This was clear enough at the time that I and others without access to classified material were saying it. But Obama needn’t worry: the mainstream media will cover for him again, and he will not be held to account for this any more than he has been for anything else. “Whose sarin?,” by Seymour M. Hersch in the London Review of Books, December 8 (thanks to Anne Crockett):
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….