Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now on Monday that the US intelligence community did not share its fears of Turkey’s role in the alleged chemical attack when making the case for launching a strike on Syria.
In a new exposé, Goodman says: “[Hersh] questions what happened last year in the Syrian city of Ghouta, when hundreds of Syrians died in a chemical weapons attack. The United States and much of the international community blamed forces loyal to the Assad government, and the incident almost led the U.S. to attack Syria. But according to Hersh, while President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were making the case for U.S. strikes, analysts inside the U.S. military and intelligence community were privately questioning the administration’s central claim about who was behind the chemical weapons attack.”
“According to Hersh, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page “talking points” briefing on June 19th which stated the Syrian rebel group al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell. According to the DIA, it was, quote, “the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort.” The DIA document went on to state, quote, “Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria.” A month before the DIA briefing was written, more than ten members of al-Nusra were arrested in southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms of sarin,” reported Goodman.
This comes a week after leaked conversations revealed a top-level Turkish officials plotting an attack on Syria, days after it was reported that Al Qaeda militants entered the Armenian-populated city of Kessab through the Turkish border, forcing the evacuation of the entire town. The recordings, leaked on YouTube, revealed the Turkish plot to attack Syria—being termed “False Flag”—would be guised as an effort by the Turkish Army to protect the tomb of Ottoman ruler Suleyman Shah. Since the leaks YouTube was banned in Turkey.
Read the entire transcript of the Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” interview with Hersh.