It has become abundantly clear, thanks especially to excellent reporting and analysis by Glenn Greenwald and Justin Raimondo, that the “Khorasan Group” threat used as the pretext for the US bombing of Syria was totally fabricated by the US government. The purpose was an attempt to legitimize what would otherwise be an illegal US attack.
In the immediate run-up to the US bombing of Syria, unnamed sources in the US government began leaking to the obedient US press corps ever-more fantastic tales about a new group of terrorists that were far more terrifying than ISIS (which we had just been told was far more terrifying than al-Qaeda). This new group, dubbed the “Khorasan Group” by the US government, was said by US officials to post a “direct and imminent threat to the United States.”
The US strikes on Syria thwarted an “imminent attack” on the US homeland by the Khorasan Group, the US administration claimed, as reported by CNN.
For the moment, as the US attacked Syria, we heard almost nothing about ISIS, the originally stated reason for the US strikes in the first place. The US administration had to hit ISIS immediately, “before we all get killed here at home,” as Sen. Lindsey Graham put it at the time.
Yet suddenly the real threat was Khorasan, not ISIS. Why is that?
Clearly White House lawyers were burning the midnight oil looking for some way to apply a legal fig leaf to what would be illegal under US and international law. The US president is not permitted to launch a military attack without Congressional action unless to defend against an “imminent” attack on the United States. That would not include ISIS, which was busy taking over territory 6,000 miles from Washington, D.C.
What to do? Invent an attack. And that is what the administration did. But as soon as the bombs fell, the story had to change very quickly once again. And it did.
But once it served its purpose of justifying the start of the bombing campaign in Syria, the Khorasan narrative simply evaporated as quickly as it materialized. …
Literally within a matter of days, we went from ‘perhaps in its final stages of planning its attack’ (CNN) to ‘plotting as ‘aspirational’ and ‘there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works’ (NYT). …
Even more remarkable, it turns out the very existence of an actual ‘Khorasan Group’ was to some degree an invention of the American government. NBC’s [Richard] Engel, the day after he reported on the U.S. government’s claims about the group for Nightly News, seemed to have serious second thoughts about the group’s existence, Tweeting that ‘Syrian activists they’ve never heard of Khorasan or its leader.’
President Obama and his administration lied the US into a war on Syria every bit as much as the Bush administration lied us into a war on Iraq. Were the US media not still every bit as compliant with the US government as they had been in 2002, they would be all over this story.
How many people were fooled once again into supporting US military action based on US government lies hyped by the US mainstream media? This time, we were told, we had to believe the US administration. We had to act! And again they lied.
The idea that we have an independent US media acting as a watchdog for the common good is one of the greatest myths of our time.