Cutting Aid to Syrian Rebels: Serious Business Or More Political Slight of Hand?

Posted: November 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last month members of the House and Senate intelligence panels voted to place severe restrictions on the Obama administrations plan to arm Syrian rebels.  This was done out of fear that the weapons would wind up in the hands of Al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups, instead of true rebel fighters. The committees voted privately on this matter, on the basis of classified information, so the true extent of the restrictions remain unknown. Inside sources state that the restrictions will prevent the planned delivery of arms. Without going into great detail, a Senate panel insider stated the committee, “voted to allow them to make some movement on this, but it’s restricted,”….“It was a very restrictive amount.”In June, the White House announced its intention to arm the Syrian rebels after it determined chemical weapons had been used by the Assad regime. Many lawmakers are supportive of arming the rebels, but on Tuesday it was stated that more evidence was required to ensure that the plan has been thoroughly reviewed before putting it into action. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) said, “Whatever we do, we have to make sure we do it right,”…. “If we are going to arm, we have to make sure we have control of what arms are out there and how people are trained to use those arms so they don’t fall into the hands of our enemy, Al-Qaeda.” Rep. Ruppersberger is the ranking  member of the House Intelligence Committee. Ruppersberger confirmed that his committee is providing oversight in this matter, but would give no further details.

As is the norm in D.C., there are other committee leaders whose feathers are ruffled by being left out of this discussion. Eliot Engel (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs ranking member, wants more extensive information for his committee. The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker (R-TN), is accusing this administration of attempting to gain funding behind the closed doors of the Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), member of the Intelligence Committee stated,“It’s not clear to me that the administration has a workable policy,” and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), stated, “We don’t have a clear picture of what the decision is by the administration.”  Ruppersberger is falling back to that worn out “this situation is too intricate, too complex” excuse.  It seems to this reporter that one would want as many qualified people working on this to get to a workable solution.

It is widely known, and has been reported on many occasions that Al-Qaeda is intertwined with many of the so called “rebel” forces in Syria. By seeking to hide behind the Intelligence Committee to covertly fund these “rebels”, is Obama trying to stage another end run around Congress to further his agenda of throwing the Middle East into total chaos and war?

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