Militants tell AP reporter they mishandled Saudi-supplied chemical weapons, causing accident
Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.
This article also posted the following important update:
UPDATE: Associated Press contacted us to confirm that Dave Gavlak is an AP correspondent, but that her story was not published under the banner of the Associated Press. We didn’t claim this was the case, we merely pointed to Gavlak’s credentials to stress that she is a credible source, being not only an AP correspondent, but also having written for PBS, BBC and Salon.com.
By all means, take a few minutes to read the full article and peruse the ones linked below.
From a Google news search just now, Monday, September 2, 2013 2:42 AM MST, here is what amounts to full coverage of this claim at a first pass.
Saudi Prince Bandar behind chemical attack in Syria: report
Tehran Times, August 31, 2013
Syria: Rebel Groups, Not Assad, Behind Chemical Attacks Says Pat Buchanan
IBTimes, September 1, 2013
Saudi Bandar Provided Gouta Chemical Weapons, Militants Mishandled
Al-Manar TV Lebanon, August 31, 2013
Further, a search on Bandar chemical weapons turns up the these results. One might say there is a dearth of Western coverage.
Syria’s deputy foreign minister on accusations over chemical weapons
Euronews.com, September 1, 2013
What passes for American coverage? The New York Times does not disappoint. By that, I mean if you expect selective silence and beating the drum for war, you’ll not be disappointed.
To be certain, Saudi Prince Bandar is mentioned…in exactly one sentence. That sentence, however, had absolutely nothing to do with the context presented above. One might think, given the gravity of the allegations and, for that matter, the sheer mind-boggling nature of a terrorist organization issuing a mea culpa rather than a boast, as well as the implication of an AP reporter’s credibility in the matter, that maybe some mention would be made of these journalistic developments from the Middle East.
Naturally, a cosmic prank of this magnitude must come with a punchline. Here it is, from three days ago.
EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack
MintPress News, August 29, 2013
Of note at the end of the MintPress article:
Some information in this article could not be independently verified. Mint Press News will continue to provide further information and updates .
The same can be said, in spades, for US claims. See the FAIR analysis for examples.
With all the doubt flying around, let’s take just a moment to vet MintPress as a source, shall we? Here’s their About page. Here’s a write-up from MinnPost from nearly two years ago. Here is an excellent compare and contrast analysis from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.
Here’s my burning question for you, dear reader. Where else have you heard this coverage?
Whatever the truth is, before we go lobbing so much as one shot across the bow the American public would be well advised, whatever the short-term humanitarian cost, however horrible it is, to demand a full independent investigation to ascertain as well as possible just what the hell actually happened. We have had far too many conflicting claims, far too many inconsistencies, and far, far too many weasel words, strong assurances, and empty platitudes compounded with nothing but circumstantial evidence and strident demands for trust from this administration to just sit back and let hawks from both the left and right railroad us into what may turn out to be a cataclysmic conflict.