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Thread: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    What about some calls before the attack? How do calls after the attack prove authorization for the chemical attack?
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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    The US intelligence services intercepted phone calls amongst members of the Assad regime which prove the regime was responsible. Now, please can we put this silly conspiracy theory nonsense that the opposition did it to rest? (Of course the answer to that is going to be "No!", but I can dream can't I? )

    Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies Say | The Cable

    Obama orders release of report justifying Syria strike - CBS News
    Call me crazy, but I am a bit skeptical here. I mean:

    Isn't this the same government that told us that Gaddafi was bombing his own citizens and giving them Viagra to rape women when both stories turned out to be false?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Invisible View Post
    Actually

    Q: Do you see any evidence that he [Gaddafi] actually has fired on his own people from the air? There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent?

    SEC. GATES: We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that.

    ADM. MULLEN: That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.

    Source: Defense.gov News Transcript: DOD News Briefing with Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen from the Pentagon

    Look here as well: Russia Intel Satelite shows Gaddafi Did NOT Attack His People - YouTube

    And this:

    Human rights organisations have cast doubt on claims of mass rape and other abuses perpetrated by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which have been widely used to justify Nato's war in Libya.

    Nato leaders, opposition groups and the media have produced a stream of stories since the start of the insurrection on 15 February, claiming the Gaddafi regime has ordered mass rapes, used foreign mercenaries and employed helicopters against civilian protesters.

    An investigation by Amnesty International has failed to find evidence for these human rights violations and in many cases has discredited or cast doubt on them. It also found indications that on several occasions the rebels in Benghazi appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence.

    Source: Amnesty questions claim that Gaddafi ordered rape as weapon of war - Africa - World - The Independent
    "We did not find cases of rape, which does not mean that there was no but it still poses problems. Not only we have not met the victims, but not more people who have met victims." («Il y a eu des dizaines de cas de soldats assassinés» - Libération)


    The same government that told us Al Qaeda was defeated, but then we were attacked by Al Qaeda in Libya?

    The same government that told us that we were not arming the Syrian rebels, when it turns out that we may have very well been training them since 2011?

    On top of this, the information that the US has now was gained from Mossad. ('IDF intercepted Syrian regime chatter on chemical attack' | The Times of Israel)

    An IDF intelligence unit listened in on senior Syrian officials discussing a chemical attack that allegedly took place on the outskirts of Damascus and left hundreds of Syrian civilians dead last Wednesday, a major German publication reported.

    According to the report Saturday in Focus magazine, a squad specializing in wire-tapping within the IDF’s prestigious 8200 intelligence unit intercepted a conversation between high-ranking regime officials regarding the use of chemical agents at the time of the attack. The German report, which cited an ex-Mossad official who insisted on remaining anonymous, said the intercepted conversation proved that Bashar Assad’s regime was responsible for the use of nonconventional weapons.
    Israel is not an unbiased observer in this situation. They have been aiding the rebels (Syrian rebels being treated in Israeli hospital | Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    On the subject of who did it, there is no conclusive evidence indicating that the Syria government is behind a chemical attack. There is numerous anecdotal evidence, such as the Syrian government being on the only one in the area capable of delivering a nerve agent via missile strike, and the intercepted communication. However, we don't know if this was a low level commander making a dumbass call, or if someone higher up in the military(read Assad) made the call.

    The administrations take on this, per Carney and others, is that all military responsibility lands on the CIC, Assad. While I understand that they made that statement as justification for military action, however, they've opened a can of worms. Would Bush then be responsible for Scott Barnes? Is Obama now responsible for Bradley Manning? Really a bad move.

    On the subject of military intervention, while you can say that any strike would not be taking sides in the civil war, that is extremely naive. If we are bombing Assad targets only, then we've taken a side and it will tip the balance. Stating that these strikes are simply a way for saying no-no-no, don't use chemical weapons, is a crock as well. You don't pull out your sword just to wiggle it around like a feather duster, you wield it with purpose. This current administrations foreign intervention policy revolves on public opinion, nothing else, and will bite them in the ass.

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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    The US intelligence services intercepted phone calls amongst members of the Assad regime which prove the regime was responsible. Now, please can we put this silly conspiracy theory nonsense that the opposition did it to rest? (Of course the answer to that is going to be "No!", but I can dream can't I? )

    Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies Say | The Cable

    Obama orders release of report justifying Syria strike - CBS News
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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    The US intelligence services intercepted phone calls amongst members of the Assad regime which prove the regime was responsible. Now, please can we put this silly conspiracy theory nonsense that the opposition did it to rest? (Of course the answer to that is going to be "No!", but I can dream can't I? )

    Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies Say | The Cable

    Obama orders release of report justifying Syria strike - CBS News
    I reserve judgment about the reports concerning the possible intercepted communications. What would be critical are the contents and the context of the communications, if they were intercepted. There would be a difference between President Assad's authorizing the use of such weapons and a military unit independently deciding on their use. Perhaps the President's forthcoming release of information will provide insight into the veracity of those reports, as well as their substance if such communications were intercepted.

    The second story you cite, the CBS account, reveals:

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led off the three-hour White House meeting with detailed analysis of the evidence about the chemical weapons attack, the disposition of victims and what the administration now believes is a near air-tight circumstantial case that the Syrian regime was behind it.

    I underlined the selected text. If the Administration is talking about a circumstantial case, that would suggest that even if such communications were intercepted, they do not provide the kind of "smoking gun" that would give certainty to who was responsible for the use of such weapons. Instead, it suggests that if such communications were intercepted, there is a degree of uncertainty involved and that they are being interpreted in a fashion that adds to what is described as a circumstantial case.

    Also, the UN investigation should be concluded by Saturday. It will be interesting to see if the findings of the UN team, which was on the ground, support the arguments being made in Washington, London, and Paris. If major gaps exist, that would be an argument for caution. In any case, even if one supports military action in response to a use of chemical weapons, there's no need to rush before the facts are established. Waiting won't give the party or parties responsible time to develop an approach that materially impacts possible U.S.-led military operations.

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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I reserve judgment about the reports concerning the possible intercepted communications. What would be critical are the contents and the context of the communications, if they were intercepted. There would be a difference between President Assad's authorizing the use of such weapons and a military unit independently deciding on their use. Perhaps the President's forthcoming release of information will provide insight into the veracity of those reports, as well as their substance if such communications were intercepted.

    The second story you cite, the CBS account, reveals:

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led off the three-hour White House meeting with detailed analysis of the evidence about the chemical weapons attack, the disposition of victims and what the administration now believes is a near air-tight circumstantial case that the Syrian regime was behind it.

    I underlined the selected text. If the Administration is talking about a circumstantial case, that would suggest that even if such communications were intercepted, they do not provide the kind of "smoking gun" that would give certainty to who was responsible for the use of such weapons. Instead, it suggests that if such communications were intercepted, there is a degree of uncertainty involved and that they are being interpreted in a fashion that adds to what is described as a circumstantial case.

    Also, the UN investigation should be concluded by Saturday. It will be interesting to see if the findings of the UN team, which was on the ground, support the arguments being made in Washington, London, and Paris. If major gaps exist, that would be an argument for caution. In any case, even if one supports military action in response to a use of chemical weapons, there's no need to rush before the facts are established. Waiting won't give the party or parties responsible time to develop an approach that materially impacts possible U.S.-led military operations.
    Very level headed summary, with the exception of the bolded sentence. Waiting does create some problems. I would imagine that Syria is relocating their CW stock to areas likely to be targeted, i.e., radar installations and similar probable target areas. This effectively removes such targets from the targeting list. The longer we wait, the more likely they'll have those targets covered. I'm not advocating for a strike at all - just pointing out that waiting does have consequences.

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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by humbolt View Post
    Very level headed summary, with the exception of the bolded sentence. Waiting does create some problems. I would imagine that Syria is relocating their CW stock to areas likely to be targeted, i.e., radar installations and similar probable target areas. This effectively removes such targets from the targeting list. The longer we wait, the more likely they'll have those targets covered. I'm not advocating for a strike at all - just pointing out that waiting does have consequences.
    I expect that there could be some consequences, just not material ones. In the cost-benefit perspective, I believe the benefits of waiting (better information) outweigh the costs (some Syrian countermeasures). It's my understanding from news reports that Syria remains under satellite surveillance, which has some limitations, and also that the U.S. had not been planning to target the chemical weapons facilities (environmental and health risks). Instead, from what has been revealed is that air bases are among the possible targets.

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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I expect that there could be some consequences, just not material ones. In the cost-benefit perspective, I believe the benefits of waiting (better information) outweigh the costs (some Syrian countermeasures). It's my understanding from news reports that Syria remains under satellite surveillance, which has some limitations, and also that the U.S. had not been planning to target the chemical weapons facilities (environmental and health risks). Instead, from what has been revealed is that air bases are among the possible targets.
    Yeah, and I would expect Syria to move CW assets to the airfields if that's the case. It's a shell game that's always played, but we're giving too much away in advance, I think.

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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by humbolt View Post
    Yeah, and I would expect Syria to move CW assets to the airfields if that's the case. It's a shell game that's always played, but we're giving too much away in advance, I think.
    That's a risk and I strongly agree about too much information being given away. It's self-defeating to voluntarily outline possible targets, both ruling out targets and suggesting others. That information has a more damaging impact on facilitating enemy responses.

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    Re: Intercepted phone calls prove Assad regime behind chemical attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    The US intelligence services intercepted phone calls amongst members of the Assad regime which prove the regime was responsible. Now, please can we put this silly conspiracy theory nonsense that the opposition did it to rest? (Of course the answer to that is going to be "No!", but I can dream can't I? )

    Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies Say | The Cable

    Obama orders release of report justifying Syria strike - CBS News

    Yes, you can dream on because the Russians have their own satellite imagery proving the al Qaida affiliated insurgents carried out the attacks, just as was proven of earlier attacks this year.

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