The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) has sent a series of questions to the Obama Administration regarding the authorization for the use of military force on Syria. According to documents obtained by Firedoglake, the CPC asked a total of 67 questions ranging from the evidence itself to the possible consequences from the strike on US security and interests.
The questions come after the White House held a conference call with the CPC last week and members received feedback from experts and constituents which presumably influenced the crafting of the letter. The questions related to evidence including “What is our assessment of specific allegations from rebels (who aren’t fond of Assad) that the rebels used chemical weapons provided by Prince Bandar?” The question includes a link to a Mint News story alleging that Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia supplied rebel forces with chemical weapons.
There are also questions regarding legal authority such as “How can the Convention on Chemical Weapons be enforced against Syria when Syria has not signed it?”, and that given the UN Charter forbids unilateral military attacks “Does the U.S. proposed attack violate the UN Charter?”
Questions in the letter additionally focused on the Syrian rebels and the consequences for American security should the attacks help topple the Assad government. CPC members were apparently concerned about connections between the Syrian rebels and Al Qaeda, and noting that, asked the following question:
The Pentagon estimates that there are between 800 and 1,200 rebel groups currently active in Syria. Some of them support a jihad against the United States. How can we possibly control, or even influence, which one benefits most from our involvement in Syria?
That will likely prove difficult to answer. Other questions focused on cost, civilian casualties from bombing, and the possibility that Iran will enter the war.
Image by Arthena under Creative Commons license.