Amid criticism over his supposed lack of foreign policy credentials, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders last week reached out to several experts to help him beef up this aspect of his campaign.
But one of the experts he brought in is fiercely anti-Israel, and in the past suggested that Israel may have gassed Syrian rebels, an act widely attributed to the Assad regime.
In March 2013, after Western intelligence agencies said Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his people, Lawrence Wilkerson told Current TV: “This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria … or it could’ve been an actual use by Bashar Assad.”
Wilkerson served as as chief of staff to former secretary of state Colin Powell. A harsh critic of former president George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, Politico quoted him as saying that he has given Sanders his advice.
“Of late, I’ve been asked by quite a number of people or groups to advise on national security and foreign policy. The Sanders campaign has been one of these and I have spoken directly to the Senator on one occasion, at this point,” Wilkerson said.
Initially a champion of the campaign accusing Iraq of hiding a secret program to produce weapons of mass destruction, Wilkerson later turned against the Iraq war which he described as a “hoax.”
He said Bush’s vice president Dick Cheney should be “in jail for war crimes” and accused some Republicans, including decorated war hero Sen. John McCain, of “bordering on being traitors” for their opposition to US President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Among the other experts contacted by Sanders is Lawrence Korb, who was a campaign adviser to Obama in 2008.
Sanders’ rival for the nomination Hillary Clinton, who served as Obama’s secretary of state in his first term, is considered far more knowledgeable on foreign policy and has a working relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.