Originally Posted by CowboyX
Sigh, all of these were supported when they were originally listed. And I'll remind you that the majority of these sources were provided by you originally, I just bothered to read them. And rather than letting you chase this down a rat hole, I'll offer them up all at the same time so we can set this to rest.
1) The UN agency monitoring the proliferation of chemical weapons
The UN agency responsible for monitoring proliferation noted that multiple uses for EMPTA have been documented and, additionally, it is often a by product of the decomposing of certain fertilizers and insecticides prevalent in the region. The agency also noted that the presence in the soil outside the plant made little sense for VX production and it is a viscous substance unlikely to be "accidentally" transplanted.
"Although there are sound reasons to be wary of accepting Sudanese government claims, officials’ actions in the wake of the attack are not what one would expect if their statements were mere propaganda. Government ministers arrived at Shifa while the plant was still burning from the attack, which presumably would have been personally hazardous if the plant had been involved in CW production. Press accounts indicated no government or other effort to deny access to the facility, and contrary to their past practice of impeding foreign access to the Sudan, officials began approving visas for journalists almost immediately upon request.
Contrary to U.S. allegations, it is now clear that the plant was not a closed, secretive, or military-run facility. Irish film producer Irwin Armstrong, who visited the plant in 1997, said, “the Americans have got this completely wrong. In other parts of the country I encountered heavy security but not here. I was allowed to walk about quite freely.” Bishop H.H. Brookins of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Nashville and Arkansas businessman Bobby May told New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh that they had toured Shifa days before the U.S. attack and were free to move about the plant as they observed workers packaging medicines. On learning of the attack, Brookins said he believed “somebody made a mistake,” while May recounted watching CNN coverage of the attack from the Khartoum Hilton: “I’m lying in bed and watching the White House talking about this place being a heavily guarded chemical factory. I couldn’t believe my ears. Until then, I had a lot of faith in our intelligence services.” Other accounts indicated that the facility often received guests, including the president of Niger, the British ambassador to the Sudan, and groups of Sudanese schoolchildren. Foreigners were allowed to enter the facility freely, it had no special security constraints, and prominent road signs directed visitors to al-Shifa.
Testimony that the plant produced medicine and was not heavily guarded contradicts some initial U.S. claims, but does not preclude the possibility that the Shifa facility may also have been involved in CW production. However, U.S. allegations that the Shifa plant produced a chemical weapon precursor have also been disputed by many sources that are independent or critical of the Sudanese government.
Foreign engineers and managers familiar with the construction and operation of the plant said that it was not suitably designed or operated to permit CW production. The U.S. consultant who designed Shifa, Henry R. Jobe, said that it was not constructed with equipment necessary for nerve agent production. The plant’s Italian supplier, Dino Romanatti, said that he had full access to the facility during visits in February and May1998, and saw neither equipment nor space necessary for CW production. Romanatti described plant resources as very limited; “the availability of tools in the factory was close to zero. You couldn’t get a piece of steel, a screw, a saw. To imagine a plant that makes chemical weapons is absolutely incredible.”
A Jordanian engineer who supervised plant production in 1997, Mohammed Abul Waheed, said “the factory was designed to produce medicine and it would be impossible to convert it to make anything else.” The former co-owner of Shifa, Salem Ahmed Baboud, likewise said the plant was designed only to manufacture particular medicines, and could not have been used for any other purpose.
…The German Ambassador to the Sudan, Werner Daum, reported to Bonn by coded telex the evening of the U.S. attack that the plant was neither secret nor disguised. The report said Shifa could “in no way be described as a chemical plant,” but was instead “Sudan’s largest pharmaceutical plant,” and that it used materials imported from China and Europe.
Thus, according to foreign consultants and diplomats familiar with its recent operations and some independent Sudanese sources, there were no indications of suspicious activities and Shifa apparently had neither equipment nor space for CW production. These multiple accounts, the size of the plant, and the diversity of its pharmaceutical production together suggest that it is highly unlikely that large-scale CW production could have been under way at Shifa.
However, the available evidence does contradict many of the initial U.S. assertions. The factory was neither closed, nor secretive, nor guarded by Sudanese troops, nor in any discernible way part of Sudan’s “military industrial complex.” Likewise, no evidence has emerged of any direct financial or other obvious link between bin Laden and the plant. U.S. officials acknowledged a month after the attack that they had no evidence directly connecting bin Laden to Shifa when President Clinton ordered the factory’s destruction. Their account of the target selection process, moreover, suggests that desire to act swiftly led them to draw firm conclusions from inconclusive evidence. U.S. officials explained that intelligence officers searched commercial databases and Sudanese internet sites, including Shifa’s, for information. Because they did not find any list of medicines for sale by the plant, they mistakenly concluded that it did not produce pharmaceuticals. U.S. officials have also admitted to uncertainty as to whether their own evidence indicated that precursor chemicals were produced at Shifa, or only stored or shipped through the plant. And Clinton administration officials eventually acknowledged that the factory did produce pharmaceuticals."
2) Human Rights Watch
Again, this was from your Jacobin source. He links to: https://www.hrw.org/news/1998/09/15/...ory-inspection
He quotes HRW as saying, "The US government has not explained why its investigation of the site was sufficiently diligent in light of the fact that US officials now admit that they did not know the plant manufactured legitimate pharmaceuticals...."
The link also states: "It has not yet been established by the evidence in the public domain that the U.S. military planners did everything "feasible" to establish that the al Shifa factory met the definition of a legitimate military target, or even that it was a legitimate military target at the time of the attack...
But the U.S. government has not explained why its investigation of the site was sufficiently diligent in light of the fact that U.S. officials now admit that they did not know the plant manufactured legitimate pharmaceuticals. The evidence these officials cite for their belief that the plant had no legitimate civilian purpose - unlike the web sites of other known pharmaceutical manufacturers in Sudan, this company's web site did not mention any products - is hardly conclusive.
Moreover, the U.S. government's disclosure that a soil sample taken months before the attack contained Empta shows only that this chemical had been present in the past, not that it continued to be present. The soil sample would have been compatible, for example, with the past, discontinued storage of Empta, or the past production of Empta, and does not necessarily suggest that the plant continued to store or produce the chemical. The law requires that for a target to be legitimate it must be serving a military purpose "at the time of the attack." The U.S. government should disclose whatever additional information it has to suggest that the factory remained involved in some way with Empta at the time the attack was launched."
3) The New York Times
There are multiple versions that can be used to support this. From your Jacobin site: https://partners.nytimes.com/library...9us-sudan.html
"“[o]fficials throughout the Government raised doubts up to the eve of the attack about whether the United States had sufficient information linking the factory to either chemical weapons or to bin Laden, according to participants in the discussions.”
"In the aftermath, some senior officials moved to suppress internal dissent, officials said. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and a senior deputy, they said, encouraged State Department intelligence analysts to kill a report being drafted that said the bombing was not justified. "
Or we can use my original NYT article which states: "Indeed, officials later said that there was no proof that the plant had been manufacturing or storing nerve gas, as initially suspected by the Americans, or had been linked to Osama bin Laden, who was a resident of Khartoum in the 1980's. " http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/20/wo...t-us-wont.html
Quoted also by your Jacobin source Slate wrote: "
It's probably worth noting, too, that nobody who sifted through the rubble afterward found evidence that the plant had manufactured or contained anything other than pharmaceuticals.
But all this analysis is based on what could be learned in 1998"
One weak link in the EMPTA argument is the question of who procured the sample. Citing a "veteran intelligence agent," the journalist Jason Vest pointed out in March 1999 that since 1996 the CIA had treated Sudan as a "denied area"— off-limits to actual CIA officers. This led the CIA to depend on either recruiting a foreign national or one on loan from a friendly neighboring intelligence service. Egypt has no love for Sudan, and Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Uganda all receive "non-lethal" U.S. military aid used to help the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement fight the Islamist regime in Khartoum. While declining to confirm specifics about how the sample was collected, the agent stated that the choice of operative for the mission likely did not lend itself to ensuring entirely objective results.
Another potential problem for the EMPTA argument, widely noted at the time, is that pesticide traces in the soil are apparently easy to mistake for EMPTA."
IE: the source of the EMPTA sample was probably known to have not been a US intelligence asset at the time of the bombing.
5) The Guardian
Cited in your Jacobin article, https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...tan.terrorism3
""The evidence was not conclusive and was not enough to justify an act of war," concedes Donald Petterson, former American ambassador to Sudan. With a £35m compensation claim working its way through the American courts, that is as much as any official will say on the record. The evidence was supposed to consist of incriminating soil samples; they have never been produced. Sudan's proposal that the UN should investigate was vetoed by America. And Washington is currently trying to fight the case by pleading sovereign immunity. But shortly after filing his suit, the factory's owner, Salah Idris, had his American bank accounts quietly unfrozen."
6) The Boston Globe
This link is cited primarily by your source, Jacobin, though he doesn't offer a contemporary internet link. He cites it more in the relation to the disaster caused by removing the largest producer of life saving drugs. He is referring to "Allied Doubts Grow about the US Strike on Sudanese Plant" Boston Globe where it discusses the fact that multiple engineers responsible for providing the plant with equipment from Germany, the UK, and the US as part of the UN program to produce anti-malarial drugs that the US State Department approved of and knew about testified that no equipment for producing VX was possible and that no security existed at the plant nor were there off limits locations.
7) Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright, who won the prize for his work on this subject
This source was cited and explained in posts 215 and 217.
8) Peer-Reviewed articles in Scholarly Commons a reputable law journal
Referenced earlier in thread, http://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu...AABgAAALWWAAA=
The relevant material can be found on pages 493 and 494 where the author points out that this did not meet the minimum requirements under the Self Defense legal doctrine because no evidence was presented or available to support a threat.
9) Richard Bernstein in the book you linked to
Again, this is your link, and I reviewed the evidence in the work in post 223
10) The CIA's Director of Clandestine Operations at the time (who resigned not long after the attack after writing President Clinton a personal letter arguing against the strike)
I should clarify that she did not resign until quite a while later and her title was actually Director of Intelligence Operations a higher role on the NSC than the Director of Clandestine Operations. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/23/wa...the-rules.html
. She noted, in a letter to the president, that there was no real evidence for chemical weapons and that the consensus in the analyst community was that this was something to prompt more investigation at most.
That the actual analysts looking into the evidence didn't support the conclusion was known to the Clinton Administration at the time of the attack and caused what was a minor rebellion within the community. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...=.e01e4ebd39cb
"However, in a three-page analytical paper written late last July, well before the embassy bombings or the retaliatory targeting of El Shifa, CIA analysts raised questions about what conclusions could safely be drawn from the soil sample.
According to officials familiar with the paper, the CIA analysts considered the presence of EMPTA to be a virtually sure-fire indicator that the plant had something to do with chemical weapons. But they could not be sure whether the plant actually manufactured VX or merely served as a warehouse or transshipment point for chemicals used in making nerve gas. Nor could they be sure how recently that activity might have occurred.
The paper, which was reviewed at senior levels in the CIA and disseminated to the National Security Council staff, recommended covert efforts to obtain more soil samples to try to answer those questions."
11) Tim Weiner in "Legacy of Ashes": "the decision to target al Shifa continues a tradition of operating on inadequate intelligence about Sudan." [It triggered the CIA to make] "substantial and sweeping changes" [to prevent] "a catastrophic systemic intelligence failure."
I linked and offered the explanation in my original post.
I could add that this argument has also taken shape in the professional literature within the intelligence community as well, of political appointees overriding the information of technical analysts to push a conclusion. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/1...06002753412874
12) Cowboy's Jacobin Link
Do I really need to provide you the link to your own source?" I sourced the information on how your own source disagrees with you in post 223.
13) The State Department which filed a formal request for information on the Intelligence the attack was based on and was answered, there is no additional evidence to offer.
I provided the link and support in post 225.
14) Mr. Carnafinn, a british engineer with operational experience inside the plant and fundamental expertise on its operations.
This should be relatively easy, but again from your Jacobin source, he cites Richard Bernstein's interview here
"A British engineer, Thomas Carnaffin, who worked as a technical manager during the plant’s construction between 1992 and 1996, emerged to tell reporters there was nothing secret or heavily guarded about the plant at all, and that he never saw any evidence of the production of an ingredient needed for nerve gas. The group that monitors compliance with the treaty banning chemical weapons announced that Empta did have legitimate commercial purposes in the manufacture of fungicides and antibiotics. The owner of the Shifa factory gave interviews in which he emphatically denied that the plant was used for anything other than pharmaceuticals, and there was never persuasive evidence to contradict his assertion. At the same time, members of the administration retreated from claims they made earlier that Osama bin Laden had what [Defense Secretary William] Cohen called “a financial interest in contributing to this particular facility.” It turned out that no direct financial relationship between bin Laden and the plant could be established."
Note that you see him quoting the UN report I reference above.
I'm going to add one more source as part of collecting this data. From your Jacobin source, the US Ambassador to Sudan stated: "“[t]he evidence was not conclusive and was not enough to justify an act of war.”
Well, no. She had no intelligence on this issue Cowboy that at all implied, or could have led to an assumption that the video caused Benghazi. From your link: "analysts never said the video was a factor in the Benghazi attacks."
Originally Posted by Cowboy
The only talking points she had about the Benghazi attacks concerning the you tube video were political talking points she got from the White House.
If you want to continue to maintain that she was assuming the connection from some intelligence talking points, you need to at least cite exactly which talking points you are referring to. The only ones introduced from an Intelligence source in this thread specifically didn't make that connection.