Jim must have been furious.
It was almost lunchtime in Washington, D.C., Tuesday when President Donald Trump huddled his National Security Council and his top military advisors in the White House. They’re shown images — far more graphic than those shown the public — of children gasping for breath and foaming at the mouth. The Pentagon, relying on radar tracking, shows a Syrian Air Force plane leaving a key airfield and flying over the precise site of the chemical attack multiple times. Open source videos and reports of victims match the time of the flyover.
Intelligence analysts conclude it was sarin gas. The New York Times reports that Trump is visibly “shaken” by the photos of the kids. Trump takes a few more meetings on domestic policy goals, the Times reports, but “aides say the images from Syria — especially those showing the suffering of small children and babies — weigh on him.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who often insists on ditching the prodigious nicknames and honorifics in favor of simply “Jim,” stolidly tells reporters Wednesday that the attack “was a heinous act and will be treated as such.” He had also seen the images. In my brief conversations with Jim, I would say he has a well-developed sense of philosophic morality. He protects the innocent. He plays fair. He “didn’t bring artillery.” He certainly doesn’t mind killing the “kind of scum” that “won’t let a little girl learn how to read,” he told me once.Read the rest from Geoffrey Ingersoll HERE.
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