And they're still at it.
From Sharmine Narwani's June 25 report for The American Conservative Are al-Qaeda Affiliates Fighting Alongside U.S. Rebels in Syria’s South?:
Despite its U.S. and UN designation as a terrorist organization, [Nusra Front aka al Qaeda in Syria] has been openly fighting alongside the “Southern Front,” a group of 54 opposition militias funded and commanded by a U.S.-led war room based in Amman, Jordan called the Military Operations Center (MOC).
Specifics about the MOC aren’t easy to come by, but sources inside Syria — both opposition fighters and Syrian military brass (past and present) — suggest the command center consists of the US, UK, France, Jordan, Israel, and some Persian Gulf states. [Pundita note: Those last are probably Saudi Arabia and UAE].
They say the MOC supplies funds, weapons, salaries, intel, and training to the 54 militias, many of which consist of a mere 200 or so fighters that are further broken down into smaller groups, some only a few dozen strong.
SAA [Syrian Arab Army] General Ahmad al-Issa, a commander for the frontline in Daraa, says the MOC is a U.S.-led operation that controls the movements of Southern Front “terrorists” and is highly influenced by Israel’s strategic goals in the south of Syria — one of which is to seize control of [Syria's bordering areas to create a 'buffer' inside Syrian territories.
How does he know this? Issa says his information comes from a cross-section of sources, including reconciled/ captured militants and intel from the MOC itself.
The armed opposition groups supported by the MOC are mostly affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), itself an ill-defined, highly fungible group of militants who have changed names and affiliations with frequency during the Syrian conflict. Over the course of the war, the FSA has fought alongside the Nusra Front and ISIS — some have even joined them.
Today, despite efforts to whitewash the FSA and Southern Front as “non-sectarian” and non-extremist, factions like the Yarmouk Army, Mu’tazz Billah Brigade, Salah al-Din Division, Fajr al-Islam Brigade, Fallujah al-Houran Brigade, the Bunyan al-Marsous grouping, Saifollah al-Masloul Brigade and others are currently occupying keys areas in Daraa in cooperation with the Nusra Front.
I've omitted from the above passages General Issa's claim that the MOC is "Israel-centric" because it's beside the point, although I would hope the IDF grows a brain someday and realizes its dear friend 'Washington' will not hesitate to throw Israel under the bus when expedient -- as it did a few days ago by implying that Israel, not the U.S., was responsible for a massacre of Iraqi fighters in Syria.
The point is that two American presidents and a long list of American military commanders who've served them have committed treason and gotten away with it. To blame this on Israel or Al Saud or any other foreign entity is to play ostrich.
Why, then, did two successive American regimes betray their country? I think Sharmine herself inadvertently provided the best answer in the closing words of her August 4, 2017 report for The American Conservative, Is the Expanding U.S. Military Presence in Syria Legal? She wrote:
As ISIS and Al Qaeda are beaten back in Syria, the American conversation about what comes next is missing a most critical point. In terms of international law, Washington has gone rogue in Syria. Will the world take notice?The longer the Syrian War has dragged on, the more people around the world have been noticing that international law tends to follow the principle articulated by Mao Tse Tung; it's what the nation with the biggest guns says it is and how it's enforced.
But the issue before me isn't international law, it's American law. That flagrantly treasonous acts by presidents Obama and Trump and ther top military commanders have been brushed aside with the broom of verbal hairsplitting suggests America's government has gone rogue right here in the USA.
As to whether treason is too strong a term to apply to the actions of presidents Obama and Trump in assisting al Qaeda -- Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution specifies,“Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”
By that definition I'd say it doesn't get more treasonous than a U.S. president giving aid and comfort to al Qaeda.
Ben Rhodes Admits Obama Armed Jihadists In Syria In Bombshell Interview; 6/24, Zerohedge
Actually the bombshell is the evidence of long-running U.S. government complicity with al Qaeda and other terror groups, some of which Zerohedge outlines following their discussion of the recent Rhodes interview:
Meanwhile, mainstream media have been content to float the falsehood that President Obama's legacy is that he "stayed out" of Syria, instead merely approving some negligible level of aid to so-called "moderate" rebels who were fighting both Assad and (supposedly) the Islamic State.
Rhodes has himself in prior interviews attempted to portray Obama as wisely staying "on the sidelines" in Syria. But as we've pointed out many times over the years, this narrative ignores and seeks to whitewash possibly the largest CIA covert program in history, started by Obama, which armed and funded a jihadist insurgency bent of overthrowing Assad to the tune of $1 billion a year (one-fifteenth of the CIA’s publicly known budget according to leaked Edward Snowden documents revealed by the Washington Post).
It also ignores the well established fact, documented in both US intelligence reports and authenticated battlefield footage, that ISIS and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) jointly fought under a single US-backed command structure during the early years of the war in Syria, [and] even as late as throughout 2013 — something confirmed by University of Oklahoma professor Joshua Landis, widely considered to be the world's foremost expert on Syria.
Syria experts, as well as a New York Times report which largely passed without notice, verified the below footage from 2013 showing then US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford working closely with a "rebel" leader who exercised operational command over known ISIS terrorists (Ambassador Ford has since acknowledged the relationship to McClatchy News):
[video, also posted at YouTube, of Ford with terrorists]
This latest Ben Rhodes non-denial-cum-sheepish-affirmation on the Obama White House's arming jihadists in Syria follows previous bombshell reporting by Mehdi Hasan from 2015.
As host of Al Jazeera's Head to Head, Hasan asked the former head of Pentagon intelligence under Obama, General Michael Flynn, who is to blame for the rise of ISIS? (the August 2015 interview was significantly prior to Flynn joining Trump's campaign).
Hasan presented Flynn with the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) declassified memo revealing Washington support to al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists in Syria in order to counter both Assad and Iran. Flynn affirmed Hasan's charge that it was "a willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood...".
[Al Jazeera video of Flynn's discussion with Hasan]