Associated Press reporter Matt Lee grilled State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Thursday, repeatedly asking her how Secretary of State John Kerry found it “courageous” for
President Barack Obama to seek Congressional authorization of military force in Syria.
Lee’s argument came from this premise: How is it “courageous” for Obama to ask for Congress to approve something that he believes he has the right to do, anyway?
“I don’t understand why he is so full-throatedly in favour of this,” Lee said. “He over the weekend said the president was acting courageously by taking this to Congress, and I don’t understand what is courageous about asking permission for something that you say you don’t need and to do what you believe to be the right thing not just morally but in general.
“Can you explain why this is a courageous move, and why the secretary would call it a courageous move?”
Psaki’s response followed the White House’s standard line — that Kerry believes limited, targeted strikes, and Congressional approval for those strikes, are the “right step.”
Cutting off her answer, Lee asked, “Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal procedure at the White House over the weekend? I don’t understand. How is this courageous?”
Psaki replied that though both Obama and Kerry believe that Obama has the authority to carry out military action, their case strengthens with the backing of Congress.
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