At least Leno documents his intel collection.
Originally Posted by SarasotaRepub
This is absurd. The article is saying that there is no direct link showing that Assad ordered the strike. This is the same argument that the administration used in the IRS scandal, that the targeting of conservative groups was done by rogue elements, which just happened to include every political appointee in the chain up to just below the president, but that he, personally, knew nothing about it.
has yet to uncover evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad directly ordered
the chemical attacks last month on civilians in a suburb of Damascus, though the consensus inside U.S. agencies and Congress
is that members of Mr. Assad
’s inner circle likely gave the command, officials tell The Washington Times.
The gap in the intelligence
has raised debate in some corners of the wider intelligence community about whether Mr. Assad
has full control of his war-weary Army and their arsenal of chemical missiles, which most likely would be treasured by terrorist groups known to be operating in Syria
, said officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing intelligence matters.
“If there was a rogue general that did it on his own accord, that would be a bigger problem for Assad
, because that would imply that he does not have control of his own weapons,” said one senior congressional source familiar with U.S. intelligence
assessments on Syria
Apart from concerns about weapons falling into the hands of such Sunni extremist and al Qaeda
-linked groups as the al-Nusra Front, there are also concerns about serious hurdles now likely to lie ahead for the international community trying to assemble a special team to work with Mr. Assad
on securing his chemical arsenal.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...#ixzz2egZas7Ch
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Victor Davis Hansen at NRO had a superb take on Obama's vacillations, using his speech as the starting point:
The one requisite in a presidential speech is honesty. Without it, nothing else matters. The president’s speech last night was incoherent in its call to be ready at some future day to use force that he just recently insisted must be used immediately.
But more disturbing, aside from the true nature of the Putin gambit, Obama simply did not tell the truth about the role of Congress in his self-created debacle.
In fact, not long ago, Obama said that he did not “believe it was right . . . to take this debate to Congress.” In truth, he was forced to, after resisting such a move, because public opinion was not in his favor.
Or, in the words of his own cynical political guru, David Axelrod, he wished the congressional dog to catch the car and share some responsibility for the self-induced mess.
Moreover, last decade was not characterized by a president who engaged in “sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.” In truth, George W. Bush obtained authorizations from both Houses of Congress before using force in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, Barack Obama bypassed Congress — but not the Arab League — in bombing Libya.
Nor did the president simply ask the leaders of Congress to postpone the vote. Congressional officials came to him, hence last night’s address, to warn him that, in a historical first, he would be rebuffed by both houses of Congress.
As in the case of the Libyan bombing, Obama initially sought to bypass Congress, could not given sinking public opinion, reversed course and went to Congress, then was faced with a rebuke, and finally ended up doing nothing. This leaves the country with the precedent of a president going to Congress when desperate, then announcing that he will not necessarily abide by the vote should it be negative, and then postponing a vote that he knows will be negative — taking the country in a futile 360-degree path back to where he started.
Again, Obama warns about those who bypass Congress and leave a mess after taking out dictators — with no mention that he alone in the last decade has done both.
Finally, there were the usual Obama-speech bullet points that ensure it is a presidential speech:
- The tired usual emphatics? Check: “Let me make something clear.”
- Straw men on the edges with sober and judicious Obama in the middle? Check: “friends on the right” and “friends on the left.”
- First person overload? Check: “especially me,” “my judgment,” “I determined,” “I possess,” “I’m also,” etc.
- Bush did it? Check: “. . . after a decade that put more and more war making power in the hands of the president.”
- Iraq ad nauseam? Check: “we learned from Iraq,” “an open-ended action like Iraq,” “terrible toll of Iraq and Afghanistan,” “our troops are out of Iraq,” etc.
- Growing the (now shrinking) middle class? Check: “growing our middle class.”
Now, of course, we're told that the intelligence that was a "slam dunk" (to use the left's favorite phrase regarding intel) is not as reliable as we thought, but if Assad didn't order the attacks, who did? His 11-year-old son with the Twitter account? Troops under Assad executed the attack. As commander, Assad is responsible. Claiming that we don't have his written order or verbal command on tape is ridiculous. We know that the Syrian military deployed the chemical attack; who else had the means to do so? Who had the artillery that lobbed the shells, which contained the dual-chambered cannisters that mixed the components in flight? The various al Qaeda and other rebel elements are pefectly capable of the necessary bloodthirstyness to do it, but they don't have the means. And the assumption that they had motive assumes that they knew that Obama would be compelled to act on their behalf, when up until now, he has been doing everything that he could to mollify both the Iranian mullahs and Assad. It defies sense for them to assume that we would intervene on their behalf.
The one thing that Obama has successfully attacked is his own credibility.