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Martin Hellman: Congress Should Determine Facts About Chem Attack in Syria

Photograph of guided missile launched from the destroyer USS Porter

A Syrian-bound Tomahawk cruise missile lifts off from the USS Porter on April 7, 2017. Navy photo / Ford Williams

One of Congress's responsibilities is to check and balance executive power. Stanford professor Martin Hellman argues in a recent article that it should act on that responsibility by examining the intelligence President Trump used to justify bombing Syria. Among other concerns, Hellman cites work by MIT's Theodore Postol, a former intelligence official, who believes at least one photograph used as proof of an airborne chemical attack was misinterpreted, and that it more closely resembles a bomb detonated from the ground.

"It may turn out that Pres. Trump was right in his assessment," Hellman reasons, "but there is also a chance that he attacked Syria on a false belief, killing people in the process. Congress should initiate an unbiased, bipartisan investigation to determine the facts, whichever way they lead."

You can read Hellman’s full article here.

By: Justin Rood
Director of Congressional Oversight Initiative, POGO

Photograph of Justin Rood Mr. Rood's areas of expertise include congressional oversight, homeland security and intelligence.

Topics: Government Accountability

Related Content: Congressional Oversight, Checks and Balances, Homeland Security

Authors: Justin Rood

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