Official Statement On Dale Gavlak’s Involvement In Syria Exclusive

Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, co-authors to an exclusive Syria report alleging Saudi-supplied rebels as behind the August chemical weapons attack, face ongoing pressure for producing this report by the AP and Saudi actors, which resulted in Dale Gavlak retracting her involvement to this report three weeks after the report published. Yahya continues to face pressure and threats of imprisonment in Jordan for crossing the border to report on these details.
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    By Mnar Muhawesh, executive director and editor at large for MintPress News

    Statement:

    Thank you for reaching out to me in regards to statements made by Dale Gavlak alleging MintPress for incorrectly attributing our exclusive report titled: “Syrians in Goutha claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind chemical attacks.”

    Gavlak pitched this story to MintPress on August 28th and informed her editors and myself that her colleague Yahya Ababneh was on the ground in Syria. She said Ababneh conducted interviews with rebels, their family members, Ghouta residents and doctors that informed him through various interviews that the Saudis had supplied the rebels with chemical weapons and that rebel fighters handled the weapons improperly setting off the explosions.  

    When Yahya had returned and shared the information with her, she stated that she confirmed with several colleagues and Jordanian government officials that the Saudis have been supplying rebels with chemical weapons, but as her email states, she says they refused to go on the record.

    Gavlak wrote the article in it’s entirety as well as conducted the research. She filed her article on August 29th and was published on the same day.

    Dale is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.

    On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation was at risk. She continued to say that these third parties were demanding her to disassociate herself from the article or these parties would end her career.

    On August 31st, I notified Dale through email that I would add a clarification that she was the writer and researcher for the article and that Yahya was the reporter on the ground, but did let Gavlak know that we would not remove her name as this would violate the ethics of journalism.

    We are aware of the tremendous pressure that Dale and some of our other journalists are facing as a result of this story, and we are under the same pressure as a result to discredit the story. We are unwilling to succumb to those pressures for MintPress holds itself to the highest journalistic ethics and reporting standards.

    Yahya has recently notified me that the Saudi embassy contacted him and threatened to end his career if he did a follow up story on who carried out the most recent chemical weapons attack and demanded that he stop doing media interviews in regards to the subject.

    We hold Dale Gavlak in the highest esteem and sympathize with her for the pressure she is receiving, but removing her name from the story would not be honest journalism and therefore, as stated before, we are not willing to remove her name from the article.

    We are prepared and may release all emails and communications made between MintPress and Dale Gavlak, and even Yahya to provide further evidence of what was provided to you in this statement.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Mint Press News editorial policy.

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      • Clay Claiborne

        Still waiting for those emails to be released [with metadata] What’s the hold up? I hope its not the truth.

      • Clay Claiborne

        from http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2013/09/23/jordanian-journalist-who-fabricated-syrian-rebel-chemical-weapons-story-likely-fabricated-jerusalem-post-story-as-well/

        In his article, Barakat claims to have visited Israel on his own form
        of personal peace mission. This beggars belief. Just as it is illegal
        for Israelis to visit Arab states it is similarly illegal for citizens
        of Arab states to do so. So how did the Jordanian journalist do this?
        Or perhaps more appropriately, did he?

        To all this we need to add that the Jerusalem Post has a long and checkered
        history of being ‘had’ by fraudulent reports and reporters. I’m going
        to hazard a reasonable guess that it’s happened again. Just as Yahyah
        Ababneh claimed to have witnessed rebels using chemical weapons inside
        Syria, Yan Barakat claims to have traveled to Israel to explore making
        peace with the Jewish enemy. We know his claims about Syria are false.
        I’m reasonably certain his claims about Israel are as well.

        If the Jerusalem Post had any journalistic integrity it would’ve
        demanded that Barakat provide evidence of the meetings he claimed he had
        with scores of Israelis during his visit. I’m virtually certain they
        didn’t do that before publishing and won’t do it now that his
        credibility has been shot to hell. The Post wanted to believe an Arab
        loves Israel. But a good rule of thumb is that if a story looks too
        good to be true, it probably isn’t. Understanding this requires care
        and skepticism, something the Post lacks when it comes to publishing
        stories by or about “good Arabs.”

        What’s clear is that Ababneh/Barakat is a petty con man. Like all
        good con men he knows how to tell his audience what they want to hear.
        He also knows how to aggrandize himself with readers and probably get
        paid well for his troubles. It shouldn’t surprise us that he’s also an
        actor and has posted pictures of his performances on his social media
        accounts.

        I think those who speculate why he might’ve worked for either Israeli
        or Jordanian intelligence regarding the Syria story are missing the
        point. A guy like this doesn’t work for one side alone. He works for
        whoever pays the best and most. One day it’s the Jerusalem Post or an
        intelligence agency, the next its Bashar al-Assad.

        Look at it this way: the Syrian government knew it had a huge scandal
        breathing down its neck. What better way to diminish some of the
        momentum of the story than to put out a fake rebel CW counter-story.
        Until the world discovered it was a hoax, it would help counter the
        damage done by the Gouta disaster. Cynical you say? What intelligence
        agency isn’t cynical? And there are scores of provocateurs and
        self-promoters eager to jump on such a gravy train.

        There’s also an interesting factor in Dale Gavlak’s connection to
        Israeli media. Besides working for AP, Times of Israel lists her as one
        of its writers..
        It’s likely she isn’t formally employed by TOI, but that in its
        desperation for journalistic credibility the publication has glommed
        onto anyone it re-publishes and calls them a TOI “writer.” Any story
        she’s written there (or anywhere else for that matter) should be
        scrutinized carefully to ensure she didn’t take any of the same
        shortcuts she took in publishing Ababneh’s nonsense.

      • Souria Archives-Syria Archives

        Ha Ha – Bashar’s Bootlickers at Mint Press Got Punked by the Russians with the Fake “Rebels Used Chem Weapons” Bullshit Story
        Gavlak admits she never even went to Syria on this story and the Christian Science Monitor just published the following story on the fake “Co-Author” who is probably a Russian Shill of Putin :
        “Who is Ababneh? So far it’s unclear. He’s been identified as a Jordanian reporter by Gavlak, but the truth is certainly not yet determined. Brian Whitaker, a Guardian reporter focused on the Middle East who also maintains a blog, writes that he looked at a LinkedIn profile of Ababneh’s that asserted he had worked for Al Jazeera and al-Quds al-Arabi (a major pan-Arab newspaper) but Whitaker could not find his byline in the archives of either website or anywhere else. The LinkedIn profile was deleted on Saturday.

        Whitaker also found a reader comment made on an Aug. 26 article about Syria, three days before the Mint Press story, in the UK’s Mail on Sunday by a “Yan Barakat” who told a very similar story about Prince Bandar and chemical weapons to the one that would appear three days later. “Barakat” wrote that he came by the story from “some old men” who’d “arrived in Damascus” from Russia. One of the men from Russia “told me they have evidence that they have evidence that it was the rebels who used the weapons.”

        A little more internet sleuthing from Whitaker found a Facebook page for Yan Barakat and photos of the man, who described himself as a Jordanian journalist. The pictures appear to be of the same man pictured in the deleted Linkedin profile for Ababneh. There is also a profile page on the Russian social media site VK (much like Facebook) under the name “Yahya Barakat” that contains pictures of a man that looks both like the Yan Barakat and Yayheh Ababneh pictures. The profile says the man was born in St. Petersburg, Russia.”

      • Dann Dobson

        To settle this dispute Mnar Muhawesh and MintPress News should release the e-mails from Dale Gavlak. They will reveal who is telling the truth. Until the e-mails are released the burden of proof is no Ms. Muhawesh and MintPress News.

        • Clay Claiborne

          Mint Press: Settle this dispute! Release all the emails in eml format [so we can check routing, time codes and checksums]

          So far you haven’t. If you don’t we must suspect they will disprove your claims.

      • Jonas
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      • Micheal

        Why the haphazard attempt to disassociate from the story now, three weeks later? It has only given the report an added impotus – highlighted by the fact that a plethora of establishment media pundits and commentators (who originally dismissed and subverted the report) are now going to great lengths to discredit it. There is almost an air of desperation coming from several pundits, going as far as to insinuate that MintPress holds a bias simply because the editors father in-law happens to be a Shi’ite muslim. The NYT lede blog even ran a story on the issue late last night – totally omitting any reference to the crucial pieces of information relayed in the MintPress statement. This is even more perplexing when you consider the fact that outlets such as the New York Times completely ignored recent revelations that the Washington Post’s new Jerusalem correspondent is the wife of a Zionist PR tycoon that regularly lobbies for the Jewish state.

      • Aaron

        Considering Gavlaks’ tacit admission that she “wrote up” Ababneh’s report in her second statement; MintPress are well within their rights to uphold the byline they added. Gavlak pitched the story to MintPress presumably knowing the editors valued her credibility and experience. So the question remains: why would Gavlak willingly translate and edit; then attempt to pitch the report but keep her name off it; then vouch for the report and its author through “further communications”; if she knew it was dubious or would bring scorn from her other employers? Why take that risk with a small independent outlet?

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      • SamNS

        What else to expect from an Iranian mullah’ supported publication? Nothing less than to serve the “truth”! Yeah right..

      • Clay Claiborne

        McClatchy also has a story on this that fills in some blanks:

        Gavlak produced a series of emails detailing her unsuccessful attempt to
        have Mint News either clarify the article’s background or remove it
        from the site. The emails begin almost immediately after publication of
        the story on Aug. 29th and continued through the weekend until Sept. 2.

        Read
        more here:
        http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/21/202832/ap-freelancer-says-report-of-rebel.html?storylink=addthis#.Uj9jDKwgqlh#storylink=cpy

        Gavlak implied that the nearly three-week delay in her public
        repudiation of the claim was due to legal advice and pressure from the
        AP to let the controversy over the story die down since the story, which
        was thinly sourced, was not picked up by any major media outlets.

        Read
        more here:
        http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/21/202832/ap-freelancer-says-report-of-rebel.html?storylink=addthis#.Uj9jDKwgqlh#storylink=cpy

      • originalone

        This sure started a shitstorm here. Pick your partner, push your thoughts. Goodness, let’s see what happens when the Syrian Leader gives up the C.W. stocks. By the way, has anyone checked up as to why Syria has these stocks? One other item, that being the Nuclear reactor site, the Israelis bombed, but Assad won’t let outside inspectors inspect said site. Extrapolate the reason that Assad would build said Nuclear reactor, which I would say is why Syria has C.W. stocks as well as nor being a party to the club, just like Israel, Egypt, a few other countries. This so called civil war has gotten far out of hand/control as far as the invaders are concerned. Let’s also not forget that the deaths of civilians come from both sides, as no ones hands are clean here.

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      • @les_politiques

        Mnar: Yahya seems to have contacts at Saudi embassy. You might have fallen into a trap, you and Dale. This is classic startegy of countering accusations: creating disinfo by espousing your accusators’ POV in order to later discredit them. Think about Yan’s role here.

        • Clay Claiborne

          Yahya seems to have gotten his story from a Russian:

          http://www.al-bab.com/blog/2013/september/yahya-ababneh-exposed.htm

          “If Yahya Ababneh and Yan Barakat are indeed the same person, the question arises as to why Mint Press called him Ababneh rather than Barakat (which is the name he appears to have used for his other writing). If there were fears for his safety it would have been far better to be up-front about it and declare the use of a pseudonym.

          With hindsight, this may also explain why Mint Press was so insistent on including Dale Gavlak’s name in the joint by-line.

          As far as the most crucial part of the article is concerned, we are also left wondering what to make of Barakat’s statement that he was alerted to the “rebel weapons” tale by a Russian who befriended him in Damascus.

          – See more at: http://www.al-bab.com/blog/2013/september/yahya-ababneh-exposed.htm#sthash.oYEC96zU.dpuf

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Snape/100001971991197 Jane Snape

            And this proves — what?

            Again, if you’re trying to imply without actually saying that Mint Press News is a Russian-run tool of Putin, explain to me why they are covering the Russian seizure of the Greenpeace vessel — and not in a way that shows the Russians in a good light?

            If you’re looking for liars in the whole “Let’s Do Bandar Bush’s Bidding” game, why not look at Elizabeth O’Bagy, she who claimed that the Syrian rebels weren’t al-Qaeda-allied? You remember, she was the one who was caught lying about having a Ph.D. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/11/us/syria-elizabeth-obagy-fired/index.html

          • econdemocracy

            Doesn’t matter who the many people might have been who
            suggested to him that he look into rebel-Saudi etc…anyone who
            reads media, even mainstream media, if you read/dig enough, knows
            about Qatar and Saudi back rebels. And previous chem attack, Carla
            Del Ponte/U.N. pointed at rebels, so there was plenty reason to
            look at those links, irrelevant if one Russian guy *also*
            mentioned it to him.

            What matters – if we care about the dead kids every politicians
            likes to tell us how much they care about – what matters is
            investigating why so many different Ghouta locals, rebels, rebel
            family, and civilians, all told Ababneh the same things, and to
            try to get to the bottom fo it – we must demand independent
            followup, free of all western (and other partisan) pressure

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      • FormerJourno

        To further understand where Mint Press gets its news stories (more like pro-Iran conspiracy theories) from, check the Anti Defamation League’s report below, which lists Miss. Mnar Muhwaesh, author of the statement above, as one of the colorful group of anti-semitic conspiracy theorists who accuse Israel of inventing wikileaks to damage Iran’s foreign policy image!!

        Miss. Muhawesh wrote that in a piece she wrote in Dec12, 2012 for Islam Times:

        http://archive.adl.org/main_anti_israel/conspiracy_theories_wikileaks.htm

        • Shawn Redden

          “The Anti-Defamation League”! For real? Aren’t they a drug running outfit affiliated with the mob?

          What does Tony Soprano’s blog say? Or John Kerrys?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Snape/100001971991197 Jane Snape

            If you read the ADL link, you’ll see that it makes a lot of insinuations but then admits that she never actually accused Israel of being behind WikiLeaks. Of course, the ADL doesn’t provide a link to her article, much less quote from it at length, so it’s impossible to judge the truth of their claims.

        • econdemocracy

          Do you care about the dead kids, or just pretend to care? If you care, then stop changing the subject to MintPress when Gavlak HERSELF says that Ababneh is a serious credible journalist – so at the very least, his interviews, the testimonials he got form Ghouta rebels and Ghoura residents, if we care about the dead victims, then these testimonies need to be seriously and inddependently looked into. If you instead want to bury the story and look for excuses not to FIND OUT (confirm or not confirm) by following up on these interviews to see why so many different people told him the same thing: rebels did chem – then you don’t really care about the dead,. just looking to score points for Washington bombs-away..

      • FormerJourno

        People should REALLY read this, it explains this whole story perfectly!
        Apparently, Miss. Muhawesh’s stepdad is a Shiaa scholar!

        http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/reporter-denies-writing-article-that-linked-syrian-rebels-to-chemical-attack/?_r=0

        • Clay Claiborne

          Now we can finally see how the Saudi connection comes it. It Muhawesh’s obsession!

        • econdemocracy

          What the NY Times artricle actually shows is that Gavlak admits she worked with Ababneh to write the story and even admits she (not Ababneh) was the one who submitted(!) the article directly to MintPres via Google Docs. She also (to her credit) has praise for Ababneh as a journalist that is reputable….she is just under tremendous pressure and career threats…we can support her by demanding she NOT be blacklisted and AP reinstated her and at the same time we can support the important work MintPress did by demanding these many different testimonials from Ghouta residents all pointing to rebels using chem, be looked into

          Do you care about the dead kids, or just pretend to care? If you care, then stop changing the subject to MintPress or that publisher’s father DARED to criticize the Saudis (oh my goodness, how could he commit such a terrible crime as to criticize Saudis??) when in fact Gavlak HERSELF says that Ababneh is a serious credible journalist – so at the very least, his interviews, the testimonials he got form Ghouta rebels and Ghoura residents, if we care about the dead victims, then these testimonies need to be seriously and inddependently looked into. If you instead want to bury the story and look for excuses not to FIND OUT (confirm or not confirm) by following up on these interviews to see why so many different people told him the same thing: rebels did chem – then you don’t really care about the dead,. just looking to score points for Washington bombs-away..

          • FormerJourno

            Do I care about dead kids? that is a cheap attempt, anyone caring about the 400 kids that dies in Ghouta should also care about the many more who died on the hands of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime by conventional weapons, but you dont really care about those, do you?!

            As for the mention of Miss. Muhawesh’s dad, which you tried to dismiss in a childish way, it is relevant. It highlights a potential conflict of interest, that becomes even more important when you read these, written by the shady Ababneh himself:

            https://www.facebook.com/yovav.kalifon/posts/678901215471318

            This is enough to show that whatever these characters say, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

            As for the story, assuming you’ve read it, it had loads of issues that warrant suspicion. like for example; the fact that it was mint press who wrote the headline, not Gavlak and not Ababneh; the headline along with a single unsourced brief line in the story is the ONLY mention of the rebels committing the chemical attack.
            That alone is sufficient to discredit any shred of professionalism Mint press claims it has..

            • econdemocracy

              You are trying to change the subject with your question about other crimes – but to make sure you cannot claim I am changing the subject (from the new one you bring up) the answer is that like most of the people calling this MintPress story to be looked into, I strongly favor independent, neutral fair but through, extensive, strong, and expert investigations into ALL crimes by anyone. Including, but not ONLY “at the hands of Assad’s forces” as the only one you list, but including those as well as those by any and all “rebel groups” be they “Free Syrian Army” or Al Nursa or otherwise. Can you say the same? That you support looking extensively and neutrally but thoroughly into ALL crimes no matter at the hands of WHOM? If not, then that speaks loudly of how much you truly “care about victims” while if you say yes, then we’re in full agreement on this broader point, so we can return to the subject at hand: the MintPress report.

              It’s not something I’m entirely a fan of but, guess what? Editors commonly write the Headline – I have that directly from journalists in some cases (CNN) that have replied to my inquiries. It’s not uncommon. Should we say all of CNN is tainted by the fact that editors not the reporters write the headlines in some/all cases? That would be absurd.

              Not even those with a very strong, even extreme bias in favor of the White House line, like New York Times, not even they claim absurdly that the article itself contains no testimony pointing at rebel use of chemical weapons. So I guess even the most pro-White House outlets have missed something your eyes have “seen” that they somehow were not clever enough to notice. Clearly multiple interviews point at the very least at rebel-chem attack links, both rebels themselves and family of rebels.

              In case you missed it, the New York Times issues a correction, it was not even her father, but her father in law. Who committed the “Crime” of criticizing the Saudis for sending weapons to rebel forces, the same “thought crime” a large number of Americans have committed.

              Those who can’t find problems with the investigative report itself, will resort to actual childishness: the father in law of the publisher has (quite common) views I don’t like! Frankly the whole thing is a joke: I don’t like the Tea Party or the Koch Brothers but if they had been the publisher instead, I would look at Ababneh and at Gavlik’s credibility. Gavlak herself states her positive assessment of Ababneh. Disappointing for you? Then, the “exposes” oon Ababneh are absurd. He might maybe use more than one name, oh my gawd! Let’s find any excuse, any excuse, to look anywhere, absolutely anywhere *except* where we don’t want to look: at the testimonies of the Ghouta locals, Ghouta area rebels, their families, and Ghouta civilians. Let’s look *anywhere* but there, yes?

              So back to the question: do you care about the dead from the Ghouta chem attacks specifically? If anyone claims their answer is yes, then they can’t dismiss this report and try to bury it under the rug, they must loudly demand a follow-up investigation. To say, “oh well, it’s not 100% proof, so let’s ignore it and let’s change the subject” is as credible as someone saying “it’s 100% proved fact now” – neither is reasonable. Actually it’s morally the same as someone saying “let’s not even bother to investigate any claims about Syrian government forces abuses” – a statement neither I nor virtually anyone has made.

              If these testimonies were of locals saying “Army did it” a vastly larger amount of attention and “we give them credence” would be there by the mainstream and by folks who are for “let’s go for violent overthrow by military force instead of diplomacy” (your gang, perhaps?) Sorry, one standard, not two, will do just fine. Investigate this no less thoroughly.

              Why is no one offering neutral third country asylum to those who gave testimonies to Ababneh (and their families) so if you really want to know the truth (anyone who claims to care about the dead does want to find out the truth to confirm or not confirm these testimonies) that would make it much more likely that follow-up questions can be put to them, asking them for more information, details, etc. But don’t expect the mainstream or the war-mongers to call for that – because they don’t really care about the dead, unless it can be pinned on the “right” person – if it points at someone else, they do NOT want to know the answer, so they want the story dead, buried, the investigation not to be follow up on.

              • FormerJourno

                Changing the topic?! you’re the one parroting the question about “caring about the children”, it amounts to fill fledged hypocrisy to ask that and then complain about someone asking the more important question about MORE children dying at the hands of Assad…

                As for your claim about Editors writing the Headline and your weird rant-styled monologue about CNN, im a former features editor my self and i can assure you that editors do not write headlines when the text of the story does not corporate what the headlines suggest. The only parts in that story linking rebels to chemical weapons use were the headline and a brief unsourced line in the story itself, therefore, for mint press to write the headline it would amount to pure fabrication.

                As for all your other complaining about the world not treating this as if it was some Tom Clancy novel-style smoking gun story and not hailing Mint Press and not offering asylum for the unknown individuals who presumably spoke to an unbelievably shady and unreliable guy (known for being a con-man in his own home town), well thats because unlike you, governments and organizations tend to be slightly less gullible when it comes to believing wild accusations.

                and since you brought up her dad and the NYT story, she made her dad an issue by claiming on this site that he is a major adviser for Mint Press and he is also a major financial backer..

                im starting to believe you might work for this site, no one can be this gullible.. not even the regular regime minhibakjis are this gullible!!

                • econdemocracy

                  You are hysterically funny, you know? Yes I have it straight from the reporter (whose name you would recognize) that the editor not the reporter created the headline, for a cnn.com feature. I was going to ask if you are calling the journalist a liar, then this: ” and i can assure you that editors do not write headlines when…” Aha, this is a new word, “when”. First you suggested it’s never done, now you admit it’s done but only “when” etc. Next, you shift your position on the MintPress from claiming that there is nothing in the story itself about rebel chem weapon links, now to “a brief unsourced line in the story itself” Another interesting shift. Again, even the remarkably compliant (to White House narrative) NYT did not charge “it’s only in the headline” so, nice try. As for this:

                  “Changing the topic?! you’re the one parroting the question about “caring about the children”, it amounts to fill fledged hypocrisy to ask that and then complain about someone asking the more important question about MORE children dying at the hands of Assad…”

                  You fail to note that despite “Complaining” I fully responded to your question – and included a challenge that you too call for full investigation of the wider crimes from ALL sides; ” Can you say the same?” Your response to this question was deafening silence.

                  Back to the narrower question of Ghouta, as you know perfectly well, no one here has suggested that the MintPress investigative report be treated as fact, nor as holy truth, nor as “Tom Clancy” as you put it.

                  “Gullible” (or dishonest) would be someone who claims to be 100% sure of the MintPress report being true (as noted, that’s neither I nor anyone of us here that I’ve read) or who claims to be sure it’s false, dismissible, “nothing to see here folks, just move along” You seem determined to demonstrate yourself to be in the latter category.

                  And yes, it is self-evident that anyone who cares about the dead children and other victims, would not try to kill off any future investigations. Want to express skepticism? That’s one thing. But when the question is of live and death, when not one but multiple different sources all point at rebel use of chem weapons, including Ghouta rebels, Ghouta rebel family, including Ghouta residents, and including two pro-rebel journalists (Piccinin and Quirico) when all that is there, and when the stakes are this high, it’s nothing short of grossly irresponsible not to demand these leads be followed up upon and further investigated. Similarly I may question “evidence” John Kerry presents, but I have never said and never will that one should “not investigate further any links to Syrian Army” for this or that or any other crime.

                  Self evidently, voices from the mainstream would scream for followup investigations if the testimonies said it was Syrian Army officers and transparently anyone who cares about the victims would want such a follow-up on the original testimonies (of both Piccinin/Quirico and the Ababneh interviews), so anyone who says they absolutely don’t want these lines of evidence investigated any further, I frankly don’t think there’s much doubt about how history will judge their avowed level of concern for the victims.

      • FormerJourno

        This is laughable! i wont even bring up the fact about your coverage of Syria consisting mainly of conspiracy theories, and when a news outlet or a journalist relies so heavily on those, it would be ignorant to just take their word for anything at face value! Your December 2010 Story entitled: “Is Israel behind WikiLeaks to Crush US Credibility for Potential Talks with Iran?” (by the editor Mnar Muhawesh who wrote this statement) is a prime example, but lets examine this..

        1- You published a story written by someone based on the reporting on the ground of someone else entirely

        2- While Dale is a known Journo, the guy who did all the reporting isnt! you literally cant find any bylines for him in his own country (Jordan) and latest i heard is he always writes under a pseudonym!

        3- When Dale and her employer discredited the story, you come out with yet another conspiracy theory about third parties, and somehow manage to toss in Bandar (who is starting to sound omnipotent, arming rebels by day and making US policy and pressuring journos by night) and ask us to believe you over Dale herself!

        4- As is the case with most of your reporting, you make the mistake of rushing to your point, causing the trick to be too obvious. If the Saudis want to pressure someone, they wont just pick up the phone and call. If the reporters were so pro-Saudi for that to work, they wouldnt have done the story in the first place. In addition, Saudis can just ring up the King of Jordan himself and have this guy silenced if they wanted to, with all the money they give Jordan, so why call him directly and risk communications being recorded etc etc?

        5- Why offer to release the emails & communications? why haven’t you released them already?

        • Clay Claiborne

          Clear this up right away. Simply release the emails in emf format. Most email programs will do that. Thunderbird will for sure. The eml format will preserve the meta data and as that is very hard to forge accurately, hackers can authenticate the emails and you will win your case.

          So if you are telling the truth simply make the emails available in that easily authenticated format and be done with it.

          Otherwise, I certainly won’t believe you.

          • Shawn Redden

            The Claibornes and Proyects of the world want this stupid issue, this micro-sub-point, to go on forever. Because focusing on it means not concentrating on the obvious fact of this operation: the people who carried it out wanted and expected the outcome. To call it an accident covers-up that basic, obvious truth.

            The world knows the cannibal contras in Syria carried this out with intent.

            Claiborne and Proyect camouflage this because they are the grunt propagandists of the 1%, demanding world war.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Snape/100001971991197 Jane Snape

          Where did Ms. Gavlak “discredit the story”? This is about whether or not she wants her name on the byline.

          From an email she wrote (which she released to McClatchy’s Mitchell Prothero (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/21/202832/ap-freelancer-says-report-of-rebel.html#storylink=cpy): “Pls find the Syria story I mentioned uploaded on Google Docs. This should go under Yahya Ababneh’s byline. I helped him write up his story but he should get all the credit for this.”

          Nothing there, nor in any of the other emails she’s released, that casts doubt on the story itself. Just the byline.

          • FormerJourno

            From Ms. Galvak’s own statement on this story:

            “To date, Mint Press News has refused to act professionally or honestly in regards to disclosing the actual authorship and sources for this story.”

            “Also, it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story as if they were my own statements.”

            You can not discredit a story in a more powerful way than that, but that wont matter to the indoctrinated, tin-foil-hat donning folks..

        • econdemocracy

          What the NY Times artricle actually shows is that Gavlak admits she
          worked with Ababneh to write the story and even admits she (not Ababneh)
          was the one who submitted(!) the article directly to MintPres via
          Google Docs. She also (to her credit) has praise for Ababneh as a
          journalist that is reputable..

          she said not one single word against the article’s content, or Ababneh, or the interviews credibility, and as noted, she even said some positive words about it…the Times article is clear about this..she is under huge pressure that she may never be allowed to work again if her name is there..the Times article points out AP has “suspended” her directly because of this article…(for DARING to report to Americans what Ghouta residents have told, many of them, Ghoura rebels, Ghouta civilians, and family member of rebel – have all told them…what a terrible “crime” to report to Americans what those locals have said..what McCarthy Era tactics to blacklist her…we must support Gavlak by demanding she be reinstated and not blacklisted…)

          since you read the NY times article, your assertions are what’s “laughable”

      • Niqnaq

        I suppose this statement is about as clear and accurate as can be expected. I should avoid ghastly bureaucratic jargon openings like “Thank you for reaching out to me in regards to..” I do not think the word “research” is being used objectively in the communiques of either party (Gavlak or Muhawesh). Admittedly one could differentiate between “field research” by Ababneh and “background research” by Gavlak, but then why use these terms at all? Also the question of which one took the initiative in planning the story is petty: “you thought of it first”, “no, you thought of it first.” Now to more serious matters: mentions of a “third party” being “threatened” by Bandar are obfuscatory.The actual truth of the matter is obvious: (1) Yahya Ababneh did the field-work and the interviews, for MPN; (2) Ababneh sent his notes to Gavlak for editing into a story, since both of them work for MPN; (3) the two of them naturally shared the byline for the final product on MPN; (4) Gavlak has now been informed by multiple employers that if she doesn’t retract, she’ll never work for them again, which I said at the time would be her penalty for writing it.

        • econdemocracy

          “but then why use these terms at all?”

          How about: because Gavlak tried to pretend she had nothing to do with the article, so they needed to address that claim, and thus related “, she stated that she confirmed with several colleagues and Jordanian government officials that the Saudis have been supplying rebels with chemical weapons, but as her email states, she says they refused to go on the record.”

          which is fair to call research. The rest of your note, items 1-4, I agree are a reasonable assessment – we know at least a little more: she admitted to the New York Times she (not Ababneh) did the actual submission to them via Google Docs…and now more details from MintPress..but the outline (1)-(4) is the gist

          • Niqnaq

            I personally think that Mnir Munahesh may be overstating Dale
            Gavlak’s share of responsibility for the initiative behind the story
            (which they refer to in editor’s jargon as Gavlak having “pitched” it), but on any interpretation, it’s clear that Gavlak was and still is
            trying to ride two horses at once, the horse of dangerous truth and the horse of lucrative lies and concealments. Yahya Ababneh is in real and continuous danger of imprisonment or assassination for having researched this, whereas the worst that can happen to Dale Gavlak is that she will have to choose (as we all must) which of the two horses she wishes to ride for the future. So from that point of view, it is fair to impose a greater share of responsibility on her, whatever the exact origin of the story may have been.

            • econdemocracy

              We do not have proof she “pitched it” but that claim is given more believability by that fact that now even Gavlak herself admits to the NY Times that not only she worke dwith Ababneh to write the piece, but that she herself (not Ababneh) was the one who submitted it directly to the MintPress by Google Docs! That she submitted it on behalf of the two of them (her and Ababneh) says something

              You make a good point -Ababneh needs and deserves support even more than Gavlak. But we should still support Gavlak by a petition/pressure on AP to reinstate her, shame on them, to do thsi to her for “daring” to report to Americans what Ghoura rebels and Ghouta rebel families and Ghouta residents have to say..

              WE can also support MintPress at the same time – share info, respond to misinfo (point to Gavlak’s admission to NY Times) and demand most of all a full investigation into the allegations…why not asylum in neutral country for the Ghouta people and families who gave their testimonies so they can maybe feel free to then answer follow up questions from others, be interviewed further, and confirm(or not) these rebel-chem weapon links.

              Not a bad idea, why has no one else suggested that?

              We all know Assad was monitored by Germans and “Always” rejected chem weapons, we all know he had nothing to gain and everything to lose, we all know the timing was a strange “”concidence”” we know the Pierre Piccinin and Domenico Quirico overheard Skype conversation…there is far far too much “smoke” for there not to be a fire on rebel-chem, but that doe snot prove any individual case, so, if you care about dead kids you claim to care about, I say to the folks who want to bury and ignore this story – this must be investigated

              • Niqnaq

                They’re going after Yahya now, having got Dale cornered. They are playing with first the fact that Yahya sometimes uses his nickname plus his middle name as a byline : “Yan Barakat”. And what is incriminating about that? Nothing whatever. Second, they are trying to work up a “Russian connection”, aiming eventually to claim he was fed the whole thing by Russian disinformationalist/propagandists. For these developments see Higgins (“Brown Moses”) and this funny little item by one Brian Whitaker (who he?): Yahya Ababneh exposed. Syria “rebel chemicals” story may have come from Russian source.

      • blutopie

        That this story may be responsible for the end of Israeli Apartheid and a phony Neocon/Israeli ginned up war on Syria and Iran is causing a near terminal case of ‘Sour Grapes’ in Israel and Saudi Arabia

        Stick with your sources, Mint Press

        • Clay Claiborne

          This story is crap no matter the byline. One accident in a tunnel kills people in 7 locations. Please explain how that is even possible,

          The rest of the story is improbable and racist, the opposition fighters that have successfully held off Assad’s forces for months in Ghouta are portrayed as bungling sand niggers being run by Daddy Bandar

          • Shawn Redden

            Damn right on this one, Agent Claiborne: your alCIAda heart-eaters launched a sophisticated operation in Ghouta just like they did in Aleppo and before that in Houla–each time accompanied by a Mighty Wurlitzer composed of the Amy Goodmans and Agent Louis Proyects of the world begging for the bombing of Syria nightly:

            “Please Drone them, Daddy Obama! It isn’t enough to transport, arm, and train the cannibals on the use of chemical weapons. You must do more to serve Zionism & Wall St.”

          • econdemocracy

            Clay – who on earth says this has to “explain” every attack that day? We already know that two pro-rebel journalists Pierrie Piccinin and Domenico Quirco who were held hostage by rebels heard one of the, whom they knew as FSA commander, admitting on the phone in the room nextdoor that they, the rebels, carried out a chem weapon attack “as a provocation” to get US to attack. So multiple things could have happened.

            No wonder the huge “coincidence” of the attacks happenning

            1. Exactly after the arrival, at the invitatio of the Syrian government, of UN inspectors, and

            2.right nearby to them

            3. when Syrian Army was making big gains and did not need to use any nonconventional

            4. Also a “coincidence” the attack was exctly 1 year and 1 day after the “Red Line” speech by Obama of Aug 20, 2012

            So several “provocation” attacks by rebels make sense. The Germans even had their ships off shore listening in to top Assad communication and guess what? for month and month they listened, and what happened? Assad “always” rejected use of chem weapons (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-09/09/c_125345938.htm)

            Also if you were paid to carry material, or if you carried out a chem attack and you suspected it was chem, maybe if Ababneh interviewed you, maybe you would say”I didn’t know” or “it was an accident” to avoid war crime charges..maybe some knew, maybe some didn’t know, maybe some suspected but were not sure..no one says we know all the details exactly…But anyone who even pretends to care about the kids and adults who died, has to take this seriously, even Gavlak says

            • Clay Claiborne

              The Guardian writes:

              Domenico Quirico: My 150-day ordeal as a hostage of Syria’s rebels

              The Italian journalist was taken prisoner by an anti-Assad revolutionary brigade. The horror that followed led him to rename the country ‘the land of evil’

              Which doesn’t sound very pro-rebel to me. And it seems highly unlikely that 2 FSA commanders would have a conversation in English, which is what they said they overheard.

              Isn’t it just possible that they made this story up as a way of repaying the rebels for their 150 day ordeal.

              • econdemocracy

                Clay, this is a reasonable, at least a good-faith question. if you read Quirico’s fuller testimony (I used google translate to translate from Italian) he is not at all anti-rebel even after, but does not like the brutal elements and also syrian-people-exploiting bandits that have worked themselves to be intermeshed with many rebel groups, that’s a key difference.

                This is in a way a second observation; teh first observation as even NY Times admits, Quiroco’s bias before being taken hostage is known since as NYTimes reports, he had written quite “symapthetically” to the uprising.

                Now it gets interesting. Pierre Piccinin has been painted as having questions over his “take” but in fact he turns out to be maybe the most fantaically pro-rebel person of the two, if you look at his .eu personal website, and can read or translate from French. Certainly he was pro rebel before, then he was quoted as

                Based on what both men have learned, Peccinin told RTL that it would be “insane and suicidal for the West to support these people.” “It pains me to say it because I’ve been a fierce supporter of the Free Syrian Army in its rightful fight for democracy since 2012,” Piccinin added. And I have seen the Berlgian TV so I know RT.com is correct in this summary.

                Then a few days later he said “I supported this rebellion, and now I’m supporting it, too. Not the jihadist movements, but the FSA”

                So even afterwards. But now the most shocking – look at his .eu website (his two names together) and you’ll see him to be a more than merely “fierce” supporter of the FSA. It is not 100% certain but there seems to be a strong indication he prefers armed violent overthrow to a negotiated settlement, and I do not agree with that take but be that as it may – it shows his motitations. You will see picture after picture of him with rebel leaders, smiling with rebel groups, you will see his Open Letter to the FSA leaders asking that hte elements who kidnapped them be brought to justice but still strongly supporting and “saluting” the FSA! So his bias is *extremely* pro-FSA even now, and he puts a small P.S. at the end of one of his other pieces, saying, yes, what I head in captivity shows it is *very* unlikely that the Syrian Army was behind the chemical attacks”

                This (along with his website suggesting indeed his being deeply deeply involved inside Syria – and the fact he speaks Arabic and much more) strongly give even more credence to what both he and Quirico overheard: the damn Ghouta chem attacks were by a rebel group! Check out Piccinin’s .eu website and see..(Yes this is a bombshell those of us who want MintPRess and Piccinin/Quirico allegations looked into, should publicize widely – whether “your side” Clay is willing to open its eyes at least on the Piccinin/Quirico overheard admission, (even if you sadly still support violent overthrow instead of peaceful diplomatic handover of power) is up toyou. pierrepiccinin (dot) eu

        • Clay Claiborne

          Get mean stick with your lies. We now know the source is most likely Russian:

          http://www.al-bab.com/blog/2013/september/yahya-ababneh-exposed.htm

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Snape/100001971991197 Jane Snape

            Read the story, and there are lots of “mays”, “coulds”, and “mights” and other sorts of words used to imply without actually stating for a fact that the person isn’t who he claims to be. (By the way, if being an actor disqualifies someone from doing reporting, then I guess we’ll have to cross off Otto “B. Traven” Feige – whose stage name was “Ret Marut” – from the list of great journalists and novelists.)

            Really, Clay. If Mint Press News’ staffers were part of a Russian front group, they wouldn’t be talking about Russian forces holding the Greenpeace ship hostage: http://www.mintpressnews.com/greenpeace-ship-seized-crew-taken-hostage-by-russian-security-agents/169501/

          • econdemocracy

            In case you missed it Clay: no matter whether Ababneh has a second name or not:

            1. Gavlak says she considers him a serious journalist and has not said one single word against the interviews, or the testimonies given, or the MintPress article…just her name, wanting it removed, after pressure, and then AP suspending her.

            2. Doesn’t matter who the many people might have been who suggested to him that he look into rebel-Saudi etc…anyone who reads media, even mainstream media, if you read/dig enough, knows about Qatar and Saudi back rebels. And previous chem attack, Carla Del Ponte/U.N. pointed at rebels, so there was plenty reason to look at those links, irrelevant if one Russian guy *also* mentioned it to him.

            What matters – if we care about the dead kids every politicians likes to tell us how much they care about – what matters is investigating why so many different Ghouta locals, rebels, rebel family, and civilians, all told Ababneh the same things, and to try to get to the bottom fo it – we must demand independent followup, free of all western (and other partisan) pressure

      • Souria Archives

        Lets see the Emails you Con Artists at Mint Press – Your website has been shovelling shit for Dictator Assad for the past 3 years, ever since our people rose up to demand Democracy and Freedom and an end to the 50 year fascist mafia Assad Baathist Police State – Now your fake “Rebel Chem Weapons” articles has been exposed as All Bullshit and the so-called writer Dale Gavlak admits she never even went to Syria and now says your article is fake and that Mint Press News used her name illegally and fraudently, saying “I did not travel to Syria, have any discussions with Syrian rebels, or do any other reporting on which the article is based. The article is not based on my personal observations and should not be given credence based on my journalistic reputation. Also, it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story as if they were my own statements”
        One final note, it is disgusting to see so many Palestinians, like your Editor,(who lives in a free and democratic nation), working overtime to hold down the other 300 million Arabs in the Middle East who live under post Colonial Police State Dictators.. You are self-centered selfish scumbags who only worry about your own oppression by the zionist Israeli occupiers, but you don’t care about the 24 million Syrians who live as slaves under the rule of mass murderering Genocidal Dictator Bashar Assad.

        • Shawn Redden

          “Our people”: yeah, right!?

          I hope you washed your hands before submitting this, scumbag. Otherwise you’ll have remnants of human intestines all over the keys.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Snape/100001971991197 Jane Snape

          “The past three years”?

          Do you even know when this site was created?

        • econdemocracy

          Actually Dale Gavlak amidts to the New York Times that she did help Ababneh write it and she even admits it was she (not Ababneh) who directly submitted the article to MintPress via Google Docs….she even has praise for Ababneh as a serious, reputable journalist…but thanks to ugly massive pressure on her and threats to her career, she wants her name off it, it is hard to blame her..we can support BOTH MintPress getting this important investigative report out AND support Gavlak by demanding AP reinstate her – not “blacklist” for journalists

          If you care about the dead people, “your” people then you cannot be against investigations. We should support investigations no matter who the finger is pointed at. I am not saying we should be 100% sure and say it is 100% “proved” but if we care about the dead kids and dead adults, we should take this seriously enough, at least, to follow up the Ababneh/Gavlka investigation – otherwise, if we want to bury the story,and not even try to find out the facts, then we don’t really care about the dead kids we pretend to care about, do we?

          pass it on – we can support BOTH MintPress and Gavlak – as noted at top of this comment.

          • Clay Claiborne

            If you care about dead kids and adults I have to assume you oppose Assad massive air campaign against opposition neighbourhoods. That is how he is doing most of the killing.

            • econdemocracy

              I think you might be too soft on Assad here. Are you sure most of the killing by his forces is through air campaigns and not through rebel-like beheadings, throat cutting, individual targeting of civilians etc? Ok, not to tease about rebel crimes, but seriously, you might be too soft on Assad’s forces, depending on what is found (if ever) if there is ever a truly thorough and full investigation of what happened but you are claiming most of the killings by Assad’s forces are from exactly the kinds of actions Israel has done, for example. I condemn those, despite a per capita rate (per capita killed per day) over a few weeks of time, during Israel’s campaign, even more horrific than the already-horrific parallel number for Syria combining deaths at the hands of all parties put together – but I’m for bombing Israel. And I’m against bombing the U.S. which has like Israel used chem weapons, and which itself has killed millions of innocent civilians, millions.

              Yes, I am strongly in favor of the obvious (not useful for empire expansion, but obvious) and difficult but straightforward steps that would lead to an end of the war and with it this air campaign too would come to an end. We all know what that path is, and that path has the additional advantage of allowing for a peaceful change of power and democratization, while also protecting minorities.

              Other people advocate a second path (the third is the “do nothing” red herring) This second, one they claim will lead to peace and democracy etc etc, but which is likely to lead to the same disaster that it caused time after time in other countries when these “solutions” were applies: massive more bloodshed, more brutality, slaughter, more extremism, the huge danger of both WMDs and conventional arms falling into the hands of Al Qaeda and other extremists, nasty harsh life for minorities, and even for majorities in sectarian violence for years on end, masive more infrastructure destruction, much more anti-West sentiment, much more propaganda points for Al Qaeda and others “see what they did to ANOTHER country” and 100 other horrors – but this second path has the “advantage” which elite planners perceive, of not even guaranteeing, but maximizing likelihood of western hegemony

              • Clay Claiborne

                Yes, I am strongly in favor of the obvious (not useful for empire expansion, but obvious) and difficult but straightforward steps that would lead to an end of the war and with it this air campaign too would come to an end.

                Sounds like you think Assad’s air campaign is justified and should continue as long as there is armed resistance to his rule.

                I think he should stop his air attacks on civilian targets right now!

                • Shawn Redden

                  Stop spinning, Agent Claiborne: you want Uncle Sam to bomb Syria. You sent an appeal to Marxmail saying so.

                  You want more war. You want Uncle Sam to serve as the Cannibal Air Force.

      • Clay Claiborne

        Please release all the emails, including meta data. In fact, I dare you.

        • anti_republocrat

          Watch for the action, if any. If Gavlak’s repudiation has any validity, she will bring suit and Mint Press will lose and possibly be shut down. My bet is that won’t happen. Outside court, they have no obligation to make their emails public, and doing so could in fact jeapordize their defense.

          Why are you so ready to believe the US government? They’ve lied to you repeatedly for decades.

          • econdemocracy

            I agree with your last sentence, but why do you talk about “Gavlak’s repudiation”? She admitted to the NY Times that she worked with Ababneh to write the article, and she even admitted that it was she (not Ababneh) who actually submitted the article directly to MintPress via GoogleDocs. So she is not exactly repudiating. She even has praise for Ababneh as a real reputable journalist. Not repudiating. She is in a very very difficult position and we must sympathize with her and demand AP reinstate her or we are back in McCarthy Era. If I had to worry about food on the table or rest of my career I might do what she did – demand my name removed, if I was being threatened, etc…We can support MintPress getting this important, critical piece of investigation out, and support Gavlak by opposing blacklists…

            • Clay Claiborne

              From the NY Times article you cite:

              Quoting from what she said was an
              email she sent to her MintPress editors on the day of
              publication, Ms. Gavlak said she wrote: “Pls find the Syria story I mentioned uploaded on Google Docs. This should go under Yahya Ababneh’s byline. I helped him write up his story but he should get all the credit for this.”

            • anti_republocrat

              Her initial statement denied any involvement whatsoever with the article. Here it is:

              “Mint Press News incorrectly used my byline for an article it published on August 29, 2013 alleging chemical weapons usage by Syrian rebels. Despite my repeated requests, made directly and through legal counsel, they have not been willing to issue a retraction stating that I was not the author. Yahya Ababneh is the sole reporter and author of the Mint Press News piece. To date, Mint Press News has refused to act professionally or honestly in regards to disclosing the actual authorship and sources for this story.

              “I did not travel to Syria, have any discussions with Syrian rebels, or do any other reporting on which the article is based. The article is not based on my personal observations and should not be given credence based on my journalistic reputation. Also, it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story as if they were my own statements.”

              In a second statement, she backtracked, admitting she “wrote up” the story, but told Muhawesh that the story “should” be under Ababneh’s byline, that she helped him but he should get all the credit. Apparently, Muhawesh took that to mean Gavlak was being generous in giving all credit to Ababneh and not that Gavlak was prohibiting the use of her byline. Given all the “pitching” that went on and the additional sources Gavlak dug up confirming Saudi involvement, it’s understandable that Muhawesh chose to ignore what she reasonably thought was a suggestion (“should” rather that “shall” or even “must”), and went ahead with it under Gavlak’s byline, business as usual. If Muhawesh had suspected that Gavlak’s intent was to prohibit her byline, the story might not have been published at all.

              Perhaps it was her second statement you are referring to. In my mind, the initial statement implies that Gavlak had nothing to do with the story. It’s a repudiation.

              I agree that Gavlak is in a difficult position. Nor do I blame her for her initial repudiation. I do think she was wrong to accuse MPN of acting unprofessionally and dishonestly, when in fact MPN acted in good faith on what appeared to be a mere suggestion. Peter denied Jesus not once, but three times due to threats to himself. We do not judge him, but that does not make his actions right, either.

              I agree what we’re talking about here is McCarthyism and black-listing, and that we need to support Muhawesh, Gavlak and Ababneh, all three. Ironically, this dispute serves actually to enhance the believability of the article. It doesn’t really matter that the other sources refused to go “on record.” They were still second and even third sources. Why should anonymous government sources be OK for MSM to use to justify the government, but unnamed sources in other (allied) governments not be allowed to MPN? Why is Prince Bandar getting so upset about the smoke if there really is no fire?

      • http://justpaste.it/1sab http://justpaste.it/1sab

        Syrian Rebels/ FSA = Al-Qaida + brainwashed people. For info see my username.

        • SamNS

          Not really! In reality Al-Qaida in Iraq was supported by the Syrian regime for many years and it is still serving the Assad regime in occupying the oil fields and selling the oil to the regime as well as helping the regime propaganda in the West, and in attacking the FSA and Kurdish fighters. They rarely attack regime positions like they claim in their videos..

          • econdemocracy

            Um, the Syrian government is secular. Al Qaeda absolutely hates secularists …this reminds me of reports that in 2003 in Iraq that Saddam was friends with Al Qaeda, when the jihadists hated and tried to assassinate him. Same with Libya. Qadaffi was not a nice guy, but Al Qaeda (as western reporting eventually admitted) was a huge presence trying to overthrow him – later western support for their rise got us into trouble in Mali….Al Nusra/Al Qaeda hates both the Syrian goverment and Hezbollah which is (not the same as, has different interests, but is allied with the Syrian government)

            and in addition, in case you have missed it – there have been many news articles about Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) rebels attacking anyone they don’t consider loyal – anyone they think supports the Syrian government, is attacked

            plus Christians, plus anyone they think is the wrong “sect” etc

            • SamNS

              You just don’t get it, do you? The Syrian regime has been the main supporter of Al-Qaida in Iraq for many years and the facilitator of passage of the jihadists from all over the world who went through Syria and got training and weapons by the Syrian intelligence before they were sent to Iraq to blow themselves up there. This is a known fact, and the current Iraqi president had publicly denounced the Assad regime for that in the past. However, more recently he chose to ally himself with Iran and its client Assad regime for sectarian reasons, and that has been accompanied by movement of many of the Al-Qaeda fighters to Syria where they are now attacking the moderate factions of the FSA.

              • anti_republocrat

                Nonsense. That was always the US propaganda, that Syria was allowing infiltration of Iraq and therefore supporting Sunnis in Iraq. That border is extremely porous. We can’t keep Mexicans out of the US, so what right do we have to blame Syria because some jihadis may have entered Iraq through Syria. Syria was never friendly with Saddam, and supported the US during Gulf War I. Of course, they were a little more wary after PNAC identified them as one of 7 countries we were going to take out in 5 years, or whatever numbers it was that Wesley Clark mentioned.

                When will you stop swallowing whole every last damn piece of propaganda you hear from the US National Security State?

                • SamNS

                  You are actually making the nonsense. The Syrian regime was known to have trained Al-Qaida fighters and sent them to Iraq, and those who came back alive were rounded up and put in Sidnaya prison under terrible conditions and when they revolted many were killed. However in 2011 many of them were released, especially a notorious leader, Abu-Musab Al-Suri, who had trained in Afghanistan with Ben Laden and was later arrested by the Pakistanis and transferred to the CIA who later transferred him to Syria in 2006, only to be released in 2011. He is now most probably working with Al-Qaida somewhere in Syria..

                  • anti_republocrat

                    Looked him up in Wikipedia and a couple other sites. No confirmation that Syria ever released him. US refused to comment when asked. One report indicated he was released as part of an exchange for an American citizen held by Al-Qaeda in Pakistan (Warren Weinstein).

                    Sounds like a two-for to me. US got a citizen released and got a gullible Syrian regime to release a jihadist that would soon turn against them, just before things started heating up there. Wonder what Syria got out of it. Hey, maybe the US promised it wouldn’t interfere in Syria’s internal affairs. Maybe they were trying to meet some of the demands of protesters to release political prisoners.

                    All speculation here — yours and mine both. No real evidence of either your theory or mine.

                  • Shawn Redden

                    Who started up your little alCIAda?

            • SamNS

              Te Syrian Assad regime is not secular in practice, it is only a lie that uninformed people keep repeating. It is a family-based mafia-like sectarian regime that has relied on enticing the poor from the minority Alawites to occupy all the sensitive security and government position, while keeping the Alawite communities poor and underdeveloped, and using these under-educated individuals to control other sections of the population with terror and oppression. The regime does not protect Christians more than others. It is an equal opportunity oppressor, and over the past 40 years it has killed hundreds of thousands of the opposition to the regime, including prominent Christians and Alawites. It is just that their numbers are smaller than the Sunnis and the regime makes every effort to hide the reports about its oppression of the opposition within the minorities, while focusing on showing the Sunni opposition as sectarian extremists and making up stories about their attacks on Christians and other minorities. Most of these are lies and unproven, and most such crimes are committed by regime agents.

          • Shawn Redden

            Have you given any thought to stand up comedy?

            On the other hand, the audience would probably find it appalling when you can’t help yourself and devour a heart while on stage!

      • gooserooster

        It’s pretty obvious that Assad would have had nothing to do with chemical weapons attacks. He’s been saying all along the “rebels” are trying to provoke the west with chemical attacks blamed on the government. I think it’s interesting to consider how quickly Assad has offered to give up his chem weapons. Is this the behavior of the man who gasses people? The official narrative just doesn’t add up. The rebels did it, they were the only ones that gained anything from the attack. Cui Bono. Courts look to “who benefits” from a crime to help determine culpability because it really does point the finger for the person responsible. You can’t ignore Cui Bono in this instance. Motive is missing in blaming Assad, and it’s in abundance in blaming the “rebels”. Turn your minds on.

        • Clay Claiborne

          Just how did the opposition gains when it lost 1400 people in one of its main Damascus strongholds.

          The opposition gave up on international intervention a long time ago when people like you poop poohed “Friday of the No-Fly Zone”, “Friday of International Protection” This was not about getting western military action and it didn’t result in military action.

          How can you say motive is missing for Assad when he has been bombarding Ghouta for month with conventional rockets but still couldn’t take it.

          Then, there was this mysterious CW attack, which you blame on the very people that have been keeping Assad out of Ghouta for a year.

          Then right after the CW attack, Assad continued his bombardment with conventional rockets. AND TODAY IT IS STILL IN OPPOSITION HANDS!

          But you don’t see the motive?

          Assad has made a lot of “offers” in the past 2 years. He has yet to give up any CW capabilities and if it is so unlike him to use CW, as you claim, I wonder why he has them in the first place.

          But what I find most disgusting about your depraved position is that no matter how you call it on the CW attack, you are still defending a regime that has murdered hundreds of civilians, including children in Ghouta and has massacred thousands of civilians with Scuds, Migs and helicopter gunships. You are defending fascist regime that makes it a regular practice to bomb playgrounds and breadlines.

          • anti_republocrat

            Well, I suppose there was no recent fighting between FSA and ISIL on the Turkish border, because the “opposition” wouldn’t gain from killing each other, eh? Ghouta is a moderate area filled with Sunni who don’t subscribe to the idea of a Caliphate, so the Salafists consider them to be expendable infidels.

            • Clay Claiborne

              Even the jhadists in Syria have not been involved in killing Sunni civilians.

              And how can you overlook the fact that Assad has been trying to take Ghouta for months?

              from http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/search?q=%22east+ghouta%22

              The Stratfor Global Intelligence Group is the largest private
              intelligence organization in the world, it is known as the private CIA, and it covers things like Syria for its corporate clients. This is what it said about the situation around East Ghouta in a report it issued on 17 June 2013:

              “Syrian loyalist forces are also on the offensive in Damascus and in the south. Having mostly isolated the sizable rebel pocket in the Eastern Ghouta region with the seizure of Otaiba, loyalist forces continue their efforts to reduce the rebel pocket, though they have yet to make much headway.”

              So the Assad regime was being frustrated in its attacks on East Ghouta, and that was more than two months ago. Now guess which side used nerve gas on East Ghouta?

              Of course, since the 21/8 CW attack, the regime has continued the bombardment because they still haven’t conquered East Ghouta.

              What to speculate why Assad still can’t conquer Ghouta even after months of siege and a CW attack?

              Its because he can’t kill the spirit of resistance of the people who remain.

          • Seiy Lah

            You always post this 1400 figure. This one is closest to the White House claims (panel on the upper right corner of the article):

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghouta_chemical_attacks

            As you can see, it’s not closest to any or the rebel or other organization’s figures . Is it a coincindence?

            • Clay Claiborne

              1300+ Dead after Obama “Green-lights” new CW attack in Syria

              http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/08/1300-dead-after-obama-green-lights-new.html

              That was the figure I used in my first post on the CW attack. That was the same day as the attack. That was the figure put out by the FSA and since it was their fighters in Ghouta I suspect they have the best info.

              The reason I said Obama gave the green light to the attack, I explained in the 1st para:

              After the top US General, Martin Dempsey, told US Representative Eliot Engel on Monday that the Barack Obama administration opposes intervening militarily in Syria, the Assad regime today slaughtered over a
              thirteen-hundred Syrians with a chemical weapons attack, most of them women and children.

              “Effectively ruling out U.S. cruise missile attacks and other options that wouldn’t require U.S. troops on the ground, Gen. Martin Dempsey said” two days before the CW attack – Assad already knew Obama won’t respond militarily to anything he would do, including CW, and Obama hasn’t.

              See also:

              Barack Obama’s Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
              http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2012/09/barack-obama-courtship-of-bashar-al_4519.html

              So why 1400? Personally I think the real figure is much higher than that. I have heard as high as 2500.

              Now let me tell you why. Remember DWB reported 3,600 injured reporting to 3 hospitals, of which 355 died? I believe those figures and to me that read like a very high death total because all the people killed straight out didn’t get to die in the hospital and those 3 weren’t all the hospitals. I’ve heard the figure of 6,000 injured.

              Now, I’ve also heard of 1st responders and medical workers dying later as a result of secondary contact and I’ve heard of a lot of people coming back to the hospitals sicker than when they had been released.

              So I have to believe that some of those 6,000 or 3,245 who where injured, later died. In the name of them I add a minimum 100 to the 1300 in the initial report.

              We will never know for sure. For example, we will never know if any of the hundreds of people killed in East Ghouta by Assad bombardment after the CW attack would have died eventually as a result of the sarin exposure,

              And we don’t know if this stuff won’t kill down through the generations like agent orange, so no I don’t want to belittle the effects of the first chemical attack of the 21th century by going with the smallest number I think I can justify.

              • R2C

                Well within range my ass, you are at the higher end of it!

                Even doctors without borders has stated that there have been no more than 395 fatalities, not to mention that most of those were children kidnapped from Latakia and surroundings months prior, hence the absence of their parent in the various propaganda footages.

                • Clay Claiborne

                  Link please on the DWB claim of 395 fatalities. I find that extremely unlikely as they claimed 355 died in 3 hospitals they work with.

                  https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/press/release.cfm?id=7033&cat=press-release

                  On August 24, MSF announced that three hospitals it supplies in Syria’s Damascus governorate had reportedly received 3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms, of
                  which 355 died.

                  So your claim is that they said only 40 other people died, outside of those that came to their hospitals alive and died in treatment?

              • Shawn Redden

                Translation: I got it from John Kerry, just like every other piece of drivel.

          • Shawn Redde

            What’s your source on the 1400 figure, Mr. Agitprop?

        • goldberd20

          Well stated and yeah i agree.

        • SamNS

          Oh that is genius! So the rebels gassed themselves after they were able to hold on to an area that Assad troops were unable to control despite their repeated attacks with conventional weapons? Are you kidding?
          But isn’t it obvious that Assad knew that the evidence of his crime was so obvious and that is why he agreed to surrender the crime weapon to escape punishment?

          • econdemocracy

            The reason he agreed is because unlike Israel (which has chem weapons and used one of them, White Phosphorus) and unlike the US (which used chem weapons) he knows that if he doesn’t go along he will upset Russia and give the US more excuses to bomb him, and also it helps to verify since then it’s harder for rebels to do a false flag attack.

            The rebels did not gas “themselves” – they pay people to carry things, they have killed civilians many times, well documented

            In case you missed this huge story: The Germans
            even had their ships off shore listening in to top Assad
            communication and guess what? for months and months they listened,
            and what happened? Assad “always” rejected use of chem weapon
            See:

            http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-09/09/c_125345938.htm

            In case you missed it, the Syrian Army was making repeated steady – no need to use any other weapons. The rebels knew chem attack was a “Red line” that might be their best hope for US attack to help them..

            • Clay Claiborne

              The SAA has been trying to take East Ghouta for months before they tried to take it with CW. Since then they have been bombarding it more with HE and they still haven’t taken it. What steady progress?

              Or by “progress” do you mean the ability to pound Syrian cities into rubble and make them uninhabitable like they did to Qusayr.

              • gooserooster

                Progress? They evicted the terrorists from Jobar, and Khaboon. Now take your map, and have a look. Previously, these two areas were the jumping off point for the Jihadi’s to launch attacks on the schools, hospitals and markets of Damascus. Now they are cleansed of the filthy rats.

                • Clay Claiborne

                  The Assad regime has been shelling Jobar for months. The thing about this shelling (or any shelling) is it doesn’t discriminate between civilians and combatants. To me they are all human, both fighters and civilians. You say the area is being cleansed of filthy rats. [Like Ghouta?] This is the language of genocide, the language of the Assad Regime.

                  You work for them don’t you. Better clean up your language if you hope to pass.

                  • econdemocracy

                    Clay – yes, it’s just as horrible when Syria does it as when US-backed Israel does it. Did you see my response earlier? There is a straightforward answer to your challenge about stopping the shelling:

                    And I’m against bombing the U.S. which has like Israel
                    used chem weapons, and which itself has killed millions of
                    innocent civilians, millions.

                    Yes, I am strongly in favor of the obvious (not useful for empire
                    expansion, but obvious) and difficult but straightforward steps
                    that would lead to an end of the war and with it this air campaign too would come to an end. We all know what that path is, and that path has the additional advantage of allowing for a peaceful change of power and democratization, while also protecting minorities.

                    Other people advocate a second path (the third is the “do nothing” red herring) This second, one they claim will lead to peace and democracy etc etc, but which is likely to lead to the same disaster that it caused time after time in other countries when these “solutions” were applies: massive more bloodshed, more brutality, slaughter, more extremism, the huge danger of both WMDs and conventional arms falling into the hands of Al Qaeda and other extremists, nasty harsh life for minorities, and even for majorities in sectarian violence for years on end, masive more infrastructure destruction, much more anti-West sentiment, much more propaganda points for Al Qaeda and others “see what they did to ANOTHER country” and 100 other horrors – but this second path has the “advantage” which elite planners perceive, of not even
                    guaranteeing, but maximizing likelihood of western hegemony

                  • Shawn Redden

                    Bullshit: everyone has been chased out of Jobar. That’s what happens when the people who take over immediately take to beheading people and blowing up churches.

              • Shawn Redden

                Hizbollah kicked the cannibals out of Qusayr.

                You acknowledge that your cannibal buddies were in control of the crime scene to film their little stage-managed operation.

            • SamNS

              Can you at least try to find a reliable reference for your claims and stop wasting time on spreading lies and nonsense? This story from this Chinese web site about the Germans spying ship is not even funny. It is down right stupid. So “Assad always rejected the use of CW”? Is it like someone was trying to convince him to use it but he was refusing? And those Germans have that evidence now and they have given it to the Chinese? How do you come up with this stuff!!

              • econdemocracy

                SamNS: I hope you don’t think this is made up, so just in case you do (don’t want you to be embarrassed later) I should tell you that this report was in Germany’s Bild and reported by Wire Services, European newspapers etc all over the world. The Xinhua is just one. I gave it because it was a url I had handy, and because it got to the main point directly in the second paragraph. Other reports sometimes buried the key findings from teh top German intelligence agency (the the BND, the German intelligence service) sometimes mixed in with named an unnamed “Experts” and “Analysts” speculating that “maybe Assad’s lower forces used it against his orders” – a few even made that the headline! “Syrian Army forces might have used CW without/against Assad order” something like that…which is pure spin: yes, it’s true, we can’t rule that out, it’s a possibility, but that’s not what the new information is, that’s not waht the German spy ships heard..they heard that Assad always rejected it month after month of monitoring, every time the issue was brought up…the rest is analysis, speculation, etc, but nothing in those ships said “we heard units say they are gonna use it anyway” nope, they just heard assad reject it.

                And no the Germans did not “give it to the Chinese” it was reported in a German publication from top level intel officers leaking it, and then reported in english language wire services and also other countries services like Xinhua, after that.

                Important point usually not made – none of the reports I’ve read state what the chemicals were. Maybe sarin. Maybe White Phosphorus which U.S. and Israel have both used …maybe tear gas or a strengthened type of tear gas? Who knows, the repots I’ve seen (more than a ew of them) do not spell this out, so before we *assume* it was always Sarin that the general “brought up” it’s important to note it could have sometimes or many/all times been those others. Still good he always rejected it even if one of the less extreme gases…for he is not suicidal, he knows he cannot get away with waht our own (American) government or ISrael did, he would be pulvarized most likely, so no wonder he said no.

                I’ll end witht eh url of one other source, you can find others.

                One question though, after you look at it so see yup, mixed in with west-leaning viewpoints about “maybe rogue Army did it ” but other than that speculation they DO say exactly what Xinhua reported…after you confirm, one question: now do you still think all of us are crazy who have said that our own (American) media if you only read them, only watch them, they are not gonna tell things that are very important? Some they report anyway, some they report on page 17, others they don’t report..Overall, they give a little bit to “the other side” but mostly stick to the heavy bias of Washington – facts that are inconvenient, are not mentioned, American public often not told about them…I know not to trust Russia’s RT to tell me the truth about human rights abuses by Russian forces in Chechnia say…but reading a little bit of BBC, a little bit from Australia, Europe, and some Russia and China and elsewhere, and yes, trying to verify, helps. Generall you don’t have to “Trust” anyone by themselves: maybe Russia put it on page one, and you don’t trust them, so you google, and you find, wow, it’s reported by US media too! But US media report it in a tiny little page you woudl not have found, since it embarrasses Washington, they don’t censor entirely but it’s much harder to find, and not by coincidence…so you can still confirm it, but reading widely you locate stories you could not have located otherwise..

                Amazing so few Americans know about this story of German intel! The US media did not make it Front Page news, did they?

                here’s another link, you can find others

                http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/08/syria-chemical-weapons-not-assad-bild

                • gooserooster

                  Don’t even trouble yourself arguing with a shill. It’s what they want. It gives them a platform to spew filthy lies.

                  • econdemocracy

                    Perhaps you’re right, perhaps I’ve assumed more willingness to look at the German report than was honestly there. I still hope he looked at the Guardian piece, and if nothing else, that others readers who may be lurking, not posting, might find it useful.

              • Shawn Redden

                Your sources for ‘truth’ eat intestines and you’re sitting in judgement of others!

                Whoa!

          • gooserooster

            Well Sam, when the SAA was gassed in Khan Al Asal, the media, Obama, Kerry and the rest of the world said that they gassed themselves, as the “rebels” would never use chemical weapons. But you’re probably another of these Jihadi loving religious butters, praying for Sharia law in Syria, so these arguments go cut no ice with you. Sure, Assad used a chemical weapon built in 1967 that was not currently part of his chemical weapons arsenal, when he had large supplies of modern chemical weapons built in the 1990′s he could have used. The evidence all points your your jihadi, organ eating, head chopping friends. Allah Akbar!

      • John Hanson

        Shady journalism by the writer and the website.

        • KenLayIsAlive.org

          Nothing shady about the King’s henchmen (our favorite terrorist ally) threatening reporters though, right?

          • John Hanson

            I can’t understand your babble and your name pretty much ensure’s you have no credibility . I’m probably the only one here who called for missle strikes against the Taliban 6 months before 9/11 . When it comes to Middle East Analysis I’m on a 15 year run of being right .

            • Shawn Redden

              Wow: you wanted to kill a bunch of people before fabricating the reason for bombing them! How honorable.

              It must be coincidence that March of 2001 marked the time of the “‘either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs” comment made by Uncle Sam to the Taliban.

              The 911 operation must have been your wet dream.

              • John Hanson

                No March was when they destroyed 1700 yr old Buddhist statues and all scriptures from all religions except Sunni Islam. They also increased the counter attacks against General Dostum ( supplied by the Russians ) and the Mouse ( supplied by anti taliban Arab countries . The Mouse was killed on 9/11 . That was the taliban victory that day . NYC towers don’t mean much . Except to ignorant Americans who do not follow what is actually happening in the world . When discussing Honor Shawn, I suggest you first acquire an education .

                • Shawn Redden

                  Well congrats on getting your war anyway. That it continues on, killing and maiming wedding parties, 12 years out is pretty awesome!

                  And to think you got so much bombing of other places, too. And still it isn’t enough killing…

                  • John Hanson

                    Your an idiot , the war was already there . 12 yr olds were already being killed . Less are being killed now than before we entered afghanistan . every single one of the things you people write can be easily refuted . because your dim and your only hope of looking good is by spreading lies . It’s people like you that make this world a worse place .

        • gooserooster

          What’s shady about the website? Because they didn’t back down to threats? Oh, I guess it’s just shady to publish anything that goes against the official narrative. Perhaps you could tell us John…what’s shady here?

          • John Hanson

            publishing false information is shady . Assad did it . Do you know anyone on the ground in Syria ? I do . Now go spread your lies to others . I don’t accept them .

            • Shawn Redden

              Is your “source” on the “ground” named Chalabi? Is it a cannibal?

              • John Hanson

                When someone is as stupid as you are Shawn there is no point in wasting an explanation of the facts on you . It’s best to wait for you to do something stupid and kill yourself . From your ignorance I expect it won’t be long .

                • Shawn Redden

                  Since you ignored it, I’ll repeat my question:

                  “Is your “source” on the “ground” named Chalabi? Is it a cannibal?”

                  Or is your “source” one of the many White killers for hire there murdering Syria?

                  • John Hanson

                    Not at all . I have freinds who live in Syria . Growing up in Houston you meet people from all over the world . I’m not a retarded meathead american like you are .

        • econdemocracy

          Are you calling Gavlak shady? She admitted to New York Times she was the one who worked with Ababneh to write the article AND she admitted that she was the one who submitted it (not Ababneh) directly to MintPress via Google Docs.

      • KenLayIsAlive.org

        This is the terrifying state of journalism in the United States, and shows the powers that can be unleashed by an unaccountable terrorist monarchy like the Saudi Kingdom. Dale is a hero – or would be if she’d stand up for her story – and Mint Press is the real deal.

        • SamNS

          Actually, Dale has found out that she was lied to and want to be honest about it, only that Mintpress likes the original report regardless of the truth, because it serves the goals of its Iranian benefactors..

          • econdemocracy

            SamNS – That’s not what Dale told the New York Times. She did not tell them that she thinks she was lied to, she did not tell them the story is false, she told them she “considers Ababneh a reputable journalist” and said NOTHING in her statement to the Times to dispute the story. She even admitted she helped write it, she even admitted she (not Ababneh) was the one who submitted it directly to MintPress via Google Docs..My sympathies with her for the terrible pressure on her, we need to support Gavlak and demand AP reinstate her instead of acting like the Soviet Union and blacklist her. Did I mention the Times story reported she “has been suspended by The A.P. as a result of the article”? That’s what she was (rightly, sadly) aware of the risk when she tried to back off.

            KenLayIsAlive – Dale (so far) is still a hero – she has not tried to claim the story is false, she still today says Ababneh is a respectable, reputable journalist – if I were in her shoes and had to worry about not being able to put food on the table or end my career, I might be trying to get my name off. I support MintPress 100% for not removing a co-author’s name, I’m just saying I can understand Gavlak’s extremely difficult position.

            The answer: we need to support MintPress AND support Gavlak – demand by petition and much more, that Gavlak be reinstated with AP, demand that we kill modern-day Blacklisting of journalists – instead of killing the story. The victims and their families deserve nothing less than a full investigation of what Ghouta rebels, their family member(s) and Ghoura locals told Ababneh. Maybe the Saudi connection is not there or not as direct, one can find out, but the key for us Americans is if the rebels did it, it’s still a war crime, only in a way what’s worse is our tax dollars (covert etc) helped pay – we as Americans must demand Congress and media cover and investigate.

            Got a petition calling on AP to reinstate Gavlak and calling (very important) for independent investigation into what Ghouta rebels/locals told Ababneh? Why not asylum in neutral country for those who gave testimony to Ababneh and their family? Then they might feel safe to reveal selves or at least with face covered to give followup interviews to answer questions, to confirm(or not) all those different Ghouta locals told Ababneh? If we want to find the truth for victim’s sake, why not put that in petition too? Anyone know now? Post link here.

      • louisproyect

        Why don’t you go with the McNeil/al Gharbi story instead that it was a pogrom against Christians? Or McGovern’s that it was a “false flag” operation meant to cross Obama’s “red line”? Or best of all, why not blame it on the smoking guy from the X-Files?

        • KenLayIsAlive.org

          Louis, you are the lowest of the low.

          • Clay Claiborne

            You can say that while Bashar al-Assad is still alive? And you sure you are only a little above Bashar?

            • Shawn Redden

              … says Agent Claiborne, the guy who posts an appeal to a Marxism list for Obama to o-bomb Syria, without evidence of guilt, on the basis of Uncle Sam’s secretary of state, Guy Smiley!

        • gooserooster

          The one I find most ridiculous is the one where they blame Assad’s government for firing chemical weapons at residential areas the day UN chemical weapons inspectors arrive in the same city. That tops the smoking man’s being responsible for ridiculousness.

          • Clay Claiborne

            So the UN was ten miles away. What different would that make?
            In fact, I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that if Assad mounted a chemical attack 10 miles from the UN inspectors, it would get their at the rate of 2.5 miles per day and Assad would have plenty of time to killed witnesses and destroy evidence.

            So why he should be be worried about UN inspectors in town? In fact, in makes for great cover because some idiots will think he must be innocent because nobody smart would use chemical weapons while the UN inspectors were in the very same city and could be to the attack site in a matter of minutes days.

            • seaside12000

              Why would he use them. Why would he risk the wrath of the US.
              He know it means we will attack so why would he use them, especially when the SAA was gaining ground on the opposition.
              The only way it makes sense is if someone is trying to draw us into the conflict, and apparently they don’t have to try very hard to fool people.

              • Clay Claiborne

                What wrath of the US? In 2.5 years Obama has done nothing to stop Assad’s ongoing slaughter? He’s killed 100,000 with Mig jets, cluster bombs, barrel bombs, napalm, helicopter gunships, tanks, long range artillery and Scuds. You think he’s worried about the “Wrath of the US” Even ordinary Americans don’t care what is happening to the Syrian people, you think Obama does?

                “Wrath of the US”! Ha read

                http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2012/09/barack-obama-courtship-of-bashar-al_4519.html

                see how things really stand between Obama and Assad.
                He knows we won’t attack. Do you think it an accident that this attack happened the day after Dempsey reaffirmed that the US would not be getting militarily involved?

                The timing of that statement also goes against the c theory that the rebels killed themselves to get US intervention.

                The Obama Administration has been saying all along that they want to maintain the Syrian state and they won’t be militarily supporting opposition. They just said it again before the CW attack and they have not gotten militarily involved.

                If Obama really wanted to hit Assad, it would already be done and I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to take his drone strike list to congress.

                The SAA is not gaining ground on the opposition. Particularly in the area in question. The SAA had been actively trying to take Ghouta for months without success in spite of daily rocket and artillery attacks and even after the CW attack, they still don’t have it.

                5 months after the opposition abandonment of Qusayr, the Assad regime is still battling the revolution in Homs. They keep losing bases and have all but lost Aleppo and Idlib.

                The Assad regimes recent gains are largely a media pr creation. In fact he is quite desperate. Hence the use of CW in 2013.

                • Shawn Redden

                  If by “done nothing” you mean, “Apart from the hard-core propaganda cover for the Zionist agenda in the Middle East, Uncle Sam has provided logistical support, provisions, training, and small arms to the alCIAda Cannibals for 30 months” you’re right on!

                  I’m ‘shocked’ that you present yourself as unaware of the use of bases in Adana and on the Jordanian border with Syria as staging areas and training hubs your your alCIAda buddies! For someone who has propagandized for war for the whole 2 1/2 years (and you were with the heart-eaters in Libya too, yes?), that takes a studious and disciplined avoidance of facts on the ground.

                  That’s why you’re Agent Clayborne.

                • Know Your Role

                  The US has created this bloodbath in the first place – that is the myth of the US “doing nothing.” They have send BILLIONS of dollars, THOUSANDS of tons of weapons at a time, they have SpecOps on the ground, and are funneling thousands of fighters into the country, training them all along the borders, and have been given gear and even vehicles. They are also, through their fake NGO’s maintaining a defacto medical battalion inside the country for the terrorists via “Doctors Without Borders” AND sending them THOUSANDS OF TONS of flour for Al Qaeda to use as a political weapon against the people they are subjugating. They are also funding them by buying oil directly from Al Nusra-held oil fields….

                  So the US is doing nothing? They’ve done everything short of invasion, and the only thing stopping them is a believable pretext – one they tried to foist upon the world on August 21, 2013 in eastern Damascus.

                  And now that their terrorists are faltering, they need to save them – how? Military intervention, only they have absolutely no credibility because thank God there are so few people like “Clay” who still sing this tune who aren’t obviously frauds or idiots.

                  This war has only raged on for as long as it has precisely because the US has been engaged in a full-scale proxy invasion since 2011. Read Sey Hersh’s “The Redirection” from 2007 where it was admitted the US planned just such a proxy war and even admitted they’d do it by arming the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.

                  Also, Clay, if you had any knowledge on chemical weapons and their use, you’d know they are pretty much useless except for committing genocide. So why would Assad use them? They are useless against armed militants, especially if you vastly more effective conventional means at your disposal. So Assad simply was in the mood for genocide? Assad has not survived as long as he has by being “crazy.” This narrative of the “crazy dictator” is for 5 year olds and the brain-addled.

                  I assume you are not 5 years old…

                  • Shawn Redden

                    Damn skippy: and don’t forget about the Washington DC based PR outfit, called the Syrian Support Group.

                    http://www.syriansupportgroup.org/

                    When making a donation, I hear you indictate where your donation goes: “1. Cannibals; 2. Church bombers; 3. Snipers; 4. Actors; 5. Beheaders; 6. You decide, Washington DC based PR firm”.

                    Have you contributed to the cause yet, Agent C? If not, you should certainly do so.

                  • Clay Claiborne

                    So, when Assad’s Migs drop Russian cluster bombs on Homs, Idlib and Aleppo that is the US creating a bloodbath?

                    Do I have that about right?

                  • econdemocracy

                    Excellent points and iIn case anyone missed this huge story: The German seven had their ships off shore listening in to top Assad communication and guess what? for months and months they listened,& what happened? Assad “always” rejected use of chem weapon See:

                    (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-09/09/c_125345938.htm)

                • anti_republocrat

                  43% of those killed in Syria have been Syrian military and pro-government militia. Any corpse not in uniform is counted as a civilian, even if armed when killed.

                  • Clay Claiborne

                    Is that Syrian military and pro-government death count from the Assad Regime? Does that count all those shot for disobeying orders to shoot unarmed civilians?

                    • anti_republocrat

                      No. That is the estimate of SOHR, the one-man pro-SNC/FSA human rights advocate in London. SOHR’s estimated total fatalities is 110,000 of which 25,000 were Syrian soldiers and 20,000 pro-government militia. I presume all these were in uniform, as if they had not been, they’d have been counted as “civilians.” It certainly is not to SOHR’s interest to falsely report defectors, or others executed for treason as pro-government victims.

                  • Clay Claiborne

                    That’s the old catch 22. Civilians may have a right to self-defence but the minute they pick up a weapons, they are no longer civilians.

            • econdemocracy

              In case you missed this huge story: The Germans
              even had their ships off shore listening in to top Assad
              communication and guess what? for months and months they listened,
              and what happened? Assad “always” rejected use of chem weapon
              See:

              (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-09/09/c_125345938.htm)

        • Shawn Redden

          Agent Proyect spends the bulk of his entire miserable existence defending the John Kerry/Abu Sakkar line on Syria, taking hearsay from Foreign Policy and the NY Times as gospel truth.

          He serves the interests of Zionism and Wall Street, which explains why he has beaten the drum for Uncle Sam’s prospective wars for many years on his little mailing list full of like-minded warmongers.

          • Clay Claiborne

            Does that mean you don’t like him?