Rush Limbaugh today raised the possibility that Syrian rebels were responsible for using chemical weapons on their own people – not President Bashar al-Assad.
Limbaugh said he based the theory on emails he received from friends over the weekend, both of whom “have lived in the Middle East” and “claim to know Bashar.”
The correspondents told Limbaugh that they suspect Assad is “being framed.”
The Syrian leader, they insist, would not have gassed his own people. In any case, Limbaugh’s friends asked, What would Bashar gain from committing such an atrocity?
An estimated 1,400 people died in a gas attack on a Damascus suburb just two weeks ago.
Limbaugh told listeners he was prepared to brush his friends’ opinions aside until he read an article by Yossef Bodansky, former director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, which claims that the chemical weapons attack was carried out by al Qaida terrorists posing as Syrian rebels – and that the U.S. may have had foreknowledge of the attack.
Limbaugh read the first two paragraphs of Bodansky’s World Tribune article on the air:
"There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East – mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters – which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the Aug. 21 chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a premeditated provocation by the Syrian opposition.
"The extent of U.S. foreknowledge of this provocation needs further investigation because available data puts the 'horror' of the Barack Obama White House in a different and disturbing light."
In other words, Limbaugh explained, "Al Qaida was setting off chemical weapons on their own people … to create the situation where we take Bashir out for them because they can't do it themselves."
Noting that Bodansky, a consultant for the Department of Defense and the Department of State, is not an "Internet loony toon," Limbaugh remarked, "If indeed this is a frame job, look how well it's being run. ... That template [for U.S. intervention] quickly came to life. It has all the energy in the world behind it."
Limbaugh reminded listeners that back in September 2012, Foreign Policy magazine reported that "the U.S. has lost track of some of Syria's chemical weapons … and does not know if any potentially lethal chemicals have fallen into the hands of Syrian rebels or Iranian forces inside the country."
"I doubt that anybody remembered that Syrian rebels overran and controlled a government base that had chemical weapons last summer," said Limbaugh.
"It's an open question whether the rebels got their hands on chemical weapons last year," he added, noting that an Associated Press story that ran Aug. 29 agreed with that assessment. "Meanwhile Kerry, the regime and media have used as their main argument that the rebels have never had access to chemical weapons, therefore they couldn't have conducted that attack," and Bashar had to be the culprit.
Limbaugh noted Bodansky didn't name any of his sources. However, if Bodansky's analysis is correct, Limbaugh concluded, "this is the set-up of all time."
"I'm just putting this out as a possibility," Limbaugh said. "It's already out there. You know the old saying: 'We report; you decide.'"