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WH Muzzles Black Caucus On Syria, OFA Is Silent

From Foreign Policy Magazine:

Congressional Black Caucus Instructed to Hold Tongue on Syria

By John Hudson | September 5, 2013

As an increasing number of African-American lawmakers voice dissent over the Obama administration’s war plans in Syria, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has asked members to "limit public comment" on the issue until they are briefed by senior administration officials.

A congressional aide to a CBC member called the request "eyebrow-raising," in an interview with The Cable, and said the request was designed to quiet dissent while shoring up support for President Obama’s Syria strategy.

The CBC, a crucial bloc of more than 40 votes the White House likely needs to authorize a military strike in Syria, is scheduled to be briefed by White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Monday. Until then, CBC chairwoman Marcia Fudge has asked colleagues to "limit public comment until [they] receive additional details," Fudge spokeswoman Ayofemi Kirby told The Cable.

So it’s even more insulting than just being told to shut up. The CBC has been told to shut up until Susan Rice had a chance to tell them what to think about a Syrian attack, which she will do on Monday. (We wonder if she will try to blame a video?)

When asked if the White House requested the partial gag order, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said "the Administration is reaching out to all Members to ensure they have the information they need to make an informed judgment on this issue." Kirby said it was her boss’s request and was aimed at keeping members informed rather than silencing anti-war members…

We guess that means the answer was ‘yes.’

Despite the request, some CBC members have felt compelled to let constituents know where they stand on an issue consuming the public’s attentions. "It’s my obligation to speak out and say what my thought process is," Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), a member of the CBC and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Cable. "I think it’s important for me to step forward and make some statements. These are very personal matters." …

The nerve of some people. And Mr. Meeks isn’t alone. Even Charlie Rangel is willing to risk the White House’s wrath.

From the Washington Examiner:

Top Congressional Black Caucus member mocks Obama’s Syria proposal


Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., mocked the idea that U.S. military could make a "limited" attack on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, even as the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus asked members to keep quiet about the issue for the time being.

"There’s no such thing as limited war," Rangel told MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Thursday afternoon. "You cannot attack a country and then [set] the rules by which he or she may respond." …

Rangel called for Obama to use American foreign aid as leverage to convince other countries to intervene. "How in God’s heaven does anyone want me to believe that we’re the only ones with young kids?" he asked, referring to American soldiers…

Meanwhile, Obama’s online army of paid astro-turfers has also been told to clam up about Syria.

From Reuters:

Reflecting Democrats’ divide, pro-Obama group silent on Syria

By Gabriel Debenedetti | September 5, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President Barack Obama’s team faces one of its toughest lobbying challenges in urging Congress to approve U.S. military action in Syria, the advocacy group dedicated to promoting the president’s agenda is staying quiet…

Probably because they don’t know what Obama wants. Which is because he doesn’t know himself.

That’s by design, OFA executive director Jon Carson said on Thursday, adding that the group does not intend to send supportive emails or lobby on the issue.

"OFA supports President Obama and the agenda that Americans voted for on November 6, but we don’t always actively organize around every issue, and the debate in Congress over the Syria vote is not one that OFA is planning on organizing around," Carson said…

Isn’t that handy? Well, it’s not like Syria is an important issue.

A donor to the group who asked not to be identified said that OFA’s stance on Syria reflected the "no-win" nature of many foreign policy issues.

"Obama’s goal in getting elected, and our goal in electing him, wasn’t dealing with this nightmare in Syria," the donor said…

Whoops. We’re pretty sure the donor didn’t mean to say that out loud. After all OFA is a 501c3 charity. They are prohibited by law from advocating for any political candidates.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, September 6th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “WH Muzzles Black Caucus On Syria, OFA Is Silent”

  1. mr_bill says:

    “Obama’s goal in getting elected, and our goal in electing him, wasn’t dealing with this nightmare in Syria,”

    Translation: We just wanted him to win, we didn’t think about him actually having to do anything once he was elected. Now that he has to make a decision, we’re going to shut up and stay back, so when this turns into a bigger debacle, our fingerprints aren’t on it. If we had wanted to elect a president based on his ability to govern, we probably wouldn’t have advocated for nerobama. Oh, and the IRS isn’t going to revoke our tax-exempt status, because nerobama will make sure of that.

  2. Noyzmakr says:

    I have learned it is impossible to muzzle a black woman without violence.

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