Opinion: U.S. Officials Say Russia Knew About Syrian Chemical Attack Before It Happened

As a natural skeptic and staunch science advocate, it is nearly impossible to be caught up in conspiracy theories no matter how plausible they seem at first blush. However, with a corrupt and treasonous criminal administration running the Executive Branch, a Branch mired in investigations, scandals, and collusion with a hostile foreign power to dismantle America’s democracy, it is getting to the point that no story, no matter how bizarre or absurd sounding, is automatically unbelievable any longer.

Directly after Trump ordered the American military to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Russian-Syrian airfield, the conspiracy theorists were positing myriad assessments of what they “thought” really inspired an attack that boosted a corporation’s, Raytheon, stock prices and earned the corrupt Oval Office occupant a nice return on his investment. Since Trump exists to make money off of other people’s misfortune, that particular “theory” was not completely unbelievable.

Now, though, with reports from the Associated Press (AP) that Russia knew about the suspected Syrian chemical attack before it occurred, all of the conspiracy theories about what incited Trump’s illegal attack on a sovereign nation are beginning to have a level of veracity that the only conspiracy was Trump’s attempt to use the incident to distract attention from his Russian scandal. Except for warmongers and media who believe illegally attacking a sovereign nation makes Trump look “presidential,” it is nearly certain the failed attack was for appearances only and possibly a coordinated effort with the Russians.

The AP reported yesterday afternoon that according to more than one anonymous senior U.S. official who were unauthorized to speak, “Russia knew in advance of Syria’s chemical weapons attack last week.” Of course by now everyone in the world knows that Trump alerted Russia in advance that he was going to order an attack on the Syrian-Russian airfield and in turn Russia warned Syrian President Assad to evacuate the Russian-made fighter-bombers, but this revelation puts a new twist and lends credence to the narrative that the entire fiasco was well-planned to help Trump. Why? Chris Matthews shared a fairly popular opinion that Trump needed some kind of means to convince the American people that he is “not in bed with Putin.”

According to the AP reporting, the senior American official said a Russian-operated “drone was flying over a hospital as victims of the chemical attack were rushing to get treatment.” Within hours of the drone’s sighting, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital that led some American officials to believe bombing the hospital was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons. The senior official said “the U.S. has no proof of Russian involvement in the actual chemical attack,” but that the appearance of the Russian “surveillance drone over the hospital could not have been a coincidence.” The officials concluded, “that Russia must have known the chemical weapons attack was coming and that victims were seeking treatment.”

Although the suspected Syrian chemical attack happened last week, U.S. officials apparently were aware of the presence of the “surveillance drone” long before Monday because they have been saying they weren’t entirely sure whether Russia or Syria was responsible for operating the drone. The official who demanded anonymity said America is now convinced that the Russians controlled the surveillance drone and that it is not out of bounds to believe they may have bombed the hospital.

The official related that the Americans still aren’t certain who was flying the jet that bombed the hospital because the Syrian air force uses Russian-made aircraft and flies out of the shared air base. What American officials do know is that the Russians routinely work with the Syrian military from the Shayrat air base where the attack is alleged to have originated. Russia has been assisting Syrian President Assad in his battle against rebel forces as well as his conflict with the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh). The U.S. officials also claim that the chemical weapons were stored at the Syrian-Russian air base and “that those elements add to the conclusion that Russia was complicit in the attack.”

At this point, and after the report that Russia “likely” knew about the chemical attack in advance, no “theory” is invalid; including the Chinese theory that Trump attacked a sovereign nation because he was weakened. In a mocking slap in Trump’s face, the New York Times reported that after his meeting with Trump, the Chinese President Xi was unimpressed and wasn’t afraid to say so upon extricating himself from Trump’s presence:

Xinhua, the state news agency, on Saturday called the strike the act of a weakened politician who needed to flex his muscles. In an analysis, Xinhua also said Trump had ordered the strike to distance himself from Syria’s backers in Moscow, to overcome accusations that he was ‘pro-Russia.’”

That Chinese assessment jibes with Chris Matthews’ assertion that:

“If there was a way for [Trump] to kill the narrative he’s in bed with Putin it would be this. Take on Putin’s warm freshwater port [in Tartus], take on his satellite, his loyal ally Assad. And that would be a way of saying I was never in bed with this guy, I never planned any kind of coalition in Moscow.”

Matthews also claimed, like many skeptics of Trump’s alleged reason for launching an attack for political reasons, that  “Trump and Putin might have had a phone-call, and they worked this thing out, and it was a set piece that was not meant to be particularly antagonistic to Moscow.”

Obviously, no-one knows exactly what Trump’s reason for attacking Syria entailed, but it certainly had nothing whatsoever to do with “protecting America’s national security and its interests;” Syria poses no threat to, and did not attack, the United States to threaten its national security or interests. It also had nothing to do with the deaths of innocent civilians, including women and children, killed by chemical weapons no matter what Trump said. He has had no qualms ordering the bombing of civilian targets in Iraq and Syria that have killed an estimated 1,472 Muslim civilians, including women and children, in the month of March alone, so the death of 80-plus Syrian civilians didn’t bother him at all.

All of the “conspiracy theories” being debated regarding why Trump launched a military attack on Syria are becoming increasingly believable. Look, Trump is an accomplished con man, he is corrupt, he is a pathological liar, and he is a swindler; he does absolutely nothing unless it makes him money off of the misery of others or elevates his self-proclaimed greatness. It is believable, but unconfirmed, that Russia had prior knowledge of the chemical attack as part of a coordinated effort to boost Trump’s flailing presidency as well as give the appearance that he is not sleeping with the enemy, Russia; something that looks to be much more than his campaign staff, cabinet members, and family coordinating with Putin to win the November election.

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