Category: Politics

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Time to Reveal US Intel on Syria

President Barack Obama and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. (This White House photo by Pete Souza was taken when McDonough was deputy national security adviser.)

Exclusive: Countering growing opposition to plans for bombing Syria, the White House dispatched Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to the Sunday talk shows. But the choice underscored the Obama administration’s credibility problems and raised new doubts about the case for war,…

Obama’s Syrian Case Shows Cracks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

New cracks have appeared in the Obama administration’s case for bombing Syria. Though the White House’s four-page white paper has been palmed off as a U.S. intelligence assessment, it now appears to have been a political document that cherry-picked evidence, reports…

Congress: Beware of Secret Briefings

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 4, 2013. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey joined Hagel for the testimony.  DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

The Obama administration has refused to release its supposed evidence implicating the Syrian government in the alleged chemical weapons attack of Aug. 21, and it now appears the “classified briefings” to Congress have been more a sales job than a dispassionate…

Is War on Syria Veering Off-Script?

Earlier in the crisis over Syria, President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomed President Barack Obama to the G20 Summit at Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

When the U.S. government readies for war, there is a well-worn script. A “bad” guy is defined; some act of perfidy is alleged despite murky evidence; politicians and journalists express righteous outrage; a confused public is dragged along. Except that…

Congress Denied Syrian Facts, Too

President Barack Obama answers questions at a press conference at Konstantinovsky Palace during the G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: While seeking authority for a limited war with Syria, the Obama administration withheld from the American people the U.S. intelligence on the alleged chemical weapons attack of Aug. 21, amid assurances that Congress got all the secret details. But…

Israel Lobby Backs Bombing Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Obama’s limited war resolution against Syria cleared its initial congressional hurdle on a 10-7 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but its overall chances got a bigger boost from an endorsement by the powerful Israel Lobby, as ex-CIA analyst…

Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

Exclusive: Forgetting lessons from the Tonkin Gulf to the Iraq War, the U.S. news media has mostly elbowed past doubts about whether the Syrian government launched the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack and now is focused on the political drama…

Putting a Rush to War on Pause

President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Syria, with Vice President Joe Biden, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

By seeking congressional approval before bombing Syria, President Obama may have recognized a political reality the danger from pressing ahead unilaterally on a risky mission but the move also offers a valuable breather in the hasty rush to war, as…

Dr. King’s ‘Four Catastrophes’

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, DC.

Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” a half century after he delivered his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial have been clouded by the prospect of a U.S. military strike against Syria, as President Obama seems to have forgotten…

An Iraq War ‘Déjà Vu’ in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presents a dummy vial of anthrax on Feb. 5, 2003, during a speech to the UN Security Council outlining the American case that Iraq possessed forbidden stockpiles of WMD.

There’s an ominous sense of déjà vu as the U.S. prepares to attack Syria: dubious WMD claims, intense pressure from self-interested lobbies, a compliant mass media, a disregard of popular opposition, even a rush to remove UN investigators. This repeat…