“Red line” update: Yep, a no-fly zone over Syria is a possibility, says national intel chief

posted at 7:21 pm on April 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

Remember Tuesday’s post about Obama’s “red line” in Syria having been crossed? I’m treating this as circumstantial evidence that it’s true and that the Pentagon and CIA are now huddling over what to do about it. Need more evidence? Hagel apparently had a “long conversation” with Obama at the White House yesterday about Syria, the result of which was to boost U.S. forces in Jordan. That’s significant because WaPo reported weeks ago that American soldiers were already there assisting Jordanian special forces in case they have to cross the border and start grabbing Assad’s chemical weapons. U.S. officials weren’t coy when explaining the purpose of the deployment:

[Hagel] said the troops will work alongside Jordanian forces to “improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios.”…

The deployment “creates an additional capability” beyond what has been there, one official said, and will give the United States the ability to “potentially form a joint task force for military operations, if ordered.”

The new deployment will include communications and intelligence specialists who will assist the Jordanians and “be ready for military action” if President Barack Obama were to order it, the official said.

Carl Levin knows something’s up and he’s not being coy either:

The creation of a no-fly zone, either along the Turkish or Jordanian border with Syria, is a “possibility” for the Obama administration, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told lawmakers.

Certainly … as the [Syrian] opposition gains control of sufficient geography on the ground, then that’s a possibility,” Clapper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday…

Clapper’s comments come days after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “had a long conversation with the president” on U.S. options in Syria at the White House, committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said Wednesday…

“Something is happening, something is going on,” Levin said after Wednesday’s Senate committee hearing on the situation in Syria.

What’s going on, presumably, is that the “red line” was crossed and now O feels obliged to do something about it. This tweet, from foreign-policy expert Micah Zenko, is interesting too but I can’t find a fuller quote anywhere online. Which is too bad, because if he’s conveyed Clapper’s comment accurately, it’s a big deal:

“IC” is “intelligence community,” of course. Is this how O’s going to try to wriggle free of his “red line” threat if he decides that intervening in Syria is simply too risky, by having intelligence simply refuse to confirm the reports from British intelligence that chemical weapons were used recently? On what planet is a simple question of fact — “did Assad use WMD?” — a “policy question”?

Here’s Hagel yesterday explaining the sudden Jordanian deployment.


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things fall apart

rob verdi on April 18, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Remember London.
What? Suspects?
I feel so safe with this idiot running the “intelligence”.

RovesChins on April 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Caliphate building continues.

http://www.investigativeproject.org/3951/american-islamist-selected-to-run-syrian

The man chosen Monday to head Syria’s opposition government is a naturalized American who worked closely with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in the United States, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report (GMBDR) reported.

Ghassan Hitto spent years in Texas where he actively supported defendants in the Hamas-support prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). The charity and five former officials were convicted in 2008 on 108 counts of illegally routing money to Hamas.

Hitto served as master of ceremonies for a 2007 town hall meeting on the case in Plano, Texas, hosted by a coalition calling itself “Hungry for Justice.” There, Hitto echoed HLF’s line that it merely provided charity for needy Palestinians, a recording obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows.

“Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes feeding hungry children, orphans, widows or men is not a crime,” he said. “Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes opposing the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine is not a crime. Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes in due process. Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes in the first amendment and the freedom of speech.”

Hitto also served as vice president of CAIR’s Dallas-Fort Worth chapter.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/03/18/ghassan-hitto-elected-as-syrian-opposition-interim-prime-minister/

PappyD61 on April 18, 2013 at 7:28 PM

If this is a Red Line response, it’s pretty timid.

PXCharon on April 18, 2013 at 7:30 PM

By all means. Send the treasure where it will neither be effective or appreciated and let the SKs hang in the wind. Who need missile defense when you can bomb 3rd Century despots out for 3rd Century barbarians to butcher?

Limerick on April 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

@AP

OT/

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/04/reuters-publishes-george-soros-obituary-prematurely/

BWAHAHA

Axe on April 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Axe on April 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM

On what planet is a simple question of fact — “did Assad use WMD?” — a “policy question”?

*waves* Welcome to . . . whatever this planet’s called now. :)

. . . but I wonder what he’ll do.

Axe on April 18, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Remember when the Democrats were screaming bloody murder that Bush would send troops into Syria as they were rolling through Iraq?

Count to 10 on April 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

UN Security Council: Escalating violence in Syria is ‘completely unacceptable and must end immediately’ – @Reuters

7 mins ago by editor

canopfor on April 18, 2013 at 8:17 PM

The last no-fly zone worked out so well for us lets do it again.

RickB on April 18, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Well it’s obviously time for Barry TO DRAW A NEW “RED LINE”!

GarandFan on April 18, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Remember when Rick Perry proposed a NFZ for Syria back in October, 2011 and all the post-debate pundits mocked his complete lack of foreign policy knowledge?

Here we are in 2013, still debating No Fly Zones….

Hostile Gospel on April 18, 2013 at 8:31 PM

The creation of a no-fly zone, either along the Turkish or Jordanian border with Syria, is a “possibility” for the Obama administration, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told lawmakers.

Sounds good. It worked so well in Iraq.

Isn’t Clapper the moron who said the Muslim Brotherhood was a secular organization?

Mitoch55 on April 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Is it just me, or does the guy in the above picture look like an aged Elmer Fudd?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on April 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM