U.S. officials called up the New York Times. They requested to send two reporters to take down dictation. The reporters dutifully stenographed what they were told and copied it into some publishable format.
The main purpose of the story seems to be to blame the Jordan intelligence service that CIA supplied weapons for “Syrian rebels” are ending up in weapon markets and with the Islamic State.
But the officials are also giving a limited hangout, confirming some already known facts to obfuscate and hide others. The reporters never bother to explain that to their readers. They leave all major assertions unchallenged even while those contradict reports already in the public record. “Why confuse the reader with facts?” they might have thought.
Thus we now read that Jordanian intelligence people “stole” weapons the CIA intended to deliver to “moderate” Syrian rebels. Jordan intelligence “sold” those on the “black market”. Unfortunately some of these weapons have recently been used against U.S. CIA contractors.
You see, the always bumbling empire and its incompetent CIA never-ever manage to do something right. They have all these good intentions but always make these stupid mistakes like losing arms that then somehow end up with the Islamic State and other Jihadis. Whatever the U.S. does, any negative consequences are -by definition- unplanned or done by some other bad actors.
That weapons for “moderate rebels” end up and are sold to by Jihadis, even on Facebook, was predictable from the get-go and has been known for a long time. It is not a Jordanian problem.
Other myth the piece tries to plant include:
- the CIA only started to train Syrian rebels and to deliver weapon to them in 2013
- the weapons all came from eastern Europe via some Gulf countries
- those U.S. dependent Gulf countries were acting randomly and only since 2013 did the CIA, thankfully, take the lead and set things straight
- the Jordan state lets the officers who systematically “stole” weapons keep their pensions and the profits from the deal because that’s what that weird Jordan state does
There has been quite a bit of reporting that contradicts those fairy tales:
- the international operations rooms to coordinate the Syrian rebels in Turkey and Jordan started in 2012
- the CIA supervised smuggling of weapons from Libya to Syria in 2011/12
- the Gulf countries depend in the U.S. for their intelligence and defense; they do not “go rogue” unnoticed and unchallenged unless it is in U.S. interests
- no state, not even Jordan, will pamper officers who “stole” and sold weapons if these deeds were against orders and the interests of the state
An open question is why this story was created now. It provides some limited hangouts but its real purpose seems to be to plant the story “Jordan officer stole weapons that killed U.S. people” which makes Jordan look bad. The NYT report was written in collaboration with the Qatari outlet Al Jazeerah.
There are doubts in Jordan that continuing the war against Syria is in its interest. A vehicle used in a recent suicide bombing against a Jordanian border station was earlier officially given to “moderate” Syrian rebels. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Jordan can not expect anything good from a continuing war and wants to wind it down.
So was this story planted to put pressure on Jordan to again change its mind? Does it convey U.S. and Qatari pressure to renew a “Southern Front”, which has been quiet for a while, and for a new rebel attack from Jordan against Damascus?
Don’t bet on the NYT stenographers to answer such questions.
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