The intelligence gathered against Syria’s Assad was manufactured by elements within the spy community in order to mislead the US President to take punitive action, Ray McGovern, a veteran CIA analyst, told RT.
McGovern was among the signatories to the letter from veteran intelligence professionals to Obama, warning the US president that Assad is not responsible for the chemical attack, and that “CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, [and] the public.”
RT: You were one of the signatories to that letter to the US President. Do you think it will influence Obama?
Ray McGovern: Well, the problem of course is getting into what they call the mainstream media. The media is drumbeating for the war just as before Iraq. And they don’t want to hear that the evidence is very very flimsy. They don’t want to hear that people within the CIA – senior people, with great access to this information – assure us, the veterans, that there’s no conclusive evidence that Assad ordered those chemical incidents on August 21. They don’t want to hear that. They want to process beyond that and just deal with what we must do. Now, you don’t assume those things – you need proof of them.
RT: In the letter, you cite evidence that the Syrian opposition and its allies carried out a chemical weapons provocation. Why do you think this has been ignored completely by Obama and Kerry?
RM: The reason that they don’t adduce the evidence is because it wouldn’t stand up not only in the court of law, it wouldn’t bear close scrutiny. We’ve been down this road before. It happened before in Iraq. What the president needs to do is to release the intercepted message, on which most of this depends. And once he’s done that, we could see what he’s got. There’s precedent for this – Ronald Reagan in 1986, when the Libyans bombed a discotheque in Berlin, killing two US servicemen and wounding hundreds. He hit [Muammar] Gaddafi’s palace, killing his little daughter, 15 months old, and almost killing his son three years old. Now, the world said: ‘You can’t do that! What’s your evidence that the Libyans did that?’ And Reagan came to us and said: ‘We have to release that intercepted message. And we said; ‘No! No! No! You can’t do that because you’ll blow our source.’ And he said: ‘Do it anyway.’ That was released and the world calmed down. I don’t defend killing little children, but at least Reagan gained some credibility from the fact that he saw that the interests of the state, of the US, superseded protecting sources and methods. That’s what Obama has to do now. We’re very suspicious that if he’s unwilling to do that, since he sends his Chief of Staff before the camera and says: ‘Well, it wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, but, hey, intelligence is intelligence – you got to trust this. But we’re not going to trust him this time, especially when the head of the intelligence establishment is a self-admitted perjurer’.
RT: Why has it been so hard for Washington to sell to the world its case for intervention? Very few of their key allies explicitly support a military strike right now.
RM: I have to say that if you look at the ‘Cui Bono’ – the classic question: ‘who does this profit?’ The only state, the only country that it profits is Israel. As long as, there’s an unending… looks like it’s going to be a 30-year war in Syria, a Shia against Sunni contest, not only in Syria, but in the whole Middle East area, now that Israel feels that the Sunni and the Shia aren’t going to be turning their swords and their guns on Israel. It’s that simple. Now, [US Secretary of State] John Kerry has amply demonstrated that he’s under the influence of [Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin] Netanyahu. He made believe he was talking about Palestine in the last couple of months, but what he was really talking about was Syria and that shows in his behavior and even his demeanor. So, what we have here is a situation where Israel and the tough guys – and tough gals now – in the White House, advising Obama, say, ‘you’ve got to do something’, and the only country that would profit from this is the state of Israel.