The Obama Administration, in media-marketing parlance, is trying to “sell” a war.
But the American public and its caveat-emptor Congress aren’t buying.
The administration’s so-called product — a bombing campaign in Syria — has a series of non-disclosure clauses bound up with an implicit government promise: “trust us.”
Last week, at hearings of a U.S. House and Senate committee, the administration and some backers talked compelling evidence against Bashar Assad’s regime.
But the most compelling information about chemical weapons use in Syria was classified. When it was about to be made public or skeptics asked good questions, Barack Obama’s team said answers needed to be reserved for closed-session briefings.
This happened at least 36 times in two days, according to committee hearing transcripts.
Again, for emphasis: “classified” or “closed session” meetings were invoked or referenced 36 times in a debate about literal life-and-death policy, war.
“The Administration has got to make more evidence public,” U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a hawkish Miami Republican who listened to the presentation before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday, told The Herald.
“They’re coming to us always classified and classified and classified. And it drives us crazy,” she said. “You’ve got to be open. You’ve got to convince the American people.”