Benghazi haunting Obama effort to win support for Syria strike

 'red line'

‘red line’

From TheHill.com, By Julian Pecquet, 09/08/13 – The first anniversary of the Benghazi, Libya terror attack is making it more  difficult for President Obama to win support for a military strike against  Syria.

Tea Party lawmakers say the Obama administration lacks credibility on Syria  because of the Benghazi attack.

“I  can’t discuss the possibility of the U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war  without also talking about Benghazi,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) told Secretary  of State John Kerry during a testy exchange at Wednesday’s House Foreign Affairs  hearing.

“The administration has a serious credibility issue with the American people  due to the unanswered questions surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi  almost a year ago,” Duncan said.

Duncan’s line of questioning drew the angriest response of the hours-long  hearing.

“We’re talking about people being killed by gas and you want to go talk about  Benghazi and Fast and Furious,” Kerry replied. “We don’t deserve to drag this  into yet another Benghazi discussion when the real issue here is whether or not  the Congress is going to stand up for international norms.”

The sharp exchange underscored the deep disconnect between the administration  and congressional Republicans over Benghazi.

Those who want to punish the Bashar Assad regime for its alleged use of  chemical weapons have trouble seeing any connection with Benghazi. But many  Americans are convinced of a nefarious cover-up involving covert CIA operations  and gun-running to Syria.

Benghazi will share the spotlight with Syria on Wednesday, when thousands  come to Capitol Hill for events commemorating the one-year anniversary.

For the first time, the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack will  also be marked by people who want the nation to remember Benghazi.

Special Forces Speaks, a group of special forces veterans, is sending about  50 supporters to Congress early next week to press lawmakers to vote “no” on  Syria, the group told The Hill. The veterans will be targeting House Republicans  and urging them to resist any intervention in Syria until after Congress creates  a select committee to investigate Benghazi and the panel’s findings are made  public.

“It’ll help us determine all the players in this [Syria] conflict,” said the  group’s political director, Larry Ward. “We need a clear picture.”

Duncan seemed to agree at last week’s hearing.

“The American people deserve answers about Benghazi before we move forward  with military involvement in Syria’s civil war,” he said.

Ward said his group’s members overwhelming oppose intervention in Syria. The  Syria debate, he said, “is fueling the grassroots and fueling the calls for an  investigation into Benghazi because our foreign policy is a disaster.”

“All we’re doing is making the rest of the world angry at us,” he said.

Those sentiments are widely shared by Tea Party Republicans on Capitol Hill.  Some 131 House members – 100 Republicans and 31 Democrats – were leaning “no” as  of Friday afternoon, according to The Hill’s whip list, versus only 31 leaning  “yes.”

Some lawmakers have gone as far as suggesting Obama’s call for military  action is timed to detract attention from Benghazi and other issues they deem to  be “scandals.” President Bill Clinton faced similar accusations in 1998 when he  ordered strikes against Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan.

“With the president’s red line, why was there no call for military response  [after reports of chemical weapons use] in April?” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)  asked Kerry on Wednesday. “Was it delayed to divert attention today from the  Benghazi, IRS, NSA scandals, the failure of Obamacare enforcement, the tragedy  of the White House-drafted sequestration, or the upcoming debt limit vote?”

Others have been more diplomatic.

“Secretary Kerry, you spoke about how the use of this gas breached the norms  of civilized behavior,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.). “As I look at this,  that same line of reasoning should have applied to Benghazi.

“The assassination of a diplomat breaches norms that were recognized probably  far longer than norms against use of sarin gas. And yet the U.S. has not acted  to avenge the death of the four Americans, including our ambassador, who were  massacred in Benghazi.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/320813-benghazi-anniversary-haunting-obama-effort-to-win-support-for-syria-strike#ixzz2eIimHiYn Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

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One response

  1. This article has hit the nail squarely on the head in this writers opinion. Syria is tailor-made to draw attention away from the Treasonous scandals of Benghazi, IRS, NSA, and Fast anf Furious. The unvarnished truth about the 4 listed scandals would sink many political careers. That is why we Americans will never get the true facts of these mis-adventures.

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