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  • aretired_1998t aretired_1998t Apr 26, 2013 12:05 PM Flag

    Obama Looking for Reasons to Delay Response to Syria's Chemical Weapons Use

    Obama Looking for Reasons to Delay Response to Syria's
    Chemical Weapons Use
    By Michael Hirsh | National Journal – Thu, Apr 25, 2013
    It would seem to add up to certain U.S. military action: On Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed the findings
    of a White House letter to congressional leaders that said the United States now believes “the Syrian regime has used
    chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically, the chemical agent sarin." That finding appears to be a direct
    violation of the “red line” for action that President Obama set last year and which he reaffirmed last month, when on a trip to
    Israel he declared that “the use of chemical weapons is a game changer.”
    In truth, the same game is still going on, and the administration appears to be equivocating over a response while all the
    “facts” are established. “We want to continue to investigate above and beyond those intelligence estimates,” a senior
    administration official told reporters Thursday afternoon, in order to gain “a definitive judgment for whether a red line has
    been crossed.”
    Hagel was careful to stress that the intelligence finding came “with varying degrees of confidence,” and administration
    officials say they still need to investigate further the “chain of custody” of the chemical weapons. Right now, the White House
    said, “we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions.” Even France, which has been the most
    aggressive Western nation in urging a military response, continued to indicate on Thursday that it did not have firm evidence
    of chemical weapons use.
    Sarin, a deadly nerve agent, was believed to have been used by Saddam Hussein during his 1988 chemical weapons assault
    on the Kurdish town of Halabja, which left nearly 5,000 dead, as well as by the Japanese terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo in
    Japan in two attacks in the mid-1990s that killed 21 people.
    If proof is established, among the response options that have been discussed, Obama administration officia

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