Resistance: U.S. weapons to Syrian rebels frozen as House, Senate intel committees object to Obama’s plan

posted at 8:01 pm on July 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

The House and Senate committees are, of course, controlled by different parties, so this is bipartisan pushback.

Honestly, after Congress rolled over for O when he violated the War Powers Act to intervene in Libya, I didn’t think they had this in ‘em.

Congressional committees are holding up a plan to send U.S. weapons to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because of fears that such deliveries will not be decisive and the arms might end up in the hands of Islamist militants, five U.S. national security sources said…

Committee members also want to hear more about the administration’s overall Syria policy, and about how it believes its arms plan will affect the situation on the ground, where Assad’s forces have made recent gains…

Although initially the House committee voiced greater opposition than its Senate counterpart, after further consideration the Senate panel became concerned enough about the plan to write a letter to the administration raising questions about it, two of the sources said.

At the same time, the appropriations committees of both chambers, which also routinely review secret intelligence or military aid programs, raised doubts.

Funding is momentarily frozen and no U.S. arms have arrived in Syria — yet. One big wrinkle here: According to Reuters, the White House technically doesn’t need the intel committees to approve before it starts shipping weapons. It’s holding off right now under an unwritten rule that the commander-in-chief doesn’t move ahead with arming a new client until Congress’s intelligence brain trust feels comfortable. That makes me wonder whether O sees this as an obstacle or as a sort of convenient “out” clause which he can use as a pretext to cancel the dopey plan to arm the rebels and then blame Congress for having forced his hand when his Sunni allies complain. In that sense, this reminds me of Libya in reverse. In that case, Congress rolled over because it didn’t want to risk thwarting an intervention which the White House claimed was designed to save thousands from a mass slaughter. Better to let O skirt the War Powers Act and then raise hell about it later if the intervention went badly. In this case, with the mass slaughter having already occurred and nothing left on the ground but Assad and his Iranian masters on one side and jihadis and their weak moderate pseudo-secularist partners on the other, maybe O’s happy to roll over and then blame Congress later if Assad continues to steamroll the Sunnis. Egyptians are mad at him for being too cozy with the local Islamists, right? Well, here’s his chance to atone by pulling the plug on another bunch of Islamists who’d surely benefit from U.S. intervention, whether the White House intends that or not.

Or maybe O will do what he did in Libya and simply ignore Congress’s misgivings if/when he decides that he can’t wait any longer to intervene.

Needless to say, the committees’ skepticism was, is, and will likely remain justified. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who issued a fatwa on Morsi’s behalf this past weekend, called for a regional surge of Sunni fighters into Syria in late May, which is helping to further transform a civil war into a holy war. The rebels themselves are increasingly at each others’ throats, which raises the risk of U.S. weapons in “moderate” hands either being seized by Sunni jihadis or used against them in a rebel civil war instead of against Assad. And meanwhile, thanks to the coup in Egypt and the White House’s tacit consent to it, Syria’s Islamists are more convinced than ever that the only way to gain and hold power is through a gun, not a ballot. Even if the rebels do come back to oust Assad, what sort of Sunni regime is in the offing with the Islamists now soured completely on democracy?

Exit question: All of that notwithstanding, these weapons are assuredly going to make their way to the rebels in the end, right? C’mon. Team Intervention will not be denied.


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I read this differently… they did this to give themselves political cover for continuing to fund Egypt.

Skywise on July 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

According to Reuters, the White House technically doesn’t need the intel committees to approve before it starts shipping weapons.

Technically? The Dog Eater changes laws as necessary to fit his retarded agenda, he doesn’t need a technicality.

You halfwit media choads needs to get out more.

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

No go for O’s Bro’s

/and the MSNBC cast says, “awwwww, dat’s racist”

Key West Reader on July 8, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Bet the NSA is working overtime on the obstructionists on these committees…this will not be tolerated.

d1carter on July 8, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Technically? The Dog Eater changes laws as necessary to fit his retarded agenda, he doesn’t need a technicality.

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

“I will make it legal” – Emperor Palpatine.
(Or was that Shaddam IV?)

Skywise on July 8, 2013 at 8:18 PM

They they not be stamped Made in USA, but I wouldn’t be so confident we haven’t already shipped arms.

Say perhaps through Turkey?

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

What Congressional Commitee approved F&F?

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

May every government endeavor meet such obstruction. God willing, of course.

abobo on July 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Find the rebel group MOST hostile to America and MOST likely to commit judeo-christian genocide and arm them to the teeth. (and have NSA point out the resistance)

And congress has a problem with this??? WTF?

WryTrvllr on July 8, 2013 at 8:25 PM

This delay may not set well with the senile senator from Arizona or the lightfooted one from SC.

a capella on July 8, 2013 at 8:26 PM

What ever King Barry decides to do, it won’t be in the best interests of this country.

None of his “Smart Diplomacy” has gotten anywhere.

Let’s just stay out of it and let them kill each other.

Should make all the “non-interventionists” in this country happy.

GarandFan on July 8, 2013 at 8:32 PM

BO admin hasn’t cornered the market on all the ammo and AR15′s yet. But they’ll be shipping both to Syria soon.

chickasaw42 on July 8, 2013 at 8:32 PM

He needs to be mocked.

And, he will be mocked. Mercilessly. It’s about damned time I say.

Key West Reader on July 8, 2013 at 8:40 PM

We ever find those 11,000 missing SAMS?

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 8:42 PM

…bipartisan pushback.

It’s about time!!!!!

Burke on July 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

We ever find those 11,000 missing SAMS?

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 8:42 PM

The ones over which they killed Amb. Stevens?

davidk on July 8, 2013 at 8:49 PM

…bipartisan pushback.

It’s about time!!!!!

Burke on July 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Must be an election coming up.

davidk on July 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Technically? The Dog Eater changes laws as necessary to fit his retarded agenda, he doesn’t need a technicality.

You halfwit media choads needs to get out more.

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

I’m sensing a bit of anger without humor in your posts. A little unlike you. You doing okay, sir?

kim roy on July 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Where is Ollie North these days anyway?

myiq2xu on July 8, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Yea,, those missles DavidK.

But I was off a bit after googling it. Hard right sources like CBS and ABC put them at 20-22 thousand.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 9:06 PM

I suspect President Secret Law will just pass a secret law granting him the authority to send the weapons anyway.

HopeHeFails on July 8, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Stop the funding. Stop Kerry and obummer on this one.

jake49 on July 8, 2013 at 9:19 PM

kim roy on July 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Not feeling humorous today except maybe gallows humor; watching my “leaders” go feral has taken all the fun out of things.

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Not feeling humorous today except maybe gallows humor; watching my “leaders” go feral has taken all the fun out of things.

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Yeah. I know. Not a heck of a lot amusing or even remotely so. However, you did find some humor in it all, even just a turn of a word.

Hope you are okay. Keep well and safe. :)

kim roy on July 8, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Guangzhou God someone is going to prevent this Islamic Extremist sympathizer. From helping terrorists from taking over another country!

easyt65 on July 8, 2013 at 9:35 PM

(Thank God …)

easyt65 on July 8, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Yea, It’s Time somebody called BULL SHIITE!

These animals figured out they weren’t getting the Political cover they are used to! Somebody started talking about the fact that this same Committee, had to approve Obama’s TREASON and DID! They approved ARMING Al-Qaeda Terrorists, while we are at war with Al-Qaeda! House Committee had to fund the TREASON and DID! Now that the Light of day has been shown on this TREASON the RATS on both sides of the aisle are running for cover!

#NOrinos2014 #CrushRove

God Bless America!

paratisi on July 8, 2013 at 9:37 PM

We need to first clear the GOP ranks of neo-cons because no matter what the idiot Obama will do, our own side is just capable of getting us in one of these no-win middle eastern melodramas. This is a place were people like me who want out of the middle east for good and border hawks can work together. It seems like the same Republicans who want the Senate Immigration Reform Bill the most are the same ones who have a strange and unhealthy fetish for adventures in arming Muslims Jihadists in the name of democracy and nation building. You know McCain, Graham, Rubio, the Bush family…

William Eaton on July 8, 2013 at 9:43 PM

I would suggest fishing,, but the lake is empty.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Back when I used to do this stuff for a living, when a Special Forces team(s) was/were committed the arms and logistical things were already in place or arriving.

The arms (I assume) that would be supplied would be former Soviet bloc stuff as that is what everybody in the region knows and understands. Most likely the armament would come from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, or somebody else with an interest.

Unless there are surface to air missiles involved, this is much ado about nothing.

Special Forces Grunt on July 8, 2013 at 9:57 PM

The O must not fail!

/Unless of course he does. Awwwwwwwe bummah.

Key West Reader on July 8, 2013 at 9:58 PM

You read upthread Grunt?

There are 20,000 SAM’s missing. And speculation is they were boated to Turkey, inbound to Syria.

Can’t prove it. Can’t disprove it either. They never found them.

Amb. Stevens is dead. Along with your bretheren. Why were they in Benghazi? With who they were with?

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Senate intel committees object to Obama’s plan

…there is intelligence?………….somewhere in the Senate?

KOOLAID2 on July 8, 2013 at 10:15 PM

The small arms would go through southeast Turkey, or Northern Iraq and Iran. far as I have read they are.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Executive order from Barack Morsi in 5……..4……3

PappyD61 on July 8, 2013 at 10:23 PM

“I will make it legal” – Emperor Palpatine.
(Or was that Shaddam IV?)

Skywise on July 8, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Thumbs up for the Dune reference! Are you waiting for (Rand) Paul Atreides to arrive?

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on July 8, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Skywise on July 8, 2013 at 8:18 PM
Thumbs up for the Dune reference! Are you waiting for (Rand) Paul Atreides to arrive?

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on July 8, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Evidently the spice won’t flow to the FSA either.

hawkdriver on July 8, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Hmmm….. Looks like the Democrats just closed the door on Obama. For the past couple of months, the Democrats in D.C. have been looking for a way to walk away from this administration without looking like they were walking away.(Political acting, D.C. style 101.) At this point, they must realized how bad this makes them look. Ah, but what about the Republicans. Well, they get a free pass on this.(Party out of power, etc. etc…) Ground truth. The United States is not a player in the region at this time. Neither the United States, nor the Europeans have the clout to “bend the field”. That will change. But for now, the United States is out.

flackcatcher on July 8, 2013 at 11:58 PM

You refer here to Obama’s “plan”. I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.

MTF on July 9, 2013 at 7:03 AM

“I will make it legal” was Palpatine. I can’t think of anything particularly interesting Shaddam IV ever said, although his daughter Princess Irulan opens every chapter in dune with long-winded … nevermind.

Even so, the warning of an Emperor being overthrown for going into the most desolate stretch of sand in the universe seems timely.

pendell2 on July 9, 2013 at 8:16 AM

I’ve got an idea. The Congressional intel committees should divert the arms to American groups who were denied a 501(c)3 tax-free exemption in 2012, and let them go hunting big game.

Steve Z on July 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM