Classified: Senators Hide Their Votes on Arming Syrian Fighters from Public

Common Dreams – by Sarah Lazare

Debate and positions on controversial military aid shrouded in secrecy, conjuring memories of Iraq War buildup.

After the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week passed the Obama administration’s controversial plan to funnel arms to Syrian rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the vote and debate remain hidden from the public under the label of “classified” information.  

McClatchy reported on Tuesday:

There was no public debate and no public vote when one of the most contentious topics in American foreign policy was decided – outside of the view of constituents, who oppose the president’s plan to aid the rebels by 54 percent to 37 percent, according to a Gallup Poll last month.

In fact, ask individual members of the committee, who represent 117 million people in 14 states, how they stood on the plan to use the CIA to funnel weapons to the rebels and they are likely to respond with the current equivalent of “none of your business:” It’s classified.

Those were, in fact, the words Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the committee, used when asked a few days before the approval was granted to clarify her position for her constituents. She declined. It’s a difficult situation, she said. And, “It’s classified.”

Critics are furious at the secrecy, recalling the “classified” government meetings that drove forward the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

“It is really undemocratic, frankly, that important policy decisions are debated in secret and that the information on which these decisions are made are kept secret,” Stephen Zunes—leading US Middle East Policy scholar—told Common Dreams.

“That is how the Iraq War was,” he continued. “All these members of congress insisted there was evidence of weapons of mass destruction, and when they were questioned they said their evidence was ‘classified.’ We trusted the government not to lie to us, but they did.”

Zunes declared that the secrecy of the proceedings is especially egregious in a case where a majority of people in the US are opposed to sending direct military aid to Syria, as a recentGallup poll reveals.

“‘Classified’ has become less a safeguard for information and more a shield from accountability on tough subjects,” Steven Aftergood, the director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy, told McClatchy.

“Classification can be a convenient pretext for avoiding difficult questions,” he continued. “There’s a lot that can be said about Syria without touching on classified, including a statement of general principles, a delineation of possible military and diplomatic options, and a preference for one or the other of them. So to jump to ‘national security secrecy’ right off the bat looks like an evasion.”

The move to arm Syrian rebels comes amid Obama administration deliberation over potential direct military strikes.

Members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who refuse to reveal their position on Syrian arms include: Dianne Feinstein (D), John D. Rockefeller IV (D), Ron Wyden (D), Barbara A. Mikulski (D), Mark Udall (D), Mark Warner (D), Martin Heinrich (D), Angus King (I), Saxby Chambliss (R), Richard Burr (R), James E. Risch (R), Daniel Coats (R), Marco Rubio (R), Susan Collins (R), Tom Coburn (R), Harry Reid (D), Mitch McConnell (R), Carl Levin (D), and James Inhofe (R).

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/01-8

12 thoughts on “Classified: Senators Hide Their Votes on Arming Syrian Fighters from Public

  1. We, the American People, need to VOTE every God Damned one of these criminals out of office as fast as we can.

  2. only solution to oust rats in office is term limits for all and no party afillations. Both parties are the same-they take turns every 8 period cycle except when one term Jimmy Carter bucked the Is’real crime system– Jews made sure oil prices. mortgages sky rocketed. Bingo! Reagan Bush’it got in–prices settled. Sad part no one wants to talk about it. JUSA demockracy at it’s best :^(

  3. This event, along with so many others, continues
    to confirm the fact that congress has gone rogue.
    As well as the government as a whole.
    (But this is known by those who live in the real world.)
    There’s no right or left, house or senate.
    No doj or supreme court.
    There’s only a lose facsimile of a politburo.
    They institute laws that they wouldn’t willingly
    participate in. Actions such as the one above, which
    arms our enemies, which have mysteriously became
    our allies. And the list goes on, and on …….
    These creatures are pushing their limit further, to the
    point of actually flaunting their blatant marxism.
    American Patriots as a whole, are fed up and it
    wouldn’t take much more for them to settle the score.
    Now where did I put that piano wire ???????

  4. that is fine adolf fienstien – then all the committee members should lose the election next time since that is a sign that they all voted for it.

    i can’t believe what is going on in this country.

    we are crapping on our children’s future and these traitors don’t even care.

  5. Some where, some how, the american public has got to become aware of what the evil, ongoing, state of Israel, is and has been doing to our country…the FED is one of their creations, against our very basic laws, the US Const….Complicit americans of power have allowed this…still do. The only way, seems to me, is to physically throw out of the country, all lobbiest of this evil small state, all undercover police of theirs, all israelie military people, all jews who do not call ameica home and that america comes first…..Now! is it becoming clear why the germans did just that…to these murderous, stealing, dishonest bunch of rif-raf…..its also why, throughout the last many centuries, as a group, they have been run out of every place they seem to land….you would think they’d finally get the message and live in peace with others….Doesn’t seem that way at this time, does it!
    Then get um out of here……before there is no more US of A…..

  6. Classified. Because if their names were made Public Syrian Hit Squads would remove them from office permanently. Not a bad idea?

  7. I am fully aware that voting serves no useful purpose because “they” rig the voting machines to give the false illusion that their candidate really won. I refuse to believe that the same despicable traitors can be re-elected time and time again just due to the stupidity of the voters.
    Here is another case of “We are better than you, so we do not have to obey the same rules and laws that we make you obey!”

  8. What a bunch of cowardly rats. Why won’t they let us see?

    If they ain’t got nothing to hide, then what’s the problem? OOPs!!! I guess that only applies to the peasants not the puppets.

    Gee….John D. Rockefeller IV refused to reveal his position on Syrian arms. Imagine that. Mark Udall? So much for the Udall amendment. Traitor! Dianne Fienstein, Harry Reid, Marc Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Car Levin. All the same people who all need to be hanged for high treason and executed for crimes against this country and humanity.

    I’m surprised little Lindsey Graham Cracker wasn’t on the list since he loves secrecy and Israel.

    Hey, I think we should all use the “classified” excuse when asked to answer a question by the police or our government.

    Police: “Where are your guns?”
    We the People: “It’s classified.”

    Police: “What other patriot groups are you arming up with?”
    We the People: “It’s classified.”

    Police: “What are you doing here?”
    We the People: “It’s classified.”

  9. Hmmm

    Most cowards in public office are traitors as well. This is typical behavior from zionists of which there are many in Congress. Just look at the number of dual citizen israelis we have in so many key positions in both State and Federal government in the US. It is hardly surprising when year in and year out, decade in and decade out these treasonous cowards put israel first last and always.

    And of course the hypocrisy of arming “terrorists”. Terrorists that we have allegedly been fighting for 12 years. Terrorists that allegedly are the reason the US and israel had to murder nearly 3 million Muslims. The reason the US/israel literally destroyed 5 Middle Eastern Countries. The reason that 10’s of thousands of US soldiers are dead (they only count the one’s who actually die on the ground as “combat” deaths) and well over 1 hundred thousand wounded. The reason we the people have to pay interest on over 3 trillion for generations to come.

    Really people if you can’t see that israel controls the American Congress, and the phony war on terror is really a war for israeli zionionism; it is time to take a long hard look in the mirror. israel is in fact the ONLY country that has benefited from this phony war.

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