[guest post by JD]
John Sexton has an excellent post outlining the nonsense emanating from Sec Longface about how his off-the-cuff remarks yesterday became the Russian “proposal”, to which the Admin jumped onto like passengers on the Titanic to a lifeboat. Since then, the comical series of blunders has again morphed to the point where Obama’s credible threat of force, that increasingly looks like it would fail in the House, and the Senate, gave weight to their position and allowed room for the Russian proposal. It morphed further when Kerry testified that his gaffe was actually part of a secret plan that he and Obama had been pushing for.
“Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting for that, but he isn’t about to do it and…can’t be done obviously.”
Within hours of saying this, an unnamed official had told CNN that Kerry’s statement was a “major goof” and added that Kerry “clearly went off script.”
Separately, a spokesperson for State sent an email to multiple reporters clarifying that “Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons…” A rhetorical argument is not a proposal.
Before leaving the UK Kerry had a pre-scheduled phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. During that call it was Lavrov who brought up Kerry’s comments. According to Reuters, Kerry flatly told Lavrov that his comments were not intended to be a proposal of any kind. Reuters quotes Kerry saying he voiced “serious skepticism” when Lavrov suggested they should explore the possibility.
Over at the White House press room Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken was on hand to reinforce the 40-minute pro-strike speech which Susan Rice had just concluded. Blinken was asked “Does that mean that the Secretary of State when he mentioned this idea in Britain earlier today that that was a proposal coming from this administration?” Blinken replied “No, no, no we literally just heard about this when you did.” Pressed on this point Blinken added “I believe [Kerry] was speaking hypothetically…”
At the State Department, spokesperson Marie Harf was also asked whether Kerry was making a proposal. She replied “the Secretary was not making a proposal…The Secretary was making a rhetorical statement…”
So we have it from Kerry himself, from a State spokesman by email, from Deputy National Security Adviser Blinken, from State’s spokeswoman and from CNN’s unnamed source that this was not a proposal.
Credibility no longer means what it once meant. To Obama, Lurch, and their sycophants, it apparently means throw every conceivable idea at the wall and pray to Allah that they can find a lie that will allow one idea to stick.
We are in the best of hands.