We may control the Air, but the enemy controls the airwaves (Media).
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh joins us to discuss his new article casting doubt on the veracity of the Obama administration’s claims that only the Assad regime could have carried out the chemical attacks in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta earlier this year. 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.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: On Tuesday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo as its staff prepare to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. According to a U.S.-Russia deal that stopped possible U.S. military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Syria is to disperse—Syria will be dispersing its arsenal of almost 1,300 tons of chemical weapons by mid-2014. The head of the mission overseeing the destruction of the country’s chemical arms said last week fighting on the ground poses a major obstacle to implementing the agreement. This is Sigrid Kaag.
SIGRID KAAG: Despite the significant progress achieved to date in a very short span of time, the most complex and challenging work lies ahead. The removal of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical agents for destruction outside of its territory will require tremendous coordination and collective effort. Security remains a key challenge for all of us. As you know, the destruction of a chemical weapons program has never taken place under such challenging and dangerous conditions.
AMY GOODMAN: That was the head of the OPCW mission to Syria, Sigrid Kaag.
This comes as a major new article casts doubts on the veracity of the Obama administration’s claims that only the Assad regime could have carried out the attacks in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta earlier this year. Writing in the London Review of Books, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh argues the Obama administration, quote, “cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.” He reports U.S. was also aware that al-Nusra, a militant group fighting in Syria’s civil war, had, quote, “mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.”
Analysis of the 30 September 2013 BBC Panorama documentary 'Saving Syria's Children' and related BBC News reports, contending that sequences filmed by BBC personnel and others at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013 purporting to show the aftermath of an incendiary bomb attack on a nearby school are largely, if not entirely, staged.
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