We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, January 18, 2014

MIT study of Ghouta chemical attack challenges US intelligence

Click here to access article from RT

Summary statements from the MIT report on the chemical weapons incidents in Syria:
*The Syrian Improvised Chemical Munitions that Were Used in the August 21,
 Nerve Agent Attack in Damascus Have a Range of About 2 Kilometers

*The UN Independent Assessment of the Range of the Chemical Munition Is in
 Exact Agreement with Our Findings

*This Indicates That These Munitions Could Not Possibly Have Been Fired at
 East Ghouta from the “Heart”, or from the Eastern Edge, of the Syrian
 Government Controlled Area Shown in the Intelligence Map Published by the
 White House on August 30, 2013.

*This mistaken Intelligence Could Have Led to an Unjustified US Military
 Action Based on False Intelligence.

*A Proper Vetting of the Fact That the Munition Was of Such Short Range
 Would Have Led to a Completely Different Assessment of the Situation from
 the Gathered Data

*Whatever the Reasons for the Egregious Errors in the Intelligence, the Source
 of These Errors Needs to Be Explained.

*If the Source of These Errors Is Not Identified, the Procedures that Led to this
 Intelligence Failure Will Go Uncorrected, and the Chances of a Future Policy
 Disaster Will Grow With Certainty.