In response to a video clip of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in which Paul said ISIS has grown stronger in Syria as a result of the Obama administration’s “degrading” of Bashar al-Assad, resident Fox News expert Charles Krauthammer said the notion was “preposterous”. Beginning at the 4:13 mark of the video excerpt from Special Report below, host Bret Baier introduces the Paul clip and then asks Krauthammer to respond.
Steve Hayes even agrees with Krauthammer:
Of course, the blatant omission from both Krauthammer and Hayes are the reports that the U.S. Annex in Benghazi was used to ship weapons to Turkey and then on to Syria. It is striking that both men completely ignore these reports, to include one by Fox’s own Catherine Herridge in the weeks after the Benghazi attack.
One of the problems for Krauthammer is that he has been heavily invested in the premise that the U.S. was giving little more than humanitarian aid to Syria’s rebel forces and that Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack last year. An admission on his part today that Assad wasn’t responsible and that the U.S. was engaged in a covert weapons trafficking operation with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar would be major for an ‘expert’ who must be seen as largely credible.
In the clip below – from last year, shortly after the chemical attack in Syria – Krauthammer said, “the rebels are in distress” and refers to their “non-Islamist” leader appealing openly for “weapons”. Assuming that said “non-Islamist” leader is a reference to Salim Idris, Krauthammer got that wrong too. As Shoebat.com reported, after the FSA was no longer an effective front for jihadist rebels, Idris fled to Turkey and then on to Qatar, two countries that arguably support terrorists the most.
In truth, it was Rand Paul who most challenged then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the issue of weapons trafficking out of Benghazi. This exchange between Paul and Clinton took place eight months prior to the chemical attack in Syria Krauthammer insisted was perpetrated by Assad:
Just this week, Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret) told Fox News that the U.S. was arming ISIS in Syria: