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Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Breaking News, Crime, International, Law, Military, Places, Science & Technology, Society, Terrorism, War | 35 comments

U.S. Government Assessment of Syria’s Use of Chemical Weapons

The White House has just released the unclassified “U.S. Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013.”

The report starts as follows:

The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack. These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting.

Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence – but what follows is an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of what took place.

Read the full report here

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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • ROBERT COUTINHO

    At: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/30/kerry-says-clear-evidence-chemical-weapons-used-in-syria-as-intelligence/

    The last few sentences quoting Sec. Kerry are the smoking gun. They know where the shots were fired from and where they landed. They know that the people firing the shots had been using protective masks (gas masks in the common vernacular–although a gas mask would actually be slightly different).

    It is time for Obama to go to Congress and get authorization.

  • sheknows

    Has congress given the official o.k.? It looks now as though the president is committed to some sort of action but is waiting for congress?? Not clear on that point. If congress does not stand behind the president, it makes a horrible statement to the rest of the world about the respect we have for our own leader..which of course is what congress wants. Unknowingly though a childish and emotionally disturbed congress could reign very unpleasant consequences down on our heads from those who would harm us.

    News sources now say it is more than likely Assad has moved all of his weapons around and hidden them in “black” mode. Also some speculation that innocent families will be moved to the weapons sites to live so that if the U.S. does attack they will be complicit in murdering innocent citizens.

    So much to consider. Our intel had better be FLAWLESS.

  • DaGoat

    i am not seeing anything about Obama going to Congress. If he goes to Congress and they vote not to attack he will lose face and I don’t think he would risk that.

    I think this is setting the table for an imminent attack.

  • sheknows

    Well stupidly then,the American people being polled haven’t been paying very close attention to the fact that congress hasn’t cooperated with the president since 2008.
    I agree though, he would be foolish to think they will be compassionate enough and humane enough to care about anyone but themselves…even children.

    BTW. the newest photos show a chemical used on college students( aug 26) and others as NOT being Sarin, but some other that burns the flesh and peels it off.

  • dduck

    BTW: Cameron called Parliament back from vacation, I don’t think we called all our guys back.

  • DaGoat

    I also have to say I reject the notion that not wanting to bomb Syria is the same as not caring about children. It seems like we have two bad options and we are trying to choose the least bad. Reasonable people can disagree about that.

  • sheknows

    Your point is noted DaGoat, however I say that because some of the things our Republican congress are already doing and have done like not approve greatly needed food stamps, cut funding to Medicaid, and cut Head Start show me the extent to which they care about children over politics.

  • dduck

    Boooo.

  • sheknows

    Look, we all know very well if there were a Rep president in the White House now…hell, maybe just a white one..congress would be all over this to jump in. We are talking about a party of people who are hawkish in the extreme and who had reservations about Chuck Hagel’s “peace” tendencies for God’s sake and backed GWB on little more than BAD intel and a desire to “get even”.

  • DaGoat

    SK it goes both ways. There are Democrats who at one time considered themselves against these sorts of actions that are now OK with it since there’s a Democrat in the White House. Like Obama himself, for instance.

  • dduck

    You mean like the quote I just stole from ES’s brilliant thread:
    A: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action…

  • sheknows

    DaGoat, You are absolutely correct. There were Dems that opposed GWB. And I don’t know how many Dems in congress are in favor of this either to be honest, but since they are not the majority….. And since we are not hearing anything from the WQH either, who knows.

    I don’t think Obama is doing this for any other reason than he must honestly believe it to be the correct thing to do ( as opposed to doing nothing). He risks everything, including as Elijah mentioned a huge brouhaha about impeachment if he proceeds, not to mention things that may go wrong ( God forbid).

    I am sorry for getting emotional about all this but I just cannot understand how the entire world can sit back and do nothing. VERY Sad.

  • sheknows

    And who knows, congress may approve action. As Americans I would like to think we all share at LEAST a common belief that the use of chemical weapons is off limits!

  • KP

    Look, we all know very well if there were a Rep president in the White House now…hell, maybe just a white one..congress would be all over this to jump in.

    For the record, I don’t believe that; and the inference that the color of the skin of our President might somehow change the reasons to, or not to attack Syria is particularly disturbing and cynical.

  • sheknows

    Well, KP I find it odd that in almost every other instance of his treatment by congress since 2008, the majority of people, including those here at TMV have related his “dissing” to race. I am not alone in my statement of belief.
    It is not because he is a black man KP. It is because they oppose him, and have since before he took office…remember? If it isn’t about race, than I think it may be disturbing that you cannot see it. Thanks

  • sheknows

    BTW. I do not think they would nay Syria because he is a black man. They just haven’t and MAY not cooperate with him on this because it is something he wants and believes in, and would give credibility to the U.S. And yes, I absolutely do believe that president Obama’s biggest problem with THIS congress has been racial.

  • KP

    What’s disturbing is that a small, very vocal section of the Progressive movement is becoming what they hate so much about the far right. Bigots. In doing so they are driving away their life blood: moderates. By 2014 they will be yelling at the backs of voters who are walking away. The louder they are they less they can hear the warnings.

  • dduck

    KP, I mean this respectfully. I don’t know, or am missing it somehow, what you meant above. If you get a chance please explain. Thanks

  • KP

    Sure dduck, there is a vocal part at the left end of the political spectrum that is content with chalking up many (if not all) of President Obama’s difficulties to a racist Republican party. Lumping people together who are not racist and calling them racist is an act of prejudice and bigotry. Are we to assume the UKs vote not to support Obama’s pleas to assist in an attack on Syria is due to racism? Of course not.

    To be clear, I know racism and bigotry are present in the Republican party. They are also present in the Democratic party. As I told SteveK on another thread I might be a registered Dem if there were less of the crowing about racism, hatred and unkind remarks directed at Republicans as a whole. But I don’t want to be identified with the ugly part of either party.

    Racist are bullies. People who call others racist who are not racist are also bullies. I have personally been a victim of sustained years-long racism. My family is mixed race, white, black and Mexican. I know something about racism and the difference between it, prejudice and bigotry. The flippant use of charges of racism is harmful. I am confident that moderates, who move our elections, avoid the ends of the political spectrums that act out or falsely accuse when they vote.

    My suggestion; call out racism, prejudice, bigots, misogynist and homophobes in specific politicians, neighbors and clergy when you see it. But when you start calling an entire party racist or individual registered Republicans racist it is not helpful. You are likely hurting your own cause.

  • dduck

    Thanks, I guess I am so used to the lumping and broad stroke remarks about Reps that I have become desensitized or else I consider the source. like you said, both sides do it and I have said all liberals are living in a dream world. 🙂

  • sheknows

    “when you a start calling individual registered Republicans racists”…if the shoe fits.

    When leaders who represent and have undisputed power within the Republican party make comments like ” We vow to make him a one term president” BEFORE he even took office, that is a problem the party needs to take care of if they don’t want to give others the impression they are bigots. But they never did. In fact, they made it more apparent to uphold their “vow” by refusing to work with this president under ANY conditions!

    When Rep. candidates talk about the lazy, 47% of Americans who only want a hand out, that makes for a bad impression also. As it turns out though, they don’t seem to care enough to stop the continuing derogatory comments and so one can only conclude they don’t see it as a problem.

    I think many who are not “radical” progressives, but Moderate Dems, Independents and even some Reps see this.
    Certainly enough articles have been written about what is more than obvious.

  • sheknows

    dd just want to add that IMO the people living in a “dream world” are the ones who refuse to see bigotry and prejudice when it exists. Perhaps that is why it still thrives in this country in the 21st Century. Just ask the SC..they’ll tell you there is no more racism.

  • KP

    When leaders who represent and have undisputed power within the Republican party make comments like….

    You are preaching to the choir. I left the Repubs. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Ideology provokes the desire but takes away the performance.”

    Ideologues should lift their game our they will lose the immediate life blood of their ideology: moderates.

  • KP

    From Huff Post and David Bromwich, Professor of Literature, Yale University:

    The way out of war is always peace. The way out is not limited, well-tailored, well-spoken, discreet, “smart” shots across the bow which you pretend are not acts of war. But peace comes from negotiations: an activity of which this president has always spoken in the warmest terms but at which he has shown few results during five years in office — not in Afghanistan, not in Iran, not with Russia or China, not on global warming or nuclear proliferation. Why not start with Syria? It is smaller than those other cases, and peace there might lead to peace elsewhere. It will be unsatisfactory, no doubt. And deeply disappointing to people who admire speed and decision and the chance to wrestle with fortune while employing the largest weapons in the world. But it will be better than the multiplication of deaths.

    Meanwhile some claim the color of Obama’s skin will decide if Congress votes yea or nay on acts of war on Syria. The Presidents largest obstacle may be Dems who understand the race baiting argument is spitting into the wind.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Thanks KP for sharing that, peace is the harder work… i see it as positive that so many around the world are saying; no to a military strike… If that is to be, may we take the next steps to promote safety and survival of the Syrian peoples…

  • sheknows

    Who knows KP WHAT congress will decide…and THAT is the fault of congress not me, or anyone else who cannot determine their motivation after watching them for the last 5 years!!

  • KP

    Shoulder to Shoulder, ordinarysparrow.

  • KP

    Who knows KP WHAT congress will decide…

    Please, it is not helpful to claim that the President’s skin color will decide whether we carry out acts of war against Syria. I urge you to rethink your assertions.

  • sheknows

    Well, from latest reports regardless of what his skin color is, he may go in anyway…. 🙂

    But I think you mean to say that the congress will vote on this matter OBJECTIVELY, without rancor or consideration of the issues that have kept them from giving him a break since 2008. Yeah, anything is possible.

  • sheknows

    Just to fill in some blanks KP. I know very well what bigotry is all about too. Father being Jewish and growing up with swastikas on our doors in the neighborhood, and mother being half native American…well, you know how well liked and treated my mothers people were. My grandmother changed her name and bleached her hair and moved to California when she was a young woman so she could hopefully “blend in”. She was tired of being targeted she said.
    Racism is quite secretive and hidden in it’s movement, but I still can recognize it when I see it.

  • KP

    Those with experience; those who understand; know we should and will rise above. Like I said when you suggested last week I was naïve, I am keeping an open mind about you. It is never too late to come correct.

  • KP

    All good things in life are a result of long term goals. Short term goals feel good but do not provide us lasting happiness. Lating love, lasting political change, lasting financial progress; it all takes hard work. Prolonged work ethic is the key to a life worth living. You know this. Progressives have instinctively understood this. It is what I love and respect about them.

  • sheknows

    I believe I suggested that your thinking was “sweet”, not naïve. 🙂

  • petew

    KP,

    I agree with your point about accusing “others” of racism. We all have various cultural stereotypes in our minds and consequently may have some unavoidable biases. And, while it is very possible that republicans, may have more of this junk floating around in their heads than the rest of us, it is kind of a cheap shot to pounce on an entire political party by characterizing all of its members as racists. However, with that said, the NO attitude which apparently sums up current Republican strategy, does seem particularly blatant in regards to the President. The GOP may not consider him an “uppity” black man (my own word choice), but they are certainly overly vitriolic about his politics. If Republicans intend to even exist in the future, they especially need to quit automatically prejudging the President as wrong, about whatever he proposes, or about whatever he does. Most Americans will eventually see through this kind of power-play and will feel that the GOP lacks basic fairness because of it. I think most people also realize that the use of fair compromise is what keeps any democracy healthy and vital.

  • KP

    petew — I have been watching and reading reaction to ultra important national issues like NSA spying debacle and proposed military strikes against Syria.

    Progressives here at TMV are split on these issues — as are the middle and further right and conservatives. I’ll be blunt; to date only one commenter has injected racism into the Syria issue. Nobody has succumbed along those lines on the NSA issue.

    I find it encouraging that most of us can see some good in most people who reside along the political spectrum.

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