Part 3 of 3 -- Premise I and the Sarin
Denis O'Brien, PhD
1 -- Sourcing the sarin
2 -- "Assad's sarin-rockets" hoax
Fig. 1. "Bunny"
Frontispiece of Murder
in the SunMorgue
people the world over learned something very important about the
principles upon which the American criminal justice system is based. That was the day a jury in
Los Angeles returned a verdict of "not guilty" in the case
of The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James
Simpson. What people learned is that in a legal context there can be
a world of difference between being guilty in fact, on one hand, and being
beyond a reasonable doubt (GBRD), on the other. An American criminal jury really answers
one question and one question only: Has the state proved that the
defendant is GBRD? The
legal issue is
not actual guilt vs. actual innocence but, rather, whether the state has
proved guilt. For,
at least theoretically, the government punishes a person not for what that
person is guilty of doing but for what the government can prove he/she is guilty
of doing. Procedurally speaking, innocence is almost never proved
at trial and need
not be, and that's because innocence is presumed at the outset. The
burden of proving GBRD is always with the government in criminal matters.
The same GBRD standard should apply no less when the USG accuses
another country of some heinous crime for which the USG proposes that it
has a right to apply punishment or extract revenge. But it just don't work
that way. When the USG sets up a boogeyman that it then
uses to justify attacking a country, normally a Muslim country, the
opposite presumption applies: the boogeyman is presumed guilty and no
proof of innocence is tolerated -- not by the government, not by the
politicians, not by the press . . . and not by the public.
When the USG labels someone an official boogeyman -- someone like Saddam,
Gadaffi, or Assad -- the whole GBRD standard goes right out
the window because, after all, they're a boogey-man, who would
believe them anyway? It's circular, dude.
But the blogosphere often doesn't work the
way Barak Obama, or John McCain, or the New York Times
work. The world's massive army of blogers and commentators do not
hesitate to engage in robust conversations and deep analyses of the guilt
or innocence of people the USG tars in the media and then attacks
militarily without presenting a
reasonable case of GBRD, and that's what this 3-part series has been
about: analyzing allegations made by Obama that Bashar al-Assad
was responsible for the Ghouta Massacre on Aug21|2013 -- allegations that
Assad "gassed his own people."
Falsifying Premise I: Debunking the Sarin Myth
To help organize this analysis I
have based it on Obama's Syrian Syllogism that he used repeatedly in 2013-2014 to explain to
the American people why they should get behind him in attacking Syria in
retaliation for the Ghouta Massacre. Here's that syllogism again:
- Premise I:
The hundreds of dead people in Ghouta we see in
the YT videos were killed by sarin.
- Premise II:
Only Assad's military had access to sarin and
only they had the technology to handle it and weaponize it, which is
to say load it into rockets that were fired into Ghouta.
Therefore, only Assad's military could have been
responsible for the Ghouta Massacre.
QED: Assad "gassed his
I started this analysis with a retrospective examination of
Premise II -- does it stand up factually, knowing what we know now?
In Part 1
I argued that Obama's factual assertion that only Assad's people had
access to sarin was almost certainly false, or, at the very least, the
assertion was highly dubious. I linked to Seymour
Hersh's bold allegations that not only did the terrorists in Syria
have sarin, but Obama's people knew they had sarin even as Obama was
telling the world that only Assad had sarin. I noted how Turkish MP Eren
Erdem more recently presented evidence and argument that Recep Erdoğan's government
covered up Turkey's role in helping the terrorists in Syria obtain and
produce sarin, thus basically confirming Hersh's allegations.
2 I examined the second factual assertion in Obama's Premise II that
Assad's rockets delivered the sarin to Ghouta. After reviewing the
allegations and MSM's "evidence" -- particularly the UN Report of
Sep|2013 -- I concluded, rather
indelicately, that that assertion, too, was almost certainly bullspit,
and, at the very least, it had not been proved beyond a reasonable
doubt. For instance, I provided
clear video evidence that the terrorists were monkeying-around with the alleged
"sarin-rockets" days before the UN people even started
their investigation. IOW, all of the rocket and sarin evidence
collected by the UN Mission was tainted beyond any
hope of rehabilitation.
Given what we now know, a fair synopsis of Obama's Premise II would be as
Although there is no doubt that Assad's Syrian Arab Army (SAA)
had sarin in 2013, there is very strong evidence that wahhabi terrorist groups
trying to bring Assad down also had access to sarin and, very likely, the
wherewithal to produce sarin. As for Assad firing sarin-rockets into
Ghouta, there is not a shred of valid evidence supporting that
allegation. The only "evidence" that exists is that
provided by the terrorists, either by way of videos and photographs they
have produced and uploaded to the Internet or by way of orchestrating the
UN/OPCW (Organization fo the Prevention of Chemical Weapons) investigation of Ghouta and restricting the investigators
the tainted evidence
that the terrorists wanted the investigators to see.
In attacking Obama's Premise I in this Part 3, I hope to convince you
that Premise II and my analysis of it are largely irrelevant because not
only were there no sarin-missiles, there was no sarin, at least in the
quantities required to kill the hundreds of people many of us have seen in the Ghouta videos. All of that
"Assad's sarin" yabber we've been hearing for 2+ years is a myth, which means that Obama and
Kerry's accusations that Assad "gassed his own people" in Ghouta
on Aug21|2013 are defamatory bunk. However guilty he may be of other
atrocities, Assad is innocent of the
charges that he attacked Ghouta with sarin missiles. The perps were
actually the wahhabi terrorists, and the world needs to recognize that for
a number of reasons.
The origins of the Sarin Myth
Winston Churchill said something along the lines that a lie will fly
half way around the world before the truth can get its pants on.
That was in the early 20th century; today he might say that an Internet
lie can circle the earth twenty times before the truth can boot its
browser. No example of this is more extreme than the way the Sarin
Myth was massively launched into cyberspace in the early hours of
Aug21|2013, Damascus time. [The attacks were said to have occurred about
AM Damascus time, or 4-6 PM Aug20 Pacific time, which is the time zone used
for YouTube time-stamps.] Within just a couple of hours of the Ghouta
Massacre the Internet absolutely filled up with accounts of how Assad had
gassed hundreds or thousands of his own people with sarin -- and the titles on
these early videos referred to "sarin" explicitly. This
was not an assertion made by experts in CW, or toxicology, or
pharmacology; it was an assertion that
the scruffy terrorists were making. By the time the sun rose on New York City
the assertion had been repeated so often it was being accepted as a fact, first by
the MSM and soon thereafter by the Obama administration and politicians of
all sorts. The Sarin Myth was a PR fait accompli.
It should have been a huge red flag when so soon after the attack the
terrorists uploaded videos to YouTube claiming that Assad had used sarin. This is an agent that is
invisible as a gas, colorless as a liquid, and tasteless and odorless in
either form. It does not even cause eye irritation. Itís not like you can stick your head out the window, take
a sniff, and realize -- just before you throw up, defecate, and go into violent
convulsions -- that youíve been gassed with sarin. How could the terrorist
PR people "know" right from the get-go this was sarin? Nobody
could know that except the people who used it. Even under the best of circumstances it would take forensic scientists
days or weeks to analyze the samples the terrorists gave them, and to do
that they would need gas
chromatography gear, mass spectrometers, and large budgets.
And itís not
like one guy in Ghouta took a wild punt on sarin and the meme went viral
from there; the Sarin Myth was published simultaneously en masse in a
concerted PR effort that almost had to have been planned before Aug21. The
release of these
videos was well organized from the very first one. They were being uploaded
mostly by a terrorist PR coordinating group
called Shaam News Network and by the Turkish state news agency Anadolu
Agency -- PR reps for interests that wanted the US to attack Assad, IOW.
With the terrorists screaming "SARIN!!!" the Western
MSM picked up the drum-beat and next thing you know they were all
screaming "SARIN!!!" -- mere hours after the
"attack" happened. How could the US and UK press have known that this was
a sarin attack at that point? They couldnít. No Western media even
had reporters inside of the Syria, much less inside
the Ghouta combat zone. All the press had was hear-say from the terrorists
and secondary sources such as Syria-CurveBalls Eliot Higgins and Rami
Abdul Rahman living in London 2500 miles away (see Part 2 of this series).
But the sarin "fact" kept rolling, and within days Obama,
Kerry, and Dianne Feinstein were all jumping up and down and screaming "SARIN!!!"
And then all of Congress was jumping up and down and screaming "SARIN!!!"
And the next thing you know F-16s and at least one B-52 were being rolled out of hangers
in the Middle East and
Obama was calling Bibi Netanyahu and telling him an attack on Assad was
less than 48 hours away.
It was an absolutely breath-taking PR effort when you look back at it. The US
just about pounded Syria with huge super-bunker busters and who knows how
many cruise missiles that would have caused who knows how many thousands
of causalities in the short and long term -- all on the basis of the Syrin
Myth. And yet only a handful of people in the world, and, apparently, none at
all in Washington were asking the obvious: "So, like . . . how do you
guys know itís sarin?" In fact, so far as I know, to this day there
has not been a public discussion by any politicians or journalists over
the possibility that the Ghouta Massacre was not actually pulled off with sarin.
Even as skeptics like Robert Parry and Hersh began to turn parts
of Obama's sarin syllogism on its head, they, too, focused on who, not what, caused
the deaths in Ghouta. Fait accompli. The
perfect PR blitz is when the whole world is looking right where you're
I don't know of any CW or toxicology experts who are swimming against this
sarin-tide, and certainly none are suggesting an alternative explanation
for how all of those people were poisoned. But there are a few who are
skeptical enough, at least, to refuse to swim with
the sarin-tide. For
instance, Jean Paul Zanders, a CW expert who once directed the BioWeapons
Prevention Project, and Paula Vanninen, director of the Finnish Institute
for Verification of the CW convention. These folks have expressed
skepticism of the sarin allegations without saying, full stop, that sarin
could not have been the toxin or suggesting an alternative toxin that fits what
evidence we have.
But the one thing that no one, including myself, has contested is
Obama's assertion that the Ghouta Massacre was some sort of an chemical
attack. With few exceptions -- and one very important exception -- none of the victims
appear to have bled. They don't have any wounds that would suggest they died
from bullets, or bombs, or beatings. The bodies are not contorted; none
of them show signs of torture. Most of them, particularly the kids,
look like they could be asleep, like "Bunny" in Figure 1 at the
beginning of this post. And that is part of the problem with
the Sarin Myth: people who die from sarin intoxication are the last people
in the entire known universe who would look
like they've just fallen asleep. What they would look like is someone
who has defecated on themselves, urinated on themselves, vomited on
themselves, and suffocated
while having a full-blown grand-mal seizure. More on that in a
Evidence of sarin use: some general thoughts
In Part 1 of this series I suggested that the world may not be paying
enough attention to Hersh's accusations and to the evidence that Da'esh,
al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Islam and the other bloody wahhabi terrorists in Syria have sarin and know how
to produce it. As I describe the bodily effects of sarin in the following paragraphs within the context of what happened in
Ghouta, consider also the havoc
that these terrorists could cause in any country, in any
community, at any public gathering they choose, if they have sarin.
All of the arguments I present here are based on accepted, mainstream textbook knowledge
that is taught to every pharmacy student, pharmacology student, and medical student. And
that's mostly what I have to back up my position: a very well established
textbook description and explanation of what sarin does and how it does
it. I have never personally seen someone who has
been exposed to sarin and, fortunately, neither have very many other people
on this planet, including the world's doctors.
But Alfred Thornhill has.
In 1953 Thornhill was a 19 year-old ambulance driver in the British
Army. He was posted at Britain's nefarious CW research station, Porton
According to a 2003 interview with the Guardian's
Anthony Barnett, in May of 1953 Thornhill answered an emergency call at a research lab where
a "volunteer," 20 year-old Aircraftman Ronald
Maddison, had been administered a small drop of a solution containing 200 mg of
sarin, applied to two layers of
cloth taped to his forearm. The idea was to determine how much protection
clothing provides from a sarin attack. Apparently, not much because
Ronald Maddison was dead within a few hours, even though he was in a
research facility and a few blocks from a hospital.
Porton Down tried to cover up their killing of Maddison; Thornhill, the
ambulance driver, was threatened with prison if he told
anyone what he saw. And he kept his silence
for 50 years, but now the story is out and Ronald Maddison is Porton Down's most
famous Guinea pig. Here is Thornhill's recollection of what he saw
when he arrived at the Porton Down lab where Maddison had been poisoned:
" 'I had never seen anyone die before and what that lad went through
was absolutely horrific... it was awful,' he said. 'It was like he was
being electrocuted, his whole body was convulsing. I have seen
somebody suffer an epileptic fit, but you have never seen anything
like what happened to that lad... the skin was vibrating and there was
all this terrible stuff coming out of his mouth... it looked like
frogspawn or tapioca. . . There were four of us who picked him off the
floor and put him in the back of the ambulance. He was still having
these violent convulsions and we drove him to the medical unit at
Porton. . . I saw his leg rise up from the bed and I saw his skin
begin turning blue. It started from the ankle and started spreading up
his leg. It was like watching somebody pouring a blue liquid into a
glass, it just began filling up.' "
Fig. 2. Ronald Maddison
It is sobering to realize that
Maddison's death wasn't nearly as horrible as it could have been. For as soon as Maddison began displaying symptoms --
well before Thornhill arrived on the scene -- the Porton Down ghouls
injected their human Guinea pig with atropine, a rapidly acting
antidote used to block disturbing effects that are called "muscarinic symptons,"
described below. The convulsions and signs of
asphyxiation that Thornhill remembered all those 50 years are effects that
atropine doesn't block.
The pharmacology and patho-physiology related to sarin poisoning are not difficult to understand but they are
time-consuming to the explain. I am not going to
go into all of these technical/biological details here; I've done that already
in a 287-page (free) online book I titled Murder
in the SunMorgue , or MITSM. If you want the scientific details,
check it out. Throughout the present piece I will include parenthetical references
to the relevant pages of MITSM where you will find lots of technical yabber on the
point in question. The present piece is intended to be a much more concise
answer to two primary questions: 1) How do we know they weren't killed with sarin?
2) What were they killed with?
Three types of evidence all point to the conclusion that the Ghouta
Massacre was not carried out with sarin or any other organophosphate,
which is the pharmacological class of drug sarin belongs to. Those
types of evidence are:
- Direct negative evidence -- These are observations about what is missing
from the Ghouta videos that should be evident if sarin was the toxin.
IOW, the mere absence of certain necessary diagnostic symptoms of sarin intoxication is
sufficient to directly support the
assertion that sarin was not the toxin. No inferences are
required to go from what is missing to the conclusion.
- Direct positive evidence -- This class of evidence comprises clearly observed
symptoms that would be impossible if sarin had been used
in Ghouta. Again, it is direct evidence because it stands as proof without the need to resort to inferences.
- Circumstantial evidence -- These are observations, which can be either
negative or positive, that raise one or more inferences that support
the conclusion that sarin was not the toxin that was used.
Itís not often that a PhD in neuropharmacology comes in handy in a
political dust-up, much less on an international scale. But from 15 years
experience in research and teaching pharmacology and physiology, it was immediately
clear to me from the very first videos
that the Ghouta victims I was seeing could not have died from sarin
intoxication, and I immediately wrote Congress an open
Email telling them that. There was no way this was sarin.
Other than being added to Rand Paul's spam list, I never heard a word
For the next seven months I looked closely at more and
more videos and still could not see the evidence that would be necessary in
order to conclude that the people died from sarin. Because there were so
many videos and so many victims, I concentrated on one building-complex in
the town of Kafr Batna. [MITSM pp. 48-106] It appears to me that more Ghouta videos came from that one building than any place else -- and
more bodies were filmed there than at any other single location.
Furthermore, Kafr Batna was important because videos from Kafr Batna figured in a big way in Obama's
"proof" that Assad "gassed his own people."
Fig. 3. The Kafr Batna complex as seen by
GoogleEarth's satellite 3 days after the Ghouta
Massacre 33į 30.907' N 36į 22.446' E
One large room on the ground level of the Kafr Batna complex was bathed in
sunlight and was shown filling up with corpses in the morning of
Aug21|2013 about dawn and then emptying out
late in the day. [MITSM pp. 48-61] When this room was completely full at about mid-day,
scores of corpses can be seen and examined in strong
light pouring in through large windows. I called that large room the "SunMorgue."
A basement level of the same building had multiple, windowless rooms
containing a few dozen victims, mostly kids, either dead or, presumably, dying. This was the "DarkMorgue." [MITSM
The eleven videos I have found of the Kafr Batna complex show 120-125
victims of the Ghouta Massacre as they appeared on the day of the
massacre, Aug21|2013. Children, women, and men are all present,
although most of the women's bodies are so well covered as to preclude
meaningful examination. Some victims are seen in the
DarkMorgue and also in the SunMorgue. A couple of victims in the
Kafr Batna videos are also seen in "medical facilities" in other
areas of Ghouta. [MITSM pp. 101-102]
Direct negative evidence disproving the Sarin Myth.
In the SunMorgue and DarkMorge I found virtually incontrovertible
direct negative evidence that these people were
not killed with sarin. And by that I mean that many diagnostic symptoms of
sarin that should have been observed were not observed. Sarin
produces many and very prominent symptoms, and so when those symptoms are
not observed in any of hundreds of victims, the case against the Sarin Myth
becomes virtually certain.
Briefly, sarin-symptoms appear because of sarin's actions on
three types of tissue: skeletal muscle, organs/glands, and the
brain. The stimulation of these tissues causes very obvious outward symptoms that are easily
identified, but are seen in neither the Kafr Batna victims nor any of
the other Ghouta victims I have seen.
Here is a concise inventory of symptoms that should be seen in a
large-scale sarin attack viz a viz what is seen in the Ghouta videos:
- Grand-mal seizures [MITSM pp. 145-147]
Sarin produces its most dramatic effects, including death, by
causing skeletal muscles throughout the body to freeze-up in a state of
This is a direct effect at the level of the muscle.
A far more dramatic effect is grand-mal seizures
caused by sarin's activation of motor circuits of the brain. These
large, violent, uncoordinated movements of the arms, legs, and
torso. When falling down or flailing around, a seizure victim can
easily bang their head against furniture or the floor causing scalp
wounds, which are notorious for bleeding profusely. Also, as the person's
jaw muscles are clenched tight, it is not uncommon for the person's tongue to be
bitten, possibly severed.
Consequently if you have a group of 200 dead
victims who have suffered sarin poisoning, many would have had seizures
and would have died during those seizures -- and their bodies would be
twisted as a result. Many would be expected to show bleeding wounds of the head and
tongue. The posture, facial expression, and disarray/absence of
clothing of the corpse of such a person should also indicate the
chemical violence they were suffering at the time they died. For
those who are still alive, like many of those in the DarkMorgue, signs
of massive convulsions would be even more clear.
However, I have not seen a single photo or video of any victim in
Kafr Batna or anywhere in Ghouta having a grand-mal seizure or showing any indications of having
grand-mal seizure. A number of videos show victims jerking their
arms or flailing around with well-coordinated muscle movements.
One video featured by a Human Rights Watch report shows a man
displaying wild movements as if he were riding a bicycle. These
are not the grand-mal seizures one would expect from sarin
Given the large number of victims shown in the photos/videos, the
absence of signs of wide-spread grand-mal seizures is a strong piece
of evidence disproving the Sarin Myth.
- Cyanosis [MITSM pp. 117-125]
When sarin causes the
chest muscles to contract, the lungs are squeezed tight and sort of locked
down causing the person to suffocate as surely as if they were in the
coils of a python. No new oxygen enters the blood and as the
remaining oxygen is used up their blood becomes less red and more
blue. Areas of the skin that receive a lot of blood or where the
arteries and capillaries lie close to the surface turn blue --
lips, forehead, ears, nose, nipples, and the tips of toes and
fingers. This blue state due to oxygen deprivation is called
"cyanosis." Very obvious cyanosis will be the primary sign of
asphyxiation in a person dying of sarin intoxication.
Fig. 4. Cyanosis in a "blue baby"
It is noteworthy that one of the memories that stuck in Alfred
Thornhill's brain for 50 years was the way Ronald Maddison turned blue:
"I saw his skin
begin turning blue. It started from the ankle and started spreading up
his leg. It was like watching somebody pouring a blue liquid into a
glass, it just began filling up."
Many of the victims in the DarkMorgue were alive when videoed.
The lighting there was not superb -- it was florescent -- but it was
adequate. What is seen in those living victims is not
cyanosis. Quite the opposite: the victim's lips, and noses, and
cheeks are cherry red. This reddish coloring has persisted even
in death for most of the victims. I come back to the question of how people
who are suffocating could look so healthy, but the point for the
moment is that the absence of cyanosis in these victims is very strong
negative evidence against the Sarin Myth.
In addition to activating skeletal muscle and brain circuits, sarin
also stimulates organs and glands, in some cases by activating the organs
or glands directly and in other cases by stimulating nerves that control
the organs/glands. Symptoms of sarin intoxication that are produced
by stimulating organ and glands are referred to as "muscarinic
effects." With full-blown sarin intoxication these very intense
often referred to as "muscarinic storm."
Compared to seizures and asphyxiation, these effects
occur at lower doses. Although they are not fatal, they are a lot messier
than sarin's effects on skeletal muscle and the brain discussed
previously, and so they are vivid diagnostic signs of sarin intoxication. Generations of medical students have relied on the
mnemonic "SLUDGE" to recall the components of muscarinic
storm seen when sain massively activates just about every organ system in the
body. [MITSM pp. 125-126]
- S -- salivation
This is a copious, watery saliva caused by direct activation of the
I have not seen a single victim in the Kafr Batna videos or any others
from Ghouta in which a victim was discharging the copious watery saliva
that would be expected from a sarin attack. Some victims have
thick foam around their noses and mouths, but in order to produce a
foam there must be strong exhalations to force the air through the
mucus, and a sarin victim's respiratory muscles would be too
compromised to produce those sorts of exhalations. [MITSM pp.
- L -- lacrimation
The tear ducts are also massively stimulated, resulting in copious
release of tears. Sarin, by the way, does not irritate the eyes.
This symptom is ambiguous for the simple reason that we know the
Ghouta victims were poisoned with something and were therefore
traumatized, and when people are traumatized, particularly children,
they cry. The other complicating factor is that as the cameras
get close to these victims invariably someone comes along with a green
plastic 2-liter bottle full of water and splashes the victim in the
face. Consequently, one can't say that just because some of
these victims have tears or water on their faces that is positive
evidence for the Sarin Myth. It isn't. But the fact that
so many of the victims show no tears at all is direct negative
evidence against the Sarin Myth.
- U -- urinary incontinence
Sarin causes the bladder to contract forcefully and thus causes
uncontrollable urination. This effect would be expected in the early
stages of sarin intoxication and would only occur once for each victim
because once the bladder is emptied, that's it. Consequently,
one would not expect to see in the photos/videos people in the process
of urinating, but one would expect to see soiled clothing.
Furthermore, because this attack occurred in the early hours of the
morning, the victim's bladders would have been full and the amount of
urine released would have been nearly maximal. Signs of urinary
incontinence should be evident on just about every one of the hundreds
and hundreds of victims.
I have not seen a single unambiguous example of urinary incontinence
in any of hundreds of victims I have examined in photos and
videos. Yet more direct negative evidence disproving the Sarin
- D -- defecation (fecal incontinence)
Likewise, the bowels are forcefully contracted and, hence, emptied as a result of
exposure to sarin. And as with urinary incontinence, we must
note that these people were supposedly exposed to sarin long after their last meal, hence
their bowls would have been full. If they had been attacked with
sarin, signs of fecal incontinence in terms of fouled clothing would
have been very evident for the living victims and dead victims seen in
the photos/videos. Furthermore, in rooms full of these victims,
the stench would have been overbearing and would have been obvious by
watching people walking around the rooms moving bodies & etc.
Again, the absence of any signs of fecal incontinence is direct
negative evidence disproving the Sarin Myth. A very large
percentage of the hundreds of victims that can be seen should have had obviously fouled clothing,
and yet none of them did. I identified one man in the DarkMorgue
who had a white shirt on with obvious brown staining, but that was
likely explained by him lying in muddy water on an adjacent patio with
other victims seen lying in the water. [MITSM pg. 143]
Also, the manner in which people saunter through these rooms without
any sign of distress or wanting to get out, is good evidence that the
victims did not soil themselves.
- GE -- gastrointestinal activation/emesis
It is not just the colon and intestines that are contracted by sarin;
the entire gastrointestinal system, including the upper regions, is
activated so that in addition to rampant defecation there is also
uncontrollable vomiting. Because these people would have empty stomachs
by the early hours of the morning, one would not expect to see
signs of copious vomitus. However, there should be signs of gastric
fluids on the clothes of many victim.
Again, it is striking how clean most of the victims' clothes are --
there are no signs of large numbers of these people having vomited.
In summary, given scores or hundreds of
victims suddenly and dramatically faced with a life-threatening
situation, a handful of people might be observed with stained clothes for one
reason or another. In the face of sudden direct threats to one's
life, some people, particularly small children, wet themselves, defecate,
and/or throw up as the body's mechanisms for holding up against stress
On the other hand, if scores or hundreds of people were all
simultaneously poisoned with sarin, then we would expect to see virtually
every single one of them with grossly stained clothing, and we would
expect to see the people around them reacting to the stench. The
complete absence of these signs in Kafr Batna is overwhelming direct negative evidence
disproving the Sarin Myth.
There is one other symptom of sarin that needs to be discussed.
This symptom is so non-specific and so general that I would not
discuss it as evidence for or against the Sarin Myth but for the fact
that it has been over-hyped by the MSM and the
experts they interview.
Intense miosis that would
be expected of a fatal dose of sarin
There are a few Ghouta videos that purport to show
miosis, and the UN investigation claims to have observed miosis in some
of the alleged sarin victims they examined. Unfortunately, these observations have been
interpreted by those who don't understand the pharmacology of miosis or
and they have concluded that the presence of miosis means that sarin was used.
While it is true that sarin causes miosis, even at low doses, by
itself miosis is not a good indicator of sarin poisoning because other
drugs can cause miosis and it can be easily artificially induced; hence, the
fact that UN investigators observed it in a relatively small fraction of
alleged sarin victims means nothing. If, for instance, the
terrorists were running a flase flag spoof in Ghouta and wanted to the
world to believe that the victims died of sarin, it would be a simple
matter to put readily available miosis-inducing drugs in the eyes of
volunteers faking symptoms or in the eyes of actual victims that were
exposed to some other toxin.
An "expert" that shows up on CNN and asserts, "Yeah, that was sarin because the
victim's pupils are constricted," either doesn't know what they are talking about or
is intentionally trying to sow misinformation. If miosis had been
observed along with the other symptoms of sarin intoxication listed
above, then it would be additional evidence that sarin had been
used. But reports of miosis in the absence of any of these other
sarin-symtoms is not evidence supporting the Sarin Myth.
Direct positive evidence disproving the Sarin Myth.
I want to discuss just one piece of direct positive evidence, but it is of
enormous importance. The evidence is important, not just because it
is -- in and of itself -- sufficient to disprove the Sarin Myth, but also because it provides strong
direct evidence as to what toxin was used, and it provides circumstantial
evidence as to who the guilty party was.
Everybody's pink on the inside, as the old adage asserts.
But what is more relevant to this discussion is the equally true
assertion that people with light skin are usually pink on the outside,
too -- at least the healthy ones are. This healthy reddish or
pinkish hue in skin color is called "rubicundity." It
is caused by bright red, well oxygenated blood pouring through
arteries and capillaries that are right next to the skin.
As noted above, sarin produces an effect that is the opposite of
rubicundity: cyanosis. Sarin causes the blood to
turn bluish so that the victim's skin appears bluish.
The negative evidence about not seeing universal cyanosis in the
Ghouta victims becomes 100x more powerful disproof of the Sarin Myth
when it is combined with the positive evidence discussed here: Not
only did the victims not display cyanosis, they were clearly and
unmistakably rubicund. Pink cheeks, pink lips, pink noses, pink fingers,
pink ears -- and not just in the living victims. Even the
corpses are pink. Anyone who claims that sarin was used to kill
all of those people would have the burden of explaining why so many
victims, dead and living, have good, "healthy" color and why
virtually none of them are blue. It can't be done. In order to
argue that sarin can turn a victim red, one would have to re-write all
of the pharmacology textbooks with respect to the clinical picture of
sarin toxicity as
well as with respect to what we know about how sarin works.
The screen-grab of "Bunny" at the beginning of this post is
one example of rubicundity in a Ghouta victim, and there are literally scores of other examples. Here are
Fig. 6. Examples of rubicund Ghouta victims. The two children
on the left were alive when the videos were shot.
The girl on the right was not.
These are all direct screen-grabs that went from the
videos into the clipboard and then into the text document -- nothing was
There were dozens of comments in the blogosphere in the
days following the Ghouta Massacre about how the victims, particularly
the kids, looked too healthy to be dead. They must be sleeping,
many people said. Others speculated that they had been given a
soporific drug and they would wake up after the PR cameras were turned
off. I referred to this as the "Juliet Hypothesis."
[MITSM pg. 28 et seq.
] But no, there is more than adequate evidence to conclude that the
victims were not sleeping; they were dead and their healthy pink color is absolutely incontrovertible,
direct positive evidence
that these people could not have been poisoned with sarin. This
is not a political statement; it's not speculation. It's a plain,
cold, biological fact.
The direct evidence, both positive and negative, is
overwhelming: Obama's syllogism has fallen on its face on all
counts. Premise I and Premise II are comprised of false statements of fact -- or, at the very least, facts
that cannot be established as true beyond a reasonable doubt.
Consequently, Obama's conclusion that Assad gassed his own people in
Ghouta with sarin is false. It is a false conclusion
now, it was false when Obama asserted it, and Obama likely knew it was false --
at least he knew it by the time he pulled the plug on the B-52 raids on
The circumstantial evidence
While direct negative and direct positive evidence can be quite
dramatic in the way they point right at the truth without any inferences
being required, clean circumstantial evidence can be even more
convincing. Circumstantial evidence requires one or more inferences
in order to move logically from an observation to a conclusion, but when the
inference is unavoidable and is the only inference possible, then
circumstantial evidence is as powerful as direct evidence at ferreting out
In this section I explain how the circumstantial evidence tells us two
things: 1) most of the hundreds of people killed in Ghouta were gassed
with carbon monoxide (CO) or cyanide (CN), and 2) the guilty parties
are the terrorists -- Liwa al-Islam
(now merged into Jaysh al-Islam), Da'esh, al-Nusra, or some other bloody Sunni terrorist
group operating in and around Damascus.
carbon monoxide and cyanide: the rubigenic toxins
The cherry-red noses and cheeks discussed above tell us more than that the
hundreds of people killed in Ghouta were not killed with sarin.
We can infer from the victims' red coloration that the Ghouta Massacre was
almost certainly carried out with CO or CN.
And the reason I say it is that, with the exception of a few exotic
toxins, CO and CN are the only toxins known to consistently cause
rubicundity, and they are certainly the most common and easily
obtainable toxins that cause rubicundity. I refer to this
quality of a drug as being "rubigenic" -- a term coined long
before, and totally unrelated to, Marco Rubio's attempt to win the
Republican nomination for president.
In MITSM I go into the biological details of how
CO and CN turn a suffocating person red and leave the
person red even as a cadaver. [MITSM pg. 108 et seq.] As I explain there, both the clinical picture and the post-mortem
picture of CO/CN poisoning are precisely what we
see in the Ghouta videos: the people who are not yet dead are quite
pink/red, and the dead ones are as well. I estimate the certainty
level of the Ghouta Massacre being carried out by sarin is 0% (discounting the possibility of very small-scale, localized use of sarin
as discussed below). I guesstimate the
certainty level of the toxin being either CO or CN as greater than 90%
based on them being nearly unique as rubigenic agents and being easily
The inference that CO/CN were used as the toxin in Ghouta leads us, necessarily, to the conclusion that Assad's
people could not have carried out the Ghouta Massacre because CO/CN are
duds as chemical weapons -- they cannot be effectively deployed from a
In fact, they aren't even considered to be CWs. Carbon monoxide has never been used as a CW except,
perhaps, experimentally. The OPCW does not list CO as a CW.
As for CN, while NATO does have official designations for hydrogen
cyanide and cyanogen chloride, the OPCW flatly states "There is no
confirmed information on [CN] being used in chemical
warfare." The problem the CW experts see with these agents is
that in large open arenas it would take enormous volumes of either of
to kill anyone. [MITSM pp. 172-173]
But in contrast to being useless in combat, CO/CN are
historically notorious for being used to kill prisoners in small,
air-tight rooms such as US execution chambers and Nazi mass gas chambers. If, as
Obama asserts, 1429 people were killed in Ghouta, then they had to be
rounded up and gassed in chambers with CO or CN.
In other words, what we are seeing in the those Ghouta videos are the
victims not of a CW attack, but victims of a mass-execution, and that
execution had to be in Ghouta where all of those suffering people and
fresh bodies were videoed. But the only combatants operating in that area on
Aug21|2013 were the terrorists. Only they could have produced so
much carnage with CO or CN. [MITSM pp. 175]
In summary, what we have developed from the unequivocal
observation that the Ghouta victims are rubicund is a circumstantial case
built on strong evidence and strong logic that leads to two specific
conclusions: 1) the terrorists are responsible for the Ghouta
Massacre; and, 2) the Ghouta Massacre was a mass-execution. This
forces us to turn a corner and to look at all of the evidence in a
completely new context. For instance, these conclusions mean that
all of the people we see milling around in the morgues and "medical
facilities" in the Ghouta videos are not trying to help the
victims. Au contraire, they would have to be part of the
terrorist organization that carried out the mass-execution of those
people. Even the
people taking the dozens and dozens of PR videos would have to be a part
of that deadly enterprise, which could only have been orchestrated to try
and shock the world -- and particularly the US -- into attacking Assad.
This brings us to the final piece of circumstantial evidence I want to
discuss: the corpse that was stabbed to death in the SunMorgue.
The murder in the SunMorgue
When first viewing the videos of the SunMorgue, one
naturally assumes that each one of the scores of people neatly assembled in
rows on the floor were brought into the room dead and remained in that
unenviable condition while the videos were taken, and thereafter to
eternity. That assumption turns out to be not true.
A second assumption one naturally jumps to is
that the workers seen the SunMorgue moving the bodies around, moving around the bodies,
and generally milling about like visitors at an art museum are members of the same group of people
as the dead ones, only a lot luckier. One presumes that the
living people in the videos are respectfully tending to the bodies of
their dead relatives and friends pending burial. That presumption
also turns out to be false.
Fig. 7. A view of part of the "Ladies'
the SunMorgue, and people just wandering around.
When the context
changes from a CW attack carried out by the SAA against the terrorists
in Ghouta to a mass-execution carried out by the terrorists in
Ghouta, all of the previous assumptions fly out the window. For instance, if it was an execution, then the
people on the floor are the victims of the execution and the ones walking around are
almost certainly the executioners. And when one realizes that one of those people lying
on the floor was brought into the SunMorgue still alive and then had
his throat slit and he bled out onto the floor -- well, any benign interpretations or assumptions
about what the SunMorgue is and about who the people working there are disappear
altogether. The SunMorgue and the people wandering around in it
become emblematic of unspeakable evil.
Back in April, 2014 when I published MITSM and first presented this
evidence, these conclusions were a lot more contrarian and a much harder
sell than they are today. Two years ago it
was a bit out there to suggest that anyone could be so evil as to execute
a thousand men, women, and children, lay them out in morgues all over
Ghouta, video them, and then upload the videos to YouTube, all for the
sake of shocking the world and provoking Obama into attacking Assad.
But in the intervening two years we have learned a lot about these bloody
wahhbi pricks, and what was once a bit out there is now eminently believable. We have seen dozens of videos and
news stories of the way these Syrian terrorists behead people; the way they kidnap and rape women and sell them in a
human market; the way they turn young boys into jihadi killers. As
sickening as it may be to any civilized person, the thought that these
evil salafists would kill hundreds of children to use their bodies as bait to
suck the Americans into war with Assad is no longer all that far out
there. It is totally consistent with what we know about Da'esh, al-Nusra,
and Jaysh al-Islam. And we can pretty well surmise that if these
people wandering around in the SunMorgue are the terrorists, then they
would not hesitate for a second to slit the throat of one of their victims
they brought into the SunMorgue mistakenly thinking that he had succumbed
in a gas chamber.
bloody floor+ bleeding "corpse" + bloody
rag = a
murder in the SunMorgue
Chapter 12 of MITSM [pp. 179-196] tells the story of a
SunMorgue victim I have labeled "M-015" in my Table
of Victims. There is also an excellent YT
produced by Adam Larsen that summarizes that material and the
points made below. You might want to look at that video before
continuing here; it's short.
M-015 was a large man, probably 230 pounds or more. He looks
like he was in his mid-50's. When he died, he had a day's beard growth
and was dressed in a grey,
collared pull-over shirt and black trousers. I won't go into all
of the details here about how we know he his throat was slit in the
SunMorgue, those details are all explained in MITSM and Mr. Larsen's
video. Here I'll just do a bullet-list of what the video-evidence
tells us about M-015's unhappy sojourn in the SunMorgue on what was
almost certainly Aug21|2013, the day of the Ghouta
-- Early morning. Figure 8 is a photo of M-015 being carried
into the SunMorgue on a cot in the early hours. At the time he
was brought in, the men's side of the room was almost full. He
was placed on the floor at the end of a row that comprised the bodies
of three men and a young boy, who is in the teal nylon trousers in Fig
8. They were to M-015's right.
Later a final addition to that row would be placed to his
Fig. 8. M-015 being brought into the SunMorgue.
says the date was Aug21|2013
M-015 was not bleeding when he was
carried into the SunMorgue and laid on the floor. Like the other
victims, there were no signs of him having been wounded or injured in
any way. There were no signs of trauma. No blood can be seen on the floor. A clean white towel
was placed over his face, which might have concealed from the terrorists
carrying his cot that the man was not yet dead.
When executing a large group of victims with CO/CN, it would not be
difficult to overlook a few survivors and not realize they are still alive.
Unlike sarin, these drugs do not induce convulsions, or cause the skin
to turn blue, or produce any of the many other signs that would
indicate that the drug had done its job. As noted above, CO/CN
produce cadavers that look like healthy people sleeping. And large
people like M-015 are more difficult to poison in general than smaller
people -- the drugs are taken up by the fat, which decreases the drug's
concentration in the bloodstream, which can obviate or slow the onset of
it's fatal effects.
-- Mid-day. By the time the PR guys with the video
cameras showed up at the SunMorgue around mid-day, M-015's appearance
and situation had changed drastically. Two cameramen passed him
slowly and videoed him carefully. One of video guys reached the end
of the room, then turned around and passed M-015 slowly again, showing us
what M-015 looked like from two opposite angles. It wasn't
What we see in those videos is M-015 lying face up on the floor next to
the young boy, right were they were placed earlier. Only now M-015 is
lying in his own very bright red blood. His face is no longer
covered by the clean white towel; it is now blood-stained and covering
his throat. A blue kiddie-blanket has been packed around the
left side of his neck -- part of it is soaked with blood. The blood forms
a good sized pool on the left of M-015's head. On the right side of
M-015's head the blood has run down a trough formed by the grout between
Fig. 9 The bleeding "corpse" of
the blue blanket, not yet full of blood
It is a ghastly scene because it is obvious that M-015 suffered
a throat-wound after he was laid on the SunMorgue floor. And
judging by the large volume of blood he lost, we can deduce that his
circulatory system was pressurized and his heart was beating even though
he might not have been conscious when he suffered the fatal wound.
His throat was almost certainly slit.
brilliant red color of the blood -- even after it left his body and
coagulated on the floor -- is evidence that the man had been exposed to a rubigenic
agent. His color, like that of his companions in death
on either side of him, is excellent. As we see him lying there in
those mid-day videos, M-015 may still be alive and bleeding out.
And the reason I say it is that the blue kiddie-blanket that is being
used to soak up the blood is not nearly as full of blood as it's going
-- Late afternoon. Late in the afternoon of Aug21|2013
photographer Mohammad al-Abdullah stopped by the SunMorgue to take some
photos before the sun set. He took quite a few that have made
their way onto the Internet by way of the terrorists' PR machine. At this time of day the SunMorgue had
been largely emptied. All that remained was a few lingering bodies
awaiting transport to their final resting place.
M-015 was gone, but the blue blanket remained precisely where it was
when the earlier videos were shot. However, it was no longer
Fig. 10. The blue blanket still in the exact
place after M-015 was removed
Figure 10 above was snipped from a larger
al-Abdullah image that I was able to use to line up the tile lines to show that this
is the same blanket in precisely the same spot on the floor as shown in
Fig. 9. [MITSM pp. 187-190] It is obvious that between the time the blanket was
videoed near mid-day and the time it was photographed in the late
afternoon, M-015 had lost a lot more blood. This can only mean
that M-015 was still alive when the PR guys shot their videos at
Think about this: In Fig. 9 we see the man lying there with his throat
slit, and no one doing any thing to help him as he bleeds out into the
blue kiddie blanket, absolutely saturating it with his blood as seen in
Fig. 10. I think this tells us everything we need to
know about who those people are we see wandering around in the Kafr Batna
SunMorgue, and, by extension, who all of these people are we see in the
The death of M-015 belies all of the demotic
assumptions about the people we see wandering around in the videos of the
SunMorgue being good
people trying to either help their dying friends and family members or
tend to the bodies of family members and friends who are beyond help. John Kerry
referred to these people as "heroic first responders." Therein
lies the fraud. They werenít heroic, they werenít first responders,
and they werenít helping. They are the murderers. They are the
terrorists. Why else would they kill this man who was brought into the
SunMorgue and laid out on the floor instead of helping him?
Was there no sarin at all?
The evidence we can see in the videos of the Kafr Batna complex proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the people were killed not with
sarin but with CO or CN or some other rubigenic toxin. The question then becomes:
Was anyone in Ghouta killed
with sarin? It's a good question.
I have tried to be careful to avoid making the claim that no one in Ghouta
was poisoned with sarin. After all, how could one know that?
All I can say for certain is that if anyone was poisoned with sarin,
they were not among the hundreds of victims I have seen in dozens of
videos. While there are odd instances of people that may by
cyanotic, or throwing up, or exhibiting miosis, I have seen no instance in
which an alleged sarin victim displays more than one sarin-symptom. I would not, personally, conclude that anyone was a victim of
sarin unless I could see indications of at least three of the symptoms
sarin produces -- I have not seen any such victim. Au
contraire, what I have seen is hundreds of people with red lips, ears,
nose, fingers -- all of whom must be automatically disqualified as sarin
victims for the reasons stated above and in much greater detail in MITSM.
But I suspect that there are sarin victims (or volunteers) that I have not seen. I mean,
if this was a false flag operation orchestrated to convince the UN
Mission and the world that Assad had used sarin against those opposing
him, then the terrorists would surely have sprayed sarin on the
buildings, and dirt, and rockets they showed to the Mission. And they likely would have
administered sarin or, more likely, administered a safer oganophosphate
similar to sarin, to volunteers so that their blood and urine would contain breakdown
products that could be attributed to sarin -- and that is what the UN Mission claims it found. But
this use of sarin would have been extremely limited. Terrorists
who want to show the world hundreds of dead children would not kill
those children with sarin -- unlike CO and CN sarin is far too
dangerous to use in that manner, and the results would be too messy to
handle. That is the reason
we do not see hundreds of sarin victims in the videos.
If you want to safely plant evidence of sarin on, say, a rocket, you
merely mix the sarin with water in a spray bottle. The water
deactivates the sarin making it harmless and produces breakdown products
that investigators will find and attribute to Assad. You then
spray the inactive solution on the rocket, pick up you cell phone and
call the UN Mission to come and take samples.
In Part 2 I cited correspondence sent to Obama and his administration
officials by a group of retired US intelligence officers who call
themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
They are led by the estimable Ray McGovern. Without putting
words in anyone's mouth, I believe it is fair to say that Seymour Hersh,
VIPS, and myself are all on the same page here. At the very least my conclusions are in general accord with the most important point made
by Hersh and VIPS: The Ghouta Massacre was
not carried out by Assadís side; it was carried out by the terrorists
who were in control of Ghouta at the time. Here is an excerpt from a
sent to Obama on Sep06|2013.
- Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause
fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They
insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by
the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its
arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers
working on the Syria issue. They tell us that CIA Director John
Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of
Congress, the media, the public Ė and perhaps even you.
- According to some reports, canisters containing chemical agent were
brought into a suburb of Damascus, where they were then opened. Some
people in the immediate vicinity died; others were injured.
The event McGovern and his colleagues allege happened would probably
not be sufficient to cause the numbers of bodies we see in the Ghouta
videos. Unless the canister was opened in a crowded room or gas
chamber, it would not likely have much of an effect. Sarin
rockets, for instance, explode in order to spread the toxin as far as
possible. But the scenario VIPS describes does suggest a small-scale sarin release by the terrorists
in order to synthesize evidence of a large-scale sarin attack.
And so it would not in the least surprise me -- or negate any of the
conclusions reached herein -- if sarin was used on a small scale to
produce a "sarin trail" for the UN investigators to find when
they started their investigation almost a week after the event.
After all, as noted in Part 1 of this series, we now have Seymour Hersh
and Eren Erdem, the MP from Turkey, providing evidence and allegations that the terrorists in Syria
were obtaining sarin and its precursors from Turkey in May|2103, just
three months prior to the Ghouta
Mass-execution. And we have
the results of UN Mission who went into Ein Tarma/Zamalka, not far from
Kafr Batna, and -- sure 'nuf -- found a few traces of chemicals associated with
sarin in the places the terrorists told them to sample.
Summarizing the Series: Q.E.D.
By using Obama's Syrian Syllogism as a platform from which to work,
this series has highlighted the following pieces of evidence and made
the following conclusions:
- Obama's assertion that only Assad's Syrian Arab Army had sarin in
August|2013 is almost certainly false. There is firm evidence,
including Turkish police reports, that the Syrian terrorists were
obtaining sarin and/or its precursors from Turkish sources in the
months prior to the Ghouta Mass-execution. Some have twisted
Obama's assertion by saying that only the SAA had access to large
amounts of sarin, but that modified assertion is irrelevant
because there is no evidence, and there have been no allegations,
that large amounts of sarin were used by anybody.
- Obama's assertion that sarin-filled rockets were fired into Ghouta
is so flimsy as to be risible. The only physical evidence of
rockets being used was under the exclusive control of the
terrorists for almost a week before UN/OPCW investigators looked at
it. And then the investigators were shown only the evidence
the terrorists wanted them to see. As a result, there is not a
shred of reliable evidence supporting Obama's assertion, nor has his
administration provided a shred of evidence. Risible.
- The direct negative evidence proves that sarin was not used to
kill large numbers of people in Ghouta None of hundreds of
victims I have seen in the videos that came out of Ghouta show
enough signs of sarin intoxication to conclude that they were
poisoned with the toxin.
- The direct positive evidence is wholly consistent with the
negative evidence and proves that sarin was not used to kill large
numbers of people in Ghouta. Which is to say, the near
universal red/pink coloring of the victims -- both those alive and
those dead -- establishes beyond any doubt that they could not have
been killed with sarin.
- It is possible, and logically likely, that the terrorists used
sarin on a small scale in order to plant evidence that would enhance
the legitimacy of false claims that Assad had "gassed his own
people" in Ghouta.
- There is no reasonable doubt or question that the victims seen in
the Ghouta videos were poisoned with something. Given the
widespread, near universal, red/pink coloring of their features,
there is a near certainty that they were poisoned with a rubigenic
agent, probably carbon monoxide or cyanide.
- Consequently, the Ghouta event can only reasonably be seen, not as
a CW attack by Assad's army or anyone else, but as a mass-execution.
Since only the terrorist groups had control of the Ghouta area in
August|2013, only they could have carried out such a mass-execution.
- Circumstantial evidence provides very, very strong support for the
conclusion that the Ghouta victims were executed by the
terrorists. The circumstantial evidence includes: 1) the use
of CO/CN as the toxin; 2) the efficient, well-coordinated manner in
which the terrorists' PR websites were claiming a sarin attack
within a couple hours of the alleged attack when no one could have
possibly known it was sarin that soon, even if it had been; and, 3)
overwhelming evidence that at least one person was brought into a
make-shift Ghouta morgue while still alive and was then murdered
The Ghouta Massacre was not a CW attack by Syrian forces using sarin.
It was a mass-execution carried out by Sunni terrorists opposing Assad
and using carbon monoxide or cyanide. The world needs to
understand that Obama's Sarin Myth is a fabrication. Not only does
that fabrication implicate the wrong people, it protects the real
perpetrators from being hunted down, tried, and punished. The
Sarin Myth also obfuscates the truth about the extreme evil these Sunni
terrorists are capable of. If they will so willingly execute
hundreds of Syrian Muslim children, they will happily execute the
children of American, British, German, and French infidels.
--- Denis O'Brien, PhD/Esq.