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By J. Andrew Peak

It is official. The United States of America is now a state sponsor of terrorism.

Sound incredible?

Consider this.

Yesterday, the Washington Times reported that Barack Obama, with a stroke of a pen, rendered irrelevant, certain portions of a federal law prohibiting the arming of individuals or groups with ties to international terror.

This action was undertaken in order to enable the transfer of weapons to Syrian rebels.

It is common knowledge that many of these groups have ties to al-Qaeda.

Late Tuesday, the Obama administration pushed back against the idea that they were indeed arming terrorists. In a released statement, they countered that the move was undertaken in order to provide non lethal and other technological assistance to the people of Syria. By the end of the statement, it reads as though this is nothing more than community outreach – a sort of humanitarian effort.

There’s only one problem with that line of reasoning.

Since when has the President of the United States had to waive a law in order to provide humanitarian aid?

Additionally, such assistance is only to be given to groups who are “vetted”.

But what is the need in “vetting” organizations if they are only receiving humanitarian or non lethal supplies?

Additionally, if these groups were fully and competently “vetted” there would be no need to waive the law in the first place.

By virtue of the fact that President Obama knowingly and intentionally waived the law, the administration essentially admits two points. First, that indeed they are arming the Syrian rebels.  And second, that they cannot fully vet the groups they are arming.

Problems with vetting should come as no surprise considering that the U.S. government couldn’t properly vet Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, the Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan or the Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis. And the government had reams of documents on these persons in addition to whatever the NSA “accidentally” scooped up, via its dragnet of spy programs targeted toward U.S. citizens. Even so, they still couldn’t adequately vet them or connect the dots.

Knowing this, what chance is there that the same government can truly identify exactly who they’re dealing with when, on a daily basis, foreign fighters are streaming into Syria?

Any honest assessment must conclude that they can’t. It is why this waiver is a necessity. And a blatantly transparent effort designed to insulate the president from, what was heretofore, illegal activity; thus shielding him from the blowback that is sure to come.

It must be nice to make the rules up as you go along. But that’s what rulers do.

Each day, it seems as though Syria is destined to become Libya 2.0. Except in Libya, there were two differences. First Muammar Gaddafi, unlike Assad, did not have the backing of the Russians, Iranians or Hezbollah. The Syrian conflict is already bloodier. Second, the Libyan action was undertaken relatively early due in large part to prodding of the Europeans. Remember the whole leading from behind fiasco?

Because action was taken early in Libya, there was some measure of plausible deniability with respect to the potential arming of factions with interests hostile to the United States, despite reports at the time to the contrary. Indeed, historians will long argue over that “deniability” with respect to Benghazi.

In contrast to Libya, such claims cannot now be made with respect to Syria. It is explicitly known. There is no doubt as to who it is we as a nation are dealing with. More likely than not, some of the very rebels we are now supplying in Syria have, in the recent past, been responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In fact, U.S. intelligence has confirmed that the Al Nusrah Front, the most capable rebel faction, is constituted in part by al-Qaeda linked terrorists. It should also be noted that the Al Nusrah Front is fighting alongside our supposed good guys – the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Furthermore, it should come as no surprise that the Al Nusrah Front is responsible for many victories in Syria against the regime forces of Bashar al-Assad. After all, they are the same fighters who’ve been engaged in combat for over a decade against the most capable fighting force ever known to man – the U.S. military.

In short, they’re experienced fighters. And if somehow successful, they will over power our so called “good guys” and destabilize Syria – just as they did in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

And to top it all off, some members of the Al Nusrah Front are former detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

To summarize, in the course of a dozen years, the U.S. government has come full circle. We are now aiding and abetting the very groups who flew planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Like it or not, the U.S. has become a state sponsor of terrorism. The facts speak for themselves.

I wonder what the dead in section 60 of Arlington National cemetery would have to say about that.


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