Seymour Hersh, one of the best-sourced journalists in America, reports that the Obama administration "cherry-picked" intelligence to justify an attack on the Assad regime, ignoring reports that the sarin gas attack on civilians last August could have been carried out by a fundamentalist rebel group instead.
After a U.S. strike on Syria was narrowly avoided this past September, Syria agreed to give up its entire chemical weapons stockpile. While a diplomatic success, the agreement still posed several logistical issues, the most pressing of which was who would destroy the chemical weapons. Left with little option, the United States has agreed to destroy the weapons itself at sea.
The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal officially began on Sunday. A team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons oversaw Syrian personnel use cutting torches and disc saws to “destroy and disable a range of items, including missile warheads, aerial bombs, and mixing and filling equipment.”
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons just approved a plan to take Syria's chemicals: "The agreement ... allows the start of a mission to rid Syria's regime of its estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal by mid-2014, significantly accelerating a destruction timetable that often takes years to complete."
Maria Rodale, the CEO and chairman of publishing house Rodale, Inc., used to love and to support Barack Obama. She supported Barack Obama so deeply that she not only voted for him twice and attended his first inauguration, she also "paid a lot of money to have my picture taken" with him. And because of this fealty, she would like to have a word with him—or you, actually, Mr. President Barack Obama, since that's who she's addressing in this open letter published today the Huffington Post.
According to a report in Foreign Policy, U.S. intelligence agents intercepted "panicked" phone calls last Wednesday between officials at the Syrian Ministry of Defense and the leaders of a Syrian chemical weapons unit. The calls, along with visual evidence, are the principal reasons the Obama administration believes the Syrian government is responsible for last week's alleged chemical weapon assault against Syrian civilians. Earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry called the alleged attacks a "moral obscenity" and President Obama ordered the release of a document justifying a military strike against Syria.
The Syrian government and the rebels have each accused the other of using chemical weapons in a missile attack that killed 25 people on Tuesday, though U.S. and British officials have expressed skepticism that such weapons were used at all. President Obama has described chemical weapons being used or moved in large numbers as a "red line" for the U.S. government's decision to intervene in the ongoing civil war.