Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Panetta: Arming Syrian Rebels a good idea

The appearances of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee didn't just reveal that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were nowhere to be found during the attacks. Panetta also revealed that he supported arming the Syrian rebels, which immediately made Clinton's interaction with Rand Paul at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month more relevant.

First, what Panetta told McCain, via the BBC:
In testimony to Congress, Leon Panetta said he still supported the supply of weapons to rebels fighting forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The plan was proposed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus, then director of the CIA, but reportedly rebuffed by the White House.

The US has so far offered only diplomatic backing to Syria's rebels.
Later in the day, McCain was interviewed by Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren. Here is a relevant portion of the transcript:
VAN SUSTEREN: And the reason that I ask you about the question what was the CIA doing is because one of the other issues that came up is arming of the Syrian rebels, a question that came up, and there had been a long controversy whether or not the United States was going to arm the Syrian rebels or not and who was on board and who wasn't on board. And there has been some suggestion that through that consulate that weapons were being sent through Turkey to the Syrians. And I'm curious whether or not that consulate was used to channel weapons to the Syrian rebels for one. And number two, what do you think about the response from General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta about weapons to Syrian rebels?

MCCAIN: Well, there were published reports that some of the arms were coming from Libya that were arriving for the resistance in Syria. But that information that we had was not through the United States government, but through other sources, but I'm not clear on that.
Of course, the way to arm the Syrian rebels was ostensibly through Turkey, which leads to Paul's interaction with Hillary Clinton during sworn testimony. When he asked Clinton about the CIA Annex being used to ship weapons from Libya to Turkey, which would then be sent to Syria.

Clinton committed perjury if she knew the answer to Paul's question because she said she didn't know anything about such shipments. Here is an exchange between Paul and Fox News Channel's Martha McCallum before the hearings yesterday.

Hats off to Paul for pressing on this issue.

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