But if they don’t find any, it will almost certainly be full speed ahead anyway — al Qaeda needs our help. “Obama: Syrian govt carried out chemical attack,” by Deb Riechmann and Kimberly Dozier for the Associated Press, August 28:
WASHINGTON (AP) “” President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared unequivocally that the United States has “concluded” that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians. Yet U.S. intelligence officials say questions remain about whether the attack could be linked to Syrian President Bashar Assad or high officials in his government.
Obama did not present any direct evidence to back up his assertion that the Syrian government bears responsibility for the attack. U.S. officials were searching for additional intelligence to bolster the case for a strike against Assad’s military infrastructure and rule out the possibility that a rogue element of the Syrian military could have used the weapons on its own authority.
While Obama said he is still evaluating possible military retaliation, he vowed that any American response would send a “strong signal” to Assad.
“We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out,” Obama said during an interview with “NewsHour” on PBS. “And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”…
That quest for added intelligence has delayed the release of the report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence laying out evidence against Assad. The report was promised earlier this week by administration officials.
The CIA and the Pentagon have been working to gather more human intelligence tying Assad to the attack, relying on the intelligence services of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel, the officials said. The administration was planning a teleconference briefing Thursday on Syria for leaders of the House and Senate and national security committees in both parties, U.S. officials and congressional aides said.