Sen. Dianne Feinstein defends NSA and need for intelligence gathering

Senate Votes On Nomination Of Robert Wilkins For US Circuit Judge In DC

Sen. Dianne Feinstein defends NSA and need for intelligence gathering.

By Seema Mehta

February 19, 201410:19 p.m.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) offered a full-throated defense of the government’s collection of data on billions of American phone calls, saying Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s practices have safeguarded the nation without trampling on civil liberties.

“What keeps me up at night, candidly, is another attack against the United States. And I see enough of the threat stream to know that is possible,” Feinstein said at a Pacific Council on International Policy dinner in Century City.

She pointed to a warning Wednesday about potential bombs hidden in the shoes of passengers on flights bound for the United States.

“But the way we prevent another attack – and this is tricky – is intelligence,” she said. “You have to know what’s going to happen, because it’s too late otherwise.”

Feinstein’s firm support for the NSA’s tracking program has divided some of her most ardent backers, and in recent months her popularity in California has plunged to a historic low.

During the hourlong question-and-answer session, several people questioned Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, about the boundaries of intelligence gathering and about NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who used his position to collect classified information about NSA activities that he has since made public.

Snowden, Feinstein said, had other options to serve as a whistle-blower, such as turning to her or others in the government, instead of releasing the information and fleeing to Russia. And Americans already see far more intrusion into their lives from commercial sources, she said, noting that her daughter emailed a contractor about a bathroom faucet and then started receiving messages from other contractors.

“There are all kinds of things that are going on. And for some reason, the fear of our government for a bona fide reason, which is to prevent a terrorist attack, raising this kind of concern, when there are only 22 people in our country who have access to this database and every one of them is vetted,” she said.

She defended the oversight of the program, rejecting a suggestion recently made by PresidentObama that the data be held by telecommunications firms, as well as legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for a special committee to investigate the NSA. That, she said, would duplicate existing panels.

“That’s what we do,” Feinstein said in an interview.

At the dinner, Feinstein, recalling a recent emotional visit to the 9/11 memorial in New York, said she had only one goal: “I am really dedicated to doing whatever I can, within the law, to see that this never happens again in this country,” she said to applause.

Feinstein spoke to about 120 people dining on sea bass and risotto, a mix of the political (former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Roz Wyman, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor and congressional candidate Wendy Greuel) and Hollywood (studio officials, actress Morgan Fairchild).

The speech largely focused on foreign policy. Feinstein said the nation must have a “major” counter-terrorism effort in Syria and, along with other nations, must take action against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“How we do this, I can’t say,” she said. “I don’t think we can continue to sit and see what’s happening in Syria.”

Feinstein singled out Secretary of State John F. Kerry for praise.

“I don’t know anyone who has been more mission-directed as secretary of State than John Kerry,” she said.

In the interview, she said that was not a comparison to former Secretary of State and potential presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I think he’s different,” Feinstein said. “Hillary did a great deal, I think, in carrying the American mission abroad in the most positive way — to women, to minorities, to everybody. I think she’s just wonderful. What John has been doing is concentrating on specifics and going after them…. He’s got his hands on and he is indefatigable.”

Benghazi: Why it matters more than ever after Obama’s most blatant lie.

Inhofe rips ‘outrageous lie’ on Benghazi

By Rebecca Shabad

 

Getty Images

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Monday said President Obama lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi during an interview that aired before the Super Bowl.

Inhofe said the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya will “go down in history as the greatest cover-up,” and slammed Obama for claiming it was thoroughly investigated.

“It’s just an outrageous lie. It’s kind of hard to call it anything else. It’s kind of like ObamaCare and the things he said in the beginning and now he’s denying it,” Inhofe said during a radio interview on 1170 KFAQ’s “The Pat Campbell Show,” which based in Tulsa, Okla.

The 2012 attack on an American compound in Benghazi was staged on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Republicans argue the administration falsely claimed that the attack was a protest gone wrong in the immediate aftermath to try and protect the president.

Fox host Bill O’Reilly told Obama in the interview that “your detractors” believe the administration spun the narrative on the Benghazi attack for political reasons.

“They believe it because folks like you are telling them,” Obama responded, adding it took intelligence officials a while to confirm what had happened.

“What I am saying is ‘that is inaccurate.’ We revealed to the American people exactly what we understood at the time,” Obama said.

Inhofe said Monday he “applauds[s]” O’Reilly for pressing him on Benghazi, and that Fox News is the only station that “isn’t virtually owned” by Obama.

“I will say this till my dying day, I know people don’t realize it now, that’s going to go down in history as the greatest cover-up. And I’m talking about the Pentagon Papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate and the rest of them,” Inhofe said.

Poll: Americans find little to like in Washington.

RAGE 2014

Poll: Americans find little to like in Washington.

By NEDRA PICKLER and JENNIFER AGIESTA

Oct 11, 3:32 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are finding little they like about President Barack Obama or either political party, according to a new poll that suggests the possibility of a “throw the bums out” mentality in next year’s midterm elections

The AP-GfK poll finds few people approve of the way the president is handling most major issues and most people say he’s not decisive, strong, honest, reasonable or inspiring.

In the midst of the government shutdown and Washington gridlock, the president is faring much better than his party, with large majorities of those surveyed finding little positive to say about Democrats. The negatives are even higher for the Republicans across the board, with 4 out of 5 people describing the GOP as unlikeable and dishonest and not compassionate, refreshing, inspiring or innovative.

Negativity historically hurts the party in power – particularly when it occurs in the second term of a presidency – but this round seems to be hitting everyone. More people now say they see bigger differences between the two parties than before Obama was elected, yet few like what either side is offering. A big unknown: possible fallout from the unresolved budget battle in Washington.

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“There needs to be a major change,” said Pam Morrison, 56, of Lincoln, Neb., among those who were surveyed. “I’m anxious for the next election to see what kind of new blood we can get.”The numbers offer warning signs for every incumbent lawmaker, and if these angry sentiments stretch into next year, the 2014 elections could feel much like the 2006 and 2010 midterms when being affiliated with Washington was considered toxic by many voters. In 2006, voters booted Republicans from power in the House and Senate, and in 2010, they fired Democrats who had been controlling the House.

Morrison describes herself as a conservative Republican and said she is very concerned about how her adult children are going to afford insurance under Obama’s health care law. She places most of the blame for the shutdown on the president, but she also disapproves of the job Congress is doing. “I don’t think they’re working together,” Morrison said.

“Congress needs to take a look at their salaries, they need to take a cut to their salaries and they need to feel some of the pain the American people are feeling,” said Morrison, who is married to a government worker who she said has been deemed essential and is still on the job.

People across the political spectrum voiced disappointment.

Suzanne Orme, a 74-year-old retiree and self-described liberal who lives in California’s Silicon Valley, says the shutdown is more the Republican Party’s fault. “The Republicans seem to be a bunch of morons who aren’t going to give in for anything. I just don’t get it with them. They are just crazy,” she said.

But she also said she strongly disapproves of the way Obama is handling his job, and doesn’t find him likable, decisive, strong, honest, compassionate, refreshing, ethical, inspiring or reasonable. The only positive attribute she gave him was innovative.

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“It sounds like he’s kind of weak. He says one thing and does another,” Orme said after taking the survey. For example, she said Obama hasn’t made good on his promise to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and changed his position on whether people should be penalized for failing to get health insurance.

“I voted for him, and he’s turned out to be a big disappointment,” she said. “I mean, what’s the alternative?” Orme said it just seems to her that Washington is run by lobbyists and consumed by financial greed.

A bad sign for Democrats is that Obama has bled support among independents – 60 percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, while only 16 percent approve. As he began his second term in January, independents tilted positive, 48 percent approved and 39 percent disapproved.

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Neither party can win without the support of independents, with only about a third of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as Democrats and about a quarter as Republicans.

Obama has held onto support from Carol Cox, a 59-year-old independent from Hartville, Ohio, who says she feels the president helps people in need. She is happy to see his health care law that offers coverage to the uninsured and to people with pre-existing conditions, although she thinks the rollout could have been better. “I think he’s doing an OK job,” she said of the president.

But she is not happy with either party in Congress. She said the shutdown is affecting her family’s investments and she’s concerned about the future of Social Security. “I’m really angry and frustrated. I can’t believe how mad I am about this.”

As for next year’s congressional election, she said, “I would love to see just a total turnover.”

The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Oct. 3-7, 2013, using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based online panel. It involved online interviews with 1,227 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents.

The survey was designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. Those who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to get online at no cost.

Support for President Obama’s call for military airstrikes in Syria is sliding on Capitol HIll.

blog insert Jan 25

Support for President Obama’s call for military airstrikes in Syria is sliding on Capitol HIll.

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s push for congressional approval for military airstrikes in Syria ran aground Monday, forcing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to delay a procedural vote as opposition builds among senators in both parties.

Six senators, including five Republicans and one Democrat, announced Monday they would vote against a resolution authorizing the use of force — a strong indication that the administration’s efforts to build bipartisan support have been ineffective.

The Senate was scheduled to vote Wednesday on a procedural motion to begin formal debate on the resolution, but Reid announced late Monday the vote would be delayed in order to buy the president more time to make his case to senators and the public.

“What we need to do is make sure the president has the opportunity to speak to all 100 senators and all 300 million American people before we do this,” Reid said.

The delay also came amid reports that Russia was seeking a deal with Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons program. Obama said in television interviews Monday such a deal could circumvent the need for U.S. military intervention, but senators had not been briefed on the development and expressed skepticism.

“I have no idea what’s going on. It’d be great if the Russians could convince Assad to turn over his chemical weapons to the international community. That’d be a terrific outcome. I just am very dubious and skeptical,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Comments made Monday in London by Secretary of State John Kerry describing the military effort as “unbelievably small” also rankled lawmakers. Graham said Kerry “undercut everything the president has been doing for the last couple of days” to build support.

The rapid clip of senators announcing their opposition on Monday raised serious doubts that the president would be able to muster the necessary support in either the House or Senate. The GOP-led House is not likely to take up a resolution unless the Senate can pass it first. A final Senate vote was expected this weekend, but Reid’s decision to delay the formal debate puts the schedule in flux.

Five GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Mike Enzi of Wyoming all announced opposition Monday, as did Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Briefings by top administration officials and a weekend conversation with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel were not enough to sway Alexander. “I see too much risk that the strike will do more harm than good by setting off a chain of consequences that could involve American fighting men and women in another long-term Middle East conflict,” he said.

Heitkamp was the latest in a string of Democratic senators from conservative states to come out in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. Heitkamp and Manchin are working on an alternative resolution that would give the Assad government 45 days to sign an international chemical weapons ban and begin turning over its chemical weapons before authorizing U.S. military action.

Two Democratic senators, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, declared their support. However, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who voted for the resolution in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, cautioned Monday that he preferred pursuing diplomatic solutions.

The opposition underscored the uphill battle Obama faces on Capitol Hill to rally around his foreign policy agenda. The president will visit separately with Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans on Tuesday before his prime-time television address.

Graham, who supports the resolution, said he believed it could still pass the Senate: “If the president does a good job tomorrow night, yes.”

THE MILITARY IS EMBARRASSED AND DISMAYED BY OBAMA’S AMATEURISM.

TRAP BLOG

A war the Pentagon doesn’t want

By Robert H. Scales, Published: September 5

Robert H. Scales, a retired Army major general, is a former commandant of the U.S. Army War College.

The tapes tell the tale. Go back and look at images of our nation’s most senior soldier, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and his body language during Tuesday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Syria. It’s pretty obvious that Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, doesn’t want this war. As Secretary of State John Kerry’s thundering voice and arm-waving redounded in rage against Bashar al-Assad’s atrocities, Dempseywas largely (and respectfully) silent.

Dempsey’s unspoken words reflect the opinions of most serving military leaders. By no means do I profess to speak on behalf of all of our men and women in uniform. But I can justifiably share the sentiments of those inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who write the plans and develop strategies for fighting our wars. After personal exchanges with dozens of active and retired soldiers in recent days, I feel confident that what follows represents the overwhelming opinion of serving professionals who have been intimate witnesses to the unfolding events that will lead the United States into its next war.

They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.
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They are repelled by the hypocrisy of a media blitz that warns against the return of Hitlerism but privately acknowledges that the motive for risking American lives is our “responsibility to protect” the world’s innocents. Prospective U.S. action in Syria is not about threats to American security. The U.S. military’s civilian masters privately are proud that they are motivated by guilt over slaughters in Rwanda, Sudan and Kosovo and not by any systemic threat to our country.They are outraged by the fact that what may happen is an act of war and a willingness to risk American lives to make up for a slip of the tongue about “red lines.” These acts would be for retribution and to restore the reputation of a president. Our serving professionals make the point that killing more Syrians won’t deter Iranian resolve to confront us. The Iranians have already gotten the message.Our people lament our loneliness.
Our senior soldiers take pride in their past commitments to fight alongside allies and within coalitions that shared our strategic goals. This war, however, will be ours alone.They are tired of wannabe soldiers who remain enamored of the lure of bloodless machine warfare. “Look,” one told me, “if you want to end this decisively, send in the troops and let them defeat the Syrian army. If the nation doesn’t think Syria is worth serious commitment, then leave them alone.” But they also warn that Syria is not Libya or Serbia. Perhaps the United States has become too used to fighting third-rate armies. As the Israelis learned in 1973, the Syrians are tough and mean-spirited killers with nothing to lose.Our military members understand and take seriously their oath to defend the constitutional authority of their civilian masters. They understand that the United States is the only liberal democracy that has never been ruled by its military. But today’s soldiers know war and resent civilian policymakers who want the military to fight a war that neither they nor their loved ones will experience firsthand.
Civilian control of the armed services doesn’t mean that civilians shouldn’t listen to those who have seen war. Our most respected soldier president, Dwight Eisenhower, possessed the gravitas and courage to say no to war eight times during his presidency. He ended the Korean War and refused to aid the French in Indochina; he said no to his former wartime friends Britain and France when they demanded U.S. participation in the capture of the Suez Canal. And he resisted liberal democrats who wanted to aid the newly formed nation of South Vietnam. We all know what happened after his successor ignored Eisenhower’s advice. My generation got to go to war.Over the past few days, the opinions of officers confiding in me have changed to some degree. Resignation seems to be creeping into their sense of outrage. One officer told me: “To hell with them. If this guy wants this war, then let him have it. Looks like no one will get hurt anyway.”Soon the military will salute respectfully and loose the hell of hundreds of cruise missiles in an effort that will, inevitably, kill a few of those we wish to protect. They will do it with all the professionalism and skill we expect from the world’s most proficient military. I wish Kerry would take a moment to look at the images from this week’s hearings before we go to war again.

TEA PARTY GROUPS NATIONWIDE UNITE AGAINST AMERICAN ATTACK ON SYRIA

TEA PARTY GROUPS NATIONWIDE UNITE AGAINST AMERICAN ATTACK ON SYRIA

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Republican leaders in Washington, including SpeakerJohn Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Senators McCain (R-AZ)Graham (R-SC), and Corker (R-TN), are supporting President Obama’s call for an American attack on Syria, but Tea Party groups around the country are united in their opposition to such military action.

Tea Party activists appear to be virtually unanimous in their support for the position taken by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who said on Tuesday the United States “should not serve as Al-Qaeda’s Air Force.”

Lynn Moss, co-organizer of the Mid-South Tea Party in Memphis, Tennessee, expressed a view held by many Tea Party activists around the country. Moss told Breitbart News on Thursday, “both sides of the conflict in Syria are enemies of the United States. It would be foolish,” she said, “and self-defeating to involve ourselves in this already volatile situation.”

Joanne Jones, vice chairman of the Charleston Tea Party in South Carolina, told Breitbart News Thursday that “conservatives of many stripes are opposed to U.S. military intervention in Syria. Particularly in light of today’s account of al Qaeda-linked rebels murdering residents of a Christian village, it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince us that the United States would indeed be helping the ‘right’ rebels.”

Bobby Alexander, chairman of the Central Kentucky Tea Party Patriots, told Mother Jones, “[c]onservatives in Kentucky do not want us involved in Syria.” John Kemper of the United Kentucky Tea Party added, “[t]he things I’m seeing and emails I’m getting from folks around the state, they’re not in favor of [an American attack on Syria.]”

Mark Kevin Lloyd, a Tea Party activist in Virginia, told Breitbart News that “the Obama administration and some in the Republican leadership seems overly concerned about the president’s credibility in the eyes of the world. Both President Obama and Speaker Boehner need to understand they each have the same credibility problems in the eyes of the American people.

“How can the president be so sure of the situation in Syria, and so clueless about Benghazi? Too many questions, not nearly enough answers.”

Bruce Carroll, chairman of Carolina Conservatives United, told Breitbart News, “we share the humanitarian concern for the Syrian people who have been killed and injured by conventional weapons and chemical weapons and the millions of refugees that are suffering due to that nation’s two-year civil war.

For Carroll, though, such concerns do not justify American intervention. “We strongly believe the situation in Syria will not improve, and could well deteriorate, due to American military involvement,” he said. “Additionally, we do not believe President Obama has adequately made the case that any national security interests are at stake, a minimum requirement for military actions abroad.”

Mark West, founder of the Chattanooga Tea Party in Tennessee told Breitbart News Thursday: “while Americans have come to expect flawed and disastrous foreign policy decisions from the Obama administration, what is alarming is the foolish part that Republicans are playing in embracing and facilitating Obama’s latest plan to attack Syria.”

According to West, “what should be painfully obvious to any alert American is that Obama’s plan (and now his Republican allies’) to launch “limited” attacks into a highly volatile war zone has the strong likelihood of escalating into a broader and protracted war. And if this occurs, Tennesseans will remember the fateful role that Senator Corker and other Republicans played in endorsing another one of Obama’s helter-skelter foreign policy initiatives.”

Though President Obama maintains he does not need Congressional authorization to conduct military action against Syria, he has nonetheless agreed to ask for Congressional support, without promising that he will be bound by votes taken in the House and Senate on the issue. On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7 to support President Obama’s call for an American air strike on Syria. Votes in the full Senate as well as in the House are expected to take place soon.

With those important votes looming, members of the Senate and the House are hearing from their constituents, the vast majority of whom oppose such action, according to recent polls. The virtually unanimous sentiment of Tea Party activists appears to be leading public opinion throughout the country in its opposition to American military attacks on Syria.

JUST WHOSE WAR IS THIS?

mercenary

JUST WHOSE WAR IS THIS?

Pat Buchanan decries notion of Americans ‘hired out to do the big-time killing for royals’

Published: 7 hours ago

Wednesday, John Kerry told the Senate not to worry about the cost of an American war on Syria.

The Saudis and Gulf Arabs, cash-fat on the $110-a-barrel oil they sell U.S. consumers, will pick up the tab for the Tomahawk missiles.

Has it come to this – U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen as the mercenaries of sheikhs, sultans and emirs, Hessians of the New World Order, hired out to do the big-time killing for Saudi and Sunni royals?

Yesterday, too, came a stunning report in the Washington Post.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has joined the Israeli lobby AIPAC in an all-out public campaign for a U.S. war on Syria

Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League have invoked the Holocaust, with Hier charging the U.S. and Britain failed to rescue the Jews in 1942.

Yet, if memory serves, in ’42 the Brits were battling Rommel in the desert and the Americans were still collecting their dead at Pearl Harbor and dying on Bataan and Corregidor.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, too, bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson, the Macau casino mogul whose solicitude for the suffering children of Syria is the stuff of legend, is also backing Obama’s war.

Adelson, who shelled out $70 million to bring down Barack, wants his pay-off – war on Syria. And he is getting it. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have saluted and enlisted. Sheldon, fattest of all fat cats, is buying himself a war.

Yet, is it really wise for Jewish organizations to put a Jewish stamp on a campaign to drag America into another war that a majority of their countrymen do not want to fight?

Moreover, this war has debacle written all over it. Should it come, a divided nation will be led by a diffident and dithering commander in chief who makes Adlai Stevenson look like Stonewall Jackson.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey is having trouble even defining the mission. While Obama says it will be an in-and-out strike of hours, a “shot across the bow,” John McCain says the Senate resolution authorizes robust strikes, lethal aid to the rebels and a campaign to bring down Bashar Assad.

If the Republican Party backs this war, it will own this war.

And U.S. involvement will last not for days, but for the duration. And if our power is unleashed, our prestige and superpower status go on the line.

If the rebels then lose, we lose. And if the rebels win, who wins?

Is it the same jihadists who just shelled that Christian village and terrorized that convent of Christian nuns?

Is it the same rebels seen on the front page of Thursday’s New York Times about to execute, Einsatzgruppen-style, captive Syrian soldiers, forgetting only to have the victims of their war crime dig their own graves first?

Does the Republican Party really want to own a war that could end with al-Qaida in power or occupying sanctuaries in Syria?

Does the U.S. Jewish community really want to be responsible for starting a war that ends with 2 million Christian Syrians facing a fate not unlike that of Poland’s Jews?

About the debate on this war, there is an aspect of the absurd.

We are told we must punish Assad for killing Syrians with gas, but we do not want Assad’s regime to fall. Which raises a question: How many Syrians must we kill with missiles to teach Assad he cannot kill any more Syrians with gas? Artillery, fine. Just no gas.

How many Syrians must we kill to restore the credibility of our befuddled president who now says he did not draw that “red line” on chemical weapons; the world did when it outlawed such weapons.

Yet this statement may offer Obama a way out of a crisis of his own making without his starting a war to save face.

Iran and Russia agree chemical weapons were used. Vladimir Putin has said Russia will back military action against those who did it. The Russians have put out a 100-page document tracing the March use of chemical weapons to the rebels. The Turks reportedly intercepted small amounts of sarin going to the rebels. We claim solid proof that Assad’s regime authorized and used chemical weapons.

Why not tell the Russians to meet us in the Security Council where we will prove our “slam-dunk” case?

If we can, and do, we will have far greater support for collective sanctions or action than we do now. And if we prove our case and the U.N. does nothing, we will have learned something about the international community worth learning.

But the idea of launching missiles based on evidence we will not reveal about Syria’s use of chemical weapons, strikes that will advance the cause of the al-Qaida terrorists who killed 3,000 of us and are anxious to kill more, would be an act of such paralyzing stupidity one cannot believe that even this crowd would consciously commit it.