See below the James Rosen note — it looks like military strikes even if Congress says NO to President Obama?
A senior State Department official tells Fox News the president’s decision to take military action in Syria still stands, and will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes next week to approve the use of such force.
The official said that every major player on the National Security Council – including the commander-in-chief – was in accord last night on the need for military action, and that the president’s decision to seek a congressional debate and vote was a surprise to most if not all of them. However, the aide insisted the request for Congress to vote did not supplant the president’s earlier decision to use force in Syria, only delayed its implementation.
“That’s going to happen, anyway,” the source told me, adding that that was why the president, in his rose Garden remarks, was careful to establish that he believes he has the authority to launch such strikes even without congressional authorization.
Other senior administration officials, outside of the Department of State, would not confirm as much, telling reporters only that the door had been left open for the president to proceed without congressional authorization.
This was confided by way of seeking to refute suggestions that Secretary of State Kerry “lost” to the chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff in the interagency process. “Absolutely untrue,” the Kerry aide said, adding that everything Kerry said in his dramatic remarks on Friday was after “fully consulting with the White House.”
The State Department official emphasized that all of the president’s national security advisers were in agreement as of last night on the need to proceed with strikes – and that the president ultimately will.
This tracked with bulletins reporting that Kerry has spoken to the Syrian rebel leadership and conveyed to them the administration’s determination to respond to the August 21 attack.
Chief Washington Correspondent