Report: 25 killed in chemical attack in Syria
Reaction from Amb. John Bolton
- Duration 8:00
- Date Mar 19, 2013
Reaction from Amb. John Bolton
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There is breaking news now from the war in Syria and this could be significant reports that chemical weapons have been used in that conflict.
Now if confirm this would be the first time that chemical weapons have been.
Entered into this ongoing civil war war that stretches for two years but which side used it.
Now state run Syrian news agency claiming.
That's 45 are dead in a rebel chemical attack in northern Syria.
That means the government in Damascus is blaming the rebels.
Conner -- working the story live in the Middle East bureau with more from -- -- what can you report.
Well bill there's a lot of conflicting information right now coming out of Syria according to western intelligence officials they tell us that.
I mean like the reports that we're hearing right now out of Syria -- in fact it was the -- regime use some type of chemical weapons.
On rebels in northern Syria and around -- -- -- region.
-- course -- regime in this side state television has said that rebels used as weapons but what we're here right now from western intelligence officials -- -- the opposite that in fact it was the aside routine use some type of chemical weapons.
And killed somewhere between fifteen and 26 people a game conflicting reports we've heard fifteen we've also heard.
126 there is a lot of different information right now but we have confirmed -- Course that there have been some type of chemical weapons being used in Syria now -- use them on exactly which group is still very much unclear right now -- -- thank you it's just one -- is crossing the Associated Press at the moment here Reuters is reporting on this a bit earlier as well so we're sorting through this now.
My thanks to him and this is breaking news right now we want to bring -- Ambassador John Bolton -- and get his reaction to this he heard Telecom are proud just told us -- -- -- ambassador.
Well I don't take anything the inside regime says at face value so and they claim the rebels used chemical weapons it's just as likely as he reported that that was the regime that used chemical weapons and is blaming it on the rebels but.
I don't think it's impossible that the that rebels could get hold of chemical weapons we don't know where all of the regime's arsenals -- it's possible some felon to the opposition hands.
But whoever used chemical weapons if in fact that's verified that would be a significant change.
In this conflict and it would underline.
Both the risk to civilians of either side using chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict or.
That those weapons could fall into hands that take them out of Syria for use by terrorists around the world and that should be.
A top American priority preventing that from.
Happened and I believe correct me if I'm -- that earlier in this conflict.
-- the administration.
Basically said that that was something and a red line -- added that they were discouraging.
Any use of chemical weapons but that that would change.
That this -- so to speak.
Well red lines come and go for the Obama administration will see I think obviously we need hard facts here as to exactly what's going on.
I think it's difficult to affect the use of chemical weapons inside.
Because you're talking a bad very close circumstances.
Regime civilians opposition.
Hard to get the middle of that but but it certainly should -- the -- the risk.
That these weapons could come loose fall into the hands of terrorist or regime officials who would sell them to terrorist and and get out of the country.
I -- we know how hard it has been and to get good reports out of Syria is obviously at.
It's such a danger zone at this point what do you think the likelihood and how soon -- week.
Get a good handle on what really happened here and perhaps see evidence of these chemical weapons being used.
Well I'm sure the tracking these weapons is already a high priority for our intelligence -- now needs to be I think a higher priority in light of these reports.
-- and finding out where where the weapons may have been moved to whether other units of the Syrian army -- the opposition may be prepared to use them.
But certainly on absolute high alert on the borders and exit points from Syria to make sure that none of these weapons or are getting outside the country.
Well I think except for your reaction to this breaking news and we also if that's on the other story that -- -- right on her to talk about this morning.
And that is this bombshell new report that claims that a hacker.
Has begun to distribute content confidential memos on a -- Ghazi terror attacks.
The hacker reportedly stole emails that a former White House aides sent to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
And begin sending them out to a range of public figures.
What do you think about this.
Well I think it's very interesting this former Clinton made here is a political advisor is not apparent policy expert at least last time I look.
And yet he's sending memos to the secretary of state on then guys -- now they say I don't think there's -- thing improper about that.
But it certainly underlines that the political nature of the administration's.
Of the post -- -- environment and I can't wait to read these memos I'm sure they'll be a real treat.
I think it will simply increased demands in congress for answers about the real facts of Ben -- that after six months we still haven't gotten.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- The thoughts on hacking you know everybody has their feelings about how the should be handled and you know that that the fact that the -- doesn't seem to accurately.
Cracked down on the people's ability to sort of tap into it in a private exchanges but one thing I think it truly highlights here -- is that if there's a need in social media and even extending into these lawbreakers.
To learn more about what happened it does does it not say something about the energy in this country to -- to produce some truth in this matter.
Yeah well I think there should be more protection for.
Intellectual property on the Internet for people's own communications but but I I certainly have no faith in the privacy.
Protections -- by -- me emails are pretty boring.
But you know this is a that dealing with sensitive matters of national security.
Does raise a question I think whether classified information may have been compromised and and what exactly what were the nature of these.
Communications and and and when you consider that other administration officials.
Former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson were using.
Non government channels for their emails you have to wonder really what what's going on inside the administration more broadly.
And one of the biggest questions has surfaced in the last a couple of days and a number of folks on Capitol Hill.
Are pressing this issue is that we haven't heard from any of these survivors -- you think about the fact there's 33 people out there I can't really remember a story -- something this.
Big and this awful happened that we just don't hear anything from from all of the people who were there.
Right well I you don't normally I think it's not prudent.
Course for congress to be interfering in executive branch affairs questioning low level people and the like but I think this is really an extraordinarily.
Different circumstance that has not to do simply with -- guys he brought about.
Potential threats and what the response ought to be to American posts.
Embassies consulates in American official personnel and private citizens all around the world.
Not being able to understand fully what happened -- Ben Ghazi means it's impossible.
To take the appropriate remedial and protective steps elsewhere which is what congress is trying to do and and the whole thing has.
To me just been a self inflicted wound by the administration if there's no political cover up that they don't have anything to hide.
Why not get the story out so that congress and the public as a whole can react.
The big question.
And still unanswered ambassador Bolton thank you very much an -- --