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Published On: Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013

Senate moves forward to arm Syrian rebels in ‘classified vote’

Obama administration continues plans to provide weapons directly to the Syrian rebels.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence gave approval to the plan which was, unusually, allowed to classify their votes, presumably in order to insulate themselves from any repercussions from their constituents.

McClatchey reports:

There was no public debate and no public vote when one of the most contentious topics in American foreign policy was decided – outside of the view of constituents, who oppose the president’s plan to aid the rebels by 54 percent to 37 percent, according to a Gallup Poll last month.

In fact, ask individual members of the committee, who represent 117 million people in 14 states, how they stood on the plan to use the CIA to funnel weapons to the rebels and they are likely to respond with the current equivalent of “none of your business:” It’s classified.

Those were, in fact, the words Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the committee, used when asked a few days before the approval was granted to clarify her position for her constituents. She declined. It’s a difficult situation, she said. And, “It’s classified.”

Arm the Syrian rebels? The Senate voted yes, but kept the vote classified

Arm the Syrian rebels? The Senate voted yes, but kept the vote classified

“It’s like a pandemic in Washington, D.C., this idea that ‘I don’t have to say anything, I don’t have to justify anything, because I can say it’s secret,’” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank.

“Classification can be a convenient pretext for avoiding difficult questions,” said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy.

“There’s a lot that can be said about Syria without touching on classified, including a statement of general principles, a delineation of possible military and diplomatic options, and a preference for one or the other of them. So to jump to ‘national security secrecy’ right off the bat looks like an evasion.”

There was a push back to not fund the Syrian rebels after several disturbing videos captured them beheading a Catholic priest, executing Assad soldiers and even an act of cannibalism by one of their leaders – more here

Members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who refuse to reveal their position on Syrian arms include: Dianne Feinstein (D), John D. Rockefeller IV (D), Ron Wyden (D), Barbara A. Mikulski (D), Mark Udall (D), Mark Warner (D), Martin Heinrich (D), Angus King (I), Saxby Chambliss (R), Richard Burr (R), James E. Risch (R), Daniel Coats (R), Marco Rubio (R), Susan Collins (R), Tom Coburn (R), Harry Reid (D), Mitch McConnell (R), Carl Levin (D), and James Inhofe (R).

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Dispatch Radio: August 3, 2013 – Naghmeh Abedini details Pastor Saeed imprisonment in Iran, Daniel McAdams discusses Iran, Syria, Egypt, Benghazi and foreign policy - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Syria rebels vote kept classified […]

  2. Ron Paul Institute Director, Daniel McAdams, talks happenings in the Middle East and US Foreign Policy - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] presidential inauguration, Sen Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) saber rattling wanting war, the “classified” Senate hearings over arming the Syrian rebels, Egypt leadership shakeup and military coup and new revelations on the […]

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