Trump’s Hasty Syria Strike Generated Alarm Within the Intelligence Community
In a previous post this morning-I’m up early today!-we looked at the fact that while Trump rightly castigated the Bushes for lying us into Iraq, he may be trying to do the same thing in Iraq.
In any case, this is something you want to watch for. He’s already a failed domestic President so the temptation to Wag the Dog is strong.
What Trump did in Syria on Thursday may have been illegal. He certainly should have briefed and gotten authorization from Congress first. I know, the Shadi Hamids will be like-it was such a small action, why should he?
An action by the way that didn’t stop Assad. After the attack led Assad to step up attacks. While Shadi Hamid and friends marveled over Trump’s giant, beating heart that couldn’t stand to see over 80 civilians killed, Trump’s strike killed another seven civilians.
So he didn’t chasten Assad-to the contrary, Assad stepped up attacks-and on the other hand, he did kill seven more civilians. But in no way does this mean the strike wasn’t successful as it ‘served notice that chemical weapon attacks will not be tolerated’-even though there remains deep divisions in the intelligence community as to whether this was really a chemical attack by Assad.
And indeed, Trump’s attack unnerved the intelligence community:
“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.”
“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-Qaida 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-Qaida – 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.”
Let’s hope they do go public. We need our spooks at a time like this. Scott Sumner said it:
The establishment (now called the deep state) is a good thing, as it reduces the risk of a dangerous demagogue causing major problems.”
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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