A dozen former US military and intelligence officials have informed President Barack Obama in a letter that the charge that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in an attack last month is based on false intelligence.
“We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this,” the former officials write in their recent memorandum to the president.
The former CIA, FBI, NSA, and military officials tell President Obama, “You have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity commonly known as ‘plausible denial.’”
“We have been down this road before,” they write, “- with President George W. Bush, to whom we addressed our first VIPS memorandum immediately after Colin Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003 UN speech, in which he peddled fraudulent ‘intelligence’ to support attacking Iraq.”
The former officials suggest “a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus,” but they insist the attack was staged by militant groups “to bring the United States into war.”
The incident was “a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters,” they write.
The former officials further warn of an “equally powerful incentive” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “get Washington more deeply engaged in another war.”
“But with outspoken urging coming from Israel and those Americans who lobby for Israeli interests, this priority Israeli objective is becoming crystal clear.”
President Obama has sent Congress a draft resolution for the use of military force against Syria based on the accusation that Damascus used chemical weapons last month.