Unclassified Report: U.S. Assessment on Syria’s Use of Chemical Weapons

The Obama Administration has released a public intelligence report about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.


Text of the unclassified report released by the Obama Administration on the chemical weapons attack in Syria:

The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack. These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting.Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence – but what follows is an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of what took place.

Syrian Government Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21
A large body of independent sources indicates that a chemical weapons attack took place in the Damascus suburbs on August 21. In addition to U.S. intelligence information, there are accounts from international and Syrian medical personnel; videos; witness accounts; thousands of social media reports from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area; journalist accounts; and reports from highly credible nongovernmental organizations.
A preliminary U.S. government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children, though this assessment will certainly evolve as we obtain more information.

We assess with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack against opposition elements in the Damascus suburbs on August 21. We assess that the scenario in which the opposition executed the attack on August 21 is highly unlikely. The body of information used to make this assessment includes intelligence pertaining to the regime’s preparations for this attack and its means of delivery, multiple streams of intelligence about the attack itself and its effect, our post-attack observations, and the differences between the capabilities of the regime and the opposition. Our high confidence assessment is the strongest position that the U.S. Intelligence Community can take short of confirmation. We will continue to seek additional information to close gaps in our understanding of what took place.
 
Background:
The Syrian regime maintains a stockpile of numerous chemical agents, including mustard, sarin, and VX and has thousands of munitions that can be used to deliver chemical warfare agents.
Syrian President Bashar al-Asad is the ultimate decision maker for the chemical weapons program and members of the program are carefully vetted to ensure security and loyalty. The Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) – which is subordinate to the Syrian Ministry of Defense – manages Syria’s chemical weapons program.
We assess with high confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year, including in the Damascus suburbs. This assessment is based on multiple streams of information including reporting of Syrian officials planning and executing chemical weapons attacks and laboratory analysis of physiological samples obtained from a number of individuals, which revealed exposure to sarin. We assess that the opposition has not used chemical weapons.

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 Syrian regime has used chemical weapons over the last year primarily to gain the upper hand or break a stalemate in areas where it has struggled to seize and hold strategically valuable territory. In this regard, we continue to judge that the Syrian regime views chemical weapons as one of many tools in its arsenal, including air power and ballistic missiles, which they indiscriminately use against the opposition.

The Syrian regime has initiated an effort to rid the Damascus suburbs of opposition forces using the area as a base to stage attacks against regime targets in the capital. The regime has failed to clear dozens of Damascus neighborhoods of opposition elements, including neighborhoods targeted on August 21, despite employing nearly all of its conventional weapons systems. 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.

Preparation:
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. In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.

Syrian chemical weapons personnel were operating in the Damascus suburb of ‘Adra from Sunday, August 18 until early in the morning on Wednesday, August 21 near an area that the regime uses to mix chemical weapons, including sarin. On August 21, a Syrian regime element prepared for a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area, including through the utilization of gas masks. Our intelligence sources in the Damascus area did not detect any indications in the days prior to the attack that opposition affiliates were planning to use chemical weapons.

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 – including Kafr Batna, Jawbar, ‘Ayn Tarma, Darayya, and Mu’addamiyah. This includes the detection of rocket launches from regime controlled territory early in the morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media. The lack of flight activity or missile launches also leads us to conclude that the regime used rockets in the attack.

Local social media reports of a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs began at 2:30 a.m. local time on August 21. Within the next four hours there were thousands of social media reports on this attack from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area. Multiple accounts described chemical-filled rockets impacting opposition-controlled areas.

Three hospitals in the Damascus area received approximately 3,600 patients displaying symptoms consistent with nerve agent exposure in less than three hours on the morning of August 21, according to a highly credible international humanitarian organization. The reported symptoms, and the epidemiological pattern of events – characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers – were consistent with mass exposure to a nerve agent. We also received reports from international and Syrian medical personnel on the ground.

We have identified one hundred videos attributed to the attack, many of which show large numbers of bodies exhibiting physical signs consistent with, but not unique to, nerve agent exposure. The reported symptoms of victims included unconsciousness, foaming from the nose and mouth, constricted pupils, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. Several of the videos show what appear to be numerous fatalities with no visible injuries, which is consistent with death from chemical weapons, and inconsistent with death from small-arms, high-explosive munitions or blister agents. At least 12 locations are portrayed in the publicly available videos, and a sampling of those videos confirmed that some were shot at the general times and locations described in the footage.

We assess the Syrian opposition does not have the capability to fabricate all of the videos, physical symptoms verified by medical personnel and NGOs, and other information associated with this chemical attack.

We have a body of information, including past Syrian practice, that leads us to conclude that regime officials were witting of and directed the attack on August 21. 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. At the same time, the regime intensified the artillery barrage targeting many of the neighborhoods where chemical attacks occurred. In the 24 hour period after the attack, we detected indications of artillery and rocket fire at a rate approximately four times higher than the ten preceding days. We continued to see indications of sustained shelling in the neighborhoods up until the morning of August 26.

To conclude, there is a substantial body of information that implicates the Syrian government’s responsibility in the chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21. As indicated, there is additional intelligence that remains classified because of sources and methods concerns that is being provided to Congress and international partners.

Read More Here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/164273027/U-S-Government-Assessment-of-the-Syrian-Government%E2%80%99s-Use-of-Chemical-Weapons-on-August-21-2013







Bolton: Time to Understand Obama and U.S. Not the Same Thing !



 



Bolton appeared on Greta last night and was asked if he agreed with the New York Times saying that we would be ‘advertising our impotence’ if we just lobbed a few missiles and didn’t go for regime change by taking out Assad.


Bolton countered with:
People say the president has put the American credibility on the line, therefore he has to strike. He has damaged our credibility – I acknowledge that. But mostly he’s shredded his own. And it’s about time for the rest of the world to understand that Barack Obama and the United States are not the same thing. We’ve got 1200 days of this left and it’s going to be very costly. But the United States should not be put in a worse position just to help out Barack Obama’s credibility.”


Asked if the U.S. should do something militarily simply for humanitarian reasons, Bolton said:

“My answer to that is ‘no’ and here’s the hard reality. It is entirely possible that there are humanitarian tragedies all around the world that tug at our hearts. But that doesn’t mean there’s an American interest, one way the other, in resolving the conflict. We’ve got huge interests at stake in the region as a whole, in Syria because of Iran in particular. But there are conflicts where there are no white hats and no American interests. People say we’re not the world’s policeman. That’s not the issue here. The issue here is that we should not use military force in pursuit of abstractions. We are not the world’s nanny.”
More Here: http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/video-amb-john-bolton-on-the-record-2/





19 Facts of Illegal Immigration You Should Know !

Credit: CBP Photography via FlickrThe following are 19 facts about illegal immigration that every American should know:

#1 57 percent of all households that are led by an immigrant (legal or illegal) are enrolled in at least one welfare program.

#2 According to one study, the cost to U.S. taxpayers of legalizing current illegal immigrants would be approximately 6.3 trillion dollars over the next 50 years.

#3 The Obama administration has distributed flyers that tell illegal immigrants that their immigration status will not be checked when they apply for food stamps.

#4 The Department of Homeland Security says that it has lost track of a million people that have entered this country but that appear never to have left.

#5 One out of every five children living in Los Angeles County has a parent that is in the country illegally.

#6 In one recent year, taxpayers in Los Angeles County spent 600 million dollars on welfare for children of illegal immigrants.

#7 Thanks to illegal immigration, California’s overstretched health care system is on the verge of collapse.  Dozens of California hospitals and emergency rooms have shut down over the past decade because they could not afford to stay open after being endlessly swamped by illegal immigrants who were simply not able to pay for the services that they were receiving.  As a result, the remainder of the health care system in the state of California is now beyond overloaded.  This had led to brutally long waits, diverted ambulances and even unnecessary patient deaths.  At this point, the state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.

#8 It has been estimated that U.S. taxpayers spend $12,000,000,000 a yearon primary and secondary school education for the children of illegal immigrants.

#9 It is estimated that illegal aliens make up approximately 30 percent of the population in federal, state and local prisons and that the total cost of incarcerating them is more than $1.6 billion annually.

#10 The federal government actually has a website that teaches immigrantshow to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States.

#11 The Obama administration recently introduced the very first “unmanned” border station along the Texas-Mexico border.

#12 The Obama administration has sued individual states such as Arizona that have tried to crack down on illegal immigration.

#13 According to the FBI, there are approximately 1.4 million gang members living in our cities.  Illegal immigration has been one of the primary factors that has fueled the growth of these gangs.

#14 As I have written about previously, there are only about 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit to handle the estimated 100,000 gang members living in the city.

#15 Mexican drug cartels make approximately 6.6 billion dollars a year“exporting” illegal drugs to the United States.

#16 It is an open secret that Mexican drug cartels are openly conducting military operations inside the United States.  The handful of border patrol agents that we have guarding the border are massively outgunned and outmanned.

#17 According to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, Mexican drug cartels were actively operating in 50 different U.S. cities in 2006.  By 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 1,286.

#18 Overall, more than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006.  That same level of violence will eventually show up in major U.S. cities unless something dramatic is done about illegal immigration.

#19 It is being projected that the Senate immigration bill will bring 33 million more people to the United States over the next decade.

Read More Here: http://www.teapartynation.com/forum/topic/show?id=3355873%3ATopic%3A2614212&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_topic





33 Facts That Show The Economy Has Tanked Under Obama



The 33 shocking facts which show how badly the U.S. economy has tanked since Obama became president :

#1 When Barack Obama entered the White House, 60.6 percent of working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.7 percent of working age Americans have a job.

#2 Since Obama has been president, seven out of every eight jobs that have been "created" in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs.

#3 The number of full-time workers in the United States is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#4 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers now make less than $30,000 a year.

#5 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

#6 When the Obama era began, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks.  Today, it is 36.6 weeks.

#7 During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans "not in the labor force" soared by an astounding 8,332,000.  That far exceeds any previous four year total.

#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#9 When Obama was elected, the homeownership rate in the United States was 67.5 percent.  Today, it is 65.0 percent.  That is the lowest that it has been in 18 years.

#10 When Obama entered the White House, the mortgage delinquency rate was 7.85 percent.  Today, it is 9.72 percent.

#11 In 2008, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 268 billion dollars.  Last year, it was 315 billion dollars.

#12 When Obama first became president, 12.5 million Americans had manufacturing jobs.  Today, only 11.9 million Americans have manufacturing jobs.

#13 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#14 The poverty rate has shot up to 16.1 percent.  That is actually higher than when the War on Poverty began in 1965.

#15 During Obama's first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.

#16 When Barack Obama entered the White House, there were about 32 million Americans on food stamps.  Today, there are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps.

#17 At this point, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

#18 When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.85.  Today, it is $3.53.

#19 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#20 Health insurance costs have risen by 29 percent since Barack Obama became president, and Obamacare is going to make things far worse.

#21 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#22 According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration...

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

#23 In 2008, that total amount of student loan debt in this country was 440 billion dollars.  At this point, it has shot up to about a trillion dollars.

#24 According to one recent survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

#25 During Obama's first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.

#26 The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.

#27 According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.

#28 As I wrote about the other day, American households are now receiving more money directly from the federal government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#29 Under Barack Obama, the velocity of money (a very important indicator of economic health) has plunged to a post-World War II low.

#30 At the end of 2008, the Federal Reserve held $475.9 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds.  Today, Fed holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds have skyrocketed past the 2 trillion dollar mark.

#31 When Barack Obama was first elected, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio was under 70 percent.  Today, it is up to 101 percent.

#32 During Obama's first term, the federal government accumulated more new debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.

#33 When you break it down, the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama's first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States.  Are you able to pay your share?

Read More Here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-21/33-shocking-facts-which-show-how-badly-economy-has-tanked-under-obama