The Associated Press is reporting a story from a “Senior U.S. Official” stating the U.S. has evidence the Russian military knew in advance of the Chemical Weapon attack in Syria last week.Photos here.
Beyond the headline and vague sourcing for the claim, this AP report is stunning on multiple levels. Why would a “senior U.S. official” release such a controversial statement/story just 36 hours before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to arrive in Russia?
Obviously anyone with any degree of diplomatic understanding would know this leak would be seriously controversial with T-Rex about to meet Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and possibly Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Is T-Rex being set up? Or is this leak part of a U.S. strategy? Either option is entirely possible.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior U.S. official says the United States has concluded that Russia knew in advance of Syria’s chemical weapons attack last week.
The official says a Russian-operated drone flew over a hospital in Syria as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment.
Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons.
Until Monday, U.S. officials had said they weren’t sure if the drone was operated by Russia or Syria. The senior official said it still wasn’t clear who was flying the jet that bombed the hospital.
The official said the presence of the drone couldn’t have been a coincidence, and that Russia must have known the chemical weapons attack was coming and that victims were seeking treatment.
The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on intelligence matters and demanded anonymity. (read more)
♦ Is T-Rex being set up?
♦ Is a deep state operative to blame? (Orchestrated U.S. -vs- Russia conflict)
♦ Is a compromised official (under Russian influence) within the U.S. intelligence community behind such a statement? (Undermining President Trump)
♦ Is a pro-leftist (Hillary State Dept. type) trying to trip up T-Rex? (revenge for State Department budget cuts)
♦ Is this “leak” a strategy from the White House? (Possible, but if so; the White House had better make sure they are confident in Tillerson’s capability to get through this minefield.)
It is possible, this is part of a strategy; but *whiskey*tango*foxtrot* – good Lord that’s a ton of diplomatic pressure just put on to the shoulders of Secretary Tillerson.
And if that’s the strategy, they’d better damn sure had prior T-Rex approval for the ‘leaked story of evidence’ approach, or else T-Rex would be justified in shredding some people upon return until they discovered who set him up like that.
For now, I’m going to go on the assumption that Secretary Tillerson knew this was coming; because if he didn’t, well, that’s a pretty darned disconcerting scenario.
Wow. These ramifications are bigger than most can fathom.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Someone just made Tillerson's job a whole lot more difficult
At the Last Refuge, Sundance analyzes the latest from AP.