Congress caves: Intel committees approve White House funding for Syrian rebels

posted at 7:21 pm on July 22, 2013 by Allahpundit

Two weeks ago Reuters dropped a mini-bombshell in revealing that the House and Senate Intel Committees had frozen Obama’s funding of the Syria rebels due to the clusterfark potential of U.S. involvement there. I wrote at the time, very stupidly, that the fact that the public is overwhelmingly opposed to intervention might encourage Congress to hold the line on this one. Why enable Obama in a massively unpopular foreign-policy endeavor? Deny him the funds and then dare him to complain about it.

The lesson I take from today’s update is that there’s really no amount of public disapproval that will stop Congress from caving to the president when he wants to intervene somewhere. Sometimes they want a little more input from the White House than usual before they cut a check, but they’ll cut it eventually.

President Barack Obama should be able to go ahead with a plan to arm the Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Monday.

“We believe we are in a position that the administration can move forward,” Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican, told Reuters…

“It is important to note that there are still strong reservations,” he said. “We got a consensus that we could move forward with what the administration’s plans and intentions are in Syria consistent with committee reservations.”

The twisted punchline is that the committees have more reason to be pessimistic now than they did two weeks ago, when the money was frozen. The two big stories to come out of Syria since then are the rebels starting to wage war on each other and the Taliban sending fighters to join the rebellion in the name of jihad. Surreal though it may seem, we’re now technically their allies vis-a-vis Assad. More surreally, just two days after the Reuters story broke about Congress freezing O’s Syria funds, British intelligence reminded everyone that the surest way to get chemical weapons into jihadi hands is … to topple Assad, our ostensible goal in all this. But then, if bad news in public polling is irrelevant to the White House’s intervention calculus, bad news on the ground in Syria actually seems to bolster their desire to intervene. The worse things get for the rebels, the more jihadi degenerates flow into Syria, the more urgently we need to get in there and try to gain some sort of leverage over near-total chaos. And what if the early shipments of money and small arms to “moderate” rebels don’t work? Maybe we’ll have to do more. Via Robert Caruso, Martin Dempsey tried to price that out in a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee today:

nfz

He also priced out an air campaign to destroy Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile. That would also a cost a billion per month and would eliminate “some, but not all” of his arsenal. Quote: “Thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces would be needed to assault and secure critical sites.”

One other X factor here: Pretty soon Iraq’s going to be part of this and the scale of the war’s going to widen further. It already is part of it to some extent, with another Iranian-backed regime fending off attacks from Sunni jihadis, but things can get worse. Go read this report, also from Reuters, about the gigantic jailbreak at Abu Ghraib today in which hundreds of prisoners, including some senior Al Qaeda leaders, were sprung. Where are they headed now? Syria or Anbar province? Or both?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Arrest them all for treason.

ThePrez on July 22, 2013 at 7:25 PM

“Congress caves…” complete the headline with any of 5,000,000 phrases, and it’s still true. Boehner never yet met an issue he wouldn’t cave to.

And look how popular it has made him!

Wino on July 22, 2013 at 7:26 PM

British intelligence reminded everyone that the surest way to get chemical weapons into jihadi hands is … to topple Assad, our ostensible goal in all this.

The American public is rightly up in arms over the government’s spying on us and going through all our stuff without warrants. Think that attitude will last after a couple of gas attacks that kill lots of people. . . ?

rbj on July 22, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Crap. This is just wrong. We have no interests there and no part of that is vital to our national defense.

dogsoldier on July 22, 2013 at 7:27 PM

30 pieces of Silver handed out all over congress.

portlandon on July 22, 2013 at 7:27 PM

How will this affect Dear Leader’s Peace Prize…?

d1carter on July 22, 2013 at 7:28 PM

That didn’t take long, did it?

Liam on July 22, 2013 at 7:29 PM

President Barack Obama should be able to go ahead with a plan to arm the Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Monday.

Political cover for the transfer of weapons to the Syrian rebels that the Obama Administration including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were already doing via Benghazi?

wren on July 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Wow, caving on this is stupid and cowardly. Disgusting.

WannabeAnglican on July 22, 2013 at 7:31 PM

And that Snowden character is a real threat…

Electrongod on July 22, 2013 at 7:32 PM

They really are all just part of the same ruling party. Republican or Democrat is largely meaningless.

sharrukin on July 22, 2013 at 7:32 PM

If they cave on a subject where polling clearly is behind them, we have no hope of them holding the line on anything remotely tough.

Essentially Obama controls the White House, Senate, House and the Supreme Court.

portlandon on July 22, 2013 at 7:33 PM

War on Christianity.

VorDaj on July 22, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Where was this Obama general, Dempsey, when it came to laying out options for Benghazi?

VorDaj on July 22, 2013 at 7:36 PM

“Congress caves: Intel committees approve White House funding for Syrian rebels”

THIS is what ONE PARTY (Progressive)rule looks like America.

Get ready for more support for the Caliphate.

PappyD61 on July 22, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Progressives……dominating BOTH parties….just using different masks.

ONE party rule baby.

PappyD61 on July 22, 2013 at 7:38 PM

This IS a war on Christianity and Congress is allowing Obama/Hillary and company to fight it.
Or they are fighting it too.
Forget Detroit, this is scary stuff.

ORconservative on July 22, 2013 at 7:38 PM

YOU MORONS… WAIT until Obama makes a public statement demanding congress funds his escapades in Syria and THEN concede…

Now this will be all the GOPs fault for forcing Obama to do it.

Skywise on July 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM

the Taliban sending fighters to join the rebellion in the name of jihad… we’re now technically their allies vis-a-vis Assad… British intelligence reminded everyone that the surest way to get chemical weapons into jihadi hands is … to topple Assad, our ostensible goal in all this.

Hey Allahpundit!!! Obama’s trying to build a neo-Ottoman caliphate that will over run the EU and Israel, not that I care but I do want to get it out there so I can legitimately say that I told you so once you finally join the ranks of us conspiracists – not that it will matter by then but a little gallows humor never hut anyone.

abobo on July 22, 2013 at 7:43 PM

There simply is no upside here, and a lot of downside. Unless you’re an islamic militant and hater of Christians.

paul1149 on July 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

If there are clashes between those on the side of the Christians (that would be the Russian military) and those on the side of al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/fellow shariahists (that would be the American military), I will be rooting for those on the side of the Christians, not for those on the side of al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/fellow shariahists.

VorDaj on July 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

How can this not be treason? Our government is knowingly sending weapons to “rebels” who are AQ in everything but name!

ThePrez on July 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I am ashamed to say Mike Rogers is my Congressman.

It’s bad when you have to start rooting for Putin and the Russians.

bw222 on July 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Establish a No-Fly Zone.

The No-Fly Zones over Northern And Southern Iraq leftover from the first Gulf War were one of the main reasons cited in the 911 Commission Report as a reason for the U.S. going to war against Iraq.

A No-Fly Zone may look like a viable short term option, but establishing a No-Fly Zone sets up a long term risk of a future war when the subject of the zone starts shooting at the U.S. planes that are defending the No-Fly Zone.

wren on July 22, 2013 at 7:46 PM

We are giving money to people who want to kill us. Good Lord.

ctmom on July 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

This is exactly why you can’t trust any of them on immigration.

Cindy Munford on July 22, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Congress caves…becoming a recurring theme.

We’ll see the same headlines when the investigations of Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, et al, are concluded. Congress caves, Obama to finish out term.

Just prepare yourselves, because its coming.

Meople on July 22, 2013 at 7:49 PM

I cannot say what I truly want to say so this will have to do:

YSDATBLYSBHFNTIFHYAYARTNHHP.

IWTSYAHFTMFS.

Scrumpy on July 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM

NOTHING about either party surprises me any longer.

I am sick to death of it all.

L.I.F.B!!

Scrumpy on July 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

It’s bad when you have to start rooting for Putin and the Russians.

bw222 on July 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Oh what a disgrace if such a despised and base cult, which worships a misogynist pedophile demon, should be allowed to assault those of the Christian faith! With what reproaches will the Lord overwhelm us if we do not promptly and fully stand with those who are being attacked and even murdered for processing the Christian faith! Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against other of the faithful now all unite and go against the Mohammedans in a Holy Crusade and end with total victory this war against monstrous evil which should have been begun and completed long ago.

Let those who for too long a time have been dhimmis, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting in service of Mohammedans against their own Christian brothers and sisters and their own Jewish cousins now fight in a proper way against all the followers of the misogynist pedophile demon.

Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul in vain attempt to win the small minds and dark hearts of the Mohammedans now labor for glorious honor against them. Behold! On the one side will be the completely destroyed Mohammedans, on the other the fierce and righteous protectors of humanity. On the one side will be the destroyed enemies of the Lord, on the other, his friends who will shout at all the Mohammedans and their enablers as they destroy them, “Deus vult! Deus vult! Deus vult!”

I say this to those who are present, it is meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it

RasThavas on July 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Crap. This is just wrong. We have no interests there and no part of that is vital to our national defense.

dogsoldier on July 22, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Huma,Hillary and Obama want to aid the Jihadis in Syria, especially now that their Jihadis in Egypt are out.

As for the “intel” committees ~> Military Industrial Complex. I don’t believe they care who they fund, as long as we are funding something.

BoxHead1 on July 22, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Vote them ALL out, dammit.

Enough is enough.

We have Americans on their fourth or fifth tours, if not more, out in some fetid ‘stan somewhere, who could be granted local citizenship for as long as they have been out there and nowhere near home, and Congress wants to light the fires for yet another war…a war for what?

Obama’s legacy?

Because “we have to do something?”

“It’s about the children?”

Why are we fighting against a nation with which we still maintain diplomatic relations, and has done zero to cause us harm?

Stop it.

Enough is enough, dammit.

coldwarrior on July 22, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Liu2 kou3shui3 de5 biao3zi5 he2 hou2zi5 de5 ben4 er2zi5men5!

Yeah, it’s Chinese. It is also the appropriate description for the “Intelligence” Committee.

Subotai Bahadur on July 22, 2013 at 8:08 PM

House of Representatives Intelligence Committee

Well, there’s a contradiction in terms.

AZ_Mike on July 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Пожалуйста, господин Путин, пожалуйста, позвоните блеф Обамы, ради Бога.

coldwarrior on July 22, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Go read this report, also from Reuters, about the gigantic jailbreak at Abu Ghraib today in which hundreds of prisoners, including some senior Al Qaeda leaders, were sprung. Where are they headed now? Syria or Anbar province? Or both?
===================================

Wow,….what else can go wrong,on Hopey’s Watch!!

canopfor on July 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM

MeanWhile……………………….

NSA chief: General Alexander: Snowden leaks are causing sources to dry up – @NBCNews

53 mins ago from usnews.nbcnews.com by editor
=================================================

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on July 22, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Where are they headed now? Syria or Anbar province? Or both?
==============================================================

I bet Israels Satellites are busy tho!!

canopfor on July 22, 2013 at 8:37 PM

canopfor on July 22, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Not at all sanguine, is that the right word, with NSA’s “losing sources” but…the moment NSA decided that it was OK to go domestic…it is on them.

They have expanded in quantum leaps in size and capabilities since the height of the Cold War (and when the Cold War ended) when we were focused on real external threats and SIGINT was a major part of that defense.

And NSA did what it did best…most of the time. (That little incident in Fall 1983 went pretty much unnoticed…could have melted the globe if the Soviets had decided that ABLE ARCHER was for real…but I digress, as usual.)

The expansion of NSA, a huge expansion over the last several years…for what?

Is al-Qaeda that much of a threat? Hamas? The Russians? The Chinese?

If any of them are, to warrant such an expansion of NSA, perhaps the voting public whose tax dollars are paying for all of this should be told.

Or, is Snowden’s intial revelation correct…NSA has gone “rogue” on US civilians in a big big way.

NSA is legally a Department of Defense activity…and is being used to target American civilians…and people are OK with that, it seems.

Because they [NSA] are from the government and are doing this to “protect us.”

Bull.

It is called blowback, General Alexander…blowback. In other words, NSA and this Administration shot itself in the foot trying to sneak one past us.

Buy a band-aid.

coldwarrior on July 22, 2013 at 8:41 PM

They really are all just part of the same ruling party. Republican or Democrat is largely meaningless.

sharrukin on July 22, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Remember Reagan’s quote that someone who is with you 20% of the time is a friend and an ally when someone else is trying to kill you both — or something like that.

KW64 on July 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Flexibility.

Bmore on July 22, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Remember Reagan’s quote that someone who is with you 20% of the time is a friend and an ally when someone else is trying to kill you both — or something like that.

KW64 on July 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

20%? That seems more than a little optimistic.

sharrukin on July 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Arrest them all for treason.

ThePrez on July 22, 2013 at 7:25 PM

An asteroid on Washington is the better answer, and more likely.

rrpjr on July 22, 2013 at 9:00 PM

The photo says it all. The One gets to pose like Il Duce once more.

I might point out that “establishing a No Fly Zone” over an “advanced, integrated air defense system” means that unless you start with SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense), said integrated air defense system is going to be shooting at every plane you send over.

This is one place where The One’s fixation on drones might actually come in handy. Personally, I have no problem with losing drones to SAM-6 batteries to take out said batteries.

The question is, of course, what is The One trying to accomplish? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ about Christians, Coptic or otherwise, in Syria. He’s already told Assad to leave, and been ignored. And he wants us to arm the people who have been trying to kill us, the Israelis, everyone in Europe, and for all I know superintelligent shades of the color blue and small furry creatures from the Crab Nebula since Mohammed decided he didn’t really like anybody.

All I can conclude is that Assad ignoring him has hurt The One’s pride. Plus, he thinks he can ingratiate himself with the jihadis, and maybe get them to just attack Israel and not us.

Yeah. Right. Because that worked so f**king great in Kosovo.

Then again,maybe he just likes watching people he doesn’t like get hurt. Said category very likely including U.S. military personnel.

I think he agrees with his present SecState; that if they were smart like him, they’d have gone to law school, and now be wearing three-piece suits instead of uniforms.

Since they didn’t, they…offend… his sensibilities. Much like the rest of us do.

If nothing else, decisions like this should abolish once and for all the theory that The One really cares about much of anything other than himself. There is no process of reasoning that makes this course of action consistent with the welfare of the United States or her allies. (What few we have left after he’s spent five years insulting each one, that is.)

The only logical conclusion is that we have an adolescent in the Oval Office, who still likes to break his toys like a bratty two-year-old.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 22, 2013 at 9:02 PM

20%? That seems more than a little optimistic.

sharrukin on July 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Well, you can’t always be wrong and inconsistent at the same time.

KW64 on July 22, 2013 at 9:05 PM

So, Obama’s going to start a proxy war in Syria, by arming who? Rebels? Or are they really Al Qaeda pretending to the the rebels, like in Libya?

Wait, let me guess, no one really knows?

Yeah, thought so.

Meople on July 22, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Your taxes now officially fund AlQaueda.

Congratulations!!!

God damn the fools in DC and God damn the ones who brung them.

Schadenfreude on July 22, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Perhaps now that the Free Syrian Army is apparently at war with both Assad and the radical sunni islamists maybe the GOP decided it was better to arm the enemy of both enemies. They are the “weak” horse though.

KW64 on July 22, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Didn’t we learn in Libya that weapons are fungible?

We give weapons to “our” faction and within days, weeks, maybe, their enemies will have brand spanking new American purchased weapons…on our dime. And when the first pilot is shot down and captured and paraded in front of the camera and is made to do the Daniel Pearl thing…what is Team Obama going to do?

they allowed an ambassador, the personal representative of the president of the United State to be brutally murdered along with three others…and did nothing except lie and lie and lie about it…still…

We had an opportunity, once, but Obama dithered and waitied, prevaricated and schemed…and let thousands and thousands die because he could not, would not, make a decision…a decision apparently well above his pay grade…and we could have toppled Assad long before the jihadis seized the high ground and it would have involved not one single US soldier or pilot…not one.

And now, when the jihadis are murdering any and all who do not submit to their Islamofacism…after thousands and thousands of innocents are dead, and after we tell the world we are going to engage in covert action…covert…and then establish a no-fly zone…and the White House announces it like it was just another Obama vacation?

This “decision” by Team Obama…and the willing, almost cheerful, acquiescence of Congress is pure unadulterated stupidity.

coldwarrior on July 22, 2013 at 9:52 PM

This makes the money suppliers enemy combatants.

It is treason to fund Al Qaeda.

profitsbeard on July 22, 2013 at 10:19 PM

This is exactly why you can’t trust any of them on immigration.

Cindy Munford on July 22, 2013 at 7:49 PM

For the love of God, don’t trust them with anything!! ANYTHING!! Please quit believing they will do the right thing on anything. I would be willing to bet that the only reason they are holding votes on repealing obamacare is because they know they will go nowhere. Instead of cutting funding and letting the whole monstrosity shut down, they keep feeding it money while pretending to not like it.

JAGonzo on July 22, 2013 at 10:43 PM

This Rogers is an example of how a Congresscritter is completely taken over by the entity he’s supposed to be overseeing. He should be replaced, he’s a disgrace. Earlier this year he said the FBI had done everything correctly re the Boston Marathon bombers. Benghazi, hello?

str8tface on July 22, 2013 at 11:15 PM

The last time I checked I was a moderate Republican, but I’m as outraged by this as caving as the most extreme right wing zealot. When the GOP establishment starts pissing me off, they are in trouble.
Let me be clear that the reason I am pissed is because the caving of the GOP establishment is totally unnecessary. Obama’s policy is both idiotic and unpopular. Standing up to Obama on this issue should be as easy as opposing sexual molestation of children under age 12.

thuja on July 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM

If there are clashes between those on the side of the Christians (that would be the Russian military) and those on the side of al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/fellow shariahists (that would be the American military), I will be rooting for those on the side of the Christians, not for those on the side of al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/fellow shariahists.

VorDaj on July 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

In my moderate RINOish sort of way, I agree with you.

thuja on July 22, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Sonofa…

Well, I would like to say I am surprised, but Boehner was over-due to cave on SOMETHING!

There was a time when one of America’s personal creeds was ‘We never negotiate with Terrorists’. THIS administration, however, is negotiatiing with the Taliban in Afghanistan – the enemy this nation sacrificed many a troop to fight and eradicate – to share power there with Kharzi. This President ordered our military to join forces with the rebels who hired Jihadists to go to Iraq and Afghanistan to kill them to overthrwo Qadaffi and give Al Qaeda its own nation. This President helped push our Mubarak, rush the elections, and put the terrorist group the Muslim Brotherhood in control of Egypt. This President hired an Al Qaeda-associated Militia in Libya to protect our Ambassador and other Americans in Libya from Al Qaeda. This President is NOW intending to provide weapons to MORE Jihadists, this time in Syria – where we KNOW Al Qaeda has flocked to once again – to hep them take over yet another country.

If Obama worked half as hard for THIS country as he does for Al Qaeda and other terrorists we would be doing awesome!

Shame on the GUTLESS Republicans in Congress who have feet of clay, which crumbles with the slightest bit of pressure! In THIS economy, with the scandals & out-of-control administration, with people around the country struggling, you are going to send billions in weapons to Jihadists & terrorists in Syria?! The current and future SOLDIERS who you will later send to the Middle East to fight these people you have decided to arm are watching you right now and will KNOW exactly who armed the enemies they will later be called to fight! Their blood and sacrifice is on your hands!

easyt65 on July 23, 2013 at 8:24 AM

*sips coffee*

BigGator5 on July 23, 2013 at 8:35 AM

There’s a word for the people on the intel committee: fools

sadatoni on July 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM