TwitterFacebook

Weekly Standard Blatantly Distorts Obama Official’s Quote on Syrian Chemical Weapons

Another word for this is lying
Politics • Views: 36,268

Here’s a perfect example of how the right wing media distorts information to create false impressions, as the Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper (who specializes in drumming up fake outrages) takes a quote from an anonymous Obama official completely out of context: Obama Aide on Syria’s Assad: ‘If He Drops Sarin on His Own People, What’s That Got Do Do With Us?’ | the Weekly Standard.

President Barack Obama got ahead of himself and his advisers when he said that Syria using chemical weapons would cross a “red line,” the New York Times reports.

“How can we attack another country unless it’s in self-defense and with no Security Council resolution?” an unnamed Obama administration official tells the paper. “If he drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?”

This is an amazingly dishonest misrepresentation of the New York Times report. Here’s the actual article, and here’s the section with the out-of-context quote:

While concerns about Syria’s chemical arsenal go back years, apprehension rose sharply last July when American intelligence agencies detected signs that the Assad government was moving part of its huge stockpile out of storage. There was some evidence that the Syrian military was mixing chemicals, a possible indication that they were being prepared for use.

The reports grew more disturbing, if still fragmentary, by the weekend of Aug. 18 and 19. Denis McDonough, then the president’s principal deputy national security adviser and now the White House chief of staff, coordinated a series of urgent classified meetings in the West Wing. “It was a catalyzing event,” said one official involved.

The advisers reviewed an array of pre-emptive military options and quickly discounted them as impractical. The evidence was not strong enough to warrant a pre-emptive strike, they concluded, and military officers said the best they could do with airstrikes or commando operations would be to limit the use of chemical weapons already deployed.

Mr. Obama’s advisers also raised legal issues. “How can we attack another country unless it’s in self-defense and with no Security Council resolution?” another official said, referring to United Nations authorization. “If he drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?”

Let us list the dishonesty:

  • Halper’s headline and opening paragraphs give the impression that the quote came from a recent statement, indicating that the Obama administration is backing down on action against Syria. In fact, the quote refers to a discussion that took place last August.
  • Halper wants you to think his quote shows the Obama administration being callous and blasé about Syria’s Assad using sarin nerve gas against his own people — but in context, you can clearly see that it was in a discussion about the legal issue of attacking another country that has not directly attacked the US. The question, “If he drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?” refers to the difficulty of making a case for military action when there has been no direct attack against the US.
  • The New York Times article even specifically says that this quote is “referring to United Nations authorization,” yet somehow this little detail was completely left out of Halper’s distorted article.

This kind of stuff is why whenever you see the right wing media using a quote to attack the Obama administration, you must always go to the source. Nine times out of ten, you’ll discover that something is being either drastically distorted or completely made up.

UPDATE at 5/5/13 12:10:53 pm

Daniel Halper, by the way, was also the original source for that completely false (and never retracted) report that Obama’s children attend a school with “11 armed guards.”

Related
UPDATE at 5/5/13 1:28:39 pm

The right wing echo chamber is already spreading this dishonest article; it’s now featured at the top of Drudge Report:

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
Take advantage of our yearly subscription, and save 50% off the normal subscription price! One-year ad-free subscriptions are just $59.95. Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing now and save!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-06-25 5:21 pm PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds
Recent Pages
Lumberhead
Misty Copeland
Amidst the recent spate of aggressive displays of racism (church shootings, church burnings, announced KKK rallies, etc.) it's nice to come across signs of progress. Misty Copeland's story is one of those signs and it's an inspiring tale of achievement. ...

52 minutes ago
Views: 49 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Cheechako
Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can’t Dogfight
War Is Boringby DAVID AXE A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can't turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight ...

1 day, 7 hours ago
Views: 277 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Thanos
Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Texas Abortion Law
The Supreme Court on Monday put a temporary hold on a Texas law that abortion rights groups say would have led to the closures of all but a handful of the state's abortion clinics. The law, which was to ...

1 day, 15 hours ago
Views: 140 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Rocky-in-Connecticut
NBC Hands an Asshat his Ass
money.cnn.com Business is business. And business is pretty sweet these days when blowhard Know-nothings like Trump get what's coming.

1 day, 20 hours ago
Views: 246 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
PhillyPretzel
Patrick Macnee dies
I was looking at Philly com this morning and I saw this article. I was one of those who watched some episodes of this old series and liked it. Please read this article on Patrick Macnee from their website: philly.com ...

2 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 250 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
FemNaziBitch
Many See a Victory for Children, Too - Video
Thousands, including parents, babies and dogs, flocked to the Supreme Court after its ruling on same-sex marriage. Supporters spoke about how they thought the ruling helped maintain and support families. More: Many See a Victory for Children, Too - ...

3 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 229 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
SteveMcGaziBolaGate
Schoolchildren Build a Better Condom
From philly.com "A group of schoolchildren from Essex, England, have invented a condom that detects sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and syphilis."The condom would change color to warn the couple if a strain of bacteria is present." That's the ...

6 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 366 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
aagcobb
A New Study Gives Us Another Reason to Celebrate Working Mothers - Vox
Matthew Yglesias, Vox: A New Study Gives Us Another Reason to Celebrate Working Mothers - Vox The researchers find statistically significant differences in outcomes for both boys and girls, though the outcomes are different. Daughters of working moms grow up ...

6 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 265 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Great White Snark
Hypocritical Taylor Swift Photo Contract: Break Our Rules, and We Can Break Your Gear
Pop star power play. Yesterday, photographer Jason Sheldon published an open letter to Taylor Swift, accusing the singer of being a hypocrite by accusing Apple of treating artists unfairly while herself handing out heavy-handed contracts for concert photographers to sign. ...

1 week ago
Views: 636 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
The Vicious Babushka
How White Christians Used the Bible — and Confederate Flag — to Oppress Black People
More: How White Christians Used the Bible -- and Confederate Flag -- to Oppress Black People On Jan. 4, 1861, a Catholic bishop named Rev. A. Verot ascended a pulpit in The Church of St. Augustine, Florida, and defended the ...

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 896 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 21 • Rating: 3
 Frank says:

Gail has said in interviews that one of the things that makes our relationship work is the fact that we hardly ever get to talk to each other.