AP: Syrian Intelligence Linking Assad To Chemical Attack “No Slam Dunk”

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syria inspectors

In the no s**t Sherlock category we have this news:

The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack is no “slam dunk,” with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say.

President Barack Obama declared unequivocally Wednesday that the Syrian government was responsible, while laying the groundwork for an expected U.S. military strike.

“We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out,” Obama said in an interview with “NewsHour” on PBS. “And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”

However, multiple U.S. officials used the phrase “not a slam dunk” to describe the intelligence picture.

…U.S. satellites have captured images of Syrian troops moving trucks into weapons storage areas and removing materials, but U.S. analysts have not been able to track what was moved or, in some cases, where it was relocated. They are also not certain that when they saw what looked like Assad’s forces moving chemical supplies, those forces were able to remove everything before rebels took over an area where weapons had been stored.

In addition, an intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander, the officials said.

…Some have even talked about the possibility that rebels could have carried out the attack in a callous and calculated attempt to draw the West into the war. That suspicion was not included in the official intelligence report

But still, even with all the uncertainty, we get the same liberals who cried and wailed over Iraq, a country that WAS a clear and present danger to the US, a country that was proven to have used WMD’s against his own people, telling us “it’s all different” now:

This time it’s different. […]

What can America do? It’s not unreasonable to ask whether even a well-intentioned American effort to save Syrians might fail, or whether such an effort might pull America into a terrible quagmire. In the piece about Obama and Syria I wrote for the magazine in May, I detailed just how daunting those challenges are. But how much longer are we going to allow those questions to prevent us from trying?

History says don’t do it. Most Americans say don’t do it. But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s homicidal regime with a military strike — and hope that history and the people are wrong.

I strongly opposed the Iraq war and the Afghan “surge.” But in conjunction with diplomacy, military force can save lives….

Are we making too much of chemical weapons? Probably less than 1 percent of those killed in Syria have died of nerve gas attacks. In Syria, a principal weapon of mass destruction has been the AK—47.

Yet there is value in bolstering international norms against egregious behavior like genocide or the use of chemical weapons.

Baloney. The only thing that has changed is their guy is in the White House. That’s it. Syria is in no way shape or form a danger to the United States. There is no national security reason to go to war with that country and back a group that we have been at war with for 15+years, al-Qaeda. Because make no mistake about it, we back the rebels, we back al-Qaeda.

And what the hell is lobbing a few missiles going to do? Nada, zip….nothing. Will it show Syria that we are willing to put boots on the ground under this President? Give me a break.

There are no good guys in this conflict and the best option is to stay the hell out of it.

Sidenote: When we did go to war with Iraq we sought and received Congressional and United Nations approval. Has Obama?

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

27 Responses to “AP: Syrian Intelligence Linking Assad To Chemical Attack “No Slam Dunk””

  1. 2

    Tired American

    If these were real weapon’s grade chemical weapons, the land would be devoid of all life. Those chemicals stick and and kill long after they have been deployed. I find the evidence suspect. I also find obama’s and biden’s eagerness to enter another war to be both hypocritical and ludicrous. Have we learned nothing at all. What is the game plan if we attack? What is the end game? There is none. Once we destabilize the area, the Muslim brotherhood will walk in and take control!

  2. 3


    For more than two years a mishmash of extreme Sunni elements, criminals and insurgents have been fighting against Assad’s Alawite regime. And that opposition certainly has no second thoughts in carrying out all manner of atrocities, attacking and torturing even each other. By intervening militarily in Syria and helping Al-Qaeda take over, would not only be ironical, history would see it as an extreme political nadir, whereas the Sarin attack, as terrible as it was, would only just be another footnote in the long list of regional atrocities.

  3. 4


    @Tired American, #2:

    If these were real weapon’s grade chemical weapons, the land would be devoid of all life. Those chemicals stick and and kill long after they have been deployed.

    Actually sarin, the suspected CW agent, persists in the environment only for a brief period of time after release. It’s quickly broken down into its non-toxic components by moisture in the air. It only kills animals and people, by preventing nerve impulses from shutting off as they normally do. The body locks up as all muscles contract, which causes death by suffocation. Apart from the bodies, the attack zone will appear normal.

  4. 5

    Richard Wheeler

    Obama’s in a no win situation. Genocidal Assad should have been taken out 2 years ago before Al Queda showed up. This madman is unquestionably gassing his own people. He’s got to go—should have been gone.
    Support to non Al Queda rebels—tricky.Lets see if it can be accomplished.
    Greg What kind of person could knowingly do that to children?

  5. 6

    oil guy from Alberta

    Canada’s Harper has announced sympathy and will be sending flowers. Do the same.

    Forget the Bugs Bunny threat- that Yosemite Sam crosses that line in the sand.

    Harper does not want Israel drawn into this quagmire. He has advised France and Great Britain to back off. Do the same.

  6. 7

    another vet

    @Richard Wheeler:

    This madman is unquestionably gassing his own people. He’s got to go—should have been gone. What kind of person could knowingly do that to children?

    Saddam Hussein. That’s what type of person. And after Bush sent us in there to do the deed, the dems didn’t exactly support us did they? Hopefully if it comes to BOG (which it won’t) the troops will enjoy more support from the dems than we did.

    Either way, the time to have done something constructive over there has long passed. It’s a civil war with no good sides (unless you consider siding with AQ good) and getting involved is a no win situation. The last civil war we stuck our noses in (Libya) didn’t turn out so well.

  7. 8

    Tired American

    @Greg: that is correct but I’m talking about weapon’s grade CW. Only Assad has the means to deploy those Russian-made weapons. However, sarin or other weak antichinesterase CW could be deployed by numerous rebel groups that want to incite a US response.

  8. 10

    Nan G

    Hundreds of thousands of Christians and Jews in the Middle East are persecuted, some murdered.
    Obama sits on his hands about them.

    If Assad is removed the wrong way the rest of the Alawites (a break off version of Islam) will be wiped out as ”apostates.”
    That will be a whole new bloodbath.
    Already over 1.2 million people have fled Syria.
    Why is it that when Muslims are being slaughtered by fellow (albeit ”apostate” Muslims) Obama can’t wait for justification to get in there and impose peace?

    When reason is applied (as the UK and UN are doing) we learn there is scant ”proof” that Assad is the perp with chemical weapons.

    Maybe waiting a while would be the course of wisdom.
    After all, Obama wouldn’t want to be accused of “acting stupidly,” would he?

  9. 11


    just will take a few hours, yes in those boat they will turn back at 100 miles an hour,
    so to come back, after they send their tomahawk,
    run run run and go west sons,
    so to out run the coming IRANIAN’S TOMAHAWK,

  10. 13

    Nan G

    @Richard Wheeler: Obama’s in a no win situation. Genocidal Assad should have been taken out 2 years ago before Al Queda showed up.

    So…..who’s to blame?
    Obama dithered until al Qaeda took the lead among the various rebel groups.
    Why does he dither so much?

  11. 14


    I wonder how long it will take before the complaints start about Obama failing to take any decisive action in connection with the weapons of mass destruction in Syria.

    He should propose action and take it to Congress for a vote. Make them all go on record.

  12. 16



    Gosh darn, Greg. That’s interesting that the UK JIO has finished their analysis when the UN inspectors, on the site, haven’t even finished their investigation. They slammed this “report” together on the 27th and 28th, when UN inspectors were targeted by snipers. Would that be the same Syrian regime snipers that invited them in for the inspection??? How dumb would that be.

    Instead, we have an armchair opinion from the JIO without them having the final UN results, and never being on the ground. No surprise that British Parliament already voted down any intervention 285 to 272 today. And in that same article, they point out that the inspectors aren’t even done with onsite investigations.

    On Thursday, UN experts in Syria toured the eastern Damascus suburb of Zamalka, according to anti-regime activists and amateur video. It was the inspectors’ third day of investigations.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters the inspection team will be leaving by Saturday, although he had originally requested more time for inspectors to gather evidence.

    Even moving head to UK time, they won’t be leaving until tomorrow night, US time. And that doesn’t mean the report is immediately available at that same time.

    Per some article I breezed thru either late yesterday or this AM, that UN report wasn’t going to be available until Saturday and that the Brits were going to wait until they read what people who are actually there find. Then they would bring it all to Parliament and do their usual dog and pony show. Guess the JIO armchair analysis and speculation wasn’t enough to push them over the edge.

    Novel idea, eh? Waiting for the investigation by those who are actually there, and THEN going to the deliberative/legislation bodies? It’s my understanding that, altho the US COngress seems to be majority in agreement for playing war, they are incensed that Obama has no plans on asking them to come back. Mind you, even the GOP types I heard on the talking head circuits don’t seem to be too overly upset about the thought of military intervention… just that they won’t be asked.

    Crazy place, the beltway. I think they all need a time out.

  13. 17

    Nan G

    Josh Rogin reports Obama had refused to send gas masks and other chemical-weapons protection gear to Syrian opposition groups, despite numerous requests dating back more than a year and until the reported chemical-weapons attack that struck the Damascus suburbs August 21.

    Odd this.
    More than a year ago the Syrian opposition was composed of non-al Qaeda groups.
    Now that al Qaeda has taken the lead among the opposition Obama is all hot to trot to their tune!

  14. 20


    Just like has happened many times over the years, any time the USA backs ANY organization that has Muslim as their faith, if they win, we are still the Great Satan of the world, and still need to be destroyed. Iraq and Afghanistan are the two latest examples. Both sides wanted our help, but we had to obey their Muslim customs.

    Now that we gave all of the lives and money we did, they tell us to get out. As time goes by, their citizens will be taught that we are still the Great Satan, and should be destroyed. When will our politicians learn the whole idea of the Muslim religion was to rule the world, and it still is?

    Whoever we help or don’t help in Syria or Egypt, we will still be the bad guys after it is over.

  15. 21


    Obama’s made a mess with his red line pronouncements and is in a lose lose situation now. His only way out is to use the propaganda machine to cast doubt on Assad’s use of CW. Expect the journolists to push the idea that the rebels gassed Homs just when they were in the process of retaking it.

  16. 22


    I really don’t like the idea that OBAMA support the rebels who after killing their enemies
    dig up in their guts to remove the liver and eat it,
    is that the people who could win and come freely to AMERICA VISITING AS LEADER

  17. 23

    Richard Wheeler

    @ilovebeeswarzone: Anyone who doubts Assad is gassing civilians is a blind fool. George W Bush has said Assad is a tyrant.
    United Nations inspectors have been on the ground, at the site where 1000+civilians including over 400 children have died painfully.They say Assad’s forces are responsible. He’s a merciless SOB.
    Semper Fi

  18. 25


    @DaNang67: #21
    There is a saying that says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I see it as whoever wins will still be our enemy, so let each side thin the ranks of our future enemies so there will be fewer enemies. Whoever wins are still Muslims, and we are still the Great Satan to the Muslim religion.

  19. 26


    Is Obama getting ready to bomb Syria on bad intel? Don’t know. Secretary of State Lurch claims there is no doubt that Assad is the guilty party in the claims of a chemical weapons attack on civilians (not that I think Kerry even knows what day it is).

    But is Assad the guilty party? And why are we basing our intel on YouTube videos? Is this Benghazi all over again?


    Anyone know if this is a legit news source?

    And we’re getting our intel from YouTube?


    We already know that our intel is in deplorable shape. Panetta admitted in May that we had lost track of Syria’s chemical weapons. The lap dog press yawned. Now Obama and Kerry are claiming that we know, with absolute certainty, that Assad is responsible for a chemical weapons attack?

    And if you like your doctor, you can keep them and your premiums are not going to go up.

  20. 27


    @retire05: #26

    Secretary of State Lurch….

    Please quit referring Kerry to one of my favorite Adams Family characters. I like Lurch. Unlike Kerry, Lurch is quiet, but forceful.

    Anyone know if this is a legit news source?

    How many “legit” news sources are there left?

    Now Obama and Kerry are claiming that we know, with absolute certainty, that Assad is responsible for a chemical weapons attack?

    Remember the aspirin factory we bombed?

    Our intelligence gathering agencies were cut back financially by Bill Clinton. We had to bring back agents from around the world because we didn’t have the money to support them. Two of them were in Iraq.

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