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Democrat Alan Grayson: Obama’s case for striking Syria “flatly false.”

@MarcACaputo

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson criticized the case for war being made by his fellow Democrats in the Obama Administration by saying it’s not telling the truth that Syria’s use of chemical weapons is "undeniable."

“To say that it’s 'undeniable' is flatly false,” Grayson said Thursday on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. “The administration is only giving one side of the story." 

A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Orlando Democrat's comments were in direct response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent claim that it’s “undeniable” Syrian President Bashar al Assad used chemical weapons against rebels in his country.

“The secretary certainly overstated the evidence that this was a deliberate decision made by the high command in Syria,” Grayson said. “There’s all sorts of ambiguity regarding that particular point. The secretary said it was undeniable. It’s been denied. And in fact the Syrian government has said: A) they didn’t do it, B) they would never do it, C) they never will do it, and D) they’ve invited in U.N. inspectors to prove that.”

Grayson said the evidence is lacking and pointed out that the British government said the facts in Syria aren't so clear. United Nations inspectors are on the ground in Syria and have yet to make a determination. British members of Parliament voted Thursday to hold off on conducting military strikes in concert with the United States.

Grayson said it’s not certain if chemical weapons were even used. And even if the United Nation’s determined the poisons were employed, Grayson said, he wouldn’t consider voting to authorize military action in Syria unless the U.N. first approved a military strike.

That’s an unlikely decision by the United Nations because Syria’s allies, Russia and China, are expected to oppose military strikes on the Middle East country.

Grayson’s comments stand out for their clarity and because it shows that President Obama’s case for war will be tough to make in Congress. A coalition of Republican and Democratic members of congress are demanding a say in whether the U.S. would strike Syria.

Obama’s administration has suggested it might act unilaterally – a direct contradiction of his own position in 2007.

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama told the Boston Globe back then.

Since then, Obama reversed himself by taking action in Libya in 2011.

Not only are Democrats split over attacking Syria, Republicans are as well.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are anti-interventionist. Sen. John McCain of Arizona has called for more military action. And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Foreign Relations committee member who was conspicuously silent until Wednesday, said Obama needs to make his case and come before Congress.

Rubio faulted Obama for not acting more decisively more quickly.

“We are now left with no good options,” Rubio said in a statement.

“Failing to act would further embolden Assad and his Iranian sponsors, leaving the impression that America is feckless and impotent,” Rubio said. “And a limited attack would do nothing to change the dynamics of the conflict, but could trigger a broader and even more dangerous conflict in the region.”

Rubio’s fellow Florida Senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, has clearly called for a strike on Syria.

But Grayson made clear that he’s largely opposed and that he doesn’t want the United States to go it alone, in part because of the expense.

“I don’t know where we get this odd notion that every time we see something bad in the world we should bomb it,” Grayson said.

“In any case, even if we had undeniable evidence, the fact is it’s simply not our responsibility,” he said. “Sometimes, everyone needs to learn the principle: Mind your own business.”

Comments

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gary wendt

where did this straight-talking common sense guy come from? refreshing, even though i do not completely agree; he is on the right track to calm down the "undeniable" misinformation and the war machine always waiting impatiently in the wings...like the wings of death.

Mark Anderson

Conservatives have always like Alan Grayson and will be quoting him at length.

Phoenix Woman

Alan Grayson probably knows what the US media won't tell us except in the press equivalent of hushed whispers -- that this is all being orchestrated by the conservative Sunnis running Saudi Arabia.

They don't like the secularists in Syria, especially the Alawite Shiites of the Assad family. But they don't want to do more themselves than throw money at the Al-Qaeda-allied Sunni rebels there, not when they can get Western countries to intervene and take the blame. So they're using their influence with the US -- and their control of European oil -- to pressure the West into doing their bidding.

That's why the Saudis are trying to force the US and France into being the Al-Qaeda air force: So the Saudis can keep their own hands "clean".

Anarcissie

One valid point, made by a number of people from both parties in Congress, is that the Constitution does not give the president the power to order up wars on his own say-so. Someone should remind Mr. O of this fact.

miles

In a republic such as ours, willful ignorance and deliberate stupidity are not virtues.
“Sarin can be detected for up to months after its use,”
I saw this movie before I know how it ends. I guess its time to do to Obama what we should have done to Bush impeach him for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
The President will soon lie us into war.

lew


Obama should be impeached for continuing Bush's new interpretation of our Constitution. The rewrite they did in secret was effectively a coup, and the NSA has huge influence in our political-social-economic system because of the blackmail material that has resulted.

NSA is now the most powerful entity that has ever existed : it has blackmail material on every single person in the USA and very likely all telephone and internet users everywhere.

jenny wagner

Look what happened when countries "minded their own business" in WWII. How many would have survived if Germany would have been stopped sooner?

Dawit belay

We need job we are not world monter please go with the world
We have a lot of Paine in our hand?we are repleasing the same
Card.we can't leave with out war ?were is democracy in Saudi &
Others?

God bless USA

rick mcmullen

Mr. Grayson will you please continue your brave stand against this appalling war fervor? Someone needs to point out the folly of "sending signals, maintaining credibility and punishing" via military strikes. Lastly our "constitutional lawyer-president" erroneously feels that his office has vast war powers that it simply does not have. When will congress stand up to the executive branch in these matters.

Roy Griessmeyer

When you add up all the crimes and misdemeanors from the selected enforcement of laws for drugs, for gun violations, for alien criminal release, for IRS mis use, for punishing reporters....where DOES it end. The bill of particulars in Obama's case should have the Supreme Court demanding a case be brought immediately.

Lesley Emmington

Great comments on BBC this evening — thank you, thank you — one american/democrat who speaks with pride and clarity, understanding if U.S. exerts unilateral military power in Syria, with or without "boots on the ground", it will further cause for blowback.

plunk5t@aol.com

There is a video online asserting that the time-stamping of the videos purporting to be of victims of a poison gas attack was tampered with and that those videos were actually uploaded BEFORE the attack was supposed to have occurred.

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