Dec 12, 2013
Case Against Assad Based on ‘Common Sense,’ Not ‘Irrefutable’ Evidence
Posted on Sep 8, 2013
Taking the White House campaign for a military strike on Syria to the Sunday morning shows, chief of staff Denis McDonough admitted that the administration lacks “irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence” connecting Syrian President Bashar Assad to the use of chemical weapons.
Speaking on “Meet the Press” one week prior, Secretary of State John Kerry was asked if the administration had a slam dunk case, and he said the following:
President Obama faces strong opposition to his attack plan in polls of both the public and members of Congress, and while his administration continues to lobby for war, the message seems to be “take our word for it.”
On “Meet the Press” this Sunday, McDonough said there was “no question” in his mind that Assad personally ordered a chemical weapons attack. Later, he said about speaking to members of Congress, “Nobody is rebutting the intelligence. Nobody doubts the intelligence.”
That assertion is reflected somewhat in polling. A Pew survey conducted a week ago found that 53 percent of adult Americans agreed that there was clear evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians, but according to the same poll, only 32 percent believe Obama has explained clearly why the U.S. should launch airstrikes.
McDonough said on “Meet the Press” that “the question for Congress this week is what are the consequences for [Assad] having [used chemical weapons]. How Congress chooses to answer that question will be listened to very clearly in Damascus, but not just in Damascus. Also in Tehran.” Ah. It’s those Iranian bogeymen again.
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer
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