Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, once among the most ardent supporters of the Obama White House, is breaking ranks and calling out the Obama administration for manipulating intelligence data in order to convince lawmakers to allow military action against Syria. While such accusations have been whispered for day behind closed doors, Grayson is among the first lawmakers to make them public, and the accusation itself is possibly the most serious ever leveled against the administration among a member of the president’s own political party.
Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who is aggressively lobbying against a military strike on Syria, says the Obama administration has manipulated intelligence to push its case for U.S. involvement in the country’s two-year civil war.
Mr. Obama Suffers From “Severe Detachment From Reality”
Grayson made the accusation in an interview published Wednesday by The Atlantic and offered more detail in a Thursday discussion with U.S. News. He says members of Congress are being given intelligence briefings without any evidence to support administration claims that Syrian leader Bashar Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons.
Grayson said he cannot discuss the classified briefings, but noted details in the administration’s public, non-classified report are being contested.
The White House released its four-page public report Aug. 30, arguing that Assad’s government killed 1,429 people on Aug. 21 with a planned chemical weapon attack. Evidence cited in that report included “intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used.”
Grayson, however, says “the claim has been made that that information was completely mischaracterized.”
He points to an article published by The Daily Caller that alleges the communications actually showed Syrian officers were surprised by the alleged chemical weapon attack. The communications, according to unnamed sources paraphrased in article, were intercepted by Israeli intelligence and “doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion.”
“What they say in The Daily Caller is that [intercepted communications] would lead one to the opposite conclusion,” Grayson said. “I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, [but] there’s a very simple way to find out, that’s for the administration to show me and other members of Congress” translated transcripts of the intercepts, he said.
Members of Congress are “not being given any of the underlying elements of the intelligence reports,” according to Grayson. He’s not sure if the information will come before the votes on a proposed strike next week.
The anti-war Democrat said there are other examples of intelligence he believes has been manipulated to favor war.
“Well yes,” Grayson said, “but I’m very constrained about talking about it. … This has become a fundamental problem with our system: The information we do get is limited, but beyond that we are very constrained in discussing it.”
…”We can’t go to war to spare anyone embarrassment,” Grayson told U.S. News. “That would be utterly immoral, we’re talking about shedding American blood. … The president has already made that argument and it’s falling on deaf ears.” LINK
This was the line that really jumped out for me:“…the communications actually showed Syrian officers were surprised by the alleged chemical weapon attack. ”If true, this would strongly support corroborate information coming from Russia, and explain other U.S. ally nations’ unwillingness to support a military strike against Syria. Now consider that reader – either the Obama White House is willing to place American lives at risk on the basis of a lie, or at best, or they are equally willing to do so without doing any real due diligence to fine out the facts. The motivation for THAT scenario points to something much deeper, and likely far more troubling, than the potential Syrian conflict alone.
The one year anniversary of the Benghazi Massacre is quickly approaching…