TwitterFacebook

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

Another word for this is lying
Politics • Views: 36,186

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: 2015-04-18 5:26 pm PDT

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Great White Snark
Ruin, Renewal and a Contrast in Mans Works V Natural Structures
All of the following images were shot in a small area of Angeles National Forest at Upper Big Tujunga canyon. The Station fire some years ago was extremely fierce in this area. A string of high tension high voltage towers ...

4 minutes ago
Views: 32 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
lostlakehiker
Solar will soon be as cheap as coal
Better wafer fabrication techniques Inside a sprawling single-story office building in Bedford, Massachusetts, in a secret room known as the Growth Hall, the future of solar power is cooking at more than 2,500 °F. Behind closed doors and downturned blinds, ...

13 hours, 18 minutes ago
Views: 136 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Thanos
Space Scientists Plan to Blast Space Debris With Frickin’ Lasers, Study Says
The debris from deep space is a significant problem for the experts worrieded about the defense of Earth from extraterrestrial risks. Think about this debris as a ring, like Saturn's rings, made of not working satellites as well as ...

16 hours, 7 minutes ago
Views: 124 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
FemNaziBitch
IRS Should Crack Down on Private Equity’s Abusive Tax Alchemy
As Warren Buffett famously observed, "...while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks." He was referring to the fact that capital gains earned by wealthy investors are taxed at a ...

21 hours, 22 minutes ago
Views: 132 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
philosophus invidius
Bioethicist Live-Tweets Her Son’s Sex-Ed Class
The tweets were simultaneously disturbing and hilarious. "We are going to roll this dice 8 times. Every time your number comes up, in pretend your condom failed and you get a paper baby." JESUS!!! — Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April ...

2 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 299 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 8
CriticalDragon1177
Upworthy - Modern-day human slavery takes many forms. Here are 3 of them.
I really hope we can do more to fight this. Its a horrible crime, and it happens just about everywhere. Laura Willard writes about the tragedy of modern day slavery, often refered to as human trafficking. Modern-day human slavery ...

2 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 314 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Cheechako
One Hot Mess: 10 Ways to Tell if Your Pizza Is Really Good Christian Pizza
More: One Hot Mess: 10 Ways to Tell if Your Pizza Is Really Good Christian Pizza

2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 1,222 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 4
No Country For Old Haters
BBC - Future - the Dystopian Lake Filled by the World’s Tech Lust
From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake ...

2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 908 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 5
Lumberhead
This Video of Homeless People Reading Mean Tweets Is Devastating
Raising the Roof of Canada, an organization that aims to eliminate homelessness, filmed people without homes reading some of the most terrible comments written about them on social media, ranging from remarks about how they smell to dehumanizing insults. ...

2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 963 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 4 • Rating: 6
 Frank says:

Whatever you have to do to have a good time, let's get on with it, so long as it doesn't cause a murder.