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Benghazi and Russia are Keywords at Syria Hearing

Conservatives tie administration's credibility to scandals and spar with Kerry, while Hagel ties chemical weapons to Moscow.

by
Bridget Johnson

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September 4, 2013 - 8:18 pm
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WASHINGTON — President Obama’s war team faced off with the tougher of two chambers on Wednesday as Secretary of State John Kerry & Co. tried to convince the House Foreign Affairs Committee to support an authorization for force in Syria.

But one of the most headline-grabbing topics of the hearing was Benghazi, as a South Carolina Republican asked how the administration could be trusted after the attack and aftermath.

And on the eve of President Obama’s trip to the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged that Russia could be the source of the chemical weapons used by Assad.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said Syria’s civil war “complicates the consideration,” as does a lack of international support.

“There are too many bad actors out there. Countries like Iran are watching. And yes, a credible threat is key to putting the brakes on Iran’s nuclear program,” Royce said. “There are concerns. The president promises a military operation in Syria of limited scope and duration. But, the Assad regime would have a say in what happens next. That would be particularly true as President Obama isn’t aiming to change the situation on the ground.”

“I know many members on both sides of the aisle are struggling with this issue of using force in Syria. We are all trying to do the right thing for our constituents, for our country, and for our national security. Questions of war and peace are always difficult, and I am proud that we are treating them with the utmost seriousness in this committee,” said Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

“But in the days before we take any vote, I urge my colleagues to ask themselves these questions. If we do not pass the authorization measure, what message will Assad get?” Engel added. “What message will Iran receive? Hezbollah? Our allies?”

“Some people in a few places, amazingly, against all the evidence, have questioned whether or not this assault on conscience actually took place,” said Kerry. “And I repeat again here today, unequivocally, only the most willful desire to avoid reality, only the most devious political purpose, could assert that this did not occur as described or that the regime did not do it. It did happen. And the Bashar al-Assad regime did it.”

He added that “at some point in an appropriate setting” lawmakers would receive new information that further points to Assad’s guilt.

“We need to send to Syria and to the world, to dictators and terrorists, to allies and civilians alike, the unmistakable message that when we say ‘never again,’ we actually don’t mean ‘sometimes.’ We don’t mean ‘somewhere.’ We mean ‘never again.’”

Kerry said he’ll be meeting with the 28 European foreign ministers in Vilnius on Saturday and will be working at rallying support. “Many of them have had reservations, waiting for the evidence. So I see many more countries joining,” he said. “Thirty-four countries or organizations have indicated that if the allegations prove to be true they would support some form of action against Syria.”

The “number of countries…that have offered to be part of this operation” can “speak for themselves,” he added.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey made a point of telling the committee that he won’t share his personal views about the resolution seeking authorization of force.

“I will tell you that militarily, the broader the resolution, the more options I can provide,” Dempsey said. “But that said, I’ll also assure you that the president has given me quite clear guidance that this will be a limited and focused operation, not an open-ended operation.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) noted Congress has for months been pushing Syria resolutions that were waiting for action in the Senate despite wide bipartisan support. “Had the United States been taking a more proactive role in Syria by instituting strict sanctions against Assad’s regime, it may have changed his calculations on the use of chemical weapons,” she said.

She also said there was a rumor floating around that the Senate would get a vote on the authorization but not the tougher-to-conquer House. Kerry said that was the first he’d head of it.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) entered into the hearing record 150 occasions in the past 40 years when America has deployed its forces into dangerous or hostile situations — “and in most of those, we had limited purpose, limited deployment, and the cost was so limited that we’ve forgotten the incident involved.”

“You should focus on punishing and deterring Assad by hitting valuable assets that will demonstrate to him that it was a military mistake to hit Ghouta with — with chemical weapons,” said Sherman. “Even air or naval assets unrelated to the delivery of chemical weapons will make that lesson clear to him.”

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said when Congress comes back into session he plans to introduce a resolution “to authorize the president to establish a specialized court, the Syrian War Crimes Tribunal, to help hold accountable all those on either side, including Assad, who have slaughtered and raped in Syria.”

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Top Rated Comments   
So Obama cannot defend Americans in Benghazi but he wants to defend Al Queda in Syria.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (14)
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We cannot trust Obama. He is a liar, incompetent, narcissistic and his administration is joke. Fast and Furious, NSA spying, IRS, EPA, Benghazi scandals keep coming. His regime is fueled by far left ideology, pro-Islamist orientation, black racism, radical environmentalism, cronyism, and disregard for the Constitution. It is past time for regime change.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If only the administration had been this eager to deploy in defense of our Benghazi consulate. "But what does that matter now?", to coin a phrase.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm formerly from LA, Rep. Brad Sherman's district. My ex and I used to refer to him generically as "The Idiot." If Sherman is for something, we must all be against it. He is bought and paid for by special interests and hasn't worked a real job in many many years.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I found this link someone posted and this what is said below make sense . The use of the Dollar and keeping Saudi loyal to its use is KEY to this Whole Mess !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its becoming clear that Obama has been using the Muslim Brotherhood in a Leverage position to keep Saudi from just walking all over the USA and EU interests and trying to keep the dollar relevant in this Mess but Egypt overthrowing the Brotherhood has now moved the goal posts to Syria to try and establish a front for the Brotherhood .
Syrian War is a Saudi Intelligence Operation

http://www.omegashock.com/2013/09/05/syrian-war-is-a-saudi-intelligence-operation/

Has Saudi Arabia been behind the Middle Eastern War on Terror to Use the West and primarily the USA to Take over the Middle East ????
Just moments ago, I saw Secretary of State John Kerry admit that the Syrian War is a Saudi operation. And, I watched him squirm in his chair as he said it, because he KNOWS that this is what he’s admitting. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Even more, he was tacitly admitting Saudi involvement in other interventions.
For those of us who have more than half a brain, and at least SOME knowledge of the Middle East… We’ve noticed the fingerprints of Saudi intelligence all over what’s going on in Syria. In fact, I was planning to write about the involvement of the Saudi General Intelligence Services (or, Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah) today, when John Kerry went and poured gasoline on my fire. (And, I must say, John, that you really, REALLY looked uncomfortable making that admission.)
So, America will go to war at the behest of their Saudi paymasters. This makes me sick, and it should make you sick, too. This will launch us straight into World War III, and it will be the Saudis that pulled the trigger.
For those of you who keep preaching ‘Zionist Conspiracy’, you are complete and utter fools. Furthermore, you have dragged others down with you, and THAT is inexcusable.
Secretary of State John Kerry said at a House Foreign Affairs committee hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily. - http://wapo.st/1ajCnKA
The Syrian War What You're Not Being Told , in this Video you will hear General Wesley Clark make some outlandish Claims !!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkamZg68jpk#t=272

Ben Swann Reality Check: What The Media Isn't Telling You About Syria
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCBhyzRELLw#t=74


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The THEM do the dirty work. Let Saudi Arabia and crew spill their own blood!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...could assert that this did not occur as described or that the regime did not do it."

What difference at this point does it make?

How sad it must be to get up and do 'his' bidding, when you and those around you have completely lost ALL credibility.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In remarks that could raise tension further before he hosts President Barack Obama and other G20 leaders on Thursday, Putin also said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lied to Congress about the militant group al Qaeda’s role in the Syrian conflict.

“They lie beautifully, of course. I saw debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr Kerry: ‘Is al Qaeda there?’ He says: ‘No, I am telling you responsibly that it is not’,” Putin said at a meeting of his human rights council in the Kremlin.

“Al Qaeda units are the main military echelon, and they know this,” he said, referring to the United States. “It was unpleasant and surprising for me – we talk to them, we proceed from the assumption that they are decent people. But he is lying and knows he is lying. It’s sad.”
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey made a point of telling the committee that he won’t share his personal views about the resolution seeking authorization of force."

Which means he just did.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sure tells you something about his character and leadership...........(we already knew that)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Hagel ties chemical weapons to Moscow"

WTF!!! So now what? The Obama Reich wants to bomb Moscow!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, we've backed Russia into a corner, strategically, economically and politically. Gotta bomb them before they can bomb us for being stupid.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So Obama cannot defend Americans in Benghazi but he wants to defend Al Queda in Syria.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well said.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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