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It must be assumed that while busy fawning over Donald Trump’s various military escapades, journalists simply haven’t had the time to give dissenting voices an opportunity to be heard.
Because when it comes to airing opinions on Trump’s bombing of a Syrian airbase two weeks ago, in response to an alleged chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, it seems that only experts who agree with the White House may apply.
This is a highly ironic turn of events because before Trump learned the dangerous lesson that bombing was the key to unlocking his popularity among both liberals and conservatives, the media was jumping at any opportunity to make him look like a buffoon who should be impeached and thrown out of office.
Let’s take a look at some of the voices you won’t have heard on US news channels in the aftermath of the chemical incident and Trump’s subsequent attack on the Shayrat airbase:
1. Theodore Postol, chemical weapons expert and professor emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Postol has authored a detailed 14-page report which calls into question claims made in the Trump administration’s declassified 4-page report which was used as ‘evidence’ that Bashar Assad was behind the chemical incident on April 4.
The US report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft. In fact, the report contains absolutely no evidence that would indicate who was the perpetrator of this atrocity,” Postol wrote. What’s more, Postol’s own analysis of the incident in Idlib “indicates that the munition was almost certainly placed on the ground with an external detonating explosive on top of it.”
Postol went so far as to tell The Nation he believes the White House “fabricated” its evidence and “certainly did not follow the procedures it claimed to employ” in reaching the conclusion that Assad was responsible for dropping chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun. In his opinion, that 4-page report was a “clumsy” attempt to cover up the fact that Trump attacked Assad’s air base with no real evidence.
He told The Nation that White House staff may be worried about this leaking and the bad optics of “a reckless president acting without regard to the nation’s security, risking an inadvertent escalation and confrontation with Russia.”
Postol was cited by the New York Times in 2013 as a “leading weapons expert,” but the newspaper has ignored his 2017 report entirely.