After months upon months of people screaming about Tulsi Gabbard meeting with Assad, she finally chose to address it. In my opinion, this was idiotic. No matter what she says, the people who hate her will use it as proof that she’s a puppet for Assad.
If she didn’t say anything: She’s a puppet for Assad
If she responds but doesn’t repeat the official narrative 100%: She’s a puppet for Assad
If she responds and does repeat the official narrative 100%: She’s a puppet for Assad
The report we got (which you can read here) acknowledges that Assad has more than likely used chemical weapons on civilians however there is still doubt about two specific attacks people cite the most. She also says we should be skeptical about these attacks, especially as these claims are being used more and more as a reason for military intervention.
For instance, Eliot Higgins of Belling Cat (which I had never heard of until around five minutes ago) called the report “A Self-Contradictory Error Filled Mess.”
To be fair, Belling Cat has done some good reporting in the past. However, this article has many errors itself that simply it can not be taken seriously.
One of the worst examples comes from how the article treats Dr. Theodore Postal, the MIT professor who has been a leading figure in the movement claiming the chemical attacks were a false flag.
Here’s how they introduce him:
Postol is a controversial figure with regards to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. He first came to prominence with regards to the topic following the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, where he published a series of claims suggesting the attacks had been staged. He became particularly notorious when due to his own lack of expertise in chemistry he approached the conspiracy theorist YouTuber Maram Susli, also known as Mimi al-Laham, PartisanGirl, Syrian Girl and Syrian Sister, for advice on chemical weapon manufacturing.
Oh man, he sounds 100% nutter butters. It sure is awful Tulsi Gabbard uses this man as a source. (Even though none of this makes what he said wrong, but I’ll be generous). However, here’s a point Higgins made slightly later in the article in regards to Gabbard citing him for a claim that the size and shape of a crater is inconsistent to the aerial bomb:
What Gabbard appears to be unaware of is Postol himself has now totally rejected this hypothesis, something he announced during a 2018 debate with the author of this article on Khan Sheikhoun.
Wait, what? So Postol is insane, everything he says is wrong, but Tulsi is wrong for saying something he doesn’t believe? That doesn’t make any sense. Shouldn’t the fact he doesn’t believe this actually make Tulsi’s point stronger, not weaker.
This is the problem with starting off by simply calling a man crazy before getting to his point. Now, I have no idea if Postol believing these things is even relevant to the claims Tulsi was making.
Higgins later said on Twitter:
But I guess she did. After all, one of the claims she made isn’t even believed by the Syrian apologist in question.
Am I the only one who sees the issue here?