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White House Offers Evidence of Syrian Chemical Attack

by Keith Koffler on August 30, 2013, 1:39 pm

The White House this afternoon released a document concluding with “high confidence” that the Syrian government ordered chemical weapons attacks that resulted in massive casualties in the Damascus area August 21, but the document acknowledges that that absolute confirmation of the Syrian government’s guilt remains elusive.

Nevertheless, the evidence, as presented by the White House, would seem overwhelming and is derived from multiple sources.

The White House also estimates that the nerve agent used killed 1,429 people, including 426 children, a stunning  total. What’s more, the White House believes the Syrian government used chemical weapons “on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year, including in the Damascus suburbs.”

Among the conclusions:

  • The Syrian regime has the types of munitions that we assess were used to carry out the attack on August 21, and has the ability to strike simultaneously in multiple locations. We have seen no indication that the opposition has carried out a large-scale, coordinated rocket and artillery attack like the one that occurred on August 21.
  • We assess that the regime’s frustration with its inability to secure large portions of Damascus may have contributed to its decision to use chemical weapons on August 21.
  • We have intelligence that leads us to assess that Syrian chemical weapons personnel – including personnel assessed to be associated with the SSRC – were preparing chemical munitions prior to the attack.
  • Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August 21. Satellite detections corroborate that attacks from a regime-controlled area struck neighborhoods where the chemical attacks reportedly occurred.
  • We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence. On the afternoon of August 21, we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations.

Some other evidence was withheld to protect source and methods. Certain classified information not released to the public has been shared with Congress and U.S. allies.


anneinarkansas August 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Why did we hear from Kerry and not Obama?

DeniseVB August 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Document drop, news dump Friday seems to work well with this administration. Obama’s going to make comments shortly I heard, during his scheduled presser with his new friends :)

I also heard the sources for Kerry’s War Pitch are sympatheic to the rebels.

Star August 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Friday and a Holiday!!

Julie Brueckheimer August 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm


AFVet August 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Yep !
No Brainer !

Susan August 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Wow. No live TV allowed? He doesn’t want to be seen saying whatever he’s going to say…

Julie Brueckheimer August 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I’d also suggest that Obama wants to distance himself now from his own mess as Rubio has done with the immigration bill. First Obama does not take part in the conference with “Congress” but leaves it to his security team and today he has Kerry speak for him instead of going to the American people himself. Shame, shame.

Not Nabob the Knothead August 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Kerry is the White Obama.

Star August 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm

I love how Kerry said if we don’t do this, history will judge us–uh. history will be judgin’ anyhow–however history judges things, I don’t know…but people say that.

PBB August 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

It makes me wonder where these weapons came from or who manufactured them? There was alway rumors that Syria was the recipients of WMD from Iraq.

anneinarkansas August 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I believe that rumor.

gracepmc August 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

If we are not willing to take out chemical warfare capacity there is no point. Chemical weapons are bad whether they are in the hands of Assad or worse AQ and rogue terrorists.

A shot across the bow does not signal a solution. America should not have to suffer because Obama’s ego is wounded.

Mark Holbrook August 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Summary of Secretary of State Kerry’s serious Syrian speech: “We now know what we know for those in the know who still don’t know what the president knows or what his known plan is for the known ‘red line’ that was known prior to what we know.”

Sadly, these are the folks who are charged with leading and protecting the United States. What I know: Our country is being led by imbecilic wordsmiths speaking in known condescending rhetoric to the American people.

srdem65 August 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Not buying it.
Not buying their crocodile tears over “429″ children killed as a reason for a limited military action when this administration celebrated, supported and promoted the deaths of 500,000 unborn children last year in the US.

There is no sanity in deciding that bombing a country, and causing the death of an unknown number of innocents, to protest the killing of another set of innocents is the right thing to do.
Being killed by rockets, grenades, or bullets is just as dead as being surrounded by deadly gases.
There are other avenues, other solutions, butt they involve a political agreement with other nations and this President doesn’t know how or just can’t persuade others to his way of thinking.

swedishlady August 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm

No, not buying it.
Even if KerryandBarry put on their best Oscarwinning performance – not buying it. They have no hard facts, just playing to the emotions, just peddling lies.
Oh, and that Kerry. The swiftboating comes to my mind. He was a liar already then.

Julie Brueckheimer August 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm

: – ))

AFVet August 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I think that it is all political at this point.
Why drag the troops into a conflict that has gone on for centuries?
These people are barbarians, and bullets and missiles are not going to defer them from their mission.
They are like cockroaches, you turn the light on, they vanish.
It’s the same damn war that we fought in Vietnam.
It was very hard to determine who the enemy was.
Now, here we are in the same scenario with incompetent politicians that think they know what is right for the world.
All the while restricting our Military on the rules of engagement.

I find that ludicrous.

Susan August 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I don’t believe this regime can tell the truth about anything. Preezy’s whole existence is based on lies. So outrageous to watch Kerry, the former anti-war activist, making a case for attacking a country that poses no threat to America. So many disgustingly evil people populate this regime.

Darkangel August 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I’m going to wonder in print where Cindy Sheehan has disappeared to these days.

Oil is now at a 2-year high, so hang on to your wallet if you get near a gas station.

Not that that’s going to keep Obama off the golf course tomorrow. At Andrews, I’ll bet, with Marvin Nicholson in the foursome. Even further: he’ll do TWO rounds of golf this Labor Day weekend, you watch. Other one will be at Belvoir on Monday, and his foursome will include…let’s see…going to guess Reggie Love. Any bets against?

Mandy Manners August 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm

“I’m going to wonder in print where Cindy Sheehan has disappeared to these days.”

I don’t know about Sheehan, but Code Pink is not happy.

Darkangel August 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Give the devil his due Code Pink full credit. At least they’re consistent.

Mandy Manners August 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm

They stick to their guns.

Star August 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm

May this is the regime and this is not like Powell waving around a funky bottle of cornstarch, but would such an attack prevent more gratuitous slaughter–or would we be doing the slaughtering.

Julie Brueckheimer August 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm

“High confidence” is not the same thing as proof.

Star August 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I noted that, too, Julie–at best evidence or just an indication–but not proof and even if it were proof, that is not the point–the point is what would this do?

kMikeb August 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Using Al Qaeda as a source should be a red flag but we know Barry has trouble with the color red.

Otis Driftwood August 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm

He could be color blind… well, maybe just certain colors.

Mandy Manners August 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Is this pencil-necked geek gonna’ start WW3?

Darkangel August 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm

He just might. Don’t forget how World War I got started: a couple of Serbians assassinated the Archduke of Austria-Hungary, and with all the competing alliances stacked up on both sides, the entire powder keg blew up. The postwar settlement for World War I is arguably part of what led to World War II.

So he might just end up starting World Wars III AND IV.

That would be pretty impressive, in a gallows-humor way, for an erstwhile Vietnam War protestor and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

AFVet August 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Ditto !!!!

cindy lu August 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

nobel peace prize LOLOLOL


Mandy Manners August 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I’d rather have someone who loves this nation and its military in charge.

CAR August 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Thinking that, too. No one is perfect, but I don’t trust BO and his team at all….

Girly1 August 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

On a side note, Erdogan of Turkey stated that he wants to strike Syria but he wants Obama to lead the way. These two are just a little too chummy for my taste. Morsi, Erdogan and Obama – Islamists forever!

Do we even know who the rebels are??? Nothing makes sense.

Darkangel August 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

We don’t know who the rebels are, and we can’t define the conditions for victory. If the entire objective is just to launch cruise missiles and break stuff, then we may even be justified in asking if this even IS a war, and not just an exercise in wanton destruction.

This may turn out to be like Sherman burning his way to the sea. That was such a complete disregard for the rules of conflict that some believe the war was not legitimately won. (For the record, I’m not saying I agree with that belief: I’m just saying that it is a belief that some do hold.)

DeniseVB August 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

This is for Keith in support ! An epic rant on twitter last night by one of Ace of Spades’ co-bloggers. Twitchy has the tweet rundown of the media smackdown. (warning: strong language for those sensitive). You don’t need a twitter acount to read this:

srdem65 August 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Thanks for the link.
Yeah, that is one righteous rant. That pretty much reflects my thinking, butt I’m too polite to put it in print.
What seems to gripe the gent as much as it does a lot of people, is that printing or exposing the truth is not “anti-Obama or anti-government” in itself.
If MrO was absent from important meetings, then say so; don’t just ignore it as if it doesn’t matter that he was meeting with MagicJohnson about jobs when his Nat’l Security team was talking to members of Congress about going to war.

Star August 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Is that what Twitter is like? Awful! Disjointed, even the fabulous curses don’t make it punchy and smart.

JG August 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Any proof that Syria did this because of a YouTube video?

Owen_Kellogg August 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Ask and you shall receive:

Obama Administration: Proof Based Upon 100 YouTube Videos

Yes, they really are that stupid.

DeniseVB August 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I heard that their sources were the internet and youtube videos, and I thought that was funny, what putzes, it’s true….still LOLing.

CiscoKid August 30, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Again with the YouTube video b.s.
I didn’t buy it about Benghazi, and I sure as hell ain’t buying it about Syria.
$52 billion spent on the U.S. intelligence community and we’re getting intel from YouTube? WTF!

AZ Granny August 31, 2013 at 4:47 am

Thanks for that link! I can’t believe we might go to war based on you tube videos. Absolutely amazing…

gracepmc August 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm

A possible solution? Our WH Grifters love the glitterati and Vogue did do a spread on the Assads. Perhaps Anna Wintour could host a private exclusive dinner party — the Assads and the Grifters. The wimmens could retire to discuss family (apparently the Assad boychild uses FB) and fashion. The mens could discuss critical matters over brandy and cigars. Kinda’ like Pamela Harrington soirees — Anna would like that. And Herself could use some fashion advice.

srdem65 August 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm


nellas August 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I see that the visitor log books at the white house are now sealed to the public….most transparent administration…right!!

Otis Driftwoord August 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm

sealed for 12 years. You know there is going to be an appeal.

Mandy Manners August 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm
cindy lu August 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm

syria shmyria, golf on sunday! fore!

Anne Lieberman August 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Hard to believe that Obama would actually “go it alone” militarily – with little or no support from the public, Congress, UN or NATO – just because Assad embarrassed him on the 1-year anniversary of his “red line.” Axelrod recognized this weakness in Obama long ago, telling him, “You care far too much what is written and said about you” [quoted in "The Battle for America 2008" by Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz]. Surely that doesn’t qualify as a national security interest or reason to get involved in a war!

Not Nabob the Knothead August 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm

And millions of dollars wasted with each launch of an insignificant Tomahawk missiles. I say if you are going to spends millions and put our military men and women in harms way, at least make the strike count.

PBB August 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm

What are the Odds in Vegas on how many rounds of golf the President gets in this weekend?

cindy lu August 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm

he has no shame, and I am really starting to think he is unbalanced

Bonnie August 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Is unbalanced a kind word for nut job?

cindy lu August 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm


Susan August 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm

The whole cabal are lunatics, in my opinion. Odd how Congress saw fit to remove the word lunatic from the government lexicon. Maybe because they all identify so closely with the condition.

Mandy Manners August 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm

He’s a narcissist.

Otis Driftwoord August 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm

hmmmm doesn’t he have a trip pending to go out the the West Coast?? Am sure he will have the bags and the Caddie packed for the trip.. just in case. Oh, and the official ball handler.

PBB August 31, 2013 at 3:07 am

Official Ball Handler ???? Is that the Secret Service’s Code Name for Reggie Love???

Martha Trowbridge August 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm

For those of you who haven’t been following the Identity Fraud evidence against Obama, big news is about to break.

THAT’S why his rush to strike Syria – no one will investigate the Commander-In-Chief. So he [falsely] assumes.

Knuckledraggingwinostarbird August 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

It remains unproven that Assad used chemical weapons against the rebels. However; it is proven that the rebels are associated with AlQuaida who attacked up the United States on 9-11-01.
Let Allah sort them out.

Dr. Todd Ambrosius August 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Haven’t read the comments, so someone may have covered this detail already. Apologies if that’s the case.

I don’t care about their evidence. I don’t care if they’ve got video of Bashar Assad stooped over a big red button labeled “CHEMICAL WEAPONS” as he cackles away, his finger sinking into the control and saying into the camera, “I’m glad I’m gassing the bums! Now what shall I have for dinner tonight?”

We have no business there. None. So Obama can take his evidence and pound it somewhere unmentionable on a family blog.

Star August 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Family blog–I like that…thanks for not using crass lang.

gracepmc August 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I’m curious about the timing. I think there’s a fundraiser coming up. On the 4th he is meeting with Nordic leaders and then on to St. Pete. So….who does that leave to make the critical calls. I’m thinking he might delegate this like he delegated-I assume-Benghazi. So most likely be Valjar,the Video Queen, Sam – if someone can find her – Benny Rhodes (or his brother) the windsurfing medal throwing traitor over at State, maybe Brennan and the entire MSM.

Or he could do it before he leaves.

Star August 31, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Yeah, the last-minute list. “Mess in a civil war we don’t understand even though we may be being played.” CHECK.

Mandy Manners August 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I wonder if Hizb’allah is busy plotting which Israeli targets to attack around the world as a result of FCMABBHO’s actions.

O Driftwood II August 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm

and here we goooooooooo!.. It’s now time for the official WH Administration Blame Game –

Leaks leaks & Leaks :

Not Nabob the Knothead August 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Neither John Kerry nor Barack Hussein Obama have any clue as to what their doing. With leaders as such, who needs enemies. Same goes for Val Jarrett, Sam Powers, Clapper and the rest of the “I’m better than thou bunch”.

Torqued August 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I don’t believe one single word from any of these insane commie rat bastids. And frankly, I don’t give a tinkers damn about any koranimal.

Mr. T. August 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Evidence shmevidence…I don’t trust any of them from this bunch.

All I know is if he does go it alone, I don’t ever want to hear another word from the Libs about GWB’s “illegal wars” – you know, the ones where he actually got Congressional approval, UN resolutions, and coalitions of multiple countries…plus took the time to make his case to the American people.

Star August 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Good point.

lizzytalorburton August 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Obama wants to send troops to help in Syria, Thats help? bomb their buildings and probably innocent citizens, but HE WOULDN’T SEND TROOPS TO HELP OUR AMBASSADOR AND THE OTHER MURDERED MEN, HE WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND THEN TO HELP OUR PEOPLE??? Obama doesn’t care if Israel or innocent people get destroyed in his HUMANITARIAN effort??? This guy is not a real President and we need one badlly, not a stupid one who wants to start World War 3.

OvertheOs August 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm

After this administration’s manipulation of all the facts about anything — Benghazi — F & F – Solyndra — IRS — et al — how is it remotely possible to believe anything that is said or any documents presented?

Regime Change August 30, 2013 at 9:50 pm


OvertheOs August 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Obama does NOT go it alone. He is not the one risking his life or the lives of any family members. He pays no price whatsoever in any decisions he makes. He will always have paid security, annual salary, health care. He suffers no penalty for anything. Some one else will buy his post presidential home, his library and he will do only as he knows how to do, be a putz.

Star August 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

True–variation on the young men fight old men’s wars.

gracepmc August 30, 2013 at 10:43 pm

4 Americans undefended and murdered in Benghazi and now this Administration develops a conscience?

Seems like the anniversary of 9/11 is fast approaching — brilliant timing for a response. Hope all those embassys Obama closed for Ramadan are adequately protected or evacuated while Obama orders the military Operation Save Face into action.

swedishlady August 31, 2013 at 2:55 am

What´s happening with the Zero Ground Mosque ? Is it built yet ? Will Barry give a dedicatory speech when it´s opening ? I remember that he supported the plans.

PBB August 31, 2013 at 3:21 am

I saw that Jimmy Carter is calling for a Peace Conference now. I just finished a great book called “The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity Book by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy”.

I was amazed how Carter wrote letters directly to Coalition Member Countries during Gulf War I. He mailed the letter to Bush 41 and faxed his opposition to the other countries leaders. Some wanted Treason charges brought against him. Then he basically did the same with North Korea under Clinton.

It was always commented that he was that Carter was the best Ex President. This book makes the case that Nixon was the best followed by Bush 41/Clinton duo. I can’t wait until Obama is an Ex-President.

Mandy Manners August 31, 2013 at 7:04 am

The UN team has left Syria. I wonder if the missiles will start flying within 12 hours.

Aileen August 31, 2013 at 8:38 am

Sixth warship in place loaded with Marines….although denials of “on the ground” placement are issued.
Lord have mercy on us.

Mandy Manners August 31, 2013 at 8:44 am

We already have troops from special operation units on the ground, and I have no problem with that. However, I wonder if FCMABBHO is planning on sending in those Marines. If so, this would not be the ‘”narrow, limted attack”‘ he’s announced.

Aileen August 31, 2013 at 8:49 am

In the words of my mother, “When you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.”
The question I have? What else is going on that they want to cover up with this excessive military presence?

Aileen August 31, 2013 at 8:53 am

As per
Martha Trowbridge August 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm:
“For those of you who haven’t been following the Identity Fraud evidence against Obama, big news is about to break.
THAT’S why his rush to strike Syria – no one will investigate the Commander-In-Chief. So he [falsely] assumes.”

I don’t follow this…is there truth to this assertion?

Mandy Manners August 31, 2013 at 9:19 am

I figured that poster is a fan of Orly Taitz.

Aileen August 31, 2013 at 9:21 am

I agree.

Martha Trowbridge August 31, 2013 at 9:24 am

I have no association with Orly Taitz. Since April 2011 I have been conducting investigative research on the personal history of the man who presents as “Barack Hussein Obama II”.

Contrary to the official ‘narrative’ he was born to a white teenager and her married black lover in New York City, and named Bari M. Shabazz.

The name derives from his father – Nation Of Islam Minister Malcolm X Shabazz.

Aileen August 31, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thank you for your response. I do not believe the reference to Orly was intended to be derogatory. I wish you success in your endeavors,

Star August 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm


Aileen September 1, 2013 at 9:24 am

Sorry, Star – I do not know what “yo-boy” means.

DeniseVB August 31, 2013 at 9:22 am

Oh dear, I keep agreeing with Putin ….

The proof Kerry speaks of could be staged by the rebels to frame the Assad regime to draw us into conflict ? I wish I could trust my own government to be a little more cautious about this rush to flex muscle.

Martha Trowbridge August 31, 2013 at 9:30 am

AP Reporter: Syrian rebels acknowledge they detonated the chemical bombs, which were provided by [CIA operative] Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan:

Hence, Putin’s ire with the Saudis.

DeniseVB August 31, 2013 at 9:31 am
Frederick August 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

SQUIRREL!!!!! Don’t fall for this on Friday afternoon. For Obama it is far easier to distract the public by bombing somebody than allow any discussion about Benghazi, Fast & Furious, NSA, IRS, or any of the upcoming scandals.

What I’d like to know from John Kerry is what changed his life over the last 40 years to turn him from a rabid war PROTESTER into a cheap war HUSTLER?

DeniseVB August 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

Good Kerry question. I just re-read his Winter Soldier testimony, this isn’t the same Kerry.

Darkangel August 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

What changed in his life? He gained political power. Power corrupts, etc.

Aileen August 31, 2013 at 10:48 am


Martha Trowbridge August 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Dial back nine years, Who actually launched aka Obama nationally?

U.S. Presidential Nominee John Kerry. “Obama”, an unknown lowly State Senator from IL, was given a global platform at Kerry’s Democratic National Convention.

Purpose: a meet and greet, thickly laden with phony family narrative, precision-spiked with emotion-evoking vignettes.

That night was the actual national launch of Brand Obama.

They used the exact manipulative m.o. ever since, through 2008.

Now you may wonder why Kerry chose “Obama”. Or how he even knew him.

Dial back decades earlier. To Vietnam Veterans Against The War. To the Weather Underground. SDS.

Yes, “O” was a young boy then.

Who happened to have a radical political activist mother. Known under multiple identities. In the late fifties through at least the mid-sixties, she was Jo Ann Newman / Ann Newman. In the seventies and eighties, one of her ids was Elizabeth Duke. In 1985 Duke was indicted along with six co-defendants in the Resistance Conspiracy Case. She jumped bail in 1985 and has been a fugitive since.

Junius September 1, 2013 at 8:34 am

Here’s a quick question: Where did Syria get these chemical weapons?