Accuracy in Media

PolitiFact, not known to be neutral politically, has retracted its positive rating of the Obama administration’s handling of Syria. The administration claimed that they were able to remove all of Syria’s chemical weapons.

The recent chemical weapon attack in Syria suggested that the Obama administration was not truthful in their claim.

PolitiFact sai the following about the retraction:

The outcry leads us to revisit a 2014 claim from former Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry said in a television interview that in Syria, “we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”

Syria had agreed in 2013 to an ambitious program to destroy its chemical stockpiles under international supervision, as part of a deal brokered by Russia. When Kerry spoke in July 2014, the process seemed far along. Based on reports from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — which later won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts — we rated that claim Mostly True. There were caveats about incomplete information, but at the time, international experts said the claim largely held up.

Given recent events, we have pulled that fact-check (you can read an archived version here) because we now have many unanswered questions.

We don’t know key details about the reported chemical attack in Syria on April 4, 2017, but it raises two clear possibilities: Either Syria never fully complied with its 2013 promise to reveal all of its chemical weapons; or it did, but then converted otherwise non-lethal chemicals to military uses.

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  • Mike Palaima

    Reading this, and than reading politifact are reading 2 different articles. Your rendition is biased and parsed to the effect you are looking for. That is the definition of disingenuity, a practice I thought you folks eschew? Apparently not? Seems your blog or fake “news” letter is as biased as you accuse others of being. In other words you are an inaccurate waste of a persons time, and just as predatory, if not more so, than anything out there

  • John Beck

    SHOCKING!!!! the obama and john kerry LIED!!!

  • ron2win2

    In the future don’t use words you don’t know how to spell or use in their proper context !

  • Jeh

    Did anyone really believe kerry, or obama?

  • Mike Palaima

    Please correct me. You understand the message, so there can be two lessons here, the one you take away due to my explanation, and the one I take away due to your correcting my grammar. Try not to deflect from the issue here, with one you make up to…well…deflect from the issue. That is bullshit, regardless of my grammar, or anyone else’s.

  • Jeh

    We tend to rely too much on our machines, as many times they catch the mispelling. I turned my spell check off a long time ago. It makes me think while spelling so if the Grammer police catch me who hooo! BFD!!….


    Some other possibilities … (a) that the Salafi jihadis captured chemical weapons when they took over large parts of Syria, (b) that chemical weapons were delivered by the West through Turkey to the Salafi jihadis from Libyan stockpiles, (c) that the Turks and/or the GCC Wahabi governements supplied chemical weapons to the Salafi jihadis, (d) that the Salafi jihadis made chemical weapons themselves.

    Any of those possibilities are far more realistic than the notion that the Syrians would stupidly jeapordize their ongoing defeat of the Salafi jihadis by using small-bore chemical weapons which have absolutely no military value.

  • Although Libyan stockpiles would certainly be typical for the recycling of ordnance that goes on, I also recall a note that the chemical weapons were obsolete Turkish supply. Likely Veterans Today had something to say – but I have not checked.


    Yes indeed, opit, exactly right. al-Nusra had Sarin in 2013 when the Syrians were being blamed (without evidence) for the Ghouta attack. Even Reuters in a moment of weakness acknowledged Turkish arrests of 12 terrorists in Adana and multiple sources state that Sarin was in their possession. Apparently, they were planning to use it in an assault on Incirlik Air Base wherefrom the U.S. was launching its bombing runs on Syria. The culprits were quickly released by the Turks … which is odd, unless their MIT (Turkish Security Service) already knew what was going on. After all, such an attack on U.S. forces would boost Erdogan’s goal of creating chaos in Syria. Aside from Ergogan, the MIT, the Saudis, the Salafis themselves, and the American neocon establishment, no one else would benefit.

    It is not surprising that such an event is ignored by “PolitiFact” and by the author of this article. Cognitive Dissonance is not tolerated.