U.S. officials: No, Assad didn’t use chemical weapons

posted at 7:31 pm on January 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

It’s Hoax Exposure Day on the Internet, I guess.

Or is this just a way of stamping out some incendiary news that might force the White House to enforce its “red lines” in Syria?

The gas was determined to be a “riot control agent” that was not designed to produce lasting effects, but became more dangerous when it was released in dense areas and was not dispersed in the air quickly, the officials said.

“It is meant to be short term,” one of the officials said. “But just like with tear gas, if you breathe in an entire canister, that can have a severe effect on your lungs and other organs.”…

The senior U.S. officials said the symptoms in those who inhaled the gas were similar to those in people exposed to Agent 15, an incapacitating gas controlled by the Chemical Weapons Convention, although it was later determined not to be Agent 15.

The officials also said that while some Syrian doctors on the ground were convinced the gas was a chemical weapon, others were not.

The WMD report didn’t make sense to me yesterday and it doesn’t make sense now. If Assad’s reached the point where he’s willing to risk an international intervention over chemical weapons, why use an “incapacitating agent” like Agent 15 instead of sarin or VX and why do it on such a small scale? If you’re crazy enough to break the WMD taboo, you’re crazy enough to really shatter it. And I still don’t understand the theory that he was testing America’s “red lines.” Why would he? If the U.S. didn’t attack him over a “minor” use of chemical weapons in Homs, it’d end up attacking him once he escalated and started using WMD on a grander scale. Obama really has no choice after warning Assad repeatedly in public. So what would the “test” have accomplished?

More from Danger Room:

U.S. officials contacted by Danger Room said the information in the cable originated from a contractor hired by the State Department to monitor opposition media coming from Syria. After the attack in Homs, rebel activists posted gut-wrenching videos to YouTube of gasping victims crying out in agony. In the clips, opposition figures claimed that they had been hit with a poison gas — maybe a nerve agent, maybe a hallucinogen…

It almost certainly wasn’t a hallucinogen, either. CNN also interviewed a doctor who said he treated victims in Homs with atropine. If that’s true, it rules out the use of a hallucinogen like Agent 15. Both are anticholinergic agents, blocking the neurotransmitters in the parasympathetic nervous system. One would only enhance the effect of the other.

Your exit question, which is the same question I posed yesterday but now with even more significance: Which “Obama administration official” leaked the blockbuster allegation about WMD to The Cable?


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More blatant lies about WMD’s, oh how very godd@mned surprising.

MelonCollie on January 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

…of course not!…he’s a moderate!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Assad’s

…a blue-dog democrat!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Considering how the left loves to mangle language … I’m sure all of Syria’s weapons are made of chemicals.

You know, the Times Square bomber (who was first claimed by the midget Stalin to be a Tea Partier angry at ObamaScare) was charged with using a WMD – and that was just a primitive homemade bomb. Of course, the Ft Hood shooter wasn’t an islamic terror attack, because being a lunatic muslim and screaming “Allahu Ackbar!!” as you mow people down is no indication of intent, evidcently … just like being raised as a muslim in the largest muslim nation in the world (and having the name “hussein”) says nothing about muslim sensibilities.

*shaking head in total disgust*

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 16, 2013 at 7:42 PM

U.S. officials contacted by Danger Room said the information in the cable originated from a contractor hired by the State Department to monitor opposition media coming from Syria.

So there is some Obama bundler or his wasted kid,
with a single digit IQ
and related to someone in Killary’s and Huma’s office,
who is being paid by taxpayers to watched youtube videos tagged with ” Syria” “”Assad and “gas” , sitting in DC ?

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Obama needs to appoint a Czar of Lies to keep all this stuff straight.

VorDaj on January 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Assad’s

…a blue-dog democrat!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Nazi Pelosi and Barky and Shrillary and the whole leftist junta claimed that Assad was “a real reformer”. Kind of like Barky’s crypto-Christian marxist “church” had Q’Daffy as their church magazine centerfold – oh, how the left used to love Q’Daffy …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The usual DNC / DNC presstitutes pretend “WMD never happened”… sarinade.

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The gas was determined to be a “riot control agent”

Must have been Agent 14.

Electrongod on January 16, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Chemicals used as weapons aren’t considered chemical weapons. Got it.

Ronnie on January 16, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Which “Obama administration official” leaked the blockbuster allegation about WMD to The Cable?

Tony Rezko
;-) ;-)

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 7:54 PM

I hope assad and the al quaeda rebels in syria use every weapon at their disposal against each other and destroy everything they see. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of vermin.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 16, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Benghazi…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on January 16, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Obama really has no choice after warning Assad repeatedly in public. So what would the “test” have accomplished?

no one on the world stage believes 0bama has any bite to go w/ his bark.

chasdal on January 16, 2013 at 7:58 PM

The gas was determined to be a “riot control agent”

Pffft. You could use commercial-grade smokebombs for that purpose if you threw enough of them. Wait until after the 4th and you can even get them dirt cheap.

(Ever got a lungful of that stuff? I have. Doesn’t put you in a condition to do anything violent, let me tell you.)

MelonCollie on January 16, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Benghazi…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on January 16, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Benghazi … as in Chris Stevens was running guns for syrian terrorists on behalf of Idi Hussein and also collecting back the guns Idi Hussein had supplied to libyan terrorists …Benghazi ????
No way :D

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Benghazi…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on January 16, 2013 at 7:56 PM

“Just a sloppy work related security issue” – Obama

Electrongod on January 16, 2013 at 8:06 PM

I believe the White House and that Carney guy. They wouldn’t lie to me. /sarc

hepcat on January 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

I believe the White House and that Carney guy. They wouldn’t lie to me. /sarc

hepcat on January 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

We call it lying…

They call it messaging..

And Obama confessed that he hasn’t done it enough..

Electrongod on January 16, 2013 at 8:11 PM

“Just a sloppy work related security issue” – Obama

Electrongod on January 16, 2013 at 8:06 PM

OPtimal bumps in the road

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 8:12 PM

OPtimal bumps in the road

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I have heard a lot of friction about the NRA and that ad about Obama’s kids getting top notch security…

Maybe if Obama adopted Ambassador Stevens and the rest of Americans that died in Benghazi…

Oh wait…

He’s the President of Americans…

Well..

If only he would do his job…

Electrongod on January 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Just throw things out there into the echo chamber and let it bounce around for all eternity. Becomes “fact” instantly and remains so. Second looks down the line are either ignored or dismissed as conspiracy theories and utter nonsense.

Hey, it works.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM

U.S. officials: No, Assad didn’t use chemical weapons We didn’t sell guns to Mexican Thugs in some sorry attempt at gun control

or, if you prefer..

U.S. officials: No, Assad didn’t use chemical weapons We didn’t leave our fellow countrymen to die in Bengahzi…

Really having a hard time listening to anything ‘US Officials’ have to say anymore.

BigWyo on January 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM

The gas was determined to be a “riot control agent” that was not designed to produce lasting effects, but became more dangerous when it was released in dense areas and was not dispersed in the air quickly, the officials said.

Waco…

mad saint jack on January 16, 2013 at 8:25 PM

I have heard a lot of friction about the NRA and that ad about Obama’s kids getting top notch security…

Electrongod on January 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I saw that ad but don’t know about the friction .
Are Husseinites against security for schools which our kids go to ?

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Beware the government that thinks assad did nothing wrong.

Ronnie on January 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM

The symptoms are just as likely caused by exposure to pesticides or industrial chemicals. Unfortunately, an arty attack tends to send stuff flying into the air.

If you are shelling a village or town with HE rounds why add crowd dispersant chemicals? If I were a resident I would be much more worried about the HE or AP rounds than the irritant.

lexhamfox on January 16, 2013 at 9:28 PM

It’s Hoax Exposure Day on the Internet, I guess.

Or is this just a way of stamping out some incendiary news that might force the White House to enforce its “red lines” in Syria?

Stop teasing us, you know what the correct answer is. And by the way, these guys are so good at taking advantage of crises/weird events to further their own agenda, I would not be surprised if they floated this WMD retraction exactly because of this Notre Dame football player story. It’s got everything liberals require to push a story – namely at least one dead body. Real or fake it doesn’t matter.

DaveDief on January 16, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Probably Huma just playin witcha.

BL@KBIRD on January 16, 2013 at 10:53 PM

[S]evere shortness of breath, loss of vision, inability to speak, flushed face, dizziness, paralysis, nausea and vomiting, and increased respiratory secretions. Doctors who treated patients said that patients had pinpoint pupils and bronchospasm.

CNN also interviewed a doctor who said he treated victims in Homs with atropine.

I dunno… it’s been a while since my NBC training in the Army, but the symptoms and treatment sound a hell of a lot like nerve agent to me. Maybe a weak concentration of sarin?

Hayabusa on January 16, 2013 at 11:01 PM

And I still don’t understand the theory that he was testing America’s “red lines.” Why would he? If the U.S. didn’t attack him over a “minor” use of chemical weapons in Homs, it’d end up attacking him once he escalated and started using WMD on a grander scale.

Because after Korea the US has abandoned the very effective strategy of going in with all guns blazing. (Grenada was an exception). We come into these things gradually, which gives the enemy (a) advance notice, and (b) time to adjust his own tactics. It took us – what? – four years to figure out the surge strategy in Iraq, which was when the war finally took a favorable turn.

Such a hesitant, reluctant will to commit real force is all the opening Assad needs to ‘test’ our read line. If he crosses it, he can be well assured that our reaction will be less than impressive.

There really is only one rule to warfare: Get in, or get out.

ss396 on January 17, 2013 at 12:44 AM