The Pentagon’s top leaders said Thursday that they favored supplying weapons to rebels locked in a grinding civil war with the Syrian government, a position that put them directly at odds with the White House.
At the tail end of a line of questioning about Benghazi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked Panetta and Dempsey whether they supported a plan “that we provide weapons to the resistance in Syria.” The plan, he said, was floated in the summer by then-CIA Director David H. Petraeus and endorsed by another heavyweight in the administration at the time, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“We do,” Panetta replied. “You did support that?” McCain asked again. “We did,” added Dempsey, who was sitting next to Panetta. Neither elaborated on their positions. (Washington Post, Posted 8 Feb 13)