U.S. Democratic Politician: Syria Intelligence Manipulated

English: Brasilia - The president of the Syria...

English: Brasilia – The president of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar Al-Assad during a visit to Congress Português do Brasil: Brasília – O presidente da República Árabe Síria, Bashar Al-Assad, em visita ao Congresso Nacional (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article mirrored from CEC – Citizen Electoral Council (Australia)

In an interview published in The Atlantic on Sept. 4 and in a Sept. 5 discussion with U.S. News, a Democratic Member of the House of Representatives from Florida, Alan Grayson, accused the Obama administration of manipulating the intelligence on Syria.

Grayson said that members of Congress are being given intelligence briefings without any evidence to support administration claims that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons. Grayson said he cannot discuss the classified briefings, but noted details in the administration’s public, non-classified report are being contested.

The White House released its four-page public report Aug. 30, arguing that Assad’s government killed 1,429 people on Aug. 21 with a planned chemical weapon attack. Evidence cited in that report included “intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used.”

Grayson, however, says “the claim has been made that that information was completely mischaracterised.”

He points to an article published by The Daily Caller that alleges the communications actually showed Syrian officers were surprised by the alleged chemical weapon attack. The communications, according to unnamed sources paraphrased in the article, were intercepted by Israeli intelligence and “doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion.”

“What they say in The Daily Caller is that [intercepted communications] would lead one to the opposite conclusion,” Grayson said. “I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, [but] there’s a very simple way to find out, that’s for the administration to show me and other members of Congress” translated transcripts of the intercepts, he said.

Members of Congress are “not being given any of the underlying elements of the intelligence reports ,” according to Grayson. [Emphasis added.]

Grayson said there are other examples of intelligence he believes have been manipulated to favour war. “Well yes,” Grayson said, “but I’m very constrained about talking about it. … This has become a fundamental problem with our system: The information we do get is limited, but beyond that we are very constrained in discussing it.”

Lawmakers are unable to discuss among themselves classified intelligence about Syria unless they are inside an approved reading room beneath the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and questioning the official account of events, he said, is “actively discouraged.” [Emphasis added.]

The four-page White House report on the alleged attack is no more than “a briefing paper with arguments in favour of attacking Syria” that “doesn’t present both sides of the issue,” Grayson said.

“The administration wants to flood the zone by excluding other information or points of view,” he alleged. “I think that it is interesting that the administration consistently refers to Assad doing this and Assad doing that and Assad doing the other thing without giving the public any evidence to support the proposition that Assad has done anything.”

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