Le lundi 18 mai, Judicial Watch, le groupe de vigilance du gouvernement conservateur, a publié une sélection de documents autrefois classifiés obtenus du Département américain de la Défense et du Département d’Etat grâce à un procès fédéral.
Alors que les grands médias se concentraient sur le traitement par la Maison Blanche de l’attaque du consulat de Benghazi, un bien plus «grand tableau» se dégage de la lecture d’un document de la Defense Intelligence Agency rédigé en 2012: à savoir que l’avènement d’un «État islamique» dans l’est de la Syrie est souhaitable pour que l’Occident puisse arriver à ses fins dans la région.
De manière surprenante, le rapport récemment déclassifié stipule que pour «l’Occident, les pays du Golfe et la Turquie [qui] soutiennent l’opposition [syrienne]… il y a la possibilité d’établir une principauté salafiste officielle ou pas, dans l’est de la Syrie (Hasaka et der Zor), et c’est exactement ce que veulent les puissances qui soutiennent l’opposition, afin d’isoler le régime syrien …».
Le rapport de la DIA, anciennement classé «SECRET // NOFORN*» et daté du 12 août 2012, a été largement diffusé dans les divers organes gouvernementaux, y compris CENTCOM, la CIA, le FBI, le DHS, NGA, le Département d’État et beaucoup d’autres.
Le document montre que, dès 2012, le renseignement américain avait prédit la montée de l’Etat Islamique en Irak et au Levant (ISIL ou ISIS), mais au lieu de désigner clairement le groupe comme un ennemi, le rapport considère le groupe terroriste comme un atout stratégique américain.
Bien qu’un certain nombre d’analystes et de journalistes documentent depuis longtemps le rôle des agences de renseignement occidentales dans la formation et l’entrainement de l’opposition armée en Syrie, ce document constitue la confirmation par les plus hautes sphères du Renseignement étasunien de l’idée que les gouvernements occidentaux voient essentiellement ISIS [EIIL] comme le meilleur moyen de parvenir à un changement de régime en Syrie. Non seulement ce document le dit clairement mais il le dit comme si c’était la chose la plus naturelle qui soit.
Des preuves matérielles, des vidéos, ainsi que les récents aveux de hauts fonctionnaires impliqués (voir l’aveu de l’ancien ambassadeur des Etats-Unis en Syrie, Robert Ford, ici et ici), ont, depuis, prouvé que le soutien matériel des terroristes d’ISIS sur le champ de bataille syrien par le Département d’État et la CIA remonte à au moins 2012 et 2013 (pour un exemple clair de «preuves matérielles»: voir le rapport de l’organisation anglaise, Conflict Armement Research, qui, en remontant la trace des roquettes anti-chars croates récupérées auprès de combattants ISIS, est arrivée à un programme conjoint CIA /Arabie Saoudite via des numéros de série identifiables).
On peut résumer ainsi les points clés du rapport de la DIA, concernant «ISI» (en 2012 : «Etat Islamique en Irak») et son futur compère ISIS, qui vient d’être déclassifié :
-Al-Qaïda conduit l’opposition en Syrie
-L’Occident s’identifie avec l’opposition
-L’établissement d’un Etat Islamique naissant n’est devenu réalité qu’avec la montée de l’insurrection syrienne (il n’y a aucune raison de penser que le retrait des troupes américaines d’Irak ait joué le rôle de catalyseur dans l’essor de l’Etat Islamique, comme l’affirment d’innombrables politiciens et experts; voir la section 4 .D. ci-dessous)
-La mise en place d’une «principauté salafiste» en Syrie orientale est «exactement» ce que veulent les puissances extérieures qui soutiennent l’opposition (identifiées comme «l’Occident, les pays du Golfe, et la Turquie») pour affaiblir le gouvernement d’Assad
-Il est suggéré de créer des «lieux de refuge sûrs» dans les zones conquises par les insurgés islamistes comme cela a été fait en Libye (ce qui dans les faits, se traduit par une soi-disant zone d’exclusion aérienne comme premier acte d’une «guerre humanitaire»; voir 7.B.)
-L’Irak est identifié à «l’expansion chiite» (de 8.C)
-Un « «état islamique» sunnite pourrait empêcher «l’unification de l’Irak» et pourrait «faciliter à nouveau l’entrée d’éléments terroristes de tout le monde arabe dans l’arène irakienne.» (Voir la dernière ligne du PDF.)
Ce qui suit est extrait du rapport de sept pages déclassifié de la DIA (C’est nous qui soulignons) :
La situation générale:
A l’intérieur, les événements prennent une tournure clairement sectaire.
Les Salafistes [sic], Les Frères musulmans et Al-Qaïda – Irak, sont les forces principales de l’insurrection en Syrie.
L’Occident, les pays du Golfe et la Turquie soutiennent l’opposition, tandis que la Russie, la Chine et l’Iran soutiennent le régime.
(C) Al-Qaïda – Irak (IQA): … B. IQA soutient l’opposition syrienne depuis le début, à la fois idéologiquement et dans les médias …
4.D. IQA a perdu du terrain dans les provinces de l’ouest de l’Irak en 2009 et 2010. Cependant, après la montée de l’insurrection en Syrie, les pouvoirs religieux et tribaux régionaux ont sympathisé avec le soulèvement sectaire. Cette (sympathie) s’est concrétisée par l’appel à bénévoles pour soutenir les sunnites [sic] en Syrie, dans les sermons du vendredi.
(C) Hypothèses sur le développement futur de la crise:
le régime va survivre et garder le contrôle du territoire syrien.
Evolution de la situation actuelle en guerre par procuration: … les forces d’opposition tentent de contrôler les zones orientales (Hasaka et Der Zor), qui touchent les provinces irakiennes orientales (Mossoul et Anbar), en plus des frontières turques voisines. Les pays occidentaux, les pays du Golfe et la Turquie soutiennent ces efforts. Cette hypothèse, qui est le plus probable étant donné ce que nous savons des événements récents, permettra de préparer des lieux de refuges sûrs sous contrôle international comme cela a été fait en Libye quand Benghazi a été choisi comme centre de commande du gouvernement provisoire.
8-C. Si la situation se détériore, on pourra établir une principauté salafiste officielle ou pas, dans l’est de la Syrie (Hasaka et Der Zor). Et c’est exactement ce que veulent les puissances qui soutiennent l’opposition, afin d’isoler le régime syrien qui est considéré comme l’extrémité stratégique de l’expansion shiite (Irak et l’Iran)
8-D.1. … ISI pourrait aussi constituer un Etat islamique en s’unissant avec d’autres organisations terroristes en Irak et en Syrie, ce qui mettrait gravement en danger l’unification de l’Irak et la défense de son territoire.
Brad Hoff | Mai 19, 2015
Note : * no foreign nationals : ne pas communiquer aux étrangers
Traduit par Arrêt sur Info
Will the DIA document on Syria be reported in the mainstream U.S. media?
AS OF THIS WRITING our reporting on the newly declassified August 2012 DIA document has yet to make it into mainstream media in the West; it has however, made it into RT News. On Saturday, RT’s International English broadcast, based in London and Washington D.C., relied on Levant Report’s original reporting of both the DIA document and former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford’s prior relationship to ISIS aligned militants.
Monday (5/25) and Tuesday will be significant days to see whether the story gathers enough momentum in the press to elicit an official response from Washington. For this to happen the DIA document would have to be covered in British media, or by an American newsroom with enough clout to attract attention, like McClatchy’s Washington Bureau or The Intercept, in order to get the ball rolling.
The well-known investigative journalist and best-selling author Nafeez Ahmed, whose counter-terrorism work gained official recognition by the 9/11 Commission, published an excellent in-depth investigative piece on the DIA report at INSURGE intelligence.
Nafeez was recently a columnist for The Guardian, one of Britain’s big three national newspapers, and is still based in the UK. He took to Twitter over the weekend and announced that he is currently attempting to push the story into mainstream media, as the DIA document contains startling revelations that deserve the world’s attention and candid debate:
OF COURSE, MANY OF THESE establishment media outlets have been so heavily invested in advancing a particular set of false assumptions regarding the dynamics of the conflict in Syria, that they would be loath to publish anything that damages their own credibility, even should clear evidence in official government documents contradict the prior reporting.
We are living in an age in which the unique propaganda system that operates in the West is so effective that it often doesn’t matter if government officials admit that they were purposefully promoting a false narrative, or were engaged in criminal conspiracy.
So long as their admissions come long after the fact, and so long as they occupy positions of prestige and respect, they can expect not to come under close scrutiny by a media establishment that itself was complicit in uncritically parroting their falsehoods all along.
We at Levant Report have been trying to shine a spotlight on former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford’s material support of Al-Qaeda for a long time. In February 2015, he openly confessed to having given support to ISIS and Al-Nusra terrorists after being questioned by Al-Monitor News journalist Edward Dark (a violation of Title 18 U.S. Code § 2339A – Providing material support to terrorists)—
THE TWITTER HANDLE, @fordrs58 is indeed Ambassador Robert Ford’s account, as was confirmed to me in a personal email by Dr. Joshua Landis, Director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the most well-known Syria scholar in the United States.
Ford’s admission came after a lengthy Twitter conversation in response to an original Feb. 18, 2015 entry by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar Aaron Lund. Though Ford might now claim “good intentions” or that he was merely following orders from the State Dept., this defense certainly didn’t work for the multiple FBI arrests and successful prosecutions of American citizensthat arguably had even less involvement—and at lower levels—with rebels in the Syrian conflict.
While RT News broadcast the video evidence of Ford’s crimes, it remains for American media and US Congress to begin asking serious questions about the State Dept., DOD, and CIA’s relationship with confessed ISIS collaborators on the Syrian battlefield. At the very least, a serious Congressional investigation is warranted. Americans must demand this.
The DIA Gives an Official Response to LevantReport.com Article Alleging the West Backed ‘Islamic State’
ON FRIDAY, MAY 22, I contacted the DIA Public Affairsoffice seeking official response to my May 19 articleentitled, 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”. DIA Public Affairs did not respond at that time.
YESTERDAY (5/26), THE DIA CONTACTED ME via email and requested that I submit my questions. Today, May 27, DIA Public Affairs spokesman James M. Kudla contacted me via telephone at 1:37pm (Eastern Standard Time) and agreed to give an official DIA comment to my questions concerning the declassified 2012 DIA intelligence report released through Freedom of Information Act request to Judicial Watch (14-L-0552/DIA/287-293).
THE BELOW IS A FULL TRANSCRIPT of the phone interview. Permission is given by Levant Report to freely copy and circulate.*
James Kudla [JK]: In response to the questions you submitted through email… As noted in the document itself, it’s an informational report and is not finally evaluated intelligence, and the redacted sections in the document released under FOIA means it is not a complete document.
Brad Hoff [BH]: Does this document forecast in 2012 that the external powers supporting the Syrian opposition would allow an Islamic State in Eastern Syria in order to isolate or put military pressure on the Syrian regime?
JK: I have no comment on the contents of the document, nor on your interpretation of the document in your article. To reiterate, the document is raw information and has not been interpreted or analyzed, so it is not a final intelligence product.
BH:Does this document affirm that the DoD knew that what the document refers to as the West was supporting an opposition insurgency in Syria that had elements of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI, within in?
BH: Are you able to dispel some current headlines that say the West aligned itself with ISIS during 2012 or at any point during the conflict in Syria?
JK: There are a lot of headlines circulating, I cannot evaluate each one. I cannot comment on that.
BH:Would you like to take this opportunity to dispel any accusations currently circulating?
JK: I have no comment on that.
BH:Are you able to at least deny that the DIA’s analysis revealed that the West backed ISIS at some point during the conflict in Syria?
JK: No comment. I have no additional comments for you.
The above is official comment given to Brad Hoff from:
JAMES M. KUDLA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DIA HQ N635i
The DIA Islamic State Story & Going Out on a Limb with Independent Muckraking
My reporting began going viral within days after being published on May 19. Investigative journalist and best-selling author Nafeez Ahmed, whose counter-terrorism work gained official recognition by the 9/11 Commission, followed on May 22 with an excellent in-depth investigative piece on the DIA report at INSURGE intelligence, which greatly expanded on my report, putting it into full geopolitical context.
Most significantly, Nafeez was able to get a public statement from the British Foreign Office:
“AQ and ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, and their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s national security. We are part of a military and political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the brutality of the extremists.”
This carefully prepared, formal and to-be-expected denial managed to give the story more visibility. Over the following weekend, RT News, the flagship Russian network, which claims distribution reach to about 700 million households in over 100 countries, relied heavily on content found on for its coverage of the DIA document as well as former Ambabassador to Syria Robert Ford’s prior relationship to ISIS-linked commander Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi.
On the heels of Russian coverage, the story made headlines in national German news, carried across leading daily newspapers and in some of the top circulating political magazines. This included, among others: Junge Welt, Die Welt, News.de, General Anzeiger, FOCUS Online, WAZ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), Hamburger Abendblatt,Ostthuringer Zeitung, and the German TV news channel, n-TV.
When news of the August 2012 DIA document swept Russia and Iran after that first weekend I must have popped up on DIA’s “radar”. Before this, I had contacted DIA Public Affairs on Friday, May 22, just prior to going on The Scott Horton Show, hoping to gain some kind of better context though which to understand the document, but got no response.
The following Monday, after the initial foreign media coverage, the DIA public affairs spokesman sent me an email, left a voice message on my phone, and said he was ready to receive questions. I was caught off guard by this unexpected development, as I represent no big network, am not a professional journo, and typically my analysis/editorial site does not even get much visibility.
I’m as independent as it gets. In fact, the night I wrote the story I had just finished grading stacks of final exams (as I am a teacher with a hectic schedule). A retired military intelligence veteran told me, in an online forum, that I must have “hit a nerve” in order for the DIA to contact me so quickly after the weekend (the DIA monitors foreign media as part of their intelligence collection mission).
The other factor must have been the sudden visibility in the U.S. that Nafeez Ahmed’s piece got when it was copied to Zero Hedge—the financial blog referred to by many as “the Drudge Report of Wall Street”—the report got 250,000 views in a matter of a couple days (and as of this writing has 350,000+). But again, it was likely the foreign coverage that gained their attention, and prompted the DIA to return my call.
This whole episode represents the complete failure of American mainstream media. That an invisible freelance writer with a day job, and with no broader backing of any kind, would have to nervously push this story because the mainstream media wouldn’t touch it, only using the Benghazi angle for the purpose of a partisan fight against Hilary, represents an indictment of all those organizations that are so concerned over their reputations, that they dare not “go out on a limb” in fear of being accused of dabbling in “conspiracies”.
I literally (and quite rudely) had to run out of a faculty meeting in order to take the DIA’s call. As I fired questions at DIA spokesman James Kudla, I remembered thinking… why had this fallen on me to do this, and not someone whose job it actually is to grill government agency officials? But I was reminded why I was doing it by DIA’s surprising responses, as a Middle East Eye column explains:
When asked repeatedly by journalist and ex-US marine Brad Hoff to dispel claims that the West aligned itself with IS or ISIS at some point in Syria, the DIA’s official response was telling: “No comment.”
A new day has dawned in America when a government agency representing the military can’t comment over whether its intel says “the West backed ISIS.” It should have been an easy denial—I expected to be told to pack up my tin foil hat and go home.
But that’s not what happened after pushing hard for that expected denial; and yes, it is telling when an America veteran is given a “no comment” to a question as simple as, “Are you able to at least deny that the DIA’s analysis revealed that the West backed ISIS at some point during the conflict in Syria?” But perhaps the DIA spokesman was just trying to be as honest as the original intelligence information report. It is simply something he can’t deny.
But I was never alone in my reporting. While FOX News and others refused to pursue the shocking contents of the particular DIA information report in question (though they had paid-staffers and reporters pouring through the collection of docs), it was non-mainstream outlets like Moon of Alabama, Antiwar.com, Foreign Policy Journal, the Scott Horton Show, and countless independent journalists and blogs that were the first to realize the newsworthiness of the contents. To you all I say thank you.
Slowly, reporting of the document is creeping into the U.S. mainstream. “Headline & Global News” has published two reports (see here and here), while has reluctantly acknowledged(beneath a Benghazi headline) that the report is “right on the nose” in predicting that a terror-driven “Islamic State” would arise out of militarized U.S. support to the opposition in Syria, and a May 28 Salon.com article pointed us to “The Benghazi outrage we should actually be talking about: Newly revealed documents show how the CIA stood by as arms shipments from Libya enabled the rise of ISIS.”
The stakes are high. On Monday, May 25, it was widely reported that the U.S. and Turkey reached some level of agreement for a planned no fly zone over Syria in support of the opposition insurgents each country has agreed to train and send into the conflict zone. This proposed strategy would see so-called “moderate” rebels attempt to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government at the same time (even as all “moderate” groups declare that their true ultimate goal is to fight the Syrian government). Such an escalation would be bad for the people of the region, bad for America, and bad for our long overextended armed forces.
But knowledge of the DIA ISIS document threatens to awaken the American people from their slumber. They have been told non-stop, from all corners, that Islamic State is the single greatest and most horrific terror threat that mankind has ever seen, representing a new and unique form of evil.
Americans need to read about the origins of IS in the plain words of the internal Pentagon document. They need to know that a defense official couldn’t simply say that the idea of the West backing the Islamic State was ludicrous. They need to know that in America one is now forced by the realities of recent alliances to say “no comment” to such a question that only a few short years ago would be unthinkable to even formulate.
While the mainstream media will likely refuse to cover this, it is not going away. Rand Paul is in a fight with hawks in his own party. Very recently, Paul cryptically referenced the DIA document in support of his argument that it wasn’t U.S. troop withdrawal that allowed for IS’s rise, but the decision to arm and fund, and give political support to the Syrian rebels (he likely learned about this document through his father, see video above). As the campaign for the Republican nomination heats up, he is sure to reference the document more vocally. At that point, the mainstream will be forced to acknowledge the document, and it will become part of the national conversation.
The Daily Beast’s Jacob Siegal says Released DIA Document Led to “ISIS Conspiracy that ate the Web”
Jacob Siegal, writing for The Daily Beast, misses an opportunity to shine light on the 2012 declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document foretelling the rise of “an Islamic State”, instead, opting to mock those reporting and attempting to interpret its contents.
In his June 6 article, The ISIS Conspiracy that ate the Web, Siegal devotes the majority of his words not to careful analysis of the document, but instead to consigning all those, like Seamus Milne of The Guardian, who dare take the document as a serious and newsworthy revelation worthy of public scrutiny, with the label of partisan conspiracy theorist (the Daily Beast article itself is categorized under the heading “Conspiracy Theory”):
If you’re looking for a single, simple explanation for the rise of the Islamic State that flatters your pre-existing politics, you’ve hit pay dirt.
He begins by holding up the admittedly nutty Pamela Geller as somehow representative of the DIA document’s early reporting, though she had nothing to do with either reporting or analyzing the document, instead merely copying the entirety of my own original article to her website many days after its release and adding her own brief commentary (while never seeking my permission), such as the simplistic: “Look at what Obama and his party of treason have unleashed on the world.”
The Pamela Gellers of the world will always have ultra-partisan, self-serving interpretations of what is fundamentally real, newsworthy information, but presenting her and others like her as actually representing the reporting that “ate the Web” is a sloppy attempt to obfuscate the valid conclusions being drawn and circulated as a result of this truly significant document. Siegal would like us to conclude, like Juan Cole, that there is really “nothing to see here folks, move it along, etc…” by first presenting and debunking “low hanging fruit” that is irrelevant to how the story originally spread.
I appreciate that at the very least my own reporting is held up as serious and credible with the lines in the end paragraphs, “The DIA could do itself and the public a favor by addressing the 3 year-old declassified report instead of responding to inquiries with variations on no comment as it did when approached by journalist Brad Hoff.”
I wholeheartedly agree, but it strikes me as odd and inconsistent that Siegal should first write off Seumas Milne’s excellent piece in The Guardian (which now has over 85,000 Facebook shares alone), taking issue even with the title, Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq.
The title of my own May 19 article, West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime” —which was the first to report and examine the DIA document’s contents in terms of “the West backed ISIS” angle, would no doubt also attract the ire of Mr. Siegal should he have bothered to find out the origin of the viral “conspiracy” that ate the web. And yet, he holds me up as a credible journalist cited just after the following: “The report raises some important questions but it’s a mistake to think it answers them.”
What bothers me is that, as a paid editor and journalist at the The Daily Beast, Jacob Siegal refuses to make use of the significant resources at his disposal to seek answers to the many questions he says the document raises, opting instead to attach a stigma to any reporting or analysis that might actually see the document as evidence of U.S. government wrongdoing or negligence (especially as he informs us he formerly worked as an army intelligence officer, which makes it likely that he’d have helpful contacts that might be useful in actually investigating the document).
But I suppose it’s much easier to do a hit piece on straw man conspiracy theories, as opposed to a careful reading and response to the actual original reporting through which the DIA document went viral.
My own reporting began going viral within days after being published. Investigative journalist and best-selling author Nafeez Ahmed, whose counter-terrorism work gained official recognition by the 9/11 Commission, followed on May 22 with an in-depth investigative piece on the DIA report atINSURGE intelligence, which greatly expanded on my report, putting it into full geopolitical context.
Most significantly, Ahmed was able to get official statement from the British Foreign Office, and his coverage of the DIA document later headlined across leading German daily papers and political magazines. It was this story, copied to Zero Hedge, that Juan Cole dismissed as “just a clickbait story”.
But neither my reporting, nor Nafeez Ahmed’s ever claimed that the DIA document exists as stand-alone “smoking gun” proof of the claims that the West knowingly fueled the rise of Islamic State. As I said soon after writing my report on the Scott Horton show, the DIA document merely “completes the picture”—a picture that many, including Ahmed, have been piecing together for years.
But that the West and the U.S. did fuel the rise of ISIS through political support, weapons, logistical coordination, and supplies given to militants in Syria is hardly the theory of a few independent journalists when you have the likes of former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford going aroundconfessing that he himself knowingly backed rebels fighting alongside ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria (Nusra) in 2013. Remember that Ford was the State Department’s top man in Syria and thus had a key role in the rebel “vetting” process. (As for other former government officials, current politicians, and even FSA commanders that have also said that the West gave political and material support to the then nascent Islamic State…well the list is too long for this column.)
While government officials like to claim that “we didn’t know” or that “we had good intentions,” this DIA document is just additional proof that at the very least, at some official level, they did know. The dynamics of the conflict and potential consequences of the West’s course of action were spelled out in quite precise (and prescient) terms, and put into writing in the form of an information report and circulated widely (the early reporting never claimed the document was itself produced as an active or official policy document).
Considering the fact that the world has been told incessantly that ISIS and their associate jihadi allies represent the single greatest and most brutal terror threat mankind has ever seen (and add to that the CIA and White House claim that they just didn’t see ISIS coming!), you would think that for The Daily Beast this might constitute a major newsworthy scandal worth digging into. But again, Siegal instead chooses to make the story ultimately about the power of “conspiracy theories” that take over the web.
Ironically, he cites the discredited former NSA officer John Schindler to say that the DIA document is largely irrelevant and unimportant based on its redactions as well as our inability to know the level of importance assigned to it within the intelligence community (as its classification is not high level).
While Siegal acknowledges that this “sort of report of regional scope and strategic implications was outside my purview” his guiding assumption is that it couldn’t have been very important: “by itself, it’s only evidence of one analysis among thousands churned out yearly by the various intelligence agencies.”
But Siegal could have and should have consulted former high ranking MI6 spy and Middle East expert Alastair Crooke, who does have the experience and background to know. Crooke’s analysis appeared in his regular Huffington Post column a full five days prior Siegal’s Daily Beast article. As to the DIA document’s level of importance within the intelligence community, Crooke confidentlyasserts following his main thesis:
Intelligence assessments purpose is to provide “a view” — not to describe or prescribe policy. But it is clear that the DIA reports’ “warnings” were widely circulated and would have been meshed into the policy consideration.
The main indicator affirming that this DIA report was not merely “one analysis among thousands” (and by implication barely visible), is described in a Salon.com article which appeared nine days prior to Siegal’s cries of conspiracy theory:
Few of the reports on these documents have discussed on what terms Judicial Watch received them. The organization received the documents by requesting – among other things — “[a]ny and all records produced by any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] in preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant to any”briefing of Congressional leaders and Intelligence Committee leaders, “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.” These reports were important, then, to DOD’s own understanding of events surrounding the Benghazi attack.
As to the content of the DIA document itself, Siegal’s main point (after citing Cole) is that the DIA is actually pointing the finger exclusively at America’s allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and that “the West” (and U.S.) is somehow wholly separate from its own coalition. Joe Biden’s revealingcomments at Harvard University are referenced, but his prior statements regarding support for the Syrian opposition are ignored: “We are working hand and glove with the Turks, with the Jordanians, with the Saudis, and with all the people in the region attempting to identify the people who deserve the help…” (and this is consistent with statements of other U.S. officials).
The idea that U.S. intelligence and military officials were far removed from the situation as allies armed the likes of Nusra, ISIS, and Ahrar Al-Sham, even while those officials all occupied the same“operations command center” (in Jordan and in Turkey), is absurd on its face. American government officials themselves told the New York Times of a jointSaudi/CIA program to arm the rebels beginning in 2012.
The truth is often much more banal than a good conspiracy theory: it often requires knowledge of the alignment of those interests, institutions, historical forces, and guiding ideologies that give birth to a particular horrid consequence. It is the media’s job to investigate and map out those alignments. Such is the case with the swift rise of the monster that is Islamic State. While it would give me great personal comfort to be able to dismiss inconvenient truths as mere conspiracy theory, I would prefer a national media that tells me the hard truth, and never ceases digging until unearthing that truth.
As he admits that the DIA document raises valid questions, my hope is that Jacob Siegal is even now digging, asking tough questions of DIA and other officials, seeking behind the scenes comment, submitting further FOIA requests, etc… This is my sincere hope, but I suppose I shouldn’t hold my breath.