On Tuesday, almost 60 people died in Syria when warplanes dropped bombs filled with chemicals. Many suspected President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the attack. Many survivors went to Turkey and the Turkish Health Ministry announced that preliminary tests showed the poison in the bombs was sarin.
Well, former President Barack Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice said in January that the administration forced Assad’s regime to purge its chemical weapons.
Rice told NPR:
We were able to find a solution that didn’t necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria, in a way that the use of force would never have accomplished. Our aim in contemplating the use of force following the use of chemical weapons in August of 2013 was not to intervene in the civil war, not to become involved in the combat between Assad and the opposition, but to deal with the threat of chemical weapons by virtue of the diplomacy that we did with Russia and with the Security Council. We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.
This deal occurred in September 2013. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on Meet The press 10 months later:
“We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” Kerry claimed.
At the time, the fact-checking website PolitiFact found Kerry’s comments to be “mostly true.” However, given new evidence that Assad had recently used chemical weapons against his own people, PolitiFact was forced to revisit and revise its assessment of Kerry’s claims.
“We don’t know key details about the reported chemical attack in Syria on April 4, 2017, but it raises two clear possibilities: Either Syria never fulling complied with its 2013 promise to reveal all of its chemical weapons; or it did, but then converted otherwise non-lethal chemicals to military uses.
“One way or another, subsequent events have proved Kerry wrong,” the site ruled.
A month later, Obama even bragged about the mission:
The president himself on Aug. 18. 2014 said that “the most lethal declared chemical weapons possessed by the Syrian regime were destroyed by dedicated U.S. civilian and military professionals” and that it had been done “several weeks ahead of schedule.”
Rice has come under heat recently after Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reported that she made unmasking requests:
White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”
In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Rice never denied “unmasking names of Trump campaign and transition persons” and did not leak any information.
Who could also forget when Rice blamed the Benghazi attack on a YouTube video?