Seymour Hersh: US Lied About Syrian Chemical Attack Then Bombed Them Anyway

Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger notes that part of Trump’s appeal to many of his voters was, at least ostensibly, the idea that he would employ a less hawkish/neocon foreign policy than his opponent Hillary “We Came, We Saw, He Died” Clinton.

While it’s still too early to decisively say that Trump will usher in yet another foreign policy disaster for these United States and the world, it’s certainly not looking good.


The lobbing of tomahawk missiles into Syrian based on the fairytale that Assad launched a chemical weapons attack was the first sign that Trump is easily manipulated and impulsive. In fact, the episode bothered me so much I wrote a post detailing the dire ramifications titled, Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U.S. Empire.  I suggest taking a read if you missed it the first time, it’s my most popular post of the year.


While that was bad enough, Trump’s cozying up to the barbaric, terrorist-supporitng leaders of Saudi Arabia has been by far the most concerning aspect of his foreign policy (if you can call it that) so far. This policy has become even more dangerous now that the 30-year old princeling who is leading the Saudis’ increasingly aggressive stance in the region has been named crown prince. It appears Trump is willing to let the Saudis do whatever they want in the region, which is guaranteed to have disastrous implications for America and the Middle East.

But a new Seymour Hersh article is out showing that the US knew there was no Assad chemical attack in April, but President Trump decided to bomb anyway.

And the details are shocking... as's Darius Shahtahmasebi details, never one to accept the U.S. government’s official explanation of events without question, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has investigated Donald Trump’s decision to strike the al-Shayat Airbase in Syria in April of this year, which the president launched amid widespread allegations that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack.

In a report entitled “Trump’s Red Line,” published Sunday in the daily German newspaper Die Welt, Hersh asserts that President Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he made the decision to attack Syria after pictures emerged of dying children in the war-torn country.

For those of us without goldfish memories, Hersh’s recent investigation is reminiscent of his previous examination of the alleged chemical weapons attacks in 2013, detailed in an article entitled “Whose Sarin?” That article was published in the London Review of Books.

The official White House explanation for the events in April of this year was that Donald Trump was moved by the suffering of “beautiful” Syrian babies – the same Syrian babies he doesn’t want to set foot in the United States – and decided to punish the Syrian government for the attack two days after it allegedly occurred. This punishment came in the form of an airstrike despite the lack of a thorough investigation regarding what took place that fateful day in April and who was ultimately culpable (though the Trump administration insisted they were certain that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was to blame).

In that context, it should come as no surprise that Trump acted rashly without consideration of the facts on the ground. However, what is most disturbing about Hersh’s account is the fact that, according to his source, Trump was well aware that the U.S. had no solid intelligence linking the Syrian government to a chemical weapons attack — and that’s because, according to Hersh’s article, it’s doubtful a chemical weapons attack occurred at all.

Hersh reports:

“The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack,  including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.”


“None of this makes any sense,” one officer reportedly told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb Syria, according to Hersh. We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.”

According to Hersh, Trump “could not be swayed” by 48 hours worth of intense briefings and decision-making following the initial reports of the alleged chemical weapons attack. Hersh, who reportedly reviewed transcripts of real-time communications, explains that there is a “total disconnect” between the president and his military advisers and intelligence officials.

As is the case with Syrian military operations, Russia gave the U.S. details of the carefully planned attack on a meeting in Khan Sheikhoun, according to Hersh’s  admittedly anonymous sources. The Russians had employed a drone to the area days before the attack to develop the intelligence necessary to coordinate it.

According to Hersh’s sources, the United States and its Russian counterpart routinely share information regarding planned attacks in order to avoid collisions. However, they also permit “coordination,”  a practice that involves giving the other side a “hot tip about a command and control facility,” which then helps the other side carry out their attack.

Therefore, there was no surprise chemical weapons attack, as the Trump administration alleged. In fact, Russia had actually warned its American counterpart on the off-chance that there were any CIA assets on the ground who should have been forewarned of an impending attack.

“They [the Russians] were playing the game right,” a senior adviser told Hersh.

Hersh continues:

“Russian and Syrian intelligence officials, who coordinate operations closely with the American command posts, made it clear that the planned strike on Khan Sheikhoun was special because of the high-value target. ‘It was a red-hot change. The mission was out of the ordinary – scrub the sked,’ the senior adviser told me. ‘Every operations officer in the region’ – in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, CIA and NSA – ‘had to know there was something going on. The Russians gave the Syrian Air Force a guided bomb and that was a rarity. They’re skimpy with their guided bombs and rarely share them with the Syrian Air Force. And the Syrians assigned their best pilot to the mission, with the best wingman.’ The advance intelligence on the target, as supplied by the Russians, was given the highest possible score inside the American community.

Hersh confirms Russia’s account of the incident, in which Russian authorities alleged that the Syrian Air Force bombed a “terrorist warehouse,” and that secondary bombings dispersed dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere.

Strangely, if Hersh’s reporting is accurate, it is not clear why Russia didn’t give the detailed account at the time — and why the Russians didn’t emphasize that they had shared information with the U.S. military well in advance of the attack, as this would have cast further doubt on the official U.S. narrative. In that context, Russia could have provided proof of any prior communications that took place within the so-called deconfliction channel. It also doesn’t explain why Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, appeared to endorse two competing theories behind the events at Khan Sheikhoun.

However, Hersh continues:

“A team from Médecins Sans Frontières, treating victims from Khan Sheikhoun at a clinic 60 miles to the north, reported that ‘eight patients showed symptoms – including constricted pupils, muscle spasms and involuntary defecation – which are consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin gas or similar compounds.’ MSF also visited other hospitals that had received victims and found that patients there ‘smelled of bleach, suggesting that they had been exposed to chlorine.’ In other words, evidence suggested that there was more than one chemical responsible for the symptoms observed, which would not have been the case if the Syrian Air Force – as opposition activists insisted – had dropped a sarin bomb, which has no percussive or ignition power to trigger secondary explosions. The range of symptoms is, however, consistent with the release of a mixture of chemicals, including chlorine and the organophosphates used in many fertilizers, which can cause neurotoxic effects similar to those of sarin.

Hersh is not the first high-profile investigator to cast major doubts on the Trump administration’s official narrative regarding the events at Khan Sheikhoun. MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol, who previously worked as a former scientific advisor to the U.S. military’s Chief of Naval Operations, poked major holes in the claims that the Syrian government had launched a chemical weapons attack at Khan Sheikhoun, noting the “politicization” of intelligence findings (you can access all of his reports here). Postol argued that there was no possible way U.S. government officials could have been sure Assad was behind the attack before they launched their strike, even though they claimed to be certain. Postol took the conversation even further, asserting that the available evidence pointed to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft. Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter had similar concerns regarding the White House’s conclusions, as did former U.K. ambassador to Syria Peter Ford. The mainstream media paid almost zero attention to these reports, a slight that exposes the media’s complicity in allowing these acts of war to go ahead unquestioned.

“This was not a chemical weapons strike,” the adviser said. “That’s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon – you’ve got to make it appear like a regular 500-pound conventional bomb – would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear. Military grade sarin includes additives designed to increase toxicity and lethality. Every batch that comes out is maximized for death. That is why it is made. It is odorless and invisible and death can come within a minute. No cloud. Why produce a weapon that people can run away from?”

According to Hersh’s source, within hours of viewing the footage of the ‘attack’ and its aftermath, Trump ordered his national defense apparatus to plan for retaliation against the Syrian government. Hersh explains that despite the CIA and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) having no evidence that Syria even had sarin, let alone that they used it on the battlefield, Trump was not easily persuaded once he had made up his mind.

“Everyone close to him knows his proclivity for acting precipitously when he does not know the facts,” the adviser told Hersh. He doesn’t read anything and has no real historical knowledge. He wants verbal briefings and photographs. He’s a risk-taker. He can accept the consequences of a bad decision in the business world; he will just lose money. But in our world, lives will be lost and there will be long-term damage to our national security if he guesses wrong. He was told we did not have evidence of Syrian involvement and yet Trump says: ‘Do it.”’ [emphasis added]

At a meeting on April 6, 2017, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump spoke with his national security officials regarding the best way to move forward. The meeting was not to decide what to do, Hersh explains, but how best to do it (and how to keep Trump as happy as possible).

Trump was given four options. The first one was dismissed at the outset because it involved doing nothing. The second one was the one that was decided upon: a minimal show of force (with advance warning to Russia). The third option was the strike package that Obama was unable to implement in 2013 in the face of mounting public opposition and Russia’s threats of intervention. This plan was Hillary Clinton’s ultimate fantasy considering she was encouraging it moments before Trump’s lone strike actually took place. However, this would have involved extensive air strikes on Assad’s airfields and would have drawn in the Russian military to a point of no return. The fourth option involved the direct assassination of the Syrian president by bombing his palaces, as well as his underground bunkers. This was not considered, either.

As we all witnessed in April, the second option was adopted, and the airbase Trump struck was up and running again in less than 24 hours, making it a very symbolic and empty show of force.

Hersh’s insight into the way Trump is conducting his foreign policy does not bode well for the future of the Syrian conflict (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter). Trump was not interested in the intelligence or the facts on the ground — if he had been, he would have waited until an investigation had determined culpability before ordering a strike.

Missing from Hersh’s account, however, is the fact that it was newly appointed national security advisor General H.R. McMaster who laid out the military strike proposals to the president at his resort on April 6. McMaster replaced former national security advisor Michael Flynn after the latter was forced to resign due to leaks from within the intelligence community. Due to Flynn’s alleged ties to Russia, it seems unlikely he would have proposed such a strike on Russia’s close ally to begin with.

It is unclear whether McMaster proposed the strikes in order to appease Trump or because McMaster ultimately wants Trump to adopt a tougher stance against Syria and Russia; McMaster has a history of pro-interventionism and anti-Russian sentiment.

Those commentators who can review these startling revelations but still condone Trump’s actions with a lazy ‘Assad is still a bad guy and must be overthrown’ mindset argument are being intellectually dishonest, with themselves and others. As was the case in 2013, there is still very little evidence that Assad has ever used chemical weapons — particularly in the attacks that the U.S. has tried to pin on him — yet this is the standard by which the corporate media and our respective governments have instructed us to judge Assad. Even without this conclusive evidence, shortly after the April events, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley stated Assad will fall from power.

Hersh’s investigation bolsters many claims that the U.S. acted rashly without first conducting or ordering an impartial inquiry regarding what happened in April of this year. Hersh’s report also serves as a reminder to the world of the warpath we are continuing down, spearheaded by an impulsive and reckless megalomaniac who has no interest in ascertaining fact from fiction.

*  *  *

Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger also notes that just as interesting as the information above, is the fact that Hersh had to turn to a German newspaper to publish it. This makes perfect sense, because the one area where U.S. corporate press maintains unassailable consistency is when it comes to cheerleading for an interventionist, imperial foreign policy based on unverified claims and outright lies. Trump’s little fireworks display checked all those boxes, which is why the corporate media drooled all over the bombing, celebrating Trump for the first time of his Presidency. As Hersh notes:

After the meeting, with the Tomahawks on their way, Trump spoke to the nation from Mar-a-Lago, and accused Assad of using nerve gas to choke out “the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many … No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”


The next few days were his most successful as president. America rallied around its commander in chief, as it always does in times of war.


Trump, who had campaigned as someone who advocated making peace with Assad, was bombing Syria 11 weeks after taking office, and was hailed for doing so by Republicans, Democrats and the media alike. One prominent TV anchorman, Brian Williams of MSNBC, used the word “beautiful” to describe the images of the Tomahawks being launched at sea. Speaking on CNN, Fareed Zakaria said: “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States.” 


A review of the top 100 American newspapers showed that 39 of them published editorials supporting the bombing in its aftermath, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Which once again goes to show just how worthless, irresponsible and downright dangerous U.S. corporate media really is.

Finally, as Ron Paul rages below, Republicans cannot let go of "regime change" for Syria and new Cold War with Russia -- even as the Democrats are starting to back away. Will the mainstream media stick with the narrative as well? Or is it all about to come crashing down?


Ink Pusher Jun 27, 2017 8:46 AM Permalink

This strike was to intended to send a message to Assad and test the Russian resolve concerning Assad and the reported deployment of Russian anti-missile systems within the Syrian civil war theater.There was no other purpose.     

gcjohns1971 Jun 27, 2017 8:25 AM Permalink

I am politely skeptical of the "secondary explosion disbursed sarin" theory.First reason:   Sarin is highly flamable.   An explosion would tend to ignite it.Second Reason:   Sarin is extremely caustic.   There's no container you can put it in that it won't eat through over the course of a couple of years...  And if it had been stored in Khan Shiekhun it must have been there for at least five years.   Leaking containers would have been killing people there for some time.Third Reason:   Sarin casualties were spread out over the city.   Sarin is like Acetone - It evaporates very fast. What are the chances of breaching multiple containers, in multiple warehouses?  Statistically, you have a much better chance of winning the lottery.Fourth Reason:  Sarin is hard to make without killing yourself.  Only one non-government actor has ever done it - in Japan.  That lab was 3-stories tall and could make about 16 lbs.   About 1.5 tons was used in Khan Sheikhun.  It was government Sarin.Fifth Reason:  Who could have delivered these leaky, deadly, Sarin containers to Khan Sheikhun, by land or Air, without being noticed?Syria via aircraft.  Russians and US would see all aircraft with their Air defense Radar.   If it was a plane that delivered, it was a Syrian one.Turkey or Russia via Artillery or Rocket...except Russian Rockets that can range Khan Sheikhun show on radar.  And Turkey is not known to have ever had a chemical weapons program.We can speculate about a secret Turk program.  But the only other entity with known means, motive, and opportunity is Syria. h

ludwigvmises Jun 27, 2017 4:03 AM Permalink

Trump has become a perfect puppet of Israel. They point out the target, he strikes without asking twice. Awful to see, I was hoping voting Trump into office would help us end these Neocon BS games and put our own country first. And not Israel, or Europe, or Iraq etc.

foxenburg Jun 27, 2017 4:18 AM Permalink

But these fuckers will not let go. Yesterday the White House put out a statement which practically invited a false flag by stating that they thought Assad was going to commit another chemical weapon atrocity and that he and his military would pay a heavy price if it happened.So I think we can reasonably expect a false flag, induced by the USA. It's unbelievably cynical and immoral for Trump to have launched those cruise missiles and killed people just because he could do so, having been told by his intel people that there was no chemical attack. There are some disgusting people running what is becoming an increasingly disgusting country. The same goes for my own UK.

JailBanksters Jun 27, 2017 2:51 AM Permalink

So Business as usual them, I was getting worried there for a while.If anybody doubts the US always has an Ulterior motive, then look no more.If anybody doubts the US is still under control of the Zionists, then look no further. 

smacker Jun 27, 2017 1:54 AM Permalink

Unless Trump explains why he ordered 59 missiles to attack Syria and why he attempted to justify it by wailing to legacy MSM about the poor kids, his foreign policy is in tatters. If more than 50% of them had not got lost en route a lot more deaths and damage would have resulted.From Hersh's revelations, this was not one of those difficult decisions for a POTUS to make from time to time, it was plain wrong from the start and it flew in the face of his Syria foreign policy previously stated many times.He compounded this extremely poor judgement by doing a sword dance with a gang of half-breeds sub-human crypto jewish Saudi savages (aka Saudi "Royal" family) followed by a $110billion arms deal with them. Soon after, he publicy stated pretty much that Qatar is the world's No.1 terror state without even mentioning Saudi who are arguably far worse and Israel and even Washingtown/Langley itself!He's destroying what's left of American leadership which will result in progressive isolationism as more and more countries go their own way.

NuYawkFrankie Jun 27, 2017 2:27 AM Permalink

the ussa LIED about Serbia - then BOMBED IT ANYWAY
the ussa LIED about Afghanitan - then BOMBED IT ANYWAY
the ussa LIED about Iraq - then BOMBED IT ANYWAY
the ussa LIED about Libya - then BOMBED IT ANYWAY

And NOW the ussa LIES about Syrian Chemical Attack... and then BOMBED IT ANYWAY

"Our mighty-fine leaders lying.. so's they can BOMB? Say it ain't so, Ma! How can that be Ma???"

"Now CALM DOWN Jnr.... else there'll be NO second-helping of possum-pie for you tonite... Sonny Jim! I'm sure they've ALL been... ahem, ahem... "honest mistakes".... 'sides... we givin 'em good ol' Dumb-o'crazy - just like we got..,, an' it's good for ISISrael ain't it? Now GIT!"

Animal Mother Jun 27, 2017 1:20 AM Permalink

I remember back when the chem weap "attack" happened and at first it was specifically named a "sarin gas attack" and the implication was that only Assad could have had sarin. The problems with that is that for one, Assad had made the deal back in 2013 to allow Russia to supervise the removal of all Syrian NBC weapons stocks. So Assad wasnt supposed to have any sarin gas. How then is he without a doubt the one who used it? And two, the pictures of the white helmet "aid workers" dealing with victims of the supposed sarin attack while not wearing gloves or even gas masks on some of them shows that it wasnt sarin that disabled the victims laying on the ground. If it had been the unprotected aid workers would have been lying there next to them. All of them dead. The most plausable explanation I ever heard for what killed the people in that area was that the US aided ISIS "moderate rebels" had a stock of some sort of chemical weapons, or possibly just chem weapon precursors, in an arsenal of theirs in the area that Assad or the Russians hit with a bomb. 

Lost in translation Jun 27, 2017 12:21 AM Permalink

How many war pigs in the US Congress cheered this blatant crime? How many members of the House and Senate continue to spew poison in their public attacks on President Assad and the Syrian people?

The world was sick and tired of bully-America and its wild-eyed bloodletting, long ago. The leadership of the US shouts to Heaven for God's Judgment.

Son of Captain Nemo Jun 26, 2017 11:58 PM Permalink

Somebody needs to let Seymour know that it ain't over with inflicting moar "collateral damage" on Syria with the "chemical weapons" anthem ( because the pathological lying schizoid psychopath that is the U.S. MIC will not cease... (, (…) !!!



If I were "Cheeto-in-Chief" I'd be getting off the knee pads sucking off the likes of Bi Bi and pay closer attention to stuff like this ( (!

Bernard_2011 Jun 26, 2017 11:57 PM Permalink

The Seymour Hersh article is extremely damning.  A President literally wages war against a country after being told there's NO EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING.  Christ---even with Bush/Iraq the CIA NEVER TOLD BUSH there was NO EVIDENCE of WMDs!  Can someone explain to me though why is it that these literally bombshell leaks (instead of the endless drip-drip BS "Russia investigation" leaks) ARE NOT REPORTED in the Washington Post and the New York Times??? It had to go through a GERMAN publication---think about that!  The WaPo and NYT are ground central for leaking but THESE LEAKS DON'T EVER GET THERE!

otschelnik Bernard_2011 Jun 27, 2017 5:04 AM Permalink

And the Benghazi gun running operation to ISIS, Jabhat al-Nursa, and other Syrian 'moderate' opposition wasn't carried by the NYTimes and WaPo.  Hersh exposed that too, and nobody would publish it in America so he went to the London Review of Books. Free press in the USA today thanks to the MSM is in desparate condition, thank God for ZH. 

In reply to by Bernard_2011

SoDamnMad Jun 26, 2017 11:55 PM Permalink

Just read a Yahoo article saying Assad is preparing another chemical attack. Must be Becky Anderson is setting up another "first hand" camera shot of victims while the White Helmets get their jumpsuits back from the cleaners and shine their plastic helmets. Where are those child actors? Call Newton, CT again and ask where they are.

DonFromWyoming SoDamnMad Jun 27, 2017 12:41 AM Permalink

That article came from a press release an hour ago by the White House that even the State Department was surprised by.  Seems as Trump needs to show his manhood again with another volley of cruise missiles.  Downvote this post all you want because I am being critical of DJT, but if you are not interested in WW III, you might upvote this post.

In reply to by SoDamnMad

fightapathy Jun 26, 2017 11:55 PM Permalink

Thanks to Hersh -- for pointing out the obvious. We knew that Trump knew that we knew that Assad was an innocent sacrificial lamb on the altar of the Deep State's orgasmic thrust for Russian collusion followed by Trump's expulsion from power. We know Trump was faking concern about Syrian babies. If he cared about ANY babies, it'd be the first time EVER. But the fact is, he pulled a Machiavellian end run around the senile retards in the Senate, scored points with the blood-thirsty paedophiles in the media, and got away with an empty show of force that really didn't amount to much strategically. And he knew it. AND approved of it.Patience, assholes. Being a disruptor is not easy work. Nobody likes it. But it gets results.

Omega_Man Jun 26, 2017 11:46 PM Permalink

the merican goy will sit and watch while their evil zio masters destroy their country by attacking others... they are worthless and weaklings not able to stand up to this evil... 

Omega_Man Jun 26, 2017 11:43 PM Permalink

when the jew websites run the story first you know where this shit comes from... nuke israel and usa at the same time.... turn them to glass... then we humans can live normally.... 

Dumpster Elite Jun 26, 2017 11:40 PM Permalink

Just my President is going to be perfect. I want us out of the Middle East entirely...drill our own oil, make our own Gasoline and Natural Gas, export all of the above as a net exporter, and screw the fucking Saudis. Would you rather have Trump in office right now? Or Killary? Would you rather have Obama as our new Justice, or Gorsuch? If you chose Obama, you're a fucking scumbag Communist sympathizer, you hate America, and I have no use for you. Sure Trump is a blowhard loudmouth...but consider the fucking alternative!!! Guys like Seymour Hersh will never ever be happy. They live in a world of absolutes. If the perfect candidate isn't in office, then it's all wrong.

bshirley1968 Dumpster Elite Jun 27, 2017 12:04 AM Permalink

Please get a frickin clue.We use 15+ million barrels of oil a day.  We pump 8.3 million as day.  How in the hell do you ever imagine we can be a "net exporter"?  Can you really be that stupid at this point in the game?Why would we EVER sell any of it.  That oil is a national treasure.....just like the land in which it is located.  It should NEVER be sold outside this country to a foreign entity.There is no limit to what you sheeple whores will do or what you will sell to get your grubby hands on some worthless fiat you can what?  Take another trip to Disneyland? 

In reply to by Dumpster Elite

natashav Jun 26, 2017 11:38 PM Permalink

This was the final nail in the coffin for Trump.He made it absolutely clear in the moment he bombed and then liedthat he is nothing more than a con artist.I'll admit it... I was always skeptical, but had a wee bit of hope he might do some things differently.My takeaways?Voting doesn't matter.It's a sideshow.Idiots like Obama and Trump are placeholders... con artists.. puppetsTrump is the worst of them though because it only took him 90 days to completely unmask after giving hope to millions in this country.