Congress Members Who Have Seen Classified Evidence About Syria Say It Fails to Prove Anything

Classified Syria Intelligence Fails to Prove Assad Used Chemical Weapons

The administration’s public case for chemical weapons use by the Syrian government is extremely weak, and former high-level intelligence officers say that publicly-available information proves that the Syrian government likely did not carry out the chemical weapons attacks.

The Obama administration claims that classified intelligence proves that it was the Assad government which carried out the attacks.

But numerous congressional members who have seen the classified intelligence information say that it is no better than the public war brief … and doesn’t prove anything.

Congressman Justin Amash said last week:

What I heard in Obama admn briefing actually makes me more skeptical of certain significant aspects of Pres’s case for attacking

He noted yesterday, after attending another classified briefing and reviewing more classified materials:

Attended another classified briefing on #Syria & reviewed add’l materials. Now more skeptical than ever. Can’t believe Pres is pushing war.

And today, Amash wrote:

If Americans could read classified docs, they’d be even more against #Syria action. Obama admn’s public statements are misleading at best.

Congressman Tom Harkin said:

I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial.

Congressman Michael Burgess said:

Yes, I saw the classified documents. They were pretty thin.

Yahoo News reports:

New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, for instance, left Thursday’s classified hearing and said she was opposed to the effort “now so more than ever.”

“I think there’s a long way to go for the president to make the case,” she said after the briefing. “It does seem there is a high degree of concern and leaning no.”

Senator Joe Manchin announced he was voting “no” for a Syria strike right after hearing a classified intelligence brieifng.

Congressman Alan Grayson points out in the New York Times:

The documentary record regarding an attack on Syria consists of just two papers: a four-page unclassified summary and a 12-page classified summary. The first enumerates only the evidence in favor of an attack. I’m not allowed to tell you what’s in the classified summary, but you can draw your own conclusion. [I.e. it was no more impressive than the 4-page public version.]

On Thursday I asked the House Intelligence Committee staff whether there was any other documentation available, classified or unclassified. Their answer was “no.”

The Syria chemical weapons summaries are based on several hundred underlying elements of intelligence information. The unclassified summary cites intercepted telephone calls, “social media” postings and the like, but not one of these is actually quoted or attached — not even clips from YouTube. (As to whether the classified summary is the same, I couldn’t possibly comment, but again, draw your own conclusion.)

***

And yet we members are supposed to accept, without question, that the proponents of a strike on Syria have accurately depicted the underlying evidence, even though the proponents refuse to show any of it to us or to the American public.

In fact, even gaining access to just the classified summary involves a series of unreasonably high hurdles.

We have to descend into the bowels of the Capitol Visitors Center, to a room four levels underground. Per the instructions of the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, note-taking is not allowed.

Once we leave, we are not permitted to discuss the classified summary with the public, the media, our constituents or even other members. Nor are we allowed to do anything to verify the validity of the information that has been provided.

And this is just the classified summary. It is my understanding that the House Intelligence Committee made a formal request for the underlying intelligence reports several days ago. I haven’t heard an answer yet. And frankly, I don’t expect one.

***

By refusing to disclose the underlying data even to members of Congress, the administration is making it impossible for anyone to judge, independently, whether that statement is correct.

The rush to war based upon skewed intelligence is very similar to Iraq.

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  • jadan

    Why does the Congress tolerate this byzantine classification system? Are they all such fools that they accept the necessity to lie to the public and to permit themselves to be lied to? The evidence that the National Security State is our true functioning government is not classified. Here it is. These Fools parade themselves in their nakedness.

    • antoinepgrew

      I agree. Why are they protecting the perps?

      • sportswriter

        who are the perps and who is protecting them?

        • JJ James

          The perps are the Obama backed alquida rebels and the Muslim brotherhood and AL-nusra and there head financier and backer is whos protecting them considering there is all kinds of proof not only what side did it but even some of the VERY individual terrorists (the so called FSA rebels) involved in the attack and who gave the order for it. They even posted videos building and launching the very same rockets that the UN found on the ground at the site of the 3rd and latest CW attack on the 26th of august. which btw hit in a goverment held and controlled area and not any place that the rebels held or that would of been any reason to come under attack by Syrian forces. The only dead rebels in the 26th attack were the ones that were dead in the tunnel that one of them accidentally went off and killed 23 of them (the rebels them selves make that claim that 23 of there guys died in while accidentally handling them and one went off ) most every one else out if the 355 claimed dead were mostly all civilians that were Assad supporters and lots of Syrian soldiers. so it defy’s any and all logic that it was any one but the bad guys that would of attacked assads forces and civilians and no one even had a motive except for the rebels. they had the means they had the opportunity and they are the ONLY ones with motive. and also the only ones that would of need to use crudely made home built rockets and home made saran that has been found to be completely non military grade saran with impurities in it and with out any stabilizers to keep it from going bad in a few weeks from the time the batch was whipped up and made . If assad wanted to use a chemical weapon he could of used a military one and launched it from a syrian rocket launcher. not the modified outdated iranian launchers the rebels were using in there lil video clip they made and posted on utube showing them loading and launching them from behind a wall or some little cinder block building out side of town. allot he clip of the make shif chemical lab in a kitchen of some run down dump were they were filling the war heads with chemicals was not a military complex or lab it looked more like a make shift meth lab just with rocket components and chemicals laying around. That all said made in saudi arabia on all the labels of the containers and packages of the stuff they wee mixing. In both aribic and English it even had the chemical co’s name on the labels. and the Cas #’s for each chemical and the reactivity safty date plaques on the containers. (CAS Registry Numbers are unique numerical identifiers assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service to every chemical described in the open scientific literature)

          • pitocco

            Well, I don’t think that Obama administration is protecting rebel in Syria, but they are acting the Ynon Plan that will produce three zoe of Syria: one Sunni, one Sciit and another one controlled by Lebanon. All these zones will be controlled from Israel as the plan foresee. Rebels and all groups are bloody hands of the Obama’s administration, but more deeply they are made the English politics.

    • Oliver Holz

      That is the problem with the two-party system. Each party just takes turns being dictator, while cooperating hard to ensure the executive branch always has dictator-grade powers. The election is a wrestling match, where the crowd cheers the ‘face’ and boos the ‘heel’, even though they are business partners working on the same hustle. It is not democracy, but rather a caricature of one, a sneering parody.

    • Dee Negron

      If they cant dazzle you with their dance they’ll baffle you with their bulls**t.

  • gozounlimited

    CNN’s every fifteen minute viewing of Syrian Rebels handy work hasn’t changed minds? Seeing Syrian children, whole families gassed by Bandar our alQaeda friend gets ya stumped?

  • jjones

    Why they are not showing these classified documents to the public?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710781172 Michael Brown

    Good.

  • DhuVarren

    For goodness’ sake, these twits weighed anchor before receiving any reliable information and now after spending millions to send the “Boys” off to Syria and look threatening for the good pleasure of a hasty President, influenced by his jittery entourage and military skin-heads, ready to chuck a missile or a bomb at Assad just for the fun of it, it is time to think. “Look before you leap”, we are told at Primary School.

    Kerry declares that there is no “military solution”.

    I could have told him that, and I am only a little observer. However, when the “little observer” can perceive the stupidity or the unwarranted hastiness of major world powers, I wonder why I am sitting here telling you all this, while I could be a “useful” adviser to the American Government. The French government is unquestionably foolish in its silly little announcements; the Germans have more wit than to send the Luftwaffe on a wild goose chase and as Mr Poutin very aptly pointed out once to that witless creature Hollande:

    “Very well, you wish to dispense with a dictator, but whom, pray, do you suggest that we put in his place?”

    • James Richardson

      As to your last question, it’s a pity they killed Bin Laden, he would have been a fine candidate. Well, the tricky trio, Kerry, Obama and Hague may have thought so!!!

      • DhuVarren

        I am not so sure about “Bearded Bin the Badman”. Billy the Kid would at least have had a Western orientation, but that is all mere rather flippant surmising at a very dark moment. At the back of my mind I can not help pondering over the unreliable reputations of “Intelligence Services” wherever and whatever they may be, instead of what they should, that is, helpful reliable entities to guide politicians and NOT mislead them and the public by fiddling with the media.
        Incidentally, a seasoned reporter for the Associated Press, Dale Gavlak, has not been given much publicity, despite her very recent article about the parties involved inside and outside Syria.

  • JR_atHome

    These are the souls of the 1/3 whom rebelled against Yehovah. It is just that simple. They are very confident we are going to war and will have it one way or another. The media is they’re tool and that should be dealt with post haste when the time comes.

  • James Richardson

    Still the question of the UN Weapons Inspectors arises. What are they up to? Surely, they must have found some evidence of who used the chemical weapons (Assad or the Terrorists). My money is on the Terrorist Scum. So, it is either: 1. the Inspectors have been gagged, ignored, not reported on, not consulted, you name it, anything is possible with these politicians and the MSM. Or 2. they have not concluded because the evidence is just not there, one way or another. So, there is no proof of who committed the “crime”, but, they (Obama and all) want to attack Syria anyway. It’s mind boggling, what a terrible state of affairs, playing with peoples lives. I hope they are all brought to account and punished. One problem is, are the other gutless politicians and the Judiciary likely to do something about it?

  • DhuVarren

    The Russians have always been excellent at chess and I am pleased to see them playing a role contributing to peace in this rattling of spears and cudgels. They will be welcome back in the United Nations as helpful players and, even though their references are not ours (no presumption please), there are overlapping areas of common acceptance relating to common sense. Let us hope that their initiative becomes operational, as it is wiser than flinging missiles and talking about “global red lines”, even though I do know what the man means and understand the silly metaphor making volumes out of the stroke of a pencil.

    Let us also hope that, in the happy aftermath of this nightmare, there will not be too much unbearable strutting about and flexing of biceps by that silly little Frenchman or Mr. Obama (led astray by his military) whom I greatly respect, spluttering by proxy:

    “You, see, you see: once there is a show of muscle, the showdown goes pfutt!”

    If we could all share humbly the credit for a war avoided and then shut up, the Western world might be less tense a place and a greater delight in which to live.

  • Kenneth Watson

    Obama has divebombed-i could only feel sorry for him if it was Cameron and Hague who stuck his head on their parapet

  • DhuVarren

    The damned French with their Mickey-Mouse motion or going to tangle up this Russian initiative which ought to spare us a war. Taken by surprise the French want to be able to say that their show of flabby muscle persuaded the Syrian government to have their chemicals under United Nation surveillance. What a puffed up bunch of dimwits with the stuttering Tubby in charge of the grocery store. Heaven help us!

    • Benoit

      Although I am not a supporter of F.Hollande I am amazed to see such violence from americans against the french decision to take arms against Bachar el Assad’s government. And such hatred against your own officials.
      First of all let me tell you as a french citizen that any decision to go to war is carefully meditated by our elected “dimwits” : we did not take part in the Iraqi conflict because it was CLEAR that George W.Bush’s administration did not understand the logic of terrorism : it’s not a country that attacked America this terrible 9/11, but a small armed independant fanatics without a motherland, ready to do about anything to inflict pain on a country they hate simbolically !
      This war was desastrous, we all agree on that.
      But why so quick to compare it to this “already going on” war in Syria ? It’s not about terrorism, it’s about the human rights for a people’s country to live in a place free of war and mass murder.
      It’s not about inflicting war on Syria and dictate our democratics ways of thinking (like Kant I think that each people must earn their democratic ways on their own), war is already there ! And Assad’s government is already killing thousands of citizens.
      The use of chemical weapons is a border we (the U.N) chose to think about sending troops to stop this “about to be” genocide. That is all.
      You may have your foreign intelligence saying that those chemical attacks were not “for sure” launched by Assad’s government, and your “classified informations” may confuse your congress members, but let me tell you that in our country the intelligence report on those attacks is available on the ministry of defense’s website since September 2 (here is a link to the report, feel free to translate it on google : http://www.gouvernement.fr/sites/default/files/fichiers_joints/syrie_synthese_nationale_de_renseignement_declassifie_02_09_2013.pdf), and for us this is crystal clear that those attacks could only be launched by the government, and that ALL saran gas used in those attacks were military engineered.
      To think of Putin as a pacifier is also quite humoristic when you know how much freedom of expression is repressed in Russia… Like someone said on those comments, Putin played his hand very well, and now we’re all going to do a nice and cosy inspection of those so called “weapons stocks”, while the rest of the people gets massacred !
      And even if we’re wrong and that actually it was some rebel group who launched those chemicals attacks, we still have a human responsability to understand what’s going on.

      Okay, last time America did go to war it was ill considered, destructive, it cost your country a lot of money, and you had the very pretentious idea to “deliver democracy” to a country who did not ask you of anything.
      Well learn from your mistakes : see this intervention not as a personal war (you are not invading a country like you did in Iraq), but as a coordinate peacekeeper effort to stop an actual mass murderer !

      • LodeHere

        The crucial question “Who really used the chemical weapons in Syria?” has
        already been answered at various times. The first report was given by the
        UN investigation team headed by Carla de Ponte in March who on invitation
        of Syria went to Aleppo where the first chemical attack took place in
        December. Her statement on video can be seen on the BBC website under the
        title “BBC: Carla Del Ponte ‘stupefied by Syrian opposition sarin use'”
        Besides that, the rebels themselves have uploaded clips on YouTube giving
        evidence of possessing and using chemical weapons. The best known can be
        found by searching for “FSA kills 2 rabits”. That clip shows a hooded man
        killing 2 rabbits with nerve gas in a lab, while saying that the same
        awaits all Alewites and government supporters.
        Another one is “Syrian Rebels Using Chemical Weapons in Syria” also on YT.
        There are more clips uploaded by the rebels, but these are the most
        convincing ones.

        Assad was and is winning lately, and has not used his chemical weapons against his worst enemy: the jihadist-mercenary-terrorists. But after Obama told him America would attack of he used them, and just after the second UN team arrives to investigate the previous attack more deeply than the previous UN team under Carla del Ponte had done, he lounges a chemical attack on children and men of whom he has nothing to fear. Make sense, right?

        That’s the suggestive power of propaganda: show some horrible images, keep repeating over and over that so-and-so is the culprit, say again and again that you have the evidence, fabricate something that can’t be verified, and the gullible public shouts “Let’s attack!”

        They are too emotionally shocked to think logically. Don’t be one of them.

        • Benoit

          This is where you don’t understand my point : the question of “who used the chemical weapons” is absolutely not a crucial question in my argument.
          I am amazed that it took this special event for the U.N to understand the horrible war that has already cost 40.000+ lives in this country since 2011.

          What I am trying to say is that intervening military in Syria is not an act of war, because Syria is already at war. And has been for two years !
          Like you I could redirect you on some very hard clips on YT and similar showing children tortured in front of their parents by Syrian law enforcers.
          You keep seeing an occidental intervention as an imperialist crusade where I see a campaign for the human rights.
          It’s not about looting or scavenging, Syria has absolutely no ground wealth whatsoever. It’s not about exporting some political views of the world, it’s already a republic. It’s just the basic need to help an entire people surviving a very confusing civil war.
          I don’t say “attack” I say “save them”.
          And like I said to stay on the events of this 21st August (wich are, in my point of view, just another drop of blood inside a very bloody pool…), even if it is the rebels who launched this chemical attack : this is one reason more to intervene : understanding from within who is giving what to whom and for what purpose.
          The huge political problem is that this is a debate that we should have had 2 years ago when the civil war exploded, not today on a geneva technicality.

          • LodeHere

            “I could redirect you on some very hard clips on YT and similar showing children tortured in front of their parents by Syrian law enforcers.”

            Be my guest. I bet you can’t find any YT clips on that. But just copy/paste “beheadings in syria” in YT and see. The jihadist-mercenaries-terrorists are even using children to behead unarmed citizens in the streets. There’s a clip of very obviously “rebels” beheading a man in the street, but under it one of the “rebels” wrote that it was the government troops. Typical of those butchers, killing innocent people and then blaming it on Assad. But a close look reveals the lie, and all the other clips were proudly uploaded by the terrorists.

            You mention 40.000+ dead. That’s the number of Syrian soldiers who have died out of the estimated 100.000 total, of which most have been slaughtered by the “rebels.”
            Copy/paste in your browser: “Assad backers reportedly make up 43 percent of dead in Syria”

            “It’s not about looting or scavenging, Syria has absolutely no ground wealth whatsoever (there is no gas or oil).”

            In enormous gas and oil reserves were found in the Eastern Mediterranean, including in front of Syria’s coast.
            Copy/paste: “Levant Basin”.

            “I really don’t see where you found out that “70% of the syrian people are now behind Assad”, we see every day refugee reports claiming an intervention from the occident.”

            The families of the mercenaries are the in “refugee” camps along the border of Turkey, which is anti-Assad. Those families were brought in by mercenaries from all the countries they came from. The refugees fleeing from those mercenaries are in camps in Iraq, which is pro-Assad.

            Try this: mark “NATO data: Assad winning the war for Syrians’ hearts and minds” > ctrl + c > open new tab and in search bar of your browser > ctrl + v > enter.

            A sarin nerve gas attack kills everyone over a very wide area. It’s used for large scale warfare, not to just kill a few hundred or even a few thousand people.
            Where are all the thousands dead bodies laying on the streets over a whole neighborhood? This was done by amateurs who got the chemicals from Saudi-Arabia. Easy to find on the Internet. “Rebels admit using chemical weapons”.

            But now I get your point: you want Syria to be bombed, so that the military is weakened, the jihadist-mercenaries-terrorists take over the country, and get all the chemical weapons in their possession to make their job more efficient at killing everyone that are “unbelievers” in their opinion, which is everybody who is not on their particular jihadist-sharia side. And even now with a common “enemy” they have already been shooting and killing each other -al-Nusra vs FSA- and are in violent competition.

            Excellent idea. I back you completely…

            Jeeez….

      • macmarine

        Assad is “killing his own people” – but we can never say, “the rebels are killing their own people.” Maybe b/c many of the “rebels” are not even Syrians.

        So Abe Lincoln, who killed vast numbers of his own people, should’ve been overthrown by an int’l coalition, too? No, WE can have civil wars: others must follow our dictates. That the “Assad regime” protects loyal civilians from being murdered by foreign jihadists doesn’t count as protection. R2P is apparently a western monopoly racket now.

  • DhuVarren

    Benoît, the precipitation with which Hollande took the decision to follow a misled American decision does not provide one with any justification for evoking violence and hatred. If we can avoid a war, so much the better. As to the means employed to express this opinion, may I offer my apologies if my being forthright about the dimwits or half-wits in the duly elected present French Government has offended you in any way. Nonetheless, having to put up with them every day of the week does indeed tend to prove wearing on the nerves and trying on one’s wallet, as yet again today you will have noticed that the Government is not sure whether it is “saving money” or initiating yet another tax.

    Since it is advisable to “look before one leaps”, we can, I believe, be possibly most grateful to the Russians for having helped the American Government to think twice about issuing marching orders as the world’s moral reference, and the French Government to not succumb to their purely politically motivated precipitation in “crying wolf” at the same time.

    Mr Kerry finally came out with some sense when he was obliged to admit that:

    “There is no “military solution”.

    I am merely an observer of events and enjoy the privilege of speaking my mind, hoping that the pulling up of the snorting American and French horses, in what I trust will not become a reckless steeplechase, will have enabled us in America and in France – and in other countries – to think about what our answer might be to the question of civilian deaths in a punch thrown in the heat of the moment, just to “punish” Syria.

    Yeah, just fling a few rockets at the chemical pile and never mind the fall-out! The ordinary man say: “you must be crazy!” And, in so many words, that is what Mr Putin said too.

  • ranchdancer

    After Obama secures the toppling of Assad, the al Nusra Front will take over power….that puts Lebanon and Jordon in jeopardy, from a report I heard tonight. That paves the way for that pipeline 30 billion worth, investment by the Qatar and Saudi Arabia . Obama and his brotherhood scum bag friends tie up more of the world oil fields. Follow the $$$$.

 

 

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