 Clinton +5
FOX News 9/11 – 9/14 867 LV 3.0 41 40 8 3 Clinton +1
CBS News/NY Times 9/9 – 9/13 1433 LV 3.0 42 42 8 4 Tie
Quinnipiac 9/8 – 9/13 960 LV 3.2 41 39 13 4 Clinton +2

All General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Polling Data

Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents

Top 5 Reasons You CANNOT Vote Hillary Clinton

DEBUNKED: Trump is Hitler? Why HILLARY is More Like The Führer…

Over 100 Million People Are Expected To Watch The Trump-Clinton Debate

Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight

Can Clinton win over Americans’ trust?

“Do You Trust Your Wife” with Johnny Carson (1958)

Voting for Hillary Clinton? You Must See these Reasons Why YOU SHOULDN’T!

Tim Kaine Can’t Say If People Should Trust Hillary Clinton

6 Reasons Catholics Can’t Trust Hillary Clinton

Sanders: “Frankly, A Lot Of People Don’t Trust” Hillary Clinton

Susan Sarandon destroy Hillary Clinton

Hillary’s Pragmatic, Capable, and Competent. So Why Doesn’t America Trust Her?

Judge Napolitano Hillary Clinton was ‘for sale’

Ben Shapiro – Nobody Trusts Hillary, Trump Surges in Polls

Everybody Hates Hillary Clinton

Expert: Hillary Clinton Ready To Launch Major Play

Ben Shapiro Talks Trump and Nazis | Louder With Crowder

Americans Don’t Trust Hillary Or Trump With Nukes

Ann Coulter: ‘In Trump We Trust’

Ann Coulter v. Dennis Prager – In Trump We Trust and the Vicious Roast

Trump Does Not Trust The CIA

Do You Trust Trump with the Nuclear Codes?

Both Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Seek To Regain Trust In Election | MSNBC

The Year of the Reticent Voter

People seem to feel that if they express a preference, they’re inviting others to inspect their souls.

By PEGGY NOONAN

The signature sentence of this election begins with the words “In a country of 320 million . . .” I hear it everywhere. It ends with “how’d it come down to these two?” or “why’d we get them?”

Another sentence is a now a common greeting among Republicans who haven’t seen each other in a while: “What are we gonna do?”

The most arresting sentence of the week came from a sophisticated Manhattan man friendly with all sides. I asked if he knows what he’ll do in November. “I know exactly,” he said with some spirit. “I will be one of the 40 million who will deny, the day after the election, that they voted for him. But I will.”
A high elected official, a Republican, got a faraway look when I asked what he thought was going to happen. “This is the unpollable election,” he said. People don’t want to tell you who they’re for. A lot aren’t sure. A lot don’t want to be pressed.

That’s exactly what I’ve seen the past few weeks in North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee and Minnesota.

Every four years I ask people if they’ll vote, and if they have a sense of how. Every four years they tell me—assertively or shyly, confidently or tentatively. This year is different. I’ve never seen people so nervous to answer. It’s so unlike America, this reticence, even defensiveness. It’s as if there’s a feeling that to declare who you’re for is to invite others to inspect your soul.

“I feel like this is the most controversial election ever,” said a food-court worker at La Guardia Airport. She works a full shift, 4 a.m. to noon, five days a week, then goes full-time to a nearby college. We’d been chatting a while, and when I asked the question she told me, carefully, that she hasn’t decided how she’ll vote, and neither have her family members. I said a lot of people seem nervous to say. She said: “Especially Trump people. They’re afraid you’ll think they’re stupid.”

Which is how I knew she was going to vote for Donald Trump.

It’s true: Trump voters especially don’t want to be categorized, judged, thought stupid—racist, sexist, Islamophobic, you name it. When most of them know, actually, that they’re not.

Voters who talk about 2016 are very careful to damn both sides, air their disappointment, note that they’ve been following the election closely. They know each candidate’s history.

In Tennessee I asked a smart businessman who he’s for. He carefully and at length outlined his criticisms and concerns regarding both candidates. Then, as I started to leave, he threw in, from nowhere: “So I think Trump.”

When I talk to strangers—which I do a lot, and like it—I sometimes say dour, mordant things, to get them going by establishing that anything can be said. I say if Hillary Clinton is elected there will be at least one special prosecutor, maybe two, within 18 months, because her character will not be reborn on crossing the threshold of the White House; the well-worn grooves of her essential nature will kick in. If Mr. Trump is elected there will be a constitutional crisis within 18 months because he doesn’t really know what a president does, doesn’t respect traditional boundaries, doesn’t reflect on implications and effects. I always expect pushback. I am not getting it! I get nods, laughs and, in two recent cases, admissions that whoever wins they’d been wondering how soon impeachment proceedings would begin.
Oh, my pained and crazy country.

A final observation, underlying all. Under the smiles and beyond the reticence it is clear how seriously Americans are taking their decision, how gravely. As if it’s not Tweedledum and Tweedledee but an actual choice between two vastly different dramas, two different worlds of outcome and meaning. The cynic or the screwball? Shall we go to the bad place or the crazy place?

I returned knowing I was wrong about something. I thought everyone has been watching the election more than a year, everyone knows their opinion of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, this thing is pretty much settled. No, it’s fluid. This cake is not baked.

I talked to Peter D. Hart, the veteran Democratic pollster. Are things as much in play as I think? Yes and no, he said. People do have a firm opinion of the two candidates, the clichés are set: “Hillary competent and cold, Trump an incompetent loose cannon.” But “the part that is evolving is a sense of what we need to do and where we need to go.” Everyone wants change, but people are deciding, “constructive change or radical change?”

Pollster Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies says nothing is settled. “Voters are angry at Clinton because she can’t tell the truth and they’re scared of Trump because they’re afraid he’s gonna start a war. There are times her un-truthiness outweighs their concern about him overreacting and starting a war. It goes back and forth.”

He disagrees with the “unpollable” premise: “It’s pollable. But if anyone says their results are cast in concrete, that’s a mistake. There’s a lot of fluidity.”

The veteran pollster Kellyanne Conway, now Trump campaign manager, says: “This thing is fluid in a way we don’t understand.” She is a close student of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign in all its aspects. Like Mr. Obama, she says, Mr. Trump is “a candidate built for the 21st century. . . . The most fundamental truth of politics is there’s no substitute for a great, magnetic, compelling candidate.”

She speaks of “undercover” Trump voters. “To call them hidden is a mistake. They’re undercover because they’ve gotten to the point they’re tired of arguing. . . . Some have been voting Democratic all their life, they voted for Obama, they’re tired of defending and explaining themselves” to family and coworkers. “They don’t want to proselytize.”

Mr. Hart said the debates are unusually important this year. “Trump is the central character—it’s his last opportunity to get a fresh look from voters. A debate is an open window. Voters suspend opinions and look afresh. Attitudes toward Trump have not changed—temperament questions, can he do the job?” This is a chance for him to “establish credibility at this stage of the game.” By contrast, “Hillary’s problems are not professional but personal—can I like her, does she understand me. . . . It’s an opportunity for her to get voters saying, ‘You know something, she’s not a bad egg.’ ”

Ms. Conway too says the debates are key. “People like a clash of the titans. They like a contest. These debates are the ultimate reality show—the stakes have never been higher.” After the Democratic convention the Clinton campaign, in a major miscalculation, “lowered the bar” for Trump, “calling him unfit, unpresidential.” That turned him into the underdog. “Americans love an underdog.”

Ms. Conway remembered what happened in 2008 when John McCain referred to his long experience. “Obama said if experience means you got us into this mess overseas and tanked the economy, maybe experience is overrated. We are turning this around on Clinton now.”

Mr. Trump’s advantage? “Americans love to say they think outside the box. Trump lives outside the box. Hillary is the box.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-year-of-the-reticent-voter-1474586866

Dems lap up Hillary Kool Aid at their own risk

I was raised in a patriotic family of generations of life-long Democrats. My mother was a schoolteacher, and my father was a federal employee, who served in the Air Force. I was raised on values of equality with a moderate perspective of social values. I was raised in a proud Christian home.

When I graduated from college, got a job and started paying taxes, I began to appreciate the concept of “less government equals more freedom.” I registered as a Republican but continued to vote my conscience, just like many voters in Generation X.

In 2008, I was dazzled by the eloquent words of a rising political figure. I was moon-eyed by the prospect of making history and casting my vote for the first African American President. Consumed by the prospects of  “change we can believe in,” I voted for Barack Obama.

Like so many Americans, I bought the mainstream media’s portrayal of him and his intentions. I drank the “Obama Kool-Aid.” I believed what he said, and I voted for Obama in 2008 because I wanted to be a part of the historic wave of Americans electing the first African American President.

This is a mistake I regret and I learned my lesson. I realized that I cannot blindly accept the mainstream media’s propaganda, and that I must do my own research.

Obama’s Presidency left me feeling deceived, betrayed and angry. The promises of unity and “change we can believe in” devolved into social and economic divisions and tyranny.

The financial crisis of 2009 leveled my savings and equity in my home, and I watched helplessly as Barack and Hillary bailed out the “too big to fail” one percent elites on Wall Street. Meanwhile the middle class was left to fend for our own.

I did not vote for Obama in 2012. As the idiom goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.”

Albert Einstein once stated, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” His common sense statement resonates with prophetic importance for America in this critical Presidential election.

I have heard this same sentiment echoed by Donald Trump when he states that the Washington insiders who caused America’s problems cannot solve them.

Hillary Clinton has been at the forefront of the Washington political establishment as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State since January 1993.

For more than two decades, she had the opportunity, but failed miserably, to help the middle class, create jobs, strengthen our healthcare and education systems, and fortify our national security through effective foreign policy and trade deals.

During his speech at the Democrat convention, Bill Clinton stated, “She flew all night long from Cambodia to the Middle East to get a cease-fire that would avoid a full-out shooting war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza to protect the peace in the region.”

I find this statement to be particularly puzzling. Secretary Clinton was given not one, but two valid opportunities in March 2011, to get a ceasefire at the outset of the Libya revolution followed by Gaddafi’s abdication.

Both ceasefire opportunities were obstructed by Hillary, despite the recommendations of senior Pentagon officials to give peace a chance.  

Secretary Clinton also obstructed the orders of the President and Secretary of Defense to deploy all available resources to save American lives in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

Hillary intervened to block the order as she was more concerned about uniforms and approval from the Libyan government — an approval she had the authority to waive in this extremis situation.

When lives were at stake, Hillary was more concerned about politically protecting foreign policy decisions she had made in Libya, rather than saving American lives.

This is a scenario all too familiar in Hillary politics. Her litany of lies, double-talk and hypocrisy have reached epic proportions.

From Hillary’s “What difference at this point does it make,” to “Did I wipe the server — like with a cloth,” to “I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” she continues to deceive us.

Perhaps the most egregious deception is best understood from the words of a grieving mother, Patricia Smith, whose son, Sean Smith, was murdered in the Benghazi attack.

She stated, “In an email to her daughter shortly after the attack, Hillary Clinton blamed it on terrorism. But when I saw Hillary Clinton at Sean’s coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible.”

America can no longer blindly follow deceptive and corrupt politicians who are incapable of telling the truth. This is Einstein’s definition of insanity!

America cannot drink the “Hillary Kool-Aid” and risk electing her simply because she is “experienced” and will break a glass ceiling. Her kind of experience has only weakened America and exposed us to our enemies.

Paraphrasing Donald Trump, it is not the effort that counts, but rather results.

America cannot elect a leader who brags about her efforts, without demonstrating any positive results. Our problems are too great and only getting worse.

Throughout his career, Donald Trump has delivered real results, and told the truth even when it was not politically correct. He is not part of the “political consciousness” that has created America’s problems. He is willing to name and confront our enemies and make the tough decisions.

The only person with the ability and true intention of making America great again is Donald Trump, and my mother agrees with my sentiments.

For the first time in her life, my mother is voting Republican for President of the United States, and we are both voting for Donald J. Trump!

Stephanie M. Jason is a frequent contributor to the Hill and a Donald J. Trump supporter.

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/289815-dems-lap-up-the-hillary-kool-aid-at-their-own-risk

 

Why I Trust Trump

“Trump will do what he says.”  “Trump isn’t a lying politician.”  “Trump promised to do it, and he will.”

So say thousands of supporters of The Donald throughout the internet.  Old and young, male and female, they say it vehemently, without reservation.  I confess that for the longest time, I thought I detected a note of protesting too much in their assurances, as though they were saying these things more as a talisman against their own doubts than as a counterargument to anything Trump’s critics were saying.  This seemed the most reasonable interpretation, because it was apparent that these people had nothing substantial to say against the criticism itself.

But on the Lewis Carroll principle that “What I tell you three times is true,” it follows that what hundreds of people tell you thousands of times must be super-duper-true.  So I’ve decided to stop denying the obvious and start trusting Donald Trump to do exactly what he says he’ll do.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying I trust him to do what his followers say he’s going to do.  They have invented their own weird category of campaign promises – namely, promises they make to themselves in Trump’s name.  Wish-fulfillment promises.  Projection promises.  “If I were the candidate, I would do X” promises.

These supporters have stocked their weird new category with all kinds of amazing ideas, but the most commonly cited are probably these three: “He’s going to deport all the illegals so we can have our country back.”  “He’s going to clean out all the cronies and hacks in the Washington establishment.”  “He’s going to deal mercilessly with the Muslim threat.”

I suppose these three promises Trump’s supporters make to themselves are the most commonly repeated for the simple reason that they can’t find anything he actually believes that they could, in good conscience, cite as a reason for supporting him.

Would these people – and I say “people” to clarify that I’m talking about the patriotic Americans among his followers, and excluding the progressives, white supremacists, reality TV junkies, and ex-Obama cultists looking for a new god – but would these decent people have the nerve to defend Trump for saying he wants universal health care?  For saying people who don’t support socialized medicine “have no heart”?  For saying an old lady who doesn’t want to give up her “terrible house” to a private real estate development project should be forced off her property by the government?  For saying a sixty-year-old Republican woman is too unattractive to be president?  For saying a senator is an unlikeable candidate because he hasn’t ingratiated himself with Mitch McConnell?  For donating more than $60,000 to McConnell’s 2014 fight against a Tea Party challenger, and publicly endorsing him for Senate majority leader?  For saying he likes and looks forward to making “great deals” with Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and other socialists?  For saying that not only were the bank bailouts a good idea, but even nationalizing the banks would be acceptable in the event of an economic crisis such as the one in 2008?  For finding freedom of speech objectionable and unworthy of defense when people use it to say things he doesn’t like?  For casually supporting unlimited NSA authority to collect everyone’s private communications, or proposing to “call Bill Gates” and shut down parts of the internet?  For promising to use presidential authority to punish companies that send jobs overseas, while he has done the same himself, or for hiring foreign workers rather than qualified Americans, while he does it himself?

Of course, his rational supporters could not cite any of these positions or promises in his defense.  After all, they might as well vote for Hillary Clinton if they agreed with any of those ideas.  How different are they from her positions?  And Hillary, like Trump, supported both Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale against Ronald Reagan.  She too, at the end of Reagan’s presidency, would have written, as Trump did, that he was a con man whom “people are beginning to question” concerning “whether there is anything beneath that smile.”  She too believed in 2008 that she would make “a great president.”  She, like Trump, would have said, during Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, that she was doing “a good job” as secretary of state.

So it stands to reason these Trump supporters would cling to their three big wish-fulfillment promises noted above – deporting all the illegals, cleaning up Washington, fighting Islamism – even though none of them represents Trump’s actual positions.

Trump, like all progressive-spirited sophists, is a master of the rhetorical skill we might call “far side of the moon” campaigning.  He deliberately embraces positions that, if looked at from different angles, seem to be saying almost contradictory things.  Thus, by carefully emphasizing the half of the position that his given audience prefers to hear, he convinces them that he believes what they believe.  The next day, when he is called on it by the opposing side of the debate, he (or a surrogate) simply restates the position with emphasis on its other half, which was left in the dark when speaking to the previous audience.

Hence you get “a big beautiful wall” – with a “big beautiful door.”  You get “free market solutions” on health care – with universal coverage paid for by the government.  You get a ban on Muslim immigration (whatever that means) – for an unspecified brief time.

But if you focus only on the first part of each of those positions – the part a person in despair at the thought of losing his country might prefer to hear – you can almost believe that Trump really took the position you wished he had taken.  Once you have convinced yourself that what you wanted him to say is what he actually said, no one can talk you out of that dead certainty.  In fact, not even Trump himself can dissuade you from trusting what you believe you heard him say.

Trump seems to have intuited this weakness of desperate human beings – their willingness to see what they need to see, in defiance of the truth that is before them – and he is exploiting it for his own short-term advantage.  I say short-term because it is obvious that once he is the GOP nominee, he will, as he has promised, change his tone and become something completely different for the general election.  In saying this, Trump is merely telling you the truth – namely, that he is not a man of principle or a real leader.  He is a professional salesman who is adept at winning over an audience by quickly divining what that audience wants to believe and then giving it to that audience with both barrels.  That is, he is a sycophant who has the dubious skill of bluffing his victims into feeling he is leading them rather than merely flattering them with imitation.

This modus operandi is obviously the opposite of what people want in a political leader, because it guarantees that he will betray you the moment he is speaking to an audience with different priorities.  (And is there a public figure on Earth with a clearer record of such betrayals?)  But because his sales pitch is so blunt and vigorous, even his promise of hypocrisy tends to get absorbed into the audience’s admiration: “Of course he has to speak differently in the general election.  That’s what he needs to do to win – so that he can then fulfill all the great promises he made to us!”

We see this convenient delusion regularly among Trump supporters.  Every time you mention all the large contributions Trump has made to leading progressive establishment politicians of both parties, right up to the year before his candidacy, his fans enthusiastically recite his own revealing rationalization, which boils down to “I’m a businessman, and I saw my personal advantage in propping up the socialists and other soft despots of the Washington establishment, so naturally I supported them in exchange for influence and favors.”  In other words, he’s a poster boy for crony capitalism – but that’s okay, in his case alone, because oh boy, when he’s elected, “Trump will do what he says.”

I give up.  It works for me now.  Trump will do what he says.  He’s not a lying politician.  He promised to do it, and he will.  Please allow me to explain my new faith.

He promises to send all the illegals to Mexico, and then bring almost all of them back on an expedited path to legalization.  This is called touchback amnesty; it was endorsed many years ago by The New York Times and supported by a large majority in an LA Times poll of illegal immigrants.  When Trump was accused by his useful idiot media of being a troglodyte for wanting to deport twelve million law-abiding criminals, his son was quick to shine a light on the far side of that moon:

The point isn’t just deporting them, it’s deporting them and letting them back in legally.  He’s been so clear about that [when speaking to certain audiences] and I know the liberal media wants to misconstrue it, but it’s deporting them and letting them back legally.

He promises touchback amnesty, and I believe him.

He promises to get along with everyone in Washington, to make deals with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, to support Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader (unlike that guy everybody hates, Ted Cruz), and to “take the calls” of all those members of the establishment he always worked with back (eighteen months ago) when he “was a member of the establishment – meaning a giver, a big donor.”  In other words, he promises that his anti-establishment, “burn the place down” rhetoric is just rabble-rousing talk, but that in truth he will be a model Washington establishment back-scratcher.

He promises to continue his lifelong friendship with the progressive status quo, and I believe him.

He promises that his much loved (by his supporters) “ban on Muslim immigration” is merely a temporary “pause,” which was presented with the light shining on the “ban” side of its moon in order to appeal to the nationalist sentiment of his crowds, but which was really just a call for administrative adjustment of immigration procedures from a candidate who had, a few months earlier, supported the acceptance of Syrian refugees.

When free speech activists, including Geert Wilders, gathered in Texas for a “Draw Muhammad” contest in 2015, to show solidarity with European artists and journalists living (and dying) under threat of attack by Islamists, the gathering itself was attacked by Islamists who have since been connected with ISIS.  Donald Trump held the event’s organizer, Pamela Geller, responsible for the violence and loss of life, on the grounds that people shouldn’t speak in a way that might aggravate Muslim jihadists:

What is she doing, drawing Muhammad?  It looks like she’s actually taunting people. … Isn’t there something else they can draw? … They can’t do something else?  They have to be in the middle of Texas, doing something on Muhammad and insulting everybody?

He recently said he wishes to remain neutral for the moment regarding negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, basically in order to retain the element of surprise should he end up involved in those negotiations.  That is, he seeks to maintain neutrality between a longtime American ally under siege by jihadists and a terrorist-electing faction supported for years by the mullahs in Iran.

He advocated using American military assets to support the Islamist uprising against Moammar Gaddafi, actually proposing that U.S. troops be sent in to “knock this guy [Gaddafi] out very quickly, very surgically.”  (That this is the far side of the moon that he is hoping to hide in front of his current audience is proved by his outright lie, during the February 25 debate, when he claimed he had never discussed Libya before.)

Few American public figures have been more deeply involved in offering aid and comfort to the global Islamist movement than Hillary Clinton.  Trump’s support for Clinton continued through to the fall of 2013, after her tenure at the State Department was over, when he told Larry King, “I know her very well.  They’re members of my club, and I like both of them very much.”  This, you may note, was a full year after the Benghazi attack, a year after Hillary’s “offensive video” cover story to protect herself and Barack Obama from culpability, months after she responded to questions concerning her lies about the causes of that terrorist attack by screaming, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Though Trump has since called her “the worst secretary of state,” he has not tied that convenient and sudden flip-flop to her role in enabling the rise of Islamic extremism in the Middle East (a policy he supported, at least in Libya) or her questionable associations with the caliphate movement within the U.S.

So Trump promises to pause Muslim immigration for a short time – a weaker position on restricting Muslim Islamist infiltration than those both Rand Paul and Ted Cruz were advocating long before Trump’s headline-grabbing announcement.  He promises to shout down free speech that might offend Islamists (except, apparently, when he finds such speech useful to himself during a campaign).  He promises to claim neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  And he promises to ignore global caliphate influence in Washington when his old friends are involved.

He promises to talk tough, but act weak, on Islamism, and I believe him.

Give in to the magic, ladies and gentlemen.  Trump will do what he says – and America’s last glimmer of hope to save herself from Reagan’s famous thousand years of darkness will vanish.
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/03/why_i_trust_trump.html#ixzz4L7Ww1Dv7

 

Story 2: Do You Trust Big Lie Media? Nobody Does Except The Kool Aid Drinkers! — Videos

Gallup poll: Americans’ trust in media reaches record low

The press and the presidential election

Poll Shows That Americans Don’t Trust The Media

Kurtz: Trump beats the press, again

Trump rips media, moderators

Mainstream Media Lies to the Masses – Media Lies – Media Lies Documentary

CNN falsely adds ‘racial’ to Trump’s comments on profiling

 Why You Should Never Trust The Mainstream Media

Katie Pavlich Explains Why People Don’t Trust The Media Anymore

DEBUNKED: #BlackLivesMatter Propaganda Exposed Case-By-Case

Trust in Media at all time low, GALLUP POLL

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Polls

RT Reacts After RT Host Condemns Russia Over Ukraine Actions

Abby Martin of RT Goes Off on ‘Corporate Media’ Propaganda with Piers Morgan

Strange Things That Only Happen In America

Invisible Empire A New World Order Defined Full

Revealed; The Men Who Own and Run the U S Government

People Who Control America ? Mind Blowing Documentary HQ

Stop Being Brainwashed And Drinking The Kool-Aid

Drinking the Kool Aid – 2015 NHD Documentary

Jonestown Cult Suicides – The True Story – Documentary

Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low

by Art Swift

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 32% say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust
  • 14% of Republicans express trust, down from 32% last year
  • Confidence drops among younger and older Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.

Americans' Trust in the Mass Media

Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.

Republicans Fuel Drop in Media Trust

While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year. With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press. Republicans who say they have trust in the media has plummeted to 14% from 32% a year ago. This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years.

Trust in Mass Media, by Party

Democrats’ and independents’ trust in the media has declined only marginally, with 51% of Democrats (compared with 55% last year) and 30% of independents (versus 33% last year) expressing trust. Over the past 20 years, Democrats have generally expressed more trust than Republicans in the media, although in 2000, the two parties were most closely aligned, with 53% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans professing trust.

Trust in Mass Media Falls Across Age Groups

Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to say they trust the media, but trust has declined among both age groups this year. Currently, 26% of those aged 18 to 49 (down from 36% last year) and 38% of those aged 50 and older (down from 45%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.

Trust in Mass Media, by Age

In 2001, younger Americans (55%) were more likely than older Americans (50%) to express trust and confidence in mass media. This gap emerged again in 2005 when 53% of 18- to 49-year-olds had trust and 45% of those 50 and older expressed the same sentiment. Yet in the past decade, older Americans have mostly had more confidence than younger Americans, and this year, the gap between these age groups is 12 points. And 2016 marks the first time that confidence among older Americans has dropped below 40% in polling since 2001.

Bottom Line

The divisive presidential election this year may be corroding Americans’ trust and confidence in the media, particularly among Republicans who may believe the “mainstream media” are too hyperfocused on every controversial statement or policy proposal from Trump while devoting far less attention to controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign. However, the slide in media trust has been happening for the past decade. Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of Americans feel that way. Now, only about a third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.

With the explosion of the mass media in recent years, especially the prevalence of blogs, vlogs and social media, perhaps Americans decry lower standards for journalism. When opinion-driven writing becomes something like the norm, Americans may be wary of placing trust on the work of media institutions that have less rigorous reporting criteria than in the past. On the other hand, as blogs and social media “mature,” they may improve in the American public’s eyes. This could, in turn, elevate Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media as a whole.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 7-11, 2016, with a random sample of 1,020 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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The Pronk Pops Show 748, September 1, 2016, Part 1: Story 1: Trump Game Changing Immigration Speech Will Resonate with American People — Trump Tells Truth Puts Hillary In Hell — Videos — Story 2: Reactions to Trump Speech Very Positive — Trump Poll Numbers Will Rise and Surpass Clinton Before First Debate — Videos

Posted on August 31, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Addiction, American History, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, College, Communications, Computers, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Elections, Employment, European History, Fast and Furious, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islamic State, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mexico, Networking, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Pro Life, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Rifles, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Security, Software, Taxation, Taxes, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Trump Game Changing Immigration Speech Will Resonate with American People — Trump Tells Truth Puts Hillary In Hell — Videos

Trump with Angel Moms

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DEPORTATIONS

Graphic shows deportations from the U.S. by year since 2001; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;

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Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts. The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.

On October 3, 2007, a press conference and panel discussion was hosted by Californians for Population Stabilization (http://www.CAPSweb.org) and The Social Contract (http://www.TheSocialContract.com) to discuss alternative methodologies for estimating the true numbers of illegal aliens residing in the United States.

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Wayne Lutton, Introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5KHQR…

Diana Hull, part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6WvFW…

Diana Hull, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYuRNY…

James H Walsh, part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB0RkV…

James H. Walsh, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbmdun…

Phil Romero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_ohvJ…

Fred Elbel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNTJGf…

The Illegal Invasion of America

The Border Crisis- The real impact of illegal immigration

Published on Oct 17, 2014

This video is for Americans that believe in sovereignty.
This failure to secure our borders is a push for the North American Union and Agenda 21.
Remember this when you go to the polls in Nov.!
Our vote may not count, but it is our last bastion for peaceful protest before we are forced to take up arms against our government.

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Full text: Donald Trump immigration speech in Arizona

08/31/16 10:54 PM EDT

Remarks as prepared for delivery and obtained by POLITICO Wednesday night.
Thank you, Phoenix. I am so glad to be back in Arizona, a state that has a very special place in my heart.

I love the people of Arizona and, together, we are going to win the White House in November.
Tonight is not going to be a normal rally speech.
Instead, I am going to deliver a detailed policy address on one of the greatest challenges facing our country today: immigration.
I have just landed having returned from a very important and special meeting with the President of Mexico – a man I like and respect very much, and a man who truly loves his country. Just like I am a man who loves the United States.
We agreed on the importance of ending the illegal flow of drugs, cash, guns and people across our border, and to put the cartels out of business.

We also discussed the great contributions of Mexican-American citizens to our two countries, my love for the people of Mexico, and the close friendship between our two nations.

It was a thoughtful and substantive conversation. This is the first of what I expect will be many conversations in a Trump Administration about creating a new relationship between our two countries.

But to fix our immigration system, we must change our leadership in Washington. There is no other way.

The truth is, our immigration system is worse than anyone realizes. But the facts aren’t known because the media won’t report on them, the politicians won’t talk about them, and the special interests spend a lot of money trying to cover them up.

Today you will get the truth.

The fundamental problem with the immigration system in our country is that it serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and powerful politicians. Let me tell you who it doesn’t serve: it doesn’t serve you, the American people.

When politicians talk about immigration reform, they usually mean the following: amnesty, open borders, and lower wages.

Immigration reform should mean something else entirely: it should mean improvements to our laws and policies to make life better for American citizens.

But if we are going to make our immigration system work, then we have to be prepared to talk honestly and without fear about these important and sensitive issues.

For instance, we have to listen to the concerns that working people have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills, and living conditions. These are valid concerns, expressed by decent and patriotic citizens from all backgrounds.

We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. It is our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish here.

Then there is the issue of security. Countless innocent American lives have been stolen because our politicians have failed in their duty to secure our borders and enforce our laws.

I have met with many of the parents who lost their children to Sanctuary Cities and open borders. They will be joining me on the stage later today.

Countless Americans who have died in recent years would be alive today if not for the open border policies of this Administration. This includes incredible Americans like 21-year-old Sarah Root. The man who killed her arrived at the border, entered federal custody, and then was released into a U.S. community under the policies of this White House. He was released again after the crime, and is now at large.

Sarah had graduated from college with a 4.0, top of her class, the day before.

Also among the victims of the Obama-Clinton open borders policies was Grant Ronnebeck, a 21 year-old convenience store clerk in Mesa, Arizona. He was murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member previously convicted of burglary who had also been released from Federal Custody.

Another victim is Kate Steinle, gunned down in the Sanctuary City of San Francisco by an illegal immigrant deported five previous times.

Then there is the case of 90 year-old Earl Olander, who was brutally beaten and left to bleed to death in his home. The perpetrators were illegal immigrants with criminal records who did not meet the Obama Administration’s priorities for removal.

In California, a 64 year-old Air Force Veteran, Marilyn Pharis, was sexually assaulted and beaten to death with a hammer. Her killer had been arrested on multiple occasions, but was never deported.

A 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office found that illegal immigrants and other non-citizens in our prisons and jails together had around 25,000 homicide arrests to their names.

On top of that, illegal immigration costs our country more than $113 billion dollars a year. For the money we are going to spend on illegal immigration over the next ten years, we could provide one million at-risk students with a school voucher.

While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, this doesn’t change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower-skilled workers with less education who compete directly against vulnerable American workers, and that these illegal workers draw much more out from the system than they will ever pay in.

But these facts are never reported.

Instead, the media and my opponent discuss one thing, and only this one thing: the needs of people living here illegally.

The truth is, the central issue is not the needs of the 11 million illegal immigrants – or however many there may be.

That has never been the central issue. It will never be the central issue.

Anyone who tells you that the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington.

Only out of touch media elites think the biggest problem facing American society today is that there are 11 million illegal immigrants who don’t have legal status.

To all the politicians, donors and special interests, hear these words from me today: there is only one core issue in the immigration debate and it is this: the well-being of the American people. Nothing even comes a close second.

Hillary Clinton, for instance, talks constantly about her fears that families will be separated. But she’s not talking about the American families who have been permanently separated from their loved ones because of a preventable death. No, she’s only talking about families who came here in violation of the law.

We will treat everyone living or residing in our country with dignity. We will be fair, just and compassionate to all. But our greatest compassion must be for American citizens.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton have engaged in gross dereliction of duty by surrendering the safety of the American people to open borders. President Obama and Hillary Clinton support Sanctuary Cities, they support catch-and-release on the border, they support visa overstays, they support the release of dangerous criminals from detention – and they support unconstitutional executive amnesty.

Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare for illegal immigrants – breaking the federal budget. On top of that, she promises uncontrolled low-skilled immigration that continues to reduce jobs and wages for American workers, especially African-American and Hispanic workers. This includes her plan to bring in 620,000 new refugees in a four-year term.

Now that you’ve heard about Hillary Clinton’s plan – about which she has not answered a single substantive question – let me tell you about my plan.

While Hillary Clinton meets only with donors and lobbyists, my plan was crafted with the input from federal immigration officers, along with top immigration experts who represent workers, not corporations. I also worked with lawmakers who’ve led on this issue on behalf of American citizens for many years, and most importantly, I’ve met with the people directly impacted by these policies.

Number One: We will build a wall along the Southern Border.

On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border. We will use the best technology, including above-and below-ground sensors, towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dislocate tunnels, and keep out the criminal cartels, and Mexico will pay for the wall.

Number Two: End Catch-And-Release

Under my Administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.

Number Three: Zero tolerance for criminal aliens.

According to federal data, there are at least 2 million criminal aliens now inside the country. We will begin moving them out day one, in joint operations with local, state and federal law enforcement.

Beyond the 2 million, there are a vast number of additional criminal illegal immigrants who have fled or evaded justice. But their days on the run will soon be over. They go out, and they go out fast.

Moving forward, we will issue detainers for all illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever, and they will be placed into immediate removal proceedings. We will terminate the Obama Administration’s deadly non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets.

Since 2013 alone, the Obama Administration has allowed 300,000 criminal aliens to return back into U.S. communities – these are individuals encountered or identified by ICE but who not detained or processed for deportation.

My plan also includes cooperating closely with local jurisdictions to remove criminal aliens.

We will restore the highly successful Secure Communities program. We will expand and revitalize the popular 287(g) partnerships, which will help to identify hundreds of thousands of deportable aliens in local jails. Both of these programs have been recklessly gutted by this Administration. This is yet one more area where we are headed in a totally opposite direction.

On my first day in office, I am also going to ask Congress to pass “Kate’s Law” – named for Kate Steinle – to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal reentry face receive strong mandatory minimum sentences.

Another reform I am proposing is the passage of legislation named for Detective Michael Davis and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver, two law enforcement officers recently killed by a previously-deported illegal immigrant. The Davis-Oliver bill will enhance cooperation with state and local authorities to ensure that criminal immigrants and terrorists are swiftly identified and removed.

We are going to triple the number of ICE deportation officers. Within ICE, I am going to create a new special Deportation Task Force, focused on identifying and removing quickly the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice.

The local police know who every one of these criminals are. There’s no great mystery to it, they’ve put up with it for years. And now, finally, we will turn the tables and law enforcement will be allowed to clear up this dangerous and threatening mess.

We’re also going to hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents, and put more of them on the border, instead of behind desks. We will expand the number of Border Patrol Stations.

I’ve had a chance to spend time with these incredible law enforcement officers, and I want to take a moment to thank them. The endorsement I’ve received from the Border Patrol officers means more to me than I can say.

Number Four: Block Funding For Sanctuary Cities

We will end the Sanctuary Cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities.

Number Five: Cancel Unconstitutional Executive Orders & Enforce All Immigration Laws

We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.

Hillary Clinton has pledged to keep both of these illegal amnesty programs – including the 2014 amnesty which has been blocked by the Supreme Court. Clinton has also pledged to add a third executive amnesty.

Clinton’s plan would trigger a Constitutional Crisis unlike almost anything we have ever seen before. In effect, she would be abolishing the lawmaking powers of Congress in order to write her own laws from the Oval Office.

In a Trump Administration, all immigration laws will be enforced. As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities. But, unlike this Administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement – and ICE and Border Patrol officers will be allowed to do their jobs. Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation – that is what it means to have laws and to have a country.

Our enforcement priorities will include removing criminals, gang members, security threats, visa overstays, public charges – that is, those relying on public welfare or straining the safety net, along with millions of recent illegal arrivals and overstays who’ve come here under the current Administration.

Number Six: We Are Going To Suspend The Issuance Of Visas To Any Place Where Adequate Screening Cannot Occur

According to data provided to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, between 9/11 and the end of 2014, at least 380 foreign-born individuals were convicted in terror cases inside the United States. The number is likely higher, but the Administration refuses to provide this information to Congress.

As soon as I enter office, I am going to ask the Department of State, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to begin a comprehensive review of these cases in order to develop a list of regions and countries from which immigration must be suspended until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place.

Countries from which immigration will be suspended would include places like Syria and Libya.

For the price of resettling 1 refugee in the United States, 12 could be resettled in a safe zone in their home region.

Another reform involves new screening tests for all applicants that include an ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values and love our people.

For instance, in the last five years, we’ve admitted nearly 100,000 immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan – in these two countries, according to Pew research, a majority of residents say that the barbaric practice of honor killings against women are often or sometimes justified.

Applicants will be asked for their views about honor killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities, attitudes on Radical Islam, and many other topics as part of the vetting procedure.

Number Seven: We will ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported

There are at least 23 countries that refuse to take their people back after they have been ordered to leave the United States, including large numbers of violent criminals. Due to a Supreme Court decision, if these violent offenders cannot be sent home, our law enforcement officers have to release them into U.S. communities. There are often terrible consequences, such as Casey Chadwick’s tragic death in Connecticut just last year. Yet, despite the existence of a law that commands the Secretary of State to stop issuing visas to these countries, Secretary Hillary Clinton ignored this law and refused to use this powerful tool to bring nations into compliance.

The result of her misconduct was the release of thousands of dangerous criminal aliens who should have been sent home.

According to a report from the Boston Globe, from the year 2008 through 2014, nearly 13,000 criminal aliens were released back into U.S. communities because their home countries would not take them back. Many of these 13,000 releases occurred on Hillary Clinton’s watch – she had the power and the duty to stop it cold and she didn’t do it.

Those released include individuals convicted of killings, sexual assault and some of the most heinous crimes imaginable, who went on to reoffend at a very high rate.

Number Eight: We will finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.

For years, Congress has required a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system, but it has never been completed.

In my Administration, we will ensure that this system is in place at all land, air, and sea ports. Approximately half of new illegal immigrants came on temporary visas and then never left. Beyond violating our laws, visa overstays pose a substantial threat to national security. The 9/11 Commission said that this tracking system should be a high priority and “would have assisted law enforcement and intelligence officials in August and September 2001 in conducting a search for two of the 9/11 hijackers that were in the U.S. on expired visas.”

Last year alone, nearly a half a million individuals overstayed their temporary visas. Removing visa overstays will be a top priority of my Administration. If people around the world believe they can just come on a temporary visa and never leave – the Obama-Clinton policy – then we have a completely open border. We must send the message that visa expiration dates will be strongly enforced.

Number Nine: We will turn off the jobs and benefits magnet.

We will ensure that E-Verify is used to the fullest extent possible under existing law, and will work with Congress to strengthen and expand its use across the country.

Immigration law doesn’t exist just for the purpose of keeping out criminals. It exists to protect all aspects of American life – the worksite, the welfare office, the education system and much else. That is why immigration limits are established in the first place. If we only enforce the laws against crime, then we have an open border to the entire world.

I will enforce all of our immigration laws.

The same goes for government benefits. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 62 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants used some form of cash or non-cash welfare programs, like food stamps or housing assistance. This directly violates the federal public charge law designed to protect the U.S. treasury.

Those who abuse our welfare system will be priorities for removal.

Number 10: We will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers

We’ve admitted 59 million immigrants to the United States between 1965 and 2015.

Many of these arrivals have greatly enriched our country. But we now have an obligation to them, and to their children, to control future immigration – as we have following previous immigration waves – to ensure assimilation, integration and upward mobility.

Within just a few years immigration as a share of national population is set to break all historical records.

The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals:

· To keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms

· To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society, and their ability to be financially self-sufficient. We need a system that serves our needs – remember, it’s America First.

· To choose immigrants based on merit, skill and proficiency

· And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.

We want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally and properly-vetted, and in a manner that serves the national interest.

We’ve been living under outdated immigration rules from decades ago. To avoid this happening in the future, I believe we should sunset our visa laws so that Congress is forced to periodically revise and revisit them. We wouldn’t put our entire federal budget on autopilot for decades, so why should we do the same for immigration?

Let’s talk about the big picture

These ten steps, if rigorously followed and enforced, will accomplish more in a matter of months than our politicians have accomplished on this issue in the last fifty years.

Because I am not a politician, because I am not beholden to any special interest, I will get this done for you and your family.

We will accomplish all of the steps outlined above, and when we do, peace and law and justice and prosperity will prevail. Crime will go down, border crossings will plummet, gangs will disappear, and welfare use will decrease. We will have a peace dividend to spend on rebuilding America, beginning with our inner cities.

For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined above. Those who have left to seek entry under this new system will not be awarded surplus visas, but will have to enter under the immigration caps or limits that will be established.

We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration. There will be no amnesty.

Our message to the world will be this: you cannot obtain legal status, or become a citizen of the United States, by illegally entering our country.

This declaration alone will help stop the crisis of illegal crossings and illegal overstays.

People will know that you can’t just smuggle in, hunker down, and wait to be legalized. Those days are over.

In several years, when we have accomplished all of our enforcement goals – and truly ended illegal immigration for good, including the construction of a great wall, and the establishment of our new lawful immigration system – then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those who remain. That discussion can only take place in an atmosphere in which illegal immigration is a memory of the past, allowing us to weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the time.

Right now, however, we are in the middle of a jobs crisis, a border crisis, and a terrorism crisis. All energies of the federal government and the legislative process must now be focused on immigration security. That is the only conversation we should be having at this time.

Whether it’s dangerous materials being smuggled across the border, terrorists entering on visas, or Americans losing their jobs to foreign workers, these are the problems we must now focus on fixing – and the media needs to begin demanding to hear Hillary Clinton’s answer on how her policies will affect Americans and their security.

These are matters of life-and-death for our country and its people, and we deserve answers from Hillary Clinton.

What we do know, despite the total lack of media curiosity, is that Hillary Clinton promises a radical amnesty combined with a radical reduction in immigration enforcement. The result will be millions more illegal immigrants, thousands more violent crimes, and total chaos and lawlessness.

This election is our last chance to secure the border, stop illegal immigration, and reform our laws to make your life better.

This is it. We won’t get another opportunity – it will be too late.

So I want to remind everyone what we are fighting for – and who we are fighting for.

So I am going to ask all the Angel Moms to come join me on the stage right now.

[[PAUSE FOR ANGEL MOMS – EACH SAYS THE NAME OF THEIR CHILD INTO THE MICROPHONE]]

Now is the time for these voices to be heard.

Now is the time for the media to begin asking questions on their behalf.

Now is the time for all of us, as one country, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, to band together to deliver justice and safety and security for all Americans.

Let’s fix this problem.

Let’s secure our border.

Let’s stop the drugs and the crime.

Let’s protect our Social Security and Medicare.

And let’s get unemployed Americans off of welfare and back to work in their own country.

Together, we can save American lives, American jobs, and American futures.

Together, we can save America itself.

Join me in this mission to Make America Great Again.

Thank you, and God Bless you all!

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/donald-trump-immigration-address-transcript-227614#ixzz4IyHwfzPa

Story 2: Reactions to Trump Speech Very Positive — Trump Poll Numbers Will Rise and Surpass Clinton Before First Debate — Videos

Donald Trump lays out plan to secure the border

Laura Ingraham: Trump gave powerful specifics on immigration

Comparing the immigration policies of Trump and Clinton

Hannity 8/31/16 – Reaction to Trump’s Major Speech on Immigration; Trump Details Ten-Point Plan

Mike Huckabee breaks down Trump’s immigration speech

How Mexico Visit Is Big Win For Trump

Anti-Trump Bias In Media Exposed

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The Pronk Pops Show 697, June 13, 2016, Story 1: Islamic State: Come or Kill — Radical Islamic Terrorist Jihadi Targets and Kills 50 And Wounds 53 in Gay Club in Orlando, Florida — Laying Lunatic Left Blames Guns and American People — Home Grown Eugenics Racist Terrorist Organizations Planned Parenthood and Other Abortion Factories Will Kill About 3,000 Babies in The Womb Today — Guns Are Not The Problem — The Political Elitist Establishment Is The Problem — Importing Terrorists With Open Borders — Stand Up and Preserve, Protect and Defend The U.S. Constitution — Videos

Posted on June 13, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Foreign Policy, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Law, Life, Movies, Networking, News, Obama, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Progressives, Rifles, Scandals, Senate, Spying, United States of America, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1:  Islamic State: Come or Kill — Radical Islamic Terrorist Jihadi Targets and Kills 49 And Wounds 53 in Gay Club in Orlando, Florida — Laying Lunatic Left Blames Guns and American People — Home Grown Eugenics Racist Terrorist Organizations Planned Parenthood and Other Abortion Factories Will Kill About 3,000 Babies in The Womb Today — Guns Are Not The Problem — The Political Elitist Establishment Is The Problem — Importing Terrorists With Open Borders — Stand Up and Preserve, Protect and Defend The U.S. Constitution — Videos

 

shooting victomshooting victim 2Nightclub_Shooting_Floridacrime scenepulse clubpulse night clubNightclub Shooting Florida

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Obama Says Orlando Shooter Was ‘Homegrown’ Terrorist

Gunman also previously visited Walt Disney World while searching for targets, according to two officials

 

By FELICIA SCHWARTZARIAN CAMPO-FLORES and AHMED AL OMRAN

 

President Barack Obama said the shooter who killed 49 people and injured 53 others at an Orlando gay nightclub apparently was self-radicalized and “an example of homegrown extremism.”

The president noted the man police have identified as the gunman, Omar S. Mateen, purchased a gun legally and was inspired by extremist information disseminated over the internet. Mr. Mateen pledged allegiance to Islamic State “at the last minute,” Mr. Obama said.

He added: “Countering this extremist ideology is increasingly going to be just as important as making sure that we are disrupting more extensive plots engineered from the outside.”

Meanwhile, investigators have found that Mr. Mateen previously visited Walt Disney Worldwhile searching for targets, according to two officials briefed on the probe. They added they don’t believe he examined the amusement park in the hours immediately before the nightclub shooting—and would not say which Disney World property was scouted.

In his Oval Office remarks, Mr. Obama also urged people considering how to respond to the attacks to avoid an “either/or” debate about terrorism or gun control and instead to consider addressing both.

The rampage has divided the two presumptive major-party presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton has called for an assault-weapons ban, while Donald Trump said American Muslims must be better scrutinized for signs of radicalization and that Muslim immigration should be stopped.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/officials-hunt-for-details-from-orlando-shooting-1465823030

Witness: Omar Mateen drank alone at Pulse before attack

By Gal Tziperman Lotan , Paul Brinkmann and Rene StutzmanContact Reporters Staff Writers

 

t least four regular customers at the Orlando gay nightclub where a gunman killed 49 people said Monday that they had seen Omar Mateen there before.

“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith said.

More details emerged Monday about the 29-year-old gunman and what he did in the days leading up to the massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

He was at Walt Disney World in April, said a Disney manager who requested anonymity.

FBI Director James Comey said his agency was trying to nail down that report and the possibility that Mateen was scouting the amusement park as a potential target, the Associated Press reported.

Smith told the Orlando Sentinel that he saw Mateen inside at least a dozen times.

“We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,” Smith said. “He told us he had a wife and child.”

When asked about those sightings,Orlando Police Chief John Mina said he had no information.

Another Pulse regular, Kevin West, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen messaged him on and off for a year using a gay chat app.

They had never met, West said, but he watched as Mateen entered the club about 1 a.m. Sunday, an hour before the shooting began.

Mateen was the security guard, born in New Hyde Park, NY., who walked into the club about 2 a.m. Sunday with a semiautomatic pistol and an assault rifle. While dance music blared, he opened fire, killing 49 people and injuring 53.

He died three hours later in a shootout with the Orlando Police Department SWAT team when it stormed the building.

During the standoff, Mateen proclaimed his allegiance to the Islamic State and his support for the Muslim brothers who set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon, police said.

Late Monday came word that Mateen’s wife, Noor Zahi Salman, was not cooperating with authorities, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Investigators want to ask if she knew about his plans in advance or helped him scout out targets.

The official said they have talked extensively with Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, who told reporters Sunday that the gunman was bi-polar and sometimes violent.

Mateen bought the weapons he used — a 9-mm semiautomatic pistol and .223-caliber assault rifle — at St. Lucie Shooting Center a few days before the massacre. Owner Edward Henson on Monday said he “vaguely” remembered him.

“He’s a nobody,” said Henson. “He’s a customer. He came and purchased his guns, and he left.”

Although the FBI investigated Mateen for possible connections to Muslim terrorists in 2013 and 2014, they closed those cases, concluding he was not a threat, Comey said.

Nothing in Mateen’s background prohibited him from legally buying those guns, and the head of the state agency that oversees gun permits in Florida told reporters Monday that the system worked the way it was designed, The News Service of Florida reported.

Mateen applied for a state security guard license, the type that allows the holder to carry a firearm, and he got one, said Adam Putnam, state agriculture commissioner. Mateen was a U.S. citizen, had no criminal record and passed a psychological test.

He was eligible to buy as many guns as he liked because he was not a convicted felon, and was not facing a felony charge or a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He was not a drug abuser, a fugitive, the subject of a domestic violence injunction, someone who was in the country illegally, someone who had been dishonorably discharged from the military or someone who had been found by a judge to be mentally incompetent.

“You cannot be deprived of rights because of an accusation,” said Eileen Rieg, a former gun shop owner in Orlando who now operates a security guard training company. She said she was troubled that the FBI had not earlier found enough evidence to make an arrest.

More details emerged Monday, too, about Maheen’s background, much of it related to law enforcement.

When he was 19, Mateen was injured when a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy lost control of his cruiser while racing to the scene of an automobile crash, according to a report.

Mateen was a passenger in the patrol car, taking part in a citizen ride-along, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bryan Beaty.

In 2006 he worked at a state prison — Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown — for six months, according to Florida Department of Corrections.

That same year, he earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Indian River Community College, according to school spokesman Robert Lane. That’s a degree required to become a law enforcement officer in Florida.

In 2007, he was hired by G4S, a private security firm based in Jupiter. His assignment at the time of his death: working as a security guard at a gated retirement community in South Florida, the company reported.

Before that, G4S assigned him, for a time, to the St. Lucie County Courthouse in Fort Pierce, a gig that ended in 2013, according to court Administrator Thomas Genung.

Cord Cedeno and Chris Callen are other Pulse customers who told the Sentinel they had seen Mateen in the nightclub.

Callen said he had witnessed violent outbursts by Mateen.

“It was definitely him. He’d come in for years, and people knew him,” Cedeno said.

Staffers Lauren Ritchie, David Fleshler, Elyssa Cherney, David Harris and Brian Bennett contributed to this report. glotan@tribpub.com or 407-420-5774,gstutzman@tribpub.com or 407-650-6394

 

 

 

Orlando shooter was “cool and calm” at the end

At about 5 a.m. on Sunday, Omar Mateen was in the bathroom of Pulse nightclub in Orlando holding several hostages, the city’s top cop said.He had been making phone calls and spoken with hostage negotiators, seeming all the while to be “cool and calm,” said Orlando Police chief John Mina at a press conference Monday giving updates on the Orlando mass shooting that left 49 people dead, in addition to Mateen.Mina said it was then that he made the decision to send in the SWAT team.”We believed further loss of life was imminent” based on what Mateen was telling people, Mina said.As the country holds vigils for the dozens of the victims, questions about the 29-year-old shooter and the police decision to storm the club known for tolerance for all people are only beginning to find answers.

Mina said at first the SWAT team attempted to breach a wall of the club with an explosive, but didn’t succeed in fully knocking it down. So they sent in an armored vehicle to finish the job, rescued dozens of hostages, and engaged in a ferocious shootuout with Mateen.

After it was over, it ended up being the worst mass shooting in American history.

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CBS NEWS

The Pulse nightclub – which describes itself as Orlando’s hottest gay bar — had been hosting a Latin night. Mateen called 911 during his nearly three-hour, well-armed standoff inside the club and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS.)

While ISIS took credit for the attack, investigators have so far uncovered no clear links between the shooter and its Syria-based terrorist administrators.

FBI Director James Comey on Monday echoed President Obama’s statement that the Orlando shooting was not a foreign-born plot and he also outlined the agency’s previous interactions with the shooter.

“So far, we see no indication that this was a plot directed from outside the United States and we see no indication that he was part of any kind of network,” Comey told reporters.

The intelligence community, Comey said, is “highly confident that this killer was radicalized at least in part through the Internet.”

Investigators have already seized electronics from the suspect’s residence, including a laptop computer, a Kindle and cell phones, a law enforcement source told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton.

The electronic devices are being analyzed at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., with the highest priority being what he was looking at on the Internet and who he was communicating with just prior to the attack. The source said that investigation indicates that the shooter heavily used the Internet and had a social media presence.

The source said the shooter left a footprint and doesn’t appear to have deleted files or scrubbed anything. The source noted this was different from the San Bernardino terrorists who left no footprints. His cell phone is posing noencryption issues as San Bernardino.

A law enforcement source said that the shooting suspect legally purchased recently the two weapons used in the attack at the shooting center in Port St. Lucie near his Fort Pierce home. He had a Glock 17 handgun purchased on June 5, a Sigsauer MCX assault rifle purchased on June 4 on his person during the shootout, and investigators later found a .38-caliber weapon in his vehicle.

Mateen was a body builder and a religious man who attended the local mosque and wanted to become a police officer. He was born in New York to Afghan parents. He had no apparent criminal record and was working as a security guard before the attack.

The shooter had been contacted by U.S. law enforcement at least twice in recent years. He had traveled to Saudi Arabia at least twice – once in 2011 and again in 2012 – as part of a religious pilgrimage.

Mateen surfaced on the FBI’s radar in 2013, when coworkers said he’d made inflammatory remarks about terrorist ties.

“Mateen was interviewed twice,” said the FBI’s Ron Hopper, who is leading the investigation into the Orlando attack. “Ultimately we were unable to verify the substance of his comments and the investigation was closed.”

In 2014 he came to the FBI’s attention again, this time because of contact he had with Moner Abu-Salha, the first known American suicide bomber in Syria. But once again, Mateen was cleared of any wrongdoing

He was not on a current terror watchlist, a U.S. intelligence source tells CBS News’ Len Tepper. He was entered into a terrorist screening database during the time the FBI was questioning him, but he was removed when the FBI closed the investigation, Tepper reports.

Despite those two investigations, Mateen was not on any list that prevented him from purchasing a weapon.

While investigators search for answers, witnesses and victims’ friends and family have been sharing stories of heroism and heartbreak amid the chaos.

Florida Governor Rick Scott many of the people who died in the Orlando gay bar were from Puerto Rico. So far, 48 of the 49 victims have been identified.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry said Monday that at least three of its country’s citizens were killed as well.

Josh McGill and friend Ashley Summers fled the club and lost track of one another. McGill found shelter behind a car.

“I was about to run for it, to the safe zone,” McGill said. “And I hear someone kind of like mumbling, ‘Help! Help!'”

A few feet away, 27-year-old Rodney Sumter Jr. lay wounded and bleeding, shot in each arm and once in the back.

“I only saw the one bullet at first, and I was like, ‘We need to stop the bleeding.’ And he’s like, ‘Okay.’ So I took my shirt off and I tied it around as tight as I could and then I saw his other arm had been shot. So I took his shirt off, tied it around that one,” McGill recounted.

The two hobbled their way to police at the scene.

“So the police officer turned to me and said, ‘Okay, this is what the deal is. You’re going to lay down in the back of that cop car and he’s going to lay on top of you, and I want you to bear hug him and try to keep all the pressure on him as you can.’ So I did,” McGill said. “And they were like ‘Also, like keep him conscious.'”

McGill held Sumter all the way to the hospital.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orlando-omar-mateen-cool-and-calm-police-negotiators-pulse-nightclub/

FBI: ORLANDO GUNMAN HAD STRONG INDICATIONS OF RADICALIZATION

 

The gunman at the Orlando gay nightclub had “strong indications of radicalization” and was likely inspired by foreign terrorist organizations, the FBI director said Monday.

James Comey also said the man, who has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, spoke with a 911 operator three times during the deadly event. At one point, Comey said, he pledged loyalty on the call to the head of the Islamic State group.

Comey’s remarks offered further detail on the shootings that left 49 victims dead and more than 50 hurt, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen died in a gun battle with police.

President Barack Obama said Monday the killer was inspired by extremist information over the internet, calling it an apparent example of the “homegrown extremism” that U.S. officials have been worrying about for years.

Mateen had twice come to the FBI’s attention before Sunday’s shooting, the FBI said. It investigated him for 10 months, beginning in May 2013, because he had made “inflammatory and contradictory” statements about ties to terrorist groups that caught his coworkers’ attention.

Mateen was working at the time as a contract security guard at a local courthouse. He has held a Florida license to be an armed security officer since at least 2011, state records show.

The FBI director said that Mateen at the time claimed family connections to al-Qaida and said he was a member of Hezbollah, which Comey said “is a Shia terrorist organization that is a bitter enemy of the so-called Islamic State.”

Mateen had also told coworkers “he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself,” Comey said.

The FBI’s Miami field office opened a preliminary investigation to determine whether Mateen was “possibly a terrorist.” The FBI began introducing him to confidential sources, following him, reviewing some details of his communications and running him through government databases looking for ties to terrorism.

Comey said Mateen admitted making the statements reported by his coworkers, but explained that he did it in anger because he thought they were discriminating against him and teasing him because he was Muslim, Comey said.

Agents closed the first investigation in early 2014, but Mateen’s name came up in a separate FBI investigation a few months later, in July 2014.

This time, the FBI was investigating Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a Florida man who blew himself up in a suicide attack in Syria on behalf of the al-Qaida affiliated Nusra Front.

The FBI found Mateen and the man had attended the same mosque and knew each other casually. “But the investigation turned up no ties of any consequence between the two of them,” Comey said.

Comey said that one witness interviewed during the investigation into Abusalha brought up Mateen’s name when asked if the witness knew of anyone “who might be radicalizing.”

The witness said he worried about Mateen because he mentioned videos of Anwar al-Alwaki, an al-Qaida leader killed in 2011 by a U.S. drone strike. But the witness said his concerns had diminished after Mateen got married, had a child and got a job as a security guard.

Comey said that FBI agents interviewed Mateen again during the investigation, but found no “significant contacts with the suicide bomber for Al-Nusra” and moved on.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NIGHTCLUB_SHOOTING_FBI_INTERACTIONS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-06-13-13-20-35

Manual for a ‘Raid’

1.

Three handwritten copies of a five-page Arabic document were found by the FBI after the September 11 attack: one in a car used by the hijackers and left outside Dulles International Airport, one in a piece of Mohammad Atta’s luggage that, by accident, did not get on the plane from Logan Airport, one in the wreckage of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Only a part of this document—pages two through five—is publicly available; it was posted on the FBI Web site on September 28, 2001.1 In view of the number of copies found, it is reasonable to assume that there were other copies in the luggage of the other hijackers. If so, it is unlikely that many of the hijackers did not know the suicidal nature of their mission, as some commentators have argued. Since one of the three copies was found in Mohammad Atta’s luggage, it also seems unlikely that the hijackers were trying, by leaving copies of the documents behind, to mislead the investigators who would retrace their steps after the event.2

We don’t know who wrote this document. From everything in it, the author seems to have been an organizer of the attacks. But the text contains a valuable record of the ideas that the hijackers would have been expected to accept. One of its underlying assumptions is that all its intended readers were going to die. It seems clearly intended for the eyes of the hijackers and no one else, and reads as if it were written to stiffen their resolve. One would expect each person to have studied his copy very carefully beforehand, reading it over many times before the mission.

The document is in effect an exacting guide for achieving the unity of body and spirit necessary for success. It is not a training manual of procedures, applicable to different situations; most of the sentences seem ta