Daniel, your summary of the New York Times position on Syria leads me to hypothesize that the paper has been infiltrated by the CIA and/or that the CIA is feeding it "news" or interpretations from sources (outfits) that it controls or influences. The CIA doesn't only spy. It employs disinformation routinely with front organizations. Searching on google finds this right away. Or look at this. Or this. I am inclined to say that we can amass a great deal of evidence consistent with this hypothesis. What alternative explanation is there that the Times would express this kind of sophisticated twisting of the facts in order to justify a greater U.S. presence in Syria? Why has this newspaper gone from anti-war to pro-war? I think this has been worked and that forces worked it, as Edward G. Robinson suspected in Double Indemnity.