Obama Administration to Brief Lawmakers on Syria Response on Thursday

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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House on Aug. 26, 2013

As President Barack Obama continues to formulate a response to the apparent use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, senior Obama Administration officials will hold a briefing for congressional lawmakers on Thursday on the range of retaliatory options, a White House official told TIME.

The Administration will brief the congressional leadership of both parties, the official said, as well as the chairs and ranking members of the relevant national-security subcommittees. Administration officials have already held consultations with key members of Congress, but some, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, have requested additional information about the President’s objectives in Syria.

(MORE: How Congress Will Handle a Strike in Syria)

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden repeated on Wednesday evening that the President has yet to make a decision on how to respond to the attack, which killed hundreds of Syrians on the outskirts of Damascus.

“The President continues to review options with his national-security team, and senior Administration officials from the White House, State Department, Defense Department and Intelligence Community are continuing to reach out to bipartisan House and Senate leadership, leadership of the relevant committees, and other members of Congress,” Hayden said hours after Boehner sent a letter to the White House requesting additional information about the responses under consideration. “The views of the Congress are important to this process, so we will be continuing to engage with them as the President reaches a decision on the appropriate U.S. response.”

(MORE: 6 Ways Syria 2013 Isn’t Iraq 2003)

A senior Administration official said as soon as the intelligence community develops a formal assessment of the chemical-weapons attack, the Administration will provide that classified information to Congress. The official added that a nonclassified version would be released to the public — most likely before the end of the week.

In an interview with PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, Obama defended his most likely course of action — a carefully limited air strike designed to punish the Assad regime, but not precipitate regime change — from criticism that it may be too timid.

“I have not made a decision,” Obama told Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. “But I think it’s important that if, in fact, we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons, then the Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal, that in fact, it better not do it again. And that doesn’t solve all the problems inside of Syria, and, you know, it doesn’t obviously end the death of innocent civilians inside of Syria.”

VIDEO: Striking Syria: What Obama Can and Can’t Do

42 comments
Yoshi
Yoshi

NO MORE WAR!

jhonflin
jhonflin

What matters is that there is no grounds for the US to make war on Syria. It has not attacked us; it does not threaten us. On the contrary, by arming and training the jihadist rebels fighting against the Syria government, it is the US that is threatening Syria. It is the US that is the aggressor. It is the US government that through its actions opens the US to all manner of retaliation in response to its initiation of aggression in Syria and elsewhere: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2013/august/28/who-cares-if-someone-somewhere-used-chemical-weapons.aspx

RPI Director Daniel McAdams discuss how we got to this mess in Syria -- the lies behind the Administration's push to war -- with VoiceAmerica Radio's Jay Taylor, host of Turning Hard Times in Good Times: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2013/august/28/rpis-mcadams-talks-syria-with-voiceamericas-jay-taylor.aspx

jhonflin
jhonflin

Ben Swann Exclusive: Congressman Says Obama Strike Against Syria Would Be “Morally Wrong” (Video): http://www.dailypaul.com/297276/ben-swann-exclusive-congressman-says-obama-strike-against-syria-would-be-morally-wrong-video   Mekdad: Syria submitted proof of chemical weapons use by terrorists. Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Fayssal Mekdad, stressed that the US and its allies had no proof of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government and they were encouraging the terrorists to use these weapons. He clarified that Syria submitted to the UN investigation mission proof on the use of chemical weapons by the armed terrorist groups in all sites: http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/08/29/499784.htm  Iran Can Finesse Obama's Legacy.  President Barack Obama is setting a new precedent in America’s history as an imperialist power: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2013/august/28/iran-can-finesse-obamas-legacy.aspx

BobJan
BobJan

Obama needs to present the facts and then let the Congress  tell him whether or not to do the dirty deed. Since Congress never makes any decisions regarding anything they should just all quit and then we can blame Obama for everything like they want to.

Openminded1
Openminded1

That will be interesting, I wonder if the muslim Brotherhood will be part of the process and if Rev Al will be there along with his mother in law to help him make the right move reference to Syria.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@PennAitor First learn to spell moron, second I do not drink and just wait and see what happens in Syria dummy. And by the way have you ever heard of the word sarcastic ? because  that is what I was being with the exception of the MB. It is over your head stupid.