Thomas Wictor

Good conspiracy theories should be at least slightly plausible

Good conspiracy theories should be at least slightly plausible

Attention hog Seymour Hersh claims that the United States Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff—the highest-ranking bureaucrats in the Pentagon—gave Bashar al-Assad intelligence to help him defeat jihadist terrorists. This isn’t even a good conspiracy theory. Hersh made it all up, as is clear by his claim that his source is a “former senior adviser to the Joint Chiefs.”

There’s no such position.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) consist of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. They meet in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Conference Room, called “the Tank.” Every Military Service Chief is advised by his own branch; the JCS as a whole also takes input from Unified Combatant Commands.

This is from the JCS Website linked above.


There’s no such thing as a “senior adviser to the Joint Chiefs.” The Joint Chiefs are themselves advisers. Their sole function is to advise the president, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. They have no command authority, and nobody is required to take their advice.

Hersh’s single source doesn’t exist.

Next, Hersh’s claims.

[W]hat the Joint Chiefs did is they began to pass along some of this very good strategic intelligence and technical intelligence we have—where the bad guys are, you can put it; what they might be thinking; what information we had. That was passed not directly to Assad, but it was passed to the Germans, to the Russians, through the Israelis, etc. The exact process is, of course, way beyond my ken, but there was no question that was a transmission point. The point being that there was no direct contact, but the information certainly got to him, and it certainly had an impact on Saddam’s—the Syrian army’s ability to improve its position by the end of the year, 2013.

Let’s see a show of hands: How many people out there think that the US had very good strategic intelligence on the groups fighting Assad in 2013?

President Obama and senior intelligence officials have acknowledged that the Islamic State’s rapid emergence caught them by surprise. At the least, the prospect that senior officials intentionally skewed intelligence conclusions has raised questions about how much Mr. Obama, Congress and the public can believe the military’s assessments.

Seymour Hersh requires you to believe things based only on his word. When I write my posts, I make clear that I’m interpreting things, and I always give you the information that I use to come to my conclusions.

A good conspiracy theory. In Opposite World

Here’s reality: Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran have always posed a far greater threat to Israel than any jihadist organization. This is because Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran are in possession of well over 100,000 missiles that could completely overwhelm Israel’s defenses. Since Syria and Iran also have chemical and biological weapons that they could put in their missiles, the threat becomes even greater.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said this.

In Syria, I do not see a simple concept. Because you choose here between a horrible secular dictatorship, or the two other prospects, that would be buttressed by Iran, that would have Iran run Syria – a horrible prospect for us – or Daesh, which is also there touching on our borders in Golan. When two of your enemies are fighting each other, I don’t say strengthen one or the other, I say weaken both, or at least don’t intervene – which is what I’ve done. I have not intervened.

He means that he hasn’t intervened on behalf of either Assad or the people fighting him. There’s no reason to disbelieve him. And there’s also no good reason to believe that Israel would pass along American intelligence to Assad. If Assad wins the war, he emerges stronger than ever. Iran and Hezbollah are also strengthened.

It’s almost certain that the Syrian Arab Army no longer exists. Not surprising, since it was a completely worthless fighting force with an abysmal level of training. Bashar al-Assad is a Ba’athist, so he worried constantly about his military overthrowing him. As a result, he trained his troops only enough to oppress civilians.

The video below is incredible. A commander on top of a building has to micromanage a battle down to the tiniest detail, yet his men still manage to nearly kill each other multiple times.

Nobody blocked off the street; every one of those passing cars could’ve been loaded with explosives.

The Syrian Arab Army was garbage. Iran sent in Quds Force advisers, and then it imported Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps infantry and armor. A Syrian paramilitary Basij—the National Defense Forces—was created, as were Iraqi Shi’ite militias and an Afghan militia called Liwa Fatemiyoun. Several Druze militias were also organized.

Israel now says that Iran has been effectively defeated in Syria. This means that it’s only a matter of time before Assad loses the war. Not only did Israel not pass intelligence to Assad, I believe that the IDF killed every single top Iranian and Hezbollah commander in Syria. Doing so was self-defense, since the mullahs and Hezbollah are maniacal, homicidal Jew-haters who were trying to set up house in the Golan Heights.

I’ll leave you with another of my SWAGs. This video is fake. It was made by the Russians.

All those smoke clouds are computer-generated imagery (CGI). The giveaway is that the horizon is used as a convenient border. Also, the smoke clouds are far too large. No aerial munition can produce this.


Note the conversational tone of the narrator.

“Yup. God is great. Uh-huh. Did I remember to lock the front door? Another giant explosion. Hmm.”

For whatever cultural reason, the Russians can’t produce convincing propaganda. Everything is always off. In this case they weren’t even trying.

After the string of bombs goes off between 1:44 and 2:10—with overprocessed crashetty-crash-crash sounds—you see two Su-30 Flanker jets.


But in a snickering wink to the classic comedy Airplane, they dubbed in the sound of turboprops, not jet engines.

You see jets, but you hear propellers.

Someone in Moscow has a wacky if macabre sense of humor.

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