Kerry Cites Evidence of Sarin Gas Being Used in Syria

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Obama administration turned to the Sunday talk shows, seeking to build its case with Congress for military intervention in Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry said in television interviews that the United States has evidence that the nerve agent sarin was used in Syria.

"I can tell you today, Sunday, that we now have evidence from hair and blood samples and from first responders in east Damascus, the people who came to help, we have signatures of sarin in their hair and blood samples," Kerry said on the ABC News program This Week. "So the case is growing stronger by the day."

In a Rose Garden address to the American people on Saturday, President Barack Obama said that he would seek authorization from Congress to use military force in Syria.

"After careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets," Obama said Saturday. "This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I'm confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out."

Obama said he had the authority to order military action against Syria but that he would ask Congress for authorization. "While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective," he said. "We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual."

Kerry said Sunday that he believed Congress would authorize the use of military force against the Syrian government but that even if it did not, the president, as commander-in-chief, would still have the authority to order military strikes.

"I do not believe the Congress of the United States will turn its back upon this moment," Kerry said on the NBC News program Meet the Press.

He added, "I've said the president has the authority to act but the Congress is going to do what's right here."

Congressional approval is not a foregone conclusion. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Meet the Press, "I think it's a mistake to get involved in the Syrian civil war."

He said that he thought the Senate would "rubberstamp what he wants" but that "I think it's at least 50-50 whether the House will vote down involvement in the Syrian war."

On the CBS News program Face the Nation, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "We need to have a strategy and a plan" to keep military action from being simply a symbolic gesture.

But Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said on Face the Nation, "I am confident that Congress will rally behind the important principle that the use of chemical weapons, violating an international norm that's been in place since the 1920s, is unacceptable and that we need to engage in action, even military action, with international allies to stop it."

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