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Turkish Whistleblowers Corroborate Seymour Hersh Report of False Flag Sarin Gas Attack in Syria
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This is quite the bombshell delivered by two CHP deputies in the Turkish parliament and reported by Today’s Zaman, one of the top dailies in Turkey.

It supports Seymour Hersh’s reporting that the notorious sarin gas attack at Ghouta was a false flag orchestrated by Turkish intelligence in order to cross President Obama’s chemical weapons “red line” and draw the United States into the Syria war to topple Assad.

If so, President Obama deserves credit for “holding the line” against the attack despite the grumbling and incitement of the Syria hawks at home and abroad.

And it also presents the unsavory picture of an al-Qaeda operative colluding with ISIL in a war crime that killed 1300 civilians.

I find the report credible, taking into full account the fact that the CHP (the rival left-center Kemalist party) and Today’s Zaman (whose editor-in-chief, Bulent Kenes was recently detained on live TV for insulting Erdogan in a tweet) are on the outs with Erdogan.

Considering the furious reaction it can be expected to elicit from Erdogan and the Turkish government, the temerity of CHP and Today’s Zaman in running with this story is a sign of how desperate their struggle against Erdogan has become. Note that the author is shown only as “Columnist: Today’s Zaman”.

I expect the anti-Erdogan forces hope this will be a game changer in terms of U.S.and European support for Erdogan.

It will be very interesting to see if and how the media in the U.S. covers this story. In case it doesn’t acquire enough “legs” to make into US media, here are some choice bits from the Zaman piece:

CHP deputies: Gov’t rejects probe into Turkey’s role in Syrian chemical attack

Two deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have claimed that the government is against investigating Turkey’s role in sending toxic sarin gas which was used in an attack on civilians in Syria in 2013 and in which over 1,300 Syrians were killed.

CHP deputies Eren Erdem and Ali Şeker held a press conference in İstanbul on Wednesday in which they claimed the investigation into allegations regarding Turkey’s involvement in the procurement of sarin gas which was used in the chemical attack on a civil population and delivered to the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to enable the attack was derailed.

Taking the floor first, Erdem stated that the Adana Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into allegations that sarin was sent to Syria from Turkey via several businessmen.

“The MKE [Turkish Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation] is also an actor that is mentioned in the investigation file. Here is the indictment. All the details about how sarin was procured in Turkey and delivered to the terrorists, along with audio recordings, are inside the file,” Erdem said while waving the file.

Erdem also noted that the prosecutor’s office conducted detailed technical surveillance and found that an al-Qaeda militant, Hayyam Kasap, acquired sarin, adding: “Wiretapped phone conversations reveal the process of procuring the gas at specific addresses as well as the process of procuring the rockets that would fire the capsules containing the toxic gas. However, despite such solid evidence there has been no arrest in the case. Thirteen individuals were arrested during the first stage of the investigation but were later released, refuting government claims that it is fighting terrorism,” Erdem noted.

Over 1,300 people were killed in the sarin gas attack in Ghouta and several other neighborhoods near the Syrian capital of Damascus, with the West quickly blaming the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Russia claiming it was a “false flag” operation aimed at making US military intervention in Syria possible.

The purpose of the attack was allegedly to provoke a US military operation in Syria which would topple the Assad regime in line with the political agenda of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government.

CHP deputy Şeker spoke after Erdem, pointing out that the government misled the public on the issue by asserting that sarin was provided by Russia. The purpose was to create the perception that, according to Şeker, “Assad killed his people with sarin and that requires a US military intervention in Syria.”

He also underlined that all of the files and evidence from the investigation show a war crime was committed within the borders of the Turkish Republic.

“The investigation clearly indicates that those people who smuggled the chemicals required to procure sarin faced no difficulties, proving that Turkish intelligence was aware of their activities. While these people had to be in prison for their illegal acts, not a single person is in jail. Former prime ministers and the interior minister should be held accountable for their negligence in the incident,” Şeker further commented.

Erdem also added that he will launch a criminal complaint against those responsible, including those who issued a verdict of non-prosecution in the case, those who did not prevent the transfer of chemicals and those who first ordered the arrest of the suspects who were later released.

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Erdogan, Ghouta, Sarin Gas, Seymour Hersh, Syria, Turkey 
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  1. 5371 says:

    Interesting not least because the CHP was supposed to be the AKP’s leading coalition option if the forthcoming election again failed to give it a majority. Someone evidently didn’t like that idea.

  2. LondonBob says:

    Won’t be reported by the MSM, not unlike the new investigation into Svoboda for the Maidan shootings. The truth is whatever they say it is.

  3. tbraton says:

    “If so, President Obama deserves credit for “holding the line” against the attack despite the grumbling and incitement of the Syria hawks at home and abroad.”

    He deserves credit for not crossing the red line he never should have drawn in the first place and had no authority to draw. I had no inside information, but it was pretty easy to figure out that some party (Israel, Turkey, “moderate” Syrian rebels) had a powerful incentive to create a false flag attack in order to get Obama to live up to his “red line” pledge, and it was just as easy to figure out that Assad had no incentive whatever to use chemical weapons against his foes because he clearly didn’t want to have the U.S. involved in Syria’s civil war.

    As I pointed out last year on TAC, Obama can draw “red lines,” but he has great difficulty in the far harder task of drawing “black lines,” whether in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, that clearly tell the world this mess is none of our business and we are not going to waste our resources by getting involved. Trying to balance the competing interests and find the magic “golden mean” has led to a policy of incoherence. That was reflected in the recent 60 Minutes interview with Steve Croft where Obama tried to take credit for foreseeing a few years ago that it would be a mistake to arm “moderates” in Syria. An incredulous Croft then had to ask the natural follow up question: if you thought the policy wasn’t going to work from the get go, then why did you decide to go ahead with the failed policy? Obama couldn’t come up with an answer.

  4. Avery says:

    {….If so, President Obama deserves credit for “holding the line” against the attack despite the grumbling and incitement of the Syria hawks at home and abroad.}

    Obama deserves no such credit.
    It is President Putin that deserves all the credit.
    He “persuaded” Obama to stand down the B-52 carpet-bombers, in exchange for Assad giving up his chemical weapons (…which were a useless liability in any case).

    Can’t be sure, but privately Putin must have told Obama that if US went ahead with attacking Syrian government forces, then Russia would also get directly involved.
    Which it did in any case this year, when it detected NATO was getting ready to establish a “no fly” zone over sovereign Syrian air space: an illegal act.

    • Agree: tbraton
    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
  5. Junior [AKA "Jr."] says:

    My respect for Seymour Hersh’s truth telling, in the face of a truly corrupted government’s propaganda machine, is never-ending. He risks his life every time that he writes his pieces that expose the government’s lies for what they are and it needs to be acknowledged.

    The man has balls so big that he must have to carry them around in a wheelbarrow or baby-carriage. Or maybe he just bounces around all day on them to save time.

    A truly great and courageous man… that I hope, for his family’s sake, has good life insurance.

    Big up to Mr. Hersh! Nuff respect, Sir! Nuff respect!

    • Replies: @Junior
  6. @Avery

    A number of countries have chemical weapons.

    The problem is which ones use them and never get caught and which ones don’t use them and are blamed for it.

    Naming, shaming, and blaming others is a good strategy for those who are actually guilty. Like what the West does.

  7. Junior [AKA "Jr."] says:

    Carries’em around in one of those baby-carriages that they make for twins 🙂

  8. I expect the anti-Erodgan forces hope this will be a game changer in terms of U.S.and European support for Erdogan

    Almost certainly no chance, particularly if the USA’s Gladio B elements gave it the green light:

    Sibel Edmonds on ‘Gladio B’ includes critical information on Turkey:

    Part one

    Part two

    • Replies: @tbraton
    , @Kiza
  9. MarkinLA says:

    If so, President Obama deserves credit for “holding the line” against the attack despite the grumbling and incitement of the Syria hawks at home and abroad.

    BS a thousand times over.

    Obama was just too afraid of another F-up like Iraq. If he had half the brains Lee thinks he does he would not have said anything and he certainly would not be using the CIA to train and arm the rebels.

  10. tbraton says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    I listened to part of the interview with Sibel Edmonds, and she struck me as intelligent and knowledgeable. But, out of curiosity, where does she come by her knowledge, especially of Turkey? I recall her as a translator for the FBI who became a whistleblower and caught up in litigation. Did she acquire all this intimate knowledge as a result of translating documents and intercepts for the FBI? As a result of her testimony before Congress and the litigation, the Government did its best to suppress any information that she generated.

    FWIW I found the following account in Wikipedia about “Gladio”:

    “Gladio B[edit]

    According to Edmonds, “Operation Gladio B” is an FBI codename adopted in 1997 for ongoing relations between US intelligence, the Pentagon, and Al Qaeda.[32] The name refers to the original Operation Gladio, in which US intelligence had established groups stay-behind forces in Europe in preparation for a Soviet invasion.

    According to Edmonds, Gladio B identified, among other things, regular meetings between senior US intelligence and current leader of Al Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri at the U.S. embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan between 1997 and 2001, with al-Zawahiri and other mujahideen being transported by NATO aircraft to Central Asia and the Balkans to participate in Pentagon-backed destabilisation operations. She added that in 1997, NATO asked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to release from prison Islamist militants affiliated to Ayman al-Zawahiri. They were flown by U.S. intelligence orders to Turkey for training and use in operations by the Pentagon. Additionally, she reported that an Al-Qaeda leader had been training some of the 9-11 hijackers at a base in Turkey. These and related allegations were seemingly confirmed by Sunday Times journalists in 2008 by speaking to Pentagon and MI6 sources. However, according to several sources, the journalists were prevented from publishing many of these allegations when the second half of their four part series was dropped possibly due to pressure from the U.S. State Department. She suggests that the objectives of Gladio B are “projecting U.S. power in the former Soviet sphere of influence to access previously untapped strategic energy and mineral reserves for U.S. and European companies; pushing back Russian and Chinese power; and expanding the scope of lucrative criminal activities, particularly illegal arms and drugs trafficking.” Former FBI special agent Dennis Saccher states Edmonds’s story “should have been front page news” because it is “a scandal bigger than Watergate.[33]”

  11. @tbraton

    She was a Turkish language translator brought in to translate documents no one had any idea what the contents were until she’d seen them. What she saw was nothing short of amazing (criminality.) Also she is Turk-Iranian ethnicity and simply well informed culturally and politically in that region. Here’s a link to a 2009 Phil Giraldi interview should fill in some blanks (although I suggest it is well worth finding time to watch the full two hours of video interviews.)


    • Replies: @tbraton
    , @RobinG
  12. @tbraton

    And if interested, here’s a decent documentary on the original Gladio, precursor to Gladio B; the simple way to draw a line between the two, is to say original Gladio (NATO) used state sponsored false flag terror to enhance a communist boogeyman and then it morphed into NATO (intelligence agencies and the Pentagon together with Ratheon, GE, Lockheed-Martin, DuPont, Boeing et al) sponsoring false flag terror to enhance Islamic terrorism; all engineered to augment information operations or corporate media to cow populations into propping up an ever expanding military-industrial (corporate) state control.

  13. tbraton says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    Thanks for the response, RTW, and confirmation of the fact that her knowledge derives from documents she translated for the FBI, which means that there are numerous others in the U.S. Government who possess the same information. I watched about 15 minutes of Part 1 and plan to watch the rest and Part 2. I was just impressed with her intelligence and command of the facts.

    BTW, many years ago, back in the very late 60’s, I dated a slightly younger woman who had once worked for the FBI, as secretary to a very high ranking official. She had come to D.C. from a rural area after high school (I later discovered that JEH had a policy of favoring employees from rural areas because he felt they were more patriotic and loyal Americans). She was very bright and was a terrific secretary back in the days when the IBM Selectric typewriter was state of the art and a good secretary was worth her weight in gold. (She could type about 120 words per minute error free.) One day while we were lounging around she started telling me about how she had helped her boss at the FBI concoct phony letters ostensibly written by persons such as “Martin Luther King” with the intent of embarrassing and thereby discrediting those individuals. The name of the program was “Cointelpro.” I was astounded and thought that such a program must surely be illegal and should be exposed. I suggested that we should seek out a leading muckraking reporter of the time, Jack Anderson (successor to Drew Pearson), or some such. My girlfriend refused to entertain the suggestion, perhaps fearing for her life, since she was less naïve than I, having worked for the FBI. Anyway, the thought was always in the back of my mind, until I read about four years later during the Watergate years about this illegal FBI program called “Cointelpro.” (It appears that the press had uncovered the program a few years earlier in 1971 as a result of a “domestic terrorist” group breaking into a FBI office in Pennsylvania and uncovering documents pertaining to the program. That earlier press account, which did not generate widespread coverage, apparently must have escaped my attention at the time. I only found out about it after Watergate brought “Cointelpro” to wider public attention a few years later. I had a couple of older cousins working for a leading Washington newspaper, and I always thought I could have won one of them a Pulitzer Prize by unveiling my secret knowledge a few years earlier and might have spared Nixon and the country the agony of the Watergate scandal if “Cointelpro” had been exposed and JEH forced out before his death.

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  14. @tbraton

    COINTELPRO was a sort of domestic ‘Gladio lite’ … responsible for (among other things) The Black Panther Coloring Book promoting fear of and division within the American Black community. Evil stuff. But it doesn’t (and never did) stop with Hoover, our past several FBI directors are patently criminal in their own right. Here’s a case un-investigated under Mueller and still ignored (suppressed) under present director Comey:

    ^ Nothing quite like the FBI covering for Federal Judges at parties thrown by drug cartels

    • Replies: @tbraton
  15. tbraton says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    I seem to vaguely recall reading about a jurisdictional dispute between the CIA and the FBI in the last 10-20 years or so about the FBI’s attempt to engage in activities beyond the borders of the U.S. against the strong opposition of the CIA to what they considered a trespass on their turf. I assume the dispute was resolved in the favor of the FBI. I notice the date of the Gladio program falls within the time frame I vaguely recall. Any connection? If COINTELPRO was “Gladio lite,” I can understand why the FBI was so anxious to extend their jurisdiction.

    BTW my reasoning about how having COINTELPRO revealed a few years earlier than it was goes like this. A story originating in a major D.C. paper (assuming they would have run the story) would have had much more impact than a break-in at Media, Pennsylvania and all the resulting headlines might have forced the retirement of JEH before his death. I am sure Nixon would have leaped at the opportunity presented. Appointing a successor outside the Watergate scandal might have resulted in a much different successor to JEH. The resulting scandal might have made the Watergate guys much more reluctant to pull off that stunt, the purpose of which still baffles me. (I was convinced by the very good “Silent Coup” that John Dean was the man behind the plan, but I guess the recent revelation that Mark Felt was “Deep Throat” has torpedoed the book’s thesis that it was Al Haig. Still, a lot of intriquing details about an incredibly complicated event.)

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  16. @tbraton

    I’m not one to speculate as to what might have been. But I have no problem with pointing to these people as complicit or more or less a support structure in the overall scheme of things:


  17. RobinG says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    Thank you, RTW, for the link to the Giraldi/Edmonds interview, no less interesting today. (Funny, back in 2009 PG only had 2 comments.)

    • Replies: @tbraton
  18. Kiza says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    An interesting exchange between you and tbraton. Also, I fully agree with “fat chance” on the US change of policy on Erdogan, he is just too valuable even or especially when politically wounded. My understanding from the Hersh article is that the US intelligence knew that the gassing of the civilians was a Turkish false-flag at the time of Obama’s refusal to straight bomb Syria. It did not change the US attitude towards Erdogan then and it will not change it now.

    From the stand-point of the Dark Alliance, Obama’s failure to act on this false flag is to blame for losing Syria to Russia. Obama wanted Plan B – a regime change on the cheap by two problems, ISIS and Assad, cancelling each other out. For Plan A – direct military intervention Erdogan gave him a nice casus belli (he only needed to pretend), but he was too afraid of getting into a second Iraq and/or confronting Russia (Russian navy off the coast of Syria). But plan B, that is ISIS bringing down Assad, did not work out. Now Plan C is only more weapons to the terrorists in Syria, just more of the same Plan B which did not work before. There is a good chance that the Syrian “moderate” rebels/terrorists will lose patience with their sponsors and sit down at the Russian negotiating table with Assad. The only way the regime change in Syria would have ever worked would have been through a direct military intervention by US (which the terrorists counted on), followed by the dismemberment of Syria by Syrian terrorists, Turkey and Israel. Ah, the missed opportunity to profit at Syria’s expense.

    As far as Erdogan goes, if he ever goes out of favor, then the MSM will all of a sudden discover all his crimes. Just like Saddam’s.

  19. tbraton says:

    “(Funny, back in 2009 PG only had 2 comments.)”

    That’s because I only started subscribing to and posting on TAC in early 2010. Otherwise, PG would have had many more than two comments.

    BTW, for those who may not be familiar with Phil Giraldi (as I wasn’t until I started reading TAC in 2010), here is a comment I posted on TAC in early 2012:

    “tbraton says:
    February 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    “I supported the initial US intervention in Afghanistan because it was a terrorist haven from which we were attacked and I was, in fact, one of the first CIA officers to arrive in the country after the Taliban fell. We should have then stabilized the situation insofar as possible, installed a puppet, and left. No one will be able to straighten out Afghanistan but the Afghans, if it can be done at all.”

    You are absolutely right on the mark, PG, as usual. I have felt the same way since early 2003.
    BTW I was interested to read about your being in Afghanistan after the Taliban fell, but I wasn’t surprised. Until recently, I only knew you by your writings here on TAC and was aware of your CIA connection, but, when another poster referred to you as “Dr. Phil Giraldi” (in response to your Mitt Romney “diatribe”

    • Replies: @tbraton
  20. tbraton says:

    Don’t know what happened, but twice I attempted to post a longer message but the last part got omitted both times. Here is what was left off the prior message:

    “. . .diatribe” [big smile mark deleted here because I thought it might be causing the problems in posting] ), I decided to look you up on Wikipedia. Needless to say, I was very impressed by your resume, just as I had been impressed by your writings. Good work.”

    Another poster responded to my comment as follows:

    “adeste fi says:
    February 27, 2012 at 8:07 am

    @tbraton – yes, amid the general rot and mendacity it has been a saving grace that a “little platoon” stepped up that included honorable folk like our Mr. Giraldi. God knows he had already done his bit. We’re lucky to have him and need more like him.”

    I just thought I would put in a little plug for Phil Giraldi.”

    (I hope this succeeds in completing the message.)

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