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Intelligence Professionals Continue To Raise Questions About Phony Briefing to Trump, Syria Policy

April 9, 2017 (EIRNS)—If Western intelligence agencies are to regain any credibility in the aftermath of President Trump’s Thursday night military strike on Syria for a crime it did not commit, they must violate "group-think" and speak out, former British diplomat and senior intelligence professional Alastair Crooke pled in an April 8 posting to Robert Parry’s Consortiumnews online publication.

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency "almost certainly" knows in detail that the jihadis, not the Syrian regime, were responsible for the chemical weapons attack, Crooke wrote. He specified what the intelligence services "ought to now say," notably using the same five-point evaluation posted the day before by a pseudonymous contributor, Publius Tacitus, to Col. Pat Lang’s (ret.) "Sic Semper Tyrannis" blog , but without citation. Clearly, this evaluation is circulating widely:

"The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed [Syrian Air Force] target in Idlib. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and de-conflict on any upcoming operation....

"The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believed was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.

"The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Jihadist rebels used that site to store chemicals (not sarin) that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind, and killed civilians.

"There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.

"We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called first responders handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you."

A different contributor to Pat Lang’s blog, this one writing yesterday under the pseudonym "Walrus," added a military consideration to this ongoing debate among military and civilian intelligence professionals over what must be done now to salvage the situation. "Walrus" expressed the concerns of many that President Trump is being pressured to go along with a major escalation in Syria, including no-fly zones, safe-zones, and American/allied boots on the ground in Idlib, which, if adopted, would be totally unacceptable to both Russia and Syria.

Walrus concluded that

"the only alternative I can think of is the one Colonel Lang has been pleading for for weeks: for Russia and Syria to get boots on the ground in Idlib right now and roll the Jihadis up. Next week is going to be too late. The race into Idlib has started. Is there a Russian air mobile brigade available? Whoever is first into Idlib is going to determine the course of history for some time to come."

—a proposed approach which Lyndon LaRouche emphatically endorsed in discussions today.