Dan Kaszeta has published another piece that claims hexamine proves the Syrian government is behind the August 21st attack. Most of these points were refuted here and here, but there are a few new claims which will be addressed here.
- For the first time, Dan attempts to address the issue of samples that contained hexamine but no sarin. As detailed in the previous posts here, this is one of the indications that hexamine could have come from many sources and is therefore not a "smoking gun".
Dan dismisses it by saying: "this is a logical state of affairs as hexamine does not evaporate like Sarin does".
This, however, fails to explain why none of the stable sarin degradation products (which were found elsewhere) are absent from these samples.
- Dan brings up sample 25 from the UN report, which shows hexamine in one of the rocket's bolts. He claims this proves hexamine findings were not a result of environmental contamination.
This sample is originally described by the UN as "Metal bolt removed from rocket head combined with paint rust scratched from the surface surrounding the bolt", which provides a good clue to the source of hexamine in this sample: One of hexamine's numerous uses in chemistry is in paints.
- Dan claims "the UN firmly concluded that the 8/21 Sarin came from Syrian government stockpiles".
The original quote: "The evidence available concerning the nature, quality and quantity of the agents used on 21 August indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to the chemical weapons stockpile of the Syrian military".
Besides the misquote - as discussed in detail here, this UN statement is probably not significant.
Nobody’s used hexamine previously as a Sarin additive
There’s hexamine in the field samples
There’s 80 tons of hexamine in the declared inventory of the Assad Regime
The Syrian government’s admission to Sellstrom’s team
The Assad Regime Did the Wicked Deed
- There is no indication hexamine was used in production of sarin, rather than another agent, or for another use completely (e.g. safe neutralization of by-products).
- Syria has specifically declared Isopropylamine in its stockpiles, which is the standard amine used in binary sarin. Furthermore, the amount of Isopropylamine reported matched the amounts of other reported chemicals, making hexamine redundant.
- Hexamine is a very common agent in chemical processes, and there is nothing that associates the hexamine field samples with sarin. More specifically, we have hexamine samples that have no trace of sarin, and we have samples showing explosive traces (hexamine is also used in explosives).
- There are no traces of hexamine salts in the field samples, which is a strong indication that hexamine was not present in sarin. If hexamine was indeed intended to react with the HCl created in the sarin binary process, then where are the products of this reaction? (credit to Paveway).
- Even if we were to accept this far-fetched connection between the hexamine in the field and the hexamine in the stockpiles, and assuming Syria did make this amazing break-through in sarin production, there is still no way to know that this information was not leaked to the opposition (e.g. by one of the many defectors).
All in all, the fact that this weak circumstantial evidence is still claimed to be a "smoking gun", is mostly a testament to the weakness of the other evidence for a regime attack. And once again: So far no one was able to provide a regime-attack scenario that is consistent with the evidence!