So far, there have been a lot of questions about who exactly caused the chemical weapons strike that might now draw us into a new war. Foreign Policy’s Elias Groll notes that our State Department isn’t exactly sure who in the Syrian regime ordered a chemical weapons strike:
On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf admitted as much. “The commander-in-chief of any military is ultimately responsible for decisions made under their leadership, even if … he’s not the one that pushes the button or said, ‘Go,’ on this,” Harf said. “I don’t know what the facts are here. I’m just, broadly speaking, saying that he is responsible for the actions of his regime. I’m not intimately familiar with the command and control structure of the Syrian military. I’m just not. But again, he is responsible ultimately for the decisions that are made.”
You know what’s really funny about this? Compare it to the White House explanation for how President Obama has nothing to do with the IRS scandal, the various Hillary Clinton-era State Department scandals, or the DOJ AP-wiretapping scandal, of which White House press secretary Jay Carney said:
“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department. Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.”
Not trying to put Assad in a favorable light here, but seriously — incredible double standard when it comes to executive responsibility. What separates us from Syria is that under our Constitution, the president only controls Seal Team Six — all other agencies act on their own.