Former CIA Officer: "The Intelligence Confirms The Russian Account On Syria"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Robert Parry via,

President Trump earned neocon applause for his hasty decision to attack Syria and kill about a dozen Syrians, but his rash act has all the earmarks of a “wag the dog” moment.

Just two days after news broke of an alleged poison-gas attack in northern Syria, President Trump brushed aside advice from some U.S. intelligence analysts doubting the Syrian regime’s guilt and launched a lethal retaliatory missile strike against a Syrian airfield.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2017. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ford Williams)

Trump immediately won plaudits from Official Washington, especially from neoconservatives who have been trying to wrestle control of his foreign policy away from his nationalist and personal advisers since the days after his surprise victory on Nov. 8.

There is also an internal dispute over the intelligence. On Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a “high degree of confidence” that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.

But a number of intelligence sources have made contradictory assessments, saying the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid.

One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek “regime change” in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.

The source said the Trump national security team split between the President’s close personal advisers, such as nationalist firebrand Steve Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, on one side and old-line neocons who have regrouped under National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army general who was a protégé of neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus.

White House Infighting

In this telling, the earlier ouster of retired Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and this week’s removal of Bannon from the National Security Council were key steps in the reassertion of neocon influence inside the Trump presidency. The strange personalities and ideological extremism of Flynn and Bannon made their ousters easier, but they were obstacles that the neocons wanted removed.

Though Bannon and Kushner are often presented as rivals, the source said, they shared the belief that Trump should tell the truth about Syria, revealing the Obama administration’s CIA analysis that a fatal sarin gas attack in 2013 was a “false-flag” operation intended to sucker President Obama into fully joining the Syrian war on the side of the rebels — and the intelligence analysts’ similar beliefs about Tuesday’s incident.

Instead, Trump went along with the idea of embracing the initial rush to judgment blaming Assad for the Idlib poison-gas event. The source added that Trump saw Thursday night’s missile assault as a way to change the conversation in Washington, where his administration has been under fierce attack from Democrats claiming that his election resulted from a Russian covert operation.

If changing the narrative was Trump’s goal, it achieved some initial success with several of Trump’s fiercest neocon critics, such as neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, praising the missile strike, as did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The neocons and Israel have long sought “regime change” in Damascus even if the ouster of Assad might lead to a victory by Islamic extremists associated with Al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State.

Wagging the Dog

Trump employing a “wag the dog” strategy, in which he highlights his leadership on an international crisis to divert attention from domestic political problems, is reminiscent of President Bill Clinton’s decision to attack Serbia in 1999 as impeachment clouds were building around his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky.

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at joint press conference on Feb. 15. 2017. (Screen shot from

Trump’s advisers, in briefing the press on Thursday night, went to great lengths to highlight Trump’s compassion toward the victims of the poison gas and his decisiveness in bombing Assad’s military in contrast to Obama’s willingness to allow the intelligence community to conduct a serious review of the evidence surrounding the 2013 sarin-gas case.

Ultimately, Obama listened to his intelligence advisers who told him there was no “slam-dunk” evidence implicating Assad’s regime and he pulled back from a military strike at the last minute – while publicly maintaining the fiction that the U.S. government was certain of Assad’s guilt.

In both cases – 2013 and 2017 – there were strong reasons to doubt Assad’s responsibility. In 2013, he had just invited United Nations inspectors into Syria to investigate cases of alleged rebel use of chemical weapons and thus it made no sense that he would launch a sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs, guaranteeing that the U.N. inspectors would be diverted to that case.

Similarly, now, Assad’s military has gained a decisive advantage over the rebels and he had just scored a major diplomatic victory with the Trump administration’s announcement that the U.S. was no longer seeking “regime change” in Syria. The savvy Assad would know that a chemical weapon attack now would likely result in U.S. retaliation and jeopardize the gains that his military has achieved with Russian and Iranian help.

The counter-argument to this logic – made by The New York Times and other neocon-oriented news outlets – essentially maintains that Assad is a crazed barbarian who was testing out his newfound position of strength by baiting President Trump. Of course, if that were the case, it would have made sense that Assad would have boasted of his act, rather than deny it.

But logic and respect for facts no longer prevail inside Official Washington, nor inside the mainstream U.S. news media.

Intelligence Uprising

Alarm within the U.S. intelligence community about Trump’s hasty decision to attack Syria reverberated from the Middle East back to Washington, where former CIA officer Philip Giraldi reported hearing from his intelligence contacts in the field that they were shocked at how the new poison-gas story was being distorted by Trump and the mainstream U.S. news media.

Former CIA officer Philip Giradi. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Giraldi told Scott Horton’s Webcast: “I’m hearing from sources on the ground in the Middle East, people who are intimately familiar with the intelligence that is available who are saying that the essential narrative that we’re all hearing about the Syrian government or the Russians using chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a sham.”

Giraldi said his sources were more in line with an analysis postulating an accidental release of the poison gas after an Al Qaeda arms depot was hit by a Russian airstrike.

“The intelligence confirms pretty much the account that the Russians have been giving … which is that they hit a warehouse where the rebels – now these are rebels that are, of course, connected with Al Qaeda – where the rebels were storing chemicals of their own and it basically caused an explosion that resulted in the casualties. Apparently the intelligence on this is very clear.”

Giraldi said the anger within the intelligence community over the distortion of intelligence to justify Trump’s military retaliation was so great that some covert officers were considering going public.

“People in both the agency [the CIA] and in the military who are aware of the intelligence are freaking out about this because essentially Trump completely misrepresented what he already should have known – but maybe he didn’t – and they’re afraid that this is moving toward a situation that could easily turn into an armed conflict,” Giraldi said before Thursday night’s missile strike. “They are astonished by how this is being played by the administration and by the U.S. media.”

One-Sided Coverage

The mainstream U.S. media has presented the current crisis with the same profound neocon bias that has infected the coverage of Syria and the larger Middle East for decades. For instance, The New York Times on Friday published a lead story by Michael R. Gordon and Michael D. Shear that treated the Syrian government’s responsibility for the poison-gas incident as flat-fact. The lengthy story did not even deign to include the denials from Syria and Russia that they were responsible for any intentional deployment of poison gas.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile from the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2017. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price)

The article also fit with Trump’s desire that he be portrayed as a decisive and forceful leader. He is depicted as presiding over intense deliberations of war or peace and displaying a deep humanitarianism regarding the poison-gas victims, one of the rare moments when the Times, which has become a reliable neocon propaganda sheet, has written anything favorable about Trump at all.

According to Syrian reports on Friday, the U.S. attack killed 13 people, including five soldiers at the airbase.

Gordon, whose service to the neocon cause is notorious, was the lead author with Judith Miller of the Times’ bogus “aluminum tube” story in 2002 which falsely claimed that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was reconstituting a nuclear-weapons program, an article that was then cited by President George W. Bush’s aides as a key argument for invading Iraq in 2003.

Regarding this week’s events, Trump’s desperation to reverse his negative media coverage and the dubious evidence blaming Assad for the Idlib incident could fit with the “Wag the Dog” movie from 1997 in which an embattled president creates a phony foreign crisis in Albania.

A fake war scene in the dark 1997 comedy “Wag the Dog,” which showed a girl and her cat fleeing a bombardment in Albania.

In the movie, the White House operation is a cynical psychological operation to convince the American people that innocent Albanian children, including an attractive girl carrying a cat, are in danger when, In reality, the girl was an actor posing before a green screen that allowed scenes of fiery ruins to be inserted as background.

Today, because Trump and his administration are now committed to convincing Americans that Assad really was responsible for Tuesday’s poison-gas tragedy, the prospects for a full and open investigation are effectively ended. We may never know if there is truth to those allegations or whether we are being manipulated by another “wag the dog” psyop.

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Alok's picture

"Former CIA Officer: "The Intelligence Confirms The Russian Account On Syria"


it does matter?

paizan's picture
paizan (not verified) Alok Apr 8, 2017 4:21 PM

More proof Trump did it for IsraHell, ignoring the interest of his own country and placing the interest of a traitorous one above his own.

And neocon is CODE for Jews.

W Bush: "Dad, what's a neocon?"
HW Bush: "You want names or description?"
W: "Description."
HW: "Israel."

Occident Mortal's picture

The truth of the attack doesn't matter.

Trump had to differentiate himself from Obozo and his failed "red line" bluff.

Which meant he had to bomb something, he did the bare minimal.

stizazz's picture

The TRUTH of the attack does matter. Israel is driving America and the world to catastrophe.

beemasters's picture

I wonder what his family members think of his war crime.

sincerely_yours's picture

W Bush did the same thing: ignoring the counsel of his intelligence team.

We all know how that turned out, don't we?

Manthong's picture

I believe that Trump actually does not know squat about the details and is relying on his subordinates whom he considers dutiful as if he was still in the construction business.

He well might not understand the treachery and deceit that surrounds him.


The other problem is that no vital interest of the United States was involved when he killed people and wasted a couple hundred million dollars.

He acted illegally and his adoring neocons, Democrats and MSM might well go after him for it at some future date.



NidStyles's picture

Doesn't change our responsibility to inform him that he's making a huge mistake trusting these Jews.

BullyBearish's picture

Let's be clear about the force behind this action, it's not fair to simply say jews as there are many jews who abhor satanyahoo and what he has been doing to israel and realize that his actions are similar to those that led their ancestors to their deaths.  More accurately, zionists describes those, who may be jews, christians, atheists...anyone who gives the likud government a pass for continued arpartheid and genocide against the rightful owners of the land of palestine.  The zionists ARE the problem. Unfortunately, the zionists control the wealth and power in the west and they will stop at NOTHING to remain in power.

lucitanian's picture

You are absolutely right. There's far too much anti jewish crap on this site. Being a human and thinking has nothing to do with being jewish Beirng a Zionist is something else.

stacking12321's picture

nazis like fake-ancap nidstyles and others, will always try to twist any story into "teh joos didit!".

that's the problem with being so full of bile and hatred, it clouds one's thinking and ability to view the truth objectively.

we don't  know what's going on behind the scenes, or why trump acted the way he did, there's not enough info yet to judge conclusively.

at least i don't have enough info at this point, and i'm pretty confident that the low-information stormfront-brigade crowd doesn't have that info, either.

Sheriff of Afgooye's picture

Remember when ZH was a financial website?

SafelyGraze's picture

"Remember when ZH was a financial website"

you must be a newcomer

zerohedge has never covered nanex

Creative_Destruct's picture

“The savvy Assad would know that a chemical weapon attack now would likely result in U.S. retaliation and jeopardize the gains that his military has achieved with Russian and Iranian help.”


“The intelligence confirms pretty much the account that the Russians have been giving … which is that they hit a warehouse where the rebels – now these are rebels that are, of course, connected with Al Qaeda – where the rebels were storing chemicals of their own and it basically caused an explosion that resulted in the casualties. Apparently the intelligence on this is very clear.”


This has been transparently obvious from the beginning.

This is simply a prextext to continue transforming the US into Neocons-R-US; Hopefully not (but likely) folowed by Refugees-R-US.

Manthong's picture

Breaking Bombshell…

Just as many of us knew, the DNC Server Leak was a leak not a hack.

And it is no surprise to us that Seth Rich was the leaker.

How convenient that he was murdered.

But don’t ask me… ask Wikileaks.

The Russians are going to be disappointed that they are not the center of attention anymoar in this issue.

I am going to post this in a few threads

youarelost's picture

That sit has 0 cred. It just makes shit up

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Problem is war-ish news sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Imagine the Repubs using the nuke option in the Senate and it barely gets a peep. Lotta shit can slide through the news unnoticed during such times.

swmnguy's picture

I'd like to see this from somebody other than Jim Hoft, "The Gateway Pundit."  This is what so many of us expect, an extra layer of caution against confirmation bias is in order.  And having this from Jim Hoft only engages my Spidey-Senses even more.  He seems to be the type who figures out what his audience wants to hear, then comes up with a story to promote that, then doubles down into absurdity when contradictory accounts come to light.

Troy Ounce's picture


Still wondering why ZH is still not a "safe" Web site with a https connection


Lumberjack's picture


Congratulations To Prominent Anti-HFT Crusader Eric Hunsader For Winning $750,000 Whistleblower Award

It has been nearly six years since Zero Hedge proudly began collaborating with Nanex and Eric Hunsader (recall first from June 2010: "How HFT Quote Stuffing Caused The Market Crash Of May 6, And Threatens To Destroy The Entire Market At Any Moment") who has been one of the most vocal critics of everything this website has also stood against: rigged, manipulated markets, and corrupt and captured regulators and government officials.

Dovda Wimar's picture

I remember when Zerohedge was all about finance, economics, and the markets. I started reading ZH in 2007 and it opened my eyes to issues I would otherwise have remained ignorant of. Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking, manipulation of metals prices in the paper market, MBS fraud and a host of other important topics.

It makes me sad to reflect on how the site has degraded into click-bait political smear attacks and other 'news'. The early ZH'ers realized that there is a financial storm coming, and we're all about helping us to:
1. Understand it.
2. Prepare for it.

Now go ahead and down vote me because my profile shows I've only been a member for a few months. I've been a reader for years, but not sure how much more of "it's the joos..." is going to bring me any value.

musimann's picture

If you haven't learned "its the joos" then you don't know anything about markets then do you? Attacking Syria is all about the Joos - so why avoid the truth of it? Are you afraid of the joos?

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

"Remember when ZH was a financial website?"

Yes, I also remember when one didn't have to study politics to make informed investment decisions.

BobEore's picture


Remember when ZH was a financial website?

Remember when religion and finance were poles apart? You do?

Then you're suffering from "false memory syndrome," and in addition have never heard the story of the moneychangers in the temple!

youarelost's picture

I remember before it was take over by the RT and Hernia Jones crowd

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

RT, the only place a US whistleblower can go to get a US audience(if they havent cancelled you as they did here a few yrs ago in central NY). Oh the irony.

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

When I was a boy... I lived in a shoebox at the bottom of a lake... and ate warm gravel for breakfast...

11b40's picture

More financial, yes, but always seeking the background story. That finance and politics are seamlessly intertwined is not disputable. If you are paying attention, you know that we no longer have real financial free markets, and everything is controlled by the power that bankers and the MIC have over politics. Both are controlled by neocons and Zionist Jews. These are the same people who control the media.....and control you

keep the bastards honest's picture

Any jew who has embraced the  contents of the torah and talmud know they are 'chosen' to be superior (in fact  THEY chose a 'deity") to own everything ( incl. all information as per goog) and  the rest of humans are animals born to serve them.  Its ok to kill and cheat slaves. Should not be  touched unless detrimental to the jew eg in respect to shaking hands. hence 'doing god's work'

At a lower level goyims slaves who are also keen christians believe Damascus will be reduced to rubble and are keen for it. I was told this by an extreme christian a few days ago who believes that khazarians are israelites and biblical jews. untrue.

The religious stories of the 3 abrahamic were made up in the middle ages according to research done by Anatoly Fromenko and a 100 or more researchers.

We have been fed lies. Corrected by astronomy 'Jesus' for example was born at a precise date in the 1100's. Ptolomy is a middle age creation.

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

I am curious about the theory of Jesus being born in 1100?  I'm pretty sure that Muhammed lived in the 6th century anno Domini.  He mentioned Jesus Christ once or twice.  Can you explain this?

(And I'm not asking as a True Believer or anything else like that.  I find revisionist histories to be fascinating.)  


PS.  My favorite revisionist history is that Appolonius of Tiana was the real historical figure whose life was used to model the Jesus myth.

East Indian's picture

I find thet Robert Eichmann theory that there were three streams of succession in the legacy of Jesus: those of the two well-known Pauline legacy that resulted in the major sects of Christianity, and of Simon Peter who led a branch of Jews who dwindled in course of tme, and the third, of James the Brother of Jesus, whose Knana sect is still surviving in India, is more credible; it explains a lot of inconsistencies in the Apostles. 


francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

Thank you.  Gives me something to read tonight.

EhKnowKneeMass's picture

Robert Eiseman not Eichmann...

East Indian's picture

Sorry. You are right. Eisenmann.

Troy Ounce's picture


In religion facts are of no importance. That's why it is called "a belief".

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

my probably vain hope is that this is a 4D chess move, Trump will take this revelation of false intel, declare he was let down by Kushner et al, fire them so that he can instate more swamp drainers.


Oracle of Kypseli's picture

What if.. they (his enemies) suckered him in to bomb and then release proof that it was not Assad and accuse him of rushing to action without proof positive and call him incompetent and murderer?

keep the bastards honest's picture

SO? that would be the truth.  Bring it on. ( I supported Trump)

DeadFred's picture

Yours in the only hopefull scenario that's possible right now so I concur. With fingers crossed I concur.

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

Yes, I'm nurturing a similar hope.  I'm about as likely to believe Trump is a chess master as I am to believe that Assad was dumb enough to use sarin gas now, but he can't possibly be as stupid as his actions in this affair make him out to be, can he?

Hmmmmm, it actually was pretty stupid to try to shove that Obamacare Lite bill down out throats, so maybe......

y3maxx's picture

-With Trump bombing Syria.......proves he iis not in bed with Russia.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Maybe not true as a scenario for higher oil prices due to warmongering may help Russia and the US banks as they have loaned tons of money to drillers who will otherwise go bust and default.

bruno_the's picture

It proves who he is in bed with.

Since you use Carlin - They've got you by the balls 

Which way to the beach's picture

y3max, I agree with you. It should go a long way to prove he isn't Putin's bitch, except for those bat shit crazy conspiricies on MSNBC and the WSJ that Putin arranged the CW incident so Trump could fire off a few missiles and look like a man. It is like trying to answer he loaded question "When will you stop beating your wife?" Sometimes you can't win.



BobEore's picture

Which itself was yet another smokescreen used to coverup a real story of intrigue, state actors seeking control and influence behind scenes...

and the use of bribery and corruption to gain access to the highest rungs of the USA administration. Were back to the 1990's -all over agin! - as a hidden behemoth of intelligence agencies and 'agents of influence' work the politico-judicial field in search of ways to bring their agenda to fruition. Those were the days of Sraeli-Turco bribery/blackmail schemes which Sibel Edmonds carefully documented - and got put on the "sealed list" for her troubles.

Today, it's much more out in the open... but there are much fewer people refusing to be led into distracting coverup stories. Flynn was openly working as paid agent of Islamist TERROR STATE Ankara - before and after his appointment to key position in .gov... we've now learned that Askhenazi maifya supremo "Red Rudy" Giuliani - appointed to the defence counsel in the Gold for Oil case  last week - IS ALSO A FORMALLY REGISTERED AGENT OF SAME!

For almost a year we've known that Ankara, in turn, is a compliant tool of telaviv's diplomatic machinations... brought under control as of late last June in the real coup which happened at that time -not the phony one of three weeks later. Add it all up...

who are the winners from the latest false flag "Missiles over the Muddled East" psyop?  Turkey & Srael... their jihadist proxies on the ropes due to Syrian/Russian/Kurdish successes in the field... pulled off a Hail Mary which has disemboweled a POTUS... and set the stage for renewed chaos where peace was breaking out. Same ol same ol...

No reason for any confusion whatsoever - following the simple principle of asking cui bono.... we reach the real story of this false flag farce.


Old Hippie Patriot's picture

The majority of the so-called "Palestinians" were carpet bagging Arabs who moved to what became Israel after WWI at the same time many Jews were doing the same. Their claim on the land is no more valid than that of the Jews who created Israel. The globalists set up a time bomb in the middle east with Israel by allowing both Arabs and Jews to move there. If they had restricted entry to that very lightly populated region to only Jews, today Israel would have been peacefully created and Israel today would be a huge majority of Jews and the native population dating from the Ottoman Empire days of Christians with very few Muslims.  Bethlehem as an example was almost totally a Christian town until the PLO government took over administration. It is now only 10% Christian.

keep the bastards honest's picture

RESEARCH:  palestinians:  92% have israelite genes.   israelis " 0% have israelite genes.  

askenazi:  high percent rabbis have khazarian genes,  42 % women have  gentile genes.

Rubbish. The Balfour Agreement between Rothchild and the english govt 1917 agreed to set up Israel for "jews'  presumably becuase the UK needed money for the war. UK was still broke after ww1 hence sending the ill clad Black and Tans demobbed ratbag undisciplined soldiers to  ireland to terrorise irsh familes. Hitler offered to send 'jews' anywhere except Palestine for  a nominal cost. This was refused by World Jewry who had a better plan.  Then of course Churchill bombed supply lines in Germany after  Dresden etc so all in Germany starved in the last 6 months. 

The site for placing ashkenazi etc was debated after the war, Australia and South America were  considered BUT Palestine was the prize.

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

You know, you both can be correct on this one?  OHP's statement is not contradicted by the DNA, but I am perhaps a bit jaded from reading Leon Uris when I was younger.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Jews were to be settled in Crimea (Krim) as an agricultural settlement. They were mostly wiped out after the Nazi invasion of Ukraine.