Remember that Seymour Hersh piece about he Syrian sarin attack? The piece that everyone is trying very hard not to mention (except for the occasional Twitterized insult)? Well, Sy's work finally made the front page at Salon
The Turks wanted “to do something spectacular,” as one of Hersh’s sources explained — something to shove the Americans into the war. And now we know why there was a gas attack in Damascus last Aug. 21, three days after the U.N. inspectors got there. It was spectacular; you have to give the Turks and the insurgents this much. (And spectacularly stupid — too stupid for Assad to have done it, as I argued in this space at the time.)
Hersh’s sources speculate that the Turks will continue supporting the Syrian insurgents, however poorly the war goes for them. It is anyone’s guess what the Obama people will do, other than deny Hersh’s report and pretend once again the revealed remains secret. “‘If we went public with what we know about Erdoğan’s role with the gas, it’d be disastrous,’” one of Hersh’s sources tells him. “‘The Turks would say: “‘We hate you for telling us what we can and can’t do.’”
Remember the criticism that the sample which went to Porton Down came via Russia, and therefore is not to be trusted? We talked about that business a couple of posts down. Salon has some further responses to that critique (somewhat spoiled by the misspelling of "Porton Down")...
Answers, please: Why did the Porter Down lab work on the sarin sample if there was any possibility of taint? There would be no point and they would not have done so, or they would have looked at the sample but warned of possible taint. Why did Hersh’s source on this, an American well inside the intel scene, describe the Russian as trustworthy? Not too common, this. He did so out of loyalty only to the truth.
Why did Porter Down urgently advise defense counterparts in Washington that the case against Assad was not holding up? Why did the Defense Intelligence Agency then ask a source in the Syrian government for a typology of Assad’s chemical weapons and confirm on this basis that Porter Down was right: Assad was not the culprit?
Why did American military officers look at Porter Down’s material and then send Obama a last-minute warning not to strike? And why, finally, did Obama heed the officers, seek cover in Congress, and ultimately step back from the threatened missile attack?
Damn good questions.
I don't want people to say that Putin and I are dating or anything -- but let's face it: Russia has been an honest actor in this particular drama. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has been something very different.