Friday, September 20, 2013

One Nun puts US/Israeli intelligence to shame over stage managed Syrian footage

Excellent op ed from Mahdi Nazemroya

Also available at Information Clearinghouse - ht anonymous commenter 

Just posting parts of this article, one should truly take the entire piece in and look at all the images presented

The US intelligence community has been put to shame by the dedication and determination of a lone Christian nun. Her modest study of the videos of the Syrian chemical attack shows they were productions involving staged bodies.

Those who take the time to read the report by Mother Agnes and the International Support Team for Mussalaha in Syria (ISTEAMS) will realize that it disgraces the entire US intelligence community for endorsing video footage that is clearly dubious and not credible upon careful study by even a layperson. 
  Dubious nature of videos selected by US intel community
The US intelligence community selected or nominated 13 videos that the Obama Administration used in their case against the Syrian government. These videos need to be carefully looked at. 
The emphasis that US Secretary of State John Kerry put on the videos in his scripted speech that he read out to reporters on August 30, 2013, came across as ingenious. Kerry notably refers to the footage from Syria and constantly uses the words “our own eyes” and “seeing.”  He even asks that the videos be watched by the general public. He should have been taken to task on this, and he was through the study that Mother Agnes has produced.
Undoubtedly there will be those who will dismiss the fact that there is an almost total absence of adult corpses next to the bodies of the children, nor any parents, especially mothers, coming to claim their children. Where were the parents? From a cultural context, this is strikingly odd. It is highly unlikely that the parents, especially the mothers of all these children, would have left them alone or not rushed to where their bodies were.

 If the parents were not killed, then where are they? If the parents, especially the mothers (following the gender script of Syrian society), were with their children, then where are their corpses?
In one video where it is stated that all the bodies are dead, we can see that the some of the corpses are being injected with an unknown liquid. Why?  
The report also highlights the fact that there have been no public funerals or announcements about all the dead children. This is outside of both cultural and religious norms. 
In the footage of one burial, only eight people are buried and three of them are not even covered in white shrouds, which is a compulsory ritual. Were these people murdered by the insurgents and disrespectfully buried without the proper rituals as a sign of disdain? 
Moreover, the identities of the dead have consistently been withheld. There is more to say on this and it should be kept in mind.
Mother Agnes also makes a point of indicating that there is virtually an absence of the sound of ambulances and that in the testimonies that are used the individuals talking claim to have smelled the chemical that was used. Sarin gas, however, is odorless, which raises important questions about the testimonies.  
 A horrible conclusion 
Many bad things have happened in Syria, including the chemical attack in East Ghouta. Yet there many questions that have to be answered. 
There was a massacre in Latakia on August 4, 2013 that went unreported. The mainstream media in the US and the countries allied to it failed to cover this or casually pass it over, obviously because it was inconvenient to change the agenda in Syria.
The study mentions that the relatives of children that were abducted by the US-supported insurgents have begun to come forward to identify their relatives in the videos. It paints an ominous picture that the bodies of these children were prostituted to open the field in Syria for a foreign military intervention.
Regardless of whatever position one takes on Syria, it is their responsibility to analyze the videos from the alleged chemical attack and pay attention to observations of Mother Agnes Mariam’s report.


  1. That's a damning report of Mother Agnes', Pen. And good on Marius for picking it up and giving it legs. And thanks for giving it more space.

    However, I wouldn't focus much on the CIA being put to shame, as Marius does, as this implies incompetence. Rather, I would describe it as exposing the CIA for the war criminals they are for knowingly presenting false evidence to support the US going to war with Syria.

    I outline my argument in my post of a few days ago

    1. "I outline my argument in my post of a few days ago"

      You could always post your reasoning here, I'm sure Penny wouldn't mind, but, you know, having people visit your site helps with the "numbers", too.

      BTW, what do you think of this?

      Secret Sqrrl: NSA “spin-off” company releases data mining tool

      вот так

    2. thanks for sharing james, I will check it out later today, it is early am and i have much to do

    3. Hey Bot tak

      "You could always post your reasoning here, I'm sure Penny wouldn't mind, but, you know, having people visit your site helps with the "numbers", too"

      I don't take issue when people share there work here. And the site that james and numerous other persons blog at doesn't need help with the numbers. You should check it out. Linked in the sidebar, always.

  2. it seems Mother Agnes is under attack by HRW as is the co author of the Mint press GHOUTA article:
    this comment in pro-jihadi blog Brown moses
    'Econdemocracy20 September 2013 14:13
    Also, whether this is a 4th question or a followup on the 1st, the mind boggles why it should take almost a month - surely if after a few days or a week if MintPress were so utterly and completely inaccurate, Gavlak could have posted on her own twitter/G+/etc. Something doesn't smell right, and I'm not talking about MintPress here, there is already a character assassination campaign against others who spoke out, like Mother Agnes, a brave and courageous woman who has criticized both sides, including the Syrian government. But her pointing at suspicious things about
    rebel claims and videos, now have her attacked viciously. Human Rights Watch emergencies director Peter Bouckaert has called this woman, Mother Agnes, an "Assad propagandist" That is outrageous. She has called the Syrian government "totalitarian." To call someone who has used that word about the government a "propagandist" is not only irresponsible, it is Orwellian. What they object to is that she has also called the rebels out as being, in far more cases than the admits, also totalitarian and even worse in brutality than the government:

    Sharmine Narwani
    Infowarriors are trying to discredit the Mint Press article that has rebels in Ghouta blaming Saudis for bringing chemical weapons into the area. The AP correspondent Dale Gavlak who co-wrote the article is trying to distance herself from it (I hear, under pressure) and has issued a denial on this blog I link to.

    But look at what Dale wrote to me on August 30, the day after the article was published: "Basically I helped Yahya Ababneh, who traveled to Gouta, to write what he saw and heard. He mainly met with rebels, of course, the father of one of the rebels killed and doctors treating victims in the area. He has traveled to Syria numerous times. As you know Mint Press News is more of an advocacy journalism site and it seems to be the most likely to publish such a piece." - This last part in response to my question to her asking why she didn't publish the article on AP

    1. brian: do you ever comment at brown moses?
      I was there the other day and I was going to comment about the trash that emanates form his blog, same as it did for Libya
      But for how 'big time' he is supposed to be
      so notable and credible blah, blah, blah
      he doesn't seem to get a lot of on line participation?
      so strange..(not really)

    2. Brian, could you enlarge on your reference to Sharmine Narwani?

      BTW, those were really good comments of yours at Brown Moses. You and others just pulled apart his narrative.

    3. penny i left some comments on that BM thread: havent been back to see if they are still there

      hes tech nerd type who posted earlier on his dislike for assad...why is never clear

    4. sharmine has an FB page and this piece is on the MINTPRESS article and the Gavlov controversy

    5. Thanks Brian,
      unfortunately both links return this message,
      "This content is currently unavailable" !

  3. more on the Dale Gavlak controversy: how to piss of Saudi dictators big time

    Official Statement On Dale Gavlak’s Involvement In Syria Exclusive
    By Mint Press News Desk | September 21, 2013

    also from sharmine Narwani

    Sharmine Narwani shared a link.
    4 minutes ago
    Mint Press News (MPN) finally breaks it's silence on the brouhaha over its Ghouta CW story and terse statements by Dale Gavlak distancing herself from MPN. Also interesting is this verified correspondence I received between a source connected with AP and an international journalist who knows Dale:

    Source: "Dale was suspended over the article to Mint Press News."

    Journo: "You're kidding me. AP suspended her? on what grounds exactly?"

    Source: "Not kidding. On grounds that she's violated AP standards
    And ethics of professional journalism."

    Journo: "What standards are those exactly? She's a free lance writer, isn't she? Did she violate her contract in any way?"

    Source: "They were so unfair. The problem is that MPN refused to remove her byline and the reference they made to the AP. They kept the article running on their web despite Dale's repeated appeals to remove the reference to the AP. The article took a full run in the football field pissing off the top AP people in New York."

    Source: "Syrian TV read the article in several news bulletins. Saudi denied the story, which as you know went viral on all social networks. AP says she shouldn't have crammed the AP into this in the first place. Bottom line, they're afraid that Bandar will sue AP."

    Journo: "How is Dale doing?"

    Source: "She's hurt as you can imagine. She's been with AP for nearly 10 years and for one mistake she's fired."

    Journo: "Dont tell me she regrets this as a 'mistake?'"

    Source: She doesnt. She stands by the reporting of the Jordanian guy who gathered the info. But she depended on AP as one of the main sources of income."

    The source also separately mentioned that AP is suing the Pentagon for spying on its employees and that may have caused some unusual sensitivity.

    Sounds like Dale Gavlak just got screwed. She pushed a story she believed in, AP took umbrage at use of their name, MPN wouldn't budge.'

  4. My letter to FAIR: how credible is FAIR? why are they buckling on Dale Gavlak GHOUTA story?
    September 22, 2013 at 10:54am
    why has FAIR buckled on MINTPRESS Ghouta story?

    'Without Gavlak's byline, and with the allegations of unprofessional behavior on the part of Mint Press News, there's little reason to take the Mint Pressstory seriously. We leave this post up for the historical record.'

    which is not true at all: as saudis have been pressuring AP to pressure her

    here is MINT Press statement

    'Dale is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.'

    why is FAIR buckling?

    whats now in doubt is FAIRS credibility

    people should write FAIR
    email: FAIR@FAIR.ORG and theyre are on facebook and twitter

  5. and now for the laugh of the week : USregime pledges to being islamic terrorists to justice

    ';In Washington, the White House and State Department condemned the attack and promised to help the Kenyan government bring the perpetrators to justice.
    "We will continue to stand with the Kenyan people in their efforts to confront terrorism in all its forms, including the threat posed by al-Shabab," the White House said in a statement. "This cowardly act against innocent civilians will not shake our resolve."'
    'Formally named Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (HSM), but commonly known as al-Shabab, the group has been fighting to overthrow the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which is supported by the African Union and Western nations, since its founding in 2004. Designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and other Western governments, the group is aligned with al Qaeda and aims to establish an Islamist government in Somalia'

    meanwhile in SYRIA US ARMS terrorists who kill civilians

  6. also i may have forgottn this:
    What a f*cking smear job by the Grey Lady of Mother Agnes... A Nun Lends a Voice of Skepticism on the Use of Poison Gas by Syria

    “The fact that the Russian government is relying on this woman’s assessment of what happened just shows the lack of evidence for their case,” said Lama Fakih, a Syria researcher for Human Rights Watch. “She is not a military expert.” {...}

    “This led me to become a hippie,” she said with a grin.

    She fell in with foreigners who came to Lebanon for the drugs — “Lebanese marijuana is the best in the world,” she said — and traveled to India and Tibet before returning to religion.

    Wtf, over...?

    Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 21, 2013 9:33:58 PM | 29

    note they cant attack her facts just her person:" HOW LOW can the NYT GO?

  7. and...Obama is NOT the messiah: hes...

  8. The AP Journalist Dale Gavlack and Syrian Journalist Yahya who covered the story about Chemical Weapons being given to Syrian Rebels by Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia were both threatened by the Saudi embassy that there "careers would be ended" if they continued to take interviews and didn't step away from the story. Dale Gavlack has since been 'perminantly suspended" from AP. Yahya's fears for his saftey. No mainstream media outlet covered the story.

    this confirms their story is real and a threat to the saudis