Officials Warn Syria Chemical Weapons Intel Is ‘No Slam Dunk’

Doubts remain among intelligence officials about Assad's role

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Mohamed Abdullah / REUTERS

A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus, Aug. 29.

Not so fast: American officials tell the Associated Press that the information linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to last week’s chemical weapons attack is not a “slam dunk.”

Citing unnamed intelligence officials, the AP reports that there are still doubts about who has access to Syria’s chemical weapons and whether Assad himself ordered the attack. Word of the doubts come as the U.S. seems poised for some kind of military response to the attack last week that killed hundreds of civilians. President Barack Obama said Wednesday he has “concluded” that Assad was responsible for the attack, one of the deadliest in the country’s three-year civil war, but Obama also said he still hasn’t decided on a military action.

The phrase “slam dunk” is a throwback to wording used by then-CIA Director George Tenet’s assurances that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in 2002. That intelligence, which helped spur the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, turned out to be incorrect.

[AP]

42 comments
JakKovacik
JakKovacik

Thanks god Bush is no longer in charge and McCain and Romney were never elected. bet365 bono

adamhollandblog
adamhollandblog

@lewsentme No, not a possibility at all. More like ideological bias shading toward conspiratorial paranoia.

Donplus
Donplus

How instructive it would be to have an open debate in Congress in which many Republicans used to arguing against President Obama's policies take his side on moving ahead with military options in Syria.


With the dynamics of many Democrats opposing the President on Syria, this could be the first real bipartisan vote in several years on a major issue even if that vote is non binding in the separation of powers between executive and legislative branches.

KurtHarlacher
KurtHarlacher

@DLoesch As important this issue is, why isn't Obama giving this speech? Another example of leading from behind. Push Kerry out there!

nightflyblog
nightflyblog

@DLoesch pffft, Kerry thinks "intel" is the name of the guy who built his laptop.

P226_Sig
P226_Sig

@DLoesch Doesn't fit narrative....like guns or anything else they abhor.

DanG_The1st
DanG_The1st

@DLoesch interesting timing, this would help Barry make the red line a little blurry wouldn't it?

slimgana
slimgana

@jbcadier @SAMIACHA il est bien évident que les djihadistes soutenus par le Qatar ont gazé les civils pr pousser l'occident ds la guerre

LugandP
LugandP

@jbcadier @Demazerolles C'est pourquoi ils sont embêtés pour une intervention ! Ils sont allés trop vite en besogne comme d'habitude

Chambssy
Chambssy

@jbcadier @AniYael mais alors de quoi nous parliez vous donc de l'ONU il y a 1 h, avec le robot surexcite de BFM TV ?

Chris12
Chris12

Why the heck would a world leader use chemical weapons 2 days after United Nation officials come to Syria to prove he has them...

"Oh I know, I will hide them by using them?? purrrrlease, it is insulting...." Wag The Dog for 7 year olds..."

jamesbrue8
jamesbrue8

Why would anyone want to reference the same phrase from such a botched intelligence report like Iraq? Don't people study history at all?

amansopinion
amansopinion

@TIME If we want to "punish" the use of chemical weapons, let's make sure we have the right culprit. For all I know, it could be Al-Qaeda.

Yoshi
Yoshi

Waiiiit for it..............

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Thanks god Bush is no longer in charge and McCain and Romney were never elected. We would have had troops on the ground with no idea what they were there for by now.

ishikabe
ishikabe

Basically the NSA might have failed again. 

lewsentme
lewsentme

@adamhollandblog Thx, not sure what i was thinking. Al Queda would never do such a thing. TV says Assad did it, good enough for me.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mantisdragon91 Moron as you are would say that, Obama you great black savior the leader of the Muslims in America will show you who pulls his strings in a day or two dummy.

BobJan
BobJan

@Openminded1 @mantisdragon91  Name calling, how childish. Accomplishes nothing but hatred which you're good at. Look at it this way.  "One day I couldn't spell Congress Person, now I am one". "One day I couldn't spell President, now I am one". People in these positions have no training other than they think they're smarter than the next person. If Congress and the President didn't owe their incumbency to their donors they would probably make "better decisions". But they do owe their job to their donors so they do make decisions based on their contributors. All "politicians" kneel at the ATM machines set up by their donors.  "After the votes are counted, the voters don't count".

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mantisdragon91 @Openminded1The display is fine for me and if there is anything I am it is secure, You dragon with your love for black men seem to have a problem identifying with your sexual desires for black men. I told you it is ok for you to like black men nothing to be ashamed about. I as a black man do not go that way, but to each there own. So you keep posting too let me know how your search for black love goes. good luck.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mantisdragon91 @Openminded1 Bigotry a black man saying he does not Obama is bigotry. How stupid is that, because I am black I have to like a black what a moron. that is the trouble with blacks and the point I made blacks will vote for a black even if it where OJ. You as i stated must love black men i have never seen a white man defending black men like you do. Its is not normal even if you date black men you are over the top.there are a lot of black men out there for you chill out.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mantisdragon91 @Openminded1 you are not just dumb you are blind. #1 his dad was a muslim #2his brother is working for the MB in Kenya moron look it up. #3this guy never stop talking about muslims even yesterday at the MLK outing he had to mention Muslims. And what is is full name. Gey real you dumb silly little black man lover. He is a muslim and I would not talk about discredit if I were you wait a couple of days.

BobJan
BobJan

@Openminded1 @BobJan @mantisdragon91 little pantywastes like you are the rookies. It's a wonder you can see past your fogged up eyes to see anything but hate. You think that yelling about something that you don't like will change those things you hate? Having a rational discussion and bringing out points you disagree with is much better than yelling all the time. When you yell, no one listens. I've been around the block a few times and that's why I don't yell. Bob, 1st Cav, Vietnam 67/68

Openminded1
Openminded1

@BobJan @Openminded1 @mantisdragon91 Nice try Bobby you are arookie at this I see so give it up you are no match for me. You are the kind of dummy that votes party lines no matter who is running. You bleeding heart liberals all the same sissy little wimp followers. I do not vote along party lines not the GOP nor the liberal moron way. I vote for whom I think is the best person and that was not Obama or the cult member mormon Mitt. and i took my ass hole meds they do not help I am still a ass hole but a realist who says it like it is not your PC bull crap Rhetoric.

BobJan
BobJan

@Openminded1 @BobJan @mantisdragon91  I didn't realize they let people in an asylum use computers, but we learn something new every day. They must have forgotten to give you med's today. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@BobJan @Openminded1 @mantisdragon91 Another moron weak suck, no kidding about political types  moron nothing childish about saying it like it is. PC does not work everyone who uses it is full of bull. "After all the votes are counted, the voters don't count" really no kidding, after the white liberals voted the racist muslim into office his true color came out only the black half now that he duped you morons he no longer needs the white vote just black approval before he leaves office.