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Sen. Nelson on Syria: 'We should have struck today'

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Updated: 9/04/2013 9:37 am
ORLANDO, Fla. (WFTV) -- President Barack Obama says he intends to seek congressional approval for action against Syria.

Obama spoke on the developments in Syria from the Rose Garden on Saturday.

Sen. Bill Nelson spoke out Saturday in central Florida in support of a strike. 

"As far as I'm concerned, we should have struck today. The President stated that he's going to Congress for authorization, even though he feels he has the authorization to do it as Commander-in-Chief," Nelson said.

A group of locals protested in downtown Orlando against any sort of strike, while another group protested Friday in support of retaliation against Assad for what the United States says is a chemical weapons attack on civilians. 

President Barack Obama's national security team consulted with senators Saturday about Syria, while House Speaker John Boehner invited House members to return early from their August break for a classified briefing as the White House readied for a possible military strike.

Vice President Joe Biden, who was scheduled to be in Delaware this weekend, was instead at the White House, where Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry joined him.

Hagel, Kerry and others were to consult by phone Saturday afternoon with Senate Democrats and Republicans. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, also were to participate.

The White House said the calls would be unclassified, meaning officials would be limited in what they can say.

Nelson said he was on that call.

"My advice is the president should act as Commander-in-Chief. We should make the president of Syria understand that he stepped over the line, that he should never again use a weapon of mass destruction," Nelson said.
Nelson did say the U.S. should not place boots on the ground. 

On Sunday, the White House plans a classified, in-person briefing for House members, according to a notice from Boehner's office to House Republican staffers. House Democrats were planning to invite their members as well.

"This will be one of many classified briefings," read the invitation. "However, given the numerous requests made, the speaker wanted members to have an opportunity this weekend."

The briefing comes a day after the administration publicly released an unclassified intelligence report concluding that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government killed more than 1,400 last week in a chemical attack. A classified version of the assessment arrived on Capitol Hill late Friday night, the GOP notice said, and was available for all House members to review.

Obama is considering a limited military strike in response to the chemical attack.
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Truthseeker - 9/2/2013 5:21 AM
1 Vote
Nelson is the typical Obama lackey and will agree with anything Obama says. Don't you find it odd that, according to our government, this country doesn't have the money to take care of its own people, but Obama can find the money to help all of these other countries?

Realchange - 9/1/2013 2:11 PM
0 Votes
PS for the record. I served in that area in Desert Storm I am sick. I asked Nelson for help he didn't want help a desert storm sailor fighting for disability with the VA in such a political area. True story. I served in that region and seen the intel reports in the day. Assad needs to be brought down. I would not wish my medical problems on future Navy veterans but Assad has to go. Do keep in mind though there a veterans from that area that deployed during Desert Storm and the government will not service connect them. Tells them they don't rate jury trials when their case goes to court either.

Realchange - 9/1/2013 2:07 PM
1 Vote
While I dislike Nelson now days he is right. I served in that area. The strike was to well organized to be rebels. Assad sent out death squads at the start of this war. To go to known addresses of dissidents and kill every many woman and child found there. There was few survivors that testified to media and UN about this nothing was done. He has stockpile of chemical weapons which has indiscriminately killed many innocent people. The rebels fighting him are not our friends. Still what if it was your family murdered to the last ? What if it was your family died gasping for air from a horrible weapons that kills everything? How would you feel if the most powerful country in the world threw it's hands up and said "Hey sorry it happened but it's not our problem!" Is that the kind behavior you would want with your family all in graves while the man who ordered sat smugly by and laughed about so called sanctions?

wishmistress - 9/1/2013 1:36 PM
2 Votes
You are so right, osprey! I have always believed that we KNEW that, as well. So sick of leaders expecting our brave people to die for other countries. The only way to stop some of these fools is to let our private contractors go in and infiltrate and kill the ones responsible. That's what they do best. Keep our military home for defense.

warpsix - 9/1/2013 12:56 PM
3 Votes
Typical 2 Faced Liberal Democrat.

osprey1 - 9/1/2013 11:25 AM
2 Votes
I guess we know now where all those WMD's went we were looking for in Iraq. I wonder if it was the Syrians or the Muslim brotherhood that used that gas.

Gunny48 - 9/1/2013 10:03 AM
1 Vote
The problem is we don't KNOW who is responsible!

Gunny48 - 9/1/2013 10:01 AM
0 Votes
“As far as I’m concerned, we should strike in Syria today,” Nelson, D-Fla., said in a written statement. “The use of chemical weapons was inhumane, and those responsible should be forced to suffer the consequences.”
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