Tuesday, 17 September 2013

President Breaks Arms Export Laws to Send Shipments to Syrian "Rebels"

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The motto of the Obama administration seems to be, “He who rules the waves may waive the rules.”

According to a story published by The Hill, “President Obama has waived federal regulations on U.S. arms sales to begin supplying anti-chemical weapons equipment to rebel forces in Syria.”

Under applicable (until now) provisions of the Arms Export Control Act, the president may not authorize shipment of any item included in the U.S. Munitions List. 

Paragraphs (a)-(c) of Category XIV specifically outlaw exporting “chemical agents” or “equipment for dissemination, detection, and identification of, and defense against” those agents.

Furthermore, Section 121.7(e) names “nerve agents, gases, and aerosols” under the definition of the chemical agents that the government may not export.

In America in 2013, the law, it seems, is whatever President Obama says it is.

In fact, The Hill reports that National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said that the statutes forbidding these exports now no longer apply to “"international organizations ... [and] select vetted members of the Syrian opposition, including the Supreme Military Council.”

"This action is part of longstanding and ongoing efforts to provide life-saving chemical weapons-related assistance to people in need in Syria," Hayden added, as stated in the article.

Readers will notice that the Arms Export Control Act does not contain such an exemption. In fact, the law explicitly purports to prevent the president from making such unilateral decisions, especially as it pertains to chemical weapons and defenses to their use.

Despite breaking the law, flouting the separation of powers, and sending forbidden chemical agent defenses to known agents of al-Qaeda, the president’s actions will make it very difficult for international regulators “to track and contain those weapons stockpiles.”

This is precisely the point made recently by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Paul said that the situation in Syria “is more likely to be unstabler” if the United States continues to intervene in the country’s civil war.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the administration’s intent to break the law in order to send chemical agent defenses to our “allies” in Syria (a group whose leadership counts with many members of the same organization that allegedly carried out the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001) is that the shipment will violate another law, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It is already apparent that for this illegal act the president will, again, not be held accountable.

According to the applicable (until now) provisions of the NDAA, anyone suspected of providing material support to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces is subject to indefinite detention in military custody.

On several occasions now, President Obama and hundreds of federal lawmakers have approved shipments of weapons and money to the so-called Syrian resistance. The evidence of al-Qaeda’s presence in this force is overwhelming.

The zeitgeist prevalent since the opening of the Obama epoch of the Pax Americana is to pass laws that do not apply to the lawmakers (ObamaCare and the NDAA) and to flout laws that ostensibly are obstacles to the establishment of an empire.

Unfortunately, President Obama has determined that he “cannot wait” on Congress to act and he will autocratically authorize the export of biological weapons defenses to Syrian “rebels.” 

It’s not as if it isn’t expected, however. As has been known for at least a week now, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been supplying military weaponry to the anti-Assad forces fighting in Syria.

The Washington Post reported on September 11 that the shipments are “limited to light weapons and other munitions that can be tracked.” However, in a related report, CBS News expands the list of materiel being trafficked to Syria by agents of American intelligence:

The agency has also arranged for the Syrian opposition to receive anti-tank weaponry like rocket-propelled grenades through a third party, presumably one of the Gulf countries that has been arming the rebels, a senior U.S. intelligence official and two former intelligence officials said Thursday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the classified program publicly.

The Obama administration’s sending of military-grade weapons to a group with irrefutable ties to known terrorists brings up a very revealing question. 

Why are para-military organizations teeming with terrorists permitted to own firearms (and to have those weapons paid for and provided by the federal government), but Americans whose very Bill of Rights protects such ownership are having that very right eviscerated day by day by the very same government?

As with so many similar inexplicable inconsistencies, the president has no answer.

Perhaps now that the government is about to “run out of money,” President Obama and the CIA can save the American people a little money by combining their illegal shipments of weapons and weapons defenses.

 

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He can be reached at

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