Sunday, September 1, 2013

Obama War Room: Balance of Power

JOHN KERRY: Chuck and I just talked with Assad, sir. Says he appreciates the pause but his military would find it easier to limit damage if they knew the exact date of a strike. He promised he wouldn’t use chemical weapons in the interim if we kept him informed.

: Cheeky SOB. What did you tell him?

KERRY: That no one could predict how long the debate in Congress would last.

OBAMA: Have NSA establish a secure link between Reid’s office and Assad’s Command Center. Harry will liaise with them.

HAGEL: Um, Assad also wants a commitment that you will not hit Syria if Congress refuses authorization. Argued the War Powers Act of 1974 explicitly prohibits a president from using military force on his own authority in a situation like this.

OBAMA: I hope you told him he could take a flying leap off . . .

KERRY: Appearances matter, sir. You’ve promised to listen to what everyone has to say on the matter. Everyone. Assad asked that Damascus University Professor Firas Sabeen, a respected expert on our Constitution, be allowed to address Congress on the merits of our case for action against his country. I agreed.

OBAMA: Is that it? Is there anything more that murdering . . . ?

KERRY: Just one more thing, sir. A threat. Assad knows our cyber warfare capability is nothing short of awesome. He fears it more than a few Tomahawks.

HAGEL: So he’s drawn a bright red line: said cyber-attacks on Syria would constitute a crime against humanity, that no matter how carefully we target his military, hospital computers would go down, resulting in preemies dying in their incubators, dialysis patients succumbing, and so on.

: I suppose he’d hire Ramsey Clark, take it to The Hague.

KERRY: Yes sir. We’d lose.

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