I don’t know how many news consumers snacked on this AP morsel Sunday, but serious parsing is necessary to fully appreciate the "media message" layered over the political cow pie...
US: 'Common-sense test' holds Assad responsible
September 08, 2013 11:23 AM EST
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House asserted Sunday that a "common-sense test" dictates the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack that President Barack Obama says demands a U.S. military response.
Let's stop right there. Who's "common-sense test" has been administered here? Yours? Mine? Obama's? I wasn't asked. You probably weren't either. That leaves Obama and there is nothing common or sensical about this asshat's testing criteria.
Void of "common-sense" is proven with the "demands" for "a U.S. military response". Why is one necessary? When did the US become the World Cop? Where is the Constitutional Authority to intervene in another soverign coujntry's civil war? Because Assad is a jerk? A bad man? Refuses to step down? The same has been said about Obama. What country gets to lob a few missiles at the DC suburbs to "send a strong message"? When will the UN begin auditing the FED? Monitoring voting machines? Inspecting the NSA? Or is Obama's America "more equal" than the lessor countries that can't point to the same nuclear warhead count? Is "Might makes Right" just common-sense?
But Obama's top aide says the administration lacks "irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence" that skeptical Americans, including lawmakers who will start voting on military action this week, are seeking.
"This is not a court of law. And intelligence does not work that way," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said, part of a five-network public relations blitz Sunday to build support for limited strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"The common-sense test says he is responsible for this. He should be held to account," McDonough said of the Syrian leader who for two years has resisted calls from inside and outside his country to step down.
Thanks, Denis for that simply marvelous non-sequitur. The court of public opinion is not confined to a brick-and-mortor coutroom any more so than "intelligence [sic]...works that way". There is the Rule of Law, the Constitution and a myriad of statutes that govern what the President can/cannot do. Even with the questionable constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution, morality must play a role if America insists on casting itself as the World's Conscience. Even ignoring something as pointy-headed as Morals and Morality, "common-sense" doesn't trump fact in or out of a courtroom. To act without facts in this matter is hardly "Common Sense On Parade".
The U.S., citing intelligence reports, says the lethal nerve agent Sarin was used in an Aug. 21 attack outside Damascus, and that 1,429 people died, including 426 children. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which collects information from a network of anti-government activists, says it has so far only been able to confirm 502 dead.
The use of nerve gas is not in dispute. Who put it there is and as of this writing, no answers have been conclusive - altho there are credible reports emerging that the Rebels themselves pulled it off.. While the search goes on for a conclusive answer, let's re-visit that Common-Sense thingy. So the Big Me is in a righteous snit over Sarin and the slaughter of hundreds of children, thus "demanding" retaliation on the Bad Ass-ad. How about Obama's Dead Children Count? Thanks to predator drones strikes in Afghanistan and other garden spots, children just as young and innocent, along with mothers and seniors have been slaughtered via Obama's unique Baseball Card Drone Strike Policy that even caught the attention of the New York Times. Words fail - but "hypocrite", "liar" and "murderer" sound fitting to me.
In an interview Sunday, Assad told U.S. journalist Charlie Rose there is not conclusive evidence about who is to blame and again suggested the rebels were responsible. From Beirut, Rose described his interview that is set to be released Monday, on the CBS morning program that Rose hosts with the full interview set to air on Rose's PBS program.
At the same time, Obama has planned his own public relations effort. He has scheduled five network interviews on Monday and then a speech to the nation from the White House on Tuesday, the eve of the first votes in Congress.
Obama faces a tough audience on Capitol Hill. A survey by The Associated Press shows that House members who are staking out positions are either opposed to or leaning against Obama's plan for a military strike by more than a 6-1 margin.
On Saturday, a U.S. official released a DVD compilation of videos showing attack victims that the official said were shown to senators during a classified briefing on Thursday. The images have become a rallying point for the administration. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, also posted videos on the committee's website.
"Those videos make it clear to people that these are real human beings, real children, parents being affected in ways that are unacceptable to anybody, anywhere by any standards," Secretary of State John Kerry said in Paris. "And the United States of America that has always stood with others to say we will not allow this — this is not our values, it's not who we are."
Taking a "keen sense for the obvious" cue from WH chief of staff McDonough, Feinstein plays the Shocking & Awing "Sympathy" card: "These...are real human beings, real children, parents...affected in ways that are unacceptable to anybody...". So children and innocent by-standers who are gassed is bad and requires strong retaliation. But children and innocents unknowingly is the impact zone of a predator drone are just...."collateral damage"? Are children killed by bullets OK? Predator strike - OK? BATF/FBI (see Mr. Carmel, Waco, TX 1993) OK?
Looks as if Obama doesn't have exclusive rights to hypocrisy and Ms. Feinstein needs to brush up on her morals.
But McDonough conceded the United States doesn't have concrete evidence Assad was behind the chemical attacks...(emphasis mine)
"The evidence is not as strong as the public statements that the president and the administration have been making," said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. "There are some things that are being embellished in the public statements. ..."
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., said "they have evidence showing the regime has probably the responsibility for the attacks."
While scant, it is nice to see a smidgen of good (not "common") sense, logic and appreciation for facts is still gasping inside the Logic Free Zone.
McDonough, an Obama foreign policy adviser dating back to his 2008 presidential campaign, said the dots connect themselves.
The material "was delivered by rockets — rockets which we know the Assad regime has and we have no indication that the opposition has."
McDonough doesn't do much "show prep". Even the MSM and others have reported about "home-made" rebel rockets being present as possible delivery vehicles and Sarin gas is both available and easily made. It is that heady combination of Hubris and Ludicrous that permits McDonough, Feinstein and others to make these farcical statements.
At the same time, McDonough acknowledged the risks that military action could drag the U.S. into the middle of a brutal civil war and endanger allies such as Israel with a retaliatory attack.
The U.S. is "planning for every contingency in that regard and we'll be ready for that..."
Vice President Joe Biden planned to host a dinner Sunday night for a group of Senate Republicans.
Based on this administration's performance record, I suspect Biden's Sunday night "Road Apple a la Horse Squeeze" will be the most successful event in this entire matter.
A House vote appears likely during the week of Sept. 16.
Let's see if Truth survives this avalanche of political bullshit.