AP, NYT: Evidence lacking that Assad ordered chemical-weapons use

posted at 8:01 am on August 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

According to the leaks that the media have amplified over the last week or so, the evidence is clear that the Syrian army used chemical weapons against rebels in a Damascus suburb, indiscriminately killing hundreds of civilians.  Barack Obama insisted yesterday in a PBS interview that only the Bashar al-Assad regime possessed the chemical weapons used in the attack, and that radio intercepts showed that Assad’s military ordered the attack.  A UN inspection team hasn’t yet finalized its report on exactly what was used, but even if the above is true — and it was always more likely that the army conducted the attack than the rebels — did the order to use the weapons come from on high, or from a rogue commander on the ground?

According to the AP and New York Times … no one really knows. The most recent AP report says that the US intel community says the Assad connection is no “slam dunk”:

The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people 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. …

However, multiple U.S. officials used the phrase “not a slam dunk” to describe the intelligence picture — a reference to then-CIA Director George Tenet’s insistence in 2002 that U.S. intelligence showing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a “slam dunk” — intelligence that turned out to be wrong.

A report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence outlining that evidence against Syria is thick with caveats. It builds a case that Assad’s forces are most likely responsible while outlining gaps in the U.S. intelligence picture. Relevant congressional committees were to be briefed on that evidence by teleconference call on Thursday, U.S. officials and congressional aides said.

The complicated intelligence picture raises questions about the White House’s full-steam-ahead approach to the Aug. 21 attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb, with worries that the attack could be tied to al-Qaida-backed rebels later. Administration officials said Wednesday that neither the U.N. Security Council, which is deciding whether to weigh in, or allies’ concerns would affect their plans.

Readers had to delve rather deeply into a previous AP report to get to the story, which started at the ninth paragraph (via Twitchy):

More intelligence was being sought by U.S. officials. While a lower-level Syrian military commanders’ communications discussing a chemical attack had been intercepted, they don’t specifically link the attack to an official senior enough to tie the killings to Assad himself, according to one U.S. intelligence official and two other U.S. officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the intelligence publicly.

The White House ideally wants intelligence that links the attack directly to Assad or someone in his inner circle, to rule out the possibility that a rogue element of the military acting without Assad’s authorization.

That quest for added intelligence has delayed the release of the report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence laying out evidence against Assad. The report was promised earlier this week by administration officials.

The CIA and the Pentagon have been working to gather more human intelligence tying Assad to the attack, relying on the intelligence services of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel, the officials said. The administration was planning a teleconference briefing Thursday on Syria for leaders of the House and Senate and national security committees in both parties, U.S. officials and congressional aides said.

Both the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency have their own human sources — the rebel commanders and others who cross the border to brief CIA and defense intelligence officers at training camps in Jordan and Turkey. But their operation is much smaller than some of the other intelligence services, and it takes longer for their contacts to make their way overland.

Wouldn’t that be a good reason to remain patient and not conduct a rash military intervention? If we have no intel linking Assad or his senior commanders to an order using chemical weapons, why would we bomb Syrians in retaliation?  Why not demand the extradition of the commander for trial in the Hague instead?

Similarly, the New York Times waits a while to get to the point, but their lead-in focuses on the erroneous intel of the Iraq War, which then-Senator Obama used to cite during his first presidential campaign as the major failing of his predecessor:

But with the botched intelligence about Iraq still casting a long shadow over decisions about waging war in the Middle East, the White House faces an American public deeply skeptical about being drawn into the Syrian conflict and a growing chorus of lawmakers from both parties angry about the prospect of an American president once again going to war without Congressional consultation or approval.

American officials said Wednesday there was no “smoking gun” that directly links President Bashar al-Assad to the attack, and they tried to lower expectations about the public intelligence presentation. They said it will not contain specific electronic intercepts of communications between Syrian commanders or detailed reporting from spies and sources on the ground.

But even without hard evidence tying Mr. Assad to the attack, administration officials asserted, the Syrian leader bears ultimate responsibility for the actions of his troops and should be held accountable.

“The commander in chief of any military is ultimately responsible for decisions made under their leadership,” said the State Department’s deputy spokeswoman, Marie Harf — even if, she added, “He’s not the one who pushes the button or says ‘go’ on this.”

Administration officials said that communications between military commanders intercepted after Wednesday’s attack provided proof that the assault was not the result of a rogue unit acting against orders. It is unclear how much detail about these communications, if any, will be made public.

One correction to the New York Times’ argument: Obama is the only President who goes to war without Congressional approval.  Congress approved military action against Iraq in late 2002, which passed by wide bipartisan majorities.

With this context, it becomes a lot easier to see why the UN inspection team, Russia, and China are objecting to the rush to retaliate, even if they can’t do a lot about it. David Cameron will go to Parliament with this data and try to convince his skeptical House of Commons that this intel provides justification for the West opening up another war in the Middle East — just two years after the disastrous NATO intervention against Moammar Qaddafi drove the Brits and all other Western nations out of Benghazi, the city NATO purported to save.  Don’t expect Cameron to have much success in convincing Parliament to take another ride on this merry-go-round, and if he fails, that’s going to make it much more difficult politically for Obama to move forward, at home and abroad, at least not without Congressional authorization.


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Sorry, no. Assad is not as Islamist. He’s a problem, but he is not an Islamist.

Assad has more in common with Mubarak than he does with Bin Laden.

Letting Assad stay in power means status quo, for better or for worse.

Letting the rebels win is just for worse.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran are fighting a proxy interfaith civil war in Syria. Best to let them chew each other up leaving all parties weaker.

Mr. Arkadin on August 29, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Give yourself a gold star, sir. Absolutely spot-on…

JohnGalt23 on August 29, 2013 at 9:43 AM

HarryBackside on August 29, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Excellent post. Sayyid Qutb, one of the leading exponents of Islamism, and a key early member of the Muslim Brotherhood, directly inspired Al Qaeda, both through his writings, and through the work of his brother, Muhammad, one of whose students was Ayman Zawahiri.

If you think of Al Qaeda as the Weathermen, and the Muslim Brotherhood as SDS, or the New Left, or the old McGovern wing of the Democrat Party, the relationship becomes clear. Same goal, different tactics.

Mr. Arkadin on August 29, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Who ya’ gonna’ believe?

An Administration who lied about:

.Benghazi
.IRS
.NSA
.Fast and Furious
.Obamacare, etc

And Secretary State Kerry who lied about

.American war crimes in Vietnam
.Having been in Cambodia
.About his non-existent war wounds

Or your own common sense?

MaiDee on August 29, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Mr. Arkadin on August 29, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Succinct and erudite.

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Who ya’ gonna’ believe?…

MaiDee on August 29, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Depends. Which tribe do I belong to?

Fenris on August 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Back in college, 1984 was taught as an invective, a treatise almost against right wing dictatorship…when, in reality, despite Eric Blair’s personal clear socialist leanings, was, as George Orwell a condemnation of runaway socialism. Big brother’s big mustache and Stalin was no literary fluke. And in 1984, the year, not the book, was a lot of Leftist pap going about comparing Reagan to Big Brother. utter nonsense.

Yet, 1984, the book, not the year, even in the present day, is still pushed as a condemnation of conservatism and right-wing authority and dictatorship over the poor, underprivileged, the bricks in the wall.

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 9:40 AM

All true.

That 1984 was all about right-wing totalitarian dictatorship is another of the revisionist myths the Left promotes.

Ingsoc, the guiding philosphy of the government of Oceania, was derived from English Socialism.

1984′s totalitarian authoritarian socialism was modeled on German National Socialism and Stalin’s Soviet Union, which Stalin called “socialism in one country”. It is the extreme patriotism of Nazism that the Left uses to try to paint Nazi’s as “right-wing”. After Hitler invaded Stalin’s Soviet Union he also invoked all of the patriotism that is associated with Nazism. Stalin simply replaced the Nazi’s racism with his own watered down version — there was plenty of racism in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Stalin’s equivalent of the Nazi’s racist guiding principle was what could be called “class-ism”, where “enemies of the working class” were treated little different in the Soviet Union than the Nazis treated Jews. Also, Stalin and the Soviet Union were as anti-Semitic as the Nazis.

The Nazi’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and Ingsoc, were all socialist collectivist Big Government states in which the individual was completely subservient to the state and whose purpose and duty was to serve the state.

farsighted on August 29, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Yeah but, John McCain said…

Akzed on August 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM

farsighted on August 29, 2013 at 10:04 AM

This is why Hot Air is so much better than all the other blogs out there…substance…and posters who actually read. Real books.

It is many times like being back in school…with nice single malt at your side…refined.

I learn, daily, around here.

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Also clear to the Obama administration: Benghazi attack was spontaneous result of a video.

besser tot als rot on August 29, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Assad is reasonably secularist. He would hardly be a puppet of the theocratic Iran.

So, by your logic, we should be intervening on the side of the current regime, crushing the Islamists, and solidifying his position. Were we to do so, in theory it at least opens the possibility of rapprochement with the Baathists, and wooing them away from their current Russian benefactors.

That is, if we chose to intervene at all…

JohnGalt23 on August 29, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Assad owns his existence to Iran now… Without Iran very strong support and Hizballah terrorists fighting on his side he would have been in much tougher shape than he is now…

mnjg on August 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed. Thankfully, those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Now, what possible reason would obama and Kerry have to lie about their “proof”?

Pork-Chop on August 29, 2013 at 11:16 AM

And for what possible reason should we believe them?

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Ok then, if it was a low ranking army official on the intercepted signal then let’s wait. But there is still the elephant sitting in the room. Syria has chemical weapons. Where the hell did they get them from? Did they make them or were they received from outside Syria? Russia perhaps, China, North Korea? Or maybe I am not mentioning the elephant, eh folks??

jake49 on August 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed. Thankfully, those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

AKA – “Don’t mock me bro”. You are a joke.

VegasRick on August 29, 2013 at 11:22 AM

VegasRick on August 29, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I’m quite sure libfree voted for Gary Johnson in 2102.

Fenris on August 29, 2013 at 11:23 AM

… those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

There are only two Presidents who have unilaterally launched “war” – Clinton in Kosovo, and obama in Libya. But, it’s good to know that you opposed their actions.

What is it with these whack-job democrat presidents unilaterally launching wars anyway?

Pork-Chop on August 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Or 2012, or something.

Fenris on August 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM

I think you’re missing an important point Dan.

Why this “humanitarian” intervention. Why didn’t we intervene militarily in Rwanda? Darfur? What makes the deaths of a hundred Syrian civilians intervention worthy when other humanitarian situations were not?

Obama has yet to define the US interest in intervention. Probably because he can’t other than his smart power got boxed into a corner with that red line speech.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with your point; I’m just discussing another. This isn’t the first time in our lifetimes that chemical weapons have come up as the Weapon of Blackest Moral Decay.

I agree with NotCoach that it’s really an emotional evaluation of them, and I also acknowledge that it’s nice to sit stand at my desk and discuss them dispassionately, having never been under any concern that I would encounter them (whether that’s rational or not). But the exact same thing is true of nuclear weapons–we’ve killed far more people with other munitions, even in attacks that could be considered as a single event, but it’s the suddenness of the single explosion and the knowledge the fact that it’s a single bomb, coupled with some excruciatingly nasty side effects of radiation that make the nuke stand out. Is the stigma against chemical weapons anything other than a holdover from WWI when everyone was trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle with rules about how war would be forever conducted in the future?

I’m not going to google this to pretend to know something that I don’t already; have we ever, in the history of everything, entered into a humanitarian conflict? I think that the discovery of the concentration camps, and what was really going on in them, towards the end of WWII put a huge validation on our participation in that conflict–we were really, truly fighting against evil. It’s almost singular in history, isn’t it, that things worked out that way? We didn’t enter that conflict on behalf of the Jews, Poles, Gypsies and gays. Nor have we, as far as I’m aware, ever entered another conflict on behalf of an afflicted group within another sovereign nation.

If someone attacks across their borders, then they have our attention, and we decide if those events have enough negative potential to our own interests to do something about it. But it’s not like we went in to stop Stalin, or Pol Pot, or help the Kurds, or any of the modern instances you mentioned. We see that it’s awful, but those internal conflicts don’t involve us. The only time we get involved in internal(ish) things–say, Vietnam or Korea–had nothing to do with humanitarian relief and everything to do with international power struggle. Which is to say, our own interests.

TexasDan on August 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed. Thankfully, those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Who are the hypocrites?

Alinsky’s rule #4: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

That aside, you’d be hard pressed to find any conservatives using leftist tactics to oppose this operation. We want to know what our national interest is in attacking Syria. We also want to know why Dear Leader refuses to ever seek congressional approval for his military actions. You didn’t read Ed’s post, did you? You certainly didn’t read any comments here either.

Also:

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

194 hours. Maybe we should start using the Mayan calender?

NotCoach on August 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed. Thankfully, those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Yeah, sure. So when do the impeachment hearings begin with you standing in the front row of the audience demanding Bark be shuttled off to the Hague for his war crimes trial?

Bishop on August 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Yeah, sure. So when do the impeachment hearings begin with you standing in the front row of the audience demanding Bark be shuttled off to the Hague for his war crimes trial?

Bishop on August 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

You crack me up. Libtard does not stand for anything!

VegasRick on August 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Poor libfree. His president has turned out to be the Marxist wuss that Conservatives always said he was.

kingsjester on August 29, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Look folks, Zero admitted he was lying when he used the very precise word, “concluded.”

They have no solid proof. Circumstantial evidence to commit an act of war?

Bush had proof that Saddam was helping AQ and had WMDs. Remember how the left screamed AFTER giving him authorization to invade Iraq?

We have no interests in Syria and should not attack.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Eggszackly.

There are no “Good Guys” in Syria.

kingsjester on August 29, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Ok then, if it was a low ranking army official on the intercepted signal then let’s wait. But there is still the elephant sitting in the room. Syria has chemical weapons. Where the hell did they get them from? Did they make them or were they received from outside Syria? Russia perhaps, China, North Korea? Or maybe I am not mentioning the elephant, eh folks??

jake49 on August 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Syria absolutely made their own chemical weapons, and probably bio as well. They’ve had a robust CBW program that we have known about for thirty or forty years. The technical level of their programs are seen as second only to that of the major powers the USA, former USSR and Red China.

slickwillie2001 on August 29, 2013 at 11:45 AM

The “evidence” thus far is a bunch of fake videos.

Hollywood is dead and Pallywood is alive.

happytobehere on August 29, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Bush had proof that Saddam was helping AQ and had WMDs. Remember how the left screamed AFTER giving him authorization to invade Iraq?

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Yes. And it took over a year for Bush to be granted WAR POWERS by Congress, based on the evidence –

(October 2002) the Democratic-led Senate voted 77-23 for a war powers resolution negotiated between the White House and congressional leaders backing a possible use of force to rid Iraq of suspected weapons of mass destruction and possibly oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
The Republican-led House earlier on Thursday passed it 296-133.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-142230/Bush-wins-Congress-backing-war-Iraq.html

http://rense.com/general30/grant.htm

Liberals like to ignore facts.

Pork-Chop on August 29, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I learn, daily, around here.

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Me too. In fact, that’s why I’m reading this entire thread.

petefrt on August 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Verified enough to make a case to congress and get congress to authorize force anyway. Which means the times haven’t changed much, eh?

besser tot als rot on August 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

crickets from msdnc talking heads right now, natch

trying to defend him and make sure everyone knows that W went into Iraq because of the ‘so called WMD’

cmsinaz on August 29, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Obama has yet to define the US interest in intervention. Probably because he can’t other than his smart power got boxed into a corner with that red line speech.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM

That’s the bottom line, isn’t it. The attack on Syria would be a vanity attack, an attack to save face for Dear Leader, without any other redeeming value. Never mind that it will likely trigger retaliatory attacks on Israel and maybe Saudi Arabia. Never mind that it will probably ignite a wider Middle East war, perhaps even WWIII. Never mind.

It’s all about Obama. Always has been. Always will be.

petefrt on August 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM

we’ll never have 100% proof about syria but dear leader should still go ahead and strike…this is different than iraq, W wanted to go to war by any means necessary, obama doesn’t
-msdnc talking heads

idiots

cmsinaz on August 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Bishop on August 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

You crack me up. Libtard does not stand for anything!

VegasRick on August 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM

But libfree will bend over on most occasions.

You all notice he didn’t specifically state that he opposed the Obama administration intervening in Syria. He didn’t say he didn’t support his president in these actions. It keeps him from taking that next step that Bishop pointed out. If its illegal, its an impeachable offense like they demanded with Bush.

Will libfree ever be on board with that? No.

He saw the comments directed at libs being awol on these threads. He did step up the plate though. And went straight back to the warming the bench in three pitches.

smoothsailing on August 29, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Meanwhile, intellectually serious people are working on how to oppose the rhetoric of permanent war. Do let us know when you’ve quit masturbating over your foresight in voting Constitution party and join the adult conversation.
 
libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM

 

Don’t blame others for your lack of conviction.
 
Remember when you had it, btw?
 

Please do not confuse the war mongering Democratic party with the American left. …
 
this is why I voted Green in 2000 and 2004.
 
libfreeordie on February 8, 2012 at 9:52 PM

 

February 2012.
 
Say, that was before the re-election, wasn’t it?
 
rogerb on June 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

rogerb on August 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM


Victor Davis Hanson: The Israeli Spring

In terms of realpolitik, anti-Israeli authoritarians are fighting to the death against anti-Israeli insurgents and terrorists. Each is doing more damage to the other than Israel ever could — and in an unprecedented, grotesque fashion. Who now is gassing Arab innocents? Shooting Arab civilians in the streets? Rounding up and executing Arab civilians? Blowing up Arab houses? Answer: either Arab dictators or radical Islamists.

An Obama strike against Syria could re-unite the Arab states to fight their common enemy, the USA via Israel.

Surely the Obama regime realizes this, yet it proceeds anyway… or because of it.

petefrt on August 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Also, the point was Hussein, (not Obama, Saddam) kept UN Inspectors from verifying. God help the students you teach. But I suspect you lie about that too. I pray you lie about that anyway. For the good of our kids and the country.

smoothsailing on August 29, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Liberals like to ignore facts.

Pork-Chop on August 29, 2013 at 11:53 AM

They do.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Assad owns his existence to Iran now… Without Iran very strong support and Hizballah terrorists fighting on his side he would have been in much tougher shape than he is now…

mnjg on August 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Uh, no.

The Assad’s were strongmen in Syria before the Iranian Revolution. In his current predicament, if he owes anyone, it is Russia, for help both military and diplomatic…

JohnGalt23 on August 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

the US intel community says the Assad connection is no “slam dunk”

Who would ever think such a thing ever is?

verbaluce on August 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Thankfully, those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie

While still looking like a dishonest ass like you always do, lol.

xblade on August 29, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now?

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Bigoted troll is trolling.

farsighted on August 29, 2013 at 1:07 PM

“The Founding Fathers were, as in most things, profoundly right. That’s why I want to be very clear: if the President takes us to [war] without Congressional approval, I will call for his impeachment….The Constitution is clear. And so am I.” — Joe Biden

Well, isn’t that special…

Don’t mess with my coup coup?

Coup, coup, kerchew.

Well, Joe…what the hell you waiting for…not like Obama hasn’t done this before…stand up, Joe!

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed. Thankfully, those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Holder and your Cult Leader decided just the other day that Bush and Chaney and Rumsfeld and Colon Blow Powell and Condi Rice are not “war criminals”. You must be so proud of that decision.

Obama DOJ Asks Court to Grant Immunity to George W. Bush For Iraq War

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., (Aug. 20, 2013) — In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.

-snip-

“The DOJ claims that in planning and waging the Iraq War, ex-President Bush and key members of his Administration were acting within the legitimate scope of their employment and are thus immune from suit,” chief counsel Inder Comar of Comar Law said.

The “Westfall Act certification,” submitted pursuant to the Westfall Act of 1988, permits the Attorney General, at his or her discretion, to substitute the United States as the defendant and essentially grant absolute immunity to government employees for actions taken within the scope of their employment.

Better put some ice on that, Perfesser!

Del Dolemonte on August 29, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Republicans care about verified chemical weapons now? The times, they sure have changed. Thankfully, those of us who oppose unilateral war under *all* Administrations have the benefit of not looking like hypocrites right now.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

You look more like the fool than the hypocrite, and not just right now, but in general…

jimver on August 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Better put some ice on that, Perfesser!

Del Dolemonte on August 29, 2013 at 1:38 PM

He reserves that treatment for his ballz :)…since they do most of the thinking for the Professor, it so happens that they get over-heated and even burn out at times…

jimver on August 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Regarding the pic, is the man in the WH showing how high he feels when not the center of attention?

avagreen on August 29, 2013 at 3:51 PM

As evil as he may be, Assad is fighting his war like Americans should be fighting ours (barring, of course, the alleged use of bio/chems): By killing everything that is not appropriately dressed. [Ref. Sherman's March to the Sea, Dresden, Hiroshima etc.] We should not open this box! —Regular Right Guy …Full Caf Americano

Mornin Mojo on August 29, 2013 at 4:49 PM

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