State Dept: WH Not Sure Syria Used Chemical Weapons
After days of tough talk from the White House regarding Syria's use of chemical weapons, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell emerged on April 26 to say no action will be taken against the country based on "intelligence assessments" until the administration can "corroborate the facts."
He said, despite reports announcing intelligence assessments that show chemical weapons have been used--even the assessments released by the State Department on April 25--there is not enough evidence to act.
A reporter attending the briefing asked Ventrell: "If the intelligence assessment has so little fact in it that it's basically not worth making any policy decisions based on, why make it public?"
Ventrell said it was, "an administrative decision to respond in a public fashion." He then reminded the questioner that, "intelligence assessments when it comes to WMD" have been questionable in the past.
And Ventrell wouldn't even confirm that the U.S. will act against Syria if facts corroborate the intelligence assessments that show they've used chemical weapons. Thus, when the questioner pointed out that President Obama has said it would be a game changer if chemical weapons have his been used, Ventrell would only say, "Those were the President's words."