Foreign Policy

Seymour Hersh: Obama Lied on Syria

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who famously exposed the My Lai Massacre and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal has levied a bombshell allegation against President Obama.

Writing for the London Review of Books, Seymour Hersh alleged that President Obama had “cherry picked” intelligence reports and deliberately misled the American people in an attempt to garner support for military operations in Syria this past summer. Hersh reported that military and intelligence officials had confirmed to him that a “deliberate manipulation of intelligence” had taken place in order to lay the blame for sarin gas attacks on President Bashar Al Assad and his regime. He also alleged that the Obama administration purposely buried intelligence relating to Syrian rebel groups and their involvement with sarin gas.

Hersh says the media and others engaged in confirmation bias, seizing upon an uncertain UN report which linked the munitions used to deliver the deadly gas to those which are possessed by Assad’s regime. However, MIT Professor Theodore Postol and other experts later reviewed photos and determined the delivery vehicle was likely a local-made improvised device, pointing to the rebels as the culprits.

Russian President and Assad ally Vladimir Putin has maintained that Syrian rebels had access to sarin. He told the G8 that Russia had evidence that the sarin gas was produced by Sunnis in Iraq. “We know that opposition fighters were detained on Turkish territory with chemical weapons,” Putin said. “We have information out of Iraq that a laboratory was discovered there for the production of chemical weapons by the opposition.” In his open letter to the American people, Putin asked why Assad would gas his own people and risk raising the ire of the international community.

Hersh’s allegations are serious, and confirm the suspicions of administration critics who feel the rush to war in Syria last summer was agenda driven and did not concern American security interests. His claims that the administration presented information it had cherry-picked to lure the American people into another war in the Middle East are quite serious. Purposely misleading the American people into military conflict is certainly a dereliction of duty from our commander-in-chief and yet another impeachable offense.

The Libertarian Republic has already documented the case for impeaching Barack Obama in a two-part feature on crimes foreign and domestic. The push for war in Syria and the arming of Syrian rebels in violation of international law is covered in the first part. Hersh’s allegations, however, add even more validity to these charges and it paints a picture of an administration determined to involve US troops in another needless for at any cost, even directly lying to the American people.

Keith Farrell is a frequent contributor to The Libertarian Republic and the founder and president of Spirits of ’76 nonprofit organization. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in American Studies, with concentration in political science, and Urban and Community Studies. Follow him on Facebook.