“AP sources: Intelligence on weapons no ‘slam dunk'”


"A report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence outlining that evidence against Syria is thick with caveats. It builds a case that Assad's forces are most likely responsible while outlining gaps in the U.S. intelligence picture. Relevant congressional committees were to be briefed on that evidence by teleconference call on Thursday, U.S. officials and congressional aides said.
The complicated intelligence picture raises questions about the White House's full-steam-ahead approach to the Aug. 21 attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb, with worries that the attack could be tied to al-Qaida-backed rebels later. Administration officials said Wednesday that neither the U.N. Security Council, which is deciding whether to weigh in, or allies' concerns would affect their plans.
Intelligence officials say they could not pinpoint the exact locations of Assad's supplies of chemical weapons, and Assad could have moved them in recent days as U.S. rhetoric builds. That lack of certainty means a possible series of U.S. cruise missile strikes aimed at crippling Assad's military infrastructure could hit newly hidden supplies of chemical weapons, accidentally triggering a deadly chemical attack.
"  AP


When George Tenet said the evidence on Iraq was a "slam dunk," he meant it would be easy to "sell" to the American people.  He was correct, but this time, not so much 

I applaud the British Labour Party and the "mother of parliaments."  God bless.  pl   


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63 Responses to “AP sources: Intelligence on weapons no ‘slam dunk'”

  1. So Clapper has dumped Obama and Kerry – and also Cameron and Hague – right in it. This is turning out a very good day.
    I was particularly struck by the paragraph in the AP report which read:
    “Ideally, the White House seeks intelligence that links the attack directly to Assad or someone in his inner circle to rule out the possibility that a rogue element of the military decided to use chemical weapons without Assad’s authorization. Another possibility that officials would hope to rule out: that stocks had fallen out of the government’s control and were deployed by rebels in a callous and calculated attempt to draw the West into the war.”
    If both claims made here are correct, it would seem that we do have a ‘slam dunk’: conclusive evidence that the American and British governments have conspired together in what looks like a callous, but rather imperfectly calculated, attempt to lie their peoples into war.
    I see the report quotes administration officials as saying that ‘neither the U.N. Security Council, which is deciding whether to weigh in, or allies’ concerns would affect their plans.’ Can they ignore a clear statement by their own intelligence people that they did not have the evidence they claimed to have?

  2. Just the facts Mam! I guess Clapper too young to remember Sgt. Friday!

  3. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    IMO you are correct. There is little doubt that Clapper or other IC seniors leaked this material to AP. They are trapped between on the one hand a WH that wants war without understanding the consequences of war and on the other hand a work force at least partially in rebellion against being forced once again to make “s–t into shinola.” In the photograph the UN man is standing next to what looks like the tail fin assembly of an artillery rocket. Such bits of junk usually are identifiable by origin, production run, etc. pl

  4. I sincerely hope they can actually get to the bottom of who did this. I doubt it will change the course of what the Obama Administration does, but I’d at least like to know whether we were being suckered into a war (again) under false pretenses, or whether it was just a case of Obama usurping Congress’s right to declare war, when he probably could’ve gotten permission if he had bothered to ask…

  5. Jose says:

    I applaud the British Labour Party and the “mother of parliaments.” God bless. pl
    Just saw the Shadow Minister speak and wished we had anything even resembling a shadow cabinet.

  6. Aidan says:

    I think the critical thing in the UK is that in 2010 election there was no overall majority. Conservatives are in a coalition with LibDem (traditionally anti-war particularly at grass roots) and even then have a very thin majority. Without Labour support they have almost no chance of carrying a vote as a number of backbenchers are likely to rebel regardless of party position. Tony Blair in 2003, on the other hand, had a solid majority (roughly two thirds of all MPs were Labour) and could push through pretty much what he liked.
    Those at the very top might be in favour but the political layer below (backbench MPs, party activists etc.) are generally against and this has put a brake on it. The mainstream media (BBC, newspapers), isn’t coming down strongly one way or the other, although I note they are much less critical of the reliability of the evidence than this blog is.
    Also public opinion is more strongly against than it is in the US. I think at least two-thirds are opposed to even air strikes. Personally I think there is no strong evidence yet that the attack was ordered by top level of Syrian regime, and I can’t imagine what military intervention is both affordable and likely to be effective, so attacking at this point would be counter productive. I wrote to my MP yesterday to put this point.

  7. turcopolier says:

    The “anti” numbers are very high here as well. pl

  8. YT says:

    Col, sir,
    The phrase “sell” is indeed apt.
    Everything on mainstream media has been calling the rebels “the Free Syria Army”.
    What was it T. Sherman said about newspaper men?
    Most glad I get my sources thru you, one with Experience & balanced views.

  9. Aidan,
    I agree with almost all of that.
    However, a critical point about the AP report is that it makes clear that the American intelligence community does not have conclusive evidence that the attack was the work of the Syrian regime — rather than being a ‘false flag’ operation by the insurgents. If they don’t have such evidence, Cameron and Clegg don’t have it either.
    In addition to this, one has to bring into the picture the fact that both the Saudis, with Bandar in the driving seat, and also the Israelis, are clearly angling not simply to get the U.S. to produce a kind of ‘rap on the knuckles’ attack on Syria.
    There seems at least reason to suspect that they are counting on the inability of Obama and Cameron to grasp the escalatory possibilities of the situation to engage the U.S. on their side in a kind of ‘existential’ conflict.
    The combination of the financial and technical resources possessed by the Saudis and the Israelis, together with their neoconservative collaborators both in the U.S. and U.K., is clearly quite up to organising highly sophisticated ‘false flag’ operations.
    Whether such an operation could be at issue we do not, at the moment, know. But the fact that the possibility does not appear even to be contemplated by, for instance, the BBC, is a reflection of how far journalistic standards have fallen in the U.K., as in the U.S., over the past generation. The disastrous impact of Lord Hutton is, of course, part of the picture here.

  10. ISL says:

    “s–t into shinola.” is wonderfully appropriate.
    Given the source of the likely intercept, and that Israel has been working with some of the FSA, the strong possibility of a false flag op should have prevented Obama against boxing himself into a corner (again).
    If shown to be the rebels (irrespective of other actors), then I expect Bengazi 2 investigations in the house about war powers, or how it went wrong, or the color of the missiles during the midterms (92% US citizens oppose, so a clear electoral plus for republicans).
    Knowing the community, no love would be lost by Israel or its US fans if Obama was embroiled in scandal (or if escallation caused the US to occupy Syria for the next decade). Sounds win-win except for the US. Even juancole is wondering why someone so intelligent (Obama) seems to be so shallow in his thinking.

  11. Colonel Lang,
    I know that is true.
    However, from my — admittedly entirely inadequate — observation of comments on reports in the American MSM, I think there are some differences.
    On American sites, visceral anger is common, but it is still not the overwhelmingly predominant note, as it is here.
    Another difference may be that in the UK the ‘hasbara’ people have practically disappeared. I think they have given us up as a lost cause.

  12. Tyler says:

    Thirteen years of globalist BS, and they still can’t change their tune. Reminds me of that CNN journalist wailing about how blue eyed babies were being bayonetted within their incubators by Iraqi soldiers or some nonsense. “There is no new thing under the sun.”

  13. robt willmann says:

    U.S. Representative Alan Grayson (Dem.-Florida) said today, “Raytheon’s stock is up 20% in the last 60 days. No one wants US intervention in Syria except the military-industrial complex.”
    And here is a fascinating photograph allegedly from 2009 of Bashar al-Assad and his wife, and John Kerry and his wife, having an intimate dinner for four, possibly at the Naranj restaurant, which I guess is in Damascus.
    Is that restaurant on the cruise missile target list? It better not be. It looks like a great place.

  14. JohnH says:

    Apart from political campaigns, Obama has been a singularly poor leader in terms of motivating people to act. He never seriously campaigned for Obamacare and did little to prevent Republicans from turning it into a negative. Now there is the Syria stuff, which has turned into a real PR fiasco.
    My guess on the Syria CW is that Saudi Arabia and Israel, fresh from a win in Egypt, decided to go for the kill. Obama’s embarrassing impotence in Egypt combined with his own highly publicized “red lines” would certainly make him act, they probably reasoned.
    They evidently forgot about his inability to communicate and lead…

  15. Castellio says:

    I have a hard time believing Obama was “trapped”. He set the red line. Then he said he knew the red line had been crossed. Now he implies attacks against the US.
    That is not being trapped. That is pursuing a policy. How long ago was the policy set? Well, it was clear when he said that Assad had to go that he believed Assad had to go. More than a year ago.
    Given that, it can’t be said, either, that he is motivated by “fear of the Republicans”.

  16. zanzibar says:

    It seems from the Guardian article on the JIC report that there is no conclusive evidence that the Syrian army did it, just a deductive reasoning based on capability.
    “In an echo of the buildup to the Iraq war in 2003, Downing Street took the rare step of releasing the assessment of the JIC to support its case that the Assad regime was responsible.
    But the assessment was mainly based on “open source” evidence such as video footage of the victims and a judgment that the opposition does not have the capability to launch such an attack.”
    As Pat has noted with much derision, “open source” social media is the new IC.
    Do you think the Tory back-benchers and Ed Miliband will ultimately get railroaded into supporting Cameron’s Syria attack? Note the headline on the Telegraph “Ed Miliband is giving succour to Assad, says Downing St”

  17. steve says:

    Yes, it’s always interesting to note the quality of debate and the awareness of the issues in the House of Commons.
    Compare that to the “world’s greatest deliberative body”, the US Senate.

  18. Fred says:

    “Ed Miliband is giving succour to Assad, says Downing St”
    Yep, you are either with us, or against us. GWB and Tony Blair would be proud of the new tradition they started.

  19. James Vanasek says:

    I think some very good point have been made by all.
    The key questions I have are what kind of security, command and control does the Syrian army have over its chemical weapons/nerve agents? How high ranking of an officer or government offical can give an order (that will be followed and unquestioned) to remove the ordinance from the depot where it is held? Do more than one person need to sign off on the removal of such shells – similar to the double key launch system we have on ICBMs for instance? Who can direct the firing and targeting of it?
    If Pat or anyone else has some expertise in this area I think it a large post on the site would be very helpful.
    The reason I ask is this possible hypothesis:
    1. The previous small scale chemical weapons incidents (later proven to be done by the rebels, but no matter) are used to get Obama to commit to some sort of stance whereby he will intervene in Syria. This is done knowing the pressure that he will get from certain media outlets who harbor a pro neocon viewpoint.
    2. Obama falls for the trap.
    3. A high ranking Syrian officer who is really an agent on the Israeli/Saudi/or someone else’s payroll gets the call from their puppeteers to pull some weapons out of storage, transport them to where they will be used and initiate the attack. Of course, the troops doing all this may think they are just normal artillery shells or rocket and not unconventional ones.
    4. The rebels then post everything on youtube which enrages those calling for intervention.
    5. Those people and videos get disseminated via the same media outlets I described above which puts further pressure on Obama to back up his earlier statement with action.

  20. Fred says:

    “Another possibility that officials would hope to rule out: that stocks had fallen out of the government’s control and were deployed by rebels …”
    Another reason to get to the facts of who used these weapons. Especially with Prince Bandar’s statements regarding Saudi Arabia’s control of certain jihadi elements. I’m sure the Russians find all of this very reassuring. At least they’ll know who to blame the next time Chechen based terrorists use chemical weapons within Russia.

  21. jonst says:

    Rob, I think Grayson is employing sloppy reasoning…and sloppy language. Precision is best here. To the extent it is possible, anyway.
    I suspect that the bulk of military leadership is either against this operation…or neutral about it. The “industry” part of the equation is more for it. (although it is more of a ‘sector’ than an “industry”….And more ‘intellectual property/services’ than manufactured products these days. )
    So sure, there economic drivers here..but I think they are secondary. Important and substantial…but secondary. I see careerism (make my bones as a tough guy cravings)…and ‘do-gooderism–as the ultimate driving forces. The P2P types are leading this. The witches…and the political operatives, and their stooges in the media…who are terrified of the Dems being portrayed as ‘soft’ in election commercials. Good ole bat shit crazy Wilsonian overreach….with Rahm Emanuel opportunism thrown in the mix.
    Just bring back the draft…with no deferments…and watch these types change their tune. Send their kids….watch em panic.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Don’t forget that Labour is in the opposition, and its track record in backing “humanitarian” interventions is not good. Blair tried to talk Clinton into putting boots on the ground in Kosovo and he was Bush’s eager henchman in the Iraq debacle. If Miliband wants to distance himself from Blairism,then well and good. We’ll see what he does once in power.

  23. VietnamVet says:

    As we sit here, waiting the imminent attack on Syria, I wonder how the USA was transformed in my lifetime from the shining light on the hill into a Mussolini Corporatist State, writ large, that can’t do anything right?
    It all started in the 1970’s due to the Silent Mutiny in Vietnam. The Elite and the Military discovered that the USA could not fight colonial wars with an Army of draftees. The grunts refused direct orders, fragged officers, and they told their families what Vietnam War was really like. This led to the current volunteer privatized Army. It can fight two neo colonial wars at once but is too small to win them. Second, the new Army at war makes lots of money for military contractors who do just about everything including some soldiering and are a huge force for promoting more war. They made Sunni Jihadists into crazed mad men at America’s throat; yet, these enemies are now our allies in Syria. Common Sense has disappeared.
    At the same time, the Elite discovered that they could screw American workers by outsourcing, free trade, and ending the connection of wages with economic performance. Their political henchmen could still be elected by running on wedge cultural issues (gay rights). In the last decade the Elite (Military, Finance, Health Care) have cemented their control of the government. The Obama Administration is no different than the Bush II Administration. In many ways, it is worse, since it does not give a damn about the rule of law, the consequences of its military adventures from the drone wars to attacking Syria, or the opinion of the American people.

  24. r whitman says:

    The incubator baby bayonet story goes back to 1993 and the propaganda lead up to Desert Storm during Geo HW Bush time. 20 years and nothing is new.

  25. johnf says:

    2133: The UK government has lost the vote on Syria by 285 votes to 272.

  26. Question are Syrian CW arms stocks all binary weapons?

  27. House of Commons votes against strike on Syria!

  28. FB Ali says:

    “….. deductive reasoning based on capability”.
    A much more compelling reason, which no one appears to be considering, is the aim or purpose. What did the regime (or any of its underlings) hope to achieve by resorting to this chemical attack?
    There is no indication in the reports that it was part of any military operation. No enemy soldiers appear to have been killed. What good would it do to kill a whole bunch of civilians, including women and children, in their beds? Even if someone wanted to punish them for continuing to live in rebel-held territory, surely it makes no sense to do it with an UN investigation team a few miles away, and all sorts of ‘red lines’ being drawn.
    This is a classical case where the right question is: cui bono?

  29. zanzibar says:

    It looks like Cameron will not get his own ME quagmire to the benefit of the British people.
    No sign yet of representatives acting in the best interests of their constituents in the “former” constitutional republic of the USA.
    In the land of “full spectrum” surveillance, it’s:
    Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant!

  30. hf says:

    JohnH is probably right.
    All of this nonsense began after Bandar’s trip to Moscow, where he was probably told to buzz off — which he then did with bombs, bullets, and missiles in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Syria.
    Israel is likely the second key agent — working in Susan Rice’s office to ‘stove pipe’ the ‘intelligence’ to Obama.
    The liberal hawks and the neocons are just all too happy to go along.
    Obama and other elites might be persuaded to go along with this nonsense in light of other losses in Eurasia. American primacy is at stake — a goal that has motivated all US foreign policy elites since WW2.
    But it is also true that several sane voices are starting to get heard — and that backdoor threats from other states and actors are also being made and paid attention to.
    Confusion reigns right now. And Obama is looking pretty bad at the moment. What’s next?

  31. r whitman says:

    correction to my previous post: I meant 1991 instead of 1993 and 22 years.

  32. tunde says:

    Cameroon is a ‘wet’ Tory, in old political parlance. He blinked (in the face of a coalition). Norman Tebbit, a good barometer of the old tory establishment wrote two days ago he was unconvinced as to the proof. That got Cam thinking. I think the hestitation is as much aresult of the political establishment in the UK thinking it could not afford another Iraq debacle (withering away what little international standing Britannia has these days).

  33. tunde says:

    sorry PL, Cameron

  34. bth says:

    This article from Reuters is interesting about Syria, Russia, alliances and cash flow. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/29/us-syria-crisis-russia-arms-insight-idUSBRE97S0WW20130829

  35. ISL says:

    Apparently now the state department is favoring youtube over its own intelligence agencies:
    from the article:
    In effect, Harf was left arguing that because no one else could have carried out the attack, it must have been the Syrian government. “The world doesn’t need a classified U.S. intelligence assessment to see the photos and the videos of these people and to know that the only possible entity in Syria that could do this to their own people is the regime,” she said.
    Harf is the State Department spokeswoman
    Apparently, fixing the intelligence is too much trouble. Clearly are some rather intense insider battles going on.

  36. Norbert M Salamon says:

    So it appears that Israel and Saudi Arabia are for USA armed action in company of neo-liberals and neocons [with some exceptions], opposed by China[USA’s banker}, Russia[world’s biggest or second biggest nuclear power], UK [via Parliament], Germany, Italy, Austria et al{on general principles], Arab League [on general principle], Egypt [for whatever reason] and untold number of minor states.
    Methinks there will be a reassessment on Obama’s part..

  37. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Interesting article. I wonder where Assad is getting the money.

  38. PeterHug says:

    It occurs to me that there is a subtext to this leak – and that is, “If you execute this operation without adequate proof of responsibility, and it turns out that we (the IC) can demonstrate later that the chemical attack was the work of Al-Qaeda or someone similarly unsavory, do NOT expect that to remain unpublished.”
    I disagree fundamentally with the intelligence community on what they apparently feel is appropriate domestically, but I do sympathize with them regarding the possibility of being hung out to dry after the fact in defense of what is really a politically inspired operation.

  39. CTuttle says:

    Hmmm… I’ll betcha this will leave a mark…!
    Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack
    Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.

  40. The Twisted Genius says:

    Perhaps that bastard Bandar is up to his neck in this whole CW mess. Some residents and rebels in Ghouta are saying the Saudis are behind the attack. Let’s see if the UN inspectors address this. Those Saudi sons of bitches need to be separated from their money.

  41. zanzibar says:

    Yes, indeed FB. Cui bono?
    Peter Oborne at The Telegraph makes that very point.
    “Consider this: the only beneficiaries from the atrocity were the rebels, previously losing the war, who now have Britain and America ready to intervene on their side. While there seems to be little doubt that chemical weapons were used, there is doubt about who deployed them. It is important to remember that Assad has been accused of using poison gas against civilians before. But on that occasion, Carla del Ponte, a UN commissioner on Syria, concluded that the rebels, not Assad, were probably responsible.”
    Isn’t it interesting that the al Qaeda jihadists in Syria are labeled “rebels” by the media?

  42. zanzibar, F.B. Ali, Fred,
    The JIC report is frankly bizarre. It contains a critical claim that a ‘clear pattern of chemical use’ by the regime has already been established. Given that this contention is both critical to the argument about the recent incident, and involves assertions which have not as far as I am aware been previously made by either British or American intelligence agencies, it is worth quoting at length:
    “It is important to put these JIC judgements in context. We have assessed previously that the Syrian regime used lethal CW on 14 occasions from 2012. This judgement was made with the highest possible level of certainty following an exhaustive review by the Joint Intelligence Organisation of intelligence reports plus diplomatic and open sources. We think that there have been other attacks although we do not have the same degree of confidence in the evidence. A clear pattern of regime use has therefore been established.”
    The crucial point about ‘cui bono’ which F.B. Ali raises obvious becomes yet more salient, if we are asked to believe that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons at least 14 times in recent months. Given that such a pattern of repeated provocation of the U.S. would indicate that Assad is suicidal, it makes the question as to whether one can rule out the possibility of deception operations even more critical. Here, a crucial paragraph of the JIC report is if anything even more bizarre:
    “It is being claimed, including by the regime, that the attacks were either faked or undertaken by the Syrian Armed Opposition. We have tested this assertion using a wide range of intelligence and open sources, and invited HMG and outside experts to help us establish whether such a thing is possible. There is no credible intelligence or other evidence to substantiate the claims or the possession of CW by the opposition. The JIC has therefore concluded that there are no plausible alternative scenarios to regime responsibility.”
    If you look at this passage carefully, it is clear that it does not even actually assert that ‘HMG and other experts’ have ruled out all alternative scenarios to that of ‘regime responsibility’ – only that there is no evidence for such scenarios. In fact, if the AP report is to be believed, ‘alternative scenarios’ are something that the U.S. intelligence community ‘would hope’ to rule out – they do not already have adequate evidence to discount them. So Clapper dumped the JIC in it, as well as Obama and Cameron.
    As Fred rightly stresses, we need a thorough and objective analysis of the evidence about who has used, and who may possess, chemical weapons from the Syrian government. We do not need assessments from analysts who ‘would hope’ to rule certain conclusions out or in – be they British or American.
    The full text of this extraordinary document is available at:

  43. James Vanasek,
    On the face of things, treachery is indeed one possible explanation for what happened. The Saudis and the Israelis both appear to have committed themselves to an all-out struggle against the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah grouping.
    Accordingly, both massive financial resources, and also very high class technological expertise, may well be available to those attempting to create ‘false flag’ operations. Of course, it may be that there are good reasons to discount possibilities such as that which you have outlined. But no serious attempt appears to have been made, so far, to establish that they can in fact be discounted. The arguments in the British JIC assessment are, to put it mildly, hardly compelling.

  44. WRC, zanzibar,
    According to the Mail, this is the first time the House of Commons has voted against the Government on an issue of war and peace since 27 February 1782.
    On that occasion, the issue was whether to continue the attempt to suppress the insurgency in the United States, following the defeat at Yorktown. The 19-vote repudiation of the Government on this issue led to a vote of no confidence and the resignation of Lord North, paving the way for an end to the war.
    (See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2406208/Syria-conflict-Tory-rebellion-forces-Prime-Minister-David-Cameron-rule-military-strike-country.html )

  45. A piece by Robert Haas, entitled ‘Britain drifts towards isolation’, appeared in this morning’s FT.
    His suggestion that anti-Americanism was part of the explanation for the vote produced the following response from a commenter, which I think almost entirely apt:
    “‘the vote also reflects an always-present anti-Americanism’ – not at all, though it depends how you define ‘Americanism’. It’s quite clear from the comment boards of US papers that the vast majority of Americans don’t want their country to go into Syria either. I don’t know anyone who’s anti the American people – we’re just anti their government and it’s high-handed tactics. I think many Americans are too – and THEIR representatives don’t even get to vote on the issue.”
    On the question of whether elected representatives do or do not ‘get to vote’, Haas had this to say:
    “The British vote will almost certainly generate greater pressures within the US for Congress to vote. Such a vote, however, is not essential, as under US ‘war powers’ legislation and decades of practice, the president enjoys great latitude when it comes to employing military force, especially for limited missions of the sort being contemplated here.”
    A comment by ‘robt willman’ on the previous thread, which appeared to me extremely cogent, suggested that the situation with regard to Syria is not one in which, under ‘war powers’ legislation, the president is entitled to act without consulting Congress. If this is indeed so, then it would seem that the ‘decades of practice’ to which Haas refers represent a regrettable erosion of constitutional restraints on arbitrary power, which ordinary Americans should be pressuring their representatives to reverse.
    (See http://blogs.ft.com/the-a-list/2013/08/30/britain-drifts-towards-isolation/#axzz2dRCNh1yb )

  46. Highlander says:

    I told you some years ago, this blog is important work, and not just a hobby.
    I spend entirely too much time on the internet,looking at world wide news sites and blogs of various stripes.
    Your blog has been the tip of rationality’s spear in countering the elite madness and cunning in this Syria situation.
    Not bad, for a bald headed, put out to pasture, old Army colonel.

  47. turcopolier says:

    I knew you really loved me. Actually, bald headed, thrown out by Clapper, SES-4 with the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive would be more accurate. I still haven’t figured out what Clapper’s problem was with me. pl

  48. marcus says:

    “I still haven’t figured out what Clapper’s problem was with me. pl ”
    Integrity. There’s no position for you in their organization.

  49. Fred says:

    So Obama doesn’t even need a shyster lawyer like John Yoo to come up with a legalistic excuse, he’s got the head of CoFR to do it for him. God help us.

  50. smoke says:

    Before Iraq II, there was wily old Robt Byrd, standing up alone on the empty Senate floor, before the CSpan camera, making an impassioned, dissenting speech. He recalled Gulf of Tonkin, reviewed the uncertainty of the wmd evidence, and essentially said, “I won’t be suckered into war again.” Hardly a lively debate, but a voice. Who would speak, if the Senate were asked now?

  51. Charles I says:

    And now Friday morning, news of another horrific attack with some kind of “napalm-like substance. Within the hour next newscycle used the words “some kind of chemical”
    Again, who/why would do this? A mole.
    One of the “proofs” was Kerry stating: It was Assad because we KNOW that all chemical weapons are under his/govt control.
    Now we don’t know where they all are. A few months ago we had to strike the depots because there was evidence he was moving his CW. Which is it? etc etc.
    The other proof was telephone intercepts held out to prove govt control, but the only things I’ve seen quoted in the press wrt that intercept is central command calling the CW unit to ask wtf was going on. Hardly sounds like a BDA or control of CW.
    The screaming on the news is horrific. The vote in London beatific.

  52. Charles I says:

    Notice how close the two sides must sit together?

  53. Charles I says:

    Been announced that Canada will not take part in any “military” action. I’d still bet we’re helping with comms etc in Jordan.

  54. Charles I says:

    Integrity, and I bet you just like to fight too much for weak men and weak egos.

  55. cloned_poster says:

    Amen, while they gamble in Monte Carlo.

  56. Matthew says:

    DH: Haas’s comments are an American echo of Victorian England’s self-abosrbion that William Manchester described in his first volume of “The Last Lion.” Manchester cited a newspaper headline that said something like: “Severe Fog, Continent Cut off.”
    To people like Haas, Britain has the privilege of orbiting the American sun. Independence risks losing that warmth.

  57. elkern says:

    Pardon my ignorance of the British Parliamenary system, but doesn’t this mean that the Government falls?

  58. elkern says:

    Agree strongly, though I probably wouldn’t phrase the last line quite that way…

  59. Fred says:

    Bring back the draft? I agree. At least Mr. Cheney had to request, multiple times, for deferment; but this is the obligation free generation. All entitlement, no service.

  60. Highlander says:

    Yes, I am aware of your unique and very impressive career both in the army and later.
    As far as the army went, my guess you were pretty good at kicking and chewing ass, when needed. But I doubt if you kissed ass at all.

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