(Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Seymour Hersh has risked much over his decades of journalism. He is a true journalist who has been attacked, slandered, and shunned by all sides simply because he seems to resist taking any side.
But then in 2013, when Hersh brought forward information contradicting the West's official narrative regarding a chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus, the New Yorker decided not to publish it. His report, "Whose Sarin?" instead found itself published in the London Review of Books.
In Hersh's follow up report, "The Red Line and the Rat Line," also published by the London Review of Books, he revealed information not only further exposing the lies told by the US and its allies, but suggested NATO member Turkey and close US-ally Saudi Arabia may have played a role in supplying those responsible for the attack with the chemical weapons.
Should Hersh's reports reach wider audiences and the idea of a West capable of conceiving, carrying out, then trying to exploit a crime against humanity to justify expanded, unjust war, Western foreign policy would irrevocably be disfigured and perhaps begin to unravel.
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.”He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).
Higgins was furnished with his own "weapons expert," Dan Kaszeta, who either owns or is an associate of multiple dubious "consulting" firms. Together from the beginning Higgins and Kaszeta bolstered the West's narrative that the Syrian government was responsible for using munitions filled with nerve agents right in front of UN inspectors in Damascus.
Using what they collectively called "open source intelligence" - watching YouTube videos and looking at Google Earth - they claimed the type of rocket and nerve agent used could only have been deployed by the Syrian government.
Hersh contested these claims in both of his reports and in additional interviews pointing out that the rockets were crude and could just as easily be homemade, while the production of nerve agents - certainly the work of a state actor - could have been done in either Turkey or Saudi Arabia or with either nations' assistance, then deployed by militants in Syria.
In reality, all Higgins and Kaszeta proved was that whoever carried out the attack - designed solely to grant the US and its allies justification for direct military intervention - spent a lot of time and effort to make the attack appear as if the Syrian government carried it out. They predicate their entire argument upon claiming the West would not - for some reason - fabricate an attack to justify a war they sought to wage but lacked any justification to do so.
Along side Higgins and Kaszeta's rebuttal was a scathing indictment of not only Hersh, but traditional journalism in general. The London Gaurdian's Brian Whitaker would pen a piece titled, "Investigating chemical weapons in Syria - Seymour Hersh and Brown Moses go head to head,"claiming (emphasis added):
While seeking to re-ignite the "whodunnit" debate about chemical weapons, Hersh's article unwittingly revealed a lot about the changing nature of investigative journalism. Hersh is old-school. He operates in a world of hush-hush contacts – often-anonymous well-placed sources passing snippets of information around which he constructs an article that challenges received wisdom.
The Hersh style of journalism certainly has a place, but in the age of the internet it's a diminishing one – as the web-based work of Higgins and others continually shows.
The Western media, in a bid to explain how ISIS has acquired these weapons, has begun spinning theories that Syria's weapons on their way out of Syria somehow ended up in ISIS' hands. The presence of chemical weapons in northern Syria and Iraq indicates that just as Hersh suggested, chemical weapons are being passed on to terrorists operating in Syria from either Turkey or Saudi Arabia, or both.
The report concluded that even large scale use of chemical weapons offered little advantage to either side and suggests that attacks carried out with such weapons required almost perfect weather and geographical conditions to be of even limited benefit. On a smaller scale, the use of chemical weapons would be tactically and strategically useless - unless of course used as a means of implicating your enemy and justifying wider war.
Discerning this is a product of critical thinking - which is what drove people away from the Western media in the first place. Sunstein's mistaken belief that somehow those drifting away from the Western media were as easily fooled as those still watching it is why people like Higgins have ended up chased out of the independent media and back, deeply within the system that co-opted and used him in the first place.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian