Tulsi Gabbard faces new smears as an “Assadist” even as a leaked OPCW document vindicates her public skepticism of chemical weapons claims.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been smeared as an Assad apologist for her efforts to end the US-backed proxy war and her skepticism of US military strikes in Syria. MIT professor emeritus Ted Postol, a leading missile expert and informal Gabbard advisor, defends Gabbard’s stance. Professor Postol also criticizes the OPCW’s continued silence on a leaked document that suggests the April 2018 gas attack in Douma was staged.
Guest: Theodore Postol, award-winning Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT.
AARON MATÉ: At the last Democratic debate, Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard destroyed Kamala Harris’ image as a “progressive prosecutor” by bringing up her actual record.
REP. TULSI GABBARD: “When you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not. And worse yet, in the case of those who are on death row, innocent people, you actually blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them, until you were forced to do so. There is no excuse for that. And the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.”
AARON MATÉ: The response of the Harris camp and its allies was not to defend Harris’ actual record. Instead, this group decided to smear Tulsi Gabbard as an apologist for Syrian leader Basher al-Assad and a denier of his atrocities. This is not because of anything Gabbard has actually said or done – she has called Assad, many times, “a brutal dictator.” But this was because Gabbard has met with Assad in a bid to stop the US-backed proxy war in Syria. And she’s also raised questions about allegations against Assad of chemical weapons use, which were used to justify U.S. military strikes in 2017 and 2018.
Gabbard might stand apart in Washington for doing this, but she has grounds for skepticism. Earlier, this year, a leaked engineering assessment from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons undermined the claim that Assad carried out a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The report concluded that gas cylinders found at the scene were “manually placed” – suggesting that the attack was staged.
Speaking to CNN, Tulsi Gabbard cited that leaked OPCW report.
REP. TULSI GABBARD: “There was a report that was recently sent out from the OPCW, the UN organization responsible for investigating incidents of chemical weapons attacks that brings into light a lot of different evidence that wasn’t previously reported. And secondly, there’s a professor from MIT who has also been an expert in missile attacks and chemical weapons who’s also shed a lot of light on this. What I’m saying is we’ve got to examine all of the evidence.”
AARON MATÉ: Well joining me now is the MIT professor Gabbard cited — Theodore Postol, an award-winning Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT.
Aaron Maté is a journalist and producer. He hosts Pushback with Aaron Maté on The Grayzone. He is also is contributor to The Nation magazine and former host/producer for The Real News and Democracy Now!. Aaron has also presented and produced for Vice, AJ+, and Al Jazeera.