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Monday, September 18, 2017

CoI Report Dismantling at the Indicter

September 18, 2017
last edits Sept. 26

This post is to announce my second article at Professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli's The Indicter and to comment, invite comments, etc.
Syria Sarin Allegation: How An UN-Panel Report Twists and Omits Evidence

This stuff sort-of writes itself, but it does take some careful reading, transcribing, and then formatting, collecting sources, etc. There were still a few typos when I got this in behind the hoped schedule, but it's damn close to a perfect piece - basically an improved re-write of my recent review here of the CoI's"meaningless" report. That was good, but I'm calling this, sure to be more widely seen, the Khan Sheikhoun debunk we need, after months of futile confusion mixed progress by the skeptic community.

I assembled this piece at the invitation of professor De Noli, and have the honor of sharing the September Issue with his firsthand account of the U.S.-backed September 11, 1973 coup d'etat in Chile and following repression. De Noli was photographed in detention near martyred regional governor Fernando Alvarez, but was far luckier, released to become an important witness and lifetime activist. He now runs the Indicter, and invited me back for a second article on Syria chemical weapons allegations. 

Points worth adding: 
White House radar track: Was not included IN the report, just published alongside it, and shown at a press conference (good resolution copy and some sources here at ACLOS).

We were lucky this time: This Khan Sheikhoun sarin attack case was exceptionally sloppy. Most allegations of massacres and so on that I've investigated fall apart to some degree, but few of them as badly as this important event. But then, it was the same with Ghouta - maybe it's the extra attention that turns up the best debunks. And the abundance of material to find clues in...

Anyway, still, we got a lucky break as investigators with their backwards wind reading, with their inability to get the jets above the spots they blew up, etc. In the future they could learn and improve, map the gas spread accurately, etc. and still they could be and probably would be re-packaging one of their sectarian massacres. If we can't even spot it when they fail this badly, what hope is there for securing any semblance of truth-based justice. Collectively, despite all the deliberate impediments to it, we need to get smarter than this.

More Fudging by OPCW: a problem I noticed too late to include - as the OPCW used this topographic map to show why sarin would flow SW from the origin spot, they did two serious things
1) as noted, exaggerate the relief to make slopes look steeper and more relevant. than they were
2) just now noticed: they misplaced the release point, if that's what the blue area is supposed to be. Rather it seems this is the bakery, a bit south of release point, which is right where that curving street meets the straight one.

The difference matters (or it would IF THERE WAS NO WIND, but there was...): From this wrong spot, it would flow sw like rebels need, IF the air was still as the OPCW wrongly decided. From the correct spot, more than likely it would all roll NW, especially if the OPCW's wind direction guess (mild to the NW) was right (it wasn't). Rather, it blew uphill, not as steep as it looks here, northeast (here: to the right and away), until it got too steep, and then I guess it would bend more north along the highway and into that (not so) dramatic gorge there.


  1. Location of the 'poultry massacre yard' (and Abu Rabeea house which looks to be on the same road but the next block west from where it is marked on ALCOS)



    Might be able to confirm Al-Salam hospital in Ma'arat al-Numan as the doctor seen on video there is Dr Mohammed Firas al-Jundi. His hospital was a private clinic that was turned into a charity hospital, could also be why it is on Google maps, if the address from when it was a private clinic is listed somewhere it might show it is the hospital in the videos (satellite photos aren't good)


    They could be wrong but USA Today has the Fatima al-Yousef house where her cousin died on the balcony as "two-story"


    HRW has it as 100 metres west of the bakery and shared with Yasser al-Yousef's family. Making the connections, Yasser is actually Dr Hazem's uncle and the mother of Fatima's cousin who died (unless there are many Yousra al-Yousefs living east of impact points 2 and 3) is Dr Hazem's wife's aunt. So her story on JFL report page 24 happens in the same building as Fatima's in HRW and the varying stories of how Yasser's family died. Also has room for chickens outside if anything in the CNN version is true http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/09/middleeast/syria-chemical-attack-ward/index.html might be possible to locate it?

    CNN version also means the sarin cloud killed them instantly from 100 metres away or they all casually ignored the Su22 doing an attack run and let the children go out and play. And then everyone upstairs ignored Sana Haj Ali screaming at Yasser to save their children.

    Maybe of interest too - Adham al-Hussein says he was too injured to film anything in Khan Sheikhoun but describes the colours of the toxic gas cloud http://www.syja.org/images/PDF/2017/Khan-Shikoun-Special-Report---April-2017-en.pdf

    Doesn't explain how he heard radio reports of injured, saw a first flyover and filmed smoke that the air observer and monitor didn't get on their radios, see or film.

  2. Can't find any links to these (maybe search just isn't finding it) the 2 facebook live streams from a hospital room (entirely children)



    UTC+3 I make them 9:13 am and 9:22 am?

    The OPCW/HRW versions still don't work imo as the timing is impossible. I think the 'first strike' was someone's realisation that the witness timing of the chemical cloud appearance, although pretty consistent on this one specific thing, puts the chemical cloud right after the explosions. It affects victims immediately so impossible to tie to that hole by the bakery. Some witnesses seem to have considered all the bombs to be 'chemical bombs' so they have ended up trying to explain that anomaly but whoever decided on the 'first flyby' explanation failed to realise that the testimony still only supports a single flyby of a low flying Su-22.

    Jamal Maarouf describes loudspeakers broadcasting to the town that it was a chemical bomb and symptoms: he is then convinced his family has been affected (even though they live far away) and takes them to hospital - no way of telling how many similar people make up the background of the hospital scenes or how this prepared 'victims' for future interviews.

  3. Something else unusual (that may just be down to spelling of his name) - looking for mentions of Hussam Salloum the actual aircraft observer quoted by Reuters


    he only seems to appear in a 2013 NYT article talking about... chemical weapons (quite a coincidence?)


    Here "Hussam" becomes the one who says Quds 1 has chemicals


    which is a little bit odd as it was Quds 6 that was linked to the previous 'chemical' attack



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