15:18 GMT +3 hours27 May 2016
FILE - This Aug. 19, 2009 file photo shows Syrian President Bashar Assad during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, Iran

Seymour Hersh: Pentagon Secretly Passed Intelligence to Assad Government

© AP Photo/ Vahid Salemi
Middle East
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The Pentagon deliberately subverted American policy toward Syria, sabotaging US efforts to aid Syrian rebels and even sending US intelligence to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to journalist Seymour Hersh.

In a nearly 7,000-word piece in the London Review of Books, Hersh says that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, America's top military leaders, decided to deliberately subvert American foreign policy and form a secret alliance with Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As his source, Hersh cites one anonymous "former senior adviser" to the Joint Chiefs.

In summer 2013, the Joint Chiefs discovered that Turkey had "co-opted" the CIA's program to arm so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels. Ankara decided to redirect US aid to extremists, including Daesh and al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front, Hersh writes.

The Joint Chiefs also discovered that viable moderate Syrian rebels did not exist and that the opposition consisted nearly uniformly of extremists.

So, in the fall of 2013, the Joint Chiefs decided to start secretly "providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army," Hersh writes. They sent US intelligence to Germany, Russia, and Israel, which sent it to Assad.

The goal of their secret alliance with Assad was to subvert Obama's Syria efforts, prop up Assad, and aid him in destroying Daesh and other extremists, according to Hersh.

In return, the Joint Chiefs asked that Assad "restrain" Hezbollah from attacking Israel; renew negotiations with Israel over the Golan Heights, a territory that Israel had seized from Syria decades earlier; agree to accept any Russian assistance; and hold elections after the war ended.

In summer 2013, the Joint Chiefs tricked the CIA into shipping obsolete weapons to Syrian rebels, Hersh writes. The journalist says this was intended as a show of good faith to Assad, to convince him to accept their offer.

The secret Joint Chiefs alliance with Putin and Assad, Hersh writes, ended this September when its chief architect, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, retired.

moderate Syrian rebels, Pentagon, Daesh, Hezbollah, CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, Barack Obama, Seymour Hersh, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, Golan Heights, Turkey, United States, Syria
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  • cmat.wolfgang
    maybe Mossad tested S. Hersh if he would believe everything?
  • Can you picture Germany and Israel passing on U.S. intelligence to Assad...I can not for obvious reasons.
    Go to "Vox World" for more in depth....Dec 21...However there is seymour's rep. to consider.
    There was a big schism between Gen. Allen and the Obama Admin. He was fired.,,, Petraeus was also let go for taking policy into their own hands in the ME. They were part of a click.
  • Alexey Yarmolenko
    Assad was trained in the Anglo world, in London
    His wife is UK pasport
    Syria anglofile nation
    He supported overthrow of Saddam Husein and Ghaddafi by western proxys
    Russia should dump this fool
    Assad is a double agent for the Anglo. He got russia bogged in this war, and desract from the true war russia should fight - against facist ukraine,
  • Alexey Yarmolenkoin reply toGeraldinebatt(Show commentHide comment)
    Geraldinebatt, anti semite
    Russian and Jews will destroy the anglo-wahabi world order
    Banderism and Islamism will be gone
    Glory to Russia and Israel
  • Observer
    Why now? If you read the original text on LRB, there is only one blue mark in the middle which serves as a visual accent of the whole piece - and this is about Benghazi 2012. Extremely sensitive issue for Clinton. The essay is providing light on details which sound important and trustworthy. It also somehow puts the responsibility for this fiasco on the President and not on Clinton. One would say these almost 7K words are written for Clinton's justification, the future Commander - in - Chief.
  • buckwheatisback
    Being an retired US military member myself I can tell you that Obama is not at all popular in the US military branches. He is seen as a liar, un-trust worthy, far from honorable as you can possibly be and he has single handedly destroyed moral and careers of many fine military men and woman. I can believe this story, weather it is actually true or not, I can see this very scenario playing out. Obama's policies have not only been detrimental to American interests world wide, but also detrimental to the world as a whole.
  • Does any part of this sound like a "limited hangout"? There must be more....
  • earlw35
    I find this hard to believe, some truehearts in the Pentagon wanted to help Assad, get real Mr. Hersh.
  • martinus1959
    Redaction Sputnik, please look at your article again, according to: Carl Osgood · Washington Correspondent at Executive Intelligence Review:

    'This report mischaracterize's Hersh's article' !!!.

    'What Hersh actually does is put the lie to every aspect fo the Obama Administration's policy towards Syria, particularly the notion that somehow, the removal of Assad will solve everything in Syria, when in reality it'll solve nothing.'
  • Hermes
    .........As his source, Hersh cites one anonymous "former senior adviser" to the Joint Chiefs..........

    A.K.A. Tel Aviv.
  • lgwUSMC
    Propaganda 100% A leopard cant change his spots.
  • R Kumar
    even pentagon agrees with Putin .
  • Ivan Buckeye
    Very possible it's true. CIA has been involved in a schism. CIA is losing it's monopoly on foriegn policy from other groups and agencies, not withstanding the NSA. This would probably be considered a coup in most places of the world. Helping thwart the war hawks in the U.S., the CIA isn't just acting behind the scenes in Syria. Another initative might be the haggle going on about the NSA and data collection, the CIA created a scene by smuggling information about certain programs at the NSA overseas. Any other place this would be considered a coup, and perhaps it is only instead of removing the President, the CIA just neutralizes any actions he may put into play. The real question here is why Seymour Hersh leaking this information? Are the war hawks trying to break up the secret back channels and stop the CIA? Either way, exposing this cooperative serves to destroy it or bring it into the open and make it an open working realtionship. Change is in the air... either way.
  • Ingimundar
    For more go to larouchepub.com. Headline there reads:"Seymour Hersh Indicts Obama Again—This Time on War Against Putin and Arming ISIS" Hersh is real. And He's really good!
  • Patrick Era
    I doubt the veracity of these claims!
  • ConcernedCitizen
    I know that reality is often stranger than fiction, but this sounds so convoluted that it is hard for me to swallow. BUT if this did turn out to be accurate the JCOS are obviously guilty of blatant treason and should be arrested and tried as quickly as possible. Along with anyone who was involved. The notion of the JCOS conducting their own foreign policy, no matter who is president sure scare the hell out of everyone. And this begs the question, if true, how LONG have they been conducting their own policies-a government within a government. Were they conducting their own policies in the early 60's, when President Kennedy was in office. Did they come up with their own policy to remove him?
  • Mark Gewissin reply toHermes(Show commentHide comment)
    Hermes, Maybe, but maybe not. Only Hersh - who is one of our best journalists for better or for worse, knows... In any case, here's my take on it... I always rely on Noam Chomsky's perfect rule for identifying deliberately embedded propaganda in a "news" story: whenever you find "an anonymous source" being quoted you can be 100% sure you're being played.
  • Baybars in reply toBob Hoferer(Show commentHide comment)
    Bob Hoferer, Yes sir. She is a beautiful piece of disinformation. The best I've read in a while. It did get my hopes up for a moment when I thought the pentagon was truly going against the whitehouse.
  • The loser generals and the sand pounding traitor generals are running scared -- now blaming their little puppet!!! You couldn't make this up. Bwah ha ha ha. Hersh is a prideless worm without honor.
  • pfbonneyin reply toearlw35(Show commentHide comment)
    earlw35, Al-Assad is stability, if nothing else. Even Israel values that. Just what would the alternative be? They are all worse. And, better than funding Daesh, as Obama was doing.
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