US evaluating claims of chemical weapons use in Syria
Lawmakers suspect reports are true
- Duration 6:18
- Date Mar 20, 2013
Lawmakers suspect reports are true
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Just go back to our top story now this all began to break out during America's Newsroom yesterday.
And now we're getting conflicting accounts of what's really going on inside Syria as a civil war there continues to rage.
You've got the White House at first saying that it had no reason to believe those reports that were coming out that chemical weapons had been used.
Sunday that President Obama had said very clearly that if it happened that would be a red line it was big game changer change the calculus for his words.
But that just a short time later congressional leaders from both sides.
Appeared to suggest.
Quite the opposite here's more from the chairman of the house Intel committee Mike Rogers is and he set.
You have this exchange of of conversation between the opposition.
And the government about the use of chemical weapons and we have other other evidence -- wealth of that would lead me to say there there -- a probability that they used it.
And the very fact that.
I believe they have intent to use it is it raises a whole new set of questions.
Joined now by lieutenant colonel Oliver North Fox News military analyst.
-- walk -- always good to have you with us.
Thank you Martha -- it does look to me like we've got confusion in the ranks only between the White House and and what information we got from the media but also with the Israelis because.
Earlier today the new minister of intelligence and strategic planning for.
That made it made the observation that it appears.
That chemical weapons are used to it here's the question I've got.
We look very carefully yesterday at that footage that was provided to -- through.
AP and CBS.
There does not appear to me to be any evidence in what we saw on that footage that there are chemical weapons injury.
Why do you say that we saw that video -- and I have I have is in my question went when I -- -- so why do you say that.
If -- exposure to a mustard agent for example which we know they have would have cause blistering and in severe skin trauma.
A second exposure -- VXGB.
Serin gas all have neuro toxic.
Or bloody agent.
Side effects that is bleeding from the mouth -- and knows it causes vomiting it causes an enormous.
If you'll -- -- from the body none of that is evident in any of those victims we saw being off loaded at that hospital and left well.
At least allegedly because we don't really know it's a weapon or second of all none of the physicians or or medical -- we're treating them Martha.
Have any evidence of being provided with a chemical weapons protection.
You know take that at you made great play and wouldn't look at that that video.
And you talk about that the way to the end of the people appear on it.
And data back to the fact that this story when it first broke came from state media from Syrian state media blaming the rebels for having used it which made me wonder.
Are they trying to make it look as if the rebels are using that and that would you know justify in some way stronger action against the rebels is that a possibility.
Well I think one of the things that we do -- look very carefully at is the common but -- all -- and it's who's the new minister of interior excuse me intelligence and strategic planning for Israel he's the equivalent of our DN if you will and I was just in -- as you know just a little over a month ago.
When we were standing up there on the northern border the place where bill was just showing -- on the moving chart.
You can literally see almost all the way to Damascus from the Golan Heights you can see the Mediterranean from the Golan Heights.
And one of the Israeli officials said to to those of us who were there -- them.
Look our number one concern is still the Iranian nuclear weapons are number two concern is the chaos in Syria and how it affects us.
My sense is the Israelis are gonna give a very straightforward presentation they've got people on the ground we do not.
And our options are really very limited the Eisenhower battle group that's going into the Easter headed into the eastern Mediterranean.
Has the capability to deal with -- but -- also first have to deal with -- surface to air missile threat.
And so it's not one of these things snap your fingers and make all the chemical weapons go away.
Well this is president Obama's first visit as president and any wonder people see it in a somewhat different light -- In terms of how crowded and how comfortable that neighborhood really -- from the vantage point that you you were discussing.
That I do I also I talked a little bit about the ten year anniversary.
Of the beginning of the Iraq War and the question -- -- I remember President Bush saying when he looked back at all of that that that he hoped that history.
I would ditch his presidency and would -- his actions well.
Now we've got a ten year rear view mirror what are we seeing about Iraq and it.
Well I get asked all the time by the families of those who were killed the gold star families in the windows.
Of those soldiers sailors airmen Marines and I've covered over there and -- five different embeds.
I look back at them and they asked me.
Was it worth it like one of the hospitals and I see guys are still recovering from wounds in Iraq.
I take him -- on hunting trips -- -- -- -- freedom alliance and I got asked that question a lot particularly but the family not by those who fought there.
But by those who have family members that they loved and lost or were recovered.
My answer is yes it was worth it.
We got rid of a brutal despot who use chemical and biological weapons against his own people.
Weapons of mass destruction that he probably exported to civilian before we got there -- -- ten years before George W.
Bush was president.
Before we took action against this guy in which he he broke every single covenant he ever made to include committing genocide against his own people.
And using those munitions against Iran.
So I look at the world is being a better place without Saddam Hussein Uday and -- -- in the regime that offered nothing to its people except for the repression.
They at least have the opportunity now to choose for themselves may not be is all that we -- would like certainly.
We could have had for example with the Obama an opportunity for status of forces agreement and presence in the part of the world we we really need friends -- just as.
-- yeah I admit it as you just it is mentioned you know you've got the war and then you have the aftermath of the war in -- successfully that was handled and how much.
Of what was gained in the war was able to be locked in -- built on.
Based on I'm I want happened afterwards and and that's such a big part of this conversation as well -- thank you so much always good to have you with us.