CIA Evidence of ‘Horrendous’ Syrian Atrocities Will Be Given to Senators

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:42pm

The Senate Intelligence Committee will provide all senators with a DVD, prepared by the CIA, showing the effects of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said Thursday.

“I had asked the CIA to prepare a DVD, which would have specific instances of evidence — largely victims and what what we see means. What pinpointed eyes means, what the convulsions mean, a number of aspects,” the California Democrat said. “We received that this morning, and it’s horrendous. So, we are having that DVD multiplied and we’re going to get it out to every member of the Senate, and possibly members of the House.”

Feinstein said her primary responsibility in the debate over an authorization for use of military force against Syria is to make sure that her Senate colleagues have access to all available information.

“I think that the prohibition on chemical weapons is well founded, and after you watch exactly what happens, you can see why that’s so, because they have tons and tons and tons of this stuff,” Feinstein said.

She made her comments following a closed briefing at the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, just one of many hearings on both sides of the Capitol. Another briefing for senators will be held after the Senate’s scheduled votes on Sept. 9, she said.

The briefings and the DVD are part of the Obama administration’s continued lobbying in support of the use of force resolution on Capitol Hill, which has included personal outreach by President Barack Obama.

“Yesterday, the President made five calls to a bipartisan group of senators as part of our continued engagement with members of Congress on Syria,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a statement to reporters traveling with the president in Russia for the G-20 summit.

“Based on what I have learned, I have no doubt that the regime used nerve agents, and I know there are at least 11 to 14 prior small incidents, and then this larger incident,” Feinstein said. “I think it’s very important what the United Nations team finds, and I hope that would be just as soon as possible.”