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"How Can You Just *sit* There When People We Aren't Killing Are Dying?"

Posted on the 29 August 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

That question (and more) via Mark Shea's Facebook response to this piece over at ABC News:

The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack 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.

President Barack Obama declared unequivocally Wednesday that the Syrian government was ObamaSyriaresponsible, while laying the groundwork for an expected U.S. military strike.

"We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out," Obama said in an interview with "NewsHour" on PBS. "And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences."

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 includes a few key caveats — including acknowledging that the U.S. intelligence community no longer has the certainty it did six months ago of where the regime's chemical weapons are stored, nor does it have proof Assad ordered chemical weapons use, according to two intelligence officials and two more U.S. officials.

But one senior U.S. official who read the report said Thursday that despite those caveats, the report assesses with "high confidence" that the Syrian government was responsible for firing a barrage of rockets Aug. 21 that hit suburbs east and west of Damascus, filled with a chemical weapon — echoing the point of view of the administration. The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders has said the strikes killed 355 people.

In the meantime, a Syrian envoy is suggesting it's the rebels using chemical weapons:

Syria asked the United Nations on Wednesday to order chemical experts in Damascus to investigate three rebel attacks in which he said Syrian troops "inhaled poisonous gas," while Britain pushed for the Security Council to act on the crisis.

The United States dismissed the appeal by Syria's U.N. envoy, saying it had refused chemical experts access to Syria to investigate allegations poisonous gas had been used repeatedly in the country's 2-1/2-year-old civil war.

The United Nations has received at least 14 reports of possible chemical weapons use in Syria. After months of diplomatic wrangling, a team of experts, led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, arrived in Syria on August 18.

The U.N. team was initially going to look into three incidents, but its priority became investigating an alleged gas attack in the rebel-held suburbs of Damascus last week, which activists say killed hundreds of civilians.

Assad's government denies responsibility for the attack, and, like Russia, has suggested the rebels may be responsible.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said he has written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ask that Sellstrom's team also "investigate three heinous incidents that took place in the countryside of Damascus on (August) 22nd, 24th and 25th where members of the Syrian army inhaled poisonous gas."

Now I think it's fair to question Mr. Ja'afari's assertions and his credibility in all this but keep in mind, the rebels fighting against Assad's regime have their own credibility issues.

All the more reason for America to sit this one out.

Let's hope our leaders will do just that.

And for those who perhaps can't see the whole of Mr. Shea's facebook response, here's what he fully said with tongue firmly planted in cheek:

Something must done. Bombing is something! Therefore we will bomb one or both sides in the hope of killing somebody bad! How can you just *sit* there when people we aren't killing are dying?

Sums it up.

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