By Eric Zuesse
On April 20th, Sabrina Siddiqui headlined at Huffington Post, “Bob Corker: ‘Assad Was Wise’ To Kill 1,200 With Chemical Weapons And ‘Embarrass’ The U.S.” She didn’t challenge the veracity of the Obama Administration’s (and Republican Senator Corker’s) charge that the sarin gas attack came from Assad’s forces instead of from jihadist rebels who were trying to oust Assad. But, evil though Assad is, that charge against him is a lie, which was definitively nailed down as such, by Seymour Hersh, on April 4th headlining at the London Review of Books, “The Red Line and the Rat Line: Seymour Hersh on Obama, Erdogan, and the Syrian Rebels.” The gas attack was perpetrated by Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan’s allies the jihadist al-Nusra rebels, who are allied in Syria with Al Qaeda, against Assad.
Earlier reports that had raised questions about Obama’s lies on this matter were “George Washington” headlining 17 January 2014 at his blog, “Weapons Inspectors: Syrian Chemical Weapons Fired from Rebel-Held Territory”; Robert Parry at Consortium News on 23 December 2013, headlining, “UN Investigator Undercuts NYT on Syria”; and, even earlier, Matthew Schofield at McClatchy Newspapers on 21 August 2013, headlining, “New Analysis of Rocket Used in Syria Chemical Attack Undercuts U.S. Claims.” The U.S. major “news” media have played along with the Obama lies on this (as on some other matters), just as they did with George W. Bush’s lies about “Saddam’s WMD” that didn’t even exist, and that hadn’t existed since 1998 when they were all destroyed (as I documented in my 2004 book, Iraq War: The Truth).
Actually, Michael Calderone at HuffPo had headlined on 8 December 2013, “New Yorker, Washington Post Passed On [i.e. Rejected] Seymour Hersh Syria Report.” So, HuffPo had itself reported the major media’s complicity with Obama’s now-dubious claim, before HuffPo resumed spreading that lie on April 20th, even weeks after Hersh had finally nailed it down. However, back at that time, in December, the Hersh charge hadn’t yet been nailed down. It was first reported by Hersh on 8 December 2013, also in LRB, under the headline “Whose Sarin?” But then it was only a question, not yet an answer.
Not until Hersh’s subsequent 4 April 2014 report, “The Red Line and the Rat Line,” was it actually nailed down, as an Obama-Republican lie.
The performance of the U.S. news-media regarding the Obama Administration’s lie concerning this matter is no better than was their performance in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. And, similarly, the U.S. major “news” (or propaganda) media are carrying water for the Administration on Ukraine. (For that issue, see the links ending this article.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.