February 7th, 2013
01:52 PM ET

White House opposed plan backed by Pentagon, State, CIA to arm Syrian rebels

By Elise Labott and Adam Levine

The White House knocked down a proposal last summer from top national security leaders, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA Director David Petraeus, to arm Syrian rebels, according to U.S. officials, one of whom said the issue appears dead for now.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said in testimony to a Senate committee on Thursday that they also backed the plan to provide weapons to opposition fighters.

But officials, who requested anonymity to speak freely about a sensitive subject, said the White House rejected the idea.

"The reason we have not armed them is because the White House has no appetite for it," a U.S. official familiar with the deliberations told CNN.

The official said the ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, was among those in the State Department who "advocated for it pretty strongly."

The issue of arming the rebels "is dead in the water for now because folks are resigned to the fact that White House will not budge," the official added.

The Obama administration has resisted arming the rebels, citing concerns about the infiltration of extremists groups who could possibly use those weapons against other targets.

For now, the U.S. government has provided millions in humanitarian aid to the rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The CIA has also sent agents to vet the opposition group to try to better understand its composition.

The United States in December designated a key Syrian rebel group, the al-Nusra Front, as a terrorist entity.

U.S. officials argued it was a necessary step that would not weaken the ability of other rebels to combat the Syrian military.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Panetta and Dempsey were asked by Arizona Sen. John McCain, the leading Republican proponent of a more aggressive backing of Syrian rebels, whether they supported the idea of arming them.

"We do," answered Panetta.

"We did," answered Dempsey.

They did not get a chance to explain as McCain moved on to another topic. But later in the hearing Panetta and Dempsey said they supported the president's decision to give non-lethal aide only.

"Obviously there were a number of factors that were involved here that ultimately led to the president's decision to make it non-lethal," Panetta said.

But McCain used the brief answers to urge President Barack Obama to consider the plan, saying in a statement that "the time to act is long overdue, but it is not too late."

"The crisis in Syria represents a graphic failure of American leadership. I urge the president to heed the advice of his former and current national security leaders and immediately take the necessary steps, along with our friends and allies, that could hasten the end of the conflict in Syria," McCain said in the statement.

State Department Victoria Nuland declined to comment when asked about the matter, calling it an internal policy deliberation. The White House also refused to comment.

Obama spoke last month about hesitation to get more involved in the civil war in Syria.

"Syria is a classic example of where our involvement, we want to make sure that not only does it enhance U.S. security, but also that it is doing right by the people of Syria and neighbors like Israel that are going to be profoundly affected by it. And - and so it's true sometimes that we don't just shoot from the hip," he told CBS News.

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Filed under: Middle East • Military • Syria
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. ブランソン モンクレール

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    November 20, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  2. Little-dose-of-Truth

    Amazing. So Pentagon, CIA and State department are pushing to replace a Syrian Secular government with "Hamas equivalent"?

    This is where a blind "friend of my enemy is my enemy" goes wrong and "enemy of 'friend of my enemy' is going to be far worse than my own enemy" becomes true.
    What did we learn from helping Mujahedeen in Afghanistan?
    a) It created Taliban
    b) It created AlQaeda
    c) We had to go in and clean up in a bloody 12 years war.

    Do we want to repeat that? Why?

    March 7, 2013 at 7:32 am | Reply
  3. bribarian

    Whether they stopped or not, we now know that zi0nism and Pentagon played a part in that horrible war. Very shameful.

    February 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  4. k_daraa

    18 months ago, the Syrian Peoples' Revolution had Sunni, Alawite, Druze, and Christian participants. In the past 14 months, a tsunami flood of extremist foreign takfiri salafist Sunni muslim fighters have invaded Syria from all sides, stealing the Syrian Peoples' Revolution away from all but the most radical extremist Syrian Sunni Moslems. This is NOT A REVOLUTION BUT AN EXTREMIST INVASION OF SYRIA.

    The world is now experiencing the reverse flood of Syrian minorities of Shi'ites, Druze, and Christian minorities, the nearly 33 percent of the Syrian population (over 7 million people), fleeing for their lives from these FOREIGN FIGHTER MURDERERS THAT INVADED SYRIA out into the world. Ask Dearborn, Michigan if what happens in that area effects America, 33 percent of Dearborn's population are Iraqi religious minority refugees fleeing Sunni extremist murder squads in Iraq since 2004.

    February 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  5. Amy

    Obama was correct in his decision to oppose the proposal to arm the Syrian rebels. There is no evidence that the rebel groups have a viable military strategy to defeat Assad, even if they had access to more weapons. So sending in more weapons could just lead to an escalation of the violence, including more chaos and deaths. Arming the rebels could also lead Assad to escalate the violence by using things such as chemical weapons.

    Some people make the argument that in arming the rebel groups the US will create alliances, which would increase US influence in the region if and when Assad is out of power. However, as others have already mentioned there is always the risk that weapons will fall into the wrong hands; this could happen immediately if they get into Assad’s hands or down the line since the US doesn’t know which group will emerge victorious and how they will decide to rule. If the US decides to arm the rebels we are just putting more dangerous material into Syria without an expiration date. For example the U.S. armed Afghani rebels to fight the Soviets and then those weapons were later used against the US by the Taliban and allied forces. Therefore it is important to look at the expected utility costs of such a decision. Decision makers need to calculate the probability of success of arming the rebels in taking down Assad and what the expected gains would be from this success, multiply them and then add the product of the probability of failure with any gains even if he doesn’t fall, then subtract the costs of taking these actions (See Fearon’s “Rationalist Explanations for War” http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2706903?uid=3739584&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101654644371). As the forgoing suggests, the potential gains are less likely and therefore if one is to assign numerical values to these likelihoods, the numerical value will be smaller than the possibility of failure and losses, i.e. Assad won’t be kicked out of power and that weapons can fall into wrong hands.

    Instead of going back and fourth about whether the US should arm the rebels, US decision makers really need to look deeper into Assad’s mindset to figure out the most effective and efficient strategy to end the violence by removing him from power. Right now Assad is in an extreme losses and risk-acceptant mindset which means he is unwilling to make any concessions or agree to anything that would decreases his power. Given that he is in this framework he is unlikely to be moved to make concessions even if his opponents are better armed. Instead he will continue the path he has chosen and escalate it through using more extreme weapons like I mentioned above. To change his behavior the only realistic course of action to take is to reduce his military power. The way to do this is to put even more pressure on countries like Russia and China, particularly Russia because they are supplying him with arms. This civil war has gone on long enough and there have already been way too many deaths, adding more weapons will not do enough to end the violence or topple Assad.

    February 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Reply
    • outspoken

      In reply to Amy, I will just say that when you go for fight you do not go there half-heartedly. Either go there fully prepared
      or just leave it.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:46 am | Reply
  6. ryjgdr

    (...)

    (...)

    February 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  7. ryjgdr

    BET YOU THINK YOUR ALLOWED TO BE A REPORTER IN THIS WORLD THINK AGAIN THE WAR PIGS GOT YOU BY THE SHORT AND CURLYS

    February 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  8. ryjgdr

    DOING NOTHING FOR NO BODY BUT YOURSELFS GREAT WORK

    February 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  9. ryjgdr

    BUR NING THE US CONSTI TU TION ONE D AY @ A TI ME I see

    February 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  10. hgfhjbcvxvb

    ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................

    February 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  11. hgfhjbcdgjbvxvb

    ...

    February 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  12. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    NOW WHO DO WE THANK The thankless

    February 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  13. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    SYRIA IS TRUELY THE NEW ISREAL

    February 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  14. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    ARE WE TO NOW BELIVE THAT IRAN WILL POSSES WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUXTION WHEN THEY ALREADY HAVE THEIR HANDS ON SYRIAS

    February 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  15. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    NOW WHAT WERE ALL THOSE CANNOT BE TRUSTED STATEMENTS ABOUT AGAIN?

    February 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  16. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    ALSO SOUNDS TO ME THAT THE POWERS THAT BE WOULD WANT A YOUNG AND DUMB REPUBLICAN BASKET CASE FOR THE NEXT U.S. PREZ.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  17. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    SOUNDS TO ME LIKE LIBIA WAS A OVERWELMING SUCCESS MUCH TO THE SHAGRIN OF THE POWERS THAT BE

    February 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  18. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    BIG BIG SECRETS ON THE BOOB TUBE YESTERDAY YOU BELIVE...

    February 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  19. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    ...

    February 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  20. rosethornne

    ENOUGH ALREADY with sending weapons to groups in other countries. It has been demonstrated time and again that such actions only come back to bite us in the butt.
    Equip a much smaller army to be the most advanced in the world, then spend the rest of the money at home.

    Worried about unemployed veterans? Gee whiz, that's such a very difficult problem. Crumbling infrastructure plus strong, disciplined workers equals win/win, DUH.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  21. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    WHAT DOES THIS: "COULD NOT BE TRUSTED" REF. TO–I HEARD A SEN. SAY THAT ABOUT HIMSELF AND ANOTHER SEN. YESTERDAY ON THE BOOB TUBE YESTERDAY.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  22. John Geheran

    Wow. If true, insert mark on the plus side of the decision ledger for the WH.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  23. swampgas33@yahoo.com

    according to hitlerry, "it doesn't matter" because stevens was silenced.

    February 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @swampgas33,can yah tell me what meds you're on so I can stay away from them.Man are you delushional and maybe it is the swamp gas that's fogging up your brain...

      February 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  24. swampgas33@yahoo.com

    b.o. and hitlerry thought stevens would rat them out about selling libyan weapons to syrian rebels so they invited al qaida to take him out in benghazi

    February 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  25. swampgas33@yahoo.com

    b.o. and hitlerry couldn't count on stevens being quiet about them selling libyan weapons to syrian rebels so they let al qaida take him out in bengazhi

    February 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  26. swampgas33@yahoo.com

    hitlerry has been selling them libyan weapons for months

    February 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  27. nvcxfgjvxfgvfx

    SYRIA IS THE NEW ISREAL AND ISREAL IS INDIRECTLY SUPPORTING FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN SYRIA BY SIMPLY PROTECTING ISREALS OWN INTRESTS– WHO DOES NOT THINK THEY ARE HELPING SYRIA

    February 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  28. Chris

    I have nothing but compassion for the Syrian people and their fight for freedom from oppression. I hope we can help them somehow, bring a peaceful end to all the fighting. However, the last time our Pentagon, State, and CIA armed rebel fighters in the middle east it turned out to be a nightmare. The rebel fighters we armed are called the Taliban. How do you think a bunch of hillbillies in Afghanistan learned tactical warfare, urban combat, and explosives. Charlie Wilson sent the CIA over and trained them, thats how! So given the historical record of the Pentagon and CIA helping rebels(Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Afghanistan) usually ends up hurting the country. So I agree with the POTUS, I would block any plan brought to me by the CIA. I would really be careful about funding rebels in this day and age.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  29. William

    I am very impressed that CNN even reported on this. I haven't heard anything on the TV broadcast, but I am encouraged that CNN would even report anything that might reflect negatively on President Obama. There is a lot more about how we have handled foreign affairs that needs to be made public. But the fact that Obama will go against the recommendations of his key advisors on something as obvious as this explains his huge disconnect with reality. Thanks again CNN. It's a real breakthrough for you guys. Maybe I won't have to keep bouncing around on other stations to get all the facts.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • O'drama ya Mama

      I dont see how this shows the president in a negative way. Every time we arm rebels of another country it comes back to bite us, this is a very smart move on Obamas part.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  30. WakeUp48

    This is the power of a dictator. That Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were said to have this power was part of their demonization as “brutal dictators,” a justification for overthrowing their governments and murdering the dictators and their supporters.

    Ironic, isn’t it, that the president of the United States now murders his political opponents just as Saddam Hussein murdered his. How long before critics move from the no-fly list to the extermination list?

    February 8, 2013 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • paul broomfield

      "the president of the United States now murders his political opponents". You really have to stop watching Fox news, or at least understand that it is only entertainment. I don't know where else you can get this nonsense.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
      • Aaron

        He gets it from reality. Maybe you should look into it.

        February 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  31. chegevara

    "the crisis in syria represents a graphic failure of america leadership"
    what happening in syria is not civil war .it is a revolution of vast majority for freedom and degnity.a revolution against criminal regime..a regime dose not heseitate to use all weapons against his poeple..
    it gonna be civil war if no body intervene to stop the ongoing slaughter.

    February 8, 2013 at 7:36 am | Reply
    • Tahir

      The regime is doing what islam allows it to do.Ask grand muftis of Saudi,a what Islam says when people do such acts against their govt.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
  32. justice

    Obama is wise in this case,Arming the syrian rebels is a disservice to the free world,because most of these arms will end up in the hands of terrorists.the usa should help Bashir Al Assad get rid of terrorists-then they will sit with representatives of all sides and interests to settle the matter diplomatically.this is the reasonable option.cos unlike other dictators,Syrians love Bashir Al Assad.

    February 8, 2013 at 7:19 am | Reply
    • Politcal_Prince

      I whole heartly agree with your comments here...! Arming the rebels will lead to sheer and utter chaos in the region. If the President are anyone else was interested in doing what is best for the region they would support Al-Assad, at least he is a devil we know and can contain. The rebels have already shown that any new leadership would be hostile to Israel and make life in more difficult for the rest of the people of Syria.I wish the Obama Administation would seriously think this one out, we have too many wars to fight, and helping the rebels will only create a "true" terrorist state, one that will have chemical weapons, radars, and an air defense sytem. If they are really concerned about the region they would focus on the tyrrants in Saudia Arabia... #political_prince

      February 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  33. Thinker

    In 1968, Palestinians were about to overthrow puppet King Abdullah in Jordan. It was Pakistani army under Zia Ul Haq saved the King of Jordan. For that he was rewarded Presidency of Pakistan. Sunni Pakistani army will love to pick-up fight with Shia Assad of Syria.

    February 8, 2013 at 6:04 am | Reply
    • Tahir

      it was a US order to save him.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • krm1007

      we love to see Sunni Pakistani army fight with Shia Syria. Go ahead do it.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  34. Thinker

    US has at her disposal Pakistani army. Remember why Pakistan was created in first place. US is paying for it. Why not use it in Syria ?

    February 8, 2013 at 5:55 am | Reply
    • Me

      Funny, I thought Pakistan was a UK product. Man you guys just hate all successful western nations.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
  35. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:02 am | Reply
    • hello puny boy

      Hey pewnie boy at it again, his handle is Phunnie Boy, and he really thinks he is, funny that is, he supports his own comments, under different pseudonym, george patton, john geheran,John Smith what ever name will do at the time. He just chooses to use others names to create his own form of chaos. Just use you own handle you gutless piece of s-h-i-t. Back to you Phunnie Boy.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      Iraq 1,000,000+
      Syria 60,000+
      Pakistan 40,000+
      Afghanistan 100,000+

      impressive isn't it? Think twice before you plan another attack on American soil.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
      • Tahir

        One can easily see who is the biggest terrorist of this world.

        February 8, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • neil480

        Tahir, muslims are responsible for killing more muslims than any other religion or country on this Earth.

        February 8, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  36. Kevin

    Obama has no balls to do anything.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:03 am | Reply
    • gp

      He went after OBL and got him.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:38 am | Reply
    • Ausjac

      No but Bush or Romney for that matter would have gone in guns a blazen and we all know how Republican wars end up don't we.!

      February 8, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
  37. KEVIN

    Smart decision by the White House. If we arm these rebels we would violate our agreement with Russia and China to not get militarily involved. Plus; these rebels are made up of many diff. factions including many extremists throughout the ME. Yes, Assad has been dealing with these rebels like a genocidal dictator. But we need to be realistic. The only way to resolve this is to do so in conjunction with Russia and China. If we need to do so militarily, the big three need to all act at the same time in conjunction with each other.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • Rick_Buggy

      well said Kevin!

      February 8, 2013 at 1:07 am | Reply
  38. bvfhjhfgfghhfv

    (...)–NOW THE SYRIAN CITIZENS ARE DEALING WITH THE REALITY/PERCEPTION PROBLEM OF WORKING WITH THE EVER GROWING AL-Q ZOMBIES WHO ARE NOW REPORTED TO BE NUMBERED AT1200 IN SYRIA(...)

    February 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  39. helenecha

    If we're fed up with al-Assad regime, will we keep ourselves optimistic to a new Syrian government?

    February 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  40. kilogrammed

    Most of the "Syrian rebels" are not Syrian after all. Arming these rebels is arming Al-Qaeda and radical Islam. Is the US blind or just acting blind to serve the interests of "others"?

    February 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • cactus

      Wasn't that what we were doing in Benghazi?

      February 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Reply
      • Tahir

        not only bengazi but uncle osama and company was also created and supported by USA.

        February 8, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  41. jtdvmjgdfhjgd

    DONT BE AFRAID OF SUCCESS

    February 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  42. Re-posted With Intent To Educate Syrian Opposition Fighters

    YOU ARE AL QAEDA FIGHTERS SIR, SO HELL WITH YOU. LET SYRIAN ARMY TAKE CARE OF YOU.

    February 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • Rick_Buggy

      Absolutely 100% true!

      February 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  43. jtdvmjgdfhjgd

    ALSO WHAT GROUPS AND GROUPS WITHIN THE GROUPS ARE AT RISK AND WHY IF/WHEN CERTIAN GOALS ARE MET

    February 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  44. jtdvmjgdfhjgd

    SYRIANS DO NEED TO CONTINUE TO SELF EVALUATE WHO THEIR FRIENDS ARE WHO THERE FRIENDS ARE NOT WHO ARE THEIR FRIENEMYS ARE AND WHERE THOSE GROUPS OF FREIND AND FOE ARE TRENDING

    February 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  45. jtdvmjgdfhjgd

    ALL THINGS CONSIDERED THE SYRIANS ARE DOING A GREAT JOB

    February 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  46. jtdvmjgdfhjgd

    TO DATE: SYRIANS ARE ARMED ALREADY WHY WOULD THEY NEED MORE OF ANYTHING THEY HAVE NOT ALREADY PUBLICLY ASKED FOR AND NOT ALREADY AQUIRED ON THEIR OWN

    February 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  47. Rick_Buggy

    This is EXACTLY what Benghazi was all about! Arms from Libya to Turkey and over the border into Syria. Do they take us all for idiots?

    February 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  48. tinykhan

    SHUT THE HELL UP MCCAIN....gee, lets arm more terrorists, because we KNOW they never use our own weapons against us or protestors for freedom. We armed Iraq for years when they fought Iran and they didn't use the weapons on our allies or us...wait, no, wrong...Mubarak in Egypt didn't use American weapons on his own people when they began to protest for freedom...wait, no, wrong...American weapons given to Libyan rebels were not used against the American embassy in benghazi...wait, no, wrong...STOP GIVING OUR WEAPONS OUT, STOP FEEDING THE DEFENSE CONTRACTORS!!! McCain needs to go, for someone who was captured and tortured during a war, he sure does love to feed new ones. What an idiot.

    February 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @tinykahn,McCain isn't the hero everyone thinks he is..The Saigon Songbirds military records were sealed by orders from his admiral father because he was basicly a traitor while in prison.His wounds weren't from torture but from when he crashed his jet into a rice party after running into his own missile flack flying too low..Don't let these uninformed republican hacks put him on a pedestal he doesn't deserve..He's also behind the Keating 5 that S&L scandal that cost us taxpayers billions in the 80's..Read between the lines people ,quit worshipping someone that should be jailed or not in politics altogether,its that simple,be informed and quit praising false political Gods idiots...

      February 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  49. Craig

    They did arm the rebels with weapons funneled through Libya. This is political cover when the truth comes out.

    February 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  50. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    February 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  51. ToraFetah

    FIGHT THE WESTERN BACKED RATS! THERE WILL NO PLACE FOR THEM IN SYRIA!
    GOD BLESS THE SYRIAN ARAB ARMY AND THE RESISTANCE!

    February 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  52. christopher rose

    Well McCain has nobody but himself to blame on this one. If Obama arms these rebels and even ONE takes a gun and kill some American They would be screaming for his impeachment. The political process is so poisoned now leaders can't lead and won't take risk just to CYA politicly. And after all the baloney about Bhenghazi who would blame them?

    February 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • robertmorton359

      So true! Robert at Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) News.
      http://www.osintdaily.blogspot.com

      February 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @Christopher Rose,ask Reagans people who armed the Afghanistan people who fought against Russian troops for over 10 years and what weapons are they using on us now,ours of course!!How Reagan got caught selling weapons illegally and cried publicly he just didn't know but the CIA said different didn't they..The only reason Reagan wasn't impeached is because there wouldn't ever be another republican in the White House if two republican presidents in a row were both thrown out and you know its truth,just check my facts because they don't lie!!

      February 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  53. Bob

    McCain not so long ago was in Saudi encouraging them to arm the rebels. This they have done, but largely the Salafist/extremist groups. McCain now uses the threat that these extremist groups will win, the very people he lobbied for in Saudi, and dominate the future Syria to suggest that the US should arm the more centrist rebels. This for me clearly demonstrates McCains inconsistency of principle and apparently not much real concern for the people of Syria, but rather a desire to manipulate for an end he personally desires. It is reminiscent of when he was a guest of Ghaddaffi and encouraging Ghaddaffi to buy arms from US defense contractors, this just about a year before he suddenly changed his tune and then Ghaddaffi had to be overthrown – as he was. Everything about him seems to be about convenience – his.

    February 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  54. Spearwielder

    Goshdarnit, if we're gonna arm somebody, we'll arm the drug cartels to the south!

    February 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  55. Big_D

    More guns isn't the path to peace? That makes total sense but it is surprising the USA has any common sense left.

    February 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  56. Ratt

    It's about time we pulled out of the Middle East and start trading bushels of wheat, beans and corn for barrels of oil.

    February 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  57. Sly Cooper

    Why on earth would they want to arm those rebels... Is it because they are desperate to overtake Russia's role in the country, and in the middle east in general? Even if that was the reason why, it's not a wise decision, the rebels are in no way allied with America.

    February 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  58. mojacar

    is this to take the whitehouse off the hook now that their arming of the terroriststs is going wrong? shades of oliver north and iran contra

    February 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  59. robertmorton359

    I wrote an article in May 2012 about Syrian rebels receiving their first “third generation” anti-tank weapons, the 9K115-2 Metis-M and Kornet E. They were supplied by Saudi and Qatari intelligence agencies following a secret message from President Barack Obama approving the raising of the military stake in the effort to oust Assad. This is no surprise. I offer the article free t readers here:

    http://osintdaily.blogspot.com/2012/05/obama-supplies-syrian-rebels-with-anti.html

    February 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Reply

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