Retraction and Apology to Our Readers for Mint Press Article on Syria Gas Attack

Eric Garris, September 20, 2013

On August 31, Antiwar.com reprinted an article from Mint Press News: “Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack.” We originally linked to it, but then reprinted on our site at the request of Mint Press because traffic on their site was crashing their server. The validity of the story was primarily based on the fact that the supposed co-author (Dale Gavlak) is a reporter for Associated Press.

Many other articles have been written which refer to the information contained in the Mint Press piece, including ones appearing on Antiwar.com.

Dale Gavlak has issued a statement saying she did not co-author the article and denies that she traveled to Syria or contributed to the article in any way. Here is his statement:

Mint Press News incorrectly used my byline for an article it published on August 29, 2013 alleging chemical weapons usage by Syrian rebels. Despite my repeated requests, made directly and through legal counsel, they have not been willing to issue a retraction stating that I was not the author. Yahya Ababneh is the sole reporter and author of the Mint Press News piece.   To date, Mint Press News has refused to act professionally or honestly in regards to disclosing the actual authorship and sources for this story.

I did not travel to Syria, have any discussions with Syrian rebels, or do any other reporting on which the article is based.  The article is not based on my personal observations and should not be given credence based on my journalistic reputation. Also, it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story as if they were my own statements.

The staff of Antiwar.com sincerely and deeply apologizes for being a part of spreading this article. We also apologize to Dale Gavlak.




98 Responses to “Retraction and Apology to Our Readers for Mint Press Article on Syria Gas Attack”

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  2. I believe Dale is a woman, by the way.

  3. Shame on you for relying so heavily on that source to buttress your own beliefs! Very, very serious insinuations were made in that article about Prince Bandar bin Sultan and I would not be surprised if his lawyers were in contact with that publication as we speak…

  4. Are you serious? The information in that article has been corroborated by other sources. For all we know, the information is accurate. Dale Gavlak's argument is with the use of her name, not the credibility of the other reporter.

  5. [...] http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/20/retraction-and-apology-to-our-readers-for-mint-press-article-on-s… [...]

  6. Are you for real? The information in that article has not been collaborated by anybody else. How could one accident in a tunnel kill people in seven different attack sites. The Mint Press piece was clearly BS from the beginning and a gross insult to those that were slaughtered by Assad's chemical attack.

    See also http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/09/who-used-s

  7. I put the knockdown on this piece of crap article as soon as it was written. I hope that all the other Baathist fans have the guts to issue a retraction like this.
    http://louisproyect.org/2013/09/03/the-provenance

  8. Whats next Anti War are you going to be citing Brown Moses as a source of information next?

  9. Has the remaining alleged author made a statement about this?

  10. When did Ms Gavlak issue this statement as a matter of curiosity i.e how long after the original publication of the mint press article?

  11. Libel or slander is not a crime against natural law. You do not own the thoughts (even if they are incorrect) of others.

  12. Has anybody written to the holder of the email in this piece: dgavlak@mintpressnews.com ?

    I think this just shows that there are a lot of dubious voices trying to manipulate the understanding of the situation because no one knows what exactly is going on in Syria.

  13. Ironical how Dale Gavlak has only stated the following to Brown Moses i am doubting the report by Brown Mose.

  14. I don't understand you. Baathist are socialist. I'm not a fan of any powerful political ideology in the Middle East including Baathist. Is there a power bloc that you favor?

  15. So what DOES Antiwar.com believe happened in Syria?

  16. Lots of flack for an innocent error, kudos for issuing the retraction. Why is it likely innocent? Because the AP journalist was assumed to be the writer of it given her byline was on it and she had AP cred. Of course Mint Press name is now mud and noone should cite it with much credibility again.

    Would the critics have been all over you if you had quoted the AP itself or the New York times and it had turned out to be misinformation? If not thats interesting. What was the crime? Giving some, I suppose premature and unwarranted credence to the alternative press when we know the mainstream press is state propaganda and the alternative press is where we get any contrary narrative at all?

    At least no wars were started (nor animals killed) based on the spreading of this misinformation.

    As for what happened in Syria perhaps the best we have is the UN report, but the actually 38 page report itself, not the biased reporting on it.

  17. Brown Moses dealt with this issue in a comment. He received the announcement from Gavlak from a prior address from which he had received mail from her in the past. The other thing to ask yourself is given the high profile of antiwar.com is why Mint Press has not issued a statement. My suspicion is that they are hoping this goes away. Somebody commented on Marxmail that when corrections are made, they never have the impact of the original bullshit lie.

  18. Couldn't second more.

  19. I emailed her on 8/31/2013 thanking her for risking her life in Syria and reporting the truth. I never received a reply, but a couple days later I noticed Mint Press's clarification at the front of the article that Gavlak was not on the ground in Syria but assisted in writing the article based on the information from the other author. They sill list her among their "Correspondents & Investigative Reporters". One wonders how long that will last. One also wonders why it took Gavlak so long to deny authorship. I doubt we've seen the end of this.

  20. louisproyect is a pro-war Marxist, has posted elsewhere that he wanted the U.S. to launch a military attack against Syria. On this issue he's basically a NeoCon

  21. I was going to have a look around your site and then I spotted this from you.

    "although a Baathist suck-up like you probably masturbates to the sight of rubble in Homs and Aleppo."

    Great way to win an audience.

  22. What AntiWar.com should really apologize for is this premature apology. They didn't even bother to find out Dale is female. Not central, but it does illustrate the "rush" they were in to publish this before pausing to calmly look at it let alone investigate. Folks, you wanna talk about credibility? How about waiting to hear from Gavlak directly rather one blogger who says he got an email from her. As if Dale Gavlak can't post on her own verified account on any of several platforms, and say it herself?

    It was 100% responsible for Mintpress to publish what not one but many separate Syrians told them, as an investigative report. That's what investigative journalists do. Local residents in Ghouta, and rebels, and family members of rebels, told them that rebels carried out a chem attack. What's NOT responsible is to issue a retraction based on one blogger saying "hey man, I got this email from Dale"

    That's not responsible. If you want to base things on what one person posts (which you shouldn't) but if you do, one Sandboxer wrote he contacted her and on Aug 30 got a reply, ""Basically I helped Yahya Ababneh, who traveled to Gouta, to write what he saw and heard. He mainly met with rebels, of course, the father of one of the rebels killed and doctors treating victims in the area. He has traveled to Syria numerous times." in which she did NOT in any way try to distance herself from the story, let alone talk about wanting to have her name removed. This fellow also claims a Jordanian journalist tells him that Gavlak has been under a LOT of pressure after the article went viral – it's not hard to guess who is unhappy with this article – many parties including the most powerful empire in the history of the human race – the country I live in with 300million others.

    Don't base your judgement on what that one commenter wrote, but don't base it on what one blogger wrote. It even violates basic common sense: why would Dale not say it publicly herself?

    Even if true, that she wants name off, does not make true how her name was selected. Surely not completely at random? Surely they didn't roll dice and pick a random US reporter's name to put next to Ababneh's? Surely she had some connection to Ababneh's interviews, and if so, what, in full unabridged detail, was it?

    Also MintPress gave a direct email contact for Dale Gavlak a long time ago, on that story's page. Would MintPress choose to make it so easy to contact one of the two reporters they list, right from the page of the story, if one of them has absolutely positively nothing what so ever to do with the article?

    And also: it simply does not add up: why would Dale remain for over 3 weeks? All the evidence points to her being O.K., with her name on the article – at least for the first three weeks..she helped Ababneh write it and apparently she has known him for several full years and learned to give significant level of credibility – one source says she knew Ababneh for 3 years, though I haven't verified.

    All of this either way – serves to distract us from the main point: it's FALSE to claim " validity of the story was primarily based on the fact" that Gavlak was co-author. No, the credibility (not "validity") of the story was "boosted" (not primarily based on) Gavlak's name. You can have some person you've never heard of, if they are a freelance Jordanian reporter and they say they interviewed Syrian Army officers who claim "we did it" it would be FRONT PAGE news folks, and everyone knows it! ;-)

    Neither this actual story or it's imaginary opposite is "100% proof" of course, but nothing is. The key fact being avoided here is that citizens must pressure our media and government to cover this story and look into it. If it was the opposite it would be looked into, or front page, or bombs away…

    This deserves being looked into – if necessary give asylum to the Ghouta-area Syrian rebel and rebel family members (and area residents) who gave those testimonies to Ababneh, so when they and their families are safe they may be willing to give their full name, identity, and what they know in even more detail.

    We haven't even begun to mention other lines of evidence linking rebels to chem attacks – most explosive is two pro-rebel journalists Pierre Piccinin and Domenico Quirico, overhearing while held hostage, rebel commander saying in clear English in adjacent room that they, rebels, had just done a chemical attack in Ghouta area(!) as “provocation” to get US to attack. This too should be front page, and this too, for reasons far too obvious to mention, isn't, and won't be, until U.S. citizens write letters to editor, make calls, march, leaflet, and insist upon transparent investigation into that, too.

  23. Yup, Brown Moses says in a comment, "I say this is true" and that settles it! Never mind why no direct statement from Gavlak, never mind why she hasn't said anything the first three weeks after the story, never mind anything, Brown Moses says to trust him, and in his comment he says that his original post is true, so it must be true!

    Broader issues too – my extended comment below

  24. Apparently she chose to say nothing for three weeks, and the, she chose to still not make any public statement to media, on any verified account (twitter, G+ etc) but chose to email Brown Moses and let him tell the world, like Moses bringing the word down to the people from the top of the mountain. Seriously funny!

    What is serious is that when you write something that the most powerful empire in all of human history doesn't like (the Saudis are not an easy group to upset, they are very very powerful) as the piece did that had Gavlak's name on it, you may find yourself in a difficult situation, or worse. One poster said he knows from a Jordanian journalist that Gavlak has been put under a lot of "pressure" by those who don't' like the story, ever since the story went viral. Does that make it true? No, it's just one poster. Same logic however applies to one blogger, even a prominent one. Iti defies common sense to think that this is the full story.

    What might be happening is not hard to guess however: Even if the above email is true, it does not contract the interviews; the alleged Gavlak email does NOT contradict other reports that she helped Ababneh write the article (notice the email does not dispute that she helped write it) and does not contradict that she knew him for some years, as also reported elsewhere. So what could be happening? Heard of Gary Webb? He wrote a serious investigation uncovering CIA connection to drug-running by the contras…he was blacklisted, lied about, thrown under the bus, eventually years later he committed suicide.

    She might be hearing: "your career is OVER" from employers or a more sympathetic "we want to hire you but we can't afford to, if we do, the attack dogs will be all over us. So maybe she really does want her name off it, when it threatens to ruin her career, that tells us about as much as if under some other Stalinist or Kafkaesuqe situation someone cries "uncle" It tells us nothing negative about the interviews – it's as obvious as daylight that this is being done under immense pressure put on her – if the reason was merely "hey folks, my role was too small to deserve co-authorships" it would have been done much earlier, immediately or in the first week at most – not 3 weeks later, it's pretty obvious isn't it? She does have my sympathy for the ugly pressure no doubt put on her, the stress…

  25. THE COMMENT BELOW IS NOT MINE, I am reproducing Sandboxer's comment on the Brown Moses blog:

    Sandboxer Comment:
    thread http://brown-moses.blogspot.com/2013/09/statement

    Am appalled at this attempt to undermine and/or discredit an article that challenges mainstream narratives on Syria – one that directly points to chemical weapons possession by rebels inside Ghouta on the day of the alleged CW attacks.

    I contacted Dale Gavlak the day after the Mint Press article was published. I do not know her personally, but found her email on the Mint Press website.

    Dale wrote back to me the same day, August 30. She answered her Mint Press email (dgavlak@mintpressnews.com) and did not appear to take any issue with the article or her byline at that time:

    "Basically I helped Yahya Ababneh, who traveled to Gouta, to write what he saw and heard. He mainly met with rebels, of course, the father of one of the rebels killed and doctors treating victims in the area. He has traveled to Syria numerous times. As you know Mint Press News is more of an advocacy journalism site and it seems to be the most likely to publish such a piece."

    The first part of her email was in response to my query about whether she went into Ghouta herself, as I was interested in interviewing the journalist who actually met with the rebels. The last sentence was in response to my question on why she didn't publish the article on AP.

    She didn't attempt to distance herself from the article in any way on August 30.

    I have heard through a Jordanian journalist that Dale has come under considerable pressure since the article went viral. If she is changing her tune under pressure, that is no reason to discredit the story itself. I understand that Dale and her co-writer Yahya have known each other for around three years. I imagine she trusted his professional integrity enough to put her name on this article – at least before the pressures began.

  26. The fact that Gavlak might, maybe want her name off this after almost certainly being put under immense pressure, does not reduce any credibility at all on this story. That fact she put her name on it and did not try to remove it for all these weeks, tells us she DID put trust in Ababneh's interviews, he is a Jordanian freelancer and even a Masters degree student in journalism, and reportedly he and Gavlak have known one another for three years (unconfirmed). She chose to not dispute her name on it, that tells you it DOES deserve credibility or she would have been on twitter in 24 or 48 hours saying "I did not write this" but she did not – it does not take a genuis to figure out what it means that after 3 weeks and a story going viral and her needing to be hired to put food on the table and the viral story being displeasing to the most powerful country in the world as well as other very powerful mult-billion dollar players, that now she would like her name off it. I do not blame her, if this is indeed true, if indeed this is a true email, I sympathize with her, after all this stress put on her, and her career, etc,…it tells us nothing negative about the actual testimonial interviews given by Syrians:

    Syrians living in the Ghouta area, who said it was rebels

    Syrian rebels in the Ghouta area saying they the rebels released the chemicals

    Family member of dead Syrian rebel saying the same thing

    If we cared about the true rather than covering up anything, anything, that goes against the White House narrative, we'd demand front page stories about and interview with these people, give them and their families asylum so they are safe to reveal their true identities and tell the world what they say in more detail, that they told to Ababneh – that the rebels did this. Call your rep, demand these very very serious war crime allegations be looked into.

    It's not a war crime ONLY if the side that Washington to attack does something, it's a war crime if US-backed rebels did it too. And it's not 100% proven but as a serious war crime allegation given not by one person but many different Syrian in three (see above) different types of Syrians, all saying rebels did this, are you kidding? If this many people of the many categories (area residents plus "we did it" plus family of) if it was claims Army did this, it would be Page One and on TV endlessly. Double standards need to go out the window.

    Investigate also the the two pro-rebel journalists Pierre Piccinin and Domenico Quirico, overhearing while held hostage, rebel commander saying in English adjacent room that they, rebels, had just done a chemical attack in Ghouta area(!) as “provocation” to get US to attack.

  27. "We haven't even begun to mention other lines of evidence linking rebels to chem attacks – most explosive is two pro-rebel journalists Pierre Piccinin and Domenico Quirico, overhearing while held hostage, rebel commander saying in clear English in adjacent room that they, rebels, had just done a chemical attack in Ghouta area(!) as “provocation” to get US to attack."

    Naturally, the Syrian rebels would be speaking in English! Yeah, that's believable. Sure, it is.

  28. Who says it's misinformation? All we know is that (a blogger alleges that) Dale Gavlak wants her name off the story. Does that make the story false? No. Does it diminish the work of Ababneh? No. Does it mean all those different Syrians in the Ghouta area all telling Ababneh the same thing that rebels did it, does it make all them liars? No. Gosh, I can't imagine, if this blogger is correct, and if Gavlak really wants her name off, I can't imagine why, gee, story goes viral and upsets the most powerful country on earth and the billionaire Saudi royal family as well, she can't be under pressure and stress or anything? She most likely put her name on it and was ok with it and said nothing for three weeks because, she several people said she emailed them earlier, that it was she who helped Ababneh write it, and she apparently knew him for some 3 years, so that meant she had some level of trust in his reporting. That's what we can infer, if anything: her trust in Ababneh is why she did not object or say publicly herself all these past weeks, 3 weeks…Now she wants her name off, I sympathize (again, if blogger is accurate and if giving us the full story) I probably would want my name off too if I got either "we can't hire you" or "this is too explosive" or "you'll never work again" or even just day in and day out pressure by aggressive reporters that know very well how to be aggressive and even rude when a story runs against the narrative —

    – if the Ababneh interviews said the opposite, that Army folks confessed instead of the actual rebels confessing, they would be sprinkling rose petals in front of her for Gavlak to walk on and treated like a media "darling" just like those who peddled false lies about 2003 Iraq WMDs were treated back in 2003….We shouldn't fall for this distraction from demanding the investigative report be looked at seriously immediately by a transparent and independent group,

    and if anyone gives a DAMN about those DEAD CHILDREN then don't want to hear any complaints or excuses about "it would be too much trouble" to give asylum to those that Ababneh interviewed so they can feel safer telling the world what they saw or what they did – that's just one of many things we could/should do if we were not trying to just "get in line" with the White House party line or "regime change" line, if instead we gave a darn about following up on such a report to dig deeper, rather than oh-so-conveniently dismiss it and its "inconvenient" findings based on multiple testimonies of Ghouta area Syrians

  29. As a retired lawyer with 45 years litigation experience in reading "disclaimers" which are not in fact disclaimers, I would advise commentators to read very carefully the statement of Dale Gavlak (who says she has consulted legal counsel) — which does not actually controvert anything that Mint Press said in the introduction to its August 29, 2013 article "by Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh." The Mint Press introduction to the Gavlak & Abaneh article reads as follows: "Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, with whom the report was written in collaboration, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents. . . . This report is not an Associated Press article, but is an exclusive to Mint Press." Ms. Gavlak's statement does not state that she had no contact with Mr. Ababneh concerning this article, does not deny that she was involved in assisting in the research and writing of this article, and does not in any way purport to challenge the facts reported by Mr. Ababneh.

  30. I would add the following question regarding Ms. Gavlak's statement (which is obviously calculated to remove Ms. Gavlak from any responsibility for the subject Mint Press article): If Ms. Gavlak really had nothing to do with the Mint Press article, how could she possibly know that "Yahya Ababneh is the sole author and reporter of the Mint Press piece"?

  31. Ehud Barack Obama, John Kerry and everyone else in that administration should go to Syria and be gassed by whomever has those weapons. Just because the US media say Assad has used chemical weapons doesn't mean it's true. Just because Russia has an authoritarian government, doesn't mean it's lying about who's using them. Dale Gavlak of Mint Press may not have printed the article. That doesn't mean there are no other sources printing similar articles. It doesn't mean those articles are false or the mainstream media's articles are true.

  32. Agent Proyect congratulates himself without having any clue what happened or done anything to bring anyone closer to the truth. He's an intellectual coward who has thrown his lot with Abu Sakkar and John Kerry.

    Personally, I'm interested in the person who wrote the story (if such a person exists), and I'm interested in who carried out the attack. Everything else is bs. The fantastic claims alleged in/by 'Mint Press' exonerate the real perpetrators of the attack by presenting a sophisticated military operation as a haphazard accident. The truth of this attack is obvious, transparent, and clear.

    Agent Proyect doesn't give a damn about evidence. He's Mr. Hearsay! Mr. Gay GIrl In Damascus! He's Oded Yinon, and he uses his little mailing list to propagandize for wars that benefit Zionism.

    His chief tactic is obfuscation, because that's more palatable to him (a good liberal) than a full throated, 'Foreign Policy'-style defense of alCIAda cannibalism or a 'NY Times'-esque call for humanitarian drone bombing.

    He's a bitter old white guy in the service of empire whose lust for war shared by about 1 fanatical percent of humanity. Keep that in mind.

  33. You have no more evidence pointing to Assad than Mint Press had when they pointed the finger at your alCIAda heart-eater buddies, Agent Claiborne.

    A full-time propagandist for WWIII like you has no business talking shit on anyone! A week ago I read your plea that Uncle Sam bomb Syria.

  34. "Prince" bin Sultan? what a joke – one of the most repressive dictatorships in the ME and spawning ground of the 9/11 terrorists? Serious insinuations? Screw him and his dirt bag country.

  35. Yes she is female, as 10 seconds of research online (images.google.com, then another 10 seconds to verify her Associate Press page etc) would confirm. It's telling that no time was wasted to bother even finding out the gender of the reporter – not central, of course, but illustrative of a rush to apologize before finding out facts.

    If we assume even that this Brown Moses blogger is giving us the truth and the Whole truth, it makes one ask, not only why she waited so long, but she she isn't louder now. If she had any real misgivings about the reliability of the interviews and of Ababneh there are VERY FEW things that would make her life easier, than to go public (rather than quietly to one blogger by email) and to publicly say she does not believe this is very reliable etc – she would be a media DARLING if she sold out that way…The fact she has not said one single negative word about the reliability of the interviews or of Ababneh her colleague whom she has apparently known for some three years, speaks volumes, given how much she could gain and certainly reduce negative pressure upon herself if she "renounced" the story, rather than (if it's true) merely asking for her name to be removed, I sympathize, she's under as much pressure as you would expect someone to be under who threatens not only the "Assad narrative" of the most powerful "regime" on earth, the U.S., but is much more explosive still: that US-backed rebels could have done it.

    In fact, a completely different 2 pro-rebel journalists Piccinin and Quirico, overhearing while held
    hostage by rebles,, rebel commander saying in English in adjacent room that they, rebels, had just done a chemical attack in Ghouta area as “provocation” to get US to attack. Not speculation or "we might" but "we did it". If we had a truly free press they would be interviewed on page 1 and on TV in the US and both parties discussing the ramifications. We'd also interview Ababneh, give asylum to rebels, rebel families he interviewed who confessed, so they can openly tell
    world without fear, what they told Ababneh, and give more details as possible. That's what we'd do if we gave a dang about the dead children.

    On the other hand if it's all about regime change and US power projection and global chess games and the rhetoric about dead kids is a farce, then by all means, let's brush all those interviewed Ghouta rebels, rebel family in Ghouta, and Ghouta residents, under the rug, since we "don't like" the answers they gave, pointing at the rebels, and yeah, brush under the rug the explosive Skype conversation a Belgian and Italian journalist both overhead. Why are they not household names in the U.S.?

  36. As if anyone needs to apologize to the Saudi war monger Pince Bandar bin Sultan who has been implicated by other sources for providing Syrian rebels with sarin gas. In a meeting with Putin Prince Bandar bin Sultan allegedly threatened to unleash Chechen rebels on the Winter Olympics unless the Russian backed off their support of Assad. Prince Bandar was also a key player in the Iran-Contra scandal. In any event the main stream corporate press never printed one line from Mint Free Press or anything about Saudi complicity in fueling the Syrian civil war.
    The main stream press also never mentioned once during the crisis the well known fact that UN special investigator Carla del Ponti had implicated the Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons just weeks before the Ghouta incident on August 21.

  37. Yes she is female, as 10 seconds of research online (images.google.com, then another 10 seconds to verify her Associate Press page etc) would confirm. It's telling that no time was wasted to bother even finding out the gender of the reporter – not central, of course, but illustrative of a rush to apologize before finding out facts. The central issue is: a large number of Syrians local to Ghouta including civilians, including rebels, including family of rebels, testified that rebels carried out the attack. As for Gavlak, it's pretty interesting that she does not post something publicly herself to press or even on a twitter or other account that is credibly known to be hers
    -instead we have to trust this blogger that the email he shows us is true, and represents the Whole truth. Ok, let's for the sake of argument suppose it is true…

    If it's true, iit makes one ask, not only why she waited so long, but but also why she isn't louder now. If she had any real misgivings about the reliability of the interviews and of Ababneh there are VERY FEW things that would make her life easier, than to go public (rather than quietly to one blogger by email) and to publicly say she does not believe this is very reliable etc – she would be a media DARLING if she sold out that way…The fact she has not said one single negative word about the reliability of the interviews or of Ababneh her colleague whom she has apparently known for some three years, speaks volumes, given how much she could gain and certainly reduce negative pressure upon herself if she "renounced" the story, rather than (if it's true) merely asking for her name to be removed, I sympathize, she's under as much pressure as you would expect someone to be under who threatens not only the "Assad narrative" of the most powerful "regime" on earth, the U.S., but is much more explosive still: that US-backed rebels could have done it.

    Why did she wait this long? Obviously if she didn't think she had anything to do with the story she would have spoken out right away. Several people said they emailed her and she replied in late August, without ANY hint of trying to distance herself from the story. Quite the opposite, she said she helped Ababneh write it. You can find stories of her reporting on the middle east from Jordan and elsewhere all over (search Dale Gavlak Salon) Well either she is well travelled in that area, or she is always in D.C. but works only by remote with local freelancers in Jordan etc. Well if that was ok for all her previous stories without her being there in person, then this is different how exactly? So she knew and trusted Ababneh long enough to write with him, while Ababneh was the only one who did the legwork to get the eyewitness interviews (as MintPress was open about on their website since a while back) she was co-author as she helped him write the piece. Simple enough. Then the story goes viral. And needless to say upsets the White House narrative. It's not hard to understand what happens to a reporter who has a story go viral (though still far too few have seen it, it needs to be every American) your life is not going to be fun. Look at Gary Webb if you don't know what happened to him when he shows CIA's connection to drug-running by the contras in the 1980s. Not fun, thrown under a bus (figuratively, but badly enough). Gavlak needs to feed herself. It doesn't even have to be sinister like a blacklist, it can be much more innocent/sympathetic like "I'd love to hire you but we're getting so much heat and hate from…." and that's not fun for your career, either. Sure, these are hypotheticals, but anyone who claims that the White House and Saudi Billionaires do not make angry phonecalls when a story is this damaging to them, is simply lying – at minimum, to themselves.

    How damaging? This is not only going to the "Assad did it! So we have to regime change, I mean bomb!" narrative, it is far more potentially damaging, because it actually points at US-backed rebels, or at least, the narrative have pretended there is a single entity "the" rebels,
    and at other times, pretended one can isolate the "good" rebels from the "Bad" (at UN commission chairman Paulo Pinheiro said, "there are not good rebels" he did not mean "not one single person" but there is anti-democratic sentiments in the "good" ones and, worse, you can't easily draw the line and separate which are brutal murderers (or even Al Qaeda) and which are not). That the US was backing groups that used chemical weapons is a very explosive and dangerous idea to them.

  38. (continued)If we give a damn about the dead civilians and dead children, we'd have front page interviews with Ababneh, instead of ignoring this story so it gets published by MintPress and one other better known website (military.com, headed by a retired U.S. Navy Admiral, see "White House mum…" story there, their advisory board also has Jonit Chiefs of Staff persons…a serious website..they actually took the trouble to interview Ababneh, at least, ask him a few more questions to clarify the context of the confessions, and they take the allegations very
    seriously at the story shows) but if we give a damn and don't just pretend to, about the victims, the mainstream press would interview Ababneh too.

    Also, we could among other things, give asylum to those Ghouta rebels, and rebel families Ababneh interviewed who confessed, so they can openly tell world without fear, what they told Ababneh, give their testimonies in more detail, answer follow up questions, THAT'S what we'd
    do if we give a rat's a** about the victims, we'd try to find out more..instea if we want to Spread REbel Propaganda then our only goal is to bury this story and focus on the fact that Gavlak (after a ton of pressure) might not want her name on the story she helped Ababneh
    write, I wonder why? Does she say it's not true? No. Does she say she trusts Ababneh less? No. Does she say the interviews are less likely to be true? No. She allegedly says she wants her name off. That speaks volumes. So sloppy and quick to cover tail that AntiWar didn't even
    take the 10 seconds it takes to find out Dale is female, they called her a "he". Her gender is not central but it illustrates how sloppy and quick knee-jerk the reaction was. Let alone considering the broader picture, as outlined above. Sorry folks, I like a lot about AntiWar, but
    this was one hasty over-done apology/retraction you need to apologize/retract…

    If we care one BIT about the victims instead of scoring points, if we give the slightest damn about the dead children, we'd not play games or distractions about whether Gavlak, despite having helped Ababneh write up his interviews, now would like her name off the official
    roster, but we'd focus on the:

    Testimonies of Ghouta area rebels – saying they did it

    Testimonies of Ghouta area residents – saying rebels did it

    Testimony of family of dead rebel paid to carry stuff that wasn't explained to him what was in it..- again pointing at rebels.

    And investigate and follow-up and find out to verify and confirm, or not confirm, these many different pepole, many different testimonies, pointing at the rebels. If we dont' want to do that, we shouldn't pretend to care about the dead kids, we should just say "it was all just
    propaganda to bomb, we don't care about any of the dead children, that was just cheap pretense"

    We'd also put on Page One something even more explosive, an interview with 2 pro-rebel journalists Pierre Piccinin and Domenico Quirico, overhearing while held hostage by rebles, rebel commander (whom they had known was an FSA rebel commander from before- he was in charge of their being helds) and hearing this rebel commander saying in English in adjacent room to where they were held, with door half open, hearing him say that they, rebels, had just done a chemical attack in Ghouta area as “provocation” to get US to attack. Not speculation or "we might" but "we did it". How many Americans have been even allowed to hear about Pierre Piccinin and Domenico Quirico? Ignored mostly and sometimes reported very very misleadingly as if Quirico "differs" with Piccinin. Nonsense, Quirico himself told La Stamp the exact facts just listed in this paragraph, he only differs on the interpretation (we can't be 100% sure, obviously), and whether we can be 100% sure to exonerate the Syrian Army (obviously, it's not impossible that both rebels and army used gas, even though German intel revealed in leak recently, that they monitored top communication and Assad "always" rejected using chem
    (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-09/09/c_125345938.htm)
    any time it was brought up in all those months) but that "we're not 100% sure" and bending over backwards to keep saying that many times, that's the only way Quirico "differed" — not on the facts of what they overhead in clear English.facts – two pro-rebel journalists hear
    immediately in adjacent room with half open door, Skype conversation in English, rebel commander saying "we did" a chemical attack in Ghouta area. Explosive.

    Can you imagine if they had been pro-Syrian govt journalists, held by Army, and heard the opposite confession? It would be front page, or bombs away, before you could blink. Please everyone, spread the word, have the Abaneh interviews investigated fully, fairly, openly,
    transparently, by neutral parties…Please spread the word about the overhead confession of rebel commander by Piccinin and Quirico, demand investigation there too, call congress, write editor, tell friends, colleagues..

  39. [...] source [...]

  40. Another cruise missile pseudo-leftist intellectual fraud. Anyone with half a brain knows the chemical attacks were staged by our Al Qaeda allies to serve as a causus belli for a US attack. After seeing what happened to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Libya and other countries, anyone who can call for a US strike against Syria is a war-mongering barbarian shill.

    I think we on the Left finally need to say fuck off once and for all to the comprador "intellectuals" posing as the "opposition" in the US and Western Europe. I encounter a lot of average Americans everyday who see right through the propaganda and bullshit being fed to them, but the bright shining lights of the professional left do little but echo mass media propaganda.

    If you want a war in Syria go over there and join the rebels, you motherless scumbag coward. Don't ask my nephews and nieces to fight a war for you and your Zionist pals.

  41. "….Dale Gavlak has issued a statement saying SHE did not co-author the article and denies that SHE traveled to Syria or contributed to the article in any way. Here is HIS statement:…"

    Ah the benefits of political correctness and unisex world, to which Antiwar.com, undoubtedly, fully subscribes. Dale, a unisex name, provides such a good base for further stupifying of Aemrica. So, what gender is this Dale, since Antiwar.com tells us that SHE denies authoring the article and reprints HIS statements.

    Do be mindful of Dale's sensitivities but walk all over your readers who are gluttons for abuse.

  42. "….This deserves being looked into – if necessary give asylum to the Ghouta-area Syrian rebel and rebel family members (and area residents) who gave those testimonies to Ababneh, so when they and their families are safe they may be willing to give their full name, identity, and what they know in even more detail…."

    Are you kidding?
    Your post is very, very good, but this does not make sense. You know that the asylum would be given only on the condition that their statements support the US Government's and MSM's claims.

  43. That's why Bandar is princ and lawyers are lawyers. And princes can afford, and customarily do hire lawyers. So, you might be onto something.

  44. I suppose it was only after she was infomed that she was put on the IRS-watchlist for journalistic misconduct.

    Retract, or else!

  45. Interesting to note that Dale Gravlak is listed first (alphabetically) in Mint Press list of "Correspondents and Investigative Journalists" (se 'abut us' on MP website).

    The retraction and disclaimer aside, it would be interesting to know how Mint Press vetted this article before printing. And why one of their 'staffers' would wait so long to disclaim the part claimed for them in it.

  46. Not surprising that someone credulous about the ridiculous Mint Press article would also take Piccinin seriously.
    http://louisproyect.org/2013/09/19/examining-the-

  47. The actual truth of the matter is obvious: (1) Yahya Ababneh did the field-work and the interviews, for MPN; (2) Ababneh sent his notes to Gavlak for editing into a story, since both of them work for MPN; (3) the two of them naturally shared the byline for the final product on MPN; (4) Gavlak has now been informed by multiple employers that if she doesn’t retract, she’ll never work for them again, which I said at the time would be her penalty for writing it. It was Sharmine Narwani who wrote on her Facebook wall (which I can’t access, not being an FB user, but it's here):

    Infowarriors are trying to discredit the Mint Press article that has rebels in Ghouta blaming Saudis for bringing chemical weapons into the area. The AP correspondent Dale Gavlak who co-wrote the article is trying to distance herself from it (I hear, under pressure) and has issued a denial. But look at what Dale wrote to me on Aug 30, the day after the article was published: “Basically I helped Yahya Ababneh, who traveled to Gouta, to write what he saw and heard. He mainly met with rebels, of course, the father of one of the rebels killed and doctors treating victims in the area. He has traveled to Syria numerous times. As you know Mint Press News is more of an advocacy journalism site and it seems to be the most likely to publish such a piece.”

    I never liked Louis Proyekt and now I see why.

  48. On Friday John Kerry said "it doesn't matter who used the chemical weapons" . My guess is the Obama administration got caught up in their own lies knowing from the start the whole incident was a false flag operation by the rebels. Kerry has learned an important lesson. The internet has made it nearly impossible to create a false pretext for war as the U.S. has done so many times in the past.

  49. We received the statement on Thursday night via our Backtalk feature.

  50. What makes you think the 'rebels' (i.e., alCIAda cannibals) or those training them are Syrian?

  51. Even though I believe the chemical attack in East Ghouta was likely the rebels "spoofing" or "oversizing" a hit by Assad I had serious doubts about the Mint Press report, given the utter improbability of someone with the experience of Bandar bin Sultan to have his cover blown in such a foolish fashion. It did not help either that the editor-in-chief of MintPress news is a hijab-clad Palestinian bred Shia, and her electronic paper has no listed sponsors. http://jiriseverasblog.blogspot.ca/2013/09/thinki

  52. Yeah, they are English-speaking CIA officers who spoke English within earshot and loud enough to be heard by two European reporters and said over Skype, "It was us! We did it! We gassed ourselves and here is why. We wanted to frame the cute-and-cuddly Assad Baathists so that our fellow CIA brothers would bomb those same Assad Baathists". That's what happened. Sure! If you want to believe that, who am I to stop you?

  53. Legally, wouldn't it be most appropriate for her to make a public statement on her own blog or wherever? AntiWar.com wasn't the first to post this story either. If I'm not mistaken, InfoWars' Paul Joseph Watson did the initial post that caught the attention of other webmasters/editors, myself included.

    Anyway, there's more going on here than meets the eye. If anyone following this wishes to contact me, you can find me at Facebook/EricDubin. I have published articles related to this story and I will be looking into it. We have had no request from Gavlak at TheNewsDoctors.com, which doesn't necessarily mean anything.

    Further info of interest: http://brown-moses.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/stateme
    http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/dale-gavla

  54. Let us get some perspective.
    First, it is good that AW.C issued an apology although it need not be so profuse. Does anyone expect anything to be free of all error?
    Second, for those opposed to interventionism, neocolonialism and the US Empire, who used chemical weapons in Syria is irrelevant and we should not get drawn into it. Better to operate on the basis of principles elucidated here: http://www.ComeHomeAmerica.US
    What goes on in Syria is none of the U.S. government's business.
    And the foreign policy of the U.S. govt has nothing to do with human rights, except insofar as it can rope the yokels (That's us in their minds.) to supporting one atrocity or another.
    _–

  55. Here's a menu of all the possible pro-Bashar "explanations", none of which make any sense at all:
    http://louisproyect.org/2013/09/12/when-truth-is-

  56. Worth bearing in mind much of the Mint Press article references a Business Insider article on the Saudis. Business Insider were on the button with Benghazi. Dale confirms she helped with the english but naturally objects to the use of her name.

    The claim of sarin in the tunnels was made on Syria state TV on 24 August. So on the face of it a legitimate (and brave) piece of investigative journalism. The named list of victims (VDC) exists and can be checked for the Abdel-Moneim name.

    The possession of sarin by the rebels wasnt a big deal though they clearly lacked the means to deliver a tonne of sarin (fox news). What POTUS was making clear with the missile threat is that if CW is used by either side then there are consequences now.

    Besides the rebel video confirming possession of CW, the possession of liquid sarin/chemical agent is even apparently visible online in rebel video. The most bizarre one shows a dog in daylight next to a suspected rocket apparently convulsing which had evidently been doused.

    On the numbers of dead the absence of funeral and burial videos is obvious but of course the neighbourhoods were heavilly shelled after 8-21.

    The UN have not confirmed government use though that is likely because of the scale of the incident.

    The Limitations in the UN report are pointed out by the UN. They went to sites nominated by the rebels which could easily have been freshened up with liquid sarin. Many of the devices had been moved and the US says it has rebels trained in how to gather CW evidence on shell hole directions, azimouths etc. The UN will be back shortly for more work.

  57. The claim of sarin in the tunnels was made on Syria state TV on 24 August.

    I'll never get over the shamelessness of the pro-Baathist left (although for all I know the guy who said this could be a Rush Limbaugh fan.) It you want to appear credible, you don't say things like Syrian television said so. The careless disregard for facts or logic is like nothing I've seen since the 911 Truther movement emerged.

  58. Official statement on Mint Press article http://www.mintpressnews.com/official-statement-o

  59. That's why Obama and the rest of his rotten crew are so eager to control the internet. The free flow of information must be suppressed for the lies to go unhindered.

  60. so kind of Mr. Assad to wait until the UN monitors were a few kilometers away on their first day in Syria to release sarin. Funny how intelligent he seems compared to someone dense enough to rob the store when the cops are out in front…

    With trilliions in luftgelt to influence events, the empire can make water run uphill…. As John Yoo said so succinctly….. "John Yoo publicly argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles."

    Please remember his words next time one of these presidents speak……………

  61. hahaha! How's the weather in Jeddah?

  62. There is a troubling comparison between rocket fire and location that took out former Rwandan president in 1994 and lead to brutal ascension of Kagame, and the current arguments pandered regarding rocket fire and location in the Syria Aug 21 CW release. It took 4 years before Kagame took the shot –looks like they are more impatient with the model in Syria.

    Lots of murky details still exist on both events, which in regard to Boutros Boutros-Ghali, was a indicator of the massive amount of intelligence agents involved.

    Interestingly, Kagame's mass killings were larger covered up during 1994 -old Casper W and Susan R hands were all over the place…similar call to get political distance after Rwanda blew up was also pushed in regard to Benghazi…

    follow the patterns. these are the same players.

  63. Hello. I'm very very glad after putting a very very long time into writing these that they are read and appreciated by some. :-)

    Of course I agree with your assessment about the inherent (strong) biases in the system. But that doesn't mean we give up and never try. Otherwise (by the same logic) we could give up and not try to prevent war on Syria and much more. In this case however we have more tools and more options than just pressuring the US and other western governments: Other countries are possible. Not just Russia (where Austrailan and European activists helped an American whistleblower get to) which is perceived as more 'partisan' like the US, but other countries (closer to) neutral in this case – I don't know if it's Iceland or Bolivia or Ecuador or elsewhere and don't even know there is a possibility of asylum being useful – I just put it out there as a possible way that might facilitate getting those who gave those testimonies to feel safe to answer more questions from indep investigators – but there are options besides hoping for a "miracle" from the US (that Washington or its top allies give asylum) which I agree isn't likely, to put it mildly.

  64. The New York Times weighs in:
    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/repor

  65. This is a silly comment on two fronts: first, it was a commander, and second, these are journalists working in the area – at least one of them I've easily confirmed, speaks Arabic – Piccinin (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iCB8E49-xx-NmI2svFhmZ18ag-LQ?docId=CNG.6bb0e9232d97624a1849fba26e31c261.591 )

    so there is no need for them to invent lies by claiming "They spoke in English" – Piccinin speaks Arabic. But in fact they spoke in English. And in fact it's known the two hostages were pro-rebel so if anything their bias would be strongly against telling this to the world, but they have told the world. Imagine two pro-Assad journalists kidnapped and overhearing a Syrian Army commander in the next room saying they did a CW attack….then telling the world. It would be Front Page and an immediate investigation (if not bomb dropping) would be Step One everyone would talk about, instead of step one being, "how can I find an excuse to ignore this explosive evidence?" – anyone whose priorities are in line with the latter choice, cares not one bit about the victims. Anyone who cares about the victims will demand a vigorous and immediate and transparent investigation of waht Piccinin and Quirico overheard, by indept groups. Those who don't demand that but want to brush this under the rug, well, we covered what they do and do not care about, already…

  66. Piccinin and Quirico said NOTHING about "CIA officer" by the way. It was: rebel (FSA) commander that they both knew from earlier times. The same one they describe in other interviews as having been "in charge" of their detention.

    Not "CIA officers". This quote form Quirico:
    “During our kidnapping [by FSA rebels], we were kept completely in the dark about what was going on in Syria, including the gas attacks in Damascus…We heard the conversation from the room in which we were being held captive, through a half-closed door, Quirico said.

    “But one day, we heard a Skype conversation in English between three people ..One of them had previously presented himself to us as a general of the Syrian Liberation Army. ."

    Piccinin said the same thing. Piccinin (perhaps because he speaks Arabic perhaps other reasons) also recognized another of the three as from the Al Farouq brigade. There is a Belgian TV interview on TY. Anyway Quirico continues:

    ”During the Skype conversation, they said that the gas attack on the two neighborhoods in Damascus [Ghouta] had been carried out by rebels as a provocation, to push the West towards a military intervention. They also said they believed the death toll had been exaggerated,” Quirico said in his statement.

  67. I'm glad to hear someone with your particular reading expertise to have made observations somewhat similar to what I had made, when I wrote elsewhere:

    "It speaks volumes that Gavlak remained silent for 3 weeks and even more, what the alleged recent statement does not say. Does Gavlak say the story isn’t true? No. Does she say she has reason to doubt Ababneh or his interviewing? No. Does she say she has reason to doubt what the
    Ghouta residents testified to Ababneh? Again, no."

    I added, "Sympathies are due Gavlak; it does not take great imagination to see the immense pressure anyone is under when an article they helped someone else write goes
    viral which reports unpleasant things Ghouta residents have said about a Saudi Billionaire prince, let alone one which questions the narrative of the world’s most powerful state. Understandable if true, that she wishes her name was not on the piece she helped Ababneh write; the issue for those who claim to care about the victims remains elsewhere: the testimonies Ghouta area rebels and residents gave, pointing at rebel use of CW."

    That's what we should focus on, while those in power will try to bury the story or ridicule it (and put pressure on individuals) our job is to band together and pressure and demand a full open transparent indep inverstigation into both the Ghouta area Syrians testimonies given to Ababneh, and into the Piccinin and Quirico overheard Skype conversation by an FSA rebel admiting use of CW
    "

  68. Bingo. That and the long wait before speaking up. And her choosing (if email Brown Moses cites is real AND if it is the Whole truth and not misleading) then why her choosing to go through him? why not state it on, oh, a verified account known as hers or to media etc? Earlier post:

    " The statement, if indeed it has been made by Gavlak, does not make true how her name was selected. Surely not completely at random? Surely they didn't roll dice and pick a random US reporter's name to put next to Ababneh's? Surely she had some connection to Ababneh's interviews, and if so, what, in full unabridged detail, was it?"

    And as the retired lawyer and my other remarks pointed out, she does not contradict the veracity, of the story, not does she criticize Ababneh's ability or reliability, or the testimonies he received. Her being quiet is if anything compatible her with not wanting to hurt a story that she herself believes is likely very accurate, but trying to escape the flood of pressure no doubt on her, and possibly threats even if indirect, to her career….so if anything there is some sympathy due to her.

  69. I thnk you mean "corroborated" not "collaborated". What the heck does it mean "not been [corroborated] by anybody else"? A personal testimony is a personal testimony. And these testimonies WERE corroborated by the others being interviewed: meaning, Ababneh was told the same by Ghouta rebels, and by Gouta residents, and by family members of rebels: those all MATCHED one another, pointing at rebels using CW.

    If you say it is still not 100% proof, I agree – anyone who CARES about the dead kids will then want to dig deeper and do more in depth interviews with those who gave testimonies to Ababneh. Maybe asylum to them and their families will help make them feel safe to answer follow-up questions. Anyone who does NOT care about the dead kids, will isntead want to bury this story because they don't WANT to find out if we can confirm it's true.. Which camp do you fall in?

  70. Which is a good point and why I won't bother posting on his blog but a quick look shows him talking about "the rabidly counter-revolutionary Piccinin" as his reason why despite "caring" so much about the dead kids, we should not even bother to investigate what Piccinin and Quirico overhead. Never mind the double standard (a pro-rebel even pro murderous rebel reporter would not be ignored if they heard a Skype conversation of Syrian Army general confessing..)

    But here's what Piccinin actually said: "It pains me to say it because I've been a fierce supporter of the Free Syrian Army in its rightful fight for democracy since 2012," Piccinin added.

    Strangely he "still" seems to support the FSA: " I supported this rebellion, and now I’m supporting it, too. Not the jihadist movements, but the FSA "

    of course it's "heads I win, tails you lose" from the likes of Proyect – this would no doubt "prove" to him that the conversation was not real, while if Piccinin was not any more supporting the FSA this would "prove" that he is biased, so either way we get to ignore the conversation, yay!
    (maybe Piccinin means he supports the decent elements, not the ones who use CW, in the FSA..if anything I worry his pro-FSA bias might make him want to pretend it's more of a rogue FSA commander than a part of the maisntream of the FSA)

    Quirico, as noted elsewhere including a (misleading in other ways) NY times online piece, Quirico has published before being kidnapped, and quite "sympathetic" to the rebels.

    And the usual nonsense about a rebel General would never ever use English. As noted elsewhere Piccinin speaks Arabic so he has no reason to make up a lie that it was in English – but it happens that the commander did speak in English, as both Piccinin and Quirico have clearly stated.

    "Oh we care, we care so much about the kids, oh we sooo care about the dead buried kids…unless any lines of evidence point at the rebels, in which case please do NOT investigate, please bury the story, the hell with the kids!" is the working ideology of these neocons, including "Marxist" ones like Proyect. Shameful.

  71. As several others have pointed out, nothing in Dale Gavlak's statements disproves, or gives reason to doubt, the facts stated in the Mint Press story. She claims merely that she should not have been listed as a co-author because her role was primarily that of a translator. But Mint Press made her limited role clear from the beginning. Please retract your knee-jerk retraction.

  72. There are many many other sources that equally buttress the perfidy of Bandar Bush. The documentation on that score is not affected by anything Mint prints. What is quite odd? Is that NOT ONE other reporter made it to the same site to check out the scene there, intv these rebels and find out what went on at ground level.

    If Dale was never in Syria? Then ok. But if she was and assisted on the story? Sounds like she was pressured to save her career or life.

  73. Actually, you are ill informed . There have been several articles revealing rebels storage of materials in tunnels and weapons smuggling via tunnels. Baba Amr in Homs ring a bell??

    A recent hostage from Belgium confirmed that his rebel captors talked of the event- exonerating Assad. Why should they lie to their own disadvantage?

  74. Unfortunately the UN report adds up to just about nothing.

  75. Sure, whatever you say. I think this particular round of lies being peddled by the West-residing Assad Groupies has been dispensed with nicely here:
    http://louisproyect.org/2013/09/19/examining-the-

  76. [...] la web de MintPress). Al conocer la versión de Galvak, retiró la información de su web y pidió disculpas. Había dado crédito a la historia sobre todo por las credenciales periodísticas de Galvak y su [...]

  77. [...] Earlier, Gavlak issued a statement saying: [...]

  78. By Mnar Muhawesh, executive director and editor at large for MintPress News

    Statement:

    Thank you for reaching out to me in regards to statements made by Dale Gavlak alleging MintPress for incorrectly attributing our exclusive report titled: “Syrians in Goutha claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind chemical attacks.”Gavlak pitched this story to MintPress on August 28th and informed her editors and myself that her colleague Yahya Ababneh was on the ground in Syria. She said Ababneh conducted interviews with rebels, their family members, Ghouta residents and doctors that informed him through various interviews that the Saudis had supplied the rebels with chemical weapons and that rebel fighters handled the weapons improperly setting off the explosions.

    When Yahya had returned and shared the information with her, she stated that she confirmed with several colleagues and Jordanian government officials that the Saudis have been supplying rebels with chemical weapons, but as her email states, she says they refused to go on the record.

    Gavlak wrote the article in it’s entirety as well as conducted the research. She filed her article on August 29th and was published on the same day.

    Dale is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.

    On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation was at risk. She continued to say that these third parties were demanding her to disassociate herself from the article or these parties would end her career.

    On August 31st, I notified Dale through email that I would add a clarification that she was the writer and researcher for the article and that Yahya was the reporter on the ground, but did let Gavlak know that we would not remove her name as this would violate the ethics of journalism.

    We are aware of the tremendous pressure that Dale and some of our other journalists are facing as a result of this story, and we are under the same pressure as a result to discredit the story. We are unwilling to succumb to those pressures for MintPress holds itself to the highest journalistic ethics and reporting standards.

    Yahya has recently notified me that the Saudi embassy contacted him and threatened to end his career if he did a follow up story on who carried out the most recent chemical weapons attack and demanded that he stop doing media interviews in regards to the subject.

    We hold Dale Gavlak in the highest esteem and sympathize with her for the pressure she is receiving, but removing her name from the story would not be honest journalism and therefore, as stated before, we are not willing to remove her name from the article.

    We are prepared and may release all emails and communications made between MintPress and Dale Gavlak, and even Yahya to provide further evidence of what was provided to you in this statement.

  79. Mint Press is not backing down, and they say that if necessary they will release emails to prove that Gavlak is only trying to disassociate herself from the article because of threats from interested parties who didn't like the article: http://www.mintpressnews.com/official-statement-o

  80. louisproyect is considered a joke amongst the serious blogging community. Check out the BrownMoses blog for analysis.

  81. this all seems like a tempest in a teapot. I appreciate AW.com's desire for accuracy and validity, but I think it was a bit excessive considering the circumstances here.

  82. Sure Amir (are you Israeli? Arab?), whatever you say, just call someone "pro-Assad" and then you don't have to bother with the facts. So Proyect calls Piccinin "rabidly counter-revolutionary" never mind that he was a "fierce supporter" of the FSA (Sept 10 interview) and even later (Sept 13) says: "I supported this rebellion, and now I’m supporting it, too. Not the jihadist movements, but the FSA" Well is this was some evil plot to lie to the world then it would be stupid (to put it mildly) to then "lead by example" and say you "still" support the FSA, which encourages others. Then there is the inconvenient fact that Quirico too supported the uprising and as NY Times observed about Quirico, "who reported sympathetically on the uprising in Syria before being taken hostage" (Google cannot find the alleged Piccinin story on BBC who Proyect cites; google finds only 3 hits, all on "jewishterrorism.com" not BBC – and that page by jewishterrorism.com points at an Iranian link, which doesn't work – so we would have to trust an Iranian website to give an accurate story of what Piccinin said. (which, even if true, is certainly not pro-Assad, to report that for the demonstrations he was at there was no live ammunition, "except in certain circumstances" used – again, that's the .ir website's version of what Piccinin said and even that version does not exonerate the Syrian government at all) So much for "BBC" in all the google searches..

    Admit it – you don't care about the dead kids. Anyone who cares, would demand a full investigation of the overhead conversation which two pro-upsiring reporters, including Quirico who we even have proof by his "sympathetic" (according to the extremely pro-west, pro-overthrow etc New York Times) articles, sympathetic to the rebels, so there is no question about Quirico's pro-rebel bias/viewpoint.

    Can you imagine if two pro-Syrian-government journalists were taken hostage and then reported that a Syrian Army general they knew from earlier, they heard him say that his side used chem weapons? Do you think you'd have the media or posters say, "oh, he said the Syrian commander spoke in English so I KNOW for sure it CAN'T be true!" of course not, laughable. It would be Front Page. And a demand for an immediate fuller investigation, interviews, further looking into these allegations (if not outright bombing of Syria) would be Step One if that opposite scenario happens. But instead the phone conversation points to rebels, so magically the reaction is now very different – let's ignore this, 'cause we don't really "care" about the dead kids after all – anyone who pretends to care would demand a vigorous investigation of what both Quirico and Piccinin heard – the families of the dead deserve nothing less

  83. According to Mnar Muhawesh, the editor at large for MintPress News, “Gavlak pitched this story to MintPress on August 28th and informed her editors and myself that her colleague Yahya Ababneh was on the ground in Syria. She said Ababneh conducted interviews with rebels, their family members, Ghouta residents and doctors that informed him through various interviews that the Saudis had supplied the rebels with chemical weapons and that rebel fighters handled the weapons improperly setting off the explosions.”

    Muhawesh added that they are prepared and may release all emails and communications made between MintPress and Dale Gavlak.

  84. Hmm… may I suggest reading the statement on the Mint Press about this article.

    After which you may wish to withdraw your withdrawal and apologize for your apology.
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/official-statement-o

  85. This retraction and apology is cowardly and completely disgraceful. Mint Press makes it Clear that Dale Gavlak did write this article and that they have the emails to prove it. Shame on Antiwar.com!!!
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/official-statement-o

  86. AntiWar.com's apology & retractions might be the opening scene of an impending Ministry of Truth morality play whose title might read like this: "The Trial & Persecution of the Staff of AntiWar.com as Performed Before a Jury of Brown Noses from the Asylum of Twitter Trolls Under the Direction of Little Lord Eliot Higgins (aka the Masque de @Brown_Moses)
    So a self taught unemployed house husband & new MSM sensation from the UK, who couldn't find Syria on a map before 2012, 'buffaloes" the entire staff AntiWar.com to play "Winston Smith" before the UK's Ministry of Truth Twitter Lord @Brown_Moses (Eliot Higgins)
    (– -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Higgins—)
    So it takes Ms. Gavlak three weeks to make an e-mail statement to a Twitter blogger about her report that went viral.
    In light of what happened to Danny Casalaro, Gary Webb,and Michael Hastings you really can't blame Dale Gavlak much.
    The staff at AntiWar.com should have read Robert Mackey's NYT piece before jumping with fear to retract
    Mackey reports: " . . . Ms. Gavlak told The Lede that she has been suspended by The A.P. as a result of the article".————-(New York Times September 20, 2013)

    Why did it take three weeks for Ms. Gavlak to repent for being party to the crime of reporting truth?
    The staff at AntiWar.com might at least read and perhaps post the response from the Mint Press to Gavlak's recent claims: http://www.mintpressnews.com/official-statement-o
    According to The Mint Press:
    "Dale is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.

    On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation was at risk."

    Gavlak is now being black-listed much the way Gary Webb was before he later allegedly committed suicide.
    By stepping on the toes of the likes of the Bush family's buddy Saudi Prince Bandar aka "Bandar Bush" its not a leap of the imagination to know why she's trying to cover her ass..

    JC

  87. I do accept your humble retraction and apology for mint press article on Syria gas attack. Take it easy, it happens once in everyone's life. Anyhow, you're a nice blogger without any doubt. Wishing you all the best for furture posts. Godspeed :)

  88. http://www.infowars.com/saudi-arabia-threatens-to

  89. To settle this dispute Mnar Muhawesh and MintPress News should release the e-mails from Dale Gavlak. They will reveal who is telling the truth. Until the e-mails are released the burden of proof is no Ms. Muhawesh and MintPress News.

  90. Let's not overlook the disticnct possibility that Ms. Gavlak has taken heat from you know who to disavow what may very well be honest reporting. When did the AP ever get recognized as anything but a news manipulator for the War Party?

  91. [...] http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/20/retraction-and-apology-to-our-readers-for-mint-press-article-on-s… [...]

  92. I'm wondering when or if there will be any retraction of the "Retraction and Apology to Our Readers for Mint Press Article on Syria Gas Attack" If AW.Com really knows the precise provenance of the disputed gas event, and or the article….. please share this knowledge with your loyal followers……… to shed light so we may end the wretched speculation…………..

  93. Very Zen this all it seems. That: Those that say do not know,,,,,,, And those that know do not say!

  94. [...] (see among others this apology to its readers even from the red-brown, conspiracist antiwar.com http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/20/retraction-and-apology-to-our-readers-for-mint-press-article-on-s…, and further this interesting stuff: [...]

  95. Before the Cruise Missile Left and other humanitarian imperialists here celebrate too soon over Gavlak's apparent retraction, you might want to read the article below about how Saudi Arabia has been allegedly threatening Gavlak to disavow her article, and she has been indefintely suspended by the Associated Press for unknown reasons.

    Saudi Arabia Threatens to “End Career” of AP Reporter Over Chemical Weapons Story http://www.infowars.com/saudi-arabia-threatens-to

  96. It certainly sounds as if Antiwar.Com should retract it's retraction and post some articles about the Saudi threats that forced AP to suspend Dale Gavlak and that induced her efforts to distance herself from the article she edited.

  97. I think, Syrian crisis are going to be resolved very soon as all of the stake holders are on the same table now … looking for peace-spreading news soon…!!!

  98. Interesting that NOW the Obama crew say they will intervene when ANYONE uses chemical weapons in Syria. Does this mean that if the "rebels" use nerve gas the U.S. will fight on their side??? Or would occupy Syria to protect Assad…… ??? What is really going on here? Does the "O" crew have ANY credibility on anything anymore…??? What about the U.S.?????