Gen Martin Dempsey Warns Not To Strike Syria: US Not Ready, A Fools Errand: McCain Calls Dempsey “Disingenuous”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has told Obama that a strike on Syria will end in involvement with Iran and Russia. Senator John McCain responded that Dempsey’s warnings are “disingenuous.”

General Martin Dempsey

General Martin Dempsey

Specifically calling Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “disingenuous,” McCain claimed that limited, strategic strikes against key assets of Syrian President Bashar Assad would be much more manageable than the army – and the administration of US President Barack Obama – have let on…

McCain was responding to a letter sent last month by Dempsey to Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in which Dempsey described military intervention in Syria as a fool’s errand.

Estimating that action could cost the $1 billion a month and require “thousands” of ground troops, Dempsey said strikes would be “no less than an act of war” with no guarantee of success.

Dempsey said intervention would likely embolden extremist groups.

“We have learned from the past 10 years… that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state,” Dempsey added. Source: Jerusalem Post

Barack_Obama_White_House_Joe_Biden_1

The administration is trying to sell protection of Israel as an objective. Shameless in my opinion. That train left the station months ago.

“The president has been told point blank that this could be the start of a military intervention that could take months or even a year until there is any resolution,” a source who has been following the debate said.

The sources said the biggest opponent of a military campaign against Syria has been the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. They said Dempsey, who sought to maintain a low profile, has warned that the U.S. military was not ready for any sustained conflict against Syria that could involve two of its leading allies, Iran and Russia.

“Dempsey has been unusually blunt in his remarks with both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden,” the source said. “His assessment is that any U.S.
war against Assad will automatically involve his foreign allies, and that means Teheran and to a smaller extent, Moscow.” Source: World Tribune

John Kerry said Congress will do the “right thing” because they “understand the stakes.” Strange because few others do.

In April, Dempsey said that the US military could force down Syria’s warplanes and disrupt its air defenses, but not without significant peril to US pilots, all for a negligible impact on dictator Bashar al-Assad.

“It’s not about: can we do it? It’s: should we do it, and what are the opportunity costs?” Dempsey testified to the Senate armed services committee in March 2012.

Dempsey’s nomination for a new term as chairman was even briefly delayed in the Senate last month after pro-war senators demanded fuller advice about Syria.

In response, Dempsey listed nearly every military option mooted, from limited strikes to full-blown US intervention, and found them fraught with risk and expense. He emphasized the difficulty of staying out of the Syrian civil war once Washington launches any military action.

“Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next,” Dempsey wrote to the committee on 19 July. “Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”

Even the “limited stand-off strikes” of the sort the Obama administration is now considering would require “hundreds of aircraft, ships submarines and other enablers.” The impact on Assad would be felt “over time” in the form of a “significant degradation of regime capabilities,” but there is a risk that “the regime could withstand limited strikes by dispersing its assets.” Source: The Guardian

“Dispersing assets?” You bet. How much time has Syria had to move “assets” into the civilian population? That’s what terrorist thugs do. Muslims cram their weaponry into schools and mosques and dare civil society to come after them. Lousy timing and General Dempsey is making the point.

According to The Guardian article, retired Army colonel Bob Killebrew said Dempsey is an “absolute straight shooter” and his reluctance to get involved in Syria is likely “the opinion of all the chiefs.”

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18 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • rh

    A well thought out post highlighting Gen. Dempsey, one of the good guys still left. Your opening sentence may be the most important. Obama knows this and some behind the scenes negotiating may delay the Syria strike at least a month (my opinion).

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      rh, thanks. I was very upset with Dempsey for not recognizing Chris Kyle’s death AND for not doing anything with Benghazi. That one I have a really hard time with, but I think he’s looking at yet another mess and wants no part of it. Of course, he will do what he’s told to do. Very odd that he spoke out at all, but I’m glad he did. He did his country a service.

      • Joe

        Great article, thanks! But I was shocked when you included a grossly bigoted generalization in the next to the last paragraph. “Muslims cram their weaponry into schools and mosques and dare civil society to come after them”. This needs to be edited unless you believe that ALL Muslims, who make up 25% of the world’s population, act like this.

        • Helen Sabin

          Joe – the Muslim world is SILENT about the atrocities committed by the militant Muslims in the middle east – so yes, they are as culpable as the ones putting munitions in homes where there are innocent civilians. Do you hear any muslim country condemning the vicil war in Syria? do you hear them condemning the murder of 5000 Kurds by Saddam when he was in power?

          Silence shows approval and fear. They must speak out or they are as guilty as those who allowed Hitler to kill millions of Germans while remaining silent.

    • http://none helen sabin

      This is the FIRST thing that I have ever agreed with from Dempsey who is usually Obama’s lapdog. McCain needs to go. He is getting old and full of himself. We don’t have the money to attack Syria, there is NO ABSOlute proof that Syria released the WMD’s, and what is going on is a civil war – there is NO threat to the US except to obama’s ego which is taking a battering from Putin and the rest of the world.

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com NEO

    This feels like a nightmare, doesn’t it. Is there anybody left that this this is a good idea, other than McCain and Graham, this is decidedly one of those times when we have to go big or go home.

    I vote for home, I don’t see adequate leadership to do anything else. Dempsey’s fine but he’s awfully lonely.

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      NEO, it does feel like a nightmare – a long one, and unending one. I don’t see how we go big. They are concerned about hitting chemical weapons and the collateral damage. Appears Syria has moved most weaponry into civilian neighborhoods. Maybe we can bust up some runways. Take down a palace or two. I’m betting we do nothing else.

      • http://none helen sabin

        NO what will happen is that they will put defensive munitions in housing areas like Hamas does in Israel and surrounding areas so when they are bombed by the US they can show dead and dying children and blame the US for it. Obama will be branded a war criminal and he should be. His ego is at stake here not the security of the United States.

        • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

          helen sabin, I agree and that’s why a three week delay makes a big difference. I’ve also talked about this in other posts. If we can’t hit chem weapons stockpiles, how can we hit delivery systems when they are buried among civilians?

          • Helen Sabin

            Maggie – what we have going on with Obama is that his ego is bruised and it will be bruised even more when the House refuses to go along with his idiocy. He blithely believes his own press and certainly his “advisors” aren’t telling him the truth about what the American people think about him. HIs egg is starting to crack and like Humpty dumpty, I hope he can’t be put together again if he falls. He should be impeached for incompetency and deliberate destruction of the ethics and reputation of the office of the Presidency.

  • http://www.ooobie.com/ norma brown

    Good for Dempsey!! McCain, the greatest Air Force flying ace ever — shot down on first sortie in Vietnam — is really disgraceful and is making a fool of himself. We don’t need his kind of advice, but Obama knew who to call, didn’t he?

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/Opinion-by-John/222273197821124?ref=hl John C

      McCain was in the Navy – don’t blame the US Air Force for any of his opinions and political development! That being said, there is NO upside to attacking Syria. The downside is deep and ferocious. Dempsey’s assessment is clear, accurate and precise.

      • USVeteran

        There were leaders that also thought that the invasion of Cuba was a good idea. Even some thought that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There are to many conflicting reports coming out ot this area and we would be smart to take a careful assessment of what is going on before we add to it. Gen.. Dempsey sir I salute you for your courage.

        • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

          USVeteran, Saddam did have WMD. Why we didn’t find them I don’t know, but we do know he used sarin to kill Kurds. We do know Canada has a boat load of his yellowcake, and there was a lot of evidence that some kind of weapons were moved from Iraq to Syria in the early days. Intelligence saw it happen, just couldn’t confirm what was being moved. Nevertheless, that was then, this is now and we should be far more savvy about Islamic states than we were 12 years ago. I agree that Dempsey did the right thing – very unusual for him to speak out.

          • rwingjr

            Maggie, We know that Saddam HAD WMD’s. If you recall, he was ordered to destroy them by the UN. He was also subject to UN inspections. He gave the UN and national community a difficult time with the inspections but they were doing them and had not found any weapons prior to our invasion. France was ridiculed by the US for asking us to be patient and let the inspections carry on. I personally thought we rushed into this. As it turns out, France was right and we was wrong. Saddam was ordered to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction and he did. He may have sent many to Syria, but he didn’t have them any longer.

            • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

              rwingjr, I do remember that but UNSCOM and the IAEA inspectors were not entirely successful. All evidence points to that, and if inspectors were unable to get everywhere they should get, why believe them? His own son-in-law said huge stockpiles were not unconvered. We know also that the UN isn’t fond of getting in the way of Muslim tyrants. Look at Iran today after the lies and obfuscations of Mohamed ElBaradei. We sent a Muslim inspector to inspect Muslims. Insanity.

              • rwingjr

                Maggie, I agree the UN inspectors were not entirely successful. I include the IEAE inspectors with them. If you recall, Saddam was being a real ass about letting inspectors in. I think he was seeing how much he could push the UN before they did anything. It was during one of those episodes when Bush made the decision to invade. The French were asking for patience and Saddam had agreed to let the inspectors in. However, it was too late and Bush invaded. I admit, I was one of the few who thought we should have been patient and let the inspectors finish their job. I saw no point in rushing in. There was nothing to gain. However, I also thought the US would find weapons and factories. At one time they coalition claimed to have found a portable weapons factory, but the turned out to be false. It was something else. Since we never found any WMD’s in the many years we were there, I have to conclude there weren’t any left. I’m sure the US turned over every rock looking for something because our credibility rested on that. It’s possible there is something hidden somewhere. I’m inclined to think most was destroyed and some was sent to Syria. Now Iran is a totally different and unique situation. They do have WMD’s without a doubt and are also pushing to become a nuclear state. The US hasn’t had any luck in that country since the Shah was deposed. I don’t believe any country wants to confront Iran and the UN has no pull in Iran. As long as the current regime is in power, not much will change. With Russia supporting them, the US is not able to do much with them. The embargo isn’t effective. Israel is the only one willing to openly fight them, and the US does run their covert operations. Until there is a popular uprising in that country, I don’t see much of a change. The likelihood of an uprising is fairly small at this time. At one time, it looked like it might happen but it was repressed. I think we have gone off topic so I apologize for that. I think we need to have trust in our leaders and they must know the facts and tell us the truth. When we see a person like General Dempsey become mute when asked to comment, we have to question our leaders. When we do that, we have to try to determine the facts for ourselves and that is nearly impossible. So then we must use our best judgement. With Syria, there isn’t a huge patriotic push to go to war, as there was in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think the Syrian and Iran situations are very similar but President Bush used the patriotic fervor from 9/11 to push for his cause. That is gone now and Obama has so many scandals and has lied so much that most people on the right and middle do not believe anything he says. Even his staunchest left wing supporters have abandoned him on this issue. I can only hope he doesn’t decide to do something on his own, and if he does, some of our congressional and military leaders decide to stop him. If not, I think we’ll be joining Syria with our own civil war.

            • Helen Sabin

              And how do you know he got rid of them?

              • rwingjr

                Helen, I don’t know for a fact he did. You can read my long winded reply to Maggie above. In brief, I have to conclude they were destroyed or moved, because we never found them. You can be sure we turned over every rock looking for them and came up empty.

          • Lloyd W

            Yep, we know Saddam had WMD because we gave them to him.

          • http://none helen sabin

            EVEN CLINTON and ALBRIGHT said there were WMD’s in Iraq LONG before Bush came into office. And according to some Arab students I had, many are buried below the ground in iraq buildings, such as the jail. One’s father saw many being carried into that facility one day when prisoners there were let go en masse. We will never know as that was Bush’s ego operating much like Syria is now Obama’s ego operating. There is NO direct threat to the US – write or call your congress critters and tell them NO to getting involved in another war.

            • rwingjr

              I don’t think anyone disputes Saddam having had WMD’s. The question is, did he have them when Bush ordered the invasion. All evidence points to them having been destroyed per UN inspections, or moved out of country.

        • http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25546334/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/secret-us-mission-hauls-uranium-iraq/#.UijVHj_odaE Don
        • Helen Sabin

          US Veteran – CLINTON and ALBRIGHT thought there were WMD’s in Iraq – that is part of the reason Bush went to war.

          • Josh Wane

            US is always hungry for invasion. Uncle Sam is dead if they can’t find food to eat through war. Because war business is the easiest way to transfer wealth and power.

            • allan

              Without the WAR Machine being Oiled and Re-oiled the US economy will collapse. There will ALWAYS be a REASON to go to war !!! Ordinary citizens who oppose wll NEVER count !!!

      • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

        John C, when I hear people say, well look what we did during the Bush days, we show that we’ve learned nothing about Islamic countries. I agree with you. This is a sick endeavor. Syria is no Libya. We will regret getting into this.

    • ABHC HELMS

      Norma, John McCain was a Naval Aviator and his only two claims to fame are 1. He was sitting in an A-4 Skyhawk on the flight deck of the USS Forestall when the explosion and fire enveloped the after part of the fight deck. 2. He was shot down and was a POW for I believe 5 years!! He was not an ACE by any means what so ever!!! I am a retired Navy Chief and my job was on the flight decks of carriers. It’s time for the admiral to go home to Az. and live out of politics for the remainder of his life. This man was once a man I admired and was proud to have worn the same uniform as he did. But the time in DC has corrupted his mind!!!! Have a nice day Norma!!

      • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

        ABHC, John McCain has been compromised for a very long time. Can’t figure out how he won this last time, other than his wife has more money than most of the very, very rich. His antics with Ted Kennedy in the first amnesty legislation is something I’ll never forget.

      • Helen Sabin

        ABHC Helms – I agree that McCain needs to go home. He is past his prime.

    • Scott

      Navy…
      Navy…
      Navy…
      McCain was a swabbie…
      The Military didn’t make McSame a milksop..
      it was the lack of term limits….
      All I can say is do NOT blame Arizona. Most of us are ashamed of him but for some reason, the bulk of citizens can’t see their way to recall Obama’s little mouth piece..

      • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

        Scott, how did he win? Was JD Hayworth that bad? I know his first time in Congress Hayworth’s voting record wasn’t totally conservative, but in those days, it usually wasn’t for many. Today we understand what constitutional and conservative actually mean. I think it’s always the money.

        • Helen Sabin

          McCain won the way Obama won – name recognition but not with accomplishments.

          Americans know the name and that’s it. Many do not bother to learn the issues or study the candidates. What a shame!

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      Norma, LOL – you said it! Yes, I think McCain has been thanked by his country over and over and over for his sacrifice. Not that it can ever be paid back, but in his liberal mind, he stills sees himself as a hero, rather than a disgusting pol who let us know just how disgusting he is when he said saying Allahu Akbar is the same as a Christian saying Thank You God.

    • Walter Stolpa

      Get your facts straight. McCain was a US Naval Aviator and never shot down an enemy aircraft so therefore he is no Ace. His fame comes from having been a POW of the North Vietnamese after being shot down.

      • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

        Walter Stolpa, the point was made that yes he was a POW, and if some of the details were not quite right, the one thing everyone knows is that he was a POW for years and now seems to think no one knows anything about war but him. It’s tiresome. No one was trying to disparage any arm of our Military.

    • Brock

      “Obama knew who to call”??? Obama was gung ho before he was getting lambasted for his actions regarding Syria. Obama is on the side of Al Qaeda. If he weakens another nation in the Middle East in favor of muslim terrorists, the international community is going to ask for his head.

  • http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/2013/09/gen-martin-dempsey-warns-not-to-strike-syria-us-not-ready-a-fools-errand-mccain-calls-dempsey-disingenuous/#comments Mark W Boucher

    I DON`T HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS AT ALL. OBAMA WAS GUTTING THE MILITARY. NOW HE WANTS TO START ANOTHER ONE. I`M SORRY THAT THOSE PEOPLE WERE GASSED. BUT THEY HAVE BEEN FIGHTING EACH OTHER FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. WHAT HAPPENS TO ISRAEL BECAUSE OF THIS AND THEY HAVEN`T DONE ANYTHING. THAT WOULD MEAN PUTTING AMERICANS ON THE GROUND TO SAVE ISRAEL. UNLESS OBAMA WANTS ISRAEL ATTACKED HE`S A MUSLIM I WOULDN’T PUT IT PAST HIM. WE SHOULD DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PROTECT ISRAEL. SORRY LORD FOR NOT BELIEVING IN YOU WORDS TO PROTECT ISRAEL BUT I`M ONLY HUMAN THE SPIRIT IS WILLING THE FLESH IS WEAK. PLEASE FORGIVE MY WEEKNESS

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      Mark Boucher, Muslims need to leave Islam if they want to live a decent life. That’s the only hope for them.

      • rwingjr

        Maggie, that’s funny. Of course if Muslims left Islam, they would no longer be Muslims. If they did that, there would be some more hope for the rest of us. Now, how do we get them to do it? LOL

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  • rh

    John McCain met rebel leaders (Al-Qaeda) inside Syria (in May 2013) to discuss their calls for heavy weapons and a no-fly zone to help them topple President Bashar al-Assad and bring the bitter civil war to a conclusion. No wonder McCain and Graham are oposed to Gen Demsey, he warns against what they (bobsey twins) told the rebels they would give them.

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      rh, that’s right and there’s also the story about McCain meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood, and perhaps that was about Obama’s possible membership in the MB. Could be a rumor, but…I think about every Democrat has met with Assad at one time or the other. Remember Pelosi and her little headscarf?

  • mtm105

    POTUS looks like a BIG man with his foot on the desk. Such demonstration of leadership. With Biden sitting in backround. So impressive!!

    • sharon

      Biden in the backround looks impressive? Looks like he is afraid to add to the stink of the room with one large fart -

      • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

        Sharon, I tried to enlarge the photo to better see what Biden was doing, but it was too grainy.

    • Babycatcher

      He needs to have more respect for the furniture than that! I bet Michelle doesn’t let him do that!

      • Scott

        Michelle won’t care until her White House Express credit card runs out!

        • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

          Scott, after her WH credit runs out, I think her husband will move to head the U.N. (after a proper time).

          • CarlaJD

            Maggie, for months I have pushed the idea Obama has the Secretary General job at the UN on his mind. He would get great perks, sit at a big impressive desk & lord it over others that he is the big cheese.
            And by the way, just what does the Sec Gen do? Nada.. he has no real clout just a great title. Maybe that is what Obama needs.. a real job gets him into too much trouble.. look at what the presidency is doing for his cred.

      • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

        Babycatcher, maybe in Chicago, but in the WH the furniture isn’t her’s, it’s the people’s and you know what she thinks about us.

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      mtm105, yes, so disrespectful. I have seen other presidents sitting with their feet up on the desk, but nothing like this.

    • Lloyd W

      The desk is called The Resolute Desk It was made from the timbers of the HMS Resolute and given to President Hayes in 1880. It is a piece of history. Of course Obama has no respect for anything so why would he have any for the desk.

      • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

        Lloyd W we know what Obama thinks about history. He had to erase much of it through using his Alinsky Rules to get it done and finally make it to the White House.

  • Texas4ever

    Get your nasty ass foot OFF of our desk, Hussein. Show a little respect for the people’s house. The most classless act ever to occupy our house.

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      Texas4ever, yes and certainly the most classless couple.

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  • https://www.veteransforcompassionatecare.org medcannabis1

    As a person who cares for our valiant warfighter community when they return with horrific injuries…we are too quick to police the world..The 35% profit that the military industrial complex enjoys above cost is one of the reasons we cannot seem to end the “never-ending war for profit”.
    Our troops are our greatest treasure and should not be wasted upon a conflict of TRIBALISM!
    This is a sad situation in Syria..but let the Syrians deciede how and when to remove Assad and his government.

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      medcannabis1, as I watched the stockmarket go up today, I wondered if investors are seeing the war machine warming up. However, appears it had to do with other things. I agree with you about our warriors, and I can’t imagine how they can handle another thing. If we were under attack, they could handle ANYTHING, but this crap – disgusting they should even have to think about it.

      • Helen Sabin

        Maggie – I agree! Our troops are much too precious to waste on this civil war. Let’ ALLAH sort it out – we should stay home!

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  • skeptical

    this is very a concern when a 4 star general tells the truth and ruthless politicians choose to endanger our soldiers before they have a fair chance isn’t this a waste of human life what do they have to gain?

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      skeptical, and then McCain calls Dempsey “disingenuous.” Yes it is a waste of human life and money we do not have, and money that will be spent for naught.

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  • skeptical

    Os right hand looks a lil strange hmmm

    • http://maggiesnotebook.com Maggie

      skeptical – nice catch.

  • http://www.bunkerville.wordpress.com Bunkerville

    McCain and his narcissism is almost as great as obummer. Arrogant senile old man. Great post Maggie. Dangerous times.

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  • http://Website Tigerman

    So far the posts that I have seen are right on. Dempsey should be supported by his Congress. We pay and promote these guys to study and evaluate military options and preparedness and it should not be overridden by the political wishes of Obama/Biden. Having said that, I mostly think we owe it to our troops. There is a reduction in force already going on because we left Iraq and are currently working on leaving Afghanistan. Now Obama wants to go fight on another front and simply saying “no boots on the ground” doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Our guys are tired. Some have done as many as 5 or 6 deployments and we owe them a long rest. There are some National Guard units that have been deployed more than regular forces, placing a huge strain and burden on families. These guys are not pawns to be moved around the globe like a chess game. They are our flesh and blood children…brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers and we owe them more than this administration seems to want to give them..some peace and long overdue family time. They deserve it.

  • Karen Darden

    I appreciate Gen Dempsey standing up for what he thinks is right. We do not need to get involved in Syria. We do need to support Israel.. Gen Dempsey needs to be careful and watch his back. People that buck this adminstration have a way of dying…We need Generals like Demsey and Pray for his Safety.

  • JOE B

    It is obvious that McCain has lost his mind and so have Kerry, Boehner, Obama and anyone else that would support the Al Qaeda rebels in going to war against Syria. These rebels are killing thousands in Syria including many Christians and they are specifically beheading Christian ministers and Catholic Priests. These are the madmen that McCain and Obama are supporting.

    The fact is the Syrian government did not launch chemical weapons at Syria. Just 6 months ago Obama met with his staff to see how he could frame Syrian President Assad in this manner.

    Here’s proof>>

    US ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria, blame it on Assad govt': Report
    By ANI | ANI – Wed 30 Jan, 2013

    London, Jan 30 (ANI): The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown.
    A new report, that contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence, showed a scheme ‘approved by Washington’.
    As per the scheme ‘Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons,’ the Daily Mail reports.
    Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.
    According to Infowars.com, the December 25 email was sent from Britam’s Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty.
    The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumes and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News.
    According to the paper, the U.S. State Department has declined to comment on the matter. (ANI)

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