Despite evidence that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against its people, President Obama today said that the United States will not intervene in the conflict until both the administration and the international community can establish that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons. “We don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them, we don’t have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened,” he told reporters.
Even if those facts were established, the president — who previously said the use of chemical weapons would constitute a “red line” — was more cautious today about whether even definitive proof of their use would be sufficient to change his administration’s calculus in the region. “It would cause us to rethink the range of options that are available to us,” he said.
The president also fielded questions on new information emerging about the 9/11 attack on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi.
A lawyer for State Department whistleblowers looking to speak publicly about their knowledge of the attack told Fox News yesterday that her clients are being threatened by the Obama administration and that her own security clearance is being blocked.
“I’m not familiar with it,” the president told Fox News’ Ed Henry, “but I will find out what exactly you’re referring to.”
The president was speaking to reporters at a press conference marking the first 100 days of his second term in office.