In one of the most pathetic and desperate non-stories I’ve recently read, Foreign Policy published an article pretending that they have scooped the upcoming UN Report. And, they go on to tell us what it reveals:
U.N. inspectors have collected a “wealth” of evidence on the use of nerve agents that points to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against his own people, according to a senior Western official.
That’s right. A sooper-secret “senior Western official” tells all:
The inspection team, which is expected on Monday to present U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon with a highly anticipated report on a suspected Aug. 21 nerve agent attack in the suburbs of Damascus, will not directly accuse the Syrian regime of gassing its own people, according to three U.N.-based diplomats familiar with the investigation. But it will provide a strong circumstantial case — based on an examination of spent rocket casings, ammunition, and laboratory tests of soil, blood, and urine samples — that points strongly in the direction of Syrian government culpability.
In all fairness, some of the credit should be shared by the “three U.N.-based diplomats familiar with the investigation,” who must remain anonymous. Meanwhile, the friendly and forthcoming “senior official” regales us with his insider view of the UN undertaking:
“I know they have gotten very rich samples — biomedical and environmental — and they have interviewed victims, doctors and nurses,” said the Western official. “It seems they are very happy with the wealth of evidence they got.”
The official, who declined to speak on the record because of the secrecy surrounding the U.N. investigation, could not identify the specific agents detected by the inspector team, but said, “You can conclude from the type of evidence the [identity of the] author.”
In the end, we shall discover what ketchup king, John Kerry, has been telling us all along — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people. Or something. Of course, the obligatory video montage by Laura-Poitras-wanna-be, Samantha Powers, is on display for your writhing-in-poison-gas enjoyment.
One interesting fact was clarified, however:
It was the Assad Regime that brought the UN inspectors to Syria in the first place, when government troops were attacked by what appeared to be a poison gas some weeks earlier:
The Syrian government initially invited U.N. inspectors to Syria to investigate an alleged March 19 sarin attack in the town of Khan al Assal, near Aleppo. While the inspectors were in Damascus, Syria’s U.N. ambassador Bashar al Jaafari, requested that investigators look at three other cases of alleged chemical weapons use in late August against Syrian forces. On their final day in Damascus, the U.N. inspection team visited a military hospital in Damascus to examine alleged chemical weapons victims.
But never mind that. The three anonymous “U.N.-based diplomats familiar with the investigation” assure us that under the terms of its mandate, U.N. inspectors are only authorized to conclude whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria, not assign responsibility for their use.
Now if I were an investigative journalist — I would ask my forensic chemist friend: “Does Saudi-produced sarin have a different chemical signature than US-produced sarin? Or Syrian-produced sarin?”
And she would say: “Are you nuts? Of course they all leave different chemical signatures depending on where and how they are produced and stored.”
Not that we would want to open that door. God forbid.