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May 05, 2013

'Flaky' Evidence, False Flags and Ha'aretz's Front-Page

Wilkerson.jpg
Wilkerson on Al Jazeera's Current TV: 'I think we’ve got a basically geostrategically, geopolitical inept regime in Tel Aviv right now'

Not for the first time, Ha'aretz displays questionable judgment in selecting the most newsworthy items to place on the front-page.

Today's page one of the English edition (see below) features an article headlined "Former Bush official: Israel may have used chemical arms in Syria."

front page may 5 2013 Wilkerson.jpg

According to the article, by Chemi Shalev:

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who once served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff, believes that the chemical weapons used in Syria may have been an Israeli “false flag” operation aimed at implicating Bashar Assad’s regime.

Wilkerson made his astounding assertion in an interview on Current TV, the network once owned by former Vice President Al Gore and recently purchased by Al-Jazeera.

Wilkerson said that the evidence that it was Assad’s regime that had used the chemical weapons was “flaky” and that it could very well have been the rebels or Israel who were the perpetrators. Asked why Israel would do such a thing, Wilkerson said: “I think we’ve got a basically geostrategically, geopolitical inept regime in Tel Aviv right now.”

At approximately 2 PM EST yesterday, the story was the top item on Ha'aretz's web site, above a story about attacks on Iranian missiles in Syria. So who exactly is this Colonel Wilkerson, an ex-official whose unsubstantiated (some might say "flaky") claims about Israel using chemical weapons in Syria warrants front-page coverage at Ha'aretz? Those who bother to read to the seventh paragraph of the story learn:

Wilkerson, 63, a former Army helicopter pilot who flew combat missions in Vietnam, served as Colin Powell’s chief of staff in 2002-2005. He was responsible for reviewing the intelligence information used by Powell in his by now infamous February 2003 United Nations Security Council appearance on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

After his retirement, Wilkerson described this presentation as “a hoax” and became an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration’s handling of the Iraq war.

So, one of the U.S. officials who apparently flubbed American intelligence on Iraq warrants front-page coverage for his outlandish allegations about alleged Israeli weaponry in Syria? And Wilkerson's record on Israel is no more reassuring. For instance, he has endorsed the discredited Walt-Measheimer study on "The Israel Lobby" as containing "blinding flashes of the obvious."

In another indication of Wilkerson's credibility problem with respect to Israel, on Jan. 31, 2011, he addressed American policy with respect to the Egyptian uprising, saying on MSNBC:

. . . our growing affection and bonding to a state that provides us no real strategic value at all, Israel, and being perceived in that world of so many millions of Arabs and others of Muslim faith, who don`t look on Israel the same way we do, including 70 million Iranians, is not necessarily the best security policy to be pursuing.

If Wilkerson really believes that Israel is of no strategic value to the United States whatsoever, maybe he also genuinely believes that Israel is behind the chemical attacks in Syria. That's his right. And it's not surprising that Current TV, owned by Al Jazeera, gives him air time. But why do Ha'aretz editors feel compelled to upgrade his twisted, unfounded charges to front-page news?

Posted by TS at May 5, 2013 05:06 AM

Comments

Haaretz is so radicaly they would probably write that Arabs are saying 4000 Jews didn't show up at the World Trade Center on 9/11, Egyptians are saying Mossad Sharks are killing Tourists off the waters of Egypt and Saudi Arabia saying they've captured Mossad vultures spying on Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Ken Kelso at May 5, 2013 11:07 AM

Maybe Wilkerson is a conscious liar. Maybe he was consciously lying not when he wrote up Powell's testimony at the UN about Saddam Hussein having WMD but after he retired when he denounced Powell's testimony as a hoax. There were in fact findings of WMD and of WMD R&D in Iraq by American investigators.

Posted by: Eliyahu at May 5, 2013 11:32 AM

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