Clinton says Assad could fit definition of war criminal
February 28th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Clinton says Assad could fit definition of war criminal

By Adam Levine

The U.S. Secretary of State said that she believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's actions fit the definition of war crimes but does not think such a path should be pursued at the moment. (Click here for the latest CNN reporting on Syria)

“I think that based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category,” Secretary Clinton told a Senate committee on Tuesday.

Asked by South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham if charges should be pursued, Clinton said now is not the time.

“I think people have been putting forth the argument but I also think from long experience that could complicate a resolution of a difficult complex situation because it limits options to persuade leaders to step down from power,” Clinton said.

Last week, a U.N. report identified Syrian commanders and high-ranking officials who may be responsible for "widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations" and apparent crimes against humanity.

The violations have been conducted with the "apparent knowledge and consent" of the country's "highest levels," the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic says.

The U.S. raised the issue of war crimes as far back as last summer when a senior Obama administration official said the U.S. is collecting information on possible crimes by Syrian security forces amid a violent crackdown on opposition protesters.

The time, the official told reporters that America is "looking into ... whether there are grounds here for charges related to war crimes," and whether referrals to the International Criminal Court may be appropriate.

Clinton has said she believes Assad will eventually leave but said the question is when.

“I do. I just don’t know how to define ‘eventually’ right now,” Clinton said.

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Filed under: Assad • Clinton • Congress • Middle East • State Department • Syria
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. See DOWNLOAD MP4/3GP VIDEOS FOR FREE PLEASE NOTE: U MUST BE 18

    “I think people have been putting
    forth the argument but I also
    think from long experience

    February 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  2. mipolitic

    an earthquake is life changing , this assad guy will fall under his worse nightmare , putin built the fence and he will take whatever he wants. assad will see a little party coming that will be his end , but syria will not fall.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  3. ram

    I think Clinton will be the first to leave...just about election time.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • mipolitic

      news flash ,,, the bags are packed, bill sees the light and than sees darkslide of a hands off collision of usa foreign policy in mid east. Hillary is doing the job with nobody in the home office but polsters.

      HER BOOK WILL BE AN EYE OPENER FOR SURE !
      THIS LADY HAS WORKED VERY HARD FOR PEOPLE , HILLARY GIVES RUNNING SHOES A NEW MEANIG . IT HARD TO KEEP TRACK OF HER ITINERARY.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • A-Pissin'-on-the-dead-kinda-guy

        She's a two-faced waste of cunt.

        February 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  4. michaelfury

    What about this guy?

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/sing-it-out/

    February 28, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply

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