Syria

Obama: Syrian Government Carried Out Chemical Attack

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Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Leah Stiles/wikimedia

Shortly after the Obama administration said that the U.S. would intervene in Syria without the backing of the United Nations or its allies President Obama announced that the U.S. believes that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack near Damascus last week.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. has concluded that the Syrian government carried out a large-scale chemical weapons attack against civilians last week.

Obama says the U.S. has examined evidence and doesn't believe the opposition fighting the Syrian government possessed chemical weapons or the means to deliver them.

Now seems an appropriate time to recall what Obama told The Boston Globe back in 2007:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

Read more from Reason.com on Syria here