Exclusive: Official Washington’s neocons love to condemn President Obama for not enforcing his “red line” after a sarin attack in Syria in 2013, even though one neocon now admits that U.S. intelligence lacked the proof, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic has penned an opus on President Barack Obama’s foreign policy which starts with a long segment dissecting Obama’s supposed failure to enforce his “red line” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using sarin gas to kill hundreds of civilians outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013. For Official Washington’s foreign-policy elite, Obama’s flinching from a bombing campaign against Assad was a historical inflection point for which Obama deserves hearty condemnation.
But if you read far enough into this story of Obama’s “feckless” behavior, you encounter a curious admission from Goldberg: that U.S. intelligence was unsure whether Assad was responsible for the attack.
As Goldberg writes, “Obama was … unsettled by a surprise visit early in the week from James Clapper, his director of national intelligence, who interrupted the President’s Daily Brief, the threat report Obama receives each morning from Clapper’s analysts, to make clear that the intelligence on Syria’s use of sarin gas, while robust, was not a ‘slam dunk.
Read the resat here: