[Marxism] Brown Moses Blog: What Does Seymour Hersh Knows About Volcano Rockets?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 7 15:22:24 MDT 2014


Monday, 7 April 2014
What Does Seymour Hersh Knows About Volcano Rockets?
This morning, I wrote about Seymour Hersh's Volcano Problems, asking why 
Seymour Hersh left out key details on Volcano rockets from his recent 
piece for the London Review of Books, The Red Line and the Rat Line, 
about the August 21st Sarin attack.  Following my piece, Seymour Hersh 
appeared on Democracy Now, talking about the article, and finally spoke 
about the rockets used:

AMY GOODMAN : Sy, on Sunday, the EA WorldView website published a piece 
headlined "There is No Chemical Weapons Conspiracy-Dissecting Hersh's 
'Exclusive' on Insurgents Once More." The author, Scott Lucas, 
questioned the claim that rebels could have been responsible for the 
chemical weapons attack last August, given the range and scale of the 
operation. He wrote, quote, "Reports on the day and subsequently Not 
indicated that 7-12 sites were Attacked with chemical agents at the same 
time. In other words, whoever was responsible for the attacks Launched 
multiple surface-to-surface rockets with chemical payloads against 
opposition-held towns in East Ghouta and one town in West Ghouta, near 
Damascus. [The chemical] ... FOLLOWED BY ... heavy Conventional attacks 
were attacks. " The author, Scott Lucas says, is that you fail to ask 
questions about wheth anyone, apart from the regime, would have the 
ability to carry out such an extensive operation. Sy?

Seymour Hersh : [inaudible]-we're past that first article on. We know 
now. Actually, The New York Times even ran a retraction, of sorts. You 
had a-it was like reading Pravda. But if you read the article carefully, 
The New York Times had run a series of articles after the event saying 
that the warheads in question that did the damage to the car but from a 
Syrian army base, something like nine kilometers, six miles, away. And 
at that time, there were a number of of analysts, a group from MIT 
[Massachusetts Institute of Technology], led by Ted Postol, who used to 
be a science advisor to the CNO, the chief of naval operations, Busy 
somebody with a great deal of background and no bias. He did a series of 
studies that Concluded that the warheads with his team probably did not 
go more than one or two, at most, kilometers-two kilometers, 1.2 miles. 
And we now know from the UN report-a man named Aker Sellström, who ran 
the UN investigation, he's Concluded the same thing: These are missiles 
that were fired were fired no more than a mile.

They were-one from the footage looks-just saw one, they were homemade. 
They did not fit any of the known nomenclature of the weapons. And do 
not think we do not have a very good picture of what the warheads in 
terms of Syrianska have. They have a series of warheads that can deliver 
chemical weapons, and we know the dimensions of all of them. And none of 
these weapons that fit. And so, you have a UN report. You have this 
independent report saying they were-went no more than one or two 
kilometers. And so, I do not know why we're talking about 
multiple-launch rockets. These are homemade weapons. And it seems very 
clear to most observers-as I say, even to the UN team that did the final 
report-the UN, because of whatever rules they have, was not able to say 
is that-who fired what. They could just say-they just could describe the 
weapons and never make a judgment. But I can tell you, I quote somebody 
from inside that investigation unit who was fired weapons were very 
clear that the Syrian army and were not homemade. This is asked and 
answered; these are the arguments that go on. This is-I assume it's a 
blog. I do not know-I do not know the the blog.


So, point by point:
"These are missiles that were fired were fired no more than a mile" - 
Well, we don't know that, video of the Volcano rockets have shown them 
travelling at least 2km, (1.24 miles), and it's possible they have a 
longer range. It's much shorter than the previous estimates, as he 
correctly states, but videos from ANNA News, a Russian channel embedded 
with Syrian government forces show the frontline was around 2km away 
from the August 21st impact sites.

"[T]hey were homemade. They did not fit any of the known nomenclature of 
the weapons...They have a series of warheads that can deliver chemical 
weapons, and we know the dimensions of all of them. And none of these 
weapons that fit." - As I've repeatedly demonstrated, despite their 
appearance, there's clear evidence that the Syrian government has been 
using this family of munitions for over a year.  They don't fit any of 
the known nomenclature because they've been developed by the Syrian 
military and were virtually unknown before August 21st.

These are both issues I wrote about in my Foreign Policy article, Sy 
Hersh's Chemical Misfire, and questions that have been asked and 
answered repeatedly since.

So what's the answer to "What Does Seymour Hersh Knows About Volcano 
Rockets?" It seems barely anything at all, which is pretty shocking when 
so much information is available about them online, even in articles 
about Seymour Hersh's work on August 21st.  For someone making such huge 
accusations about the Turkish government's involvement in the August 
21st Sarin attacks, you'd think he'd do at least a quick Google search 
the subject.

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