. . . And, perhaps a lot more inside information about the covert U.S. war in Syria.
This may be the real reason the Deep State has it out for Flynn – he exposed the actual U.S. Syria agenda: regime change over stopping terrorism. Sy Hersh’s source at DIA was Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
According to a series of articles published by Hersh in the London Review of Books (LRB), the Joint Chiefs of Staff pushed back against the covert policy of arming the Jihadi opposition initiated by CIA Director Petraeus and Secretary of State Clinton that was being pursued at the time Gen. Flynn was forced out as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
Hersh wrote that a highly classified 2013 Defense Intelligence Agency/Joint Chiefs of Staff report on Syria forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to “chaos” and possibly to Islamist extremists taking over Syria and spreading the Islamic State across the region.
Hersh reports that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, told him that his agency sent a “constant stream” of warnings to the “civilian leadership” about the dire consequences of ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The DIA’s reporting “got enormous pushback” from the Obama administration, Hersh quotes Flynn as saying. “I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.”
Flynn also was severely criticized last year by officials within the intelligence services after he publicly raised questions about whether the the poison gas attack in 2013 was actually the result of an official orders from the Assad regime. See, https:/www.cnn.com/2016/11/20/politics/kfile-michael-flynn-rt-syria
Hersh `s reporting on the apparent split in U.S. Syria policy started with a controversial December 2013 article that challenged the Obama Administration’s claims about the authorship of the sarin attack that summer. https:/www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin
The sarin incident in August 2013 almost led to a direct US military intervention in Syria at the time that Gen. Flynn was Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn resigned from that post, reportedly under pressure from the White House, Hersh writes after the General and others at the highest levels of the DIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff resisted the Syria regime change operation.
While the U.S. sources for Hersh’s December 2013 story, “Whose Sarin?” remain unstated, he quotes Flynn in the later LRB article confirming the resistance within the Pentagon to the CIA program program of arming the Syrian resistance: https:www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn’t doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. `If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,’ Flynn told me. `We understood Isis’s long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.’ The DIA’s reporting, he said, `got enormous pushback’ from the Obama administration. `I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.’
Flynn’s role as Hersh’s source in the article about JCS resistance to the CIA and State Department orchestrated efforts to overthrow the Syrian government was not the initial focus of reports about that article, which appeared in December 2015. A UPI report at the time attributed sourcing to “an anonymous former Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
The report, published in the Jan. 7, 2016 edition of the London Review of Books, relies heavily on an anonymous former senior adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Hersh writes that the adviser told him the DIA/Joint Chiefs report took a “dim view” of the Obama administration’s insistence on continuing to finance and arm the so-called moderate rebel groups and found that the covert U.S. program to arm and support those “moderate” rebels fighting Assad had been co-opted by Turkey, which then morphed the program into an “across-the-board technical, arms and logistical program for all of the opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.”
“The assessment was bleak: there was no viable `moderate’ opposition to Assad, and the U.S. was arming extremists,” Hersh wrote.
In October, the Pentagon announced that it was discontinuing its program to train and equip moderate rebels in Syria, saying the program cost $500 million and only succeeded in training a “handful” of recruits. In November, however, the CIA increased its shipments of arms to rebels in Syria, joining with U.S. allies in challenging Russia and Iran’s involvement in Syria in support of the Assad regime.
Finally, another aspect of Hersh’s January 2016 that perhaps didn’t garner enough attention at the time was commented upon by Steven Rosenfeld at Alternet, who focused on the “military to military” relationship described by Hersh. At the head of the quiet back channel with top Russian generals, as Hersh tells it, was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. Together, a small group of top Russian and American military officers worked to prevent ISIS from overthrowing the Assad government. This undermined CIA, Saudi and Turkish efforts to arm Islamic extremists trying to overthrow Damascus regime: http://www.alternet.org/investigations/sy-hersh-blockbuster-top-us-general-ignored-obama-led-secret-
President Obama’s top military commander secretly orchestrated intelligence sharing with military leaders in Germany, Israel and Russia to thwart the president’s policy to remove Bashar Assad from power in Syria and lay the groundwork for Russia’s military entrance into the Syrian civil war, because he believed Obama’s anti-ISIS strategies were hopelessly misguided.
That is just one of the astounding takeaways from a 6,800-word expose by venerated investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh, that was just published in the London Review of Books. Hersh, whose sources include top senior aides to the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, which commands all U.S. military forces, also described in great detail how Turkey’s president Recep Erdoğan has deceived the White House by siding and arming ISIS and other extremist Islamic militias in Syria, in a gambit for Turkey to emerge as a regional power akin to the Ottoman Empire.
The attack on Flynn by elements of the intelligence services and allies of the former Administration must be viewed in light of this under-reported mutiny by Flynn and others at the top ranks of the U.S. military against the Syria regime change operation. Hersh’s reporting on the the role of the JCS and DIA coordinating with Russian military leaders provides a unique insight into the broader context of the so-called “Russiagate” scandal.
Seymour Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his reporting on the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. He is also the author of numerous books, including The Samson Option, which exposed Israel’s nuclear weapons programs. He was widely criticized for his “The Killing of Osama bin Laden” report that accused President Barack Obama and his administration of lying about the circumstances surrounding the killing of bin Laden in 2011. Much of his initial reporting has subsequently been confirmed by other sources. Many media establishments, intelligence analysts and officials, including the White House, rejected the claim that US Syria operations went ahead despite warnings from within the Pentagon that the program would help arm and spread Islamic extremism, and Hersh has also become the target of a widespread campaign of derision in the U.S. media.